Monday, November 4, 2013

Strategies for Getting Started with a Money-making Membership

How I rolled my own membership from scratch with a one-time $47 purchase.

As easy as your niece making biscuits at home...
While I'm not going to bore you with how I set up the site with Insta-Member (just watch their video's on how to do this) - it went smoothly and now I'm up and running with a membership.

The next thing is adding content.

Before you get dive in creating pages, you have to plan a little bit.

Planning has to take your abilities and passions into account. You want to stick with this thing, then you need to follow your bliss. Something you could do from here on out.

Mike Dillard was originally fascinated with Network Marketing and created Magnetic Sponsoring to deal with what he learned from studying copywriting.

Once he got this set up with a nice sales funnel and had to get a consultant to help him take it to the next level, he then scratched his own itch about "what to do with all this money instead of blowing it on doo-dads." The result was another multi-million dollar business called Elevation Group. And we came in on this by deciding to find out about his Elevation Income.

The secret to both of these is JV-sponsored membership launches. The core missing material in his training course is about memberships, which is why I'm here fleshing out this whole subject.

We want passive income from a home business, so the first question to answer is this:

What's your bliss, your passion, your early-morning thought process?

When you've got this answered, then you'll see the next step, which is to find out how to plug that into a remunerative membership.

I've been fascinated with self-help books for most of my life. Recently, this has turned to writing them, which in turn went to self-publishing them, and now it's leveraging a publishing house into making some serious passive income.

I know how to publish great books. The trick is to get more than a few dollars each week per book. The other point is that all these book sales are mostly anonymous, meaning I'm not really building a customer base (list) by simply dumping books out there on the markets.

The real leverage is in running a membership where I can both sell books and release them to a willing audience - with discounts, as well as cross-sells, etc. Real leverage for any author. (Of course, I'm going to have to update "Just Publish: Ebook Creation for Indie Authors" with this...)

Building a publishing empire

Logically, any author should be creating a membership to give their audience special access. Their input on characters and plot development would give any fiction author a real and valuable source of new ideas - you'd be writing exactly what your readers want. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Non-fiction authors would build on their earlier success and continue down that line with either subsequent books in that genre-brand, or find and publish additional, related references. Anything which would help their audience improve their lives.

Myself, I've been publishing bestselling classics which are in the public domain. Not too oddly, these are fairly easy to procure and publish - and they have all the basics which the modern authors cover. So marketing them is fairly simple, even though they've been around "forever" they still continue to sell despite competitors having the same book.

But if you're going to build sales into anything other than a few a week, you're going to have to really market them.

Looking to Dillard's success again, we see that the additional knowledge he used was the Product Launch (popularized by Jeff Walker.)

This then means you'd develop packages of books and/or make them into courses so people could study them easier and at their leisure. Meanwhile, paying you for the service of making these available.

Just theoretically, there is no limit to the amount of pages you can create on a Wordpress site. However, it will affect performance. This means we want to optimize a membership for a certain set of books in a given genre. I don't think that 100 books would really slow anything down. (So you could create a membership around Agatha Christie's or A. Conan Doyle's works, for instance.) That would need at least 200 pages on the site, 2 for each book (sales page and product page - thank you page could be the same, although with split-testing you're going to have additional pages, for sure.

Free or Paid?

Ideally, you want recurring income from everyone who joins.

Two factors start up here. First, you need to get some audience in there. And second, you need some content. A free membership will get you off the ground floor quickly. Some of the content you can give away within that membership is PDF review copies of these books.

You put ads and links into those books, so they'll drive traffic to your sites, even when (not if ) they escape to the wild.

PDF's are nice, but most people are still reading physical books. And/or they want it on their smartphone/tablet. So you can then give discount coupons to members so they'll buy these books.

With a free membership, you simply use your auto-responder broadcast to everyone - hey, I've got a new book out!  This is actually the strategy for building an "instant bestseller" on Amazon. Joe Vitale said he used this, and then send additional bonuses to anyone who sent him a copy of their invoice. With a membership, this is completely possible. Since Amazon prefers bestsellers over anything and everything else, they push those books to the top of their "also-bought" lists - and 10x your sales literally overnight.

Meanwhile, you are building up the heavier content, such as training courses, which will keep people going for months.

As your bestseller ebooks then send people to become free members, you can then sell them on the paid concept as well.

Starting with paid content first would have me fretting about attrition and so on. Starting out with free means the attrition is a quiet one, but I can concentrate on the paid content while I catch up with expanding the existing content into the multiple formats needed (total: PDF, ebook - both mobi and epub, paperback, hard-back, and video DVD when I expand into video courses.)

While my republishing public domain books sell well, I need to be able to take the time and move a lot of books out there from machine-produced digital works into professionally-edited ebooks as well as print versions (utilizing for a lot of this, as well as Kobo and Google Play.)

I have 8 different (very full) sets of material all crying out to be made into training courses. The trick has always been financing my efforts and the time it takes to do so. You can see above, it will take considerable time to build all the above. Probably a week for each book, which limits the amount of books I can personally produce in a year. As the money comes in, it will mean that I need to out-source this for sure.

The Final Frontier - JV affiliate launches

Having a membership, and courses to launch, brings the idea of a greater reach when JV affiliates get involved. Insta-member allows me to integrate all the major JV affiliate sales programs into my membership, so this sets up the whole scene.

The strategy is how to build up the site without having to get a lot of content worked up.

You build a house starting with the foundation and then get the framing and walls up. Depending on the strength of the foundation is how many stories you can add.

In any membership, as you systemize the processes, your overhead becomes less. As the real income is built with JV launches, then you can concentrate on doing a large handful of launches each year, which then builds up to your "million-dollar launches."

The reason behind Dillard's success is his list. Having several hundred thousand people in his list from Magnetic Sponsoring enabled his Elevation Group to rocket off. His combined list from these two was reported to be about a million now. That's serious cash with any future launch, or launching other people's products as a JV for them.

There's the strategy discussion. 

1. Go Free first. Offer free review copies, and meanwhile push your upsells to these to leverage what you already have. Meanwhile, make them into affiliates so they can tell their friends about your products.
2. Build content into courses so you can sell recurring memberships. 
3. Build bundles of materials into launches and attract JV's.
4. Keep systemizing your backend and outsourcing so you can concentrate on JV launches and grow the list.
5. When you want to turn over managing what you have to someone else and start a new membership, you can. (Play follow the leader with Mike Dillard showing you the way.)

- - - -

Now I've got to get back to creating more content...

Next: Show and Tell.
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