Behind the scenes of a membership ➜ Want to know what I’ve learned in the past year running the Dare to Grow membership?
This week on the podcast I’m talking a little more about the changes we’re making to celebrate our first year and what I’ve learned about keeping people interested + taking action when running a program like this.
Links + Resources
Dare to Grow membership info: daretogro.co
I’m really excited about this episode because this month, October, we are celebrating one year of The Essentials membership. When I launched this last year it was really an almost spur-of-the-moment decision. I was in a coaching program where they were talking a lot about having one single offer. When a coach running a multi-million dollar business tells you to do something, sometimes you do it just to see if it will work. And it worked, it really worked. This is definitely one of the best business decisions I’ve made.
First, I want to share some changes we’re making to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Then I am going to share a few things I’ve learned running this membership over the last year.
So, first up, changes…
We have renamed the program…kind of. When I launched the membership last year I had been running a group coaching program for about two years called Dare to Grow. That name has always been magnetic for me. It really feels like it embodies what I do in all of my programs. I learned really quickly that it’s not just about the strategy, it’s about the mindset and the day-to-day habits that allow that strategy to even be launched, let alone work. There’s a lot of daring and courageous moves that you have to make in order to have a successful business and so I didn’t want to create a membership (that potentially could be my main thing) and not give it a little piece of that name.
When we launched the membership I called Dare to Grow: The Essentials and then we just started calling it by the nickname, The Essentials. Over the past year, I have not run that group coaching program and I’ve not felt like running it. So, I have decided to give the membership the full name, a new logo, and we’re going all in rebranding it as Dare to Grow.
Over the next week, we’re going to be updating all of the branding (shout out to my assistant Lindsay who is definitely gonna be doing a lot of that work) and along with that, we will be rebranding all of the courses that are inside Dare to Grow as Labs. So Grow Your Gram, Dare to Email, The Productive Solopreneur will all become The Instagram Lab, The List Building Lab, and The Systems Lab.
I wanted to do this for two reasons: one – because it makes Dare to Grow the focus. I think having each course within it branded separately made it feel like separate pieces bundled together instead of one single program. The other reason for this change is that it allows us to add extra labs whenever we want. Now I don’t have to come up with a new name and I don’t have to come up with branding for new trainings and new modules which makes things easier on my end (which means I’m more likely to do it.)
Then, the last change – at the end of the month we are raising the price of membership. Right now membership is $79 per month and starting November 1 it will be $97 per month. If you are already a member this will not apply to you. You will stay at your current membership rate until you cancel. For everyone else who’s been thinking about joining, if you’re thinking about joining at the end of the year or the beginning of next year I really recommend that you join right now because if you join before November 1 you will lock in that $79 rate until you cancel so you’ll be at the same rate if you stay for three months or six months or six years – that savings can really add up.
You can go to daretogrow.co to see all the details and start your membership. You can always send me a message on Instagram, find me at @xoSarahMorgan if you have any questions or are trying to figure out if it would be a good fit for you.
Now that I’ve shared all of my news I wanted to talk through some of the things I’ve learned in this past year running a membership because like I said this was kind of a test. I just decided to go for it and see if it would work because in my gut the idea felt really good.
One of the biggest benefits has been having one spot for everything and that was helpful for me on the admin + marketing side, but also on helping my students see traction and results more quickly.
One spot for everything – user end
One challenge I wanted to solve with the membership is the issue of hacking together multiple courses and multiple strategies. Previously, you could have purchased each of my courses separately to set up your marketing strategy, which some people did. But most of the time we’re buying the Instagram strategy from one person, the email list strategy from someone else, another person helps with our email funnel or our website.
Which means all the pieces don’t always fit together seamlessly and you have to guess at some stuff or we skip some of the pieces and end up with a marketing strategy full of holes and dead-ends. For example, your Instagram is doing well, but when people get on your email list you don’t have a plan for what to send them.
By collecting all the courses into one membership I was solving that issue and making it easier for students to see results because they were getting all of the pieces in place and can start focusing on the next-level stuff.
The other problem the membership is solving on the user’s end is that often when we’re DIY-ing or pulling information from multiple sources strategies are conflicting or the information is conflicting – this one says to do the five emails in 10 days and this one says to do 10 emails in five days. While we do have multiple strategies and options, they all fit together so you spend less time overthinking, researching, and being stuck in indecision.
From a user standpoint, having all of the trainings in one spot has worked really really well to have more students getting more results because I don’t have to upsell them to another thing for them to do the next strategy. It’s all in one place, they just keep going.
Streamlined marketing and admin
On my end, the admin and marketing of the membership has been really easy. I love having one spot to share all my ideas and tips and advice instead of spreading them into multiple courses. It’s been easier to decide where new content goes – either it’s going to be something that’s free via Instagram or the podcast or it’s gonna go into the membership. Two options – free content or paid content – and everything funnels people into the membership.
Putting all my trainings into a membership also gives me one single thing to promote, which has also been easier than selling multiple products. Previously I’d rotate through the courses and promote a different one every month, which worked but felt like I was jumping around a lot and would have to hold my Instagram tips for the Instagram course promo month. Now I can talk about whatever I want, whenever I want and every CTA sends people toward the membership. It’s given me a lot more freedom and creativity with what I’m creating, which has helped me not want to launch a new product every month simply because I’m in the mood to create.
It’s also almost as profitable as my group coaching program and we’re still growing so I feel really good about the decision to switch gears. It’s about the same amount of work on my end but I’m able to help way more people at once and the community is growing, which was always one of my favorite things about the group coaching program – everyone would follow each other and become business buddies and still talk after we were done. We’re creating that community on a larger scale and are able to create growth month after month.
Keeping members involved
One of the important things is keeping the members excited and motivated and involved. Obviously from a business perspective when you run a membership it’s important that many or most of the members stay for multiple months. If everybody just shows up for one month that’s gonna be really difficult to sustain because you’re essentially starting from scratch every month.
Also from a results perspective, the longer people stay in this membership the more results they see so it benefits everyone for me to spend time on keeping members involved.
This is actually the second membership that I’ve run. In 2017 I ran a similar program and one of the things I changed was my strategy for keeping people involved.
Last time back in 2017 to keep people interested and to get new members every month I hosted masterclasses inside the membership. I was teaching a specific topic that would be in addition to or more in-depth than the trainings that were already inside of the program. Masterclasses were a lot of work, I was making slides, graphics, and promotions for every single one, and didn’t generate the influx of members I wanted to make that worthwhile.
One of the things I did differently this time that has worked really well is focusing on the community culture instead of feeling like I had to show up and do a new trick every month. We do run challenges and host bonus trainings from guest experts, but mainly the coaching calls and the community are just really fucking good. It’s not just me, it’s the members that have shown up and are sticking around that are so welcoming and supportive and that goes a long way to keeping people inside of a membership.
A FB group – or some meeting place – is so important
Having a Facebook group as part of this membership has been really really helpful. And I know a lot of people don’t love Facebook as a company in general or they just don’t like using the platform, so you can absolutely do the same thing on another platform. The reason I did choose Facebook Groups is that a lot of people still do have a Facebook account and check it every day. I don’t have to keep reminding people to go and post in the group or look in the group for resources – they already have that habit in place
Creating a central community where people can introduce themselves, where they can get feedback from each other, and support from each other is part of what keeps people in the membership. I check in once a day to answer questions and give feedback, but almost every time a bunch of members have already chimed in, which makes me so happy because members get fast answers, lots of feedback, and support from a whole bunch of people going through the same stuff. Many of the members have been hanging out with me online for so long they share my answer before I even see the question.
One of our members posted a quiz recently to get some feedback before she launched it. A whole bunch of people went through it and found the typos and told her what they thought about the landing page and the results page and the emails that came through. She got so much feedback really really quickly which I know helped her feel confident hitting the launch button and sharing it with her audience.
A thriving community needs active members
To build that community, you need to get some active members – Who’s gonna ask lots of questions? Who’s gonna want feedback on their stuff? Who’s gonna show up to your coaching calls? You can start a program like this with past clients or students or people who DM you or leave comments often. These are the people you want to get into your program because they are going to lead the charge. No matter how much I say that you could ask me all the questions, you could ask me for feedback on any of your stuff, a lot of people will still hold back because they feel like they’re being annoying even though they’re paying for this program and they’re paying me to show up and answer their questions. You need to have some members who you know are going to be active and outgoing so that they can kind of set the example for what to post and ask, and keep the energy high, and keep your groups and calls active.
Now that we have a bunch of really happy and active members we’re launching an affiliate program to both reward members for being a valuable part of the community and bring in some new members.
An affiliate program is a great way to take some of the pressure off of yourself and your marketing. If you have a program that works really really well and you have some happy clients, some happy customers, offering them an affiliate commission can absolutely bring in more sales. I think it’s always worth that percentage going to your affiliate because if they were an ideal client or customer whoever they refer to you is probably gonna be your ideal client or customer too.
Hopefully, this episode inspired you to go bigger and maybe take some chances in your own programs or services. I could keep talking about this membership stuff and digital product forever, so if you have more questions about running a membership or about Dare to Grow in particular feel free to DM me on Instagram you can find me at @xosarahmorgan.
Thanks for hanging out with me + until next time, I hope you Dare to Grow!