August 7, 2020

Building a compelling subscription model, with Robbie Kellman Baxter

Episode 961:

Robbie Kellman Baxter has been advising entrepreneurs on business strategy for 20 years. Her clients have included solopreneurs and venture-backed startups as well as industry leaders such as ASICS, Netflix, Electronic Arts, and The Wall Street Journal. She has worked with nearly 100 organizations in over 20 industries on growth initiatives.

A sought-after writer and keynote speaker, Robbie has presented at top universities, associations and corporations, as well as to corporate boards and leadership teams around the world. Robbie has created and starred in 10 video courses in collaboration with LinkedIn Learning on business topics ranging from innovation to customer success and membership.

As the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue, a book that has been named a top 5 Marketing Book of the Year by Inc.com, Robbie coined the popular business term “Membership Economy”. Robbie’s expertise with companies in the emerging Membership Economy extends to include SaaS, media, consumer products and community organizations.

Prior to launching Peninsula Strategies, Robbie was a strategy consultant at Booz-Allen, a New York City Urban Fellow and a Silicon Valley product marketer. Robbie received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why membership and subscription plans are becoming ubiquitous across almost all industries and types of organizations
  • What key trends Robbie is identifying around subscription models, and why subscriptions offer greater value to customers even for physical products
  • Why embedding a “forever promise” into your long-term strategy is vital for helping you refocus your business, and how to achieve product/market fit and scale your model
  • Why periodically reviewing how you are delivering on your promise is necessary to ensure that you’re doing so in the most effective way
  • What common pitfalls to watch out for, anticipate, and avoid when setting up a subscription model
  • Why a “dashboard of metrics” can offer you better insights into where your opportunities for improving engagement can be found
  • Why identifying your problems and challenges using intentionality and strategy is the secret to providing great value for your membership
  • Robbie shares the story of the founders of LinkedIn’s first business, a dating website, and the issues they had with a “short term promise” business model
  • How to navigate the infinitely complex issue of pricing, and how to change your pricing in a transparent way
  • How to avoid the trap of “subscription fatigue” with your customers by delivering the right amount of unique value, and why hiding your cancel button is a huge mistake

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Additional Resources:


Stephen Woessner

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.