In Facebook, there are groups where thousands seek answers about membership sites. Their questions on mailing lists, membership software and referrals go largely unanswered.
James Schramko and John Lint have devoted two episodes so far to addressing some of their queries.
Tune in to this, their third episode on the theme, and see if it answers your membership concerns.
In the podcast:
If you’ve been avidly following the show, you know that James and 10XPRO‘s John Lint have in previous episodes been answering questions relating to membership sites. These were questions plucked off what appeared to be a largely unattended Facebook group, with thousands of members seeking answers.
This is James and John’s third such episode. So if you have a paid online membership or dream of having one, tune in. Your questions just might be the ones they answer.
Q: Should I hire a videographer or buy video equipment and wing it?
A: You could do that if you wanted to, says John. Or you could pull out your iPhone or Android device and record some good valuable content, content that is going to help your members solve the problems that they’re facing. That’s ultimately why they joined your membership site, because they want the solution to something. As long as the content is really, really good, then people will forgive you for not having the best camera in the world.
As long as your material is good, and as long as it really helps people, viewers will feel, Hey, this is a cool person. They know what they’re talking about. They will get to know you, like you, and trust you. And that will build your audience and boost your sales.
James agrees. You can have everything you need with an iPhone and some natural lighting. Or if you intend to just do screen share, which works for markets ike stock trading or gaming, get Camtasia for Windows or ScreenFlow for Mac.
Pay attention to sound. An Audio-Technica or RODE USB style microphone for $100 is enough; $150, $200 maximum budget, you’re in good sound territory.
Q: How do you approach potential joint ventures and affiliates when there’s no current relationship?
A: Obviously, ideally, you want to have some kind of relationship with people, and you want to have an exchange of value. One of the best ways to achieve this is, instead of asking them to help you, think about how you can help them.
“Get what you want by helping others.”
Maybe you can start promoting them first. Or you can join their network, and participate in there. Maybe they have a forum or a community or a mastermind. James and John met when John went on James’s Maldives mastermind.
Just be normal, says John. Get to know them. Don’t have a plan like, I’m going to do this because I want him to promote me. Just be natural and see where it goes, build that relationship. Help first, and don’t expect anything.
If it works, great. If it doesn’t, that’s fine. Just try to be helpful, and try to participate in that market. And maybe the deal or the promotion might not happen now. But maybe it might happen in a few years, or maybe they might not promote you, but introduce you to someone else.
It’s pretty simple, says James. It’s easy to find out what people are interested in. Send a small physical gift in the post, perhaps. To get his attention, it’s as simple as sending him a little surf wax, or a leg rope, or a fin key.
Get to know people socially, help them out. Certainly join their programs, be part of their community, maybe promote them. Let them know how your program can help them.
Another thing you can do is, if there’s someone you want to JV with, have a look at where they’ve appeared on podcasts or where they’ve spoken, and look on their LinkedIn for common contacts, find someone who you know well who has either been on their podcast as well, or is a connection on LinkedIn, and then ask them to introduce you.
James gets introduced to strangers all the time through intermediaries who he trusts. And when they introduce him to a stranger, he automatically places some value in that introduction, because of who is making that referral.
Q: At what point did you know you were providing value to your members? Like, what were the signs?
A: If they don’t cancel, that’s a good indication.
That it, says James. Low churn is a good sign.
A lot of experts in this market are very good at launching or selling, says John. One week later, they’ve lost 80 percent of their members because their content is useless and you don’t even see them on their membership site.
The value signs, says James, are that people aren’t leaving, people are happy, people are making referrals, people are commenting in the success section. If you have a membership, he strongly encourages you to have a place where people can post their wins. It encourages other members in your online community to know that you are getting success in your program.
You can take success stories, and post them with permission. When people say, Yes. I’m happy to be a case study, I’m happy for you to publish my comments, that’s also a sign they’re happy and grateful, and they’re feeling like they got great value.
At the end of the day, yeah, we have a business, but also we have a job to do in that business. And that job is to deliver on our promise.
Q: How big was your email subscriber list? This was a proposed question for someone with a successful membership site. What size memberships are you seeing?
A: John gets that question, somewhat differently: How big should my list be before I launch my membership site?
If you don’t have an email list, building it is one of the most important things that you should do. The only way to be in control of your business and to be in control of your audience is to build your email list. You should be doing that on an ongoing basis.
“Get started, validate your idea, get at least one person to buy.”
Now, do you wait for a specific number before launching? No. John has seen people open their doors to their membership when they had a list of 20. He’s seen people do it with 500, or with 5,000 or more. Granted, you won’t get as many sales with 20 as with 5,000. But what’s important is to get started, validate your idea, get at least one person to buy.
And then little by little, if you keep on doing the right thing, if you have an offer that converts, if you have a good product that’s going to deliver and help people get the results, if you show up as a coach and you help members and they’re giving you positive feedback, then keep on doing that and your business will grow.
James recalls one of his and John’s most popular episodes, where they talked about starting with a list of 500. James himself has only 9,000 people on his email list, but it’s enough to give him a fantastic business.
In short, if you have a list of 1,000 people, you’re good to go. Anything above that is great for most types of markets.
Q: How many hours do you put into your membership after it’s all set up, and it’s running smoothly?
A: Obviously, says John, you’re going to have to focus on the setup. So you’re going to use some tools. If you’re using 10XPRO.io, everything’s going to be much easier. People ask them, what tool do you use? 10XPRO.io for everything. Then once it’s set up, you pretty much don’t have to touch it. The stuff that you do need to do depends on how you have set up your membership sites.
The four main components John sees in membership sites are:
1. Content that is published. You can publish content on whatever schedule you want. It can be monthly, can be weekly, can be once every two months, whatever you decide, that’s up to you.
2. Community. This means you have a group of people who are talking to each other, and you are moderating this and contributing. That can be in the form of a forum, or in the form of what we call a social wall – just think private group inside the members’ area, that can be just a form of a commenting area in the page.
3. You providing private coaching.
4. Some kind of group coaching. This can be live streaming sessions or the like.
These components will require some amount of your time. So it depends on you how you set it up. John, for instance, knows membership owners who are online once a week live, for one hour, answering questions. That’s their membership.
Others might post one video or tip a week and answer questions from their community. Some, like James, do a combination of everything. But it’s up to you how you choose and leverage the four components.
James mentions a student who asked him, How often do you check the forum thread? Is it once a month or is it once every couple of weeks or once a week? James said, No, mate. Every day. Every day, I check it.
James puts about 15 hours a week into running his business. And the bulk of it is in three days of the week, where he does podcast episodes and actual coaching. And then he does light maintenance every day, usually half an hour to an hour, checking in and answering forum posts. He’s been doing that for over 10 years.
“There’s going to be a phase at the beginning when you might do a lot.”
If you’re doing 80 hours a week and you have a five-figure business, then you’re probably at the very early phases, or you’re doing it wrong. And that’s the kind of problem James helps solve.
Q: How do you do it without all the overwhelm and tech?
A: Easy, says James. 10XPPRO.io.
He saw someone have a crack at answering this question, who listed maybe 11 tools to get started on a low budget. Why not just pay a dollar, he thought, and do a trial with 10XPRO?
The number one reason people fail online, says John, is because of tech. Because there’s too much stuff. What no one discusses is, how do you stitch them together? And how do you then hope and pray that they keep on working together?
People don’t build a membership to become tech support persons. They want to be entrepreneurs. They want to build a business that’s going to work. They’re not there to fix plugins or WordPress.
Just pay $1, says James, and have all your problems melt away. It’s fully hosted, the cart’s there, the landing pages, the membership, the community, the products. You can pixel whatever page you want. It has infinitely customizable upsells and downsells. It has the deepest integration with the email system of any platform James has ever seen. It’s the most powerful membership software, dressed up as the easiest-to-use package, which is almost impossible, but it actually pulls it off.
Q: Can I skip the free Facebook group?
James gives a bit of context: it’s generally taught that you start a free Facebook group, grow it over time, and then harvest it when it’s time to sell a membership, and hope you’ve got enough traction to get people to pay for the thing you’re selling. That kind of advice stuns him.
A: The answer is yes, you can skip the Facebook group. James has never run a Facebook group. It’s insanity, he says, to spend your lifetime on Facebook. And you end up with a group like the one they’ve been raiding for questions, which is completely unattended by its originator, presumably because they’ve now got the money from the launch, and have abandoned 40,000 people.
“Deliver on your promise.”
It comes back, says John, to building your audience, providing value, and delivering on your promise. Don’t over promise, under deliver. Do the opposite. Under promise, over deliver.
Plus, says James, it’s incredibly hard to move people from a free group to a paid group without upsetting people.
And there’s a lot of blind leading the blind in these free Facebook groups. Like, 90 percent of the questions are about, How do I do it on a budget? How do I do the tech? What name do I choose? All the stuff that doesn’t really matter.
James hasn’t named SuperFastBusiness membership yet. It’s still just called SuperFastBusiness membership. He actually named Support Assist on SuperFastResults, and he named SilverCircle. But these things are peripheral.
If you want to learn how to do memberships differently than what’s been taught in the high-ticket programs, if you want to start for $1, go to 10XPRO.io. You get John, you get his courses, you get his training. You’ll also get access to James because he keeps an eye on that stuff. And they’re there to help.
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