Membership Geeks

11 Bad Habits That Could Be Hurting Your Membership

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Do you have any bad habits that could be hurting your membership? 

What we see time and time again is that membership owners get through that initial slog…

They’ve got everything set up and running, they’re in a nice rhythm…

And then the bad habits can start to creep in… 

We all have them… 

And they can have a big impact on the long-term success of your business if they're not recognized and managed.

One of the best things about running a membership is that because you're building it based on recurring income from potentially thousands of members…

There's plenty of cliff to walk back on if you're getting close to the edge…

Now that's a fantastic thing…

But the flip side is that sometimes you don't notice problems in your membership until you've fallen off the edge of said cliff…

So how do you avoid this? 

Don't worry, we've got your back…

Here are 11 common bad habits that could be hurting your membership site…

And what to do if you're falling foul of one or more of them…

1. Only focusing on the money

If you're getting into the membership game because you think it’s a golden ticket to untold riches with minimal effort…

Then starting a membership may not be the right move for you…

Because you're expected to show up and serve your members…

You need to want to be in your community, helping people get results…

Not just looking out for number one or obsessing over the bottom line.

Don't be all about the money…

I'm not saying that money isn't important, of course it is…

This is a business after all… 

But remember, behind every single dollar you earn, there's a human being who has entrusted you to help solve their problems…

Don’t let them down. 

If you find yourself only focusing on money, pull yourself back and re-connect with the human element of your membership…

Because without those people paying you, you have no money and no membership.

2. Becoming complacent 

Complacency is a killer for memberships…

Because when you start taking things for granted…

Like that your marketing strategy is always going to work…

That people are always going to keep paying you… 

That your members love everything you're doing… 

You end up taking your foot off the gas…

And ultimately that ends up in you running out of momentum and your members – and business- will suffer for it.

When things are going well, that's the time to really take your membership to the next level…

Don’t just sit back and get complacent.

If you have free time you could could batch produce the next six months’ worth of content…

If you're making more money than you know what to do with, hire employees to help take even better care of your members…

Or invest that money back into your business through training, incentives for members and so on.

Don't become complacent.

3. Making changes to your membership for the sake of it

This is something we see a lot…

It's almost the opposite of complacency. 

People get fidgety in their membership…

They may start adding new features, changing the layout of their website, or obsessing over logo colors… 

All of these things can pull you away from the stuff that you should be doing…

And more importantly, it leaves your membership in a constant state of flux.

Memberships are always evolving, but change for the sake of change is pointless.

4. Being resistant to change

On the opposite side, some membership owners can be resistant to change…

If the data and feedback are telling you loud and clear that something needs to change, don’t bury your head in the sand.   

This lady knows the score…

If your content is just not connecting, if a feature you thought would be amazing has been a dud, you need to take action.

Change when change is needed is absolutely crucial.

5. Believing that only you know what’s best

And as a result, being unreceptive to feedback…

Especially if it's negative.

If one person tells you they don't like something, then of course, you'd be crazy to drop everything and make sweeping changes based on that single piece of feedback… 

However, if you hear the same things come up time and time again…

And you're seeing repeated themes and issues being fed back to you from members…

Then you need to listen. 

Ultimately, you're the one who knows your business the best…

But that doesn’t mean all ideas have to come from you. 

Feedback is incredibly valuable, so you should actively seek it out…

Don't stubbornly strap on the blinders and shut out that feedback.

6. Relying too much on your content

Memberships are a value exchange…

If you want someone to pay you on an ongoing basis, you need to deliver value on an ongoing basis. 

But don’t confuse value with content. 

People don't join a membership just because it has the most stuff…

They join because they have a problem that they want you to solve…

And helping them do this takes a lot more than just throwing a mountain of content at them.

The real magic of a membership is what happens inside the community, where people get support and advice and build relationships.

If you rely entirely on content, you’re going to miss out on providing what members actually need. 

7. Becoming a stranger in your community

If you’re getting people through the door because you’re the go to expert in your industry or an influencer, members want to see you when they join.

If you suddenly disappear as soon as they pay, it’s not a good look.

When you have a membership where you're the figurehead…

Where it's built on your personal brand…

There's an expectation that you will be present inside your community.

Your members shouldn't be asking this…

People join for access to you… 

So, you need to show up and interact with your members…

After all, if you can't be bothered to show up in your own community, why should anyone else?  

8. Getting too cliquey 

As a leader, you need to resist the urge to play favorites.

This can happen with members who have been with you from day one… 

You know them a bit better, so you interact with them more…

But for newbies coming in, it all looks a bit cliquey and unwelcoming. 

So, make sure you’re mindful of welcoming new members and help them feel involved…

Reply to stuff that others say, not just your group of favorites…

And find a way to highlight other people’s successes, not just the usual suspects. 

9. Avoid getting into spats

With any group of people, there are bound to be disagreements…

But openly getting into arguments in your forum or Facebook community is a definite no no.

As a leader, you're likely to be more sensitive to this…

Especially if you’re getting negative feedback about your membership.

But at the same time, you have a responsibility to stay professional and avoid getting annoyed with or even hostile towards members.

If you have problem members inside your community, then you're better off dealing with them behind closed doors to avoid your community becoming a toxic place.

Leaders lead by example, so if you set a precedent for heated arguments and name-calling, you’re signalling that it’s okay for everyone to do that. 

10. Mishandling cancellations 

Cancellations can be a hard pill to swallow for a membership owner…

But the truth is it’s a natural part of the member lifecycle…

No one’s obligated to stay a life-long member!

They’re not swearing fealty to the crown, like on Game of Thrones… 

People will cancel, so treat them with respect and a helpful attitude… 

Because burning those bridges can be costly…

As more often than not, people will choose to come back at some point…

Over 25% of members who leave our Membership Academy return to us within 12 months…

But if they have a bad experience when cancelling, they won’t.

Basically what you're saying to members when you mishandle their cancellation…

Don’t punish them for leaving by revoking their access immediately or charging more to re-join later on.

Just make the cancellation process as pain-free as possible and move on. 

11. Blindly following the advice of gurus 

Sometimes we see membership owners doing something that makes absolutely no sense…

And when we ask why, they usually reply something along the lines of…

“Because [insert famous influencer/blogger/podcaster] told me to do it.”

That guru is usually the person charging people two grand for a course that promises them the secrets of the universe… 

This person may be extremely smart…

And the advice they're giving you may have worked for them and hundreds of others…

But that doesn't necessarily mean it will work well for you. 

There is no secret formula for success in this business…

So don’t blindly follow everything the gurus say…

The key word there is ‘blindly'..

Advice should be informative but not the be-all and end-all..

And we include ourselves in that by the way!

You don’t need to blindly follow everything we say here…

I'm an expert in memberships, but not in your industry… 

And you know your business better than me, or anyone else… 

So if something an expert says feels wrong to you, you don’t follow through with it.

Think through all advice you receive very carefully, get other opinions, work out how it’ll affect your membership before taking the advice.

We all have some bad habits…

I know I do! 

The key is to recognize what they are…

And take action to rectify it as soon as you can…

For the good of you, your members and your wider business…

Be honest with yourself and reflect on your membership regularly.

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