3 Mistakes People Make Building Their First Memberium Sites
Once or twice a month, we get calls from people needing us to salvage a Memberium membership project. These are usually sites built by first time Memberium membership site builders. They are either sites built by the business owner and/or his team or by some they hired to build it for them.
Their project went sideways and it's not really their fault. They need a good memberships site and they are wanting to get it, but the builder was on their first try. They didn't have the necessary experience and understanding of best practices to draw from.
So here are 3 mistakes we see a lot of first time Memberium site builders make along with suggestions for getting around this roadblocks.
Mistake Number 1 - Building Without Reviewing Proven Site Designs
When you look at what most businesses need out of their membership site, they need a platform for making their online course, membership program or client portal available to their paying customers. At a high level, this isn't that complicated. They need:
- a login function,
- a dashboard for members to access the content, and
- content design that makes consuming the content easy for members.
Studying what others have done before them is key. You should never be reinventing the wheel, right? The first thing I recommend when you start a Memberium membership building project is to review and study other sites and "borrow" from their designs, navigation, and page layouts.
For this, I want to offer this resource. Our membership site at https://members.larryjacob.com provides video tours of client membership sites we have built. It shows a variety of approaches we have used to deliver on clients' needs. You can visit the site to get FREE access. Go ahead and "borrow" all you want from us.
Mistake Number 2 - Building www and Membership Site in a Single Wordpress Install
My team and I build 3 to 4 Memberium membership sites a month. On rare occasions would we ever recommend building a membership site and the business' www site using a single Wordpress installations. There are a number of reasons why this is NOT a good idea.
First of all, the purpose of your www site and your membership site are different. The www site is for:
- promoting your business,
- educating people on what you do, and
- establishing credibility.
The www site usually includes a list of your service or product offerings, an About Us and a Contact Us. They are all aimed at getting a visitor to evaluate you and contact you as part of the sales journey.
A membership site serves a different role. It:
- delivers the content the member requested from you, and
- upsell members on additional services you offer.
When members use your membership site, you don't have to build credibility. You have enough credibility with them which is what got them to sign up as members. So you can eliminate an About Us page on this site. If they are consuming your content, they start learning more and more about your expertise. So the site contains the educational information and explanations of other things you can provide them.
When you try and build the sites as using a single Wordpress install, you get conflicting goals. Overcoming those makes setting up your site navigation complicated. You have to coordinate and often compromise between a site feature for wooing customers and delivering content. You end up needing to overcome issues that don't ever come up if you had used two Wordpress installs.
So avoid that single Wordpress install approach and save your self a lot of unnecessary work in the short and long term.
Mistake Number 3 - Trying to Do Too Much Too Fast
I've had new customers ask me for a lot of membership site features I don't think are necessary for their sites. I would prefer to see them focus on getting sales before taking on additional costs before they have the revenue to justify it.
I'm a big promoter of selling stuff that you haven't built yet. Run some tests first. Get some paying members to confirm you have a product or service that works.
What I often recommend is to use a very basic membership site platform. Try offering your membership programs taking credit card payments over the phone. Give new members access to your content via a private Facebook group or even something as simple as email messages.
A top priority of any business offering a membership site service the first time is sales. First confirm that you have an audience for what you sell and convince yourself with real sales that what you have will sell. Only when you've done that would I recommend getting elaborate at all with your membership site platform.
One thing my team and I offer is our Breakthrough Course Building System which gets you coaching and a version of our "Perfect Starter Kit" site installed and fully configured in your environment. It's a basic set up for getting you started so with minimal investment. You get yourself a platform for offering your content now with a strong foundation for building features later when you need them. You can click here to get the details on this.