Membership Websites are an incredible way to earn passive income through the success of your YouTube channel, Instagram page, Podcast or Blog. Even business owners who teach, consult, or train should be building a passive income stream with Membership Website Funnels.
With a membership site that charges for recurring monthly memberships you can bypass AdSense and sponsorships. You can let go of retainer clients and high-touch accounts to enjoy the benefits of passive income.
In this post, I’m going to show you how we’re on track to generate half-a-million dollars next year in passive income. If you’d like to consult with me privately on building your membership funnel:
To complete a website funnel with a membership site you’ll need two major subscriptions:
- An Email Marketing Software – there are tons on the marketplace each offering varying levels of support and service. However, after trying them all, we strongly recommend using GetResponse Email Marketing.
- A Membership Website Software – Again, there are tons of options out there and many of them will work fine. However, there is one system that works more smoothly than the rest. Clickfunnels is owned and operated by influencers and marketers who know what our needs are and make a software that does a great job.
Before You Begin
Many of you already have an audience, a fan base, or an email list. Before you start creating your membership website all “willy-nilly,” I highly recommend that you survey your audience first. Using a simple survey on SurveyMonkey.com or host a live stream video on Facebook or YouTube and ask your audience what challenges you can help them overcome.
A survey overcomes 2 major hurdles:
- A survey Pre-Promotes your upcoming membership site to your audience and prepares them to buy it.
- A survey involves their input which increases the likelihood they will enroll when it launches.
Here’s a quick example of my survey question from 2018. You can see that with 3-4 questions like this one, I have been able to create a membership website that makes me a huge amount of passive income every month.
Once your survey is complete, you’ll want to start building out the membership website funnel. That it is a relatively simple process that many people make more complicated. In this post, I hope to demonstrate just how simple this process is.
Here’s what a sophisticated website funnel looks like. By following the steps in the diagram, you’ll minimize your work and keep your membership funnel super simple.
At the far right is your video content, blog content, social media posts, etc – this is all the content that your audience can click through to get to your funnel. That’s where they can engage with your lead capture page.
A Lead Capture Page – This is where your audience can exchange their email for a downloadable offer such as an ebook, a PDF guide, or even a mini-video series. This can be created in one click using Clickfunnels.
Confirmation page – once they’ve downloaded your lead magnet, they’ll be redirected to a page that says “thank you” and confirms that the process was complete. This page should also connect your viewers to additional content from you. Take a look at my Thank You Page here.
Email Sequence – This is an automated email sequence that engages with your new leads and encourages them to upgrade to your membership site. This is where the selling takes place. We use GetResponse email marketing.
Sales Page – This is where your viewers can enroll and purchase your membership site. Using Clickfunnels (which I’ll talk about more later) you can completely automate this process.
Membership Site – Also created in one click using Clickfunnels, the membership site is where you will host your membership content. Whether videos, or PDF guides, or live video calls, all of that will be found in your membership site.
Step 1: Create a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a digital download or digitally accessible offer that attracts your viewers to your email list. Your lead magnet should be connected to your content – this is the FOUNDATION of your funnel. By creating a lead magnet that is relevant to your channel and your offer, you’ll accomplish a few different tasks – you’ll get a higher open rate in your emails, you’ll avoid the spam box and get more deliverability.
(We DO NOT recommends offering a “newsletter” as it is a nebulous offer)
Example of Good Lead Magnets:
- Tech Channel – Buyers Guide to best consumer electronics
- Prank Channel – How-To guide for safe pranks on your friends
- Vlog – 5 part video series on how to start a family vlog
- Merch – offer a free t-shirt to a lucky winner every month
Completing the Lead Magnet is a multi-step process.
- Upload the PDF to your website, or Dropbox, and grab the link. We’re gonna use it later when we start the email marketing campaign.
- Embed the lead magnet on your “offer page.” An offer page is a simple website page where a viewer can input their name and email. It’s important that this page LOOKS amazing. Here are some examples…http://thevideospot.net/toolkit
- Create your Confirmation Page. Once completed, most marketers would send their viewers to a page that says “thank you for subscribing” but this is a missed opportunity. Instead, you’re going to send them to a page that invites them to your membership community:”Hey – since you liked my free offer, would you be interested in joining my membership group for just $19 per month. You’ll get free videos, plus a weekly Q&A with me, and access to behind the scenes interviews, etc…”Here’s an example.
Now – it’s not our objective to close sales on this initial contact although a very small percentage will make the purchase. Our objective is introduce them to the membership site so it’s in their brains and stirring.
Step 2: Create Your Membership Site
When I started, I only had a free conference call-in phone number. Today, there are many more tools available to you for building a profitable membership website funnel.
For best results I would create through Clickfunnels. With Clickfunnels, this whole process is already done for you through their robust template system. All you have to do is click “Create Membership Site” and the system will build it out for you. All you have to do is add your branding and change around the words.
In fact, with Clickfunnels you can even use my pre -made templates for building funnels just like the one Im showing you here. Just got to thevideospot.net/clickfunnels and sign up for free. Then email me the receipt and I’ll send you my template link. You click on the link and click funnels will build the template for you and all you have to do is change the logo and the wording.
Clickfunnels will handle all the billing, member registration, and even when people cancel, it’s super simple to jump into the website and remove them from the system. Your VA should be able to do all of this.
**PS – if it sounds like I’m “selling you” Clickfunnels – I am. I’ve done this long enough to see companies and influencers try to use their WordPress sites or otherwise “hack” a funnel to save on investing in Clickfunnels. THIS IS A WASTE OF YOUR TIME! Going the cheap route will take you hours in producing your own templates and in the end, the viewers will not like your funnels which will decrease your conversion.
When I started my site, I only had a free call-in number.
Well eventually I moved into video calls/screencasts. I’ve recorded all of those and each week I put the newest calls inside the membership community thereby INCREASING the value of the membership for any new members. Not only will members get access to my new stuff, they’ll get access to the older stuff as well- all organized into modules and 100% searchable. I’ve outsourced all that work to my VA so after the Monday calls I go to the gym while she puts all this together.
Here’s an example of my membership site…
Here’s an example of my newest course which when purchased, will offer the buyer a chance to upgrade into my full membership where they can receive ALL of my courses.
Ok, it’s half-time.
At this point, you’ve now created the two most important assets in your membership website funnel. Now it’s time to connect them together through an automated email sequence.
Step 3: Create Your Email Marketing Automation
Once the page is created, Using very simple integrations, you’ll connect your email system to your page and you’ll be able to capture emails and send newsletters and autoresponders.
You’ll first create your email autoresponder – this might be a 3-part email sequence that automatically sends to your new subscribers. In this autoresponse you’re going to promote the sale back to your membership.
Email 1: Thank you /Delivery of Free Offer
Email 2: Gain – Tell them what they’ll gain by joining membership
Email 3: Logic – give them facts to support the purchase
Email 4: Fear – Last chance at this price
Here’s an example:
After these emails are sent out, you’ll want to get on a monthly newsletter program where you send out an email weekly or monthly. For many of you, I wouldn’t include your videos. I’d focus more on a behind-the-scenes or a week-in-review because this is more consistent with what you’re offering. In each newsletter, you’re gonna invite people into your membership group.
Congrats! You’re Done!
Now that you’ve created the lead magnet offer, you’ve created all the website pages and membership site pages, and you’ve connected those pages together using an automated email marketing sequence, you’re ready to start sharing your links with your community. If you’ve set all this up properly (using Clickfunnels) than you should only need to send your people ONE LINK – the link to your lead magnet web page.
From there, the funnel will automatically take over and begin to convert your viewers into membership site buyers where they can engage with you on a whole new level.
If you’d like to consult with me privately on building your membership funnel:
How to Put This Link In All Your Past Videos
Tubebuddy is a great tool for optimizing and promoting your YouTube videos. What a lot of people don’t know is that Tubebuddy provides a whole suite of tools for bulk editing old videos and getting your links on your videos through the description box, the cards system, and the End Card system. Tubebuddy has a large variety of tools and offers a whole channel on how to use those tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should You Charge?
Tiered Structure – I believe in a 3 tiered structure where you have low, medium, and elite. So you’re offering a $19 membership, a $39 membership, and a $99 membership.
For some of you, it would be highly appropriate to offer a $399 membership. It’s going to vary greatly on the value of your membership offer and the target audience. If your audience is married adults with two incomes and you want to teach them vlogging so they can grow a youtube channel – then I’d offer something on the higher end.
If you’re marketing to kids, you might want to keep your pricing a little lower.
Why Not Just Use Patreon?
Conversion – Patreon doesn’t give you the tools to convert your audience at higher percentages. You get their default pages same as everyone else. With a customized membership page you can create more value for your group and therefore charge what you want. Using your own system elevates your offer above the noise.
Control – Patreon isn’t the best for organizing content and making it findable. With clickfunnels and others like it, you are in control of how the content is organized
Conditioning – Most patrons are used to charging between $5- $20 and that affects your conversion. If you’ve got a million subs and you’re charging $20 – what is that doing to your brand. You want to present your site as elite, a cut above the rest.
How to Attract and Retain Members
Survey your audience – this acts like sort of a soft promotion or a pre launch for your group. Get them involved in what it’s going to look like so they are more interested . You also know that since they determined the content, they are more likely to purchase the content.
Promote in Your Videos – Promote your free lead magnet in every video. Create more diverse lead magnets in the future to open your audience to new and developing niches.
Retain members – Your membership site needs to be a growing body of access and work. Recordings are NEVER made public. Give your members access to celebrities and personalities that they can’t otherwise access.