Put your money where your mouth is, self finance your business and make them feel the pain of disconnect!
Vampire Facelift - Marketing for ANY Niche - Membership Sites Work! - Dr. Charles Runels
Today is about recurring income. Today is about money. Today is about getting your website, and, more importantly, your membership site set up. We have a very special guest, Mr. Robert Plank. Robert, welcome to the show.
Glad to be back. I'm a recurring guest, now, just like Mr. Fred.
You are a recurring guest ... just like a membership site, as well.
Yeah, even though ... I'm glad that you brought that up. I'm glad that we kind of started off with that, because ... right off the bat, whenever people talk about membership sites, or I talk about membership sites to anyone, the usual excuse ... or the usual kind of ... like, dejected ... kind of beaten down, tired response is, "All right, well, I hear about this thing called a membership site. I want to make one, but I just don't know what I could ... I don't know what kind of site I could make," or, "I charge somebody 20 bucks a month, again and again."
... and, when I say ... well, you're thinking about membership sites all wrong. Membership sites ... usually, people think about recurring income ... charging people a monthly fee, but a membership site is just a site where someone can be a member.
Yeah, and I think that ... you know, for me, personally, this was a huge hold-up, because when I started online, I knew that I needed to make a product. I got confused, because ... I thought, well, I'm going to make a report, or I'm going to make a video, or I'm going to record a webinar, and sell that. My confusion was, "How do I deliver a product, versus how do I have a membership site?"
... and the big light bulb for me is exactly what you're talking about, just a moment ago ... is that a membership site doesn't have to be ... although it can be recurring ... but a membership site can be free. It can be single payment. It can be multi-payment. It can be recurring, like we've talked about, but the most important thing is that it takes payments from somebody, and then, it allows them access, once they are a member. For me, it was this big mindset shift. When it was ... oh, I can deliver my free gift, my lead generator, my ... what do they call it now ... my trip wire, through a membership site ... which gives me an easy place to up-sell people, or I can sell my one-time, seven dollar product ... or I can sell my multiple payment site, or my recurring site, all through the same thing. Once I figured out ... it was payment, securing my download, whatever that meant ... and then, having a place where people can log in ... that really changed the game for me, personally.
For me, too, and even ... kind of going along in that stream of thought, that you're thinking there ... is that what also helped me get over the hurdle of ... like, the confidence part, and the technology part, was that membership sites are just on or off, right? Someone either ...
... has access, or they don't. At first, it sounds like ... well, duh, of course ... but, I mean, from like ... a computer programming point of view, I was driving myself crazy, thinking ... like, okay ... so if someone's in my site, it's like ... should I be checking on my members, and see if someone hasn't paid me in 32 days, or in 35 days ... should I cut off my access ...
... and the good news is, the way all these payment systems work ... and by the way, what we highly recommend everyone listening does is, you get a business account with a site called PayPal, to take payments, and then you use a plug-in called Member Genius, which you can grab at MemberGenius.com.
Basically, the good thing about all these systems, including PayPal, is if somebody refunds, or if somebody is paying you monthly, and stops, PayPal will go ahead and talk to your site, so there's none of this ... having to, you know, check anything every 30 days. If someone pays you $10.00 one time, and it goes through, they have access to your membership site. If they then refund, they take the money back to themselves, then PayPal will go ahead and tell your membership site that. Then, likewise, if you have a $30.00 per month, kind of ... recurring forever membership site ... somebody joins ... something similar happens. They join. They get access. They can keep logging back in, but as soon as they stop paying monthly ... not even necessarily taking the money back, but just cancelling, stopping their monthly recurring billing ... same exact thing. PayPal will go ahead and tell your membership site to cut off their access.
... so, like ... that, in addition, to what you talked about a couple minutes ago, helped me wrap my head around it so much, because ... we don't have ... I mean ... there's very little difference between ... at least, as far as setting things up ... very little difference between a one-time payment site, and a recurring site ... because if somebody refunds, or cancels, PayPal ... just go ahead ... and sends the signal to shut them off.
I think that what's important, is that ... the way that we approach membership sites has really blurred the line. You don't need all of these different plug-ins. You don't need one for your lead capture system, to hook it up to your auto-responder ... a different one to collect your payments. If you get the right membership plug-in for WordPress, it handles everything. I mean ... Robert, we really think of them as our virtual assistants. We set it up. We hook it up with PayPal, or whatever affiliate system that we're using, to collect payments, and after that, I mean ... there's very little touch, or management, that we have to do on it.
If somebody pays, or signs up ... if it's a free site, they get access. If they want to access what they bought over and over again, they log in with their username, password ... or even, now, social media, Facebook connection ... and if they lose their password, or forget how to get in, the system sends them that as well. If they stop making payments, it locks them out, or if they refund it, locks them out. From a management point of view, it really frees up our time, because there's nothing that we have to do, and there's not a bunch of moving parts. It's one plug-in that handles everything. If they're in, they're in. If they stop paying ... cancel ... refund ... whatever it is, then they're out, and the system handles all that access for us.
Oh yeah, and, I mean ... the way that we both used to sell products, and training, and things online, is ... we would take money, and send somebody over to just a regular web page ... regular HTML page, if anyone knows what that is. That was fine for, you know, back in the Stone Age of internet marketing ... but nowadays, my thinking is, well, if I'm going to sell something ...
Let's say I'm even going to sell something like, high ticket ... like, something for a thousand bucks. Let's say that I ... even if you're only planning on making, or you're only going to make 10-20 sales of that this month, wouldn't it make sense to give someone access to a site where you can build it up over time? You could add some links, add some bonuses, and then, likewise, we have some sites ... like, we have a site called Income Machine, and I think we have, like ... 12,000 registered members in there. We have a site called Backup Creator, and we're just under 9,000 registered members, in there.
Even if you go the other direction ... if you have thousands and thousands of people who are all paying you $10.00 ... even if they're paying you $10.00 for one little thing, I mean ... it's ridiculous to think that you're going to be able to manage all that by just having a regular web page, because if you figure even ... you know, 10%, or 20% of those people come back, and need to go back and log in ... if even 1% of those thousands of people refund, or want to cancel, whatever ... it's just ... you'd spend literally all day re-handing out download links. I mean ... it's so awesome, especially that lost password recovery ... if they bought from you, say, years ago, and they want to get back in today.
There's one more thing that I want to talk about, really quickly, because we've kind of mentioned all of these different things, as we talk ... and really, we look at this as ... membership sites, first of all, cover every type of your digital product delivery online ... take your payments ... protect all of your content ... but there's really four models, I think, Robert, that we use. One is the free model, which basically is what we use to build a list. You might have heard of "lead capture" page, or "give a free gift away," ethical bribe ... any of these things. We use a membership site for ... and all we do is, we have what's called a free level, right? A level where anybody can get access, as long as they register for the site. Think about Facebook, Gmail ... Amazon, even ... all of these places ... those are all basically free membership sites, that you can buy something once you get inside ... so we have our free model.
Then, we have the single pay model, and this is ... this was the one that really took me a long time to wrap my head around, but it was ... I'm using it as a product delivery. Whether somebody pays me $47.00 once, $7.00 once, a thousand dollars once ... they pay. They get access to the site.
The third one ... and I think, really, Robert, we invented this. I mean ... this is something that we did digitally, that nobody else was doing ... and what we did was, we took our single pay sites, where everything, basically, used to cost $1,000.00 or $2,000.00 online, and what we said is ... why not give them all of ... I mean ... basically, did the same thing that you do when you buy a car, or a house, where they say it costs $60,000.00, but you get to pay it off over time. We came up with fixed-term, or multi-pay sites ... and so now what we do, is ... because we use a membership site, we're able to say, it's $47.00, every two weeks ... it's $50.00 a month, until you pay it off. While they're paying, they have access, and once they stop paying, they lose access ... but if they make all of their payments, they get access forever, completely ... so that's the third model.
And then, the fourth is ... which you mentioned, too, when we started this off ... the recurring, or getting paid every single month. What we really try to focus on for everybody, is ... if you're just getting started, have the free site, that's the list-building site. Use that same site to up-sell them into a single pay site, and then, have your high ticket, or multi-payment site, and then, once you start to build that following, then that's when you build the recurring site ...
... because, the truth is, the recurring site is the hardest to sell. It's the hardest to build, and it's the hardest to manage from a content point of view ... because you need to be putting in new content all of the time, in order to keep the site going, and to keep people paying.
Yeah, and I think that a lot of people ... they create way too much work for themselves, thinking that. They fall in love with the math, and they think that what they have to do first is to make that ... that recurring, forever ...
... monthly kind of site. What I would say ... like, for your listeners, and all ... that if someone doesn't have a membership site, and you just need someone to say, "Do exactly this," you need an exact plan ... what I would say is, the best place to start ... to sell something for exactly $97.00, and figure out something that you do really well, that other people want to know how to do. You explain this process as if you were starting over, and as if you were starting over with all the knowledge you have now, but none of the equipment, or tools, or money, and basically ... just having a do-over, and doing it a lot better.
For example ... recently, we put out a course about Fiverr with four modules called, Profit Dashboard. We put out a course on podcasting, called Podcast Crusher. The reason why I say, "Make this exactly $97.00," is just to eliminate all of the "paradox of choice" kind of stuff, where everyone just goes crazy about all the possibilities, right? If you figure out what people want, and you can show them how to do it, and you can build towards an end-goal ...
... so, we had our podcasting course, and the end goal there was to not only record a podcast, but to have it online, to get it ranking, to have some content going in there automatically ... and that's the end goal. We call each of those steps in there modules. You end up with a whole course, where you have four different sessions ... you could call them lessons, or whatever ... every session's about an hour or so, maybe a little more than that. There's a little bit of a quick assignment at the end ... but the point is, that for a hundred bucks, you get someone to get to whatever kind of goal. The reason why I kind of chose an option in the middle there, and said that ... you know, if you're completely stuck, completely confused, overwhelmed ... start off with a $97.00 four-module course ... is ... because then, just by making that one kind of site, the other sites almost kind of make themselves ... because ...
For example, you make that podcasting course for $97.00, and then you could find a little piece there ... like, maybe we could potentially pull out a piece on ... maybe, like, a podcasting checklist, or pull out a little piece ... maybe we should throw in some stock music for podcasts. We could pull out that little piece, and that could either be a little $7.00 level, or a little free level ... so at any whatever niche anyone's doing this in ... if you put out a little $100.00 course, and then, maybe it doesn't sell as much as you want, or maybe you want to try something lower-priced, don't just delete the whole site. Pull out a little piece, and then you can sell just that piece on its own.
The other model we talked about was a fixed-term site, where it's monthly ... recurring for a little while, but then, there is an end-goal. If you charge a hundred bucks for something, you could ... on what we call the sales letter, the page where someone clicks to buy, and join your site ... and say, you could buy this course all up front, right now, for $97.00 ... but then, over to the side, we say ... you can still get the exact same thing, exact same everything, you get the whole course instantly, all this podcasting training, for example, but it's 5 payments of 19.95, spaced 30 days apart. They can pay all the hundred bucks up front, right now, or they can space it out, and then, if you even want to get ... if that becomes a hot seller, then you could go ahead and make some kind of monthly site, where you meet with someone, one-on-one, every week, or if you meet as a group, once a month.
... but I think that ... that start, we listed ... like, those four models ... I think that starting off with just a one-time single payment model is ... the ... gets you to the low-hanging fruit faster, because you can try out these different things, and try out what your whatever ... your list ... whatever your audience is buying. Then, you get all these other kind of models unlocked, for free, and then, you try out these little projects. If something is a real huge hot seller, then you can go ahead and make that crazy recurring monthly forever site, that you always wanted to make in the first place ... but at least you've proved that it's a hot seller, before you put a bunch of time into it.
See, I love this, because the one thing that you kind of glossed over ... and I completely agree that this is where people need to start, is ... okay, how many times have you been on Facebook ... and I know, Robert, you'll send me these screenshots, all of the time, off of Facebook, where somebody goes to Facebook and they say ... "Um, I'm creating a product slash membership site funnel, and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to have a free ... a free option, and then I'm going to have a $17.00 trip wire, and then I'm going to have a $97.00 a month, a $97.00 product, and then I'm going to up-sell into a $47.00 a month recurring thing, what do you think about that?"
... and the answer is ... I have no clue what you're selling, like ...
... and what's also frustrating about that kind of thing, is ... then all the comments will say ... what would be better is, if you did a 14, or a 24, and it's like ... but you have an opinion. I don't even know what you're selling, other than you gave me a number. You gave me a price.
... and so, what I love about where you started that whole thing with, was on the content creation piece ... and I hope everybody picked up on this, because what Robert said is, we start with ... in one place ... and we get you a result. Now, how many products have you bought where they promised you a result, and you didn't learn what you were told you were going to learn ... or they said, "Well, here's how you test-set all of this up," but what he said was follow it through?
... so, in our podcasting course, we set up a real podcast, start to finish. I think that, if you know how to do something, and then you take ... the point of the course ... that you're going to teach the product, that you're going to make .... as ... I'm going to do this with you, or get a guinea pig, and walk them through that particular process, so that they're doing it as well. Then, you guarantee that there's a result that people buying from you get, and if you start at that middle point, now you've got your product, the thing that you're going to sell, and you start that as a single pay.
Now, the beauty of starting it there is ... now you have a piece, like Robert said, that you can pull out for your free gift. Now, you have a piece that you can pull out for your single payment, and if it sells well, now you can turn that into a recurring option, with the people that have already bought into that. I think that starting it in the middle, with the product, and the single pay, is a huge, huge tip. It saves you time. It saves you frustration. It keeps you moving ahead. I think ... I hope everybody really latched on to that key point, that ... yes, there's four models. you want to start with the single payment, and the product that you can sell, and then build out around there.
Here's the cool thing ... you do it the right way, the way that we're talking about ... it's all the exact same site. You sell your single payment, and you want to make your free level for it ... well, you make a new level, put up a new page It all funnels into the same site. You want to have people have your recurring site ... you put up a new button. Now, they have access to new stuff ... makes it easier to manage ... keeps all of your stuff in one place ... and it's a better experience for you, as a seller, and business owner, and it's a better experience for your customers.
Yeah, and I think that the mindset that we both kind of have, when we're creating this content ... and we're trying to, like, solve people's problems ... get them to a goal, and all this stuff, is ... we want to get them around all the usual roadblocks, right?
... because, I mean ... the first time you saw WordPress, the first time you saw iTunes, the first time you saw Camtasia Recorder ... all these things ... the very first time, you thought ... there's all kinds of tab, and buttons, and things ... so, a frustrating thing that we kind of see is, either they'll kind of treat it like the VCR instruction manual, or the owner's manual with your car ... is ... they'll go tab by tab by tab, and I'm like ... it's not helping me, when you show me every little nook and cranny of WordPress. Just show me how to change the look of it. Show me how to post some stuff.
Then, on the other extreme, is that they'll say ... okay, here's WordPress, go ahead and check it out. Here it is. I mean ... I bought a course one time, that ... it was advertised as how to make $250,000.00 in seven days. I thought ... man, even if only 1% of this worked, I'm in ... so, bought the course ... and it's a video where he literally opens up a web ... and it's like, 10 minutes ... opens up a web browser. He says, "Yeah, there's a site here, called Kickstarter.com. Go and sign up, and post a Kickstarter, and here you go, have fun." I mean ... that doesn't help anybody, right?
We've seen things where someone says ... well, here's how to make a Facebook ad. They'll say, "I'm going to go click, make an ad." I'm like ... okay. I'm watching real closely, and they go, "We'll call this 'test ad.'" I'm like "Ah." I'm like ... it didn't help me at all, when I see you say "test ad."
Okay. Great. Now, I'm going to see them make an actual ad. I'm going to see them tweak the wording. I'm going to see them split test. I'm going to see all these ... see it get filled up, and it goes ... "Okay, now, for the ad, we're just going to say 'test description.'" I mean ... he is like ... it brought me almost all the way, but not quite.
... and even ... so the thing, is whatever niche, whatever subject that you're teaching to someone in whatever kind of membership course ... you need to dumb it down, to the point where ... even though it's easy for you, most people are just completely lost. Even though it seems like you're really making it, like ... really, really, stupid, and saying, "Okay I'm going to make a Facebook ad. Here's an actual title I'm going to type ... "
Even though you think that's a waste of time ... for me, if I have never seen a Facebook ad before ...
... yes ...
That is exactly what I need. I need to know, like ... what you're about to do, and what your thought process is. I want to see you do it. Then, I want you to explain to me again, and, if possible, kind of repeat yourself a lot ... have some kind of a step-by-step checklist, so that I can ... when there is ... those moments when I need to just follow the clicks exactly, I can do that ... but then, if I need to think a little bit ... and I need it to be, "Okay, you're making a Facebook ad ... "
I need to apply that for my website, and my niche. I kind of know, like ... when to just follow you exactly, and then, when to make those little decisions.
... but I think that ... I think the big trap that a lot of membership site creators, and teachers, fall into, is that they think they're being helpful by overloading you with decisions, right? You want to have a voiceover course. They say, "Well, here's 10 different kinds of microphones you could buy." Here's 10 different mixing boards." It's like ... can't I just have the one ...
... so, that way ... I mean ... I've been stuck for 6 months about which microphone to get. Tell me which one. I'll get it. Now, we can move on.
Yeah, and I just ... wow. I mean ... you just, kind of ... in the last 10 minutes, have turned this into not only membership sites, and product delivery, but the content creation formula. I think that it's so important ... I think that there's a weird thing happening, where if everybody was creating courses that got people results, everybody would be making more money, and everybody would be getting more results.
I love how you talk about dumbing it down ... and, you know, one of the things that we do with our courses is, if we're going to do any kind of training at all, one of us ... it's usually because one of us wants to teach the other one something, right?
The original "Podcast Crusher" was you teaching me to set up a podcast. The new "Podcast Crusher" was, I wanted to show you some of the things that I was doing, in order to get ranked really high in podcast. What we do is, we have one of us walk the other one through setting up not a test thing ... not something that's fake, but something that's absolutely going to be used. The "Podcast Crusher" course ... you set up a new podcast that is maintained, is set up.
In our "Income Machine" course, we set up a product that we sell. I think that, if you set something up from scratch, the beauty of it is, you don't miss any steps. There's so many times ... where same thing as you ... I'll buy a course, and they'll say, "It's Facebook advertising. Here. All you do is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Then, I can tell that they've cut it, and then, all of a sudden, it's like ... 2 days later, and I'm like ... but something happened in between here, that I missed, because I can't follow along anymore. I think that's really important. I hope everybody listens to that whole idea of setting something up ... not test stuff, but being helpful, and taking away choices from people.
... so on ...
... and have ... real case study ...
Real case study ...
... training ...
... so like, when we teach membership sites, we set up one up. Podcasts ... we set one up. Fiverr ... we set up Fiverr gigs and make money from scratch ... but, and I mean ... there's that ... and there's also, like, explaining what you're about to do. You do it.
... recap what you did. Even though ... it almost kind of drives me crazy, because I have to force myself to think in that way, and I keep thinking, "Well, of course. Everyone knows WordPress, right? Everyone knows membership sites, right?"
... but then, I really try to think back 10 years ago, when I didn't know anything ... and even though it seems like you're really repeating ... you're being really slow-paced ... you're probably right there, on track, with ... giving them the theory ... giving them the case study. Then, go back over those steps, that you just did ...
... and if it feels overly slow, you're probably doing it right, for your audience.
I want to switch gears here, really quick. We actually had a question come in, so I'll ... kind of going to throw this out at you. I know we've talked about some of this, but I got a question ... actually, a couple of people sent in something similar.
It was this. Basically, it was, "I've bought all of these different plug-ins. I've got all of these different things. How do I go about choosing the right plug-in for me, for my site?"
I know what this person ... or what these people have, is ... they've bought everything that's come into their email box, because they're afraid that, you know, they were going to miss the sale. They've got a folder, or a website with all of these plug-ins on it, that don't work together. How do people go about choosing what they should use to manage their membership site ... their online business?
Well, I mean ... the answer I want to say, is, just by Member Genius ... but, I guess the real answer is ... whatever gets it up and running the fastest. I think that a lot of people ... they get hung up, and it's probably just because they don't know what is more important than anything else ... and a lot of marketers are really loud about things, like, "You need to have a merchant account. You need to have a one click upsell. You need to have all these different things."
... and my attitude is, whatever gets you selling today ...
... whatever gets you to the point of ... where there's a website. There's a button someone can click on. They can go. They can buy. They can get the thing they bought. That means money for you. The real big reasons why that's always what's on my mind is, because I know that if I spend a couple of weeks trying to decide ... or, so-called "working on a site ... "
If I spend a couple weeks on something, and there's just no result out of it ... there's no money coming in, because I never finished it ... I'm going to get bored, and I'm going to move on, on something else. I know a lot of people that we come across ... they think that they have it all figured out ... they think, like. "Oh, well, that's just you. I'm going to make this right. I'm going to make a huge site, just you wait. In three weeks, you'll be so amazed."
... come back in three weeks ... they didn't get anything done, because the pattern that they've been in, is just that they've been a collector. They've been starting these projects ... get about 10% in ... it gets a little hard. They hit a little stumbling block along the road. Then, they go and drop that project, and start something new ... and that's fine, at first, if you're just screwing around ... but the real danger is, if you get passed the point of no return, there is ... that your whole life just becomes all these little 10% projects, and just keeps growing and growing, and then, you're just ... literally spending years of your life not making any money.
... so ... like, as depressing and bleak as that sounds ... whatever gets it done today, or this week, at the latest. Whatever gets you up and running today, even if it's an ugly site. Even if you can only take single payment sites right now. Even if it your ... whatever you're selling ... doesn't have all the best bells and whistles, that you want. You want to be focusing on the "must haves" for now, and not the "nice to haves."
I mean ... we have different plug-ins that people try to piece together. Where ... we have a plug-in called WP Notepad, where you can add a checklist to your membership site. We have a plug-in called WP Import, where you can import content. We have a plug-in called WP Kunaki, where you can create a directory in your site ... but what's more important than all of those little goodies is to actually, like ... sell a training course.
It's like ... if you and I were about to put out "Podcast Crusher 2," and we were trying to show people how to create a Podcast, start to finish ... well, if having a little checklist in there ... is that a "must have" or is that a nice to have?" Well, that's a "nice to have." What's the core ... what to focus on is, that we promise a result. They buy it, and then, we deliver that result. This is also why ... you know, having a single payment site, or having your first ... or your first few memberships sites ... be courses where you teach things, is ... because, this way, you can kind of hedge your bets, and have more confidence that what you're selling is something that people will buy.
It's one thing to say, "Well, I'm going to make a monthly site, and I'm just going answer to everyone's questions about podcasts, every single month." It's like ... well, are people really asking for that? I don't know ... but are people saying, "I don't have a podcast. I want one. I'm going to buy your course to get this result ... "
... so that's a really easy way for you to stand out ... by saying, "I'm going to give you this," right? Then, that makes it super fast to explain ... super clear about what it is they'll get, right? What's implied is ... they pay you money. What they get back is a functioning podcast, if they follow the directions.
... but I think that, a lot of marketers ... the way that they sell sucks. They just say, "Well, here's some stuff. I'm going to give you some podcasting tips." I think that ... you know, that's fine for a little while, and that's fine if people are selling little $7.00 plug-ins, and things ... but if you want to go high ticket, and if you want to make these ... a lot better sales, you ...
Well, first of all, the course that you're selling ... you tell them, "I want you to get to this point. I want you to build up this kind of podcast thing." Then, to go back and answer your question ... well, if that's your goal ... if your goal is to teach someone podcasting, WordPress, golfing, whatever ... then, letting ... I mean ... letting the paralysis of trying to choose the perfect membership site plug-in is silly. Whatever gets it done ...
... whatever is right in front of you. You could probably even just choose ... if you have 5 membership plug-ins, choose one of the 5 at random, and that'll get you there.
... and I think that that's really important, because ... I know that ... you know I do this, with like, technology, right ...
I'm not going to buy the newest iPhone until the spring, because then, I have the one with all the bells and whistles ... and then, "Dangit." Six months later, I'm out of date again. You know what I mean?
It's like ... what's different about the 6S, versus the 6? Well, I don't know. Does it even make a difference?
I think that we watch so many people, like you said, get stuck in paralysis by trying to choose the perfect thing. Here's a little secret about marketing, about software in general: there will always be the core functionality that all membership plug-ins do ... hopefully, all ... ones ... you should be looking at ... and that is, take payments, protect your data, take in users. Every membership plug-in that you look at, or have, should do that. After that core, the way that these plug-ins are going to compete with each other ... just like everything else ... is on different feature sets.
... so if one plug-in does drip content really well, the other one may not do that, but it may do recurring payments better. Another one may do member management better ... and so, you're never going to have one that encompasses the whole universe of everything the best, because as soon as somebody does something, then the competitor is going to do something different. That's the way that they differentiate themselves in the marketplace ... and so, what you're looking for is something that does the minimum of what you need it to do. If you're looking between two, and can't make a decision, pick the one that does the feature you like the best.
I personally agree with Robert. I mean ... Member Genius is what we use, because it has all of the things that we do, and that we need to use, and that's what we use on our stuff.
... so get out of that paralysis. I think the best advice you gave there, Robert, is, "Just pick something." If you've got 5, pick one and go with it. I mean ... you're not married to it forever. If something absolutely changes, you can change that out ... but pick something that you feel comfortable with ... that you can use, and that's supported, and make a decision. It's never going to be the perfect, or right decision, but it's going to be at least a decision ... which gets you making money ... which is the most important part.
Oh yeah. The last time you had me on, as we were kind of winding down, the phrase we've landed on was "minimum viable product." That's kind of where we're landing here, is ... it's the same point. What I've been thinking about along those lines is that ... well ... you can either have big, huge, problems to knock out today, or this week, in your business ... or little problems. The problem with big problems is that they won't budge, right?
... and so, like... a big problem is ... I don't have a membership site. I need one. Well, you can't just knock that out. Like ... how do I go from zero to nothing? There's not really a way ... so the key is to break down whatever big problem you have down into little problems.
... so, I don't have a membership site. I want one. Okay. Well, instead of trying to tackle that huge thing, you say, "Well, the little problems that I could break down ... is that ... well ... I need to first decide on which plug-in to use for my membership site." Okay. Member Genius. There you go.
I need to decide on what processor I'll use to take payments. Well, if you're stuck on that, the answer's PayPal, just because you get up and running immediately. Then, there's maybe a couple other things, like ... need to decide on what price will you charge ... what will the name of your site ... what will that end-goal kind of build to ... but now, we're just kind of breezing through all these little problems.
If you keep in mind "minimum viable product," and just install today, or this week, whatever gets you taking payments online today ... then, maybe next week, if you feel like it ... then ... the small problem could then be to figure out one-click up-sell. The small problem could be to figure out ... what free level could I add in there? Maybe a small problem could be ... what, then ... what recurring monthly up-sell could I add to it?
... but my thinking is, big problems, little problems. Big problems won't budge; break it down into smaller little questions that can be answered. Then, I think that you'll get some momentum that way, by answering a series of small problems.
I love it! Keep your problems small. Life's a heck of a lot easier that way, and your business is more successful that way, too. You know, Robert, I super appreciate you taking the time to be here today. Everybody right now should go head over to MemberGenius.com. It's the most fully-featured, affordable, best-maintained plug-in on the market to handle all of your needs. It's what I use. It's what Robert uses. It's what thousands of other sites use as well.
... so, head on over to MemberGenius.com. We look forward to ... seeing there ... and thanks a lot for listening to every episode of the Lance Tamashiro Show. We will talk to you again very soon. Have a great day, and bye now.
Lance meets Tracy Childers of WishList Products. Tracy has made multiple successful businesses using one tried and tested model.
Proven Product Model
Tracy has being working on line for the last 12-15 years in his ‘small software development company’. He’s always had an interest in technology, and in 2003 - 2004 he dipped his toes in the water with his first product the FLV producer. (Flash Video Producer). He analysed the gap in the market - whereby people were seeking an easy solution to put flash video onto the internet, and came up with an easy software solution that appealed to the masses.
This became the formula he was to follow for his career.
He found a problem and created an easy to use solution.
Shortly after he graduated from college he got into some database design using Filemaker Pro and was getting involved in some pretty technical stuff there, until he realized that if you wanted to get anything online you had to program code line by line - and so he applied his skills to coding for the web. He realised quickly though that he wasn’t in the same league as many other coders, but he was a better communicator. He found that there are tons of really good people out there who are fantastic coders, but don’t have a clue what to code - so yet again he applied his formula.
Find out what was needed, explain it to a coder and get them to code it for you!
Tracy feels that there are millions of problems out there just waiting to be solved that you can create a solution for at a relatively low cost, you don’t have to be a millionaire to solve it or start it.
In starting Wishlist Member, Tracy recognized that there were a lot of people who wanted to set up membership sites, but there were no economic solutions - one did exist but it was priced at over $4,000 - way beyond most peoples means. There was another one that was about $200, but it was complicated and did not integrate easily with this revolutionary new web creation system called ‘Wordpress’.
The solution people were looking for was ‘how can I make this membership site thing simple and integrate it into WordPress’, and this is what Tracy and his team focussed on. They built the first version relatively quickly, and it was rolled out via a special offer to a small targeted group of people. It was at least a year before any money was spent on advertising - promotion was being done through affiliates and word of mouth.
Lance makes the point that the buzz for a new product comes naturally from peoples discussion about what is wrong with an existing product, and what is right with this new product.
The biggest mistakes that Tracy sees new sites making is that people don’t really have a good method for rolling out their membership site. People think ‘If you build it, they will come’ - that worked in ‘Field of Dreams’, but it doesn’t always work in reality. Research is vital. The successful ones might already have a Podcast, they might already have a blog - in other words they’ve done the groundwork giving away free valuable content which builds trust in an audience and only then do they reveal that they have a membership site once the trust has been built.
Tracy Outlines How He rolled out his own site - ‘Wishlist Insider’.
* He had a list of people who knew about the quality he provided as he had been
* He launched a training course for these people and they all got a free months access to the site.
* Built up some content in the membership site
* Launched it to the public.
Sometimes people do not think through the longterm plan for the site and over the years both Lance and Tracy saw so many people fail. If you are asking people to pay a subscription each month, you have to provide value content to these people.
Some subscribers also go into a subscription thinking that they are going to get as much as they can as quickly as possible because they don’t think the membership site will be around for too long - this is another classic example of short term thinking versus long term strategy. Tracy believes when you are coming up with the price for membership, all you need to think about is
‘How much would you yourself honestly be willing to pay’
and if you can understand that you will nail how much to charge for your sites membership.
FIND OUT AND LEARN MORE
Wishlist Member: WordPress Membership Plugin
Wishlist Insider: The official community for Wishlist Member and Wishlist Products
If you have a question, comment, show idea or just want to get in touch with Lance, you can contact him here.
He loves to hear from his listeners!