Why The Hardest Part of Having a Membership Site is Also the BEST Part

As some of you know I recently invested in Stu McLaren’s Tribe program and I love it, I highly recommend it, and I am going to share some high-level takeaways from the program after it wraps up in a few weeks, so look out for that!

It was expensive, and it was a risk to invest a few thousand dollars in something that frankly I wasn’t sure if I needed. After all, I hit six figures in digital products alone last year, I have 2 membership sites that I love, and I feel like I’m doing OK.

And last year when I almost joined , that’s exactly what I told myself. I was much tighter with my money then and I was just convinced that anything I needed to learn inside of my business I could figure out as I go.

So fast forward to this year-- I had the Tribe  cart open date on my calendar for WEEKS. I was probably one of the first people to whip out their credit card and beg Stu to take my money.

And what changed between last year and this year was simple. I have realized, slowly, that money is a very renewable resource. I know that I can make the 2 grand back that I spent on the program EASILY if even ONE thing I learn inside the program works.

And let me just tell you that was NOT my mindset last year. 

It was hard for me to even spend a few hundred dollars on a VA to do some of my admin and customer service tasks!

But  since then I have not only gained confidence in my own ability to make money which has shifted my mindset from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset-- but I have also realized one more important thing.

While MONEY is a renewable resource, time is not.

I was saving money, yes, but I was working constantly, it was hard for me to be present with my kids or at night after they went to bed, I was always consumed with my to do list.

I don’t know about you but when I started my businesses I did it so that I could spend LESS time working and more time with my family. Money is great, yes, but time was and is my most valuable resource so I need to protect it.

I have found that when I invest in myself or in my business and I let go and spend money on things I need to streamline, improve, or scale-- that money flows right back in at a much faster rate than I spend it at.

Time, unfortunately, does not work like that. While yes, spending time on some crucial parts of your business now could save you time down the road-- time is not limitless and in fact none of us know how much time we have left, ever.

So this year I have really loosened up my grasp on my money and I am investing in myself and my business in amounts that probably would have made me pass out at this time last year.

But if you remember my word for this year is SCALE and that’s exactly what I intend to do, and no, COVID is not stopping me or slowing me down.

Investing in the knowledge and experience of someone who is further along on their journey than me and who is living the life that I envision for myself has NEVER improved to be a poor investment.

But let me just say, I do the WORK.

I’m not a person who invests in a program and goes halfway. I’m watching every lesson, participating in every facebook live, doing all the action items, consuming all the bonuses, and most importantly implementing as soon as humanly possible-- usually during the program.

SO if you invest in these high ticket programs and don't give it your all then no, money is not going to flow back into your business at a higher rate than before, this isn’t magic here.

But if you do the work and put in the effort-- you WILL see results and you WILL see a huge ROI.

And if you’re lucky you will walk away with so much clarity and so many lightbulb moments that you will feel like you STOLE or didn't pay close to enough for that 2 thousand dollar program.


OK-- And now, my BIGGEST lightbulb moment to come from Tribe.

This ah-ha moment is around why MOST membership sites fail.

And it’s funny because this one reason why memberships are SO HARD, especially in the beginning, is the EXACT same reason they are so magical and have so much potential.

The hardest thing about membership sites, is that REGARDLESS of how many people are in your membership, the amount of work you will be doing is still the same.

So whether you have 10 people or 10,000 people paying you monthly, your core work will be exactly the same.

Now depending on the structure of your membership and whether or not you do live Q&A, or if you have a bustling community, yeah, that type of moderation work might be a lot more intense at the 10,000 member level.

But your CORE work, delivering on what you promised your members, will remain the same.

SO for example, with my Play Maker Society membership, I do the same thing every month. I do one masterclass on a more advanced topic geared towards business owners who are already launched or are in the process of opening and want to take their business to the next level.

I also do one guest expert training where I interview an industry expert for about an hour on their topic. Examples are small business bookkeeping, legal stuff small business owners face, email marketing, using tik tok to increase your customer base, things like that.

And then finally I do a one-hour coaching call every single month.

That’s what I promise with that membership and that’s all I need to do to deliver on that promise every single month. Now, do I often go above and beyond that promise? Yes.

I’m in that members only facebook group every single DAY answering questions, and yes the more members there are the more overwhelming it can be. 

BUT here’s the thing. 

First of all, any questions I answer between the monthly 1 hour Q&A are already above and beyond my promise which people really appreciate. 

And second of all, the bigger the group gets and the longer people are members, the more qualified people there are to answer these questions!

For so long I thought my membership sites were all about ME and my expertise. But a great thing about these communities is that people learn and grow right before your eyes and they gain confidence and they can answer questions from their OWN perspective, experience, and point of view.

Because we ALL bring different stuff to the table. That took me a long time to learn but now I am able to kind of take a step back and really focus on the resources I provide to them and just jump in when I feel I need to or where I can really help someone out. 

So as of today, June 5th, I have 135 monthly members. Next year, I hope to have double that.

But guess what? My workload will be the same. And with the extra members I’ll have extra revenue, meaning I can invest even more into making it the best experience and value people could ever imagine.


Now let me tell you why this can be a BAD thing.


 Yes, now I have 135 members, but it took me TWO years to get to that point, partially because my membership is ONLY available to those who have gone through my Play Cafe Academy course which is around $500.

But for over a year there were less than 25 members, or maybe that’s just how it felt.

And I was doing the exact same amount of work I am doing now, but I was obviously doing it for a lot less.

It would have been really easy for me to just throw in the towel and say you know what, if I am only going to make a thousand dollars a month and if I am only going to be able to impact 25 people with this information? It isn’t worth it.

And THAT, my friend, is why SO many membership sites fail.

I swear so often we forget that consistency is the key to success, and just continuing to push and persevere and show up.

People look at these super rich membership site owners who have thousands of members and they just assume that they have always been that way.

Membership sites are SO much work in the beginning because the work you are putting in seems extremely disproportionate to your return.

And it’s easy to just give up and move onto the next shiny object.

But here’s the thing--

Most people give up before they are even able to get results for that first round of members.

And it’s those success stories and those transformations that are going to help EXPAND your reach, get new people into the doors, and scale your membership.

So if you give up just because you are not feeling that immediate gold rush while you are still building-- keep going.

Was it hard to spend over a year not getting paid what I felt I was worth. Of course! And that’s one other reason I decided to invest in tribe. Just imagine how much faster I could have gotten from 0 members to 135 members at $47 a month had I just put my ego aside and learned from someone who knew better than me.

Well, coulda woulda shoulda.

I’m NOT making that mistake again and I highly encourage you-- whatever your end goal or your dream business is-- investing in someone who can accelerate your success and prevent you from making the mistakes they did will almost never be poor investment, Just of course do your research.

But anyway, I can tell you I am NOT making that mistake again.


So, now I want to talk about my OTHER membership site, Digital Brand Envy.  Now this was my original baby and what I have been so passionate about for YEARS now.  But, because it was my first go at creating an amazing membership experience, it needed a lot of re-working.

One other important lesson I have learned in tribe is that the NUMBER ONE reason most members CANCEL a membership site is because of OVERWHELM.

And there’s a lot that goes into this but basically if you are providing your members with SO MUCH content that they constantly feel behind and like they just aren’t able to take advantage of all you have to offer-- their perceived value of your membership actually DECREASES.

Which is counter-intuitive, right? More content should mean a higher value, but that is NOT always the case. 

For example, if you are a yoga teacher, you can offer the BEST most AMAZING classes-- but if you don’t offer your classes at a time a person can attend, they aren’t able to get the value from your offer, so they will likely cancel pretty quickly.

Membership sites are really similar.

People are busy and get distracted easily and if they feel like they can’t fit everything you have to offer into their schedule, they will feel like they aren’t getting the full benefits from being a member.

So previously in DBE which is shorthand for Digital Brand Envy, I was doing trainings and Q&A every week, I was doing case studies, I was doing guest experts, I was throwing ALL this stuff at members because I wanted to defend the price I was charging and leave NO doubt in peoples minds that my membership was worth, in this case, $27 per month.

But the opposite kind of happened and all that content combined with the fact that I was trying to teach people every single thing they ever wanted or needed to know about digital marketing, made everything one giant mess.

So unlike Play Makers Society, which just required patience, this membership needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.

And how was I able to tell the difference, you may be wondering?

Well, with Play Maker Society, I was getting GREAT feedback. I was getting really high consumption rates of all the content, the success stories were rolling in left and right, and the group was super active and engaged, not only with me but with each other.

With DBE, it was a little different. Because I was skipping all over the place in terms of topics ad I was doing SO MUCH and producing SO MUCH-- people were not able to get the results I wanted them to and engagement inside the group was super low because everyone felt so BEHIND-- and like they couldn’t comment or engage until they had “caught up”.

So after Tribe I actually completely redoing and remodeling DBE and I am so freaking excited about it.

After going through the program, I decided to specifically help service-based business owners with their sales funnels and online offerings. No more trying to be every single thing to every single person. THIS is my niche and I am going to live and breathe it.

I also got clear on EXACTLY what training will be provided inside the membership AND how it will impact a members business.

After COVID especially the introduction of online digital products or classes are more important than ever and I have streamlined the EXACT process these service providers can use to either supplement their client or brick and mortar revenue OR replace it.

And to prevent overwhelm, I came up with some core content that EVERY members will have to start with in order to build a foundation AND I laid out the path each member will take in order to measure their progress and also so they can ask better questions.

So for DBE, the 5 steps to any basic funnel are

  1. Identifying
  2. Creating
  3. Building
  4. Nurturing
  5. Converting


So there is no longer any ambiguity. I am crystal clear about who I want to help, how I can help them, and what they can expect by joining.

I am relaunching the membership with this brand new model mid june and I’m kicking it off with a free challenge called the 5 Day Facebook Ad Accelerator challenge where I will be sharing 5 ads service providers SHOULD be running or experimenting with right now.

At the end of the challenge I am going to open up the DBE membership to participants at a super special rate and with some amazing bonuses so if you’d like to get in on this totally free challenge-- click here.

And I am just going to declare this NOW so I can hold myself accountable-- I WILL have 100 digital brand envy members before 2020 is up. I am committing to it.

And I am also committed to giving those first members so much darn attention and hands on help so that they get those AMAZING results I know are possible. Because the more members that are in the group, the more valuable that group becomes not only for me, but for everyone.

So I am putting it out there, I will be welcoming 100 new members this year, and if you are one of them, just know I give you my WORD that I will blow you away with -- not how much content I will be throwing at you-- but with how quickly I can get you results with LESS  effort and with LESS stress than you could if you were to go at it alone.

See you Monday inside the challenge!


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