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How to Create An Online Membership Site

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Building an online membership sounds incredibly challenging, but Danielle makes it look easy. Here’s what she tells us about developing  a thriving community online. Danielle Desir is an author, speaker, podcaster and the founder of WOC (Women of Color) Podcasters, the first community of its kind dedicated to supporting and amplifying the voices of women of color podcasters. WOC Podcasters has grown to a community of over 3,000 members in 2 years and recently launched a membership site offering mentorship, accountability and a resource library covering a variety of aspects in podcasting.

how to build a profitable membership site

What to include in a membership site

When it comes to creating an online membership, you’ll need to create a solution for the challenges your ideal customer or client faces. Once you build out a solid sales funnel with your website, you can direct prospective customers or clients to your online digital solutions on a recurring subscription model. Danielle realized that accountability was missing and then created a membership with multiple monthly accountability calls. She also interviews experts and then adds their bonus training material content onto the Thinkific membership portal.

Build a Community

Danielle excels at building communities online. Before starting the WOC Insider’s Membership, she created an online course and Facebook community about being financially savvy and traveling abroad. Building off of this experience Danielle shares that growing an online business is always a work in progress. She recommends preselling a product before one is completely developed to validate your offering before spending a substantial amount of time building out a digital product. Through Facebook groups, Danielle shares valuable free blog posts, videos, and other job opportunities to help support the podcasting process. “I know podcasting can be incredibly lonely at times, so I wanted to support others while they were podcasting,” Desir says.

Thinkific Membership Site Example

Thinkific Membership 

Danielle hosts all of her membership group content on the Thinkific platform. She uses a private Facebook group for those that pay a monthly subscription fee. Any bonus workshops can be paid for with an all access subscription or purchased individually. If a customer decides to stop or pause their account, access to the private Facebook group is limited. This ensures that the ongoing trainings are kept as a special bonus for those that pay the subscription fees. Desir says that this is to ensure that your solutions are scaleable because providing free content as a business owner still costs money. She also leverages paid and unpaid volunteers to assist with supporting the engagement of the free and paid Facebook group. For example, she has someone post weekly in each group.

Offer Workshops

Desir says that workshops are a great way to provide value in a shorter period of time. She includes her own training sessions recorded from Zoom meetings as well as expert co-led sessions. Subscribers also have access to an ever growing comprehensive library for her audience about growing and monetizing their podcast. She updates this with fresh content and special online training. 

Ask for referrals

Desir says that one of the biggest ways that her brand has grown organically is through word of mouth and referrals. Other business journals and news outlets have written about WOC Podcasters and Desir says that sharing about the group on other podcasts has been helpful when it comes to growing an online membership. She says not to get discouraged when you don’t receive an immediate sale. By simply offering and sharing information that is valuable, people will spread the word and choose to purchase a membership if they find that it helps them reach their goal. 

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Creating an online membership takes time and commitment. If you are a small business owner that is ready to take on the next step in your online business with courses, don’t forget to check out our shop

Build a Profitable Membership