You’ve decided that automated recurring income would be very nice, thank you very much. What are the next steps? Well, like anything worth doing, it isn’t a piece of cake. There are many stories of failed membership sites and subscription services that just didn’t work, which is why you need to plan your membership site and test your target market in the same way you do with any new business venture. The key here is profitability. Like anything in marketing and business, you need to understand the key metrics to focus on and which areas of the membership will drive profitability.

1.Tribe Membership

A comprehensive course by Stu McLaren that is, hands down, the best resource available for creating a profitable membership site. If you’re looking for a way to avoid making mistakes and to create a business instead of a hobby that never really takes off, then this is the course for you! I did this course in 2016 and had so many light bulb moments it is one of the best courses I’ve ever done.

Stu is the creator of Wishlist Member, a wordpress plugin used by millions of websites to drive their membership sites, and he’s helped thousands of small businesses take their business idea from concept to full blown profitable membership site so he has many many years of experience in creating successful and profitable membership sites.

Unlike other online training courses, Stu’s Tribe course is very interactive, and well laid out, so he pretty much holds your hand through the process, step by step to launch a profitable membership site. The Facebook Group is also hugely supportive and responsive for helping you to troubleshoot any problem you come across. There is a free video series starting April 1 that you can Check out here [affiliate link I did this course last year, and highly recommend it!]

2. The One Book You Need To Read On Memberships and Retention

Sometimes you just can’t beat an old fashioned book! This book is a fabulous analysis of how memberships are disrupting so many old industry models:

The Membership Economy by Robbie Kellman Baxter draws on Robbie’s experience working with some of the biggest businesses in membership and discusses the disruptive shift memberships are having on business. Robbie argues that businesses who are not shifting to membership models will be left behind, and draws on examples such as Netflix disruption of the entertainment industry compared to Blockbuster Videos who refused to change their model (and subsequently when bankrupt).

It will inspire and motivate you to incorporate some kind of recurring income stream into your business and give you some great ideas to work on your customer engagement retention.

3. Case Studies How did they create a profitable membership site?

There are some fabulous case studies that are currently available from the Tribe Course (see number 1), that are great to watch to get ideas and inspiration on how membership sites can work for small business [please note that these are affiliate links for the Tribe Course which means I earn a commission if you decide to do the tribe course]

Case study 1: Dog agility training  Susan Garrett’s business is a great example of using membership sites to add a recurring income and a community aspect to your existing business. It can help to further engage your existing customers and give them more convenience.

Case Study 2: Tips on Producing Marketing Videos

James Wedmore shares how he produces marketing videos with behind the scenes footage of how he creates his videos. He successfully added the membership service onto his Marketing Video service to teach and engage with his community.

Case Study 3: Orchid Growing Course Ryan Levesque

launched a membership site to mentor people on how to grow Orchid’s and over 5 years, grew it to a multimillion dollar business, and has gone on to create another hugely successful highly priced membership site.

Case Study 4  Supporting Personal Trainers  Jonathan Goodman

created a membership site to help Personal Trainers grow and market their business, and to stay on top of the lastest information in the Personal Training Industry

Case Study 5  Online health and fitness resource  Yuki Elkaim discusses how he created an informational membership site on natural health and fitness for consumers.

Case Study 6  Business Motivation Site Bestselling author Michael Hyatt created Platform University to help mentor and motivate people to live their best lives. Michael created his membership site in partnership with Stu and has had great success.

What resources would you add for getting started with membership site business ideas?