The Membership Guys

Ignore This Terrible Advice About Your Membership Business

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As ‘The Membership Guys' – the main thing Callie and I pride ourselves on is, obviously, our ability to give good advice about memberships!

The feedback we get and our track record in the space suggests we do it very well…

But what about the bad advice out there?

Sadly there's no shortage of it…

Especially when it comes to online memberships. 

We find that it often comes from people who have a very small amount of exposure to our industry…

But think that's enough to tell others how to run their membership business.

And quite frankly… their advice usually kinda sucks!

Unfortunately, we're often left to cut through the noise to sort the good advice from the bad…

And it's our job to help you to do the same. 

So here it goes…

Here's some seriously bad advice about memberships that you NEED to ignore…

1. Memberships are dead, so why bother?

Possibly the most common piece of bad advice out there is “[insert medium] is dead.”

You’ve no doubt seen it countless times…

Blogging is DEAD…

SEO is DEAD…

Email marketing is DEAD…

Memberships are DEAD.

The only thing that doesn’t seem to be dead is this tactic of claiming all these mediums are dead!

According to some, because memberships aren’t the new or ‘in’ thing right now, they must be dead.

Far too many people in the online business world have a bad habit of chasing shiny objects and hopping from one bandwagon to the next.

Just because the membership model isn't this month's sparkly new idea, it doesn’t mean it's dead!

The membership industry…

The most important thing to understand about this narrative is that there’s always an angle…

The people who say this are almost always trying to sell an alternative.

It’s an ulterior motive that makes you question whether or not you should be doing this membership thing at all.

For example, they may be trying to sell you a plugin that helps you create online courses as a “better alternative.”

In this case, you should always take the advice with a HUGE pinch of salt.

All we would say is, don’t lose confidence in your membership just because someone claims the medium is dead.

The membership model has been around for a long time…

And will be around for longer still…

It's very much alive.

2. You shouldn’t start a membership in a crowded market

Another common piece of advice out there is that you shouldn’t start a membership in a niche or a market where there's already established competition.

This is really bad advice…

While it's understandable to be wary of competition, you shouldn't let it put you off. 

Competition can be a good thing…

In fact, it can open up more opportunities for you…

It shows that there's a demand for your type of membership…

It also means you can offer an alternative to the other players in the market by doing things differently.

The chances are that you wanted to start a membership because you noticed a gap in the market.

So what can you provide that members can’t get elsewhere?

That's where you can make a real difference.

Competition can be daunting, but it’s also far better than having no competition at all…

If no one else is offering what you are, it could be a unique opportunity…

But more likely, it’s because there’s no demand or people have tried it before and found it doesn’t work.

Even if there are some really big players dominating your market, there's still room for you…

I've said before that you don’t need the whole pie, you just need a slice.

We're big believers in the concept of 1,000 True Fans

This essentially means you don't need a big audience to build a sustainable business…

So if someone is telling you not to start a membership in a crowded market, don't let it influence your decision to launch your business…

You can still get capture a segment of the market.

3.You shouldn't leave money on the table

While it’s great to take every opportunity to grow your membership business, you don’t have to do everything.

You may come across people who tell you that it’s insane to “leave money on the table.”…

They say you need to manage your membership, host live events, write a best-selling book, run courses, create upsells and so on…

And if you don't do it, you're really missing an opportunity to earn more money.

Some people do want to do all of that… and if that's you, then great!

But, if you hate coaching, running live events or you really don't want to write a book, then don’t force yourself to do it.

If you're 100% happy focusing purely on your membership and have zero interest in offering any other product or service, then stick with it.

It’s fine to leave money on the table if it’s a table you don’t want to sit at.

4. You need to use scarcity to sell

“You must get your members to buy now, or they’ll miss out in some way.”

Saying you need to use scarcity to sell is nonsense for two reasons…

Firstly, most purchases we make day to day aren’t based on scarcity.

Think of the last 10 things you bought…

How many did you buy because there was a deadline?

We usually buy something because we want it and it's the right time, not because of a ticking clock.

The second reason is that this is not a great long-term strategy.

In fact, it’s a fear-based one.

Why would you be scared of letting customers spend a little extra time making their decision?

Why does the purchase need to be today?

How some of your potential members feel about scarcity selling…

The chances are if you rush a customer into signing up, they probably won’t stick around because they’re not a good fit.

Some might be, but many won’t. 

Instead of rushing anyone and everyone to sign up, it’s better to nurture relationships with potential members who are a better fit.

Did you know the average amount of time it takes someone to sign up to Membership Academy is around two and a half months?

And guess what? That's okay! In fact, it's a good thing….

Memberships aren't about getting the sale, they're about keeping the sale month after month, year after year.

Let's be clear, I'm not saying scarcity is a bad thing…

If you generate genuine scarcity then yes it can be powerful…

But the idea that you need scarcity to sell your membership is wrong.

5. Closing the door to your membership means less work

I'm not totally against the closed door membership model…

If it's for the right reasons.

There are definitely some situations where the adopting this model makes sense…

However, the worst piece of advice we hear is given quite regularly is the idea that closing your membership means you do less work…

Because you don't need to worry about marketing while the doors are closed…

This is false!

If you use the closed door model in your membership, you still need to put in the work in between launches…

You still need to nurture your email list, blog, post on social media, market, and chase leads…

Otherwise, how will anyone know about your membership when it opens?

Some people choose closed door memberships just because they think it’s less work for them…

Or it ties into that other piece of bad advice of using scarcity to sell.

There is a place for closed door memberships out there, but these are two bad reasons to choose that model.

I could probably go on…

But I think it's best I stop for now! 

The five bad pieces of advice listed above are without doubt the most common ones we come across…

And they're all complete nonsense. 

But they're by no means the only takes you'll encounter in this industry…

Unfortunately in the membership space there is a lot of bad advice that people have to wade through.

I hope by reading this, you now feel better equipped to ignore the terrible advice and move forward with your membership business in the right way for you.

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