Membership Geeks

You Need To Prioritize These 8 Things in Order to Grow Your Membership

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What things do you need to prioritize to grow your membership?

Let’s assume you’ve got off to a good start and laid the best foundation you could muster.

Naturally, you’ll sense that now it’s time to take things to the next level… 

But here’s one thing to keep in mind…

It's not simply about growing, you’ve got to grow in the right direction.

Sure, there’s no a+b=c type formula to rely on, but there are a few things you can do to help you get where you need to be.

So, are you ready to beef up your membership in the best way possible?

Here are eight things you can do…

1. Improve member acquisition and retention

It might seem a little obvious, but you can’t grow your membership business without signing new members…

And of course keeping them!

These two naturally go hand in hand, but we'd say that focusing on retention is perhaps a little bit more important than member acquisition…

After all memberships are a retention business.

You need people to stay subscribed for as long as the membership lifecycle lasts.

So, while you’re looking to sign new members, make sure you’ve got a game plan to keep them hooked.

Our top tips for doing this are simple:

  • Talk to members who join – what made them click the ‘join now' button? 
  • Talk to prospects who are yet to  join – what is stopping them? 
  • Understand why people are leaving – your exit survey will help with this 

You to your members and prospects…

The information you'll get from doing these three things will point to different priorities in your retention strategy…

As you’ll get insights into your audience's wants and needs…

And this will help you build a system that keeps people invested in your membership.

2. Explore other potential revenue streams

There two main paths you can choose to go down as a membership owner… 

You either hone in solely on your membership website…

Or you build a whole ecosystem featuring a selection of different products and offerings with your membership at the heart of the business.

The good news is that you can still explore alternative revenue streams with either of these paths.

If you’re opting for the membership route only, the one major way to rack up some additional revenue is to tap into affiliate referral commissions.

You probably recommend a range of software, services, tools, and products to your members anyway, so why not get something out of it?

No doubt, not everyone is comfortable with the thought of affiliate marketing.

But ask yourself this…

Would you recommend this stuff regardless of whether you get a commission or not?

If the answer is yes, then you may as well make a profit in the process.

On the other hand, if you’re all for building an ecosystem, then the world is truly your oyster.

You could create a selection of different offerings for your audience while keeping your membership the core focus (or not).

3. Look for ways to refine your offering

You probably have a set vision of what you want your membership to become…

But, in a way, your membership isn’t just yours, it also belongs to your members.

So, it makes sense that you would adapt your strategy over time to suit their wants and needs.

As your membership grows, so should your understanding of your audience…

You need to know what they like and dislike so you can adjust your membership and your marketing accordingly…

Look out for everything from hits and misses to accidental successes.

Those are the things that’ll help you tweak your processes to better suit your member base.

The longer your membership runs, the more refined your offering should be, because you should be continuously evolving based on your member feedback. 

You can use their feedback to do things like adjusting your sales page, the language you use and refining your key messages.

You can hone in on what’s working and eliminate anything that’s dragging you down.

4. Stabilize your marketing activity

While big promotions and membership marketing campaigns are definitely important to grow your business, you can’t solely rely on them to grease the wheels of your membership.

The better alternative is to always have some sort of campaign running in the background.

It doesn’t have to be anything audacious…

But, there should be something in the works keeping your members (and non-members) aware of your presence. 

You reminding your audience of your presence…

It could be through content marketing, sharing social proof of your membership or social media…

All that matters is the potency of your message and your consistency. 

5. Get to grips with your numbers

Here’s the thing, if you don't know your numbers – your key membership KPIs then you don't really have a good barometer for how your business is performing.

You won’t be able to point out the problem areas or focus on the stuff that’s working.

The three main areas you need to pay attention to are:

  • Finances: This includes things like your turnover, profit margins, your member acquisition costs, and more importantly, your net profit. On average, you need to know all these and more when it comes to planning for your marketing and general spending
  • Performance: Start with things like your membership churn and growth rate on a month-to-month or annual basis.
  • Engagement levels: Knowing these numbers is the only way you can understand your business’ capacity. You can’t scale your business if you’re clueless about how much traffic it's getting.

6. Develop processes

Solid processes are the bedrock of successful businesses…

In other words, they're crucial for growing a membership site. 

Processes cover everything from content production to your community and even complaint management.

All these areas need some sort of uniform flow to ensure that your members aren’t left hanging at any point.

One practical way to get ahead in this regard is to meticulously document tasks you’re going over more than once.

Keep process information in project management tools like Asana or Trello where you can build a working repeatable template.

7. Batch produce your content

Going down the membership route doesn’t mean you can avoid regular content creation…

So, you’ve got to work smart to stay on top of things.

Creating content just in time for it to be released will have your nerves on edge as those deadlines approach. 

The alternative? Batch produce your content.

It's what all the successful membership owners are doing.

It gives you the freedom to ensure that you’re putting out the best quality content possible.

Even more, it helps you align your content with related marketing campaigns, promotions, and membership content releases.

As a bonus, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your content is mapped out weeks or months down the line.

The more you can streamline your membership content creation, the less chance you'll get consumed in it day-to-day…

And the less you're consumed in it day-to-day the more time you'll have to pursue membership growth effectively.

8. Build a team

If you want to grow your membership further, then you can’t run it all on your own…

Either outsourcing tasks or hiring employees will help you be more effective as a membership owner.

Of course, you’ll still have your core responsibilities, but eventually, you might need extra hands to free yourself up to focus on them.

Start by bringing in people to handle the functions you’re not quite skilled at…

There’s no use struggling with video editing or fixing web bugs when it's not your field…

It doesn’t have to be technical stuff, either… 

Get a virtual assistant to handle some day-to-day tasks or a community manager, so there’s always someone there when you get too busy.

The areas you need help in can differ from one membership to another.

So, look at the areas where you’re spending the most time and figure out if it's a task you need to be directly involved in.

With some or all of these areas covered, you should be able to see real growth in your membership business.

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