7 Ways to Make More Money With Your Membership (And 3 Things to Avoid)
When you have a membership site that’s been running for several months or several years, you have a base of recurring revenue, but you might also want to take that a step further.
There are a variety of avenues that will open up opportunities to monetize your membership and that’s what we’re going to share with you today.
1. Add Multiple Membership Levels
If your existing membership has one single tier of membership, the first thing you might want to do is add multiple membership levels. Consider creating a more basic option as the introductory tier and a more advanced version for the top level tier.
Price those accordingly so the different levels have different degrees of content, different levels of access to you, and unique features that separate them.
The introductory tier might access the core program, but not monthly live training or mastermind calls.
The middle tier might get the live videos and group coaching, but nothing 1-1. That 1-1 access could be reserved for your top tier with a monthly feedback session or coaching call.
Start to create those different price levels for your membership so that they are differentiated on price and what people actually receive.
This is often referred to as the good, better, best model.
With three membership options, you’ll change people’s value perception of what’s on the table.
2. Include Upsells
Upsells are where you promote and sell additional products and services to your existing members.
After they join your membership, somewhere in their experience they will be offered upsell opportunities.
You may expose your members to additional courses or coaching programs within your business.
Typically, these will be provided to your members at a discount or as an exclusive offer.
That discount or exclusivity is an added benefit of their membership and an incentive to buy your additional products.
Whether or not you do this and how you do it depends on your audience and your strategy.
You don’t want to present so many options that there’s too much friction when people try to join your membership.
Carefully add in upsells where they will be a natural choice for your audience.
3. Run a Mastermind Group
In these typically intimate groups, your members will get increased access to you and accountability from others in the mastermind.
These groups usually consist of 6-8 people who get on regular calls and take their turn in the hot seat.
These premium members of your membership will have the chance to get the attention of everyone in the mastermind and you while solving their problems.
You can incorporate all sorts of things into a paid mastermind group including 1-1 calls or exclusive content aimed at getting people where they want to go faster.
This can certainly be a great way to further monetize your business and connect with your audience on a deeper level.
4. Run Live Events
While masterminds are typically online, you could also run mastermind sessions as live events.
These live events can add another level of monetization.
Sell tickets publicly so anyone can come, but give your members a discount or first access to the tickets.
Provide them with some sort of perk to attend your event as a member to sweeten the pot and show them they are valued.
A lot of membership site owners do a membership because they want to move away from the 1-1 model.
They want to better leverage their time, skills,and expertise on a 1-many basis.
But if you still love the service side of things and still want to maintain a 1-1 element, another monetization option is to run live events and create other revenue streams that give you this opportunity.
5. Sell Your Services
Another way to connect 1-1 with your membership and add a revenue stream is to sell a service.
What you’ll want to do is actually shape the services around your membership.
You could offer a service exclusively to your members rather than as a separate channel of your business.
One way to do this is with a done-for-you solution where you help your members implement what they’ve learned so they don’t have to do it themselves.
Your membership gives you a built in audience for these types of products.
Another way to go is to have fixed price, well defined, off the shelf services.
Having this kind of product creates a cycle of people who buy and go on to become members of the membership.
Members also go on to purchase that service. That’s a nice self-feeding cycle.
If you’re going to have a service element alongside your membership, you want some sort of definition around the service.
You don't want to be in a situation where you’re just taking on regular clients for consulting and you end up with several projects that lead you to neglect your membership. You need to get the balance right.
6. Create Physical Products
If you have a really strong brand, especially one where your members have coined a special name for themselves, you can create swag like t-shirts, pens, and notebooks that feature your brand.
You’re not going to become a millionaire by selling a whole bunch of t-shirts with your logo, but the benefits of getting your brand out there and building community comradery are worth far more than the revenue you’ll create. If you can create something functional around your topic, that’s even better.
7. Earn Affiliate Commission
You can create a new revenue stream as a regular affiliate for products and services you’ll talk about in your membership or as part as joint ventures with companies, influencers, course creators, or other membership site owners.
The main thing to keep in mind with affiliates is that your membership always comes first.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re being taken advantage of or that they’re secondary to your desire to make money from them.
Don’t compromise your relationship with your members in the name of getting a short-term cash injection.
Give careful thought to the impact that earning commissions or running joint ventures will have on your membership.
And here are 3 things we recommend you don't do:
- Don't sell advertising space inside your membership – it massively cheapens your brand and the revenue that you get from
them really isn't worth the detrimental effect that they can have on your image.
- Don't take sponsorship for a paid membership website. When someone is paying you to be a part of your membership, not only is this another thing that cheapens your product, but it's also going to raise some questions about impartiality. Not to mention, major sponsors may want to put restrictions or requirements on what goes on in your membership too.
- Don't run joint venture promotions inside your membership. In the online space, a joint venture usually means you partner up with someone who's got something to sell, and you agree to expose the other person's product or just the other person to your audience in exchange for a nice fat commission from. It's not serving your members. It's cheap. It's tacky. People aren't paying to be subjected to constant sales pitches for other people's stuff. Surely, your membership should be enough, right?