Memberships and subscription sites are all the rage these days, with more and more people looking to incorporate one into their online business.
So should YOU add a membership to your digital marketing business?
Since 2020 years, tens of thousands of memberships and subscription sites have been born. And many of the biggest brands added some form of membership to their offering. Including Disney with the launch of Disney+ just in time for children around the world to be locked down at home (phew!)
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the reasons you should add a membership or subscription site to your digital marketing business, whether you offer organic or paid social media marketing, SEO, web development, copywriting or anything in between.
#1: The most obvious reason to start a membership (and the one that gets talked about the most) is recurring revenue.
Members sign up for a recurring monthly payment which could be anything from a few pounds a month to several hundred, often with an option to pay for a year in advance in return for a discount or another benefit.
For you as a business owner, recurring income is a huge benefit and means you are starting each month with money in the bank to pay your growing team and provide you with a consistent income.
This stability in revenue is one of the key benefits of a membership. And, of course, the more members you have, the bigger your monthly income is going to be.
#2: Memberships are the perfect solution for people who can’t afford to work with you.
If you’re working 1:1 or on a smaller group basis, it’s likely you’re attracting people who don’t have the budget to work with you yet.
And it can be really frustrating turning them away purely based on their budget. You have the solution to their problems, and they are already committed to working with you, the only thing standing in the way is their low budget.
This is where a membership comes in as the perfect way to offer a lower level entry to work with you in a bigger group setting.
The client gets benefits of your knowledge and expertise for a smaller monthly investment and, all being well they’ll either continue to be long term members or their situation will change so they can afford to work with you 1:1 in the future.
#3: You don’t have the capacity to work with more people but you want to help more people with your knowledge and skills.
When you are at capacity it can be really frustrating because you want to help more people, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to take on more work. And that means you'll quickly hit an income ceiling.
So, you can go two ways, hire a team and pass work on to someone else or introduce a ‘one-to-many' model in your business so you can use your skills and knowledge to help more people without it taking too much more of your time.
#4: You’ve hit an income ceiling
As we already mentioned, when you’ve hit capacity you’ll hit an income ceiling so adding a membership is a perfect way to increase your income without working more hours.
In terms of time, you can structure a membership to only require your personal input for a few hours a month if you plan for that from the outset.
And the more members you have, the more your income will grow so you need to have a plan for growth from the outset – as well as a plan for retention so you're not losing more members than you're gaining.
#5: You are looking for stability.
Starting a membership can provide the stability and income to allow you to do more of what you love in your business and less of the things you don’t.
The recurring revenue can provide the stability to grow your team and have help with the aspects of your business you don’t enjoy or understand.
#6: You want more freedom
The additional revenue a membership provides can also create more freedom in your business and allow you to be more choosy about the work you take on.
We’ve all had nightmare clients we’d rather not work with but sometimes finances mean we have no choice right?
This is the way to create the freedom to say no to the people who aren’t your dream clients, or help them in a larger group setting where they don't get so much hand-holding.
#7: You want to have more impact.
Memberships provide the opportunity to have more impact both by being able to serve more people in your and have the income to make a difference elsewhere.
This comes down to your personal values. For many the feeling of achievement having helped other people is worth way more than the money a membership provides. For others, the money means they can have an impact by providing for their friends and family or their wider community.
#8: Because everyone else is doing it.
Ok, this isn’t a great reason to start a membership but it is true that many others are and are having huge success. So if it’s been on your mind now might be a great time to take the plunge.
How digital marketers can start a membership.
There are so many membership models for digital marketers and the sky really is the limit when it comes to creativity. But here are some simple suggestions you could take and turn into a membership of your own.
Start a template membership
You could provide social media templates on a monthly basis for a specific niche. Or templates to help with email marketing or blogs.
Start a training membership.
Business owners often have no idea how to manage their social media, but also don't have the budget to outsource it. Offering regular training on a monthly basis so they can make progress in their own marketing could be a game-changer for them.
Other solutions you could offer as a membership.
You could turn any of your 1:1 services into a membership really. Whether it's regular group coaching calls, monthly audits or strategy sessions. You could even keep it as simple as a paid for community.