Membership Sites … what’s the real story?

“ If you think it’s about recurring revenue, you are missing the point, it’s about connection and community.”

Membership Sites have fascinated me for years, so much so that I wrote a book about them in 2013 called “ How to Make Money from Membership Sites”. I sold lots of copies of this book and at the time of writing it, I truly believed that they were a great way to create a passive income out of pretty much any given topic. The reality was not quite the same. I ran seminars teaching the concepts but then months later, had people changed their lives with this phenomenal recurring revenue business model? Well some had but most still had dust on their course notes.

However, I knew for sure that creating communities was a great idea, building strong relationships and reconnecting with existing clients could only lead to a strong business. My mind was full of the possibilites of how we now had an online tool to help us showcase great content and connect this content with our clients or potential clients …. it was indeed a membership site. This is not a new business model but we do have the technology now to deliver it to a global market.

At about the same time, I realised that my book title, “ How to Make Money from Membership Sites” was flawed. The membership site would not make you the money, the communities and relationships created by using it would be how you would make the money and this would not be a passive exercise. It is rather like saying the screwdriver you use to put up the bookcase is the most important thing to centre on when thinking about somewhere to display your books. Yes, it has it’s role but it is only part of the picture.

I love the membership business model. It is truly a way to create recurring scalable revenue and happy loyal clients but if you are thinking about membership don’t begin by thinking about the recurring revenue, that will come when you have the happy clients.