Whether you’re a creator, freelancer, online teacher, or large organization, having a membership model in place and adding a community to your business is a major benefit. 

Membership models allow your business to be specifically structured, so it’s easily attainable to customers and quickly manageable and measurable for you. Memberships also mean recurring revenue – a true gem in the world of new business. 

But creating a community for your members really elevates the business. It means that your members now have a voice. They have a platform where they can chat with others (no matter where in the world they are) about your niche and feel empowered by other members too. 

We live in a digital world, but it doesn’t mean we can’t become a part of a community. Having a sense of belonging is part of being human – and it’s essential to our lifestyles. 

Want to know more? If you do, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you understand how to build up memberships for your business, as well as how to create a valuable community within your online teaching platform. 

In this article: 

  1. What is a Membership Model?
  2. The Benefits of Memberships 
  3. 3 Tips for Building Your Membership Model
  4. How an Online Community Compliments Memberships 

What is a Membership Model?

A membership model is a kind of business plan where individual customers pay a recurring fee to an organization for access to this business’s content. 

A membership business model provides a business owner with the flexibility of adding various tiered membership options that work well for a range of customers instead of a ‘one-price-fits-all’ approach.

The Benefits of Memberships 

  • Steady Income: Members pay you on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis (depending on how you set up your plans), so you can easily calculate your income based on this recurring revenue model.
  • Access to Data: Members sign up and generally opt-in for emails and text messages. This means that you can view how they interact with your content and marketing collateral (instead of selling a product in person and never knowing that customer’s reaction).
  • Direct Communication with Members: Your customers become a part of your community and are generally open and honest about your product or service when they provide feedback to you. Use feedback conversations and surveys to your advantage – feedback isn’t always something that comes easy. But with memberships, it can.  
  • Community Building: Getting members involved in your community is extremely valuable. But it also acts as a space where like-minded individuals get a chance to uplift and inspire one another. 

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3 Tips for Building Your Membership Model 

  1. Structure your Membership:

Once you have decided to build a membership model, you need to start structuring how your memberships will work. Will you be offering paid memberships? Would you like tiered memberships with basic, intermediate, and advanced plan options? The common membership tiers that you can use are: 

– Free 
– Basic
– Intermediate 
– Pro 
– Enterprise

Usually, each of these tiers will have certain features or content associated with them. The higher the tier, the more features, and content a member has access to. 

2. Reviewing Your Profitability: 

When you set prices for each membership plan, remember to do the math on each price to ensure you will be profitable. Here are some ways to help you calculate a reasonable price for your memberships: 

– Set a budget for your marketing expenses (e.g., promotional emails) and stick to it.  
– Research what your competitors are charging to give you a good idea of what people are willing to pay.
– Set a price that offers a good profit margin for you while remaining competitively priced.

3 Upselling and Reselling: 

Members are people that constantly access your website, content, and classes. This means that they’re also the best place to start when it comes to upselling and or reselling your current products and services. Here are a few ways to do so: 

– Upsell merchandise to class members.
– Resell memberships to current members up for a renewal at a discounted rate. 
– Cross-sell other classes to your members. For example, cross-sell a Pilates class to a current yoga class member. 
– Offer discounted one-on-one lessons to current members. 

Upselling and Reselling

How an Online Community Compliments Memberships

Once you have members signed up and consuming your content regularly, you may be wondering if there’s any other way to take memberships to the next level – and there is. 

Building a community.

GWI did a study asking users of community sites how these types of platforms make them feel: 

Building a communitySource: GWI

It’s no secret that more and more people are looking for a sense of belonging – and communities tick that box. 

Four elements help us define a sense of community. These factors were created by community psychologists long before online communities existed. But they are timeless and very relevant to online business today: 

#1: Membership

This defines who is in the community and who isn’t. Membership gives people a sense of belonging as they become identified as a member of that community. 

#2: Influence   

This speaks to the notion of people having a voice in a space and knowing that their ‘voice counts.’ As a member, when you talk, you can be comforted in knowing that others listen and sometimes act on your words of advice. 

#3: Fulfillment of Needs   

A community helps people fulfill specific needs. Depending on the community, these needs vary. For example, if your community is filled with art students from your watercolor painting classes, their needs would be to refine their craft of painting with the help of you and all community members. 

#4: Emotional Connection   

People share emotional connections and have a shared history and participation within the community. This deep connection can be long-lasting between members and is truly valuable to them and your business. 

Emotional Connection

If you’re passionate about teaching your expertise as well as getting long-term customers and community members – then this membership and community-based business model is the one for you. 

Mastera: The Perfect Membership and Community Platform for You

The best way to incorporate your membership model with a community is to select a high-quality online teaching and community hosting platform. With a robust platform like Mastera, half the job is done for you, so you can focus on attracting new members and engaging your current ones.  

Want to learn more about our platform? Chat with us.