In the past on this blog we’ve covered some of the many different ways you can make your membership site and online business a success. From choosing the right WordPress membership theme for your project through to the top three marketing strategies for membership website success.
However, today, it’s time to turn the tables and talk about some of the reasons why you will fail. We’re all about positivity here and empowering our readers by giving them the advice they need to succeed. But success is a two-sided coin and the flip side of doing the right things at the right time is ensuring you avoid doing the wrong things at all times.
So, in this post, we will look at six reasons why your marketing and sales efforts aren’t paying off and why you might be heading towards membership site failure.
1. You Don’t Know Your Target Audience
You might want everyone in the world to join your membership program. But, the truth is that no matter how great it is, in the grand scheme of things it’s only going to appeal to a small segment of the population.
To get the best results from your marketing efforts you need to identify who this target audience is in as much detail as possible. Try to think back to who or what inspired you to create your product in the first place. What was the problem you were trying to solve? Who would benefit the most from what you have to offer?
Answering these questions can help you to start building up a detailed profile of your ideal member. This in turn ensures that your marketing and sales efforts, whether that is your blog posts, email newsletters, paid advertising, or copywriting, are focused on winning over everyone from that niche or market segment.
You won’t be excluding anyone by focusing all of your efforts on connecting with that one type of customer. Your work will still resonate with some of the people who sit outside your target audience.
However, when your ideal member does come along, all of your marketing will be aimed squarely at them. This immediately lets them know that they’ve come to the right place and have found someone who truly understands their needs and wants.
Defining your target audience, right down to which social networks they use, will help you focus your marketing message and plan an effective promotional strategy for your project.
2. You’ve Spread Yourself Too Thinly
Being everywhere can deliver great results. Once you’ve established who your target audience is and where they hang out, you may well have a list of 5 to 10 potential avenues to focus on. This could include various social media networks, online forums, local events, and other places where you can find the members you want for your project.
However, before you dive into each channel with the hope of gaining a reputation and following, it’s essential that you are realistic about your resources. Would you get better results from trying to establish a name for yourself on one or two social networks or should you try to fit each platform into your schedule?
In most cases, doing a few things well will yield better results than trying to do a little bit of everything. So pick one or two areas and focus on them until you are getting the results you want.
3. You Aren’t Tracking Your Results
No matter how well you’ve researched your market and how focused your marketing plan is, you should still be reviewing your efforts and monitoring your results.
Even if you’re 100% sure that your target market is active on Instagram and you’ve gone all in on building a following on that platform, you still need to reevaluate this strategy on a regular basis.
Tracking the results from your efforts will help you establish if your market research was correct, if you’re doing it right, or if the latest social network really is the lead generation source you thought it would be.
Tools like Google Analytics not only help you to optimize your membership site, but they also give you a way to track the results of your marketing campaigns.
4. You Haven’t Set Measurable Goals
With predefined goals and milestones in place, you’ll not only know how you’re performing at any given time, but you’ll also be able to readjust your focus should you go off track.
Tracking your results may tell you how many new members you are getting a day. But, having measurable goals will enable you to determine if the results you’re receiving justify the amount of effort you’ve been putting in.
Defining measurable goals from the outset, for both your project in general and your marketing plan, makes it easy to see how close you are to success, far from failure, and whether you’re heading down the right track.
5. You’re Not Providing Real Value
You want to make money from your membership course and get as many paid members as you can. You know it. The customer knows it. We all know it.
However, that doesn’t mean you can skip the niceties and ask for their credit card details as soon as they arrive at your website.
If you want your audience to make the leap from casual observer to invested member, then you need to win them over. As well as all the value that you’re providing in your course, you need to make some of that quality content available to those outside of your member area.
This does a number of things. One, it demonstrates you are the real deal and are the solution your audience is seeking. Two, providing valuable content to your non-members creates some goodwill and increases the chances of them making the transition from reader to customer. Lastly, publishing valuable content outside of your restricted area gives you and your visitors something to share on social media, link to from other websites, and generate traffic from search engines.
6. You’re Simply Not Doing Enough
Finally, despite having all your ducks in a row, you still aren’t getting the results you were hoping. If so, then there’s one last question you need to ask yourself, are you really putting in enough work?
There are two types of work you can put into promoting and marketing your membership site project, busywork and real work.
If you feel like you’re putting in the time but aren’t moving forward, it might be time to reevaluate what you are doing during those hours. Are you constantly checking emails, spying on your competitors, or simply getting distracted by click bait?
Online marketing can be hard, especially when you are working on websites like Facebook that have been optimized to keep you on the site for as long as possible. You might have logged in innocently enough, with the intention of sharing a new post with your followers. However, two hours later you can be found deep down the rabbit hole, checking out photos from a school reunion that your cousin’s friend’s neighbor or some other periphery acquaintance just shared.
There are plenty of tools that enable you to track what you’ve been doing online, helping you to determine how your time could be used more productively. If you need to take a more aggressive approach, you can use other apps to block certain sites during certain periods of the day.
Half the battle is knowing your limitations, avoiding temptation, and working smarter, not harder. If you know you have a weakness for cat videos, leave your YouTube promotional efforts until the end of your workday.
By investing time before you start in determining who your target audience is, how you can help them, and what marketing tasks you should be focusing on, you can greatly reduce the chance of your membership project becoming a failure.
Tracking your results against measurable goals makes it easy to see how you are progressing and if you need to correct your course, and in what direction.
Which membership site marketing mistakes are you making? How could you improve your sales and marketing strategies? Which tactics have you found helped you to achieve your goals? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.