It was May 2016 and we were in Orange County at our friends James and Chelsea Wedmore’s pre-wedding celebration, when I got to talking with this super nice guy about our business and what was working and what wasn’t.
At the time we had a still very itchy baby who wasn’t sleeping much, and I was very much in the Fertile Void in terms of business creation. I just couldn’t seem to figure out what our next best move should be. I’d said what I needed to say about money and now felt as if I was treading water until my next big idea showed up.
I also shared that while we were making great money (high six-figures), I didn’t like the feeling of living launch to launch. We would put a ton of energy into a promotion and make great revenue from it, but then in order to get revenue coming in the door again we had to repeat the same cycle over and over. Honestly, I was tired of launching and feeling like we were in a boom/bust cycle.
In this conversation, I happened to be pouring my heart out to Stu McLaren, one of the world’s leading experts on membership sites, and, not surprisingly, he asked me if I’d ever considered creating a membership for the benefits of recurring revenue and building a long-term relationship with customers instead of selling them one-off products.
I knew that we could attract people and that building community is a real sweet spot for me because it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life pretty naturally, but what I didn’t know was what the membership was going to be about. And I knew “join my awesome community” was not going to be that compelling an offer.
Then I got the idea to teach a course for female entrepreneurs about planning their promotional calendar around their personal cycles, lunar cycles, and the seasons rather than pushing all the time (which I’d realized from experience only leads to burnout). As I was talking to Mike about my idea he said, “That’s your membership.”
I knew he was right, and we got to work rolling it out. One of the best investments we made was flying to Toronto to work with Stu privately to get our entire launch and content strategy mapped out.
(If you don’t have the time or resources to fly to Toronto and work with him one on one, he’s offering a free training right now that goes over the very same strategy and philosophy that we learned with him in person. It’s called the Recurring Revolution and you can click here to access it for free.)
When I meet someone like Stu whose values and lifestyle I respect and who has the business success to prove that what they teach works, I am extremely teachable and I simply follow their instructions.
Launching our membership for entrepreneurial moms who want to have more by doing less, Origin™, under Stu’s guidance, turned out to be one of the very best decisions we’ve ever made in business to allow us to do less.
Here’s what I love about having a membership as the bedrock of our business model:
1. Building an ongoing relationship with our members: I’m a people person. While selling digital courses is gratifying in some ways, I really missed the experience of seeing people evolve over a longer period of time, but I knew I didn’t want to coach people. A membership is the perfect way to foster a community of people I get to know and witness blossom over time in a way that we didn’t have when we were only selling one-off courses.
2. Content batching = time saved: I create two new pieces of content a month for our members, a How To lesson and a Maven Masterclass interview, and then there’s a Q&A and a Member Spotlight each month, too. I’ve found that batching the content ahead of time has allowed me to prepare several months of content in just a few days, so the time commitment to keep the membership going is not only minimal, it’s actually incredibly joyful.
3. Recurring revenue: I’d experienced the power of recurring revenue already through our network marketing business, so it wasn’t totally foreign to me, but adding a membership to our business took it to a whole other level. Now instead of living launch to launch and having to expend a ton of energy and time to make a big chunk of revenue, only to have to repeat the whole thing a few months later to pay our expenses, we had predictable revenue coming in from our membership each and every month. We have so much more freedom and predictability in our business and life now and way less stress.
If you’re craving a recurring revenue business model and you think a membership site might be the way to go for you, Stu is the guy to learn from. Not only does he know what he’s talking about (and our results along with those of thousands of other students prove it) he’s also an incredibly kind, generous person who I’m honored to call a friend.
I don’t believe there are any accidents, and I know we ran into Stu when we did because we were meant to create Origin™ with his guidance. Not a day goes by that I don’t take a deep breath of gratitude and relaxation because of our membership site and what it’s done for our life and business.
Have you ever thought about creating a membership site? What are your biggest questions about it? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer personally!
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