Are You Ready to Launch an Online Membership?

Online memberships are a great business model to generate a more supportive, consistent revenue stream that doesn't rely on you working 24/7. Here's how to know if you're ready to start one.
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You’ve built a solid business through 1:1 coaching, teaching, or healing sessions. Your clients love what you’re offering. You’re booked, busy, and . . . burnt out.

Endless private sessions are taking their toll, and you’ve hit capacity in growing your business. You’re putting in a huge amount of work every month selling out your offers, yet seeing inconsistent income for all that effort. Plus, you’ve hit a wall in how many people you can help each month. Even if you wanted to offer more sessions, you simply don’t have the time.

So what’s the next step? How can you expand your business in a way that’s sustainable and supportive for you long-term?

We have two words for you: online memberships.

At the Holistic Business Academy, we’ve found that online membership business models are one of the most effective ways to scale your business when you’ve maxed out on the amount of time and labor you can offer through private sessions.

What memberships make possible is ease: breathing room created by recurring revenue, offers that don’t require your personal presence at all times, and a dramatically increased capacity to take on more clients who could really use your skills and expertise to improve their lives.

Imagine that your core product isn’t 1:1 sessions that require you to be “on” all day, every day. Instead, you’re paid for lesson videos, workbooks, and other digital assets that you only need to make once. You still maintain a high level of personal customer interaction through an online community network and regular group calls. You’re able to help more people than ever.

And best of all, the recurring revenue that the membership provides gives you back the time and peace of mind to be more creative and bold so you can dream up even better offers for your customers that you’re truly excited about launching. Your business can finally grow with you and your interests.

Sounds great, right? But how do you know if you’re at the right place in your business to shift to an online membership model?

It’s a great question, because the truth is, as powerful as memberships are, not everyone is ready to start one.

Use this checklist to self-audit and assess whether you’re at the right stage to start an online membership.

#1: You’re an Expert at What You Do

In order to sell a course, group coaching program, or any other kind of online membership, you’ll need to be an expert in your field. Make sure that you have the experience to back up what you’re selling with confirmed results so that you can confidently market the value of your offer to your customers.

#2: You’ve Already Validated Your Business Idea

It’s best to have already confirmed that your core audience and ideal customers are actually willing to buy what you’re offering before you start considering an online membership.

If you’re still in the beginning stages of owning your own business and haven’t yet validated that your customers are buying what you’re selling, you’re probably not yet ready to tackle an online membership.

You should have a strong sense that what you’re doing is in demand and helps facilitate transformations in your customers before you begin planning a membership.

#3: You’re Willing to Learn How to Teach

Some online memberships fail to deliver on their claims for their customers. And this usually happens when people exploit parasocial relationships to sell their memberships to their customers when they’re not prepared to effectively teach how to achieve the results they’re promising.

Being an expert does not equal being a good teacher. Be sure that you’re willing to learn how to teach, and that you like the idea of taking on the responsibility and identity of being a teacher.

#4: You’re Trapped in a “Feast or Famine” Cycle of Income

One of the primary benefits of online memberships is that they provide a more consistent and reliable income stream through recurring revenue. When your members pay a set amount of money per month through a subscription, it’s much easier to estimate how much income you’ll be making in the near future. This is a huge boon to small business owners who experience the ongoing stress of “feast or famine” cycles of income that are hard to predict.

If you’re constantly on the hamster wheel of trying to come up with new ideas to boost your income month after month, it’s time to consider whether a membership model will work for you.

What’s Next

At the Holistic Business Academy, we help coaches, healers, and creators launch impactful and profitable memberships without burning out. Join our waitlist to find out how the Membership Accelerator can help you create, deliver, and scale your ideal membership.

To learn more about the biggest benefits and challenges of online memberships with pro tips for success, listen to the Holistic Business Podcast episode featuring Ward Sandler, CEO of MemberSpace.