Want to build a membership site, or online course, but don't know where to start?
Here's our step by step guide on what you need to do, and have.
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"I couldn't have done this without you two."
Angelika Smales - Running with Zithers
Want to see behind the scenes of a live membership site?
It's hard to see how memberships and courses look because most of what we do is locked behind doors that only members can enter. Sometimes it is good to just have a look. If you want a behind the scenes tour to see what your course or membership could look like give me a call.
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Membership / Online Course Development Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Map out your members Journey
If you plan what your buyers need to know at the end, and build in a process journey it's much easier to develop your content strategy. Otherwise you might not hit the mark, and they might not learn what you intended, or they wanted.
Step 2: Develop your content strategy
If there's one thing we've learned it's that most people have more content than other people can handle. If you don't want your users to be overwhelmed then it pays to really think about your content strategy.
Step 3: Develop your content Delivery strategy
Once you have your content strategy nailed you need to think about how you will deliver it. Not everyone loves downloadable PDF's and other people like to watch and listen. The key is in mixing it up especially as mostly you'll be working with adults.
Step 4: Develop your launch plan
Fail to plan and you'll be planning to fail. There is nothing like a well planned launch if only to keep you on track and focussed on the future.
Step 5: Keep track of your assets
Do you know that your digital assets are worth money? Do you know just how much content you actually already have that you could repurpose? Keeping track of your assets in a course or membership environment is vital to reducing your workload and increasing your profit. It makes it easy to repurpose for different audiences in a flash.
What's next? Some necessary little things to keep your brand strong and your reputation intact.
The most important of these is your design and branding strategy and logistics.
Step 1: Logo design and branding
Are you going to use what you already have and just tweak it a little? Do you even have any of this already? Do you want something completely different?
Do you need buttons, icons or graphics to use to easily explain what your customers need to do?
Step 2: Video design, hosting and scripting
Most courses and memberships use videos. So having a strategy around how you develop and manage them is vital to keeping on track. If you are going to charge for access then you'll be need using the right hosting platform and with a licence to match.
You'll also need to have scripts, intros and outros designed to use to keep your brand looking consistent. and above all professional.
Step 3: Video editing
Nothing reduces the power of a message than one that is hard to hear, has too much background noise and too many umms and ahhs. Video editing is a must for a beautiful and easy to use product. One that you can be proud of.
Now you've decided all of that you'll need a mechanism for sharing and most importantly selling.
For that you'll need a technology stack to deliver your content to your customers with a minimum of fuss.
Domain name / URL & Hosting
Are you just going to use a derivative of your current site or do you need to purchase a new one?
You'll also need to have your site hosted by a reputable host so it runs smoothly anywhere at any time.
Out of the box or purpose built to last?
If you are wanting to do it yourself then an out of the box solution is a good place to start.
Just remember to check the fine print to see who owns your IP and product, and of course do some price comparisons.
We specialise in "Purpose Built to Last" and use WordPress as a skeleton to build on.
We find this gives the business owner maximum flexibility to grow, which of course is what this is all about.
Because we do this all the time it's faster for us too and we can make it look just so.
Purpose built to last? then you'll need a Theme to build your platform on.
We recommend either Thrive Themes using Thrive apprentice, and all the other built in marketing tools like quizzes which comes with a licence or
Divi where you can choose a theme that matches your business and we use the built in WordPress and your membership plugin to design delivery components.
Both of these has front end drag and drop design and come with a world of help.
Membership plugin, the boss of all that goes on. It lets people in and out of your site and various pieces of content. It also talks to your payment processor and your shopping cart so people who pay get what they pay for and only what they pay for.
An Email platform preferably with autoresponder and tagging capability. This allows your customers to receive log in details but also for you to automatically send welcome information and instructions for use.
A Shopping cart to help sell your products. This talks to your payment processor and your membership plugin to tell them what the customer bought.
Now to make it commercial and able to be sold you'll need a couple more things...
Please note some of the links on this page are affiliate links which means we get a small amount of money if you purchase those products. It does not affect in any way the price of the item to you. We recommended these products before we discovered such things existed and we would still use and recommend them if this wasn't possible.