As your business grows, so does its management which can make your dream job start to feel like a real chore. You may not need to hire staff just yet, but you can make the day-to-day upkeep of your membership run a little smoother with the right tools and set up in place.
Let me present to you the first in an ongoing video series that will highlight obstacles other membership owners and course creators have faced, and the solutions I worked with them to create. Rest assured, the challenges you face have likely been tackled by others so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, learn from my client’s struggles and borrow solutions from their membership site examples.
In this video, I interviewed award-winning blogger and interior stylist Sarah Akwisombe. After several years of success, Sarah has decided to rip the veil off the secrets of blogging. She designed her first course, Blueprint to Blogging, and launched her No Bull Blog School, where she teaches her members how to create and maintain a successful blog and brand.
In the beginning, Sarah manually managed her members and did all the heavy lifting for her content. She uploaded video and PDF files to Dropbox and then emailed links to her members – not ideal to say the least! If someone canceled their membership, Sarah had to remove them from Dropbox by hand. She also found herself spending too much time providing personal instruction to members on where they could find certain files.
While Sarah was able to maintain all of this effectually, it grew ever more complicated as her membership numbers grew. Like most of us, Sarah attempted to address these difficulties in a DIY fashion. However, she found that she was dedicating too much of her precious time on administration and not on what was most enjoyable to her,
This is where I came in. Sarah and I met while taking a business course together. Over conversation, I began sharing how I could assist her in developing a strategy for both her subscription membership and her courses all under a single brand. I helped her create a platform that relieved her of many of the burdensome tasks on the back end. On the front end, I suggested that she create tutorial videos to assist new members. To Sarah’s pleasant surprise, the transition was quite smooth. Even those members who joined up during her Dropbox days were able to switch systems quite naturally.
I created Sarah’s membership site so that all content was easy to find in one place, the squad library, and new members and courses could be added easily. In fact, when Sarah created her newest course, Pin School, we were able to add it to her site in hours instead of days.
Please enjoy the video. Below it, you will find a list of the tech tools that I used in setting up her site.
(Argh! The sound gets better at :50)
Digital Access Pass (DAP) – Sarah wanted her members to have the flexibility to choose the content they wanted each month, so I selected DAP for the many membership models it offered. With this premium WordPress membership platform we created a fully automated “pay-wall” with both one-time and subscription payments. Her Squad members are awarded credits with each recurring payment which they then use to ‘redeem’ content from the squad library. This is similar to the Audible.com method.
LearnDash Learning Management System – This incredibly flexible and robust system allows users to create and sell online courses, provide quizzes, and award certification. We use LearnDash to power her Blueprint to Blogging and Pin School courses
Divi – Divi, available as a WordPress theme and a plugin, is one of my favorite tools to build memberships with. It is smart, flexible, and allows you to create pages for your content, administrative and other pages with nearly unlimited choices.
Divi Booster – This plugin further enhances Divi and allows you to customize your site with no coding skills required.
Bloom – Sarah used Bloom to create beautiful email “opt-in” forms which she uses on the home page and blog are of the site.
Monarch – With this plugin Sarah provides various options for visitors to share her posts on social media. Not only does it save her time, but it also allows her to harness the power of social sharing.
Now it’s your turn. What challenges are you faced with starting or running your membership?