I’ve heard a lot of talk about continuity programs lately. Continuity is just another word for “membership site” of course. Let me be clear: membership sites can be highly profitable. It’s a great model to follow, and if you’re interested in building a membership site, this post is NOT meant to discourage you from doing so. But, but, but…there’s a huge “but” here; there are 2 important myths about this business model that I don’t see being addressed, so I’m gonna do it here.
Membership Site Myth #1: Membership Sites are a Great Way to Make a Lot of Money Quickly
You know how many articles I’ve read that say something like “Do the math. Just charge $50 a month and get 200 members. All of a sudden you’re making $10k a month.” Dude, nothing is quick and easy. I hope I’m not bumming you out here…my goal really is to save you some valuable time, so you can stay on track.
Don’t look at membership sites as some quick way to make cash. Yeah it’s true, if you charge $50 a month, all you have to do is get 200 members to make more money than most people on the planet. So what? It’s not any easier to sell 200 memberships for $50 a month than it is to do anything else that will make you the same amount of money.
If you want to start a membership site, you should. But it’s the same with anything…do it because that’s what you want to do. Do it for these reasons:
- You want to build an ongoing, lasting and long term relationship with members who value what you have to teach.
- You want to have an ongoing conversation with committed members who are willing to pay for the value you offer, instead of people who just demand everything be free.
- Build a membership site because you want to use it as a smart front end to your sales funnel. Charge a very low price, creating a reasonable hurdle for people to get on board with you, and then give them huge value, and upsell them on premium, totally kickass products or services after they’re members.
Build a membership site for these reasons. It’s not quicker or easier to get rich with a membership site than it is doing anything else.
Membership Site Myth #2: Membership Sites Provide Stable, Predictable Income
When it comes to building a business, many of us are easily lulled by the promise of anything “stable and predictable”, but let’s look at the facts…membership sites are a lot of work. I want to repeat…this is not a BAD thing. Membership sites rock, but I have just seen so much misinformation about them lately that I wanted to take a minute to set the record straight.
What a lot of the top marketers out there will tell you is that a lot of the work can be outsourced, and this is true. But it’s still ongoing work that you’re accountable for completing. This is what happens with membership sites that you may not automatically consider:
- Not every member pays every month. Payments don’t always go through. Credit cards are rejected. If you run a membership site, you’re also signing up for the role of bill collector.
- By running a membership site, you’re not creating passive income. You will still need to create ongoing content. Yes, that content can still be resold, but that requires a new launch and more work. This can be done with a traditional product as well. Membership sites are not superior to traditional products with regards to passive income. Neither produce passive income.
- Once someone becomes a member, that doesn’t mean they’ll always stay a member. Membership attrition (people dropping out) is a regular part of the membership site business. You still need to continue your marketing efforts and provide huge value to your members in order to keep your numbers up.
So if membership sites are not the magic solution, what is? Ha. You’re kidding, right? There IS no magic solution. Membership sites are awesome. My only point here is one thing: other business models are awesome too, and there is no magic bullet. For me, I am simply going to continue to focus on selling traditional products and consulting. I don’t rule out the possibility of ever running a membership site in the future, but I have no current plans to run one. The reason is not because membership sites aren’t profitable and a great business model. They can be. But I prefer my own approach, which is to simply sell products and services.
Look, I can build a site and charge members $50 a month, or I can sell a product which has all the same information and sell it for $600. That’s the same income as someone staying a member with me for an entire year, which is rare, and I get all the money up front. Which model makes more sense to you?
Yes, I need to continue to market what I do. I need to still prospect and follow up on leads. I still need to continually improve what I do, keep my offers updated and current. All of a sudden, membership sites and selling products for a fixed price seem to be very similar don’t they? They are.
Have you thought of running a membership site? Does this connect with you at all? Have you been reeled into considering a membership site business model by the lure of stable, predictable income? I know I have 🙂