What's the best way to launch a membership site?
Here's what I recommend:
-> Start with a free offer.
-> Just create content for your freebie first. Just a simple checklist or worksheet or a short video that won't take you more than 2-3 hours to put together.
-> Setup a simple opt-in page in WordPress.
-> Setup free product in your membership plugin, generate a signup form & publish on your opt-in page.
-> Deliver freebie from your membership site.
-> Get users used to the process of logging in to your website to consume content.
-> On your thank you page, add a simple CTA. Get them to join your free Facebook group / forum. Build your community.
-> Setup follow up emails. Ask users if they have consumed your content and if yes, ask them for their feedback. Send them a link to your testimonial page so they can leave you a review.
-> Add social proof to your opt-in page.
This exercise will also help you get familiar with your membership plugin, how it works, how you can generate member-facing pages, etc. So when you are ready to add your paid offer, you'll be able to do it quickly and easily.
Want to know how to build a lead magnet funnel?
Watch this video.
Recently, I was on Deborah Denham Johnson's "Women at Halftime Podcast" where I talked about this, and several other common mistakes people make when it comes to bulding and launching their membership sites.
Your content does NOT have to be fully ready to build and launch your membership site.
Create a content plan first but release it in phases.
You can also download this "Membership Site Planning Worksheet" to create a plan for your membership site.
If you want to create a worksheet to help your users solve a specific problem in your niche, and offer it for free, you have my permission to "make a copy" of this worksheet. Just remove the content from the membership site planning tab, and make it your own by adding your own content.
After you've done this, before you create more content, do some content marketing for your lead magnet.
Content Marketing for your FREE content
• Start blogging on your website. Publish at least one new post every week.
• Add a link to your lead magnet offer / opt-in page in every blog post so users will always find it no matter how they end up on your site.
• Make it easy to subscribe.
• Get social proof from people that have consumed your lead magnet. Add social proof to your opt-in page.
• Build your community. Create a Facebook group or add a forum plugin. On your thank you page, where users land when they opt-in to your freebie, add a simple "Click here to Join this Community" button, and link it to your Facebook group or your forum registration page.
• Setup a follow-up email sequence to stay in touch with those that have signed up for your lead magnet offer. Continue to provide value.
• In your 2nd or 3rd follow-up email, check if your users have consumed the freebie content, and if they found it valuable.
• If yes, ask them to leave you a short review. Make it easy for them by sending them a link to a page on your site where they can leave you a review. I use a plugin called "Thrive Ovation" (from thrive themes) to do this.
• If your content didn't help them, ask for feedback so you can use it to make updates to your free content and make it better.
• Send at least 1 email per week where you provide value.
• Promote on social media. Even if you don't get engagement, don't give up. Many people observe quietly even if they don't engage. Keep doing it.
Not finding the perfect software?
We receive several questions about our membership software in our pre-sales inbox. Sometimes the requirements are overly complex. Things that 99% of your users won't care about.
If you just can't find the software that can do everything you want it to do, you may want to consider 'changing' your requirements.
You're likely not going to find a software that can support all of your requirements.
Keep it simple. Don't complicate simple things.
Your audience just wants you to help them solve their problems.
They don't care what color you use to highlight a specific piece of information. Or if the software lets you display information in a very specific way.
So if you are feeling stuck in 'software research' mode, and can't find a software that can do everything you want it to do, you may want to consider 'changing' your requirements, instead of hiring developers to create a custom solution for your custom requirements.
Get your first product out there!
• Start building your list!
• Get users used to the process of logging in to your membership site to consume content.
• Publish member-facing pages such as login page and content page. It'll give you the momentum you'll need to keep going with your membership site.
To summarize, the best way to launch a membership site is by just getting your first product out there! And it does not have to be anything fancy. Start with a FREE offer! Every product you create and release will help you get audience feedback so you can make it even better, and it'll give you new ideas for your next product.
What Makes DAP the MOST Complete Membership Platform?