Membership sites are all the rage with information marketers and experts
Creating and marketing a membership site can be a great way to create ongoing income and a community of raving fans, simply by providing your life lessons and expertise in video and written form. They are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement and manage, but provide a great basis for providing an online education and an engaging community for your audience.
Features of Membership Sites
To do this right, you need a fairly complex system which in the past would have taken you tens of thousands of dollars to have an IT expert build for you. Now you can get the same features in much more affordable, reliable and convenient packages. The key features you need are:
- Site customization options to highlight your brand
- The ability to create a series of landing pages with video and an opt-in for further information
- The ability to purchase the membership (shopping cart and payment gateway)
- The ability to create time release modules that include space for sharing Video, Downloads and community questions and answers
- The ability to restrict access to paid content to members only
- A robust affiliate infrastructure so that partners can help you promote the membership site and get paid for their efforts
Best Membership Site Options
If you are looking to create your own site to share your lessons, videos, downloadable resources and spur community discussion, here are two great options to consider:
- Kajabi is completely web-based and has a lot of great built in features that let you set up a membership/training sites (many other info product gurus are using Kajabi as well and I’ve enjoyed the usability of their courses – Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard, MakeMarketLaunchIT, etc.)
- 1ShoppingCart would handle the Autoresponder, Shopping Cart and Affiliate Program and is supposedly easy to integrate with Kajabi (I have not tried this yet).
- Optimize Press is a robust WordPress Theme, so if you already are handy with WordPress, you should be able to follow their excellent videos to set it up. It is a great theme for so many purposes with nearly endless page format options that are impeccably designed and optimized for great conversions.
- Digital Access Pass has a built-In autoresponder, shopping cart with 1-Click Upsell capability, and a built in affiliate program (you must be a customer, but then you automatically get an affiliate ID). With some additional expenses, you get secure video hosting, the ability for users to select course materials and multi-site licenses.
The Bottom Line on Membership Sites
If you know what you are doing with WordPress and installing plug-ins manually and can put a little time into the site yourself, I would recommend going with the less expensive option – Optimize Press + Digital Access Pass. If you don’t have that background, then Kajabi+ 1ShoppingCart would probably be easier for you. Either combination is a proven and excellent choice.
Don’t Forget Accepting Payments!
For either of these site options, you’ll need a reliable merchant services partner for payment processing and an account with an internet gateway provider. I strongly recommend getting a quote from JBD Consulting. They are payments industry experts with merchant needs in mind. They will work with you to determine your specific needs and match you with the most affordable option that will approve your account. This is critical because you don’t want to shop around to multiple potential merchant services firms getting your credit checked several times only to be turned down. Unlike other providers, they will work to minimize or eliminate as many fees as possible and will get you the lowest rate. To be successful in this business, you’ll need to accept online payments, so fill out this form for a complimentary recommendation from JBD Consulting.
Here’s a great report that will help you avoid getting ripped off in the merchant account sign up process:
If you need help building out your product concept and implementing it using one of these combinations of tools, please contact us to request a quote for assistance.