The Membership Guys

How to Create a Private Podcast for your Members

Subscribe on iTunes

It’ll probably come as no surprise to you that I am a huge fan of podcasting…

And I mean huge… 

That's why I've recorded hundreds of episodes over the years…

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that The Membership Guys and Membership Academy wouldn't be where it is today without our podcast…

It has genuinely helped us grow our business. 

It helps break down barriers, gives listeners access to you, your thoughts and expertise.

But while we've always seen podcasting as a great way of attracting new members, it's not something we've ever really explored as a medium for serving people inside your membership…

The private podcasting solution for memberships 

The great thing about podcasts is that they’re open to everyone.

It's about putting content into the hands of as many people as you can possibly reach with each episode…

There are no barriers…

Anyone with the internet can subscribe to your podcast …

So introducing a barrier by having a private, members-only podcast might seem a little counter intuitive…

However, it's also a big opportunity that's hard for membership site owners to ignore.

Putting up barriers and making content exclusive is, after all, a membership business in a nutshell.

And private podcasting itself isn’t a new idea…

It’s been floating around for a while now.

It just hasn’t really been utilized by many businesses.

The main reason for this is that there hasn’t been a straightforward way for offering a private podcast before.

Some businesses have come up with their own DIY systems, but there hasn’t really been a standard way to do it that also fits with the membership business model.

That is until now…

Our good friends over at Captivate.fm – which is the host we use for both The Membership Guys podcast and Behind The Membership – have the solution.

They've recently given users the ability to create private podcast feeds…

That means you can host a podcast exclusively for your members…

And all they need to do is subscribe!

Your members…

While this technology isn’t exactly new, we haven’t seen anyone do it as effectively as Captivate.FM.

So, we had a little chat with CEO and founder of Captivate.fm: Mark Asquith, about how this will work for membership site owners.

Here's what he had to say…

How to build a private podcast for your members 

“As a membership site owner, we know that podcasting is very much central to a lot of your marketing activity…

But it can be very difficult to put at the centre of your member strategy.

Having worked with Mike and Callie for many years, it's become really clear that private podcasting for memberships is just way too cumbersome.

That's why we've developed private podcasting with a very specific focus on helping membership site owners, like you, to provide private secure content to your members…

But without the hassle you usually associate with that kind of offer.

Traditionally you'd have to mess around with various plugins… 

Which gets very difficult to manage and maintain. 

So with Captivate we decided to deliver private podcasting in a really simple but powerful way…

What you can do is make sure each subscriber to a private piece of podcast content has their own dedicated RSS feed.  

Adding members to your private podcast

This keeps things very secure. 

You also don't have to worry about any plugins…

All you need to do is host your podcast privately on Captivate.fm and then you can use our Zapier web hook integration.

Through this, we can actually automate some of your private podcasting content…

So for example,  when someone joins your membership, you can tell Zapier to tell Captivate to add them as a private subscriber to a podcast…

Captivate will then simply send them an email with their customized RSS feed link.  

Private podcast invite email

And when members cancel, they will automatically be unsubscribed from your private podcast.  

It all remains on brand and you don't need to worry about a thing.

You can set it and forget it” 

How to use private podcasting to boost your membership business

This is a game changer for anyone who wants to offer a private podcast feed…

Members don't have to login to your site to listen and there isn't the problem with lapsed members being able to access the private content after they've left…

Integration with Zapier makes the process seamless… 

So now we have the ability to host a private podcast for members, where does this fit into your strategy as a membership business?

Well, private podcasting opens up some great opportunities and there are a few different routes you can take…

1. Give members a premium version of your regular podcast

Who wouldn’t love a premium version of a podcast?

If you’re already using a podcast to promote your membership, then you could create a premium version of your main show, with enhancements and extras just for your members.

This could mean longer episodes, bonus content, or even exclusive extra episodes only available to your members.

Let’s say your podcast features interviews with experts in your industry.

You could record make the regular interview available on the public podcast feed; but then include a bonus portion of the interview – with extra questions, maybe a “quick fire round” or questions crowd-sourced from your community – and have that extra section only available on your private members feed.

The great thing about giving members a premium version of your podcast is that you’re not really creating additional content…

You’re just making some of it exclusive.

2. Give early access to episodes of your main show

Another popular strategy is to use your private podcast to give members early access to your content.

Even if this just means they get to listen to your latest podcast a day or two before it goes out to the public.

It might be a small thing but giving your members preferential treatment is a nice way to show your appreciation.

Providing members with early access adds to your membership’s value proposition.

Giving bonus content or preferential treatment are great ways to encourage new members to sign up; because it highlights that there's a difference between being a regular follower and being a part of your membership, emphasising that the latter will always get the best of you.

3. Start a completely new member-only show

This will involve a bit more work on your end, but you could create another show entirely, which is only available to members.

She knows the score…

Your member-only podcast could take many forms:

  • A seasonal show where each ‘season' is a deep dive into a specific topic covered in your membership. Almost like an audio course.
  • Case studies showcasing successful members who share their tips and their progress with the rest of the community
  • An audio version of a course that already exists within your membership – where you basically just strip out the audio to create a members-only podcast, releasing each lesson as sequential episodes
  • A daily quick tip or motivational message released first thing in the morning to give your members a little extra boost in their journey

The possibilities are endless!

Not only does this add even more value to your membership; but it also enables you to cater to those members who prefer listening to audio content versus watching the sort of video-based content that most memberships have.

There's so much potential for utilizing private podcasts to enhance your membership…

To repurpose content that's already inside your site…

To add new elements into your membership like an exclusive new podcast series…

Or to enhance your existing podcast so members get a premium version with some extra bells and whistles.

And potentially encourage member sign ups!

It's very exciting to see new options for private podcasting start to open up for membership site owners…

And we have to admit, our brains are now ticking as to whether or not this is something we should explore ourselves in the future in Membership Academy.

And after reading this, we hope you feel the same way.

Top