Everyone wants to work from home, work online or just have a side gig that they can make some real money doing and even better if those profits are recurring revenue streams.
Revenue that you can depend on each month so you can finally create a plan for quitting your day job or to make a strong foundation for your dream business. Who doesn't want that?
Bet you do... So, we are going to post a series of articles on some proven strategies to make recurring revenue that is consistent and predictable. In other words, tips for livin' the dream 🙂
Why would you want consistent and predictable recurring revenue streams? And why membership programs?
Well, they may not be wildly exciting but unlike other income streams, (such as with one-off products or single client gig services), a monthly or yearly recurring revenue membership let's you know what to expect. You aren’t bouncing from one product launch or gig to another.
Instead, you can focus on growing your client base and extending the value of your membership.
Solid recurring revenue using the membership model allow you to be focused on a scalable business and stop trading your time for money.
So, get ready to join the recurring revenue revolution and learn how the membership model can work for you!
Discover how to choose a membership format that focuses on long-term success so you can enjoy the benefits of passive income every month - all on complete autopilot.
And that’s just one of the many advantages of a stream of recurring income.
Recurring Revenue Streams
You can bet that you’ve seen the rise of recurring revenue streams in your everyday life.
Just think how Blockbuster fell victim to Netflix; cable TV fell victim to online streaming services like Amazon Prime.
Everywhere you turn, companies are focused on building multi-million dollar businesses with recurring income memberships.
In fact, virtually every business can benefit from adding a recurring membership.
There’s no doubt about it; now is the time to get in on the action.
To start, it’s important to come up with a primary benefit for your membership.
For example, even in a traditional brick and mortar business like a beauty salon you might offer a spa package, someone could purchase a $100 package that gives them the ability to book 3 massage treatments, rather than the usual 2.
With an online business, you could offer access to advanced training or exclusive resources not available anywhere else.
The key is to highlight the benefits upfront.
Customers sign on for recurring membership programs because they are getting more bank for their buck, or they are being given access to something unique, special and exclusive.
Or, perhaps they are looking to save time or alleviate an otherwise steep learning curve.
Regardless of the format you choose, you need to come up with a clear benefit that will persuade people to sign on and stay subscribed.
In this series we will be covering some of the most popular recurring revenue memberships so you can choose one (or more) that works best for you.
Recurring Revenue Membership Models...
Subscription-based membership programs are not only extremely profitable, as they generate recurring income, but they are single-handedly one of the easiest ways to gain traction in your market, and position yourself as an expert in your field.
With a membership program, people sign up for ongoing access to exclusive content. This is where they become part of your community and are often given the option to network with others or ask questions via a private group or forum as they progress through the training.
You’ve likely seen this in action for yourself when you’ve signed up for a course or training program. The course instructor has positioned themselves as an expert on the topic simply by providing a clear, workable system to accomplishing a specific goal or task.
By providing step-by-step training in a specific niche, you will be able to secure your foothold in your market and become a leading source for quality information.
In other words, you become the go-to person in your field. They are phenomenal at increasing your customer outreach, maximizing exposure and managing a sales funnel so that you can leverage your ever-growing community.
Another great thing about the membership model is that you can create a flagship program that is geared towards helping your subscribers learn about one topic, and then work towards expanding your program as your community grows so that you are keeping subscribers moving through your sales funnel.
There are MANY ways to build a successful membership program.
To begin, consider the commonly asked questions in your niche.
Perhaps someone needs help with graphic design. Rather than spending all your time teaching people how to master a specific software program on a one-on-one basis, you could create a membership site that offers access to video training that shows them how to use a third-party product to enhance their business.
Then, not only are you generating recurring income from your own training program but you are also able to make money via affiliate marketing.
You can package your membership program in many ways including by offering tutorials, resources, coaching, community access, or a combination of them all.
There are a few popular models used to create membership websites, including:
The Evergreen Content Model
This is sometimes called the set and forget model because of the ease of the process. This model allows your content to be released in the same sequence regardless when someone joins your program.
For example, someone who joins in January would receive access to the first month’s content immediately, and then in February they would receive access to the second month’s content and so on.
A member who joins in February would still receive January’s content as month 1. Every member starts at the beginning of your content cycle and then progresses as the month’s go on.
With an evergreen content system, the content is released sequentially based on each customers’ join date.
These are often the easiest membership sites to set up because you can create the content once, and then set & forget.
The only downside to this format is that you may struggle to offer group coaching as students will be at different stages of your training.
Current Month Access
This type of membership platform is based on the current month. Someone signing up in January would receive access to that current month’s content.
If someone signed on in February, they would only gain access to that current month’s content. So, every member is given access only to the latest update.
You can further monetize this style of membership site by giving members the option to purchase access to archived content separately.
This model helps to increase the value of every customer because they are purchasing access to current content while being able to purchase additional access to unlock prior months or advanced content.
This format works well if your content is segmented so that each month’s content can stand alone and isn’t dependent on previous lessons or training.
All Access Pass (Course Training)
This format usually involves providing members with access to all previous content as well as new content on a monthly basis as long as they are a paid member.
Typically, you can price these membership programs at a higher price point because subscribers are gaining access to all the available content, regardless when it was released.
Programs that run this way would include programs like Udemy which would be good for getting your first content up and running
or Skillshare which is known for teaching creative skills or the well known Microsoft owned Lynda.com.
But be aware there are some drawbacks to these kinds of platforms (more on that below)
Consider the different formats available so you can determine what would work best for your target market.
For example, the weight loss market is a popular one for membership programs (example: Weight Watchers), because their monthly program guides someone through their journey from the very beginning until they’ve reached their weight loss goals.
Their monthly membership never ends either because even when someone finally reaches their goal weight, they are then transferred into a membership program designed to help them maintain their weight.
With this type of platform, you are not only able to generate income monthly from the recurring membership fees, but you could easily expand your membership program to offer additional upgrades, such as access to weekly meal plans, community support, fitness strategies and customized weight loss plans.
Tip: You could also combine a membership program with a physical product subscription plan.
For example, you could sell access to an online training program that offers guides, tutorials and videos and provide them with a physical copy of the course via a book.
Bonus Tip: Once you have your membership program off the ground, you could offer personalized coaching access to a small group of students. (If your chosen platform allows it). You could choose to offer this only once a year when you have time, or offer it on an ongoing basis.
Coaching is a premium service which means that you’ll be able to set a higher price point than other types of services. It’s a great way to inject additional cash flow into your existing community.
Looking for more ways to make even more money using the membership site model? Check out this article How To Make Money With Membership Websites
Regardless of the membership format you choose, you’ll want to make sure you use a platform that supports your goals.
You should look for a membership software solution that offers quick-set up, a user-friendly admin panel, security and of course, flexibility regarding content options as well as payment processors.
Plus your chosen platform should allow you the freedom to expand your personal brand and use ALL the revenue streams that are available to you.
Really more and more people are launching online learning courses—whether as a means to build a brand, or just share your know-how while making some recurring revenue.
Now the drawbacks of using platforms like Udemy, Lynda, Skillshare, etc is that you have less control over your content than you might think or like. Some of the rules you will encounter really effect your personal or niche branding, name recognition and authority marketing (you REALLY need to build your presence online to truly profit).
For instance, Lynda.com migrated to LinkedIn Learning a few years back and if a owner didn't want not to integrate to LinkedIn, they had little they could do, accept take all their content down. And all the extra branding and advertising under the moniker Lynda was worthless the moment that Lynda ceased to exist and became LinkedIn Learning.
And you should always remember to read the term of service BEFORE you add your content to another brands platform because although you retain the rights to all of the content that you place on a platform on Udemy. Udemy states that they are "simply the platform through which you deliver that material". But, you might be surprised to learn that external hyperlinks are not permitted in promotional emails, and Udemy course links cannot be sent in educational announcements, which means you cannot send affiliate hyperlinks within emails to your existing students.
This will make it almost impossible to promote items you want to promote or offer additional upgrades to YOUR OWN STUDENTS!
Now with Skillshare you earn revenue from paying members kind of... They take 30% of it's monthly revenue and puts it in a fund to pay out to content creators (teachers). Then divide up the payments to the creators based on premium minutes.
Your end payments are then based on a combination of how much revenue Skillshare makes in a month as well as how many premium minutes were watched for your courses (and just a secret we know... people often do not finish the courses we offer after they pay for them).
It works for all digital product formats, including the ability to sell monthly content in whatever format you choose, as well as the ability to sell licenses to software, themes, designs or plugins.
The admin panel is intuitive and they offer prompt support and regular updates so you can rest assured you’re given access to in-demand features. It’s simply one of the easiest ways to get your membership site off the ground with minimal cost and effort.
We use ProductDyno ourselves and if you sell (or plan to sell) any kind of digital content, anything from ebooks and training, to plugins, desktop tools or web-based, software services be sure to check out ProductDyno.
You'll have an easy way to sell, license & securely deliver any type of digital product to your customers without the headaches of using complex, limiting or expensive, restrictive services.
With 100's of powerful features and time saving integrations ProductDyno is a digital product seller's dream come true!
You'll get unlimited clients, unlimited downloads, unlimited products (when you go VIP Platinum), amazing integrations, futureproof development, user management, fully automated systems and much more...
You'll even be able to sell the same product on multiple platforms (that is freedom) and effortlessly add buyers to your favorite email & autoresponder service.
We've built this new service from the ground up to MAKE OUR LIFE EASIER and YOU too can take advantage of this... get your products into the marketplace FASTER.
And to smooth out all those 'bumps in the road' vendors like us faced every day when we sell online.
But don't just take our word for it, here's what a few happy vendors had to say:
"Creating new products and offers is a breeze now, not stressful like it used to be. Running my business is so much more enjoyable today and my customers are so much happier, thanks to ProductDyno."
- Steven Alvey
"As a software developer protecting your hard work is an important aspect of selling digital products. You want a licensing system that does what you need, is flexible and not get in your way. ProductDyno does that and more."
- John Merrick
"ProductDyno does digital product delivery the right way, simple delivery pages, automated thank you emails, clean membership / training areas all contributing to make you look like a PRO vendor."
- John Thornhill