Community building: how do you build a successful community?
“What are the challenges of a membership A membership site is a site that a target audience can subscribe to, often in exchange for a periodic financial compensation. This construction makes a membership site ideal for courses or.. ? I like to see a checklist to launch a good Huddle. What does it take to sell a successful membership?”
The first viewer question in Marketing Talk is a fact! We received the above question from Jordi about memberships.
Huddle is our community software. People often ask us what criteria a good community or e-learning should meet. However, that is no small question. We could talk about it for days. That is why we especially want to show you how we go about making our membership a success.
How do you start a successful community?
Many people sell a digital programs We received a question from from The Social Brand. They wondered how we see the future of online courses and programs. More and more entrepreneurs are using online programs.. – for example video programs, online coaching, or training courses – for a one-time price. That’s how we used to approach it ourselves.
At some point, we transitioned to a community. In addition to buying a course from us, you could also become a member of the community. We have also adapted the revenue model from a one-time price to a membership. You do not pay an amount in one go, but you pay an amount per month.
It is very useful to have recurring income. That’s why we preach so much about that. There is a good chance that you have learned that we had a record turnover last month. Almost half of this record turnover did not come from the promotion at all but was already recurring.
We strongly believe in the power of subscriptions. It is initially more difficult to sell them. But once it runs, it gives a lot of financial peace of mind. The company then becomes bigger than just you, who as a marketer is constantly bringing in money again.
Get people to join and stay members
While membership is great, it doesn’t sell as easily. There are several ways you can sign up for a membership.
You can go for a Netflix model, where you keep adding new content. An evening on the couch on Netflix is something completely different than online marketing courses Online Marketing Courses from Tonny Loorbach & Martijn van Tongeren. These internet marketing courses, masterclasses, and training courses can be followed online (e-learning). to look.
With the Netflix model, people join your community because of the content. But they don’t stop there. They quit after two months. Either because they have seen everything or because they have seen very little and do not want to pay more. They don’t feel involved in the membership.
If someone watches a few videos in your community every week, there’s a good chance they’ll stay a member. You want your members to be involved with the community as much as possible. This way you ensure that they remain a member.
That involvement is very important. In the corona year, many people could not use their membership at gyms and dance associations. People who had been members there for years probably continued to pay during the corona year. They felt connected. People who had only been a member for a month have canceled their subscription immediately. They didn’t feel connected yet. The same applies to online membership.
How do you build an engaged community?
For people to remain a member, they must continue to use your platform. With our software, it is not that difficult. People use the software every day to build their websites. If you have a knowledge membership, you also want people to start using it and keep using it.
In a community, you can get in touch with like-minded people. You can log in every day, ask questions and share successes. This way you feel more connected to the people in the community and also to the brand. That’s what you want to achieve with your membership.
Now, of course, the big question is: how do you start that? How do you get your community active and how do you keep it active?
It is better to have a community with 10 people who are very active than with 1000 where only a very small percentage is active. You want there to be a buzz. This is easier said than done. People want to join a conversation, but they don’t want to be the first to start the conversation.
With just content and a place to chat with each other, there probably isn’t much happening yet.
The dream of many entrepreneurs! But yeah, you’re already busy enough of course.
Membership used to consist mainly of creating a lot of content. Many entrepreneurs feel that they should continue to provide value by continuing to create content.
But what if you put yourself in the position of your customer? Suppose you want to learn online marketing and can choose from:
- A 500-page book that tells everything about how to get higher in Google
- A 10-page book containing only concrete action points. You don’t have to understand them, but when you do them all, you get the same result as if you had read the 500 pages in the other book
It’s pretty logical what people would choose.
But what if that very small book is three times as expensive as the very big one? You save a lot of time and effort with it. Therefore, there is a good chance that people will choose to pay more for less information.
People don’t buy information anymore. They sell the added value of information. For example, you offer that added value to a community or by organizing a challenge.
How guest speakers make our community more valuable
There is something to do every week in IMU+. One week there is a guest lecture, the next week a website review marathon and the following week an external expert comes to talk about a specific topic. You don’t have to follow everything, but you do have a stimulus every week that helps you take a step forward in your business. That’s the value we sell.
It’s been quite a process for us to learn that more content isn’t always better. As an entrepreneur, it is in you to keep creating. You want to give more value. Precisely because we are no longer the only ones who give value, the community becomes much more valuable.
The Charlotte’s Law session currently in progress is about corporate law. We know nothing about that. For example LinkedIn Tips, tricks, and the latest news about social media channel Linkedin including; advertising on Linkedin, writing content, business Linkedin, Tips for business relationships Linkedin, use Linkedin, news and.., selling on Amazon, video marketing. We can all fly in external experts for that. In this way, the community becomes more and more valuable.
It is also interesting for the speakers. The community consists only of nice entrepreneurs. Although they do not pitch at the end of their lecture, they have aroused the interest of a large group of entrepreneurs. We have a valuable session and for our speakers, there are potential customers in the community.
Perhaps the session on corporate law is not relevant for everyone at the moment. The people for whom it is relevant are their live. People who want to get started with it in a few months can just watch the recordings later. In this way, we ensure that there is movement in our community.
How do you apply all this to build your own community?
Maybe you’re reading all this and you’ve just started your Huddle. It may sound like you have a lot to arrange. You don’t have the knowledge, the team, the network, or hundreds of members yet.
If you want to build a successful community, it is especially important that your soul is in it. If you can’t do it 100%, you need someone who can. Then life goes on and you ensure that the members come into contact with each other.
With us, Daniëlle arranges everything around the community. She arranges the agenda and supports the community. We act as an expert ourselves and are acting as a member.
You may not be able to build your community like this from day one. But you can build to it. It’s a bit of trying. But there must be energy in it.
When Martijn was still running the community, his soul and soul were in it. The community was very active. When he went on vacation for three weeks, he assigned someone else to be in the community. Once back from vacation, the community was a minefield. Nothing had happened at all.
Do you need to have a community for a successful membership?
Building a community is not the only way to make a membership successful. You can also do it with content only.
The first version of BreinTV is only a combination of the ten programs. They deal with topics such as happiness, self-confidence, burnout, and stress. It’s more of a hobby business. That’s why we don’t want to maintain a community there. Although the membership works well, we do see that the retention is relatively low. People have seen the courses at some point and then give up.
To ensure that people remain a member of the membership, we have copied the IMU event agenda. In our network, we started looking for experts who would like to do a guest session. We organize one per month. All we have to do now is schedule one guest speaker and put it on the agenda.
Such a monthly session with a guest speaker can be enough for members to keep their membership on for a while. Because it’s live, they know: ‘I just have to be there for a while and then I get a positive stimulus’.
Why choose a live element and not just post a new video every month? You can also keep a community running without live content. However, with live sessions, you make it easy. If you’re just posting a new video, you have to rely more on the willpower of your members.
How do you make a difference with your membership?
The most important step you need to take to make your membership successful is that you facilitate people and not just inform them. Think about who your members are and what result they want to achieve:
Someone joins the gym because he wants to get fitter. Someone is a member of IMU because he wants to become more successful with his online business
Starting your own online business is not difficult and can be done fairly quickly. You have to focus on taking the right steps. If you know what to do and in what order, you can…
Someone is a member of BreinTV because he wants to grow personally. Someone is a member of the guitar lesson club because he wants to learn to play the guitar.
By only sending information, the chance of success is relatively small. You want to facilitate the success of your customer, without that person needing willpower.
You have a gym and give someone access to all the devices. You also put down a book with fitness exercises and a large book with instructions about nutrition. What is the probability that someone will be successful? Very small.
What if you not only provide the space but also make a nutrition schedule, draw up a training schedule, demonstrate the exercises and stand next to it when someone gets started themselves. You guide them to do the right things and ensure that everything is done properly. Then the chance of success suddenly becomes very high.
That’s exactly what we do with IMU during the live sessions. When you’re there live, you get an incentive and you don’t have to rely on your willpower. We are all going to do a challenge together. Doing it together makes it much easier. In this way, we move from informing to facilitating.
Another advantage of the live moments is that it brings people together. Now it is mostly digital. As soon as the weather is possible, we also want to organize this physically. During the live sessions, dozens of people are active in the chat. This ensures that people feel more involved, which also keeps the community more active.
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