I started my first membership site over 20 years ago, and it's still bringing in lots of money today. When we talk about membership sites, you have to realize they're not the same as passive recurring income. We love our passive recurring income, but passive recurring income comes in whether you do anything at all. Membership sites require some effort on your part to keep members interested in continuing to pay for access to your site, but It doesn't mean it has to be hard.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 352
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:41] Tom's introduction to Membership Sites [07:17] Membership Rules [07:56] Payment methods [09:21] “Charter Member” and membership level techniques [11:33] Attracting and keeping members [12:33] Lifetime memberships [14:50] Refunds [15:17] Software for running membership sites [16:04] Sponsor message [19:33] Having a membership site without a website
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Amazing Public Speaking – https://www.amazingpublicspeaking.com/
Copywriting901 – https://copywriting901.com/
Brutal Self Defense – https://brutalselfdefense.com/
WishList Membership – http://go.wishlistproducts.com/?p=WLP1197328&w=wlm
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Three Critical Business Tasks – https://screwthecommute.com/351/
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Episode 352 – Membership Sites
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody. It's Tom here with episode three hundred and fifty two of Screw the Commute podcast. Today, we're going to talk about membership sites that can bring you a nice monthly income or even a yearly income.
[00:00:39] Now, I want to tell you about an article I wrote one time, and it was titled When Does 20 Equal 24000. All right. Let's think about this for a second. If you had a membership site with only a hundred members, which while that's about as pitiful as you can get with the billions of people on this planet.
[00:01:00] Ok, so one hundred members at twenty dollars a month. All right. Well, 20 times a hundred. That's 2000 dollars a month. Times twelve equals twenty four thousand dollars.
[00:01:16] That's a cash flow you just created from, like some of the most pitiful performance at all you could ever do on it. All right. So so what if you had two hundred members, you just exceeded the average income of an individual in the United States. You just put in forty eight thousand dollars, say. So this is very, very powerful. So stay tuned for the rest of this episode. Now, I hope you didn't miss Episode 351. I covered three critical things you can do right now to increase your bottom line. So check that out if you missed it. So how would you like to hear your own voice here on screen? The commute. Wow. If the shows helped you out at all in your business or giving your ideas to help you start a business, we want to hear about it. go to screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says send a voicemail, click on it, talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the show has helped you either start a business or or get ideas for your to improve your business and make sure you put your website on there so I can give you a big shout out on a future episode of Screw the Commute in your own voice, I make sure you pick up a copy of our Automation eBook. This book has saved me millions of keystrokes literally, and lets me take care of customers and all my business stuff. Lightning fast. So download that at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. We charge twenty seven dollars for this book, but it's free for listening to the show and also pick up a copy of our podcast app. While you're there, you can put it on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. It does all kinds of cool stuff and we have video and screen capture instruction to show you how to use it. And people are still freaking out because of this pandemic and I don't blame them. It's a crazy time in the world, but it hasn't stopped me from making money and it hasn't stopped my students from making money because we know how to sell online. Now, this is something that this would be the best thing you could ever do in a million years for the young people in your life. Get them in my school, get them a real hard core skill. They love computers anyway. They love to be on their phones anyway. Why not let them make a career out of it?
[00:03:50] Every business on Earth needs these skills. And so you have.
[00:03:55] People begging for young people to handle their social media and their shopping carts in their email marketing and are blogging and all this stuff and their Instagram and their tick tock, all of these things that most small business owners are clueless about. We teach your young people how to do it, and you don't have to be that young. I mean, I'm 65 going on 12.
[00:04:21] I mean, no, there's no excuse now for not being able to use computers and make money from home. So check out my school, IMTCVA.org. And a little bit later, I'll tell you how you can get a full scholarship that you can gift to a young person in your life. And it would be one of the best things you could ever do for him.
[00:04:41] All right, let's get to the main event. I started my first membership site over 20 years ago, and it's still bringing in lots of money today. When we talk about membership sites, you have to realize they're not the same as passive recurring income. That's great. We love our passive recurring income, but passive recurring income comes in whether you do anything at all. Membership sites require some effort on your part to keep members interested in continuing to pay for access to your site. It doesn't mean it has to be hard, you could provide maybe an in-depth article, new article every week only for members and how you can even outsource that if you wanted to. Maybe you could get on a webinar once a week or even twice a month and deliver some content and leave time for people to answer or to ask questions.
[00:05:39] Let me take a sidebar here. Every time you do a webinar or tell a seminar or put up a PDF file or a graphic, you are making the site appear to be more valuable.
[00:05:50] So it's easier to sign up new members and keep them because they see so much value after they join. So this does get easier over time. Now, speaking easier over time, as you operate your membership site, you will start to notice members who are always participating, making great comments and generally showing they're a big fan of the site and a solid, dependable person and reasonable person. These people could be offered free or paid moderator positions. Now, what do I mean, free? Why would somebody work for free? Well, that's kind of an easy one. Many people crave a sense of belonging and power. Being in charge of even a section of your site would help satisfy this craving. And to them it would be a big honor. To you it means less work. And you are doing a nice thing showing that person they are valuable, respected and appreciated. Now, of course, you still have to monitor their work in the beginning to make sure they're upholding the rules of your site. But after a while and with several of these people handling duties as your site grows, it can take a tremendous workload off you as the site becomes more profitable.
[00:07:14] How you can offer to pay them if you want to. Now, I just did mention membership rules a minute ago. They are very easy to create just by joining other membership sites and getting ideas from them, but some common rules are like no blatant promotion, no profanity, racial slurs, attacks, doxing people, things like that. Now, when I say no blatant promotion, like one of my membership sites, we have a Friday where you can blatantly promote anything you want. So, you know, you can play with that a little bit, but it has to be in the rules so people know what to expect. Now, let's talk about payment methods. The three main ones are monthly, yearly and lifetime. Monthly gives you a chance to get people in at a low fee so their risk isn't too much. In the beginning, you don't know how long the average person will stay a member. So I suggest giving a big discount if they pay yearly. This works beautifully for me on my site. Amazingpublicspeaking.com. When I introduced the site, it was nineteen dollars and ninety five cents a month.
[00:08:30] If you multiply that out by 12 months in a year, that came to two hundred and thirty nine dollars and 40 cents, but I had no idea if anyone would stay for even two months, let alone 12 months. So I gave them a charter member fee of 97 dollars a year. And guess what? I took in thirteen thousand dollars the first week. All right. This now, this was a savings is two 30. Now, this 97 dollar fee was a savings of one hundred and forty two dollars and 40 cents over the course of a year. And I made a big deal about that in the sales letter. So this gave me a big burst of income. And I didn't really have to worry how long a person would stay in the site and until I got more experience running it over a year.
[00:09:21] Now, I just mentioned the term charter member. Well, this is a great technique to use on a new membership side. There are a lot of people out there that love the idea of getting in on the ground floor of something new.
[00:09:35] I don't know the psychology of this or why they like this, but I do know it works also as part of their charter membership, as long as they stay continuously, as long as they continuously stay a member, they pay the introductory price forever, no matter how much the price rises in the future. Well, people love this. Now, there's another psychological technique that you don't see as often, but it works like a charm and that is levels of membership where you can't advance to the next level until you pass all the requirements of the first level. I know a guy that has like 11 levels, OK, and people don't want to quit because in his system, it's shown to them right from the beginning to be very prestigious, to complete the final mastery level or whatever he calls it. Again, there's psychology here. I remember how a company used this general idea on my mother. The company used used to create jobs. I'd call them generally worthless comen commemorative coins.
[00:10:50] If you bought the first coin in the set, they would give you this lovely wooden box with the gorgeous felt lining with empty holes so that each month you would buy another, I say, worthless coin to fill in the set.
[00:11:06] Nobody wanted to quit with a partially filled set, so the company made a fortune on recurring income from selling these coins. So this is just something to keep in mind.
[00:11:17] If you want to do membership levels, people don't want to quit until they finish the thing. Another way to get new members is like a free or a dollar trial for a week that automatically leads into a monthly payment. That can work really well, too. I use that on one of my sites. All right. With membership sites, you always have to think about keeping and attracting more members. Now, I always recommend multimedia membership sites. Now, that's a fancy term.
[00:11:44] But let's say if you have a video only site and let's say someone is a real estate agent and they're always driving around in their car, they can't watch video. They won't be interested in your site. And maybe someone else gets headaches and eye strain looking at the screen and would rather listen while they will be interested in your side either. All right. Maybe someone else likes to read. So if you don't have PDF files for them to download and maybe print out, they won't be interested in your size. It's it's not that much trouble for you to, let's say, make your video, take the audio track off the video to make an MP3 audio file and have that transcribed and put in as a PDF file. Now, the same info can sue three different markets. All right. I just thought of something I forgot to mention lifetime memberships.
[00:12:37] I use this frequently when I know someone needs all the info. I don't want them to fool around with monthly payments or I don't want to fool around with monthly payments. I want to get a big burst of income up front and I want to show them extreme value. So I'd say I have copywriting901.com. That's clearly one of the most powerful skills you could ever use, brutalselfdefense.com, lifetime membership and could save your life. Actually, how to make a fortune speaking at fundraisers. How to make a world class website for twenty dollars or less. These are just other membership sites I have and I don't have to much work to do at all on some of the sites because they're evergreen topics and lifetime membership. They just sit there for years at a time and bring in money. Say now topics. You just heard some of mine.
[00:13:34] And and of course, I have my mentorship membership site, at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. I'll tell you a little later about that. And then I'm also going to tell you. How I did a membership site with no Web site at all. I like that and I've seen and belong to all kinds of memberships for a long time until I got injured, I was in two tennis training sites for twenty dollars a month each. I know a guy that at one time had 42 personal training sites, membership sites.
[00:14:09] I even heard of a site on embroidery that had 20000 members at ten dollars a month each. Think about that, 200000 dollars a month for embroidery. Right. They had so many members all over the place, their members started meeting in person once a week. They called themselves The Thread Bears. Those people will never stop paying their ten dollars a month until they die because they are in a community now.
[00:14:39] So just Google your topic and put the word membership site and see what you come up with. Hey, if there is a membership site, that's a good thing because that means there's a market for your topic. Say, all right, let me just say something briefly about refunds.
[00:14:54] A lot of times, yeah, they'll offer a refund for your first month if you're not happy. But under the future, usually if you're making monthly payments, you can cancel.
[00:15:06] And then there's no refund at that point, you just good till the end of the next period and then they stop your payments, so I don't have too much trouble with that.
[00:15:16] And you probably won't either. Now, there are two types of software I use to run my membership sites, member gate and Wish List member, which is a plug in for WordPress. And I really do too many more member gate sites. They're highly I mean, they're really, really stable, really good quality, but they're expensive. So nowadays I, I make membership sites and we teach our students to use a WordPress site with a plug in called Wish List Member. And my affiliate link will be in the show notes for that. Anyway, it's a plug in for WordPress.
[00:15:53] And basically what membership sites do is they just lock off certain pages of your site unless someone has paid. And we've hooked up lots of these for my mentees, all right, now, the next thing I want to tell you about is how we can do this with no website at all.
[00:16:09] But before I tell you about that, I want to tell you about my mentorship program. It's the longest running, most successful, most unique ever in the field of Internet marketing and digital marketing. Plus with my school combined with it, it's the only license dedicated program of its kind in the country. Probably the world took me three years to get the license, background checks, scrutiny, financial checks, everything to get the license, because a lot of these for profit schools were ripping people off, you know, charging them a fortune and they're not giving him any training. So we have to recertify every year and all that stuff. But anyway, my mentor program is very unique. It's been running for over 20 years. It's unique in the fact that it's one on one. Me and my whole staff talk to you one on one. And if you don't think you get to talk to me, the big kahuna you do, because my income, another unique feature of this is my success is tied to your success. So guys like me were charging 50 or 100 thousand dollars up front and they could care less if you're successful. Well, for me to get my 50000, you have to make 200000. You pay an entry fee, which is way smaller than the 50000. And then, you know, I'm not going to disappear on you because I won't get my fifty thousand. All right.
[00:17:35] And so that's just one one of the unique features. And then, like I said, it's one on one. So you're not lumped in with people more advanced or or two or too much of a beginner. You have an immersion trip to the great Internet marketing retreat center where you actually live in my house with me, which is unheard of. Nobody has ever done this before.
[00:17:59] Now, of course, we've got to wait till after the pandemic, but we we don't actually let anybody come for at least four months of training until I know that they're they won't be deer in the headlights the whole time when they're here. We have a TV studio where we shoot high quality videos. I've seen them go for just one of them, 700 dollars for just one, which was the, quote, discount price. It was normally fifteen hundred dollars. We've had people come here, shoot anywhere from 15 of them to 53 of them. OK, and my guy added some puts the graphics on and you got all these marketing videos as part just a part of your deal with me. We have a year's worth of training where we were here to back you up to any questions you have any trouble you get into. You got somebody that has a financial interest in your success here, waiting to help you say so. Just amazing. I mean, there's a whole bunch of other things. But anyway, you also get a full scholarship to my school, which you can use yourself for extra training or gift to someone. We had somebody gifted to their daughter and she's making six thousand dollars a month as a side hustle. All right. So you don't even have to go through the whole school to start making money. We've had people start making money after a month only in the school. So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. Give me a call. We'll discuss your how you can participate. You can get started right away.
[00:19:33] All right. Let's get back to the main event. The last thing I wanna tell you about is how you can have a membership site with no website at all. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of this.
[00:19:45] A lot of times I have to I do things just to prove that they can be done, not that they're the best thing in the world to do. And this is an example of that.
[00:19:56] So I have a private paid Facebook group called Screw the Commute to match the name of the podcast here where you can join it for dollar weekly trial or week trial, and then thirty seven dollars a month where you can ask questions from me and the other people in the group.
[00:20:13] And my I got two of my people that work here, watch everything and can answer questions for you. So it's a cheap way to get access to me and my crew.
[00:20:25] But there's no cost to it, it's not a Facebook group, it's just a private Facebook group that you have to pay to get into no website, no nothing. Now, why do I say it's not the best thing in the world if it's free?
[00:20:38] Well, the thing is, is it could disappear overnight if Mark Zuckerberg decides to ban private Facebook groups or, you know, not allow you to charge for him, I don't know. Who knows? But the thing is, is I'd rather have you have something under your control, but you can do it.
[00:20:55] I've proven it. It's been run in several years. All right. Brings in money. So that's the way you can do with no website at all.
[00:21:03] But I'll tell you, a membership site can really be like an insurance policy for you and your family and bring in regular income. As I said, with as little as a hundred members, you made 24000 dollars cash flow with two hundred members, 48. But look at that one embroideries had 20000 members. I mean, I've never done anything that big.
[00:21:27] So anyway, check out membership sites and I will catch you on the next episode. See you later.
Join my distance learning school: https://www.IMTCVA.org
Join the mentor program PLUS get a FREE Scholarship to the School: https://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com