Hey, welcome to the Summit Host Hangout Podcast where you'll learn how to host a high converting virtual summit that leads to your biggest signature offer lunch yet. I'm your host Krista from Summit in a Box and I am so excited for today's episode with a special guest. I have been talking to literally hundreds of you recently through email, DMS, all the places about adding hundreds of members into your membership with virtual summits. On top of that, I gave you a look at some of the results we've seen with clients launching memberships through their summit in Episode 225. And I have the best of the best when it comes to membership experts today. So we are going to cover why the membership model is so powerful. We'll talk about the differences between memberships that work and don't work and oh my gosh, she has such good stuff to share here. And then we're going to dive into the strategy of offering trials to increase members in your membership. We're going to share retention expectations, low ticket versus high ticket memberships, all the good stuff coming about that. To give you some background information on our guests. He is the co founder of the membership geeks and membership Academy. And over the past 15 years, he's worked closely with brands like McDonald's, ITV, ancestry.com, and has been the driving force behind many six and seven figure membership businesses. He's the host of a popular podcast author of three best selling books and can regularly be found on stages around the world before starting Membership Academy in 2015. His agency achieved numerous seven figure membership launches with clients. And now he and his co founder have the largest and longest running membership about memberships, which has helped over 8500 students launch and grow their own membership businesses. So so much good experience to dive into here. So much good stuff to share. Without further ado, let's dive in and talk with Mike Morrison from Membership Geeks. Welcome Mike. I'm so excited to have you.
Hey, Chris, thanks so much for having me. I'm really really looking forward to geeking out about memberships.
Seriously, I am like obsessed with memberships maybe too much for someone who doesn't have one. So this is going to be a lot of fun. Before we dive into the membership, goodness, tell us a little bit about you.
Yeah, of course. So I'm one half of the membership geeks, which from the name might suggest that we have a small interest in online memberships, and along with my partner, Callie, we teach influencers and experts how to start and grow a successful online membership business. And we do that with our free content, with our podcasts, with resources that we share over at membershipgeeks.com, as well as within our own membership site above membership sites, keeping it nice and meta, the Membership Academy. So yeah, we've we've been doing this since 2015, when we first opened the doors of the academy, and we still love it. It's it's our day to day, it's everything that we do. And it's just an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be able to help so many memberships and be able to come and talk to people like you about memberships.
Yeah, oh my gosh, I love it. And it's something people do need so much help with because you know, you see so many people think like oh, membership, I can launch that. And then they do and they don't have the core pieces they need to do it. So like it's clearly something people need so much help with. And I want to hear from you. What you see as the power of memberships, like what makes this the model that you have built?
the big thing for me is just getting away from trading time for money, as you do with a service business, as you do freelancing, with coaching. I started out as a freelancer back in 2004-2005. So I've been through that burnout, I've been through those 18 hour days, I've made myself ill; physically and mentally, all in service of trading time for money. And there does come a point when you're in this game long enough where you're like, surely this sounds so cheesy, surely there's a better way. But you know, when when you dragging yourself out of bed at 6am have having only gone there 3am to finish a project for a client who doesn't even thank you, and doesn't pay you well and doesn't pay you on time, it doesn't pay you at all. Like, that's not the only way of doing business. So it's moving out of that world. It's getting away from that kind of I don't wanna say pressure because it suggests that you know, you're you start a membership to seek and easily pressure free life, but just getting off that treadmill. Because even if you have the best clients in the world, you've only got so many hours in the day to trade. And so you're always gonna hit a ceiling, you're gonna hit a brick wall, you're gonna burn yourself out. So kind of having gone through that journey of going from trading time for money, one to one client work, to serving people, one to many, like that's just such a game changer being able to help more people. And it's not just about the money. It's not just about the growth, the fulfillment that comes from that like being able to actually flex your muscles in terms of what you know you can do what you know, you can help people with, you know, as a designer and a web developer And I can do incredible things blowing my own trumpet. But if all people have asked you for as a four page brochure website, like, you're just in a box of the people put you in, whereas with something like membership, you build the box, right? You get to flex your muscles, and you get to do it on a day to day basis with, with your membership community. So much more rewarding, so much more fulfilling. And there is the financial side, let's let's No, this is all altruistic hippie dippie stuff. The financial side, the big, big thing, recurring revenue is a game changer, especially recurring revenue that's a bit more passive, that's a bit more leveraged than being paid contract to contract or going through that feast and famine cycle that you often get with standalone products like courses, that recurring revenue just gives you that stability, predictability, reliability, that is pretty unique in the online business world to this type of product. The fact you know that you're not starting from zero every month, so that I can have a really bad month for sales angle a month and not get a single sale. And you know what? Cool, okay, like, nothing falls apart. Because I've got that that core of existing recurring revenue, just gives you so much more cliffs to walk back on. If you need to take a bit of time out if you're having health challenges, if I don't know a global pandemic hits, that is just night and day from where many people are in their business. And it's just fun. It really is just for memberships are always changing, always evolving. There's always new challenges. No two days are the same. And yeah, when you've been kind of doing this, as long as I have that variety, that room to play and to grow, and new people coming in and ideas for a membership that you've literally never even conceived of suddenly popping up. Like there's a guy in our membership who, who has a membership, teaching you how to care for exotic fish. That's, that's the thing. Amazing. And there's an audience and there's a market and there's a business. So yeah, I know, that's a lot of reasons. But I totally I love memberships.
No, seriously. And I mean, so much of that rang true for me too, like thinking back to my service days. And like, you know, there was fulfillment, and I was like making money and overall, overall happy. But it doesn't even compare to when I launched, actually launched a membership was what I launched first through Summit in a Box, it didn't compare to when I launched that, and the financial side of our membership, for me recently has been such a game changer. And it actually happened with the summit we hosted or we produced for a client in January. We talked on Mike's podcast yesterday. And I told him the truth that I used to see memberships as "less than" courses, it's like, oh, you have to like release new stuff. And this is this ongoing thing. And then this client had a membership. And they added $24,000 in monthly recurring revenue through their summit. And I was like, Oh, that would be really nice. You know, like, you go launch a course. And what you bring in is like what you get then But then you have to go right back on that, you know, hamster wheel to be making sure you hit your numbers the next month, and then next month in the next month,
Because typically people will stay in a membership 9 to 10 months. I mean, it was it varies wildly from industry to industry. If you've got your retention strategy down point, then obviously it's going to be longer. If you serve a shorter term need, it's going to be shorter, but say it's 10 months. So that client who added $24,000 in monthly recurring revenue, they add a quarter of a million dollars in lifetime revenue from those members. And I think the reason memberships get overlooked a little compared to things like courses, or things like high ticket programs, is because people take the short term view. And that's the problem, not just in terms of how people perceive membership. That's that's where people go wrong with their strategy for their membership as well. Of course, if you're looking at a course launch, and you're selling a course for as at 1997, is that still the trend? Yeah. 50% Commission to your affiliate. Yeah. But if you're selling your course for two grand, and you get 1000 people sign up, that looks sexy, that's a sexy number. Right, compared to 1000 people signing up for a $50 a month membership. That doesn't look sexy, if you're just looking at the headline figure. But you've got to read below the byline and see that you know, okay, that launched that's that's your revenue for the rest of the year, in some cases with people will only launch yearly. Whereas you're going to dine out on those 1000 member sales for months and months and months. And those members are going to refer other members and they're going to buy other products because you're in their building that relationship with them that you're not when you're serving them in different ways. So yeah, membership. I'm kind of glad that not everyone jumps on the membership bandwagon because with you know, there was a kind of a boom period in the old school internet marketer, spaces online. They all decide They were membership experts a good few years ago. And so you get a lot of people starting memberships whose businesses just weren't suited to it. A lot of people being sold a dream, sold this myth of passive income that just magically appears in your bank account while you sit sipping cocktails on a beach. I, but hey, there's there's some depth to memberships, they're good.
Oh, totally. Oh my gosh, I love this. And, you know, I know we even we're gonna have people listening who don't have memberships yet and have their wheels turning. And overall, the rest of this episode, I would see being more geared toward people who already have them. But I do want to speak to those people who are like, Oh, my gosh, I want to like I want to do this. What are the top differences You see between memberships that work and ones that don't?
Yeah, there's two key areas. The first is validating your idea. The memberships that don't work the memberships or fail are usually the ones who didn't do the work to validate that this was an idea that had legs. And that's something you need to do for anything you're bringing to market, there's a sense that the seven things need to validate, you need to validate that a problem exists, you need to validate whether that problem represents a recurring need. So if it's just, I don't have a widget, and you give them a widget, that's not a recurring need, right. So validate the problem exists, validate that to recurring need, validate the efficacy of your solution, or the idea that your solution will actually address that need in the best possible way. Validate the existence of an audience, because you know, some people get so excited when they spot a gap in the market that the don't look at whether there's a market in that gap, validate whether that audience will pay and validate whether you can connect those dots, can you actually, you know, if you've got an audience who have a need, you've got a product that suits that need, and they will pay, can you make that happen, and you get to put their hand in their pocket and pay you for solving that problem. So many amazing products that just die on the vine because the business owners can't connect the dots. And then lastly, you need to validate your own interest and commitment level. This is not a short term game. This is a long term. Like if the idea of of running a membership, creating content, serving your community answering questions in five years time, 10 years time, if that sounds like your idea of hell, don't start membership, because you don't set up a membership and then just move on to something else in six months, you need to know that you're going to stay interested, you're going to be committed to this. So that kind of idea of validation is often the difference between the memberships that work and the memberships, I failed. The second big thing focusing on retention. memberships are a retention business, they're not a sales business, they are a retention business, it's not enough to get people in the front door, you have to make sure you're keeping them otherwise, you don't have a business, you've got a leaky bucket, you've got something where you just pouring all this water in the top, and then it never gets full because it's just leaking and springing, you know, all over the place. So those are the two big differences, taking the time to validate that the idea actually will work. And changing your perspective to recognize that you are starting a retention driven business. And that is really where the majority of your focus should be.
Wow, those are two very powerful points. And we're going to talk about retention and a little bit here. But like I just want to point out to you all he just gave you like the six keys to validating your offer and his answer there. And you need to go back and re listen and write them down. And I'm like apply it to everything you do like you were talking through. I was like, Oh my gosh, if everyone would do this for summits, you know, it applies to everything. But you talked about validating the problem, the recurring need the solution, the audience existence, the audience being able to pay and that commitment. And oh my gosh, that is so good. So everyone, please, please go put that into practice.
It's just that they get too excited. They get too jittery. They want to skip that because they're convinced that the idea is great. Their partner tells them Yeah, that sounds amazing. But the partner is not going to buy it because they're not the target audience. So yeah, validate is boring, but it's necessary.
Yeah, no, I love I love it. I love all of those points. So the big reason I wanted to have you on today is because we have been having such a boom with our clients in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator program who run memberships, where they're adding literally hundreds and hundreds of people to their memberships by launching with a summit and one of the strategies we put into practice a lot is a trial, whether it's a free trial, whether it's low cost paid trial, I wanted to get someone on who knows more about this because they'll ask me about numbers and I'm like, I don't know. It's just working. That's all I'm seeing. So I want to have you want to give us a lowdown on trials a little bit here. So like First up, I'm interested in just kind of hearing your overall thoughts on offering a trial from a membership.
Trials can be great for memberships like everything. There is no one size fits all. There's no silver bullet that is going to work for every single membership and so it is something that you would need to test and validate again, there's our word, the word of the episode, just validate that it's something that will actually work for you suit your membership and appeal to your audience and move the needle, enough to justify some of the potential downsides of running a trial. But broadly speaking, trials are such a fantastic way to get more members because the current what Jay Abraham calls risk reversal. Anytime you buy something online, you're taking a risk. Like even if the website looks like the most reputable place in the world, there's always a risk, because you can't physically chase that person down if they decide to run off with your money. Or if they give you a product that isn't quite what you thought it was going to be. So all those possibilities of what could go wrong. They'll be running through your potential members heads when they're thinking about joining, particularly if they've only recently discovered you. So as business owners who sell products online, we need to find ways to mitigate that risk that people feel whole loads of ways we do that social proof testimonials, case studies, using trusted payment methods, money back guarantees, all that sort of stuff. But I would say from membership, a trial is probably one of the biggest and best forms of risk reversal. Because you're literally like someone getting your car and driver, you're giving someone a test drive, there's a reason car dealerships want to get you in, they want to put you in that seat, they want you to feel into experience, what owning this car would be like, that's what a trial will do for you for potential members like, and that's so important, particularly I think, for memberships because compared to courses compared to a paid workshop, or even a live event, or an all access pass for a summer. memberships are a little more abstract as a type of product, because there's usually so much stuff in the box, both in terms of features and content. But in terms of benefits as well, like memberships are more all encompassing, in most cases than the majority of types of product. And so there's only so much room you have on your sales page, there's only so many words you want to put in your emails. And because of that, more often than not people marketing a membership, talk more about the box. Because they can't get into everything, they can't unpack everything. And that can sometimes lead people a little confused, or under informed about where the real gold in the membership is, particularly how it relates to their to their needs. So letting people actually just get in there. And see what they say is, particularly if you have an audience where they're maybe not as accustomed to the online membership model that just clears the clouds a little bit, as well as obviously building that trust and mitigating that risk. So yeah, I'm a big fan of trials that are a natural fit for an online membership don't always work for some you know, there have been clients I've worked with in the past where you just convinced that trial would be a game changer. And it just like nobody cares. Because risk of the trust factor. And the not understanding isn't actually why people aren't joining. But it's definitely something I would recommend every membership. Try to test out in some way.
Yeah, so a lot of people who, who I work with who have not tried it and are feeling hesitant about it, their biggest thing is like, well, is everyone just going to cancel after? You know, that's the biggest concern? Do you have any expected numbers or benchmarks to aim for when it comes to trial retention data?
When it comes to online memberships is very hard to find because we're we're a niche of a niche of a niche of a niche, or for American listeners, which for you a niche of a niche of a niche of a niche. So yeah, online, the online management space, it's a very small cottage industry, particularly compared to other subscription models like SAS, or apps. Broadly speaking, you're going to be looking at an average of 20 to 30% conversion rate from trial sign up to paying member. Now, mileage will definitely vary on this. And it will vary depending on the strategies you're using, depending on the length of the trial, the type of trial. But yeah, you're you're looking further down towards that end of things. There is that thing of you know, do you want 40% of the people on your list to become members who otherwise wouldn't if you didn't offer a trial versus none of them like okay, if people don't stick around, beyond the trial. Fantastic. You know what people not buying your stuff, people giving you a no, that's a good thing. Because they filter themselves out. They're not the enemy. They're not a lost sale. They're just someone who you have enabled to make a firmer decision over whether they want to buy from you or not than they're able to make just sitting there on your email list, disinterested when they open your emails. Then eventually unsubscribing. So that fear that a lot of people cancel. Good. Good, you want them to, first and foremost, actually, some of those that might cancel because the time is just not right. But what they glean from that trial makes them more likely to actually come back and make a more decisive decision later. But some people, you do want to give them the information, they need to move on to other pastures. And that's great. Because it means you're not just shouting into the void. So yeah, I wouldn't let concern about cancellations pull people off. The other thing that puts people off is the fear of people are going to come in and download all my precious things, that happens a lot less than membership owners, fear that it will, it happens, definitely happens, it happens a lot less as well, it doesn't cost you anything, if that happens, that's not the best way to look at it. But ultimately, where how much injury is there to you, if 2% of people actually do that. And even if you do feel aggrieved on principle, the type of people who do that, do it everywhere. And so all they're doing is just filling up their harddrive, they're never going to use this stuff. Because lazy doesn't last, like they'll download it, they'll feel good about it, they maybe feel that they've got one over on you. And now we're gonna actually use it. And if they watch your stuff, they're never going to implement it. And if they implement it, they're probably not going to get the results they want, because of the sort of mindset that goes behind being that kind of hit and run person. So yeah, don't let those kinds of concerns put you off.
Oh, thank you for sharing that that's I really, really love those perspectives. And that 20 to 30% number was really interesting for me to hear, but I love having a benchmark. How does that compare usually to like, overall retention, if you were not going to offer a free trial.
So again, member retention, you're generally looking at, like 10%. And below is where you want to be shooting for, for average member retention, five to 10%, you're doing great, you're doing good. If it's under 5%, fantastic. Online memberships do tend to have a higher churn rate than other subscription products simply because there's not quite as much pain of disconnect between an online membership and the software that you're using for doing for bookkeeping, for example, or the software you use for your your email marketing. So yeah, five to 10%, the average tenure tends to be nine to 10 months, again, varies very widely and changes. I think churn rates across the board jumped up a little bit during the pandemic, obviously. But yeah, we actually, again, it's really difficult getting really good data about the membership space. So we kind of took that in our own hands. And we run an online membership industry report to get some benchmarks. I'm gonna plug that because we don't take an email address, we don't even retarget you if you go this page, because we just want people to have this data. So people go to membership benchmarks.com. If you'd like to know the numbers, there's lots of numbers in there. There's lots of data and benchmarks on churn on average revenue, on average member lifetime value on growth rates, all that good stuff. But yeah, retention, once someone is actually on board, you are looking more at 90 Ideally shouldn't fly 95 If you can get there so you know, pays to convert people from trial to fully paid member.
Yeah, absolutely. I want to ask you about that to like tips for increasing past the trial. But first, I want to ask if you see any differences or changes or if you do anything different with trials for higher price memberships, like, I don't know, when someone comes into my program, and they have like a $200 a month membership they act like it's a super high ticket. And I don't know enough to know if that's true. But do you do anything different in that case?
Quite often memberships that are priced, I would probably say 100 $150. and above, quite often than not actually online memberships in in the general understanding of what an online membership is. Usually they're more group coaching programs, or mastermind programs, where there's a ceiling on how many people you might have in there, and where it's a little more done with you or done for you. versus the more DIY approach of the typical kind of membership, typical membership. So $100 monthly subscription annual subscription, and its DIY elearning content coaching community. Those higher priced ones usually do have much more of a coaching element. And it's usually limited in group number. So that's the sort of thing you might not want to give trial access to. Not just because of of the value, but also if you if you're doing those kinds of small group coaching, or mastermind sessions, that kind of transients that comes from it. Having 60 to 70% of trial signups drop out after that trial period, like that waters down the value proposition can really have an effect on on the quality. Because, yeah, I mean, if you're doing a mastermind, and you know that the majority of people who are at today's session, they're not gonna be there next month, it messes the floor, you never really get the momentum. So again, something you can test. But I think when you're at a real high price point to $300, I think there's a disconnect. There's a disconnect between being priced such a premium price point, but then hinging your marketing around free, or $1. So you're like, This is really like, high tier guys. This is high ticket exclusive stuff. Try that for free. Like it just doesn't, it doesn't quite connect. So I would I wouldn't do a trial for high ticket, probably be inclined to test it. But it wouldn't be top of the list. In terms of strategies, I'd expect to work well. And I can't think of anyone or that kind of price point. That's that's doing it.
Yeah, our first client we worked with our memberships was doing about $200 a month, but they didn't they just had a very high price point. They I think they had group coaching calls and stuff like that, I would be inclined to like, maybe like give access to that kind of stuff after the first month or something. But yeah, I feel like it'd be a very something very specific. Yeah. Each unique memberships? Yeah,
something like that you might look to do with freemium level, which is just an an endless free trial, or Yeah, yeah, probably more inclined to test that out and give a certain level of content. So if your high ticket membership is more done with you have a level which has some content that's DIY, and then tap into the opportunities to upsell, when once you've got people in your ecosystem, I'd be more inclined to expect that to work than a traditional kind of trial.
Yeah, okay. Awesome. That's good to know. Good thoughts talking a lot about it. So let's let's circle back to the retention part of a trial, what tips do you have for for increasing the likelihood that people will stay?
I"ve got six tips, I actually wrote these down, so I don't forget them. First thing I would do charge for the trial don't make it free, for a couple of reasons. One, there's just something in the subconscious that is different. When someone has invested something in a bit $1 or $7. For a day, there's something different about an actual transaction taking place and money changing hands, I've got a good friend of mine, Kenya McDonald. She's like, she's like neural science nerd all about, like funnels and marketing and stuff like that. She's like, you could use this to like further mankind. And she's like using it to understand how people feel when they buy stuff. But there is something that triggers when you've actually paid money. And so you're more likely to get that buy in from someone. And to, to not be seen as disposable in the way that often people see free trials, because to free trial, literally cost you nothing. And there's a whole thing of you know, your value, what you've evaluated the same that you've paid for or something. The other thing is a purely practical side of things like most membership software systems, even if it's a free trial, they still require your credit card information. And for the more paranoid internet customer, they're gonna wonder why well, if this is free, why you got to take my credit card. And we know that we're not trying anything dodgy. It's just, we just need it. That's just how the software works. So having a nominal fee upfront just eliminates the possibility of that been a roadblock. So those two things, for me, definitely are why you would want to charge rather than make it free, because they do feed into whether someone will post stick around. And while you will probably get more people signing up in a trial, if it's free, pretty much guarantee your conversion rate paid will be lower. And we've tested this at scale with music memberships that we work with. So that's the first thing charge, don't give it away for free.
Second, consider ways to reframe the trial offer. Now this might be somewhere where those high ticket memberships we talked about could test the strategy. So if you think about it, if I give you a two week trial, and then you stick around up after two weeks, like there's not that much difference between that and me giving you half price off your first month, because within a one month period, you're paying for two weeks and you're getting two weeks for free. So it's the same offer but it's reframed not to be a trial. And so the perspective on it changes. People aren't making that transaction with the mindset of it. trying this out, then making that transaction with the mindset of I'm joining, and I'm just getting a good deal for my first month. So that kind of reframe our price off your first month, you know, two months for the price of one, again, two months for the price of one, it's a 30 day trial, you're just collecting your month to payment a bit earlier. So if you're struggling to convert on the trial, and if you find particular you're getting people dropping off, and they're saying things like, Thank you for the opportunity to, you know, try this out, I might be back again in the future. So if you find you're getting a lot of people who just have no, no intention of saying beyond the trial, that reframe can can go a long way. And it is, it's the same offer. It's just different language, different messaging, different positioning. So that's something to consider.
Something else, depending on how ninja your tech setup is, there are ways in which you can detect whether someone has ever logged in or actually used their trial. If they haven't offered to extend it or repeat that trial. someone signs up for a two week trial, and then you know, their cut, get run over, you're not a priority for the next few weeks, right. But they may still really, really, really want to dive in there. But you've just gone off their radar. If you can detect that they're not used the trial. Again, it costs you nothing. It affects you, in not a single way that could ever be perceived as negative to just kind of say, hey, we saw that you you start the trial, we get that life gets in the way, and you haven't had an opportunity to try us out. But we'd hate for you to miss out on you know this, this chance to see whether we're right for you. So if you want click here, and we'll just reset the clock. Right so that again, to good way of kind of if you've got the tech for it. So membership plugins, if anyone's using WordPress, you can use WP fusion fantastic integrate with most email CRMs that can add a tag based on logins. And so you do the whole thing, if they don't have this tag, hit them with their email at the end of the trials, then you're not used it God, I want to just do have a do over. So yeah, extending or repeating the trial for people who didn't use it.
incentivizing people to skip the trial. I love this one I'm going to try I've not tried this on myself. This is shamelessly stolen from Digital Marketer actually, because they do it. And it was one of those where I've seen a lot. And that's who like when someone signs up for the trial, you know, quite often, someone's buying something from you, you'll try and order bump to get them to buy another thing, instead of that, offer them a bonus or an incentive to skip the trial and get right into being a paid member right now. So instead of us all having to wait 30 days to see whether you're going to actually stick around, you know, what is this bonus, here's this offer. If you jump right into the business of being a fully paid up member, I think the language the messaging around how you how you label or refer to the status of someone being a trial member and a full member, I think that's something you probably want to play around with. So you can kind of make some real compelling, like, you know, dive right into the full Academy member pro experience right now and get this bonus, like that shortcuts, that conversion. So I love like, I want to play around with this for myself. But yeah, it works. And it's a novel, it's a novel idea. And again, you're in you're not taking the trial option away from them. So the worst thing that happens is they do what they were going to do anyway, which is great, because, you know, we still want people on that trial if they feel they need it. Because if if the only way to join your site is to is to sign up to trial, like you literally don't have any other everyone signing up, get to trial. Some people don't need it. Some people are happy to jump right in. And actually, if they're gonna get a free thing for something they'd be happy to do anyway. Why not? Right. So yeah, I like that. The skip the trial bonus, we talked about when you mentioned the high ticket memberships that you might consider delivering on some of the real valuable stuff after the trial is over? Yeah, definitely release some sort of key content. Or maybe you've got a bonus for when someone signs up. Or maybe you offer a little bonus piece of content that you've now put on your sales page. That only unlocks all news made available after the trial has expired. If you're if you're running trials as part of like a promotional campaign, or an email campaign, so it's a real time thing. Like if you're doing a summit, for example, and you have a deadline on when that trial is available. Make sure you've got some live sessions, some live trainings and q&a calls scheduled in the weeks after everyone who takes The offer will have their trial period come to an end and promote the heck out of them can remember, like we have to market to our members, we have to keep convincing them. This is why you want to stay next month. So great, you get into the door by saying Look at all this stuff that is inside. You keep them there by saying hey, look at all this stuff that will be here next month, you that you want to make sure you're here for as well. So having some either content that's evergreen, but it's unlocked or it's drip fed, after their trial periods done, or releasing a bonus and making sure you've got live stuff happening. Again, that's that's a no brainer thing to do. And yeah, that kind of ties in with the final thing of future pacing. So this is something I think membership owners should always be doing, always talk about what's coming up in the pipeline. So if you're working on a course, make sure that that call, if you've got courses in your membership, or workshops or whatever, make sure they're listed somewhere somewhere prominent, with a coming soon sign, or a date, if you have that available for when they'll be released. Like put it front and center, make sure people know what is happening, what's coming up. Think about movies, think about TV shows, like having a sitting watching a TV channel, they're advertising series that are going to start in a month's time two months time Game of Thrones before they went completely insane. They would advertise their new seasons months in advance. And you're not going to cancel your cable subscription or your subscription to HBO, when you know that that's coming. So you need to, you need to do the same thing for your for your membership, having upcoming content listed somewhere in your dashboard in your library, including it in member newsletters, posting Instagram stories or tiktoks, showing you creating this stuff showing the behind the scenes because remember, again, I think people forget this, your members are looking at your social media too. It's not just for trying to get people who aren't paying you to start paying you, like your members are seeing this. So if you're working on a course, get that Instagram story out, have the thing of house your thing, I really quickly scroll through the slides because we're workshop, like, you know, can't wait to get this out to members next month. Like make sure people always know why they should be here next month and the month after and the month after. And that's particularly important to be sowing those seeds and doing that future pacing during that trial period as well.
Yeah. And then I just see these tips. I mean, those are incredible for the trials, but also for keeping people long term is it just sounds like it all just kind of ties right together. Yeah, that's amazing. Well, you have shared so much good stuff with us about why memberships are amazing tips for getting started tips for people interested in a trial. I love that you you showed us that like trials aren't going to be like a magic bullet. If your membership doesn't work like that. That's not how it's going to work. But it sounds like a very powerful strategy for people to test and try and you don't know until you test and try. So thank you so much for sharing all of this with us today. Is there any like big takeaway you want people to walk away with before we wrap up?
Yeah, I think it's just reiterating the importance of member retention. You know, a lot of what we're talking about is getting new members into your site. And that's what everyone focuses on. Because everything out there is, hey, this, this is a sales strategy. Here's how we make sales, how to use Facebook ads to get more sales. It's just remembering that memberships are a retention business. Retention is infinitely more important than acquisition, your business cannot survive on members who only stay for a month or two. And so making sure that you are retention minded that you're always thinking about why are people actually joining? What's the overall goal? Are they working towards a particular outcome? Are they attempting to achieve mastery? Are they just looking for connection? Or are they just using me as a resource? Like they just want my stuff, my templates or whatever? Making sure you understand what that is and ensuring that you show up and service that each and every single day? Yes, the strategy is, yes, there's little tricks and tactics. But overall, recognizing what the point of you and your membership is, what purpose do you serve, what role you play in their world. And just being in service of that, that's half the battle, that's 90% of the battle. Everything else is just, you know, nudging the needle a little bit. But if you're making a positive difference to people's lives, you're helping them get to where they want to go, then it's going to be a no brainer that they'll stick with you. So having that mindset recognizing how important retention is and never getting distracted by the latest shiny sales gimmicks and marketing gimmicks. That's that's what I want people to always keep in mind with a membership because it's, it's the essence of what we do. Yeah.
Yeah. Showing up to serve and serving people well and it I mean, it comes through in everything you do I love that. Mike where can people go to learn more about you once you offer a dive into all your membership goodness, tell us all the things.
Yes. So if you want to check on my free stuff, my podcast my free resources, I'd recommend you check out the free stuff because if you can't make it through a handful of podcasts with me you're never gonna enjoy being in the membership with me. Check out the free stuff at membership geeks.com And if you want to see where we do our best work that's over at membership academy.com The original best longest whatever membership about memberships keeping a super meta and yeah, just the last tip like you really want to know what makes membership successful. Join other memberships. Like that's the easiest way to learn, like join memberships, see what they do. Think about how it makes you feel. And so yeah, that's a another reason to come check out the work we do.
Absolutely. I love that pro tip right there. I will include links to all of that in the show notes. Mike, thank you so much for being here. And thank you so much everybody for tuning in. For show notes and resources mentioned head to summit host hangout.com/ 249. Now go out and take action to plan, strategize and launch your high converting virtual Summit.