Four Lessons Coaches Can Learn About Building a Great Membership Site (From a Man Who Uses His to Upsell)

A quality membership site offers a lot of benefits to coaches. Here are a few ways that you can make yours more effective.

There are all sorts of benefits that coaches reap from running a membership site.

For one, you can use it to create a list of people who prove receptive to your message. You’re essentially building a pre-qualified audience that you can market and sell to.

Membership sites also allow you to place value on your content. By locking your best content behind a membership, you’re providing an incentive for people to sign up to your program. You can even create a tier system to amplify this effect.

Furthermore, a membership site can provide you with a consistent income stream. Assuming you keep offering value to your members, they’ll keep paying to access your content.

But before you can experience all of these benefits, you need to build a good membership site. Here’s the story of one coach who did just that, followed by some tips to help you build your own.

The Restaurant Boss’ Members Only Website

All throughout his teens, Ryan Gromfin worked in 5-star restaurants. This gave him an amazing sense of how a restaurant needs to operate from an early age.

And he was in for a shock when he started taking on managerial roles for smaller restaurants. He found that so few small restaurants implemented the same strategies as the major players.

That fact inspired him to create The Restaurant Boss. Ryan now operates a coaching business that helps small restaurant owners.

He makes use of a membership site to do it.

The Challenge

Ryan started out with a single coaching product – The Restaurant Owners Roadmap.

To sell that product, he created a membership website. If somebody wanted access to his program, they needed to sign up and pay a fee.

That worked fine for a while. But in time, Ryan started adding new products and programs to his business. And that meant his membership site became more complex.

The Solution

Ryan decided that he needed a good CRM to help him to manage his membership site. Ontraport proved to be the right solution for him.

Using Ontraport, he now operates a site that has several access tiers. He’s also able to track all of his clients to see which tiers they’re on. Using this information, he can create targeted marketing campaigns to encourage them to jump up to the next tier.

He’s no longer placing his entire product behind a single membership tier. He now has a multi-level membership site that offers him opportunities to upsell and cross-sell his products.

And of course, Ontraport helps him to manage what content each tier has access to.

Today, The Restaurant Boss helps clients on every continent barring Antarctica. Ryan has a successful coaching business that he can manage effectively using his CRM.

How Can You Build an Effective Membership Site?

Ryan’s story shows just how effective a good membership site can be for a coach.

But it only scratches the surface of what you need to do to build your own. Here are four lessons that will help you.

Lesson #1 – Leverage Your Free Content to Attract New Members

Ryan makes very clever use of his free blog content to draw people towards the products that he sells.

Each of these blog posts covers a subject that appeals to a different audience segment. One may appeal to current restaurant owners who want to improve. Another may appeal to someone who’s considering buying a restaurant.

Straight away, he’s offering value to his visitors. Better yet, each of his free blog posts has a free value offer, such as a whitepaper attached to it. This asks the reader to send across an email address to get access to the offer.

That email address gets tagged with information about where the visitor signed up. Ryan then uses this to send the lead into a relevant email automation that pushes them towards a relevant membership-only product.

It’s a very clever way to use free content to market paid content. You can do the same. Consider what you’re willing to talk about for free or offer for free to get an email address. Leverage that content in your membership site and use it to push people towards paid products.

Automation Agency can help you to use tagging to create audience segments.

Lesson #2 – Use Tags to Manage Membership Tiers

Tagging existing members isn’t a requirement when you only have a single membership tier. However, as your business scales, it may also become more complex. For example, you may offer content for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced members.

This requires you to create several membership tiers.

What’s key here is that you’re not allowing members of lower tiers to see content reserved for higher tiers.

Tagging can help with this. You can create tags both for your content and your members to dictate who can see what. In the above example, someone who’s tagged as a Beginner can only see content tagged for the Beginner level. However, an Advanced member can access content across all three tiers.

You can also use this tagging to help with your marketing.

In Ryan’s case, he makes use of redirects when someone tries to access content that’s above their membership level.

If a Beginner tries to access Intermediate content, they’re not just blocked. They see a special page that teases the content and encourages the reader to sign up to the higher tier.

This is a great way to upsell as you start to offer more products.

Again, Automation Agency can help you to manage your membership site’s tiers. Send a task today to find out more.

Lesson #3 – Automate the Payments

As you start offering more tiers and products, your payment structure may become more complex as well. For example, you may start offering free trials that segue into paid subscriptions. You also have several membership tiers to consider as well as individual payments for single products.

You may even offer a referral program for existing members where you pay them for bringing leads to you.

It’s a lot to keep track of manually. A missed incentive payment to a referrer creates unrest. And failing to track when somebody goes up a membership tier means you’re missing out on income.

Ryan uses his CRM to confront all of these issues. He’s able to manage specific products and integrate payment processing software into his membership site. As a result, he just has to sit back and let the money roll in.

Automation Agency can also help you to create an automated payment structure for your membership site. Send a task to find out how.

Lesson #4 – Use the Appropriate Tools to Build Your Site

There are three core components of a great membership site:

  • A good platform to build it on, such as WordPress.
  • A mechanism that holds back some of your content so it’s only available to subscribers.
  • A tool that can help you to control the layout and structure of the content that you deliver.

We go into more detail about all of this here.

To create these three core components, you need the appropriate tool.

Automation Agency’s Membership Site Kickstart Kit can help you.

The kit provides you with all of the tools you need to build a quality membership site using WordPress. It also offers you all of the tech you need to present your structured content appropriately to your members.

With the Kickstart Kit, you can also link your site to several CRMs. These include ActiveCampaign, Ontraport, and Infusionsoft.

It’s ideal for anyone who’s building a membership site from scratch. And it’s only available to members of the Automation Agency Concierge Service.

Send a task to us today to find out more about it. Or, head to our Kickstart Kit page to learn more.

Master Your Membership Site

Whether you already have a membership site or you’re looking to build one, these tips can help you. By following them, you’ll understand how to maximise your site’s potential. Plus, you’ll be able to build it in such a way that it’s more attractive to potential members.

As mentioned above, members of our Concierge service can access our Kickstart Kit for building a new membership site. However, you can also send tasks to us if you need to change an existing site.

You may also wonder if we’re a good fit for your company. Find out if we can help you using our Right Fit Chatbot today.

How Can You Build an Effective Membership Site?

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.