The Membership Guys

When is it The Right Time to Start a Membership Site?

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Is now the right time for you to start a membership site?

You might have been thinking about this for a while…

But you're not sure how or when to start exploring this further…

Or even if it's a good idea to start one at all!

(Let's be honest… owning a membership isn't for everyone.)

The thing is, memberships are a complex business model…

There are a lot of moving parts and things to consider to keep the machine spinning…

And timing is everything. 

Memberships aren't the type of business you should start on a whim…

The last thing you want is to realize a few months in that you probably should have waited or prepared a bit more…

And once you’re up and running, it’s a lot harder to roll back your plans because you’ve got people counting on you (and paying for their subscription.)

So, to avoid getting into that situation, you’ll want to think about timing first.

So are you ready? 

Let's take a look at some good indicators that will help you decide…

When you’re clear on your niche and who you serve

The first sign that you’re ready for a membership is that you’re clear on your niche and how you can solve a specific problem for a specific audience.

This makes your membership much more targeted…

Which means you’re more likely to find someone who needs what you provide.

If you want to stand out from the crowd in your market, having a niche – a specialty – is key.

It's important to niche down…

When it comes to memberships, those that are less specialist in their topic can face more of a struggle…

That's because it's harder to define what problems those memberships solve…

And this makes them less of a necessity to potential members.

So if you don’t have a specialty…

Something you're known for…

We’d definitely recommend drilling down and sharpening your angle before starting.

Get clear on what you do and who you do it for…

So you can get clarity on how to niche down.

When you’re turning away clients

If you're currently trading time for money as a coach, consultant, or a service provider…

You’ll eventually hit a limit in your capacity to take on new clients.

While you could always put your prices up or work longer hours…

Eventually, you'll hit that ceiling again…

And you'll get to the point where you simply can't grow your business any further.

The great thing about memberships is that you’re providing one service to many, not just one service to one customer.

There’s far greater leverage within the membership model to serve way more people.

So, if you've hit that ceiling trading time for money…

And you're finding yourself turning away clients…

That’s a good sign to go ahead with your membership.

When people directly ask you for a membership

You probably won’t get a clearer sign than this!

However, you don’t want to get too carried away…

Two or three people suggesting you should start a membership doesn’t mean that there will be a big enough audience for it.

Your potential members…

It could simply be that just those two or three people want a membership…

But there isn’t really a wider need for it.

That would be pretty unlucky…

But it could happen…

So make sure you take steps to validate that your membership idea will actually work before you explore it further.

This is a good sign, but it’s not the only sign you should look for.

When you’ve built an initial following

The first thing you should know is that you don’t need a huge audience to be successful with memberships…

We certainly didn't before launching Membership Academy

But, it’s definitely easier if you start a membership with some sort of initial following.

Ideally this will be people on an email list…

But at the very least a following on social media or good traffic coming to your website.

Having that following, even if it’s small, can be pivotal in helping you research and flesh out your membership.

It’s also a great head start in your marketing efforts to ensure you get that initial influx of members when you eventually launch.

So if you don’t have a following or online presence…

If you’re literally at square one…

Now is the time to kick start your efforts building your audience…

Then you can explore starting a membership further down the line.

When you can spare at least one day per week for your membership

A lot of people are drawn to the membership model because of the idea of making passive income.

They get enamored by the thought of it…

But the truth is, memberships are like any other business model…

You need to put the time in to make them work…

Memberships are not passive income.

They may be more passive than other businesses where you trade time for money, but they will never be 100% passive.

You can’t just throw up any old content and wait for the money to roll in.

You need to spend time getting it right from the outset.

To start with, you should try to commit one day per week exclusively to working on your membership.

By that, I mean eight to ten hours like a normal workday…

If that’s not possible to do in one day…

Perhaps put aside two hours a day to make it more manageable.

My point is that you need to put in that consistent time and effort in order to progress.

And that's not possible right now…

Then that’s a good sign it's not the right time for you to start a membership.

When you have a budget to invest in creating your membership

The final sign that you may be ready to start a membership is if you have a bit of money behind you…

Ideally, you’ll want at least $500-$1000 to get things moving.

It’s entirely possible to set up a membership for less than $100…

It's been done…

But if you really want to do it properly…

At the very minimum, you’re going to need a domain name and website hosting to set your website up…

You probably need a membership plugin which can also cost a couple of hundred bucks…

And then a website theme to make your website look pretty.

That's maybe another $50-$100…

And that's if you don't want to have it custom designed.

There are also email marketing services, video hosting for courses, graphic designers and content writers to consider.

If you’re doing live streams or videos, you may need camera equipment and editing software too.

The costs all add up!

While you might not need to buy everything on day one…

Shopping for your membership launch like…

It’s best to have some budget to start with to get the ball rolling.

If you’re a Membership Academy member, we have loads of deals and discounts on some of the best tech and tools you’ll need….

Plus we have things like our Memberoni theme and email swipes included in our membership that will save you time and added expense…

Even with resources like the Academy available, I'd still recommend putting aside that $500-$1000 so you're not compromising yourself to save money.

Is the time right for you to start a membership?

As I've already said, timing is everything.

It’s best to only start a membership if all of the signs above are pointing you in that direction.

If you’re not at that stage yet, we’d recommend spending some time getting all those pieces of the puzzle together before you explore this further…

It could take six months or a year…

That doesn't matter… 

What does matter is taking the time to get everything right so you can get your membership off to the best possible start.

If you are ready, then what’s the next step?

One of the best things you can do is join the Membership Academy community if you haven’t already.

It’s a no-brainer for anyone running a membership site.

Yes, we’re biased… but it's true!

It has everything you need to build, launch, and grow a successful membership.

If you’re interested, head over to MembershipAcademy.com and join our community.

We’d love to help you turn your membership idea into a reality.

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