Creating a Membership Program

Episode 30: Creating a Membership Program, with Sandy Martini

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Creating a membership program, with Sandy Martini. In this episode, learn about finding the right balance in creating a membership program.

Sandra Martini, founder of boutique coaching firm The Martini Way, offers her mentoring clients a perfect balance of marketing savvy, intuition and results-driven systemic implementation with a healthy dose of nurturing and love.

Sandra’s style is to learn about your goals and then reverse engineer them to where you are now, so you can create the quickest path to your goals possible without sacrificing your sanity or self care. This is where her creating a membership program comes in and your agency can benefit from it as well.

The sustainable success Sandra teaches takes time and work. If you’re looking for someone to tell you to call everyone you know and sell them a high level “X”, Sandra isn’t for you.

If you want a partner who understands the big vision and intimate details of running and marketing a successful, sustainable business; who understands you and where you are, who nurtures you while being completely honest and non-judgmental and who can pull from her years of hands-on business and marketing expertise, then Sandra Martini is ready to help!


What you will learn about in this episode of creating a membership program:

  • Sandy’s expert insights for the right balance in building, launching, and creating a membership program
  • Some key questions we should be asking to make improvements to the onboarding process resulting in retention
  • Practical and tactical steps for avoiding the pitfalls and obstacles of creating a membership program
  • Why it is crucial to take an actual look at the data, metrics, and usability of your membership program
  • Ways Sandy has been invaluable at helping us here at Predictive ROI review, critique, and improve the practices of our membership program.

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Creating a Membership Program: Full Episode Transcript


Creating a membership program? Listen to this podcast between Stephen Woessner (Predictive ROI) and Sandy Martini (The Martini Way).


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of  Predictive ROI. My team and I, we created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner, business coach, or a strategic consultant and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, well then you’re in the right place.


You want proven strategies for attracting a steady stream of well prepared, right fit prospects into your sales pipeline. Yep, we’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out on the ground you’re standing on? Yeah. We’re going to cover that too. Do you want to future-proof your business so you can navigate the next challenges that come your way?


Absolutely. We’ll help you there, too. I promise you, each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices. Never theory. From thought leaders, experts, and owners who’ve done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So I want you to think practical and tactical. Never any fluff, because each of our guests have built a position of authority and then monetized that position by claiming their ground, by growing their audience, by nurturing leads and, yes, converting sales.


But all the while, they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were given a helpful answer to an important question. So the prospects never, ever, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy we discuss, every tool we recommend will be shared with you in full transparency in each episode so you can plant your flag, claim your ground, and fill your sales pipeline with that steady stream of right fit clients.


Learn more about Sandy Martini’s creating a membership program by reading her blog about “3 Mistakes Businesses Often Make with Their Membership Program”


Creating a Membership Program: Sandy Martini’s Introduction


Go again. Never, ever, ever were made to feel like one of your prospects. Okay, so I’m super excited for you to meet our guest expert today, Sandy Martini, in case you’re meeting Sandy for the first time. She is the founder of the boutique consulting firm The Martini Way, where Sandy and her team provide a balance of marketing savvy intuition and results driven systemic implementation with a healthy dose of nurturing and love.


Sandy was also my guest for episode 1014 of Onward Nation, where we worked our way through a series of best practices related to creating a membership program as one of the many ways to monetize your authority position. The link to 1014, by the way, that’s going to be included in today’s show notes to make it super easy to find the insights Sandy shared during that episode.


We’re of course, super helpful. And I will tell you, when she said falling in love with your program can blind you to issues that can keep it from being profitable. Those words of wisdom I’m telling you really stuck with me because here’s why I’ve been guilty of it and it’s caused me to have a tainted view of situations and we’re just decisions needed to be made.


And then I was reluctant to do so. So I asked Sandy if she would join me on this podcast, this episode. Sell with Authority podcast for if you want to call it an encore interview or source because you know, different shows. So we could continue our discussion around membership programs and more specifically, I’m going to ask Sandy to share her very best insights for building, launching and running a membership program that monetizes your authority position if you choose.


That option is part of your overall strategy. But here’s the twist in full transparency. We have seen Sandy’s smarts play out firsthand inside  Predictive how well we engage Sandy and her team. Several months after launching our Authority sales machine membership program. And since then we’ve been working in the trenches, shoulder to shoulder with Sandy and her team to review, critique and analyze the program.


Want more insights on creating a membership program? Then learn about the best practices, with Sandy Martini


Creating a Membership Program: Rebuilding And Improving the Program


Why? Because we want to make it better and more helpful. We’ve added more content. We’ve rebuilt some of the systems, some of the tech, all of the flow. We morphed the original authority sales machine into the million dollar roadmap. Then we tapped the brakes because of some of the helpful feedback we received along the way from members and strategic partners.


And with Sandy’s help, we rebuilt the program. So as you may have recently seen, we just relaunched a brand new and improved version of the program called The Starting BLOCK. We’ve made all of those moves. We’ve made all of those decisions and improvements with the help of Sandy. So in full transparency, Sandy and I are going to shine a bright light and candidly now might even be a little bit of a painful light on some of the missteps because we’ve made a bunch that we made in the early pre-Sandy days of the program.


And rest assured, there are many like I said and then we’ll fast forward two years to today and will highlight the improvements and what’s working well because we’ve had Sandy’s expertise as part of that overall recipe because here’s what Sandy and I want for you as a result of listening to this conversation, that you’ll have a list of strategies that you’ll have, tactics that you have, action steps that you know will work.


Why? Because we vetted them and ran them through the Predictive lab and we took the lumps along the way. And then you’ll take what we’ve learned through that process that we’re going to share during this conversation. You’re going to build them into your program. If monetizing your position, your authority position through a membership program is something that you choose to do.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Why Some Programs Are Not Profitable


Okay. So, without further ado, my friend, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Sandy, Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be here. You know, I love your podcasts and I’ve been loving the Sell with Authority just as much as the previous version. So thank you. I’m honored to be a guest. Thank you. And a little bit behind the curtain.


The other day I was interviewing Erik Jensen, who you know very well, obviously. But anyway, right before saying without further ado, welcome to the Civil Society podcast, like in full enthusiasm, I said, Welcome to the Onward Nation. Wait, no, not that. Back that up. good grief. So anyway, okay, so let’s some maybe the best place to to dive in is to pick up sort of where we left off and, well, I shouldn’t say where we left off, but one of the big things that we talked about at length during episode 1014 of onward was part of the introduction day just a few minutes ago when I said because I and I’m quoting you, falling in love with your program can blind you to issues that can keep it from being profitable. So one, let’s talk about that as to why that is such a critical piece of advice. And then we’re going to also talk about how that played into the earlier versions of our program, too, because as you know, I was resistant to change a couple of things and, well, actually probably more than that, more than a couple of you helped us kind of navigate that.


So why do you think that this is such a principle, this falling in love piece? Well, when we create a new program, especially a membership or a subscription or anything that’s recurring, you know, we create that to be of service. We create it to be super, as Susan would say, relentlessly helpful for the audience. And having a membership program allows us to be of service and helpful month after month.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Don’t Overwhelm Your Members


So it becomes a baby of sorts, almost a child. Yep. We create the program out of love for our business, love for our clients. And I mean, quite frankly, membership programs, when done well, are highly profitable and it’s a recurring, predictable cash flow. So a lot of business owners go into it with the idea that if I build this thing, if I’m creating a membership program, not only will they come, they will come, they will stay, they will rave and they will send others.


Yeah. And that is often not what happens. But we’re so in love with that vision that it winds us to the actually looking at the data and the metrics and the numbers, certainly in terms of profit, revenue and profit, but also usability, are we being truly helpful to the members or in trying to be so helpful, have we overwhelmed them to the point where they feel guilty because they’re not actually using all of the great stuff we’ve given them?


There was a recent study around food delivery services, so you place your order and you get a box and all you have to do is cook, microwave it or throw it in the oven every day. Well, they were losing money and a lot of it because they were giving free boxes to begin with to get you really invested in their service.


So what was happening was that people weren’t using it every day, or they were feeling guilty because, you know, their neighbor invited them over for dinner. But if they went with the neighbor, then that food would go bad and they didn’t use it and it was a waste or they would say no to an invite. They wanted to go.


So what happened was they were giving them so much great stuff and people felt guilty for not using it. It’s the same way with our programs and to make it even tougher for the majority membership programs are online, it’s digital, so it’s not even that they open the fridge and see that the food is sitting there waiting. They might get an email that says, Hey, you got this, so we’ve got this course coming up.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Make Your Onboarding Strong to Retain Your Members 


Remember the library we’ve got? Here it is. If they open their emails because they’re already overwhelmed with those. So we’re stacking, overwhelmed, overwhelmed. The members just aren’t using it. And a lot of business owners don’t see that because they’re so focused on giving more value and the end result is more overwhelming. People aren’t using it and then eventually turn on the other. Go ahead. No, I was just going to say we’re going to. I want to get your perspective on the right balance here for just a second. But I want to make sure that I go back to a piece here, too, to make sure that I’m tracking with you. I think that I am.


But I think what I’m hearing you say is that the more compelling we try to make the program and this is a blanket statement and there’s probably some falsehood in this. But so correct me here. But like as we work hard to make it more compelling, as we try to be maybe even more generous and in our intent is to create this really compelling value proposition that if we’re not careful, we actually the reverse of that is what happens.


We feel overwhelmed and guilt because they’re not using the entirety of the program. And then and then maybe we lose them through, through, and then we’re left wondering like, how on earth did that happen? We gave so much, why wouldn’t they stay? Exactly. And that’s exactly it. And it’s coupled with often poor onboarding. Okay.


So when there’s a new program, a new member, they kind of get into a rhythm, a usage rhythm of the program. Well, within the first 50 days, the chances of them doing something different with their usage cuts in half, okay? And then it plateaus after 100 days. So if we don’t have a really strong onboarding, basically taking a new member by the hand and walking them through what the program has to offer, what it is for them, etc., okay.


By the time two months is rolled around, they’re either using it or not and they’re in their habit. They’re in their pattern now. Yeah. And so month three comes and this is why it’s so significant that most people churn out 3 to 4 months in because month three comes and now I am using it, I’m not really using it.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Planning Out the Price Point of Your Program


Month four’s credit card statement comes in. Yep, and they’re going, you know, this is really valuable and I’m not using it, so I need to cut it. Yeah. In full transparency, everyone, this is the scenario that Sandy is describing we have absolutely seen, like in the O.C. the pre-Sandy days of assume and not that we do everything perfectly now I mean there’s always room for improvement but you have you have so helped us raise the bar and we continue to get better so but my point in the pre sandy days is that we did have people who fell out of the program or left in the early days of ACA authority sales machine because of exactly what you just said. The program’s really, really awesome. There’s so much here I can’t even possibly get through it all. Therefore, I must leave exactly that. It happens all the time. And the other piece that happens in terms of a new program we’re so excited about, it was so ready to create it and just hit the ground running with it that we never put a pause and say, okay, one, how much does this program cost us to run?


There are going to be some startups, you know, the new logos, the platform, etc. We got the startup phase and then how much is it going to cost us to run this program on a monthly basis? What are we charging for the program? How many members step back? How many paying members do we need in the program for it to be profitable?


Then, we will build the additional initial marketing campaign around that number and say, okay, we need to get it done right. When I created this program in 2010, I knew that I needed 25 members for the program to be profitable. Okay. So, I did a double scarcity campaign. I said, okay, I need 25 members, therefore four founding members.


The price is going to be X and it’s going to be X until this date or until we hit 25 members, whichever comes first. Yep. And the reason that worked so many of us, we wait till the last minute to jump in and invest in something. But you know, when the date is, you know, when Halloween will be here.


Yep. It’s the same for all of us. You don’t know when we’re going to hit 25. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. It could be the day before Halloween. So it incentivizes people to sign up faster. And we got to our 25 and under two weeks. Amazing. And then we went. The price went up. There was no in case you missed it, it went up because we had to hold the line of integrity.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Build (And Rebuild) Until Your Program Becomes Profitable


So let’s go back to the following love piece. So falling in love with your program can blind you to issues that can keep it from being profitable. Meaning you might be why it’s a Black Sunday is a goal for onboarding. I know we weren’t great at it and you’re still helping us make improvements to the onboarding process.


By the way, Erik and I will record those onboarding videos for you later this afternoon. But the new ones that you keep asking us for and then because of the poor onboarding that, that maybe then your members turn out in 3 to 4 months. So it’s a constant build and build or build in the rebuild, build and rebuild.


But you’re never actually growing the program. You might just be, maybe, there’s a net positive, but you’re doing a lot of treading water and then looking at it financially. Like if you’re falling, if you have fallen in love with your program and you’re not actually looking at the numbers and whether it’s profitable, that’s where the rub is, right.


And that will keep you then from making decisions around like, should the program continue? How can you make it a profitable program? You know, like those types of things, Right? That’s exactly it. And sometimes we feel we’re in so deep, we don’t want to, we don’t want to stop the program. We’re not quite sure how to get out of the muck.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Convince Your Clients That Your Program Really Helps


So we just keep going. And I had a client say to me, well, it’s okay because it’s a loss leader. Meaning? Meaning that they knew they would take a little bit of a bath on their membership program, but they thought that it was their pond for bigger programs. And so overall, it was like proving to prospects that it would be good to work with them.


Okay, so that’s interesting. Is that true, or was that just the falling love piece that gave them the rose-colored glasses? It was the rose-colored glasses. I said, okay, I totally get it. It’s kind of like a Black Friday sale at Walmart. You know, you can buy a $30 TV. I said, okay, I totally get it. Prove to me, let me see.


Members that have graduated to higher offerings and they could show me to people. And it wasn’t significantly higher to cover the loss of the membership program. So it was the loss of, you know, the rose colored glasses and then wanting to believe that this was their pond, their paying pond into higher offerings, which didn’t prove out when they actually drilled down into the data.


It’s fascinating how the love of the program, again, taints our ability to look objectively. I know that I felt that like when I was stepping into our quarterly leadership team meetings, which Drew McClellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute. I know that you know, Drew, but, you know, he facilitates those. And for Erik and I have found myself getting defensive around you know some and now or then million dollar roadmap and now starting block in all of its different iterations I found myself getting defensive and I’m like why am I having such a visceral reaction to this?


And I’m like, well, yeah, I guess I love the program, and I love what it gives us the ability to be helpful. But to your point, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it should exist, right? So that’s why when we stepped in front of our Velocity group at its last meeting in Alaska, we had velocity, which is an army peer group that we’ve been a part of now for almost a decade and we asked for help.


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Creating a Membership Program: Using Feedback to Propel Your Program to Greater Heights


We’re like, guys, we need some candid feedback on how to make this not just better, but just valuable and helpful. And whether that’s stripping things out, whether this gets rid of it all together, like how can we do a better job if our goal is truly to be helpful? How do we do that in a better, deeper way than we’re currently doing it today?


Creating a membership program can be rewarding because we can do better than what we’re doing today and through that feedback and then through the feedback with Drew and Danielle Nukem from Amy, also. Then we came back from that and immediately sat down with you and then got to work on all the things that in addition to the things that you have been already recommending to us and now this, you know, the launch of Starting Block, which has been, which has been cool, but actually bananas that not only took a lot of work, but I had to get past my resistance.


You had to want to change that because I was in love with the way that it used to be, which I know, like on the other side of it. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It does. It does and it doesn’t. And I can say this because I know HCM and EMDR very well, so if you have a few people in the program, it is really helpful.


And then no, just, you know, kick in. But with what they’re doing, it makes it even harder to see that the program overall may need a pause and they need some heavy tweaks because the initial goal is to be helpful. It is helpful to a couple of people who are just grabbing it by the horns and going, no doubt.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Go Back to The Drawing Board If You Need To


I know you can think of a couple of people in ASEM slash EMDR who made enormous strides by following the advice in those training and showing up and doing the work. So when you see that, it’s working for people, right? But then, when you go back and look at the numbers, the number of people that it’s working for isn’t enough to keep it on track.


It is currently not 100%, which is why, again, just in full transparency, as we always are in these episodes, we went back to the drawing board, I talked to a bunch of people, and had very challenging conversations inside Predictive. Then we’re like, okay, we’re going to create the starting block. Well, why are we doing that? Because, you know, people need more foundational 


That was like, well, should we just create those frameworks? No. Then, let’s create the modules to support those frameworks and get her on board. And to your point, so really, really pleased with where the program was today. But I again, maybe I’m just being biased or rose-colored glasses. I feel like we would never have got to the point that we’re at today had we not gone through the two other iterations and also all of your help on workflow diagnostics and all of that.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Learn From Experience and Use It to Build a Solid Framework


So at least I feel like we’ve we’ve stopped, we’ve sort of started on top of that but is that maybe maybe that’s uncommon, maybe there are more like right out of the gate, you know, fast winners and we’ve certainly had iterations of success along the way. But I don’t know if the two year journey that we’ve had is typical based on your experience.


Yes and no. It really depends on how you started the program. Okay. So like when I started the Get It Done Right program, if I didn’t get my 25 members by X date, I was not going with the program. it wasn’t a question. It was I have to be profitable from day one or else I’m not running this program, period.


Okay. So I had just drawn that line in the sand. Not only did I draw the line in the sand, I told my team there was no wiggle room for me because otherwise, I would have tried to wiggle out and say, well, let’s give it another week now. Now. So, attaching is a real data-driven way to make the initial decision.


And I have been creating a membership program for years before I was able to get it done right. Okay. So with each of them, I made note of what I loved about them, what I liked, and what I was like. No way would I ever do that. And that’s why I use that framework to build my program. I built the program that I would join, and then I tackled the problem that if I don’t hit my 25 as part of the initial campaign, this isn’t the right time.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Figure Things Out and Make Some Iterations


It might not be the right list. Something isn’t right. So I’ll pause and come back and try it again once I figure things out. What’s not working? So it all depends how you go into the program in that sense. And then the wonderful thing about  Predictive is you are so one. You do everything in full transparency. You’re so interested in getting things just right for the client, for the member, and learning and saying, okay, hey everybody, what’s working?


What’s not? Let’s tweak it. Let’s look at it. You know, what’s under the couch and pull out all the icky stuff and and go through it and fix it and put it all back nice and pretty. A lot of business owners aren’t willing to take that hard look. And that’s why with Predictive assessment EMDR to start walking those haven’t been little steps.


They’ve been nice big giant steps forward because you’re so willing to constantly look at it and say, what makes the most sense for the program, for Predictive, for the members? And that’s where people sometimes get off track. They’ll look at one of those: what’s right for my business, what’s right for the program or what’s best for the members?


Yeah, but when you look at all three of them, it’s, you know, it’s like the little circle you’ve got behind you, the three circles. Where is the sweet spot or the sweet spot is where it’s best for all of those categories? You know, it’s great for the program, it’s great for the members, it’s great for the business, great for the business, meaning it’s profitable for point and okay, so the big that I actually just I know this is some goofy, but I just realized after listening to you say that because I think it’s human nature to do.


No, that’s probably too blanket of a statement. But I think oftentimes we look at something that is like, for Pete’s sake, assume then you had to do a million-dollar roadmap. Now it’s starting. BLOCK I look at those as iterations of getting better. Yes. So developing IP along the way and here’s what I mean by that.


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Creating a Membership Program: Protecting Your Intellectual Property


So it occurred to me yesterday because I got an email from Sharon talks team in Sharon is our intellectual property attorney. I know that you know Sharon and she’s like, well, congrats, you got the register mark for authority sales machine, which she helped us file like early on in this process where we thought about it were like, that’s a cool name.


When we’re super excited about it, let’s protect it. Let’s think about revenue opportunities alongside Sharon and all of that. And she was part of that process early on. Okay. So, now it might seem weird, like, well, jeez, two years later you get the registered mark or whatever the time period is. Maybe it wasn’t two years, a year and a half, whatever to get the register.


Now what are you going to do with it? Well, it’s still a great book title. Absolutely, and that will be the title of the book. Even though it’s not the title of the program, it will still be aligned with the seller’s already methodology that you and I wrote about in the book. It will still there will then be another book title and will be a book title, even though it’s not the name of a program is irrelevant.


But we protected the IP in a variety of different usages. Absolutely. The different iterations all still have winds in them, right? Like the IP, all the content, right? It’s been created and I mean your slice and dice program, imagine if we took slice and dice to all of the content in a flash and VR, which we’re going to do.


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Creating a Membership Program: Let Your Members Put Their Trust in You


You would never need to create another piece of content because it’s such a full library. And I would say 85 to 90% of it is all evergreen. Yeah, and what’s not a higher percentage? So I wonder if you’ve experienced this, is that when you, when you meet people who might be part of your program, whether that’s a zoom on person or in-person excuse me or whatever, you probably get this and probably get it a lot.


Sandy, my gosh. Every time I turn around, there you are with a helpful answer. And because having a program again, if you choose to as part of your monetization strategy, everyone but having a program, Sandy gives your audience and members the impression that you’re constantly at work creating something new, even if it’s a nugget out of a thing that they may have had access to for a while.


But it gives them the impression that every time they turn around, there you are with helpful answers, and it’s like, my gosh, she is superwoman. How in the world did she do all of that? Do you get that Constantly? And when I write my newsletter, I always end it with, you know, if you have any questions or thoughts, reach out.


And when people respond with questions, I’ve been getting it done right monthly for ten and a half years now. Yeah, so that’s a lot of content. So I can easily say, Joe, you know what I actually taught about this in this episode of Get It Done right here. Let me give you that training and if you’re interested in joining, here’s a link to join.


But here’s the training and now you’re just going to give that to me. Kind of like you at the Sell with Authority book. No postage, no credit card here. We want to be helpful. Yeah, absolutely. Here you go. And people are amazed. And then for the members, if they ask a question, it’s like, Jane, we covered that in this episode.


Here, let me give you the link directly to the platform so you can go check out that episode, watch it, and then let me know what questions you still have. So, I know we’re quickly coming to a close here. So I think if you would be so kind, maybe, maybe a cool way to come in for a landing is to get your perspective on if somebody is listening to you now and hearing you talk through programs because we’ve spent quite a bit of time on kind of like what not to do, what to be aware of, sort of the trapdoors or the pitfalls or whatever.


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Creating a Membership Program: Make Your Program Valuable and People Won’t Mind Paying for It


As a result, it revolves around the falling, the love piece. And then you’ve also been helpful along the way of reversing that. So yeah, for that. So if I were to ask you, Hey, Sandy, what would be your framework for doing this right, like maybe two or three of your best insights on how to do this correctly, like somebody going from scratch to, you know, a program that they launched what are like two or three things you’d want to see them do in order to set themselves up for success.


Creating a membership program can be difficult at first. Okay. So first would absolutely be starting with the spreadsheet to determine how many members you need to be profitable out of the gate because at least then, you know, as part of that really tempering the urge to give a free membership to all of your friends, strategic partners and clients are okay because it’s free. It’s nice to have, but a lot of them will never even look at it.


Yeah. So temper that or make it so valuable that they will pay for it. You know, think of your clients and what they come to you with and how you help them and bottle that into your program. So that’s kind of all that I would say is kind of part one part to build just a phenomenal onboarding. And here’s what that could look like.


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Creating a Membership Program: Make It Easy for Members to Understand the Program After Joining In


So there’s the definite workflow that goes along with kind of grabbing them by the hand and saying, Welcome, here’s your log into the platform if there is one. Here’s the Facebook group, all that usual stuff. Okay, then follow that up with, okay, on their platform, we have this, the welcome onboarding video where we describe how the platform works.


Make sure you watch that. Here’s the direct link. It’s 4 minutes in all of this. The really hard part is keeping in mind that everybody thinks that they’re busy and overwhelmed. So we’ve got to make it short, easy, punchy, bullet points, quick videos, and here’s the piece. But very, very few membership owners do send them a physical onboarding welcome kit.


Now, that can be as simple as forgetting it. Done right. It’s not fancy. It is a simple folder with the get it done right sticker, a welcome letter, a list of all their benefits, and where to find that stuff. An email address to contact a calendar, letting them know the year of all of the training that we’ve got and saying, okay, you know, third and fourth Thursdays at 4 p.m. Eastern first Thursday is the training call.


Second is the Q&A. On the third Friday, we have a 90-minute get-it-done session where we all get on Zoom to do whatever we’re doing, and I’m there to answer any questions you might have got. So a really strong onboarding that makes them feel like they’re part of the family and makes it simple for them to see what they need to do to get success for themselves out of the program.


And then because remember, this has just taken us back to that state that a new member loses, they create their habit pretty quickly and how they use or don’t use. And within 50 days that happens in terms of them adopting new habits and by 100 days they’re done. Whatever their habit is, it’s ingrained. So their habit is to go check the platform and do one hour of trading a week.


They’re going to keep that up, versus if it’s, I’ll wait until the email comes out and see if there’s something of interest to me. If I open the email, then that’s what they’ll see. But I didn’t tell you in advance. I was going to ask you this question, so I hope you don’t mind. It’s just when you and I have talked about retention before, and you have a ridiculous retention rate inside your program.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Send Newsletters to Your Members


So would you be so kind to share not only the retention rate but over the duration of time? So get it done right when we open the doors? February 2010 So 22 So it’s a little over 12 years and as of this year we have an 8.4 year retention rate for members. Yeah, and we actually lost three members over this summer.


One of them sadly passed away unexpectedly and two of them one closed their business and retired and another sold their business. So even though we had churn, there was nothing we could have done in any of those cases. And actually we celebrated the one who retired and the one who sold their business, right? So it was churn, but it was wonderful.


You know, we were very happy to have it. Yeah, I think most people who have a membership program would give their front teeth to have an eight-and-a-half-year retention rate of members. yeah. And here’s to it. This is number three in something to do. And I think a big part of the reason for getting it done right is success. From day one, we have included a print newsletter.


So actually, every month, a print newsletter is mailed to their homes. And we’ve had members who have never, to my knowledge, because we have some workers who have never shown up on the live calls, who will listen to the recordings, but who will write in and say, love the newsletter. I think just for the newsletter. Wow. And the newsletter actually doesn’t have it in front of me.


We’re talking about an 11 by 17 piece of paper folded in half. Yeah. So it’s four sides and the back side is a calendar. This is the email, the check in, all of that stuff. So really it’s like three sides of content and in one just resource and informational, very simple, not overwhelming, not No. Eight page things that they’ve got to read, but it shows up in a branded envelope every month and one person loves it.


There are always some action items in it for them to do in it. We should share some of the transparent lessons that we’ve learned in the business depending on what’s happening. If I held if the training call was super involved or intense, I’d include a one-page action guide from the training call and say, Hey, you know, this one’s training call was pretty in-depth, so here’s your bullets.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Make Your Members Feel Appreciated by Sending Something Tangible


You know, have this with you when you watch the training call if you haven’t already seen it, all of that is from the point of accepting that our members are busy. They have full lives outside of their business. In addition to all the stuff in their business. So everything comes from how we make it as easy as possible for them to consume all the great stuff we’re giving them.


Yeah, and I think it also leverages in a good way a trend that we’re seeing a resurgence or renewal or whatever renaissance. I guess maybe in direct mail, and in that lumpy mail, actually, people do like to receive and as opposed to just the email, just the newsletter, whatever is sitting in their inbox electronically that you’re giving them something tangible that they can feel and that’s amazing.


So it’s hitting their inbox and their mailbox. Right. So it follows their computer for the day and they go and sit in their recliner in the living room and grab the stack of mail. We’re following them to the living room. And one of our members, said, we actually have a shelf in her bathroom, so she’s been a member since 2010 while she was one of our first members.


And I’m like, How big is that shelf? You know, because we’re talking over 120 email newsletters, right? This is amazing. Really amazing. Sandy, thank you for coming back for this encore. Even though our first episode together was on Onward Nation, I am grateful for now having a chance to spend time with you here on the Sell with Authority podcast.


Gain more insights about creating a membership program by joining on our next open mic Q&A


Creating a Membership Program: Closing Remarks


So before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, what’s the best way for someone to reach out and connect with you? They should be sure to stop by our website and get a complimentary course on creating a membership program that’ll work for them for their members from day one. And as part of that we include a Google sheet template on how to calculate your break-even point if you’re just getting started.


So and they can sign up for that. And then I just want to say that it’s totally okay to fall in love with your program. You definitely want to fall in love with your members and provide them with an amazing experience. But above all, fall in love with the data and the metrics and what they’re telling you.


And then Predictive knows when it’s time to put the brakes on and tweak things, but also knows when it’s time to press the gas and go full throttle. You know, the data, not your heart, should be the one that drives that decision. All those are words of wisdom. And thank you for your guidance, Sandy, along the way.


We are grateful for that. And okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and listen to Sandy’s words of wisdom, which I sure, sure hope that you do. It’s to take this framework, to take the insights, to take the recommendations and the experience and all of it that she so generously shared with you.


Take it and apply it. So if you’re looking to build a membership program as part of your monetization strategy for your authority position, she just gave you a great blueprint or framework to follow. So, Sandy, thank you again for saying yes. Thank you for coming on to the show to be our mentor and guide to help us move our businesses onward to that next level.


Thank you so much, my friend. You’re very welcome. Thank you for having me again.


Learn more about Sandy Martini’s creating a membership program by reading her blog about “3 Mistakes Businesses Often Make with Their Membership Program”

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