Watch as Brian Krogsgard and Cory Miller discuss the secret to building successful membership sites.
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When and how do you deliver promised membership benefits?
This is Brian’s 50 second insight into delivering promised benefits to your members.
Mechanical Transcript – 5 Tips For Building Membership Sites
Brian Krogsgard 00:03
Hello, and welcome to another Commerce Journey webinar. My name is Brian Krogsgard. I’m here with my partner Cory Miller. Hey, Cory. Oh, yo. And you know what today we’re talking about tips for building your first membership website, or how to build a rockin membership website says,
Cory Miller 00:22
that sounds cool for me.
Brian Krogsgard 00:24
Heck, yeah. And you know what the best way to get started building your membership site is to use GoDaddy Pro to bootstrap your journey, go to commercejourney.com/go-webinar. And you can get all the tools you need to build an eCommerce website and a membership website using GoDaddy Pro, they’re a great partner. And that’s going to be an awesome deal for the next year of your membership website. So go to commercejourney.com/go-webinar, they’ll help you out as you get started. But you know what, when you’re building a membership website, you you need, there’s some things you want to knock out, some things you want to know, Cory and I have experienced building multiple membership websites both of us have, I have two under my own name. And then I’ve done some consulting on others. And Cory, you’ve done a bunch, the one we share is PostStatus.com. And this is a membership website for WordPress professionals that I’ve been working on as a membership website since 2015. The website has been in existence since 2013. And Cory and I have been partnered up with it for a year now. And Cory why don’t you tell us about the membership experience that you have through iThemes and other businesses.
Cory Miller 01:44
So a lot of people might not look at iThemes as a membership site, but I have for 10 years, you know, since 2008, because we were subscription based software company simply as a service. But I really looked at when somebody bought what we did as a membership into the club called themes community. Yeah, iThemes customer community. And so we did a lot of things that look like membership type stuff, even a training division for the entire time almost except for like, one year. So everything looked like a membership site in my next journey. So that was acquired in 2018. My next chapter is with you, Brian on two projects, Commerce Journey and Post Status. But I have two other love partnerships love collaborating with talented people like Brian, who are also extremely quality human beings, by the way. So I have one called Digital Marketing Kitchen, where my partner Rebecca, and I teach SEO, email marketing, our whole content marketing system. And then my partner Jeff and I at Business Value Academy both have had exits from previous businesses. And we try to share that the best and ultimate strategy for building businesses to build it for value to build it for that inevitable exit that all of us will have. So I’ve got long standing one plus two recent ones that are still fledgling startup phases, and I’ve got some things to share with those too. So
Brian Krogsgard 03:12
I think that’s a good, a good tip to start with is, you know, building a membership website, it takes time, because you have to have people that are ready to buy what you’re selling, and you’re selling with a membership website, you’re selling access to something you’re not, it’s not the you know, like a lot of things we talked about where you hold it, and you ship it. And it’s a one time transaction of the physical good. This is a transaction for content or community or expertise, something that is a little different. And so I grew up in the WordPress space from a membership perspective, which I had a membership website, but also, I mean, hundreds of our customers have membership websites. So I learn from their experience as well. And then my second go at it was also kind of from this expertise front, which is with Ledger Status, which is my crypto ecosystem stuff. And all I’ve actually done with that one, despite running that business community podcast for four years almost now is I did essentially a beta test of a membership because I wanted to see like, how does this go? What do I need to how do I need to iterate. So I ran that for about two years, but ran into like a one time sale, never put it for sale. Again, that kind of thing. learned a ton from it. And it was great to mix those experiences. But it’s important to remember that as we go on the outset here is your membership site is selling access selling content. But more than anything else, you’re selling yourself and your own expertise or the expertise that you’re able to gather and then you’re selling learning no matter what, whether it’s from direct content or from access to other people via community. So keep that in mind as as you’re planning your membership website, you can be personally excellent at something, let’s use our woodworking example that we’ve used on several webinars, you’d be a great woodworker, people may be interested in just watching you do woodworking, but the likelihood for someone to pay you is for you to be able to translate that expertise in a way that they can receive it and utilize it and take advantage of it so they can become excellent woodworkers. And whether you do that through a course or through videos, or through blog posts, or through pulling together a bunch of woodworkers that are awesome, and help letting people you know, commune together. Those are… there’s different strategies for that we’re going to talk about some of those today. So let’s get to our our first quick tips before we dig into some specific things. One, Cory, why don’t you talk about this, because this is your favorite tip in the world.
Cory Miller 06:07
And I want to go back and like I don’t want to gloss over a in any way Post Status because this is like an I am now privileged to be a partner in that business that you started and built for five years before I even got there. We’re on our sixth year now. And I love it because you have built what I think of as the true essence of an internet community in Post Status, and we use that for many things. But a lot of it is what we’ve learned what you built, how the community reacts. And it’s pretty amazing. And just an update on that project. We stepped in and we just were doubling some revenue and some key areas that we’ll talk about later. Yeah, because you built a community first, you lead with content, but you built a community. So I’m still in some of our thunder there. But I just wanted to say a lot of the takeaways from this, I have in mind what you’ve done at Post Status. Okay, so recurring revenue is always the Holy Grail. It’s the thing that like when I said on on part two, I wanted recurring revenue, part of my first business. Because of some eCommerce legacy, software and stuff, we were early enough that we missed some of the software stuff. But so that saved our bacon man, in the later years recurring revenue, but I know the power of it. If we had had recurring revenue baked in from the beginning, everything would have looked different, everything would have been on scale from what we did. Because the power of automatic payments, a lot of people say mailbox money, it’s not truly passive. I don’t think most any business is truly passive. Like even wd 40, this incredible cash galva business, they always have to keep pushing and doing something to stay relevant. And if they so anyway, mailbox, money is always the key revenue, recurring revenue is always the key, because when you can, it’s so hard to get a customer the first time, but to keep that customer on automatic payments. Like think of Netflix, think of Disney. Plus, think of all the Hulu, all these subscription services were already part of Amazon Prime. It’s the holy grail and for good reason now, but having said that, one thing I learned this year, Brian is I tried to start the projects with recurring revenue out of the gate. And I think we got that wrong. The way I would build it in search, so I’m curious to hear your opinion, is to start with small or tiny products that are one time payments, potentially not recurring. And to build that build up to if the pyramid looks like you know, is a pyramid, the top of it is going to be recurring revenue, I think the way to get there starts with very tiny products builds or some product that’s not, you know, 19.95 every month
Brian Krogsgard 08:57
That’s a fantastic tip, because that’s one of the big things I learned. I talked about doing essentially a beta test with my Ledger Status site. One of the big things I learned was I tried to initially sell it-and this is where I left it-the same way that I did with Post Status, which is how you get all this stuff for you know, X dollars for one year. And when you do that you leave it open ended in terms of the content, they’ll receive the regularity that they’ll receive it in, you’re essentially committing yourself, in my case for a year of providing that content, whether one person shows up or 100 people show up or whatever else. One of the ways to better trial is this working, and then you can figure out how to better monetize it down the road is: can I do something like sell access to one PDF, or you know, like a 20 page eBook or a worksheet or a 10 video course and keep it very defined very deterministic of this is what you’ll get. Now, you’re going to take yourself into a different price range. It depends on your industry and all that. But let’s say you are going to charge like $300 per member. And you know, your goal is to get 300 members. So you make $90,000, or something like that. Well, if you’re just selling one PDF, one very specific guide, one very specific short course, maybe you can charge $30, or $50, or $99, or something like that. So you’re gonna have to sell more of them. But your work that you have to do is done up front, and you’re finished. And then you see if it can sell. And you need to calculate when you’re trying to start small. What the number of time I need to put into building this singular piece of content that’s sellable, and marketable? How does that perform? And then how does that inform what to sell next, and eventually, you might end up in this all inclusive type of product, which is honestly what iThemes became, when you talk about what y’all did there is because y’all eventually had these access to get all of my themes, sweet. because people were like, you know what, I love Backup Buddy, and I love sync. Why don’t I just have all of this, but it’s something you earn over time. And with Post Status, I was able to do the all in one up front, mostly because I’d earned a lot of that for a couple years before I ever offered a membership.
Cory Miller 11:17
Brian Krogsgard 11:17
especially if you’re starting new, it’s very important to start with these nuggets. So that eventually you have the whole the whole meal to put together. And maybe you have half a dozen different of these small pieces that you sell as a bundle for your big piece. And that includes something else like community. So starting small and growing is going to be so much simpler and less stressful. Because you don’t have this demand that you have to succeed. Because you’re what you have to perform, you know this content and information, everything you have to do for the course of the membership, if you do it all at once. If you do these bite sized pieces, you’re kind of one and done until you get feedback from your early customers.
Cory Miller 11:59
So this is so interesting brand, like, by the way, I’ll sidebar to everybody else. There’s always more to the story, don’t believe the headline story stuff like, you know, overnight sensation, none of that, that that’s totally BS. And even in your story. I was thinking Brian you started out with a, you know, a one year membership, but you didn’t you started with building audience and delivering amazing content and commentary on the WordPress state of the industry. What happened though, what was the moment you’re like, this is what I should do with my audience. So I want everybody to listening in to know, Brian didn’t start with product necessarily started with the audience, which is a key thing
Brian Krogsgard 12:43
Audience and relationships. So I’ve been in the industry for five years by that point. I’d been full time in that industry for four years. And I had been creating content on my own property and website for a little over two years, I think. So that was some of the investment that I did to establish myself in the ecosystem. And on top of that, throughout those years, I was building relationships with people. So before I had my own side, I was writing on another site, I was writing about, you know, companies in the space people that would end up being my customers, getting to know them, even going into conferences, things like that, where you continue to get to know them. So by the time I asked them to purchase, they already know me they trust me, they’re more confident in their ability to buy,
Cory Miller 13:29
oh, delivering value for them.
Brian Krogsgard 13:31
Yeah, and everything gets tougher, if you just try to sell before they know any of that because you have to prove that to them in the sales pitch, like on the one page, you know, product URL, and through video or text or whatever else, you’re establishing your credibility. Whereas both Cory and I and the things that we’ve done, what enables us to pitch people now is we’ve developed credibility over a decade. And that equips us to better monetize those projects over time, honestly, we can better monetize the same. Like if everything else stays the same. We can better monetize Post STatus today than we could have in 2015. Because we have an extra five years of sweat equity of building relationships and everything else. All that plays.
Cory Miller 14:22
Brian Krogsgard 14:23
Yeah. And all that plays into how you should set expectations and how you should probably plan for what you’re going to do.
Cory Miller 14:29
So, you know, there’s so many interests. You mentioned my 10 years at iTheme. So we didn’t start out selling our toolkit membership was kind of like our membership, our token product, excuse me, it was a bundled of everything we did over the years. That didn’t start from day one either. So what we actually first started selling was a $80 product in a WordPress theme template. Zipfile basically, you know, and then we got about three themes and somebody emailed us in fact I hired him about a year ago. later and said, Hey, do you have a bundled offering, and then we started bundling things. And we’re going to talk about bundling, we’re going to talk about team memberships, bulk memberships, all that stuff. That’s where you can make money on money, without even having to a lot of extra effort. And that’s where it really gets good with the snowball that we’re talking about. But what’s interesting is, you didn’t start with everything, you started just building trust, and you had something else to provide your income. So you started with your side hustle Post Status, delivering the awesome content that everybody wanted to read. And eventually, you said, you said, there’s a point where you’re like, how did you come up with the idea of the club membership, which, by the way, is $99?
Brian Krogsgard 15:39
Yeah. Let’s see how to come up with the idea. I wanted to keep writing content. And in my space, and in most spaces, where you’re looking to do membership stuff, the ability to monetize your number of visitors through traditional advertising is not good. Like maybe you can make $1,000 a year. But if you’re selling something, some access to that information, because you’re unique. There’s no you know, set it, can you count on your fingers, how many people can provide the same type of insights that you have about a subject? Well, then you can demand more per person. So instead of getting the value of, Oh, well, I get 10 cents per page view because of advertising? Well, what if I can get $10 per person in this space? You know, because maybe I get 10% of the, you know, people that pay me $100. So I was kind of looking at it as a numbers game like that. And questioning, can I sell access to this content, there was no one else doing what I was putting together. There were some WordPress news sites and more generic stuff. But for the type of analysis, and curation and community, everything that we were combining, I felt like there was enough value to where if we captured 10% of all, you know, active WordPress professionals, then, which is a small community itself, then that’s a viable business. And then that made me think maybe that could work. Now, I didn’t know. So the way I I essentially bootstrapped it was I also asked some companies that they wanted to support us, Cory was one of those very first partners we had with iThemes. They wanted to support what we were doing, which was something they thought was necessary in our space. And then they also got some value out of it, because we were promoting them as partners on the website. And that model stuck with us ever since, which was a hybrid of sponsors, slash partners, what you would think of as traditional advertising, but it’s more cater to a small industry, combined with users or, you know, individuals buying memberships. And that sponsor portion essentially gave me a few months of runway to try this whole thing out. So that if I didn’t get 200 members, or whatever my bare minimum was, I needed to survive. Because I went full time, right? I wasn’t side hustling. And that enabled me to give myself some runway while I got those early members, and it ended up working, you know, I was able to make a full time revenue from it.
Cory Miller 18:16
Okay, there’s so much brilliance there. Brian, by the way, so Okay, let me capture this again. And maybe we segue. I follow this, because I think this is the first time you and I have talked about Post Status as a membership business, publicly. We’ve talked a lot about things we want to do. But we haven’t gone back. And I don’t think examine this as a brain case study. So a couple of things that that that stuck out to me is one you spent two years or so building. And I love that you added relationships, but you built audience with content. But you really were building relationships so that when you got to that year two or whatever, mark, and you didn’t start with just a membership, which I think is brilliant actually started with pulling in these key companies that want an audience, but the people that you, your readers, and you did it very strategically. And I remember when you I, what was the first year? What was the commitment back then do you remember?
Brian Krogsgard 19:15
It was 12 partners, and each paid $2,500 for the year?
Cory Miller 19:21
You made it so easy.
Brian Krogsgard 19:22
Yeah. So $2,500. For anyone that’s not in that space. It’s similar to what you would pay for like a very typical conference, like a regional conference with a couple 100 people there. So I tried to kind of put it in that price line, and I knew they were all familiar with sponsoring those local conferences. And I was like, Okay, what do you get with this? Well, you’re one of 12 to an industry-wide, online presence, where I’m going to have you in front of people and saying thank you and all these other things. So it made it a relatively straightforward decision for those partners to say, yeah, I’ll do that even the small businesses and in fact actually targeted them. Most all small businesses, because I was specifically wanting their support versus like going after the giants of the space first, because I was a little guy, I want to be able to other little guys on my team. And the people that I went to were very motivated small business owners who wanted to see content from a unique perspective of someone that was, you know, doing things in space or professional space and able to cover both the product side of the industry and the service side, I fit that bill to be able to provide that they wanted that. So it worked out great to have this partnership together. While I then pitched it to all the individuals, you know, the developers in the space and the freelancers and all that.
Cory Miller 20:46
This was roughly 2015, I think, and…
Brian Krogsgard 20:48
Yeah it was pretty early. Now you’d think of it like, oh, there’s somebody with their substack or something like that, or like Stratechery with Ben Thompson, Ben Thompson, I launched around the same time, he’s just far more successful in a much larger niche. But yeah, it was selling essentially, some people would call me like a journalist in the space. So selling access to journalism or industry analysis was fairly new. Outside of certain sectors, like Wall Street, it’s been very common, you know, like, people sell 1000s of dollars a year newsletters, on wall street with 100 readers. And that’s all they want, because the exclusivity is why it’s important. But like, outside of Wall Street politics, you know, a couple things like that. This micro audience membership site was pretty new. And now we’re not I know, we’re talking about Post Status a lot, we’re not trying to say you need to go exactly in this you could be hopefully, you have something that you already know where you want to do this, you know, like, in our woodworking example, and any industry is going to have these areas where you can go places where you can go or you narrow the industry down to this smaller group of people that are interested in what you can provide as a central source of community and information. And if not that, to get to where I came from, with the crypto side of things, maybe you have a large audience, but there’s a very specific thing they want, which is, how do I get started in this? That’s the big that’s like the biggest membership site thing ever, right? How do I get started in this thing that you are good at? Or that you’ve been doing for years? How do I? How do I safely participate in this ecosystem? How do I run a table saw without chopping my fingers off? You know, like, that’s what I want to know, as a fledgling woodworker is like, yeah, I want to be, I want to know everything I need to know from buying a table saw operating it, how to utilize it, store it, maintain it, whatever. Those are the things I want to know, I want to go to the person that’s an expert on table saws, and they have all this stuff around table saws that they can offer me and that’s what I hope that you already have in mind for what you’re going to sell with your membership site.
Cory Miller 23:13
Yeah, and I just like using Post Status, because you built it, I mean, brick by brick, member by member relationship, my relationship, you know, and became very well known where now is the basically inner circle, in my opinion of WordPress, professional WordPress, the people that make a full time living with it, which is pretty incredible. But there’s so many takeaways for other people to look, one thing I want to say is like, okay, and I think you built it brilliantly is, if you’ve ever seen this, are, you know, the the definition of an MVP if I can get to it. And finally, it’s probably our buddies. But if you see here, like, most people think I want to build the skateboard, or I want to build the car, like the finished thing, the elephant in my mind. And I love this because when we talk about MVP, the that’s an acronym for minimum viable product, what is just good enough to get out there to your audience. Now you spent two plus years, building relationships, writing content showing that you were like, trustworthy, credible, that you like when people came, they were going to get what they came for. And that made it easy to come to those 12 sponsors and to launch your membership site. But most people… I love this graphic, because this is what you should be building is just the skateboard. What’s that MVP, smallest viable, you know, minimal, viable, good enough product that could potentially meet the needs of the people that you’re trying to serve?
Brian Krogsgard 24:50
Yeah, and when I launched Post Status there were things I said, coming later, you know, or that’s dangerous to saying what’s going to come in the future and a couple of those became essentially memesin our community, good hearted, good natured ones, but they were like, hey, where’s the job board? Because it took me I don’t know, another two or three years to launch the job board, which is something that I wanted to bring, but it always just wasn’t quite right yet. Now, the job boards a big part of what we offer is like people know, in the WordPress space, when you want a job in the WordPress space, you better check what the openings are on Post Status because they’re the best jobs in the ecosystem.
Cory Miller 25:26
huge value, which we talked about in preparation for this conversation, ways to like, continue to serve and iterate. And I think most of this is discovery. This one, I love that skateboard analogy, you start with a skateboard, you use it, the thing that one gets you full time to do this all time serve people. And then you get that base group, but it was skateboard. Okay, now the line is like the little What do you call the things that running scooter? scooter type thing. You know, later on, you added that job board, you know, which became huge value to people, and then you keep building. And we’re probably not even at the car stage for what we’re doing.
Brian Krogsgard 26:01
Definitely not, we hope not that we have plans. But that’s important. It’s so easy to like start saying, oh, we’re gonna do boom, all this stuff. But starting with that skateboard’s a big deal. One thing I want to close with here, because I think it’s pivotal. Before we get to, you know, these, some of these more specific things, we want people to do come for content stay for community. Most people are going to come to you initially and say, I want to learn x, you know, I want to learn how to use a tablesaw. I want to learn how to be a more profitable WordPress professional go full time in WordPress, something like that. I want to whatever it is, it’s hard to sell community up front. But when you poll people after the fact, a lot of them are going to say I renewed or I stayed because this community is awesome. So you need to keep that in mind. Your pitch is usually going to be around the content, around the information, around the more tangible things that they can not quite touch and feel, but they can recognize the difference after they’ve completed the course or read the guide or whatever it is.
Cory Miller 27:19
Well, like you said, like the woodworking scenario, you want to come for the content you want it all packaged up all the questions that you have about starting to make wood projects with your hammer and tools and not chop your hand off, you know? But what they like when that they may consume all that content. But what they eventually find out is there are other people like me in here, that now I’m part of the club, I’m part of…
Brian Krogsgard 27:47
You find out there’s another 500 fledgling woodworkers that you can share ideas with and get tips from and see what they’re building and see maybe how they’re monetizing their early woodwork, or who knows what Yeah, then you’re gonna stay because you’re like, this place is awesome. And the membership website owner, their job is to, to bring you in, because of that early pitch, but then keep you by the way that they manage that community. And whether it’s moderating it providing the right venue, whether it’s forums, or Slack, or a Facebook Group. That’s your job as the membership site owner, but you want the members to cling to that community and everything that’s there, and you’re just, you’re just there, you know, like, you don’t have to answer every question. You’re just providing the venue, making it a safe place for those people to communicate. And they’ll love you for it. And they’ll continue to, you know, be a part of your membership website for it. And that is a huge deal if you can pull that stuff together.
Cory Miller 28:59
So I think we’ve given you… you can already see there’s a framework here. I mean, the hard work that you did I even think about this on a membership site, but Anna did with thevidabars.com that we talked about quite a bit is you did the you both did the hard, tough, grueling work of just building an audience for like two years, you have about the same time just building an audience, serving audience, you know, cultivating the passion and rallying and giving them a place to come and talk about it, and be there and then got the launch the audience. And then you started with something, some product that you knew would serve them. And then you grew from there as you started to search. But you know, most of entrepreneurship is a discovery by the way, those that think they’ve got it all made up don’t understand that entrepreneurship, like you can find all of the little unicorns out there that they woke up one day and thought they would create this product and I mean, those are unicorns and I still I’m skeptical that they didn’t have all the story of like years in you know, this industry. learning all the ins and outs and then hit the right time, right place and stuff like that. But this is you just shared, I think such a good framework for how to build a membership business. So the question becomes, when is my audience big enough to push the button on a product? And by the way, there’s 100 different ways to build businesses, and specifically membership sites, we’re giving you what we know has worked for us. So when is my audience big enough Brian? I, we launched iThemes with I want to say around 1,000 emails on our subscription list. And that was hey this is coming and, you know, back in 2008, Twitter was just kind of there. But I was on lists. And, you know, words, word had to spread a little bit less fast than it does now probably with social media. So, you know, we launched with 1000 people. Do you remember, recall how many you launched with post Dennis?
Brian Krogsgard 30:55
The email list was very small. But the Twitter following was big enough, you know, 1000s of people that had come to the follow me on Twitter, and the conversation on Twitter was really bumping at the time. You don’t have to develop an audience on Twitter, I my communities that I have have all been built on Twitter, weirdly enough, but it could be LinkedIn, it could be a Facebook Group, there’s many different it can be Instagram, huge. I mean, Anna’s is totally on Instagram. Your community can be anywhere, but it’s way easier to sell access to a membership site, if you do have an audience. I will say another comparison, though, I’ve had an audience of say, let’s say 10,000, people that were essentially aware of what I was doing, that’s probably about right for Post Status, you know, like, not just one off visitors here or there. But you know, aware of Post Status and as a participant in ecosystem, repeat visitors, followers on social media, something like that. If I have 10,000, then I was like, Okay, my long term goal is 1000. Members, my Minimum Viable goal is 250. In the first year, my two year goals 500, that kind of thing. And I was able to say is this realistic based on my total audience, and with a total audience of 500, with the runway, from sponsors with some of these things, I was like, I do think this is realistic. And it turned out to be both, essentially, where we went to, and it was essentially the path the time it took to get there. Because it’s not right away. People don’t make purchasing decisions on day one. You get some on day one, maybe you get your first 100 members. But it might take you six months to get to 250 or a year to get to 500 and things like that. No matter what your initial audience is because those things take time. And then you’ll have people who they can follow you, but they’re not paying that close attention. So you can’t expect it on day one, you have to know how can I survive? And how can I make this more appealing over time to grow it over time? Because even the most outrageously successful businesses with the hottest launches, they don’t peak on day one, you don’t want to peak on day one, you want to peak on day 600 or something or day 1000. But you want to see like, Am I viable from day one,
Cory Miller 33:25
One of the best companies that gets talked about all the time is Apple, but they have for most launches, they have people watching online 1000s millions of people perhaps, and then people standing in line for certain, but they didn’t start there from day one, too. So I think in terms of when is it big enough is if your entrepreneurship is all about it’s it’s finding its empathy finding. It’s it’s trying to put yourself in the audience shoes. And like for you, Brian, I think you saw something you wanted to exist in this thing. You felt very passionate about WordPress, and you did it, you know, but finding the biggest, you know, empathizing, a lot of the best products come from I wanted to build it for me. You know, I think probably that’s similar. You wanted to build something that you could, you know, you wanted to read you wanted to interact with, and and then it’s that catalytic moment is what I call it and I’m even looking at all the projects I’m involved in going, what’s the catalytic moment potential. There’s some catalytic moment. For you it was I think, an event Pressnomics. And you decided to push the button like you saw time and space converging. And you said, Hey, I’ll launch this. I think you said you tweeted it, got on the airplane, to go to Pressnomics this event for WordPress professionals.
Brian Krogsgard 34:49
My audience had a ton of overlap with the audience of this conference. So essentially, all I did there was I compressed day one sales, which is a certain number that you might plan or hope to hit, and then say day 30 sales, I think what I did by launching into a conference like that, where everyone was gathered, and every single person there was a potential customer like it was that it was that good of an overlap. And now when I go back to Pressnmics half the people, there are our customers. At the time, though, essentially, that enhanced the that launch cycle, the purchase decision making, from let’s say, day one to day 34, kind of your, your initial push, we compress that to maybe like day one today, for, you know, between when people got there, and when they got home to purchase, or they purchased while we’re in the lobby, because they’re like, I gotta be part of this. And they’re all telling each other like, Hey, this is great. This is something that’s new, let’s, let’s join it. So launching with a catalyst event is great if you have that available to your membership site, because you can essentially use the momentum of that event to be a part of your launch. And that’s why people want to have product launches at CES in tech. And you know, like all those things, they do it for the same exact reason. This is doing it for your information content. I want to give a couple I want to be as specific as we can with is my audience big enough? This is going to depend how much does your product cost some of these things, don’t worry about that. Let’s say you have 10,000 people, you’ve got enough of an audience like 10,000 people are actually paying attention to what you do you have enough of an audience to sell them something. At that point, I don’t really care what the topic is. Unless it’s just like memes or something like that people just don’t pay for. If it is something where there’s an expertise involved, and you have 10,000 people paying attention, you have enough people to start selling something. If you have 50,000, you probably have enough to go full time. If you have 100,000 people or more, you probably have enough to make a real business out of it. That’s my just rough estimates. And if you have 1000, you probably have enough to have a side hustle. What do you think Cory?
Cory Miller 37:01
Yeah, that’s a pretty good benchmark. And then always give the asterix of, we probably know, people that launched with less, you know, and yes, so price point, just like you said, and then I like to I love that you made Pressnomics your launch, like in hindsight and most of the epiphanies you’ll have as entrepreneurs, is in hindsight. The ones you think are in foresight are the ones that for me, I’m sharing my story, flop. But the ones where I’m just staying curious and staying open. And being empathetic with the people I’m serving are the ones that really the customers, it comes from them. They might not say, this is the exact product. But if you’re listening, you find that but that perfect time as most decisions and entrepreneurship is it’s just trying to make the best decision with the most data that you can. You know, and so the same goes with build with the audience. One thing I’m trying to do with our, our guy that we’ve got on advertising Brad is say, do we need to start with audience? Can we just start with a customer list? Like, start rolling out very tiny products and stuff and build up to the membership stuff? And that’s, we’ll have to give some updates on that. That’s still real new R&D that we’re going
Brian Krogsgard 38:18
yeah, when is my audience big enough? I mentioned organic audience. So organic social newsletter, repeat visitor whenever you want to call it, I would rank those, an email subscriber is more valuable than a social follow
Cory Miller 38:35
Brian Krogsgard 38:36
A social follow is more valuable than a random Google search or something like that, or an advertising thing. But advertising is the way to mimic the larger audience, you’re essentially leveraging into a larger audience by paying for that access. So you can find similar benchmarks, similar audiences by paying for access to the audience that is not yours, but fits the profile of what you think you want your audience to be. Once you pay for that, if you can do the calculation for Okay, well, it cost me $1,000 a month to get an audience of 10,000 people. And I think I can convert 100 of them. And I make, you know, X dollars profit each, this is how much I can afford an advertising to generate the big enough audience. But in an organic sense, I think that’s where I live it 100,000 for a side hustle, it’s hard core, you can say it’s different, I think unless you’re maybe like a local Makerspace or like Artsy or something like that. And unless it’s very local, I think if it’s online, if it’s not 1,000 people, it’s going to be really tough to have a side hustle. If it’s not 10,000 people, it’s going to be tough to not make take it very seriously. And if it’s not if it’s over 10,000 people you’re getting into that space where you really have a ton of potential.
Cory Miller 40:04
Yeah, and the fact is most of us have more time and expertise than money. And, you know, paid advertising is a microwave option. But it doesn’t necessarily like you have to have money to keep the microwave going. What we have done historically is more crock pot, and I’m not talking Insta pot either. Now, the slower we could figure out the Instant Pot version of this, that’d be awesome. But the crock pot is you build like it took two years. Same with, like, me, I spent a year almost two years, almost two years building kind of a name in WordPress before I started iThemes, where people knew that I’d released like 30 plus themes, for instance. So like, and you and I haven’t used the microwave version, the page up until like, two three months ago. So I’m really eager to share that with our audience at Commerce Journey, a membership eCommerce journey, because there is a place for it. If you have money, if you have some money, then you know, you could potentially accelerate stuff. But back to audience. I think that’s good guidance for people. So the next question is, what should we promise them? And this is where I think we all get a little tense in our gut. It’s like, oh, man, okay, we’re gonna charge-especially if you’re doing it for the first time-what am I going to charge someone, that’s why I think doing it the way you and I’ve done it, and me to a degree is like trying to build organic audience, you know, listen to them, and then offer a service that we think pairs nicely with their problems. So what should we promise them; what goes in the box that they buy?
Brian Krogsgard 41:42
This is where you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, you only want to promise the stuff that you have available now. This is something that I found very challenging in everything that I’ve done, especially on the letter set aside, because I sold access to something I had, let’s say the first couple months of stuff, but then I constantly had to keep up creating the new content to keep delivering what I said I was gonna deliver. So the more that you have in the bank, promise that. Promise what’s already in the bank available in your content repository, or that your processes are ironclad, right? Post Status, we know how to write a weekly newsletter. And that’s what’s promised. And but for a time, it was like, you get my analysis. Sometimes I send it twice a week, sometimes I send it every two weeks. And there was usually this gap. And there was a time and Post Status history where this was a real challenge. Because it was like, my processes weren’t quite good enough to say, you know, what, if it’s a Friday, you’re getting it? You know what I mean? And that’s something I mean, you and I have really concentrated on? It’s like, how can we make sure they know this is consistent and steady? My analysis and my expertise had to make up for the unknowables of like, Am I getting this three times this week or one time or zero times? I don’t know. And that’s really important. You have to have processes to be able to do something on a repeated basis, or you have to have it already in the bank, meaning it’s ready to go. And the one thing that we always had fallbacks for was like the newsletter was one thing for Post Status. But we had to community, I don’t have to do anything other than be there for Slack where which is where our community occurs.
Cory Miller 43:32
This is why when I started about talking about starting small and tinyOkay, when you get to that point, if you start with little tiny things. And there’s a person out there that calls them pocket products, and Brad and I are going through this thread, and we’d love it. But just tiny product, like a micro product, just the smallest thing you think provides enough value for a little bit of money. You do enough of those little tiny products on the pyramid, recurring revenues up here, the membership. But down here, if you do enough of these tiny products and serve your audience, you’re seeing what is going to hit and you’re making money on it. And you’re learning about your customers. But then when you go to say what you just did, which is delivering what do I promise them? Well, you can bundle those 50 things you’ve already done 15 things, whatever it is. And then what’s the minimal thing I can deliver that will make people happy, delight people. So for Post Status, it’s two things. It’s one is the newsletter, and two, it’s the community. Now I would say in the early days, by the way, what you promised was number one, what you gave them too though was Slack was this way to stay in touch with each other. And I would argue people come for this and they stay for the Slack. Like there’s our pair right there. They come for the content. They stay for the community where they have access to people, that’s a great comparison right there. But in this thing, what should we promise them it is, this is the way to build to that. So that when you get to you, okay, we want to offer $99 a year membership, R Post Status, what all do I get? Well, you know, you’re gonna get the weekly thing that we send out the you seen, like, here’s the quality proven. But if we had, you know, some mini products, mini courses, or micro products, whatever you want to call them down here bundle, we’d say plus this. And that’s the stuff you’ve already bought, or you’ve already paid for in time, effort, money, whatever. But you deliver and it just sweetens the package for them.
Brian Krogsgard 45:31
Absolutely. I love that. Yes, that’s good. Okay, so are you the subject matter expert? Or do you need to recruit others? You don’t have to be the go to person to create a great community to teach people. that is so important, because you can set too big of expectations on yourself. Cory, do you want to talk about that? Because I mean, yeah, you’re all over this.
Cory Miller 46:01
Yes, because you know, I’m not the subject matter expert.
Brian Krogsgard 46:04
I just say that, because I’ve never had the guts to do it. Unless I knew a lot about what I was selling.
Cory Miller 46:09
Yes. And I run boldly into it like, but let me give you an example. You’re a subject matter expert. Even though you don’t claim to be the highest technical person ever, I still think you’ve got this perspective in WordPress that is technical in nature, with paired with amazing businesses, which is awesome. I think I’ve got some of that, but I definitely don’t have the technical. But in my other two membership sites, Digital Marketing Kitchen and Business Value Academy, even though I bring expertise to the table and add value, I don’t necessarily consider myself, the be all end all subject matter expert. Now I come in with areas of expertise and try to do that. But really, subject matter experts are my partners in that, you know, Jeff is a CPA, CPA and a CFO, virtual CFO, Rebecca is an SEO expert, like the expert that I would trust. And so I brought them in. And I would do that every day, because I like that, that fits my interests and personality pretty well. Like you are, I think one of the foremost experts in interviewing and putting together a good like, really, really good, almost, with not like 12 days of preparation, like, you know, the wing version? I try not to say that, but I’m that too. Right? But subject matter expert, I think your point is absolutely great. I think you need to find the Yin and Yang. And with all the partnerships I have, including yours. There’s a Yin and Yang, that like you and I talked, there are enough areas that you and I are like that we go, this is a warning flag for us. Like these things right here. We can talk ideas, but we need help executing the ideas. And then we paired our awesome digital Wrangler, Karen, she helps us get everything together.
Brian Krogsgard 47:59
Yeah, one of the things as a way to know you don’t have to be the subject matter expert. Some of the most successful people I’ve seen break into an ecosystem. They come in saying I’m learning too learn with me. And I did this a little bit launching Post Status, like I was not the smartest person in the room, I just had access to the smartest people in the room. And I’ve seen some people do this extremely well in their niche even not not just broad base. But the way you do that. You ask people to interview people, or ask them to provide content on a certain subject, whether it’s a course or a webinar or whatever. And you ask them to share their expertise, your ability is to know where is the expertise? And who do I go to and how I want to give a great tip. This is from someone that does a podcast, and it’s become the biggest podcast in this other ecosystem that I’m in. And it started about the same time as I did. And we talked a lot and he’s grown this into a huge business. What he did was every person he interviewed, he said, Can you recommend a great person to interview next? And then he said, Can you also give me an introduction to them, so he didn’t even have to carry the relationship. He had one bite and then he continued to get larger and larger fish up the chain as they recommended the next person to talk to and the previous person told them why. Where he proved himself was by saying I did a good interview with you. So after we’re done, you enjoyed this you appreciated it, I asked you good questions, something like that. I brought the expertise forth, now tell me the next person to deliver the same experience to.And he got the recommendation not just the casual connection, but he also got the hook, because they, they were now recommending them. And it’s brought him to being able to bring the top subject matter experts in the space onto his platforms.
Cory Miller 50:11
Can I guess who?
Brian Krogsgard 50:13
You go ahead
Cory Miller 50:14
Brian Krogsgard 50:15
No, it’s not Mixergy. But Mixergy does this exactly the same way? Yeah, it’s a great example.
Cory Miller 50:21
He was one of the early. So when I started my blog in 2006, one of the first series I had was interviews. And because so this is an idea for your membership site. It’s so easy. So for instance, if you just know, curious, have some kind of agenda that you want to extract expertise from the person, and you make it so simple. Now, there’s two types of people, people that like to be super Uber, Uber, Uber, Uber prepared with their expertise. And some people that can just riff. Okay, I need to know that before you get into an interview with them, but these interviews are great ways because they make it so easy. I don’t have to prepare a ton. So for the ones that need to be prepared quite a bit, and I’m curious about your thoughts on this, too, Brian, is that they need to be prepared, spend 20 minutes with them, say it’s going to be nervous 20 minutes, just walking through what you’re curious about what you think your audience was. And then you got them nailed, okay, but just let them have a practice round. And they probably need an outline. Here’s the 10 questions, I’m going to ask, okay, the ones that are the riff version, it’s even easier, you just need a time on their schedule, give them enough information about where you’re going to interview, you know what you’re going to get them on the interview for, and then go at it. But if you hone your skills as an interviewer, you can do the same thing. I’ve heard it called the reporter too, learn with me, I’m going to report on this stuff when I’m interviewing. Mixergy is a great example of that, too. But I’m curious if you’re going to share who your example came from.
Brian Krogsgard 51:50
So this is a something I’ve learned over time, I want to talk about your interviewing component. So the amount you know about someone, it can really vary, you can go in unprepared, completely winging it, you can totally do it, you can even get away with it. At some point, you’ll probably get caught. And number two is your questions will never be quite good enough, right? Because there’s an angle that you could have gone. And you wouldn’t even really know to go that angle until you’re halfway through the show, you don’t have enough time or you know, like by the time you figure it out it you’ve kind of missed it. So I think you don’t have to know everything about them. You don’t have to script every question, you should at least do a little due diligence. When I’m thinking, Hey, here’s someone that’s really interesting. I’d like them as a guest to my membership community. I want to go to their website, I want to find out what are they selling? What are they pitching, because one, you’re giving your audience has a place for them to pitch that. It’s a great way to you know, kind of bring them on board, right? Give them an incentive is say, Hey, I do have an audience and you can pitch your thing here. But also, you’re digging into what do they want you to do when you’re on their website? What are they interested in on their Twitter account on their Facebook Page on their Instagram? Where can you find points of connection? Who do you have mutually connected on LinkedIn, something like that, that’s going to give you enough to go off of to where you can have more educated questions. Because if you this is a good one of the only times I’ve ever gotten caught at one point, it wasn’t caught. I followed this person for a long time. But I’ve not finished their book and they were on my show pitching their book. And there was something where I knew I could have done better. If I’d finished the book outright, I just didn’t have enough time to do it. Because between, you know, when I asked and when it was time to record like three days, and I really needed maybe a week to really fully engage with the book. But it made it to where if I’d finished the book, I might have been able to bring out a couple of extra points that were really, really good. And they would have loved the interview more too, and then they would have promoted the interview more in their own ecosystem. Whereas in hindsight, ended up being an interview where they were happy to do it, but it wasn’t one that they were like, you know, this was the go to one and I’m going to put it on my website is what people should go watch about my book. So being a little more prepared is going to go a long way.
Cory Miller 54:28
Oh, yeah, yeah. But you know, even then, I think you’ve got a framework in your mind too Brian, and I do too, I do a lot of webinars and interview type stuff. But even if you have in your mind something but there’s a minimal amount of preparationfor sure. Yeah. Okay, how next question is How will I deliver promised benefits? So, I think we’re thinking here is Okay, so let’s say Post Status there’s going to be a newsletter, and there’s going to be Slack, okay. So how are we going to get what particularly your expertise, I think, to them and in what formats. So I’ll tell you real quick, my two projects that are membership sites that are startups right now are they have very similar templates, Office Hours, Q&A, one once a month, and topical discussion or training once a month. So we bedrock, the membership in the box, if what they get is two webinars to show up to. Two live events, or they get access to me and my partners, and collaborators and guest experts. Now, I think we flipped it, we went for the Holy Grail. And she just started here, right? But we’ve learned a lot in the next iteration of what we’re doing is going to be going back down the pyramid. And actually, so for Business Value Academy, we’re going to deliver the product set our next step to figure out it, it right is to do a five week course on what we’re doing and probably going to do the same thing with Digital Marketing Kitchen. Bath. But anyway, that’s how we deliver some of the benefits. We figured out what’s going to go in the box. We knew we could show up for those live Q&A, live coaching, access to an expert that you know, Rebecca’s I don’t know, $250 an hour right now I don’t even bill hourly, I just come straight on a project. So they only get access to us. They’re just in the similar standpoint. So they get discounted fee to come show up and get access to experts. Here’s one, one thing now just real quick about the Q&A. I wanted to share with you, Brian. Yeah, is that not everybody has questions? The last time it was really interesting. And I think this is for a lot of what we see, they just want to listen, they just want to hear us talk about what we’re talking about. Because they don’t have a particular challenge or question at the moment. But they want to come and just kind of soak, you know?
Brian Krogsgard 56:46
Oh yeah, you just brought up something huge, which is, it’s easy to make the assumption that someone joins a membership website, and they want it right now. Now they may want it right now, but they may not be ready. You may need to have a plan for how to engage them when they’re ready, not right now. So making assumptions about when people want the content that you have to provide can be dangerous, because then when it comes time for them to be ready, well, you might not have any thing left to deliver them or a way for them to see it. So if you start dripping an email course right, when they sign up, they’re not ready for the email course they ignore the whole email course they never come back. And then you fail to get them in renewal or whatever else. So you need to make it possible for someone to access what you have in multiple ways and timelines. That’s a great way, now you delivered it to them either way. But the best way to deliver them those promised benefits is to make it accessible on their timeline, not your timeline. And a key way to do that is if you’re delivering something by email or on a schedule, to also have an archive on your website where you can do they can do the same type of thing more self driven. I have one other thing on the promised benefits. I know we’re going a little long here. I would say for you to accomplish the things that you say you’re going to accomplish, you have to put it on your schedule, if it’s not on your schedule, the likelihood is it won’t get done. So if you have a a monthly community watercooler session that you’re supposed to have what you put on your schedule, and then you announce it and then you show up. That’s kind of like those, you know, you can read all these books about habits and forming them and all that. And like I said, Cory, I’ve learned some of these the hard way. I’ve never been a scheduled person. So I’ve had to become more of a schedule person. It’s like, okay, Cory, will we meet on Friday mornings, that’s our partner meeting there, therefore, we go. Same thing with a membership website, a membership website is always going to be something where you’re doing stuff over time. Nothing’s truly passive. Like you said, you’re always going to have stuff that you have to put on your schedule, get it planned and get it out there.
Cory Miller 58:55
That goes back to: make sure when you’re putting the feet on look at it as a box. Okay. I said, it’s not a tangible box, and necessarily, but when they buy your membership, they’re buying some ingredients in a box, okay? Make sure when you’re putting the the things in, so you’re saying, Okay, once a month I’m gonna do training. Okay, in the live webinar format, go, that’s one hour. But it’s probably another hour getting everything logistically set up. It’s probably a bunch of hours preparing for that training topic. Yeah, when we go back to minimum viable product, make sure the promised benefits, you can do that deliver it consistently. Everything about a membership is consistency.
Brian Krogsgard 59:38
I’m with you on that. And one other thing. If you can do something in bulk, then do it in bulk. So let’s say you’re putting together an interview series if they’re not time sensitive, but you’re going to release them once a week to your members. If you can record all those in one day. Do it in one day, that way your commitment is done and then you drop them to your audience over time. So if you can put stuff, combined stuff into one effort on the input, and then the output is catered to whatever your schedule for your membership site needs to be, then that’s always going to be fantastic. That’s all I’ve got on that. Perfect.
Cory Miller 1:00:16
So you know, Tuesday’s are Commerce Journey days. Wednesdays are Business Value Academy, Fridays are mostly Post Status and another private client I have. So yeah, book that out for sure. Okay, do I charge monthly, yearly, one time fees? This is interesting, I want you to go first, because I want to hear your feedback on it.
Brian Krogsgard 1:00:35
Okay, I’ll give you the short version. This is from MySpace, it’s going to be common everywhere. If you do monthly, you’re going to have more people sign up. But they’re not going to last as long. The average membership, I think is that people stick around for membership website is about eight months is what some stats I heard a couple years ago. So if you do monthly, people are going to sign up because it’s cheaper up front, right? If it’s $9.99 a month, well, they’ll probably try it versus if it’s $99 a year. This is something I’ve considered on Post Status over and over and over again, I only started Post Status with yearly. Cory, we still do yearly. If you do it yearly, you get the equivalent of 12 months of memberships from that person. So you’re already one and a half times average membership. If you only do monthly, you will get fewer people sign up people that won’t bite the bullet because they can’t try it as easily. So that’s the downside. Your balance has to be what’s, what’s better, what’s worth it, etc. With Post Status, we’ve always had enough stuff that we have to do when someone joins like manually or more, even more when they when they leave our community. You know, you have to you have to boot them out of the community, right, they gotta get kicked out of Slack or whatever or lose access to stuff. If that stuff can’t be automated easily, then you may be better off doing yearly or maybe even quarterly I’ve seen people do quarterly that’s interesting. If you do monthly, it needs to be totally automated, onboard and off board from your membership site, because otherwise, it’s going to become a huge burden. If you do monthly and you can automate it, you have a lot more strategic ability to do things like flexible pricing, to do things like advertising, free trials, a lot of that stuff that can really flywheel your marketing engine, and a lot of those things I’m jealous of. However, if we get a renewal, we instantly go from a 12 month to a 24 month average. So if we get an 85% renewal rate, only 15% churn, which was what we’ve accomplished in the past is, now you have a very reliable membership community. versus if something’s hitting someone’s charge every month, you’re instantly being compared to the other things that they pay for every month, their cable bill, their Netflix subscription, their HBO subscription. And honestly, I was always terrified of being next to someone’s Netflix bill every year, every month, because I was like, as much as Post Status can be great. I will never take enough as much time of someone’s month as Netflix does. Netflix spends billions of dollars to consume your mental energy every night. And Post Status will never be as big of a part of your mental energy as that. So it freaks me out with providing that I looked at it more of like, what’s the Amazon Prime model? Amazon Prime? I think it’s 149. Now, but it was 99. Let’s say you pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. And it’s like, oh yeah, I remember when I got free shipping on that refrigerator that was worth it all by itself. But I also have amazon Prime Video and also a free shipping on all this other stuff and also have yada yada yada. Amazon is this conglomerate of features that you get for being a Prime member. And it made it a no brainer. I wanted people to look back on their year when they get their renewal. Notice that it’s coming and say, You know what, I got a gig because of the Post Status community. I got all those newsletters, I got a deal on software from their deal section. I was able to list a job there and what you know all these things, I wanted him to look back on it say: in total this would be really stupid professionally, to not renew. The same way I look at Amazon Prime. Like I don’t even know how I’d function without Amazon Prime. I shouldn’t be saying that on the Commerce Journey podcast. But that’s what they do really, really well is they create loyal customers. Yeah. And even though it’s harder to sell on that yearly membership. Once you get them I think they’re going to be more loyal. Because they look back on it, and as long as you provided the value you promised, like we talked about in the last slide, they’re going to be pretty incentivized to renew.
Cory Miller 1:05:07
Yeah. So this conversation for me about monthly yearly, one time fees is price negotiation with your membership, your prospective and current members. And okay, what is that? What do we think this is worth to them? What can they probably reasonably afford? What’s a no brainer, like when you said to the 12 people 2500 bucks, and you get this is a no brainer for us. But that didn’t come into my personal pocket came out of my business pocket. So you’ve looked at your audience and goes that business to business? Just to your point? How are they used to paying for services like this? Same thing with personal I love your comparison to Netflix? Do they compare it to their utility bill or the Netflix bill? You know?
Brian Krogsgard 1:05:52
Yeah, which bucket does it go in?
Cory Miller 1:05:54
Then the price point. So charging $10,000 for people in Post Status that is not going to work, there’s only a handful of companies that probably do that, or want to do that even, you know, could and then want to use, you know, but now, $99 a month, you make it kind of like a no brainer. I mean, I’m sorry, $99 a year, which is Post Status annual membership, it’s kind of a no brainer. But again, I think that’s just seeing who your audience is, what is their typical, you know, expenditures on something similar to yours. So doing competitive analysis is always, always good. But here’s the more important thing is how are they used to paying for things. So Apple and the big companies are now tech companies in particular are switching to a monthly type of service arrangement. For most everything like iTunes, I’m so wound up in Apple stuff, right now, they finally gave me the Apple one bundle as a yes.
Brian Krogsgard 1:06:48
If you can get someone hooked to where they can’t imagine life without your monthly subscription, then it can be fantastic, because you’ll have them for years. And they’re like, I can’t do without this. This is a pivotal part of what I do for my job. Yeah, that’s gonna depend on what type of membership site you are. If you’re woodworking, well, if they’re a professional Carpenter or something, maybe that’s the case. But if they’re a hobbyist looking to learn, you may not be so pivotal to them. So you have to decide whether you’re pivotal to what they do in their work life or their daily life. But yes, if you can become as a lot Dropbox does that for me, some people don’t do Dropbox. Well, my everything is on Dropbox. If I gave up Dropbox, I’m like where… I… now what? You know, it’s like, I’m totally screwed.
Cory Miller 1:07:38
Well, if iCloud would do a little bit, just massage their offerings a little bit better and get better. I this was the year that I was like, oh, man, I still got to do it. You know, so I did renew. But if I clever, anyway, all that to say you’re right on. And I also like with this tent is I like to get my money fast and up front. A lot of people gripe about credit card fees, and I go, I want money sitting in my bank, the moment they make the decision. And I’ll take a 3% haircut on that. Because I want cash in my bank. I know businesses that have 90 day, accounts payable, that’s ridiculous in my world of digital. So I’ll pay 3% to get it there because I know the opposite. And I want the money to your point, if it’s monthly, I want it there every single month building, building, building, building, building, building. And also with your customers. And by the way, my principle about businesses do good and do well. If you do good, purposeful work, serve people you should do well, you should make as much money as you possibly can. Because you’re doing good work for people. And the same applies here for doing good work, we should maximize the amount of money people spend with us because we’re delivering on par with that, right? We’re making people’s lives awesome. And so all of this conversation is the context for how you price your memberships and some thoughts as you go into that. Brian, we’ve gone way over this is like our longest webinar, but it’s been really really good stuff. Cuz we had a lot to say.
Brian Krogsgard 1:09:00
We did have a lot to say and shocking since this is where our focus of our businesses, right? Yeah. All right. So let’s lightning these last couple. Okay. Number one, look for ways to earn more without a lot of extra effort. One way we’ve been able to do this is by starting to sell to teams, if you can sell to the CEO and say I want to sell you 10 seats, then that is awesome. That’s always better than selling to each of those 10 people in that company individually. That depends on your industry, for sure. But if you can do bulk, then do bulk. If you can add sponsorships to your other stuff. Hey, this is the tablesaw course brought to you by Sawstop. Well Sawstop is giving you an extra, you know, whatever five grand on top of it, you want to take advantage of that. That’s essentially what that what that means. Next, we get a lot of people around this time of year that say hey, do y’all do Post Status as gifts I want to give this to my friend or my spouse or whatever. If you can have a version of your product that is giftable, then that you should do it. Because you’re going to get a few extra sales every year from that. And then the flywheel effects is can you add an affiliate program? Can you invite a handful of influencers, offer them that for free or you know, give them a perk in order to for them to recommend it to people or something like that? Those flywheel effects can have a big impact especially early on to help you get that that kickstart on your launch. before… eventually, your people your members will recommend it to other people. They will evangelize the things they love. If they love your membership site, they’ll recommend it to others. An affiliate program can help encourage them to do that. Influencers can help kickstart getting that out to people to create those true fans. So unlikely your influencers are going to be your biggest fans, but they’ll help you create your biggest fans. Alright, that’s the lightning round on those ones. If you enjoyed this, and I hope you did good. Join us in the conversation on Facebook on commercejourney.com/facebook. And check out GoDaddy Pro commercejourney.com/go-webinar to get started on your membership website. It’s been a blast. I know this is a long one. Thanks for sticking with us. If you were here the whole time. You are amazing. And we look forward to talking to you soon. And we’ll see you later.
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