Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Today I have something special for you. I am going to be playing back a Facebook Live that I did on my Facebook page earlier this week.
I am so excited about this because I got to interview three people who have digital courses and they added membership sites on the back end of their digital course as an upsell, as a way to continue the conversation with their existing students and continue that journey.
I absolutely love this model because this is the model that I am creating inside of my own business as well. So, I actually set this all up in the Facebook Live.
I won’t talk any more. I just wanted you to know this is a special episode where I did a Facebook Live on my Facebook page and I’m playing it here on my podcast. I hope you enjoy it. Talk to you soon.
Hey there everybody! Amy Porterfield here and welcome to today’s Facebook Live where we are talking about membership sites. Specifically, we are talking about what to do once you have a course created and you want to offer more in your business.
I’m going to show you how to add a membership site if you already have a course.
If you’re thinking about a course or you don’t have a course yet there is still something here for you. Just stay tuned if you’ve ever thought about creating a membership site.
If you’re new to my world, again, my name is Amy Porterfield, and I help entrepreneurs 1) Build their email list, 2) Create digital courses, and 3) Sell those digital courses with webinars.
I’ve been doing this for almost ten years now. Yeah, I feel so old when I say that but it’s been ten years of creating my own business online and then I only teach what I do.
I go before you and test it out and try it out and experiment and I keep things as simple as possible to generate a lot of revenue and a lot of impact. Then I go back to the drawing board and teach my students what I’ve done.
That’s what I have been doing for years and years now and I’ve gotten to a place where I have built a multi-million dollar business selling digital courses. But just this year I decided I’m going to add a membership site to the mix.
I’m going to do it in a very specific way so hear me out because I have three guests where I’m going to tell you their stories today, how they added membership sites to their business.
Here’s the deal. I wanted to create a membership site to continue the experience that I’ve created inside of my digital courses. I have a digital course. One of my digital courses is teaching people how to create digital courses (it’s very meta, I know).
I’ve got this digital course that my students go through for about ten weeks. After the ten weeks they still want my support. They still want to be in the trenches with me. They want to troubleshoot. They want to scale. They want to do bigger things.
All throughout many, many years I’ve had nothing to offer after the digital course has ended. That changes this year because I’m adding a membership site to continue the experience with my students.
If they want to upgrade into the membership site they will get an invite. This is something extra I’ve been creating and I have not been doing it alone.
I have a guide that has been teaching me everything I need to know to create digital courses. He’s also a dear friend for many, many years and his name is Stu McLaren. You might have heard of him. He is the go-to guy when it comes to membership sites.
Before I get started, Stu has this very, very cool free training right now. It’s called Recurring Revolution. It is excellent and it’s completely free. It’s all about how to get started with a membership site.
If you want to check it out go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/stu and you can check out the free training all about how to get started with membership sites.
Maybe you’re not totally sold on the idea of a membership site just yet and you kind of want to see how it might work in your business. That’s why I’m doing this Facebook Live today.
I wanted to show you, or tell you more likely, because I’ve got some guests, I want to tell you their stories and how they’ve precisely added a membership site on the back end of their course, meaning they have a digital course and then the added a membership site to continue that experience.
I have three guests. I’m going to ask them all the exact same questions. But, everybody’s story is a little bit different and everybody has something different to share or unique to share.
So, I thought we would drill down into their unique story so it’s not just me saying, “Hey, here’s a great idea,” but, instead, you get to see what they’ve already done, their success stories around course creation and membership sites.
Good? Alright, let’s bring on my first guest. Her name is Jamie. Hey there Jamie, how are you?
JAMIE: I’m good. Hi Amy.
AMY: I’m so thrilled that you’re here because you have a really great story of course creation and membership site. You know how Stu and I always say it’s like peanut butter and jelly, it goes together so perfectly.
Let’s start at the top. First of all, tell everybody what you do in your business.
JAMIE: I teach photographers how to work with entrepreneurs and influencers who need a steady stream of images to grow a personal brand.
AMY: Got ya. Okay. You created a course. What is the name of your course?
JAMIE: My course is called The Story Session System Course. It helps my photographers pivot from doing whatever type of photography they have been doing before like families or weddings into working with entrepreneurs and influencers.
AMY: So what does that look like when they’re working with entrepreneurs and influencers? What are they doing?
JAMIE: Entrepreneurs and influencers, like you, Amy. For example, you are trying to grow your personal brand. You’re using Instagram. You know you need to have images to help grow that brand.
Instead of just taking family portraits for somebody or shooting weddings or whatever else, which, frankly the demand for that has really dropped with iPhones, I am helping them work with entrepreneurs or influencers like you who want to have a brand that’s not just selfies, that really levels up and really reflects the success they’ve had in their business.
What you need is way different than a newborn mother’s needs. And they don’t always get it. They don’t really understand how your needs are different. You don’t want to credit somebody if you’re using a photo for an ad or that you need to have creative control over the images and stuff like that.
I teach them how entrepreneurs and influencers are different, how their needs are different; then, what they need to do in their business in order to start offering this from how to set up a landing page, what kind of copy should be on there, what kind of messaging to use, what to charge, what the work flow should look like, what the marketing looks like, and really how to create an experience that an entrepreneur/influencer would want to have over and over and over again.
Basically they would see them as a team member. They are going to need this more than once. They are going to need this on an ongoing basis.
AMY: That’s so good. I love this idea of a course. It’s really specific and it’s really actionable. Roughly how long does it take somebody to get through your course?
JAMIE: We do six weeks in the course. The first four weeks are super practical. I’ve put a lot of done-for-you stuff in it so they can implement as quickly as possible. But then the last two weeks are around marketing and sales.
I genuinely believe that the best way for them to find new clients is through networking. I don’t know how you found your photographer but I know if I need somebody I’m going to ask in a Facebook group or I’m going to ask a friend of mine, “Who are you using? Your photos look amazing.”
AMY: That’s exactly what we did. Exactly.
JAMIE: A lot of that is how you get in front of the right people. How do you find them? How do you build these relationships with them so that once you have a client you can leverage that without being salesy or pushy.
That takes time. Building relationships takes time so that doesn’t happen quickly, which leads me into the membership site. But I don’t want to get ahead of things here.
AMY: That was my next question. So you’ve got this digital course. How much is the digital course?
JAMIE: The course is just under $1,000 unless they pay with a payment plan. Then the membership I offer afterwards is $49 a month.
AMY: Tell me why you created a membership site after you had already had the successful course that was selling well.
JAMIE: If I can be completely honest, I didn’t want a membership site, Amy.
AMY: Tell it girl. Neither did I. I get it. Tell me why you didn’t want one.
JAMIE: I had had a membership in the past. It was a front-facing membership so there was no course leading into it. It was overwhelming with just trying to keep up with it. I’m a mom of six kids.
AMY: What? You look like you’re 20 years old so I really don’t know how that is, but holy cow! Congrats to you.
JAMIE: You are my new favorite person, Amy.
AMY: Seriously. Six kids. Okay, so you have no time for tons and tons and tons of work.
JAMIE: No. Honestly, when I tried to do the membership before, I really want to serve my members, and I over delivered. Just being on that content treadmill, I seriously thought I could batch it and do it in advance. I just couldn’t.
Every Sunday I would get to, “Oh crap, I need content for tomorrow.” I would think maybe I would do a Facebook Live. It was a stressful thing so I didn’t want a membership after this.
I pivoted my business completely. This was a new thing I started offering and I just said, “I’m going to sell courses.” It’s easier. It’s start, finish, done. I wouldn’t have to stress about it. It’s a beautiful model.
I had been there. I am in Stu’s mastermind so I was talking with him about it and he said, “Oh Jamie, that is a limiting belief that you can’t do it in advance and that you can’t make it simple.”
If there is one thing I have learned about Stu it’s that he’s usually right in these things and I probably should listen.
AMY: Oh my gosh, I tell all of my students and you have probably heard me say that Stu has given me million-dollar ideas but when he tells you to do something just do it. He is spot on.
But, another thing that he does well, and I think you are alluding to this, he makes it simple. He simplifies it and it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
So what got you to say, “I had a super overwhelming experience before with the membership site but now I’m going to consider it again”?
JAMIE: The thing that really got me was that my people wanted it. They really wanted to continue to working with me. I thought on it for a while after talking with him and I realized they don’t need more content at that point.
Most of them haven’t finished. Yes, some have but they need help with the networking. While that might come really easy for me, for them they wonder what they do.
It’s like, “Yes, you told me this but now what?”
Instead of providing more content I decided to really simplify and provide support. It’s just a monthly Q&A that is live in our Facebook group. We have a Facebook group for it and I jump in there once or twice a week to answer questions via typing.
I do monthly implementation tasks that take them maybe five to ten minutes a day to do. It is ideas for how to connect with people online or in person to build a relationship. The big core content we do is are laser coaching sessions.
That sounds overwhelming but not everybody gets one. For the laser coaching sessions they have to apply to get one. Basically they ask a question they want to come one on one, just like this, and do a 15-minute call.
It is more of a coaching call and not an interview. We go deep on one single question. Then we release these to the entire group every week. I batch record these and do them back to back.
I schedule them 20 minutes apart so I have to be done in 15 minutes.
JAMIE: Then my content assistant takes them and repurposes them and puts them on the website and does all of that. Last week I recorded ten weeks of content in four hours. At this point I’m scheduled out through July.
People love it. They love it. They aren’t overwhelmed by it because it’s only 15 minutes a week to listen to but it’s so helpful to hear the same material in a different context.
AMY: It sounds like you’re not overwhelmed anymore with your membership site.
JAMIE: No. It’s so easy. I have a launch coming up in June and I don’t have to think about material for my membership site at all. I have to show up and do a one-hour Q&A once. I have to hop in there once or twice a week just to chat but that’s easy to do in the morning.
I love that. That’s what I do when I’m trying to procrastinate doing the crap I don’t want to do in my business.
AMY: That’s good. When you can say that you love it, come on, that’s good stuff. That’s when you know you’ve hit the jackpot, especially if you love it and your students love it. Tell me this. Roughly, how many people enrolled in your course and then how many actually took you up on the $49 a month membership?
JAMIE: When I did my course in January we had 324 students enroll at that time.
AMY: That’s amazing.
JAMIE: Thank you. Then 103 of them, 33%, because 12 were already in it and retook the course again, but 103, so 33%, took the membership.
I’m kicking myself now because I’ve been doing this for years. If I had done this back when I had started, thinking about how many clients I could have had, it’s just insane.
AMY: I’m kicking myself too.
JAMIE: You’re going to blow up, Amy.
AMY: I hope it’s going to just blow their minds. I’m literally right now collecting ideas of how I want to frame it and what I want to do each week. So this is really helpful to me as well.
I love to hear what people are doing in their membership site, especially from people like you who do not want to feel overwhelmed or are very sensitive to “I’m not going to be on that treadmill” of creating content over and over again.
It’s so good. So, tell me this. What is one of the things you love most about having this membership site now?
JAMIE: Oh gosh, I think the biggest thing other than continuing to help them get results is that I don’t lose my best people. What I mean by that, when you have a course or multiple courses your best people, like Anna DiGilio. I know she has taken everything that you offer.
AMY: I was just thinking of her.
JAMIE: People like Anna, when they are done and have consumed it and have implemented it and are all in with you, they want more and there isn’t anything. So you lose them.
I’ve been doing this since 2011 so I think of all of the people I have seen come and go, not because they didn’t love me, but because I had nothing more to offer them. This gives me a place to keep serving my best clients. And to really continue seeing how
their journey is progressing and how I can continue serving them on an even deeper basis.
AMY: That’s so true. So give me one more thing. I have one more question for you. What do you think is one of your biggest takeaways that you would share with somebody who is thinking about adding a membership site to their business?
A lot of people listening now would want to add it just like you after the course. But some people just want a membership site in general. What is maybe a lesson or some kind of takeaway that you’ve had that you could share with us?
JAMIE: My biggest thing is to absolutely keep it simple and focused. My first one was a behemoth. I taught any photographer how to do any kind of photography business.
AMY: We’ve all been there.
JAMIE: The SEO, the social media, everything. Babies, pets, it didn’t matter. I could teach them all because I think part of me was like, “I’m smart. Let me get it out there.”
When I decided instead of just trying to give them the content vomit of everything I know, what if I gave them the most effective things they could do to get results fast and keep it super narrow and just serve such a tiny slice of the market.
It all became easy. We want to complicate things because we think that’s what we need to do to be successful. But the simpler we can keep it and the more focused…I still have one problem in my membership and that’s helping them get recurring clients. That’s it.
It’s using networking. It’s not like using SEO, not doing this, that, and the other thing. That’s it. It’s so easy to sell and it’s so simple to really help them get results because it’s exactly what they need at that moment. It’s great. I love it.
AMY: You’ve had huge success with it. I love what you’ve done. I’m so glad I invited you here because your story is going to inspire so many people to continue with this idea that maybe they could have a membership site in their business.
You have just shown us how exactly it could work. So, Jamie, it is such a pleasure to meet you and thanks so much for being on the show. I appreciate it. And wait, before I let you go, where can people learn more about you?
JAMIE: If you want to follow me on Instagram that’s probably a good spot. I have a podcast called Personal Brand Journey, which is my pivot from business brand to a personal brand. Those are probably the best places. It’s called Personal Brand Journey with Jamie M. Swanson.
AMY: Perfect. Thank you so very much. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time.
JAMIE: Thank you, Amy.
AMY: Bye. See ya.
AMY: Oh my gosh, so good. Here’s my biggest takeaway from Jamie. This is what I loved the most. When she said she turned her membership site into a focus for the networking part of her course.
Did you get that? She’s got this big course where she teaches tons and tons of different things inside the course in order for them to be successful as photographers for influencers and people that are building their brands.
She teaches a lot of different strategies in there, everything they need to know to be successful there. Then she took one area that she knows they struggle with the most and something that takes time and she put the focus there for her membership site.
Did you notice her membership site doesn’t cover everything. She’s honing in on that one thing that’s going to take them time. She’s going to go on that journey with them.
They are also going to need ideas. They are going to need to troubleshoot. They need reassurance that this is working and they need to hear from other people who have gone before them.
That’s what her membership site it all about. I don’t know about you but I get very, very inspired by other people’s stories of success. As you heard, she’s had great success.
Her program is $1,000. She sold over 300 of them for her last launch and a third of those people are now paying her every single month. That’s another thing with courses.
If you live launch like I do, once your live launch is done and the payment plan is done then you do not have recurring revenue. I do teach evergreen funnels for courses but that’s a whole other story.
If you want to continue having revenue come into your business with the people you worked so hard to attract in your course, adding a membership site just for them is a great idea.
Here’s one more thing I love about this model and then we’re going to bring on our next guest. It’s Jesse, right? Okay, our next guest is Jesse in just one minute. But what I wanted to tell you was that I love the exclusivity that your membership site is only for those who have gone through your course.
You want to know why I love it the most? For me, when I have somebody who has gone through my course and then they are going to be in a membership site with me, if they ask me a question that I’ve already taught in my course I can say, “That’s Module 5, Lesson 2. Make sure you just go back there.”
You’re not constantly reteaching something. You’re not constantly giving free advice for people who have not paid you. You’re not constantly repeating yourself over and over again.
Instead, you get to say, “Oh yeah, go back to Module 5, Lesson 2. I give you the whole framework you need.” Then you can build off that and say, “Once you get in there, here’s what you need to pay close attention to.”
It’s really nice to create a membership site for students that already know your content. You’re just elevating their experience with you. You’re elevating their success and you get to enjoy it because these students are growing right in front of your eyes. They are getting better and better and better and you get to help them.
That’s why I love this model so much.
If you’re just joining us, here’s what we’re doing today. I’m interviewing three people who already have a digital course and they’ve added a membership site as an upsell to their students who already went through their course. They are continuing the journey with their students through a membership site after the course is over.
I’m currently creating something similar inside my own business right now. I’m working through all the details. I learned from Stu McLaren, who I think is the go-to guy for all things membership sites.
This week Stu is doing a free workshop all about how to get started with membership sites called Recurring Revolution. You can find it at https://www.amyporterfield.com/stu. The free training is from Stu McLaren all about getting started with membership sites.
I thought it would be fun to invite some people who have had major success with membership sites and talk about their journey.
Our next guest is Jesse. Let’s bring her on.
Hey there Jesse, how are you?
JESSE: Hi Amy, I’m doing good. How are you?
AMY: Good. I’m so delighted to have you here. Thanks so much for being here.
JESSE: Thanks so much, it’s such a privilege.
AMY: I’m going to ask you the exact same questions I asked Jamie because everyone’s got their own story. I just want you to tell me everything you’ve been doing in terms of course creation and membership sites. But, let’s first start out with what you do in your business.
JESSE: I’m sure, as you have seen all over the place, you will see that lettering is the new art that is everywhere you look. You look at coffee shops, you look at logos, you look at t-shirts, you look at home decorations. Lettering has just exploded so I teach women in Latin America, actually the Spanish-speaking market, how they can not only learn this hobby but also monetize and sell their products.
AMY: I am just loving this. The reason I’m loving it is because I love that the topic has nothing to do with marketing, which is what I teach. It’s different in that respect. It’s a very specific niche. I also love that you go after a very specific audience.
Just for the record, I feel like that is the smartest way to go when you can niche down that much. First of all, congrats for finding something that is very unique and I know is starting to be very profitable for you. So first of all congrats to that.
JESSE: Thank you.
AMY: I also know you’re fairly new in all of this. You haven’t been doing it for that long, right?
JESSE: That’s right. We actually started about a year and a half ago. It was just born really out of me starting to share online my letter practices. I learned on my own. I got into Bible journaling, which is a whole other amazing art of creating beautiful hand lettering in Bibles.
People started asking me, “Can you teach us what you are doing?” That is actually how my course started. And, just so that you know, one of the first courses that we took was your List-Builder’s Lab.
AMY: Oh I love it.
JESSE: That was such an amazing help because we had absolutely no idea how to start this online business, how to start an email list. It was just such a big help when we got started in all of this. But that was a year and a half ago.
AMY: I had no idea you were part of List-Builder’s Lab so thanks for letting me know. That’s extra sweet so I think it’s fantastic that’s how you got things going. Okay, let’s talk about this.
You created a course around lettering. What is the name of your course?
JESSE: In Spanish it’s called Mis Letras Lindas, which the translation is My Lovely Letters. It’s basically a six-week course where I teach…The woman is specifically kind of my target audience.
I teach Spanish-speaking women how they can take their lettering from a complete beginner’s level where you have never, in your life held a brush-lettering pen, how you can start learning the art of hand lettering; but, also, how you can progress into a professional hand-lettering artist and how you can sell your work and monetize your beautiful lettering.
AMY: Fantastic. How much is your course?
JESSE: The course, I’m sure compared to other North American courses, it might be on the lower end of the spectrum, but actually for my audience being in countries where the economy is not as strong, they are actually making an investment so the course is $100 for a six-week course.
AMY: Great. Perfect. I love to have a range. I love a bunch of different examples. This is fantastic. You’ve got a $100 course and how many people actually bought your course so far?
JESSE: We’ve actually launched the course four times. We have a total of about 500 students as of right now.
AMY: That’s so great. Congratulations. That’s got to feel so good.
JESSE: Thank you. It’s actually unbelievable because, again, starting on social media where my friends wanted to learn this to actually learning how to target people that would be interested in this has been such an amazing journey.
This last launch was the first time at the end of the course we actually opened access to join our membership.
AMY: Let’s talk about this. You’ve had this course. It’s doing well. It’s selling really well. What made you think, “You know what? I need to add a membership site to this experience.” Why did you want to do so?
JESSE: Honestly, I think it’s because just my students. After spending six weeks with them and giving my everything to them and being on Facebook Lives, chatting with them in the comments, doing our work assignments and projects together they started saying, “We don’t want this to end. Can you please make this course longer? Can we have more weeks with you?”
Obviously that is where the idea for membership came. What are we going to do after this started? It came from them. They just wanted to learn more. They didn’t want it to end. To me it’s like, “Really? You guys want to keep hearing from me? I haven’t annoyed you this past six weeks?”
AMY: You’re not tired of me yet? I know. I feel the same way, for sure. How much did you charge for your membership site?
JESSE: It’s $15 a month and I only offer it to the students who have completed the course with me.
AMY: Do you agree with me in the sense that it is so much easier to work with people that already have your course, they have the strategies and technique, and now you get to continue the conversation with them in the membership site?
JESSE: Oh yeah. First, they love you. They’ve gotten used to the way you teach. It’s so much easier. You were just mentioning how you can refer them back to the course. It’s amazing because if they are stuck on something I can be like, “Hey, you know what, in Module 3 we learned compositions and we learned how to draft your design. I would recommend you go back and review that and then come back and try this project.”
It’s just complimentary because you can guide them back and forth between the core content, which I what I teach in the course, and then in the membership I kind of help them master it or perfect more on a longer term journey.
In the six weeks that we are together it’s hard for them, obviously, to go from beginner to professional. They will learn how and they will learn what they need to do but the actual perfecting and mastering comes with time.
Just having me there for them, I think, is what is most valuable for them that I’m along in their journey. For me, it’s such an amazing thing to see their progress. I can think of one student from Mexico. Her name is Nayelli.
She knew absolutely nothing. She is actually a missionary. She joined because she wanted to bless her mission station, the Salvation Army. She just wanted to learn it as a hobby. She started knowing absolutely nothing and now she’s being hired by local businesses.
She’s actually been able to monetize in Mexico and it’s such a blessing to her, being a missionary, to be able to raise that money. It’s amazing to see their progress from the beginning of the course and how they are mastering it through a membership.
AMY: I totally agree. I love to see that. As a course creator that’s exciting for us to see what they can do. A few more questions. Do you have a specific content schedule you follow? What do they get inside of your membership site?
JESSE: I’ve been hearing the other interviews. It’s so funny the overwhelm. One of the things that scared me the most about a membership was content. Thinking, what am I going to come up with every month? It just seemed so overwhelming.
What we’ve learned from Stu and the way that he teaches you how to deliver this content has just been so helpful. Specifically, in how they are all in different levels. My students, some have just finished the course. They are still feeling like a beginner. Some are more advanced. They have been practicing more time.
What I do is offer them one training per month that is based on different levels they are at. It could be more practice on basic strokes. It could be more advanced on how to digitalize your letters.
Obviously, nowadays you can sell on Etsy, you can sell digital designs. It ranges from their level of expertise. But they are aware, when this content is provided, kind of what level this is for. It doesn’t mean they can’t watch it but it just means that pressure is taken off of them so they have a goal or where they can head to.
AMY: They can always come back to it.
JESSE: Exactly. The second piece of content I offer is a monthly project. This can be for any level they are at. It’s so great because many times as artists and creatives we lose creativity sometimes, if that makes sense.
We get stuck. We don’t know what to create. Offering this monthly project gives them a really good idea of, not only something they can make with their letters, but the goal is for them to be able to sell that as a product.
If they sell one of that project they should be able to cover the membership cost. It’s a no brainer.
JESSE: You create a project that would cover the membership cost for you. Then the last piece of content is, obviously, a Q&A where we just talk openly about any concerns. I look at some of their work and it’s just a Facebook Live with my group.
AMY: That’s so fantastic. Some of these ideas. I remember when I worked with Stu he would say, “You could do a Q&A so you’re not having to create new content.” I like this idea that you can create something. Maybe it’s not at the level they are at but they can come back to it if they want to. This is all fantastic.
I also love your price point. It’s $100 for the course and then it’s an easy decision. That’s what we call a no-brainer decision to move into the membership site with offering so much at $15 a month.
One of my last questions is: How do you promote your membership site to your existing students?
JESSE: Oh my goodness. It’s so easy. I feel it is so easy to do. Honestly, throughout the modules I start teasing a little bit.
JESSE: I tell them in our membership community we’re doing “this”. I just start putting in little seeds so that they start knowing there is a group of people apart from my students in the course.
Obviously, once we start getting closer to the end of the course I start saying, “You know what? We have spent so much time together. I have seen so much of your growth and I want to continue being there for you. There is the opportunity for us to continue working together through our group.
It is called Mas Letras Linda, which means More Lovely Letters. Instead of My Lovely Letters it is More.
AMY: I love it. That’s cute. That’s perfect. You just tell them about it, “Hey, we get to continue this conversation.” Fantastic. How many people do you currently have in your membership site?
JESSE: We have 100 members.
JESSE: Like I said, this last launch was the first time we opened it and we had 200 students join the last course. About 50 of them signed up for the membership. That’s like 25%.
AMY: That’s so good. The conversions I’m hearing are so high and that is fantastic. My last question for you is: What would you say to somebody who is thinking about creating a membership site and they are nervous about it and just not sure if it’s the right way to go?
What is something you’ve learned or a takeaway that you have that you can share because you have been in the trenches?
JESSE: I would say to definitely go for it, especially if you have a course. You can continue serving your people and that is one of the biggest things I love. You know what? After spending so much of an investment of my time with them during the six weeks I don’t want to just say, “That’s it. Bye. Thanks so much. It was fun seeing you for six weeks.”
I also want to continue being there for them. They want that too so go for it. It also doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I think the way Stu teaches the creation of your content just really takes off the pressure of having to offer too much.
I am a person that I like to give a lot because I like to serve. One of the things I learned at the beginning was that I don’t have to offer too much. I just have to give them enough to progress for one step closer to their goals and what they want to be able to monetize their letters.
If I can just help them go from one level to the next, from one step at a time to see progress and be able to get to their goals, which is to monetize their letterings, then I think it’s amazing.
AMY: I totally agree. This has been so fun to talk to you. Congratulations. I know you haven’t been doing it for a while but, holy cow, you have had some excellent success.
JESSE: Thank you.
AMY: I just think it’s fantastic how you’ve niched down and found your ideal customer avatar. You know how to teach them. You know what they need and you are so smart about your price points as well. There is so much goodness here so thanks again, Jesse. I’m so glad I got to meet you.
JESSE: Thank you so much Amy.
AMY: Where can people find out more about you?
JESSE: Sure, if you speak Spanish and you want to take a Spanish course it’s at https://www.misletraslindas.com. Thanks, so much, Amy.
AMY: Perfect. Thank you for that. I’m telling you there are people that are going to go there, for sure so thanks for sharing that. Have a wonderful day. Take care.
JESSE: Thanks so much. Bye.
AMY: Oh my gosh, two in a row. This is so fricking good. Here’s what I love. I’ve got takeaways all the time. This is what I love the most. First of all, when I asked how she promotes it and she said, “Oh my gosh, it’s just so easy.” This is coming from a girl that is new to all of this.
With a year and a half in online marketing you are new. You are still learning. You are just getting things set up. There is so much more she is going to experience and get to do. So if she feels this is easy she hit the jackpot. I feel we can feel that way as well because it is just a natural conversation.
This is why I want to create a membership site. It’s not a hard sell. It’s not a cold audience. Hallelujah! Marketing to a warm audience is the best thing you could possibly do. It’s continuing the conversation with your best students.
The people that are going to sign up for a membership site are those that are in it, those that want results, those that are going to continue to work hard. If they’re not they aren’t going to continue to pay the money with you so you’ve got this built-in group of superstars inside of a membership site when it comes from courses.
Here’s the deal. We’ve got one more interview. If you are just joining us, maybe you showed up late, let me tell you what’s going on. We are talking about membership sites. Specifically, if you want to create a digital course and then you want something else to offer on the back end of a digital course a membership site is a perfect solution.
I’m currently creating a membership site and I learned from the go-to person in all things membership sites, Stu McLaren. Right now, right this second, Stu has a free workshop. It is out of this world excellent. I’m not even exaggerating, it is so good. It’s call Recurring Revolution.
He talks about how to create a membership site so that you can generate revenue over and over and over again with the people you love to work with. If you want to check out his free workshop it’s at https://www.amyporterfield.com/stu.
I didn’t just want to talk about my experience of what it has looked like to create a membership site. I wanted to talk to people who have had huge success with it. They are in the trenches. They made it happen. We’ve already gone through Jamie and Jesse and our last one is Belinda.
I’m going to bring her on. Let’s do it.
Hey there girl. How are you doing?
BELINDA: I’m good, thanks Amy. Hi everyone.
AMY: So, thank you so much for being here. I was really looking forward to talking to you. I want to start at the top. I’m asking everybody the same questions because everybody has their own story with how they have created their course and what their membership site looks like.
First of all, tell me what you do in your business.
BELINDA: I’m a copywriter. I write copy that shines a spotlight on my clients’ business but I also help aspiring and working copywriters create successful businesses around their copywriting.
AMY: Got ya. You are a copywriting expert. You do copywriting for other people but you also teach copywriters how to excel in their craft.
AMY: You created a course. First of all, what is the name of your course?
BELINDA: It’s called The Copywriting Master Class.
AMY: The Copywriting Master Class. How much is your course?
BELINDA: It’s $1,470 (U.S.).
AMY: Nice, I like a hefty price. I like it. So it’s $1,497 and then what do you offer inside of your course?
BELINDA: The basic promise of the course is that it gives aspiring copywriters, or people who maybe have just started, a rock-solid foundation in their copywriting skills. A lot of people find themselves a copywriter and just kind of ride on instinct, or maybe they enjoy copywriting but don’t know if they are any good.
This is the course that teaches them the science behind copywriting and the craft and technique. They have lots of hands-on coaching from me because it’s really hard to write copy. When you learn something and you think you’ve got it but you wonder, “Is it any good? I don’t know.”
There are lots of reviews and interaction through the course. When people finish they can start confidently talking to clients about their skills. Or at least that is the idea. But that’s where the membership comes in.
AMY: Why did you decide? You already had a successful course. Why did you decide to add a membership site for the students who finished your course?
BELINDA: Basically, much like Jamie said, people finish. They want more. In all of their coaching calls on the course they are less about the craft of copywriting and more about what to do with clients and how to price your services and build the business.
So much of copywriting is not about copywriting if we want to have a business around it. I knew the need was there but when the course finished I didn’t have anything for people to move on to in order to help them figure out and learn the business side of things and also learn more sophisticated copywriting.
I created a really big course. It still doesn’t have all of the things I wanted to teach in it. So I wanted to create a place where people could learn more sophisticated copywriting, more advanced stuff, but also dig into getting clients, keeping clients, having effective processes, pricing, and confidence.
That’s the biggest thing.
AMY: For sure. When it comes to copywriting, because for so long I wrote my own, confidence is a huge part of it so I’m glad you touch on that as well.
What’s interesting about your model that is a little bit different than the other two examples is that you’re teaching advanced strategies and also you wanted to add more. You knew you couldn’t add it all to the course because we know how easy it is to overwhelm a student inside of a course.
You kind of saved some of those things and now you get to teach them in your membership site. So tell me what you content model looks like inside of the membership site.
BELINDA: Each month, and anyone familiar with Stu’s work will notice everyone gets four deliverables. We have a copywriting resource that makes the copywriting easier. That might be a checklist, a template, or a technique I’m teaching.
There is a Copywriter-At-Work tutorial. It might be a peek behind the scenes of how I work or an expert interview or having that copywriting resource put into real life. It’s just a more demonstrative forum.
Then I have a business-building tip. This is where we start getting into the behind-the- scenes of being a successful copywriter. Then we have a call, which is a Q&A, and kind of an accountability element as well.
AMY: One thing I love about Stu’s program is if you don’t know what to include in your membership site he gives you a model. He says, “Here’s how you can do the content and here’s how you can batch it and here’s how it won’t be overwhelming.”
I love that you were a good student and followed his model. You are a student after my own heart. I do the same thing. Just tell me what to do. I’ve never done this before. I will do it. So you and I are very much the same there.
How many people do you have inside of your digital course?
BELINDA: I have had nearly 200 people go through. It’s a very small course because, as I said, I review. Every lesson has a worksheet and I review and personally respond to every worksheet submitted.
AMY: Love it.
BELINDA: I created a completely unscalable course.
AMY: But it’s customers for life though. So that’s excellent.
AMY: How much is your membership site?
BELINDA: It’s $37 a month at the moment. I have an option where, if people go from the course to the membership, they get a little bit off. They get 20% so there is a little bit of a financial incentive.
For people who haven’t done the course it costs a bit more.
AMY: You offer your membership site to people that even are not in your course? You do it a little bit differently.
BELINDA: Yes. Just adding something fresh.
AMY: Yeah, something kind of snazzy and new. How do you market your membership site?
BELINDA: Most of my launches for my course and membership have been email sequences. I am a big believer in a strong, nurturing email sequence that gets people up to that open cart day and then a launch sequence.
I’ve always done that. I sell out my course. It works well so I did that with my membership. It was funny because when I first launched the membership I launched it very quietly to a small group of people who had done the course.
The second time I launched I was like, “I should launch it to everyone who has done the course. Maybe I should launch it to the people on my white list too.” I tripled the numbers just by doing that.
AMY: How many people do you have in your membership site.
BELINDA: I haven’t got big numbers. I’ve got close to 40 in there right now.
AMY: Great. So you are just getting this going. This is what I love. You’re doing it. You’re in the trenches. You’re figuring out ways to make it work.
BELINDA: I’m about to launch in June. I’m adding a webinar and I’m also adding a live workshop. Each time I launch I’m trying to figure out something new that might work. With this course launch I actually gave people a three-month trial into the membership.
AMY: I’ve seen a lot of people do that, just kind of get in there and experience it and then see where it might go.
BELINDA: I want people to get addicted.
AMY: Exactly, right. That’s for sure. Well, with 200 people in your course and 40 people in your membership site you’re definitely doing something right and you figured out how to sell it so it only gets better from there.
I’ve got to tell you congrats on your success. The last question I have for you is: Based on what you’ve learned along the way and the takeaways you have had what would you say to somebody in terms of them thinking about creating a membership site, what are your words of wisdom?
BELINDA: I would say don’t let your inner voice, the one that’s saying, “You can’t do that because look at all of these other people doing it,” don’t listen to that voice. Otherwise, if we listen to that voice we would never start a business, we would never create a course, we certainly wouldn’t do a membership because there are so many people doing it already.
People buy your services and your course and now join your membership because of you. It’s the youness of you. Revel in that. Know you have tribe and don’t let what everyone else is doing stop you from making progress.
AMY: That’s so good. It’s such a great message to end on. Thank you so very much. Where can people find you if they want to go check you out?
BELINDA: My business is called Copywrite Matters and my website is called copywritematters.com. There is tons of free content and that has links to wherever I am. I also, like Jamie, have a podcast. It’s called Hot Copy. If anyone is interested in copywriting there is content everywhere.
AMY: Perfect. Thank you so very much and thanks for taking the time to be here. I appreciate it. Bye.
BELINDA: Thank you.
AMY: See ya. So good. I wanted Belinda to be on the show because I wanted you to hear there are different ways to do this. Quite honestly, you don’t even have to have a course first and then move into a membership site but I think it’s one of the best ways to go because you get to continue the conversation with people who actually know how to do what you teach but want to diver in deeper.
They want a guide along the way. They want to scale. So I think as a course creator it’s exciting to see people grow and flourish in different ways. That’s one of the reasons I love it.
Here’s the deal. No more interviews. I could take these earbuds off because they are killing my ears. Let’s just talk a little bit more about membership sites. I love this idea of offering something else in your business and being able to say, “Look, I want to do something different than a digital course. I’ve got a digital course but I want to change things up a little bit.”
Let’s get this mop in order here. I want to change things up and offer something in a different way. The greatest thing about how Stu teaches membership sites is he gives you a blueprint.
He says, “Here are the five strategies that go into creating a membership site.” He gives you a blueprint and then he teaches you how to create a success path. He asks where the success path is in the business of your customers. Where do they start? What are they doing in the middle? What happens when they’ve gone through all of your trainings?
He helps you map out a success path. He also makes sure you are not on the content hamster wheel. That parts the most important because we only have so many hours in a day. The thing is, Stu has a free training right now. It’s going away soon and I really mean that. It truly is going away soon. You don’t want to miss it. It’s at https://www.amyporterfield.com/stu.
The training is called Recurring Revolution. He’s going to talk to you about why membership sites work and what goes into a membership site to make it so enticing and what makes people stay and what makes people want to jump out (what doesn’t work and what does work).
He’s going to cover it all and I think you should go on this journey with me. I’m paying close attention since I’m actively creating my own membership site and I hope you will dive in as well.
You’re going to learn a few things along the way and it’s free so why not? If you’ve ever thought about creating a membership site now is the time to jump in and learn what it might look like inside of your business.
I hope you were inspired by all of these stories. I absolutely loved all of the takeaways. Just in a nutshell, before I wrap up, here are my favorite takeaways from what we learned from the case studies of people who have gone before us and have done really awesome things.
I wanted to give you some examples of people who have had great success but they aren’t making millions of dollars just yet. I wanted to do that because I know sometimes when you hear about people making $2, $3, or $4 million in their launches and what not it almost feels unattainable.
It almost feels that it is very rare. It doesn’t happen a lot, “It’s not going to be me.” But when you hear someone say, “I’ve sold 500 units in my course and a little over 100 people have then moved on to the membership site, “ that’s substantial.
That feels very doable. It’s coming from someone who’s just getting started in the online world. I love stories like that. First of all, this is very, very doable and I want you to hear that and really understand it.
Second, there are different ways you can do this. You can have a membership site that leads into a course. You could have a course that leads into a membership site. Or, you could just have a membership site.
Stu will talk about all of the different ways you might want to set this up in your business. I am partial to digital courses and I love the idea of a digital course inviting people into your membership site.
The last takeaway is that you did hear how easy it is in order to move people into a membership site, right? No aggressive selling. You don’t need to do any big, huge campaigns. These are people that already love you and want more from you. They feel connected to you and you are inviting them to continue on with you.
That is a very easy thing to do when you’ve done a great job of delivering content in a digital course so I feel it is a win-win. I hope you will check out Stu’s training, Recurring Revolution, at https://www.amyporterfield.com/stu and I hope you loved these case studies as much as I have.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll talk to you again soon.
There you have it. I hope you loved these three stories as much as I have. It’s always fun to hear what people are doing in their business and how they are creating different offers and what it looks like on the back end. I hope you found just as much value and insight as I did talking to these three ladies.
Thank you Jamie, Jesse, and Belinda. I truly appreciate the time and I can’t wait to see you here same time, same place next week on the podcast. Alright guys, talk to you soon. Bye for now.