Behind the Scenes of My Membership Site: Profits, Challenges, and Lessons Learned (Transcript)

When I learned about “membership sites” for the first time… I immediately knew I was interested.

It took a few years to figure out how to start a membership, what I’d teach, and who it would be for — but eventually, I got it off the ground, and today my membership program is my businesses’ main source of revenue!

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 41. Listen to the episode here.

We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income, and life. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins, and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work, so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it.

Hey there, this is your host, Gillian Perkins. And thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Today on the show, I’m going to be sharing some of the behind the scenes details about running a membership site. I started my membership program about two years ago and it’s called Startup Society, and it is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business, hands down. One of the things that creates the most results today, both for me and my business, but also for my customers. And that makes me so, so happy. But I will be the first to admit that running a membership site certainly has its challenges as well. And I’m going to get into both of those two sides of the issue in today’s episode. Talk about the good, talk about the bad, let you know all those behind the scenes details of running a membership site and what it’s really like.

And some of the nitty gritty of the, how to. How did I get this thing off the ground? How do I get new members into it? How do I run it? Now, one thing that I do want to let you know right now is that this episode is going to be a little bit all over the place. I’m going to be sharing with you quite a big variety of different types of information about the membership site. Honestly, I find membership sites so interesting, and I love writing mine so much that I could easily talk about this topic all day long. In fact, I could probably talk about it for a few days straight, so I cannot possibly fit everything that I want to share with you into this one 30 minute episode. So I want your feedback. I want you to shoot me a DM on Instagram at GillianZPerkins.

Let me know what questions you have about starting and running a membership site, or what of the topics that I touch on today you would like me to go deeper into and share more about. In this episode, there are four main topics that I’m going to touch on. First of all, I’m going to talk about the money side of things, what percentage of our total revenue the membership site brings in, the expenses that I have with it and how the revenue has grown over time. Then I’m going to get into marketing and how I actually bring new members into Startup Society. Then I’m going to talk about some challenges that we’ve faced over the past two years of running the program. And finally, some lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Now before I get into any of that, I just want to say that two of the main things that I love so much about running a membership site, are first of all, the recurring profit.

Why I LOVE Membership sites

Unlike when you create a course and you launch a course, and then you have to work really hard to get people to become your customer and they pay you just one time. With a membership site, you have to do the work to get someone to become your customer, but then they pay you month, after month, after month. And it makes your business revenue and your profit a lot more stable from one month to the next, which as someone who works for herself, is a really valuable thing to me. And then the second thing that I love so much about my membership site is how effectively it creates results for the members. If you’ve ever created an online course or you’ve ever really done any sort of teaching, then you know how hard it can be to get results for students. But unlike with an online course where you have a very transactional relationship, your customer purchases the course for you, and then you can try to support them after that.

You’re not going to have a necessarily continued relationship with them. With a membership site, you have this ongoing relationship where every single month you’re continuing to interact with them. They’re paying you, so they are a lot more personally invested in the program because they know that they’re going to have that charge on their credit card every single month. And they want to make sure that that’s worth it. They keep showing up. And because you have this relationship with them, you get to continue to help them. And that is so satisfying to me as a creator and as a teacher that I see my students actually getting results from the program instead of just handing them a pile of information and hoping that they use it. First, let’s talk about the money. Because I think that this is one of the reasons why a lot of people are interested in starting a membership site.

Let’s talk about the money!

They think it’d be really cool to have customers who are paying them month after month. And in fact, it is really cool. This is one of the best things about running a membership site. Now, in my business, Startup Society accounts for around 25% of our monthly revenue. 25% of the money that comes into the business every single month is directly from Startup Society. And some months it is a bit more than that. It kind of depends on what else we’re doing in the business. Because of course, if we have some sort of big launch and we bring in a lot of money from some other means, then it will be a smaller percentage because the revenue from the membership site is pretty stable. But on the other hand, if we are laying a bit lower, maybe we aren’t working on so many projects or we aren’t doing any big marketing initiatives.

Then the revenue from the membership site is going to be a larger percentage of that monthly revenue. But on average, it’s around 25%. Now, as I’m recording this in the year 2020, we currently charge $49 for a Startup Society membership each month. And so you can do a little bit of easy multiplication. If we had 10 members, then the program would bring in $490 a month. If we had 100 members, the program would be bringing in $4,900 per month. Now, currently as I’m recording this, we have around 400 members in the program, which is just amazing. I will let you know that you can’t strictly multiply that 49 times 400 to figure out the exact profits or the exact revenue, just because we do sometimes do different promotions where we offer membership at a discount, either as a one-time thing or as an ongoing thing. Sometimes we offer packaged deals where membership is more expensive, but members are getting more features.

That’s just something to keep in mind, but most members are paying us about $49 per month. Beyond revenue, there are expenses. Now, I have to let you know that the membership site really has very low expenses. And it could have even lower expenses if I was doing all the work of running the membership site myself. Because in fact, most of our expenses do have to do with paying people to help me run the program so that I don’t have to spend so much of my time running the program. When I first started the site, and we’ll get into this a little bit more later on, but when I first started the site I DIYed it. And then later on, I paid to have a nicer website developed for the membership program. And so I invested several thousand dollars when I was first starting it.

In fact, I would say that all told, I invested around $10,000 when I was starting Startup Society. However, it does not need to cost $10,000 to start a membership program. When I first, first started Startup Society, it cost me practically nothing. And then it was over the first year or so as I was developing the program and expanding the program that I spent the $10,000. On a month-to-month basis, I’m spending a couple thousand dollars on support. I’m paying one of my team members to help me add the new content to the website every month and to provide really good customer service to our members, so that we can support them as best as we possibly can.

And those are pretty much all of our expenses, which means that Startup Society has about an 80% profit margin, which is really good. And I would say that that is better than my business’s profit margin on average. But we do have to keep in mind that my business has a few overhead expenses that Startup Society benefits from, while they’re not direct Startup Society expenses.

For example, I have some expenses related to maintaining my website every month. And while my website isn’t directly related to Startup Society, it does help to funnel people into becoming Startup Society members. And while I would have those expenses, whether or not I had Startup Society and was running the membership program, Startup Society is benefiting from that money that I am spending in that other way. All that to say that if Startup Society was a completely standalone program and it wasn’t benefiting from my personal brand in this way, then its expenses would be a fair amount higher. And I would speculate that its profit margin to be closer to 60%. However, with that said, I will also admit that most of the costs associated with running a membership site are relatively fixed. And what I mean by that is having more members wouldn’t really increase most of these costs.

In fact, the only cost that would really increase as we had more members would be that we would need to spend a few more hours every week on customer service supporting the members. And that would increase the expenses slightly. However, compared to some of the bigger expenses like maintaining the website, and our email marketing service and the tool that we use to actually run the site itself, that cost would be relatively negligible. And what that means is that the more members we have in the program, the more profitable the program is, and the higher our profit margin is. The next thing that I wanted to talk about was marketing. Because if you’ve ever tried to sell anything online or really sell anything at all, then you know that most of the challenge of making sales, and making money and earning a profit really has to do with marketing and how effectively you can do marketing. Because regardless of how good your product is or how good your profit margin is, if you aren’t convincing people to purchase your product, then you won’t be making any money at all.

All about marketing and getting people to sign up

I think that a lot of people who are interested in starting a membership site realize this as they are trying to get their membership site off the ground. They realize that maybe they don’t know how to get people to sign up for their membership site and that their membership site can’t be a success unless they figure this out. I want to share with you how we actually get people to become members of Startup Society. As with most businesses, with most products, we have a sales funnel that drives people into Startup Society. And just to give you a big picture overview of this. First, you’re going to have traffic for your sales funnel. These are people who hear about your product or hear about your brand. And then from there, you need to try to convert this traffic into leads.

You might offer some sort of free opt-in offer, sometimes also called a freebie or a lead magnet, or you can ask people to apply. And then you have their contact information and then you can gradually warm them up. You can tell them about the product. You can tell them about how the product would help them and why it would be a good fit for them, and work on convincing them to buy the product or in this case, join the program. That’s kind of the basic overview of a sales funnel. It can look very different from one business to the next. At Startup Society, the funnel starts with traffic that comes from YouTube, and comes from the podcast and comes from Facebook ads. Now, most of our traffic certainly does come directly from YouTube. However, over the past several months here, we’ve been starting to work on diversifying our traffic source just because we don’t want to have all of our eggs in one basket.

In order to do this, we have started working on our Facebook ads, as I’ve talked about in other episodes. We’ve run into a few challenges along the way with that, but they are finally up and running smoothly and we are beginning to scale them. So, that’s great. And then we use this podcast as a way to drive traffic so that people can find out about the program. And then we also have my website that can get found on Google and we’re starting to do some Pinterest marketing. There are several other ways that people can initially find out about Startup Society. From there, we have these different opt in offers, and most of these opt-in offers that we are using for Startup Society are downloadable PDFs. We have some that are checklists, some that are quizzes, some that are guides or worksheets, and these are things that people can download for free.

And we try to make them as helpful as possible. We want even our free content to be top quality, both so that we can really help people with it, but also so that we can give people a really good first impression of the brand and the quality of the products that we produce. Even the free products. Once someone has opted in for one of these freebies, then we have started this relationship with them where we can tell them more about Startup Society. What happens after that is we send them a series of emails to get to know them a little bit better, to share with them a little bit about the brand, and to tell them about the Startup Society program and the details about it, so that they can decide whether or not it might be a good fit for them. And it might help them reach their goals.

And then we make them an offer and we give them a limited time offer, so that if they join in a certain window of time, then they can join at a slight discount and membership will be a bit more affordable. That’s basically what our funnel looks like right now. And that is the marketing process that we use to get people to sign up for the membership program. And I think that a lot of people know the basics of this. And I certainly knew the basics of this before I successfully got Startup Society up off the ground and running, but a big challenge that I ran into when I was initially trying to create a funnel like this was just that there wasn’t enough traffic coming into my funnel. I could build out all the pieces. I could write emails that were very persuasive. I could explain how great the program was, but it didn’t matter if nobody was getting those emails. And nobody would get those emails if nobody was signing up for my email list. And nobody was signing up for my email list, if they didn’t even know I existed.

I really had to go back to the very beginning of the funnel and work on that first piece for quite a while, before I was able to get this whole system to work. I had to work on really building my audience and getting that exposure that I needed, so that I could start to send people through the funnel and convert some of them into paying members. If you are interested in starting a membership program, then I would say, go for it, start planning, start dreaming. But what you really need to start doing before you’ll be able to turn it into a success is just working on growing your audience and getting that exposure. Because if you want to be able to turn your membership site into a success, and get a lot of members in the program and help a lot of people, then people are going to need to find out about you somehow.

And if right now you don’t have very much exposure. If your audience is really small, if you don’t have a lot of followers on social media or email subscribers, then it will be tough to get that exposure that you need. You certainly can do something like pay for Facebook ads, or for Google ads, or YouTube ads. You can pay for advertising. But when you don’t have any sort of organic exposure, when you aren’t getting organic traffic, then the ads tend to be really expensive at first, because you’re having to do a lot of basic testing.

Whereas, if you can get that organic traffic, then you can do that testing for free. You can see what content is performing the best, what opt-ins are performing the best, what opt-ins people are the most interested in and are actually signing up for. Then when you go to do the paid advertising, then you’ll already have that data and your advertising will be a lot more affordable. If you want to start a membership site down the road, I would say, start planning, but right now start creating free content to start building your exposure.

Startup Society

This episode is brought to you by Startup Society. If you run an online business or you’re thinking about starting one, then Startup Society is the place for you. It’s a bootcamp training program for entrepreneurs, plus an incredibly supportive membership community. If you’re looking for a framework to make building an online business as simple and straightforward as possible, then that’s exactly what you’ll find inside Startup Society. Every month we create a step-by-step action plan for our members to follow, to create a specific result in their business, so that they can keep moving forward and growing. Past action plans have helped our members write their websites, launch online courses and hire their first employees. And when you become a member, not only will you get access to our future action plans, but you’ll also get access to our entire library of past action plans, including the ones that I just mentioned.

You’ll also get business coaching directly from me during our live monthly coaching sessions. During these sessions, you can ask any business questions that you have, so that you can make sure that you get the answers you need in order to be able to keep moving forward and not get stuck. As a member, you’ll also be invited into our membership community where you can connect with other online entrepreneurs who are crushing it, so that you can be inspired and make some lasting connections. If you’re interested in becoming a member of Startup Society, then there’s no time like the present to make that happen.

To sign up, just head gilliamperkins.com/StartupSociety. Again, that’s gilliamperkins.com/StartupSociety. And as a listener of this podcast, I have a special offer for you. You can become a member of Startup Society for $10 off every single month. Just use code, EARNMORE, when you are signing up. Again, that code is EARNMORE, all one word, and it will give you $10 off your monthly membership costs. If you want to turn your online business into a success as quickly and as strategically as possible, then I would love to work with you to make that happen. And now, let’s get back to the episode.

How to build the membership site

Now that we’ve covered marketing, the next topic I wanted to cover is some challenges that I faced. And I already touched on one of the biggest ones, which was just getting that exposure, that visibility that I needed in order to be able to get off the ground. Now, this is a problem that I actually didn’t run into specifically with Startup Society, because I waited a pretty long time to start the program. And so by the time I was starting Startup Society, my audience had grown quite a bit. That’s a problem that I was running into when I was initially trying to sell online courses and I couldn’t figure out why no one was buying them. The first challenge that I really did face with Startup Society was simply creating the site itself. I tried a whole bunch of different membership site plugins and course platforms, trying to find one that would really work quite well for the membership program that I wanted to create.

When I did initially build the site, I built Startup Society on my own website, gillianperkins.com. And I used a plugin that allowed me to create passwords for users, and then to protect certain pages of the website with these passwords. I put all of the membership site content on these password protected pages. And then when someone would purchase a membership, a password would be automatically generated for them and an email sent to them. And the system worked all right, but it was quite glitchy. And it was not nearly as polished as I wanted it to be. It wasn’t creating the customer experience that I really wanted. Sometimes people would have access issues. Sometimes people wouldn’t get the emails. And there were just all sorts of little problems that would arise. And this was after I had poured many hours into building these pages for the membership site itself.

And so it was pretty frustrating. However, it also was very affordable and I learned a lot through the process. I’m honestly glad that I started this crappy way, even though it wasn’t as functional as I wanted it to be. I still was able to get the membership site up, off the ground and running. And I was able to do it without risking a lot of money, which was good, because I didn’t know for sure whether or not it would be successful. Later on, after the program had been running for most of a year, and I could see that it was very successful and it was growing month after month, then I invested about $7,000 into having a web development company design a really nice membership site using the premium plugin called Access Ally, which we use to this day. And the site that they set up works much more smoothly.

It creates such an amazing experience for our members. This is a membership plugin that a lot of popular membership sites online use. It does work really, really well. However, it is a little bit complex to set up and to use after.  I’m very glad that I spent that money, both to have the website created, but also to have all of the backend tech set up for me because the company that I hired, which by the way is called Flourish Online, they specialize in setting up membership sites. They did such an amazing job with it. And I really feel that they did really high quality work, which makes it so much easier for us to run the site today, because we aren’t facing a lot of glitches or bugs that could have arisen if I had tried to DIY it myself and I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a big investment, but I can say with certainty that we’ve gotten an amazing return on that investment.

It’s kind of funny looking back, because I remember when I invested in having that website created, I made a YouTube video at that time. And the title of the YouTube video was The Best $7,000 I’ve Ever Spent. And I gave a little tour of the website, which I was so pleased with. And I am so pleased with today. And I was just so excited to share it because it had turned out so nice. I got quite a few comments from people saying, “What? You spent $7,000 on a website? Don’t you do that yourself. Don’t you know you can DIY that? Don’t you know you could pay someone 500 bucks to make a website?” And it was a little frustrating, because I could tell that people just didn’t understand all the work that had gone into it. It wasn’t just a website that had been set up.

It was a website that had been set up with this very specific software that I needed to have. And Flourish Online had also done an amazing job with the branding and the design of the site. And like I said, they’d also set up all of the backend, which was countless hours of tech set up and they did  such an amazing job. And to this day, I would say this is probably the best money I’ve ever spent. One of the best investments I’ve ever made. And an investment that has given me an incredible return on my money. Moving on to the next challenge that I have faced with running a membership site, and this is probably the biggest challenge that everyone who has a membership site faces, and that is retaining members or churn. Churn is losing members, basically. New members coming in, old members going out. And different people with different types of membership sites will have different churn rates.

How to retain you members

It can sometimes be a little bit difficult to calculate the churn rate, because when we do different promotions, it often greatly affects the churn rate. If we’re not doing any sort of special promotion, our churn rate might be one thing. We might be losing say 10% every month. But on the other hand, if we do a big promotion and we discount membership, then we’ll have a lot of new members come in, but then churn will become a lot higher. It might go up to say 30% per month, because we have a lot of people who just give Startup Society a try, because it was such a good deal. And so they thought, why not? But then they realized, well, why not? Because it wasn’t quite the right fit for them. And so that’s just a constant, I would say, struggle. Not that it’s a terribly hard struggle, but just something that we’re always working on improving.

And I just kind of alluded to the biggest challenge for us there, which is the more of a good deal we make Startup Society, the more we discount Startup Society, or the bigger the promotion is, the higher our churn rate gets. Whereas, if we position Startup Society as more of a premium program, and we have a price that goes along with that, then we get higher quality members who join the program and people who are more committed, people who are ready to make a bigger investment, and they tend to stick around a lot longer and get better results, which is more satisfying for us. And obviously, way more satisfying for them as well. This is just an ongoing challenge that we are always working on overcoming. Although, it’s something that will never be completely overcome. The next challenge on my list is the challenge of ongoing marketing.

This is a challenge that I find rather frustrating with marketing a membership site. And it’s probably my least favorite part of running a membership site, to be honest. And what I mean by this is that unlike when you have a course that you’re doing a launch for, when you have a membership site, you’re going to continue to market it for years. Now, there are two different ways this can be done. You can either periodically open the cart and allow new members to register and join the program, or you can allow new members to join at any time. And we’ve tried doing it both ways and they both have their pros and their cons, but either way, you’re going to continue to market your membership program for years, unless you decide to shut it down. And this means that it can be difficult to keep your marketing fresh and to continue to have enough energy to promote the program.

I don’t just mean like physical energy, having enough energy to do it. But I mean, having new creative energy to where you can share the offer with people over and over again, and continue to be excited about it yourself. In some ways, it’s a lot easier for me to be excited about the members we have in the program right now, and the results that they’re achieving and teaching them new things, helping them to grow their businesses than it is for me to go out and talk to new people about joining the program. When I know that they’ll be coming in and starting at square one. And I’m with the current members and focused on what the current members are doing. And so there’s just always this little bit of push and pull. And it’s tough to keep a consistent marketing message for the program, and not pivot too extremely at any given time. But at the same time, keep enough momentum and enough energy behind that message.

There are highs and lows

I don’t know if I’m explaining this as well as I could, but basically it’s just tough to keep marketing the same thing for years. And that leads me to the last challenge, which is certainly an ongoing challenge as well. And some people will deal with this one a lot better than other people would. But basically when you have a membership or any other sort of ongoing campaign, so this could be an evergreen sales funnel, it could be a YouTube channel where you’re pumping out new videos every week and getting views on those videos. It could be an Instagram account that you’re working on growing and you’re posting every single day, but whenever you’re creating on a regular basis, and then you’re seeing the results of what you create, then you’re going to notice an up and a down with those results that you get. Sometimes your Instagram post will get a lot of likes and other times it won’t get nearly as many.

Sometimes you’ll get a lot of new YouTube subscribers and then the next month you won’t get very many. And the same thing is true with running a membership program. There are times when we bring a lot of new members in and then the next month we might not bring very many members in. There are times when you lose more members or when we don’t lose as many members. And the highs almost make the lows worse. In fact, I wouldn’t say almost, I would say the highs make the lows worse. Now, of course, we wouldn’t want to give up the highs. We wouldn’t want to not have those posts that get so many likes, or the videos that get so many views, or the months when we sign up a bunch of new members. But because sometimes that happens, then it makes the months when things don’t go quite as well, a little bit hard, a little bit stressful, a little bit discouraging.

This is a little bit different than if you’re doing a course launch where you just give it your all, and then you get the results that you get. And you’re happy that you got these big results. However, on the other hand, it’s not that different because most people don’t just launch a course one time, they then go on to launch the course again, or to launch another course. And of course, they’re going to be comparing their past success to the results that they get that next time. With the membership site though, you face this every single month as you see the numbers go up and down. I think I handle this moderately well, but I’m sure I could handle it better. And I could see the bigger picture more of the time instead of sometimes getting too caught up in those ups and the downs and letting them affect me.


Here are my lessons for you

Those are some of the challenges that I’ve faced over the past two years of running the membership. Before we wrap this up, though, I want to share with you a few lessons that I have learned and some things that I would like to share with you, if you are interested in starting your own membership site. One of the first big lessons is quality is better than quantity. Now, I’m sure that you know that this is often true, but let me explain exactly what I mean in terms of the membership site. When I was first starting Startup Society, I promised the members a new mini course every month. And at first, this was very doable. I made these mini courses every month to help them with different aspects of their businesses. But very quickly, this got completely out of hand, because I am someone who always wants to make things bigger, and better, and more helpful and more amazing.

These mini courses turned into bigger and bigger courses until they were full blown premium online courses. And I was producing one every single month. Most online course creators or online business owners might produce one big course per year. Now, of course, sometimes people do more than that. But one per year is a much more normal right than one per month. And this was back when I had virtually no team.  I was doing everything myself. I was running the membership program itself. I was filming all the videos. I was creating all the worksheets. I was editing all the videos. I was uploading everything. I was doing all the customer service. It was a lot. I would go so far as to say it was too much. And I realized something needed to change. I ended up backing way off. I got some support, some help, so that I wasn’t doing everything myself.

I realized that I was completely overwhelming the members with way too much information. And we switched to the action plan model where now every month we give the members an action plan. It is strictly limited to four lessons. This is a really good boundary for me, but it also means that I’m not overwhelming the members with too much content. They can work through one lesson per week. And by the end of the month, get a result that they’re really proud of. Instead of just trying to wade through all these lessons and feeling like they can never get through all of it. It was a win-win for both of us. And the main thing that I’ve learned here is just that it’s more important to put really high quality, really helpful information and tools into the membership program, rather than just trying to stuff it as full of information or stuff as you can.

The next lesson I’ve learned is to under promise and over deliver. Now, when you are marketing anything, it’s really tempting to over promise. To tell people how amazing the program is, how amazing the product is, and about all its features and how it’s going to change everything. Change their whole life. But when you over promise, you run the risk of setting the wrong expectations. The last thing you want is for someone to get into the program and be let down, to be disappointed, for it to not be as good as they thought it would. That’s not going to make them a very happy customer and it’s going to mean it’s much more likely that they leave sooner than later. Instead, I want to under promise and over deliver, so that when they come into the program, they are pleasantly surprised by how much better it is than they thought it was.

Of course, this is a little bit tricky when you’re marketing, because you want to make it sound as good as you can so that people actually sign up. And so it’s just a fine line to walk, but I always want to make sure that I give more. And specifically, that I give better than people are going to expect. The next lesson is it is so important to stay organized and keep things simple. A membership site can become a very complicated thing very quickly. You have all the members that you need to keep tabs on. You have all this content inside the membership program. You have emails that you’re sending to the members to share the content with them and to guide them through the content. And there’s just a lot of moving pieces. So if you don’t keep everything extremely organized, it can get very messy, very fast.

And on top of that, the more complex things are, the tougher it is to keep them organized. I found that one of the first things that I need to do in order to keep things organized is just to keep them simple, to not add on too many different types of features into the membership. We really want to have just a few core features and do them really well. Going back to that quality over quantity lesson. I know that this is common sense, keep things organized, keep things simple, but I’ve found that in all the different products that I’ve created, there’s nowhere that it’s been more important and also more difficult than in running a membership. If you’re starting a membership for yourself, from the very beginning, I would just encourage you to not add on too many different features. Keep your program pretty simple and streamlined, and really pour in all your energy and time into making each of those features as good as it can possibly be, as helpful as it can possibly be.

And then make sure that you’re prioritizing relationships with your members, because the best way to be able to create high quality content is to know what your members really need. To really listen to them. Because you can create something that’s really pretty, looks great, but if it’s not what they need, then it’s not really going to be helpful. And then that isn’t really the quality aspect that is actually important. Okay. We’re almost to the end here, but there’s one last lesson that I wanted to share with you. And this is a lesson that is also kind of a challenge, and it’s something that I’m still working on. But I think you should be aware of it. And I want to give you an update on this in the future. I wanted to mention it now. And the lesson is that you can sell your membership site, evergreen, which means the cary is always open.

One final lesson, and a challenge

The doors are always open. People can join at any time. Or you can have an open-close model. And what an open-close model is, is where most of the time people can’t join. But then every so often, perhaps once a month, perhaps once a year, or twice a year, people are able to join. Registration is open. Now, I’ve tried doing Startup Society both ways. When I first started the program, it was open-close. I just opened it twice a year. Then I switched to evergreen, and we’ve been doing that for the past year. But in the future, I’m going to try open-close again, because so much changed from when I was first starting doing the program and I did it open-close. Try doing it evergreen. That there wasn’t really a clear, proper test, so I could see which one worked better. Basically, I changed too many different variables at the same time.

And so my test was compromised. I don’t know for sure which one works better. I know people who run very successful membership sites and do it evergreen, and people who run equally successful membership sites and do it open-close. And of course, both of them swear by their method and claim that it is a big reason for their success. And so, I don’t know for sure which one is right for me, but I just want you to be aware that you have those two different options. They’re both worth testing. They definitely both can create good results. I’ve gotten fine results with both of them. But I’m going to be giving open-close a try in the future. And I’ll get back to you about whether or not I notice a very significant difference. All right. That is everything that I’m going to be covering in this episode.

Connect with me

I would love to know though, what of these topics you would like to hear more about or any questions that you have about running a membership program. One thing that I thought I could share with you is what we have to do on an ongoing basis to maintain the program. What am I doing every day, every week and every month? And what is my team doing in order to keep the program running? If that would be interesting to you, then be sure to let me know. Like I said earlier on the best way to get me that feedback or to ask your questions is to DM me on Instagram at GillianZPerkins. So, that’s all for this episode. Thank you so much for joining me. And I’ll be back next week with another for you.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Now, here’s what I want you to do next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on Instagram stories. And when you do, make sure you tag me at GillianZPerkins, so I can see that you’re listening. Sharing on stories is going to help more people find this podcast so that they too can learn how to work less, earn more and take back their lives. And if you really love the show, then head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review to give it a boost. Not only will this help the show out, but it’s also going to give you the chance to win a 12 month membership to Startup Society. Each week, I’ll be picking one winner. To enter, all you need to do is post a review on Apple Podcasts and be sure to include your Instagram handle so we can send you a DM if you win. Okay, now let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins, and until next week, stay focused and take action.

    Sean McMullin

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