Jun 19, 2020
Today, we are going to be
talking about subscription models and membership groups. I have
been thinking about an episode on this for a long time. As many of
you know, if you’ve been listening and following The Brainy
Business for a while, I launched a membership group at the
beginning of 2020. It's called the BE Thoughtful Revolution, and
I’ll use examples from my experience of setting that up (as well as
others) throughout the episode.
At the center of any really
strong business is finding the experience people want (the biggest
benefit to them) and showcasing the value in a way that makes it
easy for them to say yes.
Even if you are thinking about
creating a subscription or membership now because you think it will
benefit your business, solid customer experience has to come first
in the design and final decision. You need to think of the people
you are creating this for, what they want and what they will be
excited to pay for.
In this episode I’ll talk about
the behavioral science concepts behind subscriptions and
memberships, how to consider if they are a fit for your business,
and then I’ll do a Q&A with the actual questions listeners like
you posted to me on social media. If you don’t yet follow The
Brainy Business, you can find me as @thebrainybiz on Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram. Links to all the socials below!
- [01:35] The environment is going to be changing
constantly over the coming months (and possibly years) as we all
adjust to the impact of coronavirus.
- [02:24] What we can do is take a look at our
businesses and industries to determine how to reinvigorate the
offerings we are putting out there, and provide them in a way
people want to do business with us instead of what was convenient
for us to set up in the past.
- [04:03] At the center of any really strong
business model (subscriptions and memberships included) is finding
the experience people want, the biggest benefit to them, and
showcasing the value in a way that makes it easy for them to say
- [05:43] Being inside a business or industry, it
is far too easy to get hung up on the specifics of what you do or
offer. The problem is then you lose the big picture and in many
ways don’t see how you are becoming obsolete.
- [07:23] I remember my professor saying, “People
don’t want a drill, they want a hole.” Such a simple shift, but it
completely changed my brain and approach to business at that
- [09:15] Melina shares a story about Henry Ford
from Harvard Business Review.
- [11:47] Ford put customers first. He found a
price where the masses could buy a car and then figured out how to build a
business to make it happen.
- [14:13] Thinking about customer experience is
always a great place to start.
- [15:31] Any business model takes work to create
value and be something people want.
- [17:41] It is important to think through what
you will be offering and how it compares to what you do
- [18:04] A subscription is something that people
pay for on an ongoing basis and they get access to a product or
- [19:52] Another model for subscriptions that
has become very popular is the “free version” and “paid version”
- [21:05] The difference with a membership model
is that you are typically paying for the right to have access to
things, but you don’t necessarily have to take advantage of
- [23:24] With a membership, you still have the
benefits of a subscription type model, that you can plan for
payments to be coming in regularly, and the people who sign up get
more for less than what they would pay for single-use or to buy all
the things themselves.
- [25:05] If you are on retainer, someone is
prepaying for access to you for a certain number of
- [26:24] Is a membership or subscription right
for you? Walking through a “writing club/coach”
- [28:36] You will need to do the upfront work to
set everything up, but eventually, you could hire someone to manage
most of the group stuff, so it doesn’t take up too much of your
time, which frees you up for more time at your $200 an hour
- [29:54] Taking the risk out makes it an easy
yes for people.
- [31:40] If you do set up a membership group or
subscription, consider launching at a discounted price for a very
limited time to help set up a foundation of
- [32:32] People pay for all kinds of things and
are happy to do so when they know what the value is.
- [34:01] The value proposition is clear because
there is an established “other option” that is more
- [35:07] If you don’t consider and establish the
comparison point and point it out with the proper high anchor, your
selling conversations will be a lot more difficult.
- [37:06] Framing, anchoring, relativity, and
knowing your value are very important in the way you communicate
- [39:13] Instead of creating an offering that
seems like the best fit and offer for your business and then
finding a way to sell it to people, start with what they want and
find how that can be done by your business and if it is actually a
fit for you.
- [39:38] Trial periods are really helpful in
letting people see the value of the offering, so they can be
- [42:18] I tell clients all the time that not
everyone is your customer.
- [43:36] Narrowing down your scope makes it
easier for people to find you, know you are a fit for them and have
confidence in your offer.
- [44:57] The first step is to know what you want
to nudge people toward, what the best offer is for your
- [46:49] There are lots of different ways to
frame the message and help it to showcase what is the best fit for
your business. Try to think outside the box.
- [47:52] You can do whichever makes sense for
your business so there is no “only” way to price. You should go
with two options max.
- [48:37] When it is a monthly payment, you are
able to get the value as those payments are made, in smaller doses,
versus needing to help the conscious brain justify a large amount
once a year, where you could lose people.
- [52:49] It is definitely easier to sell things
when you have a solid email list.
- [54:40] Once you have done some of this prep
work to find what your niche will want, just go for it. Build it,
pick a model, choose your pricing, and sell it.
Speaking of membership groups,
now is a great time to join the
BE Thoughtful Revolution
- use code BRAINY to save
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