I started the OG Membership in 2015 and it’s been my favorite part of my business ever since.

For a variety of reasons, but first and foremost is the pride I get from serving this group, and the validation that comes from watching them grow their businesses.

5 Membership Lessons

I’d be lying if I said that 8 years I knew exactly where I was going. There has been plenty of turbulence along the way..

I’ve invested thousands of dollars and countless hours in learning about memberships, and the patterns to how and why they work.

Here are a few of most valuable the lessons I’ve learned while running my own membership, and building an engaged community.

1. Create a Success Path

I’ve written about this before, but the concept of a success path remains one of the most important membership lessons I’ve learned.

What is a Success Path? It’s effectively a set of stages that help illustrate the progress your membership helps facilitate.

membership journey

It’s the pathway that helps your members visualize the transformation they’re undergoing, but it’s also the framework for the content you produce, and the underlying north star for your marketing efforts too.

2. People pay for less content, not more

As someone who has a blog, and an active YouTube channel, and generally enjoys creating content – this was a tough lesson for me to learn.

But the reality is that if you have a membership, people aren’t looking for you to bury them in content – that’s a quick path to overwhelm.

Instead, your members are looking for help organizing the information and reducing the noise – and generally figuring out how to move forward with confidence.

3. Plan your Member Journey

I’ve talked about the idea of a customer journey at length, but a similar concept can be applied to your membership.

Here’s an example of what those stages might look like:

membership journey

As useful as that framework can be – each of those stages can represent a weeks or months of a customer journey.

Let’s dig into the “Weclome” stage, and take a look at what a sample membership onboarding might entail.

Membership Onboarding

The onboarding is their introduction to the membership – and the sooner they engage, the likelier they are to see the value in your membership, to forge connections, and to start making progress.

But this same level of detail and planning could be applied to optimizing every stage of their experience.

4. Be the member you want

This lesson wasn’t clear to me initially, but I’ve had enough people point it out now that I feel like I have to embrace it.

This is a little uncomfortable for me to say – but the Monkeypod membership is confusingly helpful. I’m proud of that group, and I put a ton of time and energy into serving it – but the efforts I put into it are a small fraction of what makes it so valuable.

Every day I’m humbled by the way the members show up to help one another. People go out of their way to share their ideas, suggestions, recommendations, and their hard earned expertise.

The way you show up for your members, sets the tone for your membership.

If you’re quiet, your membership will be quiet.

And conversely, if you’re active, helpful, loud, fun, or anything else – it invites your members to be that too.

5. Listen to your members

This one probably seems obvious – but it’s worth saying. Ask your members what they want, and pay attention to the responses you get.

Now, I’m not saying to do everything they ask for – that may not be realistic. But consider what they’re asking, and why – you may find there are some simple changes you can make that address their concerns.

For example – at the core of the OG Membership is our private Facebook group, but it’s a pretty busy group, and not everyone is on Facebook every day – so when members asked us to do a monthly recap email we decided that was an easy win for everyone.

Like I said, I’ve learned these lessons over the past 8 years – mostly through trial and error. But a few years ago I started following Stu McLaren, and he has quickly become the single biggest influence on me for this topic.

What do I do next?

Stu is hosting a free workshop all about Memberships – it starts on April 20th, and you can register here.

It’s probably the most valuable free event I’ve ever seen (and I’ve attended each of the last 4 years).

If you’re a skeptic like me, you’re probably thinking “no one gives away valuable content for free, what’s the catch…”

Here’s the catch: This free workshop is the runway leading up to the launch of Stu’s flagship class, The Membership Experience™.

That’s it.

He way over delivers during the workshop part because it’s his audition – and if you like what he has to say, the natural next step is to sign up for his course.

Do I recommend his course?

I absolutely do.

But you certainly don’t have to sign up if it’s not a fit or you’re not ready – the free workshop is valuable on it’s own.

So, start with that – save your spot here.

Membership Masterclass