One of the most exciting shifts coaches and consultants can make is to scale their business with a coaching membership site.
There are many types of one-to-many offers, but memberships for coaches & consultants have the most opportunity and flexibility to evolve with you and your clients than any other option.
The world is shifting towards more accessible and ethical services, and memberships provide support at an economical price for clients while allowing service providers to serve more people at once.
That’s a win-win opportunity that many industry leaders are catching onto and many are not, so there’s ample time to differentiate your brand with a unique membership offer.
What exactly do I mean by a coaching membership site? Let’s dive in!
What is a coaching membership site?
A membership site is truly another word for a membership program. Meaning a coach, consultant, or service provider like you provides a continuous level of support to more than one person at a time, month after month.
Payment often occurs monthly, and each member is responsible for logging in and getting the support they need when they need it.
The flexibility is endless.
Sure, that also sounds like group coaching or a course, but, here’s how group coaching programs and membership sites differ:
- Memberships offer month-after-month continued service without needing a specific start and end date
- Coaching programs have set hours where participants need to show up at the same time to receive mentorship, connect and learn
- Memberships move members towards a similar goal and honour differing capacities and abilities to reach those goals
- Group coaching programs provide more value when participants are at similar levels of knowledge.
- Memberships leave a lot of room for participants to learn from each other and communicate between coaching calls
All-in-all, it’s up to everyone to decide which type of program best suits their personality and zone of genius; however, memberships are an opportunity to go beyond creating another great program …
Memberships can foster movements!
Why add a membership to your suite of offers?
Okay, let’s be real. Movements are great, but our visionary business models don’t have to start THAT big!
Scaling a business needs to match our financial and lifestyle goals first, and that means finding a sustainable way to make an income through our business.
We want to get paid well to do the work we love, not live sale to sale, nor do work that doesn’t get more meaningful over time.
That’s why a coaching membership is one of the best ways to get out of that feast or famine cycle of never knowing when we’ll get our next client.
Our members are our clients, and our best ones will stay in our communities for long periods of time, getting more and more value out of our leadership and guidance… And that’s a beautiful thing!
So let’s look at why having a membership is a lucrative way to serve our best clients over time.
A few well-known reasons for starting a membership site for your coaching practice:
1. Monthly recurring revenue
Monthly recurring revenue, or MRR, is one of the most compelling reasons for choosing a membership platform to deliver your services. Having a stable, predictable income prevents so much stress and gives us confidence in our offers so we can promote more proactively.
2. Extending customer engagements
Some of your members will receive so much value from joining your membership that they’ll stay for a very long time.
And that means you’re extending your relationship further and can earn more than having a fixed stop & start date for a program. Working with clients longer is way less expensive than selling programs from scratch every single time.
3. Services all over the world are becoming more subscription based
Let’s face it; the world is getting more and more and more subscription friendly. So many of the services we buy provide content, support and education that are billed monthly. This allows consumers to make their expenses more predictable than coming up with large amounts at once.
Lesser known reasons for launching a membership sooner than later
1. Engage more with your audience
A paid membership is a great way to engage with our warm audience. If you have a podcast or meet people through social channels, getting into a paid relationship with them as soon as possible is ideal. They will pay attention to the service they pay for and be more excited to buy the next thing you’ve made for them to help them on their journey. Build up their trust through a monthly subscription first.
2. Increase their success rate
There isn’t a more important business growth strategy in the world than producing happy clients. No matter what we do to market and sell at the end of the journey, our clients need to be raving fans. Having genuinely thrilled clients is the foundation of a business that can scale, so making sure offers are not only set up to sell but set up to help them succeed is essential.
A membership does this in a special way by allowing them to learn at their own time and at their own pace to increase their opportunity to achieve the results they set out to get in the first place.
3. Grab your front-row seat
There’s nothing better than free market research. In my Scaling Deep Society, I’ve loved having a front-row seat to the biggest challenges and desires my most committed clients face.
People pay a lot of $$$ for that kind of intel. It informs branding, marketing and sales. In a membership, we get continuous access to how members see their problems and which informs how we can help solve them. Through these ongoing relationships, we learn what matters to them and what they want next.
Convinced? Keep reading to learn about the most important decision you’ll make that will make or break the success of your membership.
Three types of coaching membership models
There are three types of membership models that will help you create the most profitable membership with the least amount of effort. Sustainability is key here!
Once you figure out where your membership lives in your entire business model, all the other decisions on how to price it, what to include and who to invite will be much easier to make.
The Warm-up model is the most common membership model we see in the world of memberships. These types of memberships tend to be lower priced and become the audiences to which coaches or consultants sell higher ticket programs.
They serve as a port of entry to your business, and maybe the first program clients buy from you, giving them a taste of what it’s like to learn from you.
People may hear about you through an ad, visibility or free content, and this is where you send them to check you out.
The Flagship is the program that becomes the cornerstone of a businesses’ revenue and replaces other programs & offers.
Businesses with core membership offers that get known often have a big mission and provide unique value in the world. These models have the most potential to become a movement and have a broad reaching impact.
Core offer programs need to be priced for sustainability & profit as they pack in a lot of value and can become a sole source of support for members working towards that common outcome. This is the model for my own membership – the Scaling Deep Society.
Follow-up memberships are the easiest to launch because they centre around inviting recent clients to join. These programs provide access to ongoing mentorship and check-ins while they continue to work towards their goals.
They are an efficient and enjoyable way to provide accountability for clients who need to stay focused on their transformation. It provides them with a tether to their mentor without requiring expensive one-on-one support or a high-ticket program making it an easy choice for them to join.
The first membership Scaling Deep offered was exactly this kind, which worked beautifully after clients went through VIP days.
These programs are best if they are priced in alignment with your other services & offers to keep consistency in your brand.
Common mistakes coaches make when planning their membership:
Many business owners throw up membership sites on impulse thinking it will grow over time. What that implies is they don’t through enough of the details including:
- How does it fit within their business model and support the overall financial goals
- What type of membership model is the most sustainable?
- Does this program require too much effort with not enough reward?
- Pricing that represents the true value of the outcome and level of support provided.
- The kind of content that revolves around your zone of genius and best work.
- Who’s this membership ideally suited for?
Most people get caught up in the tech when the tech isn’t the major factor influencing the success or failure of a membership to take-off.
How do you know you’re ready to launch a coaching membership?
Let’s look at some of the factors that might mean you’re ready to scale this way …
- Commitment to a visionary business model
- Have more prospects than you can take on as private clients
- Will not bemoan the temporary loss of revenue or investment from starting a new offer
- Believe in community and connection and want to add that to your programming
- Enjoy long-term relationships with your best clients
- Want to allow clients to lead their own growth with a consistent guidance they can trust
Can you check at least three of these off your list?
If so, you’re probably ready to launch your coaching membership.
Want more in-depth training? Check out my free workshop “How To Grow A Wildly Successful Membership That Provides Financial Freedom & Fulfillment (without burning out from big launches & over-delivery!)”
It’s packed with valuable information and modern perspectives on memberships that you won’t want to miss!
Lisa Princic is a Business Strategist & Membership Expert who helps thought leaders & niche experts build wildly successful memberships. She's dedicated to helping impact-driven entrepreneurs scale their businesses with powerful positioning and profitable programs designed around their zone of genius. A staunch believer in simplicity and intention, Lisa helps her clients accomplish their goals by focusing on what to do AND what to ignore.