Membership project: Introduction
In this introduction I’m going to explain the concept of a “micro-membership” site (MMS), give you a startup checklist and provide you with a precise schedule of activities to complete.
Ps: If you are an “experienced” online marketer, then you’ll be able to get your MMS site up and running in less than 48 hours from now. If you are a beginner, then we’ll take the next four lessons to explain thoroughly how to get each of these preliminary steps completed.
Here’s the definition of a “micro-membership” site:
In a nutshell, here’s what you’d do in running your own MMS site…
- Write one 2-3 page article lesson every week.
- Load this article to an autoresponder or on your site for subscribers to access.
- Sell access to the series, which would last 3 – 6 – 9 or 12 months.
It’s that simple.
To get started selling, you need the following items in place…
- Just one lesson.
- One sales page.
- One recurring billing system.
- One Autoresponder (optional).
As a brief overview, let me integrate these into a startup checklist that you can use to quickly launch your own MMS site…
Now, here is your startup checklist:
The four pillars of an MMS site:
There are four “pillars” of a successful MMS site: Preparation, Presentation, Production and Promotion.
Each of these are necessary components in starting your site … they are, in essence, your foundation.
- Preparation: In the “preparation” stage you will make important decisions regarding your site: market selection, choosing a theme or topic, determining a delivery schedule.
- Presentation. In the “presentation” stage you will structure the visual appearance of your sales process: domain registration, web site hosting, writing a salesletter, providing access to your autoresponder, setting up a download page.
- Production. In the “production” stage you will create your first article lesson to load to your autoresponder, and you will brainstorm ideas for future articles to send to members.
- Promotion. In the “promotion” stage you will begin getting the word out about your new membership site and attracting your initial subscribers, as well as developing an ongoing marketing presence to continually funnel in new subscribers.
As I mentioned, we’ll cover each of these in-depth over the next four lessons. For now, let’s identify some core action steps to complete in successfully launching an MMS site…
Ten steps to starting your MMS site:
These ten steps are organized in chronological order for your convenience.
- DECIDE upon a market and topic. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) A “market” consists of a broad group of people with a specific related interest that you’d like to sell to. Examples include: internet marketing, health and fitness, homeschooling, self help, relationships, parenting, etc. A “topic” would be a subject to which the market is passionate, concerned or attracted.
Examples include: affiliate marketing, losing weight, managing time, keeping romance alive, raising Godly children, etc.
- DEFINE a delivery schedule and price. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) How long will a subscription to your MMS site last? (3, 6, 9 or 12 months?) How often will you send out content to your members? (Weekly, twice weekly, monthly?) In exchange for this, how much will members be required to pay for access?
- DECLARE a name and domain name. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) Choose a name for your MMS site and then register a domain with the same name. Remember to keep it as short and memorable as possible, and, of course, related to the topic of your site. It’s important that you register this early so it can propagate while you’re working on other stuff.
- DESIGNATE a hosting company. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) There are many, many options available for your hosting. Some of my own recommendations are: FiveDollarHosting.com, Host4Profit.com and TurnkeyInternet.net.
- DEVISE an autoresponder plan. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) I personally use Aweber.com for my autoresponder, but GetResponse.com is also another very popular service. (Obviously, you can also go with any other suitable option that you choose.) After your autoresponder account is activated, load a “welcome email” to your account to be sent to subscribers when they join your site. (See sample below.)
- DEVELOP a salesletter. (Activity Time: 5 Hours+) Write a short salesletter for your membership site stressing the benefits of joining, exactly what they’ll receive, etc. Use the basic copywriting “rules” for crafting a good salesletter that virtually everyone includes.
- DESIGN a download page. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) There are actually two pages that you’ll need: First, you’ll want to create a “capture” page where customers are immediately taken to after their order is processed. This will include an opt-in form for them to join your member autoresponder. Second, you’ll want create a fulfillment page where the customer actually downloads lesson number one.
- DEMONSTRATE your knowledge. (Activity Time: 3 Hours+)That is, write your first lesson. Remember, it only needs to be 2-3 pages. Want to know how to write the perfect first lesson and drive up subscriber interest? Here is the key: “quick start”. Everyone wants to see results quickly. If you can demonstrate how they can see real results within the first 48 hours or first 7 days, they’ll be hooked. It’s important that your first lesson be an “overview” lesson with a checklist for “experienced” folks to get started quickly and for “beginners” to visualize what it’s all about and understand there will be some hand-holding to get things done. After doing this, upload everything to your web site and prepare to get things “live” for taking orders.
- DETERMINE your recurring billing. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes) The two most popular options for processing your subscription orders and doing rebills automatically are Clickbank.com and Paypal.com. Clickbank has a fee and a waiting period for approval of your site. Paypal is free and can be up and running almost immediately.
- DEVOTE yourself to marketing. (Activity Time: 60 Minutes+) Test your order process to make sure everything is working. If everything is a “go”, then start marketing the new MMS site. Begin with your own lists and contacts. Then, buy some ads (ezine ads, pay-per-click ads, etc.) Participate in joint ventures. Etc.
Based on the “Activity Time” allotted for each of these activities it should take you no more than sixteen total hours.
Two days max and you’ve got this up and running!
And, truthfully, it probably won’t take that long for most people. After all, I gave you sixty minutes to register a domain name … and that shouldn’t take fifteen minutes!
So, once you have this in place, let’s examine the process…
- A visitor arrives at your MMS site and reads the salesletter.
- This visitor is interested and clicks your order link.
- He arrives at the order processing page and submits credit card details.
- When the order is confirmed, he is taken to your “capture” page.
- The customer enters his email address for weekly notifications.
- His subscription is processed and he is immediately taken to the page for lesson number one (with text and pdf).
- He accesses the initial lesson from this page.
- He receives future page links to this email address each week or x numer of days.
See how simple this is?
As mentioned above, here is a sample “welcome” email for a membership site about micro-memberships (we will call Membership XYZ).
[Membership XYZ], your link for lesson #1
Welcome to Membership XYZ! I am thankful you have joined and look forward to sending you lessons one after another for the next x days/ weeks/ months.
This is gonna be fun! And profitable. 🙂
- You can download your first lesson if you haven’t already done so at http://www.MembershipXYZ.site/lessonOne
- Or, download it as PDF at http://www.MembershipXYZ.site/lessonOne.pdf
Each x days /week I’ll send you an email with a link to the next lesson in the series.
This email will always include [Membership XYZ] in the subject line. Look for it.
Also, you may want to whitelist myname@membershipXYZ.site which is the email address the lessons will originate from.
Enjoy the first lesson. See you in x days.
Feel free to modify it for your own use.
Now, once you have your MMS site setup, maintaining it is relatively easy. I personally work about 3 hours per week on mine…
Schedule of activities:
- Write a new lesson and load it to your autoresponder or site.
Every x day you’ll want to continue adding content to your autoresponder or site sequence for as long as you have planned the training to last. (I.E. 3 months, 6 months, etc.) I recommend that you write as many in advance as you can (I.E. 2 articles per week for the first month or so) so you can be ahead of the fulfillment obligation in case you get sick, etc. You will create an accompanying “download” page for each lesson and your autoresponder email will direct the subscriber to this download page.
- Remove any cancelled subscribers from your autoresponder or site.
There will be those members who do not wish to continue their subscription, so you’ll need to manually remove them from the member autoresponder or site so they don’t receive your lessons without paying.
- Improve your MMS site based on assignments.
You’ll receive micro membership assignments for the next 12 weeks which you will want to complete in order to expand and improve your site. After the initial setup stuff, these will take just an hour or so each week to implement.
- Promote your MMS site to get new subscribers.
You can spend as little or much time on this each week as possible. Some of the micro membership lessons are specifically devoted to promotion, so that will be part of your “assignments.” Additionally, over time you can scale back on your promotion as other people will do most of it for you.
More on this to come!
That’s all there is to it. And in terms of revenue-generating internet business models, it really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Now, before I mention your first assignment, let me say this one final time
This is an “introduction” lesson.
It is intentional. It is purposeful. I’ve arranged it this way so experienced folks can get started immediately and beginners can get a general idea of what we’ll be doing over the next weeks. During the next few assignments, I’ll give beginners baby-steps to complete each of the things we’ve talked about so far and I’ll also provide some powerful insights for our advanced folks, especially in lessons #6-10.
Now, on to our assignments…
Your first assignment:
- If you are an “experienced” student, get started immediately setting up your own MMS site by following the Startup Checklist. You should have it up and running within 48 hours. Obviously, we’ll tweak it and make it into the most effective, profitable MMS site during the coming weeks and months of this business project.
- If you are a beginner, begin brainstorming ideas: possible topics/themes for your MMS site and possible article lesson ideas. I’ll provide you with plenty of options for this in next lesson, but I’d like you to begin brainstorming some ideas for yourself at this point.
See you in the next lesson and do not forget, this is a business project, so if you plan on seeing it real, take action.
To your success.