How To Create a Membership Site for Online Courses | Interview with Mike Morrison


[Tyler] Okay, welcome to teach online TV my
name is Tyler Basu, and today I am joined by Mike Morrison from the UK, he is one half
of the team that runs the MembershipGuys.com. They’ve also got a podcast and an academy
called the Membership Academy, and they been helping business owners, entrepreneurs, online
course creators create and run successful membership site and I’ve been doing this for
several years so they’ve got a lot, a lot of experience I’m doing this a lot of case
studies of people who have done it successfully after and learning from them so much thank
you so much for taking the time to tackle this topic with us. [Mike] Yeah, thanks for adding me, listen
I should have you come around with me and then introduce me everywhere you explain what
we do better than I do, it’s awesome. [Tyler] No, thanks, thanks, yeah well the
bios help, the bios help you know but I appreciate that. So I know I just, I gave away a little bit
about what you do but if you could tell us you know how you got into this in the first
place, how did you become known as you know one of these membership guys and a membership
site expert? [Mike] Yeah for sure well I mean I’ve been
involved in the online space for probably about 16 17 years now, longer than I care
to remember and my first foray into the online world was through online communities. So I was like creating one of my own before
I really even knew what I was doing, and I was still quite young didn’t really realize
people like made money online, and that it was anything other than just a playground
and so it took, it took a little while for the penny to drop in and for me to make the
switch from normal boring job into running a web agency. Which I ran for well over a decade. Eventually myself and my partner the other
half of the membership guys, Callie Willows, our business converged we kind of met through
business through a membership site as well if you know, if you want to any sign that
this is faded, and just started niching down, niching down sorry, for US watchers who don’t
pronounce it correctly ahem! We started, we started niching down and focusing
more and more on the types of businesses we enjoyed and tapping into my experience of
running online communities and having experience of the e-learning project, we just started
here waiting for their and further in on only working with membership project. And so yeah we pivoted our agency that’s all
we were doing for four or five years and in doing so we had the privilege of being involved
in some very successful memberships and yet now we teach other people how to do it and
we have a lot of fun. [Tyler] That’s awesome, that sounds , it sounds
good. There’s a lot and there’s a lot we can unpack
here for sure and I’m going to try to you know try to get as much of value as we can
from this because I know at Thinkific s audience especially, we’ve got thousands of people
with online courses and but not as many with membership sites and I think it’s just because
they don’t quite understand the model or they just don’t know why they should do it instead
of or how to decide if they should do a membership site instead of an online course, and so I
wanted to start up with just a couple of basic questions really don’t understand what a membership
site is and why is different from an online course. So if you could just give us you know just
so you know, couple of key reasons or some differentiators between a membership site
in an online course. [Mike] Well you know Tyler, It’s tricky because
technically if you focus on the like the mechanics under Logistics, online courses are membership
sites and we actually I really have a little bit of trouble in trading are content and
nationally of, of trying to avoid everything being why should start membership site or
not like course. But traditionally I think in this sense of
online business, a membership site is going to involve the addition and delivery of fresh
new content over time as opposed to something that’s a finished article that is static,
and is Janelle complete in terms of the learning objective, in terms of the result people get
when they follow it. So the average of the most common membership
sites as we do with them as our members have them, it’s regular ongoing con too and usually
there’s a community to it as well sometimes there’s a coaching element, so it’s , it’s
often quite a lot more of a commitment, a lot more work long-term. Whereas, I think courses are focused hardcore
on work to get a finished product done and then from there it’s selling and it’s aftercare
and it’s you know looking at other possible solutions. So memberships are a marathon you know, where
I would say courses are a bit more of a Sprint in terms of product creation and this is its
good sides as well because you tend to find it, people don’t expect memberships to be
finished articles when you join a membership site, you know that you’re hopping on a moving
train and so that makes it a little bit easier to manage and a little bit easier to create
content, and, and and the fact that you’re delivering the ongoing value means that you
can build people on an ongoing business as well see it that recurring Revenue that just
builds up over time as your subscribers grow, and it doesn’t take long to be in that place
where you just have that solid foundation so if you have a month real bad sales you
still got hundreds of members that are paying you so they’re not starting from zero every
time as I think with online courses like if you launch course it goes badly, you’re kind
of then finding yourself scrambling because there’s a bit of feast and famine that there
would be with a membership site. [Tyler] Yeah, I think that’s definitely one
of the biggest differentiators here is the pricing model. And with a membership site, you do with the
recurring revenue again, because people are paying every month or however often you’re
charging to continue to have access to the course. But the key there is continuing to give them
content otherwise there would be no reason for them to continue paying to have access,
whereas with just a one-off course typically the contents finished, lesson 1 to 6 you know
how many lessons there are and once you go through that you’re done and there’s no need
to access the course anymore, and you might have paid for that all at once, you might
have paid for it and payment plans but once you paid for it, and you finish the content,
that’s it. You know unless there’s another Taurus or
something, how are you going to be done with it? So yeah I think I’m glad you touched on that
it was two of the biggest differences are number one, the pricing. You’re going to be paying reoccurring. Which is good for my business, from a business
model perspective because again like ooh, you’re not going to have those ups and downs
and in your income but you might have to know in between launches or in between promotions
of your course, if not member is paying every single month so hopefully you see your income
you know going up each month. [Mike] Yeah. I do know that there’s pros and cons to this
of course because that means it’s a much slower burn. So you know if you nail your course, if you
get your marketing right if you’ve got an army of affiliates, you launch with a $1,000,
$2,000 course, you’re going to have a much bigger payday if it goes well then typically
launching a membership site where the most you’re going to be charging people usually
on average in the B2B sector is going to be $30 – $60 per month. Need to see, about 15 to 35. So many different factors that determine which
will actually charge but on average that’s what you see. You need to get a lot more members if you
know if you’re launching or if you’re running a special promo to have the same earning potential
from a successful course launch, versus a successful membership watch. But, it’s balancing up how you want to operate
your business, what you want your day today to be. And you know, if you’re happy with that slow
burn on your morning build it over time, and you know, you’re creating content and serving
a community if it’s more of what you want to do versus creating the ultimate course
and then putting all of your attention on you know again the sales funnel and how to
promote it into those big launches then you know, it really becomes a matter of preference. [Tyler] Right, right. Okay no, that makes sense and in terms of
content for a membership site, what are some of the different types of content that we
might put into our membership site and how often and your experience should we be providing
content in order to keep members, keep them paying, keep them part of the site in the
first place? [Mike] I mean there’s all sorts of ways you
can skin the cat, you know we see memberships we’re actually they start as a static online
course, and then once you’re done with the course you’ve done almost graduate into an
ongoing membership for you’re literally just pay to keep having access and keep getting
the community and there’s not really any substantial content added. There’s all sorts of ways you can do it but
the way that we see being most effective in most cases for long-term success is with new
fresh content, typically like we like using something called a Content Stream so this
is where you have four different types of deliverable, four different types of content. It can be three it can be five, whatever,
we find four works best just as an easier and managed and easy plan number. For distinctly different types of deliverables. I could be mini-courses, tutorials, live training,
webinars, breaking and guest experts, Mastermind course, you wouldn’t necessarily think of
as content Lake special offers and member perks worksheets, checklist, all that sort
of stuff so four different distinct deliverables and then you’re really something you every
week but rather than just putting out the same thing every single week bombarding someone
with tutorial after tutorial, course of course, where they’re going to feel like it’s too
much and they’re getting left behind, and then they already leave because they’re overwhelmed. Instead week one, you release a mini course. Week 2, release a checklist. Week 3, you do your live Mastermind calls
for your members but they can come online and ask their questions. Week 4, you put out a new perk or an offer
and a new cycle back around so you’re getting that ongoing value that keeps people hooked
in, you’re giving something fresh and something new every week but it’s not overwhelming people,
it’s not the same thing constantly, and your catering to do a broad range of reasons why
people might join your side. You know, and some cases we see memberships
where the biggest attraction for the site is maybe dinner guest expert webinars, but
he’ll get members who literally only care about the member-only discounts that you can
get them on the software all the tools out there, that they paid for because they save
more than they paid for the membership so, in terms of what you choose it’s just about
what’s going to help you get results for your members, what’s going to help you teach the
concepts you need to teach, and that just comes down to understanding the topic, understanding
origins, and also be realistic about your own capabilities for creating courses and
you know all the different types of content. [Tyler] Yeah, no that’s great advice. Are there any, are there, are there any challenges
with from your membership site that are unique to membership sites that might not necessarily
have experience with, with the one-off online course? [Mike] I mean, retention to comes the big
thing, you know this is where things different with memberships The most compared to online
courses. Especially billing people monthly. Like, if your wanting people appear on an
ongoing basis, you need to provide value on an ongoing basis. So marketing after the sale becomes essential. With an online course, with an ebook with
those types of info products the same as the end result, it’s the end goal, it’s the finish
line. For the membership that sale is starting pistol,
you know, it’s not enough to just get that first sale you need to get a sale again and
again and again month after month after month, year after year. So your retention strategy needs to be like
seriously solid. There’s no point in having a leaky bucket
when your console and what’s the top and wondering what the hell it’s never full. Just so you know that’s, that’s the part that
surprises most people especially if they’ve created an ebook or they can maybe run a few
courses and then they try to make a transition into membership. I don’t think people realize how much of a
priority retention needs to be because if you’re just getting, people are just staying
for one or two months, and you’re only earning like $50-100 on average remember, you’re going
to worst of both worlds, you’re losing out on the bigger ticket sales that you would
get if you were doing courses, but you’re also not building the recurring Revenue that
makes that loss worthwhile long-term, so yeah I do need to get retention nailed. [Tyler] No, that’s great Advice. And you, I mean you touched on this already
the importance of giving new content and different times of content to your members regularly
and I would certainly help with retention period but in other words, you brought up
earlier was Community. Often people will join a membership site because
they want to be a part of a community of other people that are already a part of that membership
site as well they want to connect with other students but that course. So when your experience what are some of the
best ways that we can build a community around our membership site, and facilitate them interacting
with each other and you know not working and learning from each other? [Mike] I mean, it starts with you. You’ve got to be your number one member. Like you can’t be bothered to show up and
log into your community and reply to posts and stuff like that, why would anybody else? You know you need to be your number one member. A lot of people especially like memberships
aren’t centered around enough thority figure. I don’t like an expert or something like that. You get a lot of people who take that label
a little too seriously and they think they have to distance themselves from the community
and not showing up and taking part of the community somehow like diminishes their authority
and a lot of nonsense. Like we’ve just my nature what we’ve been
doing and pretty much every membership , membership of note like over the years, the best ones
are the ones where the community of old shows up and actually serves and proactively looks
for opportunities to help members out, answers questions when people post them, welcomes
new members. So that’s what you can do on your side to
get that going, and in the early days, you’ve got to recognize your going to be posting
more than anybody else like to get that momentum going. But if you, if you manage it right, you will
get to a point where members just answer their own questions and they start their own little
conversations that occur without ever needing to jump in there. You want to grease the wheels for that little
bit , so you make sure you’ve got an introduction section for all new members to go in and introduce
themselves and that your onboarding process or the emails you send to people, your new
member checklists and all that sort of stuff the PC when they joined, as a priority gets
people to create a profile and then introduce themselves in the community. That’s just plant that seed, don’t come back,
double check if other people have said hello to them, so start those conversations and
then they will probably be more likely to start using the Community Church in that forwards
of initial few weeks of being member. How’s things like coaching logs, and progress
diaries, and stuff like that so if your membership is still like music education, these work
very well. If it’s business-related, so so someone you
know, you’re helping them Reach a particular outcome or milestones in their business, have
somewhere that becomes their role in terms of a post or a section where they can start
their own little Journal, they can check in, they can keep themselves accountable but also
be accountable in the community as well. Things like that give people skin in the game
because they put, they put time and they put effort into it, and so any decision been about
whether or not they want to leave, later on, that becomes a factor because they’ve already
built up this progress diarrhea already made connections through introducing themselves
and you know that just becomes another thing of all if I leave, that all that is gone as
well. [Tyler] Yeah, those are some great tips. Actually recently had it Chandler Bolt from
self-publishing school, I don’t know if you’re familiar with his work. We recently had him on the show, and he’ll
to people, his membership site helps people learn how to publish the book and he has 60%
of its members actually publishing a book which is like really, really, high success
rate. And part of the reason that happens because
when somebody joins the membership site, they are, they are, partnered up with somebody
else they call it an accountability buddy or accountabilibuddy he calls it for that
reason that you talked about. Getting somebody accountability of some kind
Helps ensure that they are not only getting the information that they need from the course
but, but doing something and implementing that information as well. [Mike] Yeah, I love that strategy. I know of quite a few sites where they use
it very effectively. I also know of a lot where they, they try
to start it, and it never takes off because again in those early days you need to set
the example. Like, the first accountability buddy, really
in a lot of cases should be you. You know? so you’re established members are power users
unless you bring this in you know what a point where you already have your power users who
are regularly participating and they’re practically trying to add value to a community which you
know those guys do emergent many committees. Like, you need, if you want people to follow
suit, you’ve got to lead the way but yeah if you get something like that going, especially
if you’re able two pair of experienced members with inexperienced members, almost as a mentor,
or if you are doing a membership sites of membership sites will close and then reopen,
so if you do a membership site where you have everyone coming in and the same sort of intake
group, then you know that, that kind of lends itself perfectly to that kind of countability
Buddy system as well, but again it’s just, it’s that commitment and that mindset that
you are there to serve you know, you’re there to help people achieve, if she’s something. And people don’t enjoy memberships to stand
still. They want a result, they’ve got a goal, they’re
all here for transformation, they want to see or even just not interested want to have
indulged will like many people. Need to figure out what people want, and all
the needs, and then make sure everything you do your membership in service of that. [Tyler] yeah, great, great tips. From a technological standpoint, what have
you found to be an effective way to facilitate or create you know a group or community? You know are you using like forums, discussion
boards, Facebook groups, what are your some your favorite ways to do it? [Mike] I’m a big old-school Forum guy and
fortunately, the softener for having a forum doesn’t look like it’s from the late nineties,
there are now some options where there was this kind of. Of time where you have sort of a PHP BB which
is like the ugliest horrendous user interface or it was just a nightmare. And so that’s why I think a lot of communities
or it’s a factor in my people are using Facebook groups for example for their paid memberships. I’m not a fan of doing that, for countless
reasons. The top of that list of reasons that was that. Facebook. Showing as in groups they already contesting
it, and that’s, it’s just the death nail if you’re a fan of it, it’s a free group, it’s
a group, you’re paying members will not be happy about seeing ads in there. So we use Forum software, there’s really only
two, maybe a couple of others coming through but it’s really only two I’m a big fan of. Ip board, which this kind of tweaked the brownie
time PS community sweet. Very modern, very slick, it’s got the Facebook
features like tagging and status updates and stuff like that. Very cool software, we use that within our
own forum and there’s another one called Xenforo. Which is a lot of features, but out of the
box it isn’t quite as pretty as I want, but it’s still very powerful and yet either of
those work very well for forum-based communities. There’s, there’s a couple of others coming
through, there’s one called Discourse which is very promising. There’s one called Mute, which is a little
bit of a pain in the backside but it’s also very cool, and I’ve seen one or two people
using the Slack quite well for membership communities but it’s difficult to pull off. [Tyler] Right, right. And those can be all like you can use those
tools and those forum tools alongside Thinkific, right, if you’ve got your, your course itself
and your membership site itself on Thinkific, you could just, you could have the the the
group or you know the community aspect you know one of those tools, correct? [Mike] Yeah, for sure I mean we see you know
I mean a few courses a couple memberships where they actually are using Thinkific and
Facebook groups. So they haven’t got the community side right
because they’re using Facebook groups. But you could, you could do the same thing
using, using the form software. You know if you want to use the Facebook group,
the main argument for, for having all these different bits and pieces and having a community
on one platform and your content on another, I mean another argument against is the lack
of connectivity. The lack of automation. But realistically if you know that that’s
the case from the start, and you know that at worst, somebody joins your membership and
you have your membership on a platform like Thinkific, then as long as you can access
the content as the first thing, because that’s what people, people doing for the content. They stay for the community but they join
for the content. Even if it takes up to 12 to 24 hours for
them to be added to your forum, and it takes to you or your VA, to see minutes and post
it’s like not exactly going to run your business into the ground logistically if you don’t
have a script in the background that’s automatic all that. So yeah, I think as long as you have processes
in place so that anyone who joins a membership where they’re not immediately automatically
added to the community as long as they know that that’s the case you re fine because otherwise,
they’re going to be wondering well, where the hell is the rest of the membership that
I paid for? So you need to make sure that people don’t
have a reason to question whether they’ve done everything they paid for or when am I
going to in the community, and so on. [Tyler] you know, that makes sense. And there are definitely many ways to do that
I mean you could even you know, including link to where your community is, your forum
is, in the welcome email, like hey you know, welcome to my course, you, have access to
the content and here’s the you know, here’s the link to join the community or the Facebook
group or you know wherever. [Mike] Yeah, and yeah I know IP Board has
the ability and I’m pretty sure Xenforo does as well, two how did so that people can register
themselves in the community, but you’ve been approved it. In the same way that you know with a Facebook
group, so again that justifies is the admin work. Because like you say you get them to go over,
set up their account in the community, then all you need to do is once or twice a day
go in and check the people who registered, are they paying members, and just hit approved,
and they automatically go in there. [Tyler] okay, good to know. Now I’d like to talk a bit about marketing
a little bit and you know we’ve touched on this you know with an online course on a stand-alone
course often build a model is due a big launch and then feels kind of cool off a bit and
then do another launch or get a joint venture partner to help promote things like that so
you can see those spikes, are there any, are there any differences in the way that we should
Market a memberships I compared to an online course, and if so what are some of your favorite
ways to Market a membership site? [Mike] we find again just sort of from experience
of some, of the most successful memberships we’ve been involved in where they have a 6-7
figure mark. Organic marketing that is a little bit slow
burn, that doesn’t rely on fine-tuning sales funnels and having the big launch and all
that, that tends to work better because the level of trust and the strength of the relationship
that’s needed to get people to come in and invest in your membership site long-term,
not as a quick hit-and-run thing, but Rock calls for that real solid organic marketing
Foundation that builds Trust I don’t know she’s a relationship that leads them into
the membership site so it takes a little bit longer, but hit and run latest marketing tricks,
sales went weeks, Facebook ad hacks, automated countdown timers and all that sort of stuff
doesn’t tend to work as well with, with memberships especially ones that are always open. Content marketing like without question please
one of the biggest parts and getting to a point where members are just joining like
everyday without you having to run specialized campaigns, so you know we definitely think
that if you’re running a membership site you should be blogging, podcasting, doing video,
doing live streams, anyway for your audience. The key is making sure that, that stuff is
all online with your membership, so every single log, podcast episode, video, that you
put out should in some way connect back to something in your membership. Whether it’s a course, whether it’s a training
session, whether it’s a tutorial, you need to be able to connect the dots between blog
post, and email often, email often and sequence, sequence and pitch, pitch and product. So, you know rather than having your membership
over here and your product over here, and trying to figure out how the hell to bridge
the gap, and all needs to be part of the same picture, and you play around with that. You know, you can do things like CreativeLive
did for example, where their free content is their paid content. Everything in that membership is available
for free, for a limited window of time but outside of that window, the only way of getting
it is in the membership. Mixergy did the same thing with their interviews. Sites like Revolution golf , which is a big
golf based membership , they threw all their free and they’re paid content in the same
place soon as you read their blog and watching their videos, you’re going to hit something
you need to pay for when they happen enough times you going to go down the rabbit hole
and start looking into you know, the other parts of the membership. So making sure your content marketing is on
your mind. That worked very well just in terms of establishing
credibility, building that relationship, building that trust, and it’s the Anchor Point to your
sales funnel, your sale sequences, and someone. Webinars can work very well, especially again
if your membership is he learning based, use content to sell content, you know, content
to people what you do, it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Contents are created content community, to
self community so that things like for Facebook groups, work well as Peter systems into paid
memberships and while you’ve got that setup, are free Facebook group is one of the biggest
sources of members for our site you end up with an overlap where you are paying members
who are still in the free Facebook group, and they start evangelizing for you. They start jumping on opportunities to recommended
membership, posting testimonials and giving you all that social proof. That’s worth far more than you just show them
pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, so you know you get this, this foundation and
place, then things like Facebook ads, things like you know Oprah finding your sales finals
and all that stuff, when you’ve got a foundation know that stuff will amplify and accelerate
what’s already working, see you’re not relying on just throwing loads of money at using Facebook
ads to bring in members, reducing the profitability and you know giving yourself at risk that
if Facebook all of a sudden start slapping your hands down, your business is in trouble. [Tyler] That’s a great point, and I have to
say that you know if anyone wants to see a great example of content marketing and building
up three Community to get people into a paid Community, they have, they have to look no
further than what you guys are doing because you know I’ve been on your website and seeing
the articles on your blog, I’ve seen your podcast, I’ve seen your right for other websites
in fact I found a super detailed article on membership sites over at foundermag.com. You’ve got a free you know, a free Facebook
group as well so and all these things point to words your paid membership academy so I
think you’re definitely setting a great example in terms of content marketing. Even on Instagram. I’ve seen your Instagram and your quotes,
that pertain to this topic. [Mike] Instagram is a little bit of a pain. I’ve become, I’ve become too accustomed to
all use call schedule, I actually love call schedule for social media scheduling I become
to custom to all of that being taken care of. Instagram store acquires like the smallest
amount of manual intervention and every time I see you notification pop up, that says you
need to approve this post. I’m like, they expect us to actually work
with this stuff like — but you know that organic you mentioned all say that you know
with this we’ve been able to grow six-figure membership she really doing this organic stuff. You know, one of, one of our favorite clients
would be involved in the music education and niche, that’s a seven-figure membership site
that is pretty much based just on the founder putting out free lessons on YouTube. You know it’s pure content without doubt over
everything else that we’ve tried on their site and on hours, that kind of content marketing
strategy, that’s what hooks people in. It ensures you have lots of open doors, lots
of places where you can be discovered, and you know as long as all roads lead back to
the membership, then you do get to that point where it just takes over. You just got a bunch of members doing everyday
without you having to do months and months of planning for a sales campaign without you
having to give away 50% of what you make, to your Affiliates, and all that. I much prefer that approach. [Tyler] Well Mike, this is been great we’ve,
we’ve covered quite a bit here in the time that we had together and I appreciate your
sharing all of your insights. Is there anything that you wanted me to cover
that I didn’t? Is there any mistakes people can avoid or
is there any point that should really like to drive home to make sure we grasp that concept? [Mike] Yeah, I would. I always yeah, I kind of joke with people
that I spend more time trying to talk people out of creating memberships than trying to
talk people in. Like you will hear a lot of people tell you-you
should set up a membership site or you should set up an online course, with that actually
qualifying it, you know? Without actually figuring out all the time
and the circumstances and the market like for you, are you the right person to be doing
this? Is your idea actually any good? And the problem with, especially with membership
sites, and you the snake oil stuff that’s been out there for years and it still unfortunate,
but like they’re not for everyone. They’re a lot of work, they require a lot
of commitment. It’s a business model, not a marketing gimmick
and it’s one you need to commit to long-term. So you need to be genuinely ready and able
and willing to commit long-term. You also need to put in the time and the effort
to validate that your ideas any good. That doesn’t mean asking friends and family
because they won’t know, and they won’t tell you even if they think it sucks. You need to your idea actually has an audience
we’re willing to pay for solutions to a problem that you are the right person to execute,
and that you have the right mindset for this. You’re doing it for the right reasons, you
don’t have unrealistic expectations. And that you know, you can compel people to
pay you, and one of the best ways regardless if I set up your membership site, like more
the best ways you can do that is creating an MVP. Put it together course, or a mini course that
is representative of what you plan to do in your membership. Get it out there quick, and actually, you
know, you can use platforms like Thinkific did you this. Execute quick, don’t spend all of your time
messing around the technology, put something together, and validate and that the people
are out there who want to pay you for a solution to their problem. That’s the first thing. Secondly, is that you are capable and able
of compelling those people into actually buying something from you. Don’t skip the idea of validation stage, because
if you do what’s going to happen is you’ll open doors to membership, and you’ll hear
crickets riding on the back of tumbleweeds, blowing to the internal desert of despair,
because people aren’t, people aren’t going to come and just automatically sense that
you have this great thing and Kevin Costner be damned, build-it-and-they-will-come is
not a valid business strategy. Spend the time making sure or you’re not going
down the wrong path and that you’re right he is actually good one before you get some
kin to a long-term commitment like a membership site. [Tyler] Yeah, that’s great advice. So don’t, number one don’t underestimate how
much work it does it take to run a membership site. You need to be ready to set it up, and then
continue to add content, to add training, to add value to be engaged with your community,
those things we talked about. And number to make sure you can sell the thing. Make sure you validate the fact that there
is actually going to be demand for your topic that there’s people out there that would be
willing to pay to learn you know, whatever it is that you teach and specifically you
know, on the monthly basis period that they want to stay engaged. They don’t want to just spend a weekend, go
through a course and be done with it. They want ongoing accountability, ongoing
training, ongoing access to a community. [Mike] Well Mike, thank you so much. This is been a pleasure. I’ve got just one last question before we
wrap up. Because you’ve being you know, I’ve been building
online businesses for several years now. You’ve been in the industry for a while, specifically
with membership sites, and you been sharing your knowledge like you’ve been, you’ve been
teaching other people how to do what you do, and you’ve built a business around that which
is what course creators are aspiring to do as well. So I’m just curious, what kind of an impact
has this particular business model had on your life? I mean, what are, what are some of the things
that you are able to do now if you weren’t able to do before? [Mike] Yeah, wow. That’s, I’m really, that’s a great question. Nobody ever asked a question. That’s so cool. Yeah, they really really don’t, they just
want the Tactical stuff. It’s, it’s, really changed. It’s really changed our day today. You know, we, we didn’t just decide to plant
our flag of the Sun and colors of the membership guys, and fully commit to sacking our clients,
firing or clients, getting away from any sort of one-on-one stuff, and running only the
membership. We didn’t commit to doing that because we
weren’t making money on it and we weren’t successful and the agency. You know, we turned away a lot of the work
to go all in on this and we had to give back almost $60,000 in deposits for projects from
people who put this well in advance, so we did a lot to do this. So wasn’t, it wasn’t for the money. It’s, it was more about the how we make the
money then how much money you make. And fortunately, we’ve been able to grow the
academy so that we’ve gone way beyond where the agency was in terms of Revenue, but the
big thing for us is just escaping that time for money trap. You know, because when you’re on the hamster
wheel man, you are always limited. You’re always going to hit a brick wall, or
limited by your ability to show up and grind out billable hours. And as much as you love whatever it is you
do like that is always going to be there. You’re never going to be able to scale it,
you’re never going to be able to grow. And you’re never going to get clients till
I pay you for all the things you know you would love to do for them if only these things
were a priority to them. So that escaping the time for money trap,
the reduction in stress and pressure and time sensitivity and all those sorts of things
as being great. You know my daily protests, and I know a lot
of people say that 4 a.m. is there productive hour. My daily protest I literally, it doesn’t matter
I will not get up from bed until after 9 a.m. that is my big screw you to the world. Of commuting, and client deadlines, you know
I still answer emails but you know just little things like that the little victories and
going for a month, and what are business from everywhere doesn’t matter what time zone we’re
in, we’re going to the Philippines next week, there are going to be in San Diego the week
after period with a little stop in the UK in between, and it doesn’t matter. No, we don’t have to have back up people in
place. We don’t have to apologize to members in advance
because you know, we’re going to get a different time thing. Like that freedom that is huge. And it helps that you know the financial side
of things from the membership as, as commonplace but, will you know that hasn’t been the driving
factor and I don’t think it shouldn’t be in this kind of thing. [Tyler] okay no, no that’s great if I said
thank you for sharing that. So Mike if our audience wants to get in touch
with you, learn more about membership sites, take advantage of any of the great resources
you put together, where are some good places that we can send them? [Mike] Yeah well first of all thanks for adding
me on, I really enjoyed this, and I know it’s, we’ve add a bit of a handful trying to nail
this down , but I’m glad we were able to. Yeah, our best stuff it’s over at the membershipguys.com. That’s where we blog, podcast, and have all
sorts of good resources to help anyone with their planning, building, or growing their
membership. Anyone who is thinking of doing it or has
a membership, you should be in our free Facebook group as well. If you go to talk memberships .com, that will
redirect you to the Facebook group, and yeah we’ve got about three and a half thousand
membership site owners and some course creators in there as well. Get yourself in there it’s a great place to
ask questions, get a bit of feedback, and get a bit of input from us as well. [Tyler] Perfect, well I’ll make sure I leave
to those in the notes below the video I like thank you again for taking the time to be
on the show today. I know it’s evening for you in the UK, you’re
probably getting ready to head off to bed so I really appreciate it, you sure lot of
value here and I think our audience will appreciate it. [Mike] No worries at all, thanks again for
having me on. [Tyler] Cheers.

6 thoughts on “How To Create a Membership Site for Online Courses | Interview with Mike Morrison

  1. Hi Mike, I haven't watched till the end yet, but I have a question and don't wanna forget. I'm a beginner and have just started creating my first course. I teach Law Of Attraction. I know, there are thousands of teachers and sites on LOA, but no one bothers to answer questions after that. No one wants to herd the cats. After reading the material, people have a thousand questions. Yes, I'd like to earn from this course, but I have a heart for teaching. Slapping a course on, doesn't really teach LOA. It's too complex. So, my question is: Can I offer the course and then have a separate interaction part in which I answer questions, interact with the members, and it functions as a monthly membership? As you can see, I want the best of both worlds, but that's purely for teaching purposes. For members' benefit.
    Thanks for the reply.

  2. Hi mike, am planning to start a membership site with thinkific. i would like to know how to go about prelaunching.and .i want to start building a list months before starting. could you please advise me. I already have most of my courses registered and am planning post up to 5 courses per week.i want to start building a list months before starting.

  3. Hi Mike, would you please post the names of some of those sites where we can start a private group. I didn't quite catch some of those site names. Thanks so much! Very helpful information.

  4. Your accent got me. 🙂 I have replayed 5 times and still can't figure it out. ha ha. What is the golf membership site you said?

  5. that was really inspiring! I am keeping my course, Bigger pay days and less work! YEW! Don't worry I have the content!! 🙂

  6. That was brilliant guys. Has answered a lot of questions whether I should do membership or course. The answer is pointing towards both. Course and then continue as a member. Off topic (apologies). Really love the interviews you do and interested in what software you are using to be able to do them?

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