Right now there is money being left on the table in your membership business. Your members could actually be paying you more!
Many of you have been making additional products or trainings or services available for free—beyond what was promised in the membership. You probably feel your members should get everything for free just because they’re a member. But you cannot run an effective membership business or an effective association based off your feelings.
- The first reason why members shouldn’t get everything for free is very basic, but it has to do with you rather than with your members.
I know you almost feel guilty for charging your members the monthly investment they’re making… and because you feel that guilt, you may decide to compensate by literally making as much as possible available to them for free. The problem is that this undercuts the value of what you’re actually providing your members.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t give away some stuff for free, but here’s what happens:
Your member signs up. They agree to all of the features and benefits you said you were going to provide. But after they sign up, you come up with some new event or course or tool and think, “Well, I should probably just give it to my members for free, because, well, I feel like they should have it for free.” That is not a good feeling.
Just because you feel like they should get it for free is not the reason they should get it for free.
- The second reason why members shouldn’t get everything for free is because they’re willing to invest in more than just their membership.
Those who attend your live events might also enjoy your webinars. Others may enjoy your online training. They’re willing to pay for those additional resources if they see the value… and understand it’s beyond the scope of the membership agreement.
Remember, it is still critical that you give your members all you actually said you were going to provide.
When these folks already see value in their membership though, they are more likely to trust that this new training, this new tool, this new course, or this new event is going to be of value as well. So they will be willing to make that additional investment.
Let that sink in for a moment. Your members are willing to invest in your services beyond the actual membership.
- The third reason why members shouldn’t get everything for free is that what you do costs money.
Everything in the way of your membership business—your time, resources, staff, and the cost of putting together your website—those are all hard costs… fixed costs that you have, whether it be annually, monthly, or every two weeks.
If I was to ask you, “What is your margin on your membership?” Would you know it?
Write that question down and go find out the answer. How much are you charging your members and what fixed costs do you have associated with fulfilling that membership? Remember, if you have an annual subscription model, you will have to divide the fixed cost monthly over your membership fee.
One of the reasons you can’t give everything away for free is you can’t afford to. You have costs involved and you need to cover them, especially with events. Those of you who are running live and in-person events have some major fixed costs. With hotel/venue fees, displays, meals, and everything that goes on, it can be well over $30,000 invested.
I’ve been around long enough I know this. You need to look at your business and say, “What are my fixed costs?” Some of you are barely covering your fixed costs now with your membership program—let alone those other things you’re giving away for free. When you start adding those in, you may actually be going in the hole on your membership site! You can’t afford to do that.
- The fourth reason not to give everything away is that you can create multiple levels of membership with tiered discounts.
For example, inside my membership site there are resources such as the “Triple Your Membership toolkit,” “Why people quit training,” “15 membership multipliers,” and the “7 Systems package.” All of those have costs involved. Those are fixed costs I have to pay.
Rather than giving those types of resources away, you can instead offer your members an opportunity to get them at a discounted rate. Why? Because they’re a member. You’re not going to charge them a full rate. You’re going to give them a better rate… the best rate possible because you value your members.
You can say, “Hey, listen, this was never promised in your membership but I want to give it to you at a discount. It’s an honor to you. I’m going to take care of you. I’m going to cover my expenses, but I want to provide value to your membership,” and members always get the best opportunity.
You can say “discount,” but I prefer saying, “best opportunity.” Members always get the best opportunity.
- The fifth reason why members shouldn’t get everything for free is that what you provide has real world value.
When I look at the members in my coaching program, I’m able to equate real world value to what I provide, because if I help them keep one member from quitting, that has a real world value to them. I want you to be able to uphold the value of the tools and training and events you offer your membership in just this same way. I want your members to see the difference you’re making as part of your membership and what you’re providing for them. That it’s not just some investment they’re making monthly, but it has a real world value to them.
- Number six, when you don’t give everything away for free, it enables you to create exclusive opportunities when you DO give things away for free.
Think about that: If everything’s free all the time, it’s just always there. But if instead you say, “On the site, there’s a product/training/service there that’s normally priced at $xx, but today I’m going to give it away for free as a bonus to you. I’m going to now make it available to you for free.” Now it seems even more valuable!
- Number seven, and this is one of the most important lessons you’re going to get out of this, is that people invest their time where they invest their treasure.
If you give away everything for free they’re not going to use it. They’re just not. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. When you give something away for free, there’s no vested interest in what you’re doing or what you’re providing, because it’s always free. It’s always free.
I’ve seen this at free events as well, where it really backfires. I was actually just talking with a private client who said, “We’ve got this event coming up and people are canceling like crazy.” So I asked, “How much are you charging?” He answered, “Well, you know, it’s free. They’re members.” And that’s why no one’s showing up.
Not only are many canceling their registration, but others who have RSVP’d their attendance will not actually show up, because they’re not vested in it. There’s no monetary commitment, so they won’t show up. They’ll tell you they’re going to be there, but if anything else comes up… because your event was free, they won’t value it as much as something else they’ve invested their treasure in.
Now, I want you to take care of your members. If you know there is an event, a training, a tool, a resource, a program that is going to help them … you ought to make them invest in it. Because people follow their treasure. They will benefit more from the resources they have invested in.
I want you to create the real world value in your membership. I also want you to take care of your members… and one of the best ways you can take care of your members is to force them to invest in your services beyond their membership subscription.
If you want to discover how you can increase your retention and multiply your membership, join me for a FREE online training where I’ll should how to triple your membership in 21 day and do it over and over again!
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