Find a membership platform that grows with you. So you can get to creating a membership for your perfect audience. Whether you are ready to create lessons, printables, coaching, or tutoring, the possibilities are truly endless. There has never been a better time to get in on the era of online learning.
Let’s back up a bit. What exactly is a membership platform?
A membership differs from a course in one single aspect.
A course is typically a single payment that offers access for a specific time frame (could be lifetime). A membership is a regular recurring payment (monthly/quarterly/yearly) that allows access to content as long as you continue with the payment plan.
Now what will set a membership apart is what keeps people coming back from month to month. We like to call it a sticky factor. Memberships work well for teachers who have content that they want to share but do not want to give too much away at once.
Why would you want to hold some of your content back? If you overwhelm your members with too much content, either they don’t know where to start or they cancel out of frustration. Or, they get so much value from you that they grab it all at once, apply it to their lives, and then don’t need you again.
Building a membership platform for teachers, especially one that runs like a well-oiled machine takes time to envision! Never mind the actual building of the site. But I don’t want any of that to deter you. I will break down the steps for how to build a membership program that teachers will love.
And if you love a good DIY, you can take the steps I share today and run with them. If you prefer a proven pathway. One that shows you the exact steps you might want to take a look at everything inside the CEO Teacher® Membership. Because not only do I break down the exact steps. I also give you the tools to make it happen. No guessing and hoping you are doing it right. And if you ever get stuck, you can jump into the community or live coaching and ask your specific questions!
Now on to the nitty-gritty of creating a membership subscription platform for creators.
Every great idea begins with a single step.
Writing it down.
Usually, my big ideas come in the shower, but I always try to write them down. The second thing every great idea has is a plan. This is usually where the doers and dreamers tend to separate.
So which will you be? A doer? Someone who writes down the idea, uses the tools you’ve been provided, and runs with the plan?
Or the dreamer? The one who sits on the sidelines and thinks up all the things the perfect membership site would include? But that’s as far as they go. Dreams and thoughts?
Let’s take this moment to write down your big idea, and run with it in all the ways you know how as an educator.
The possibilities are endless. The most encouraging part is that you are an educator. And as a teacher, you understand the need for a multi-faceted approach to learning. You know your students (whether they are true student age, or adults as your student audience) need to learn in a variety of ways. That is the beauty of creating a membership site. You can include all the ways students learn!
This is a huge question in our CEO Teacher® Community. Which platform do I choose? This is why I wanted to give you some basics when designing your own membership site. Then you can make a business decision based on your specific needs. And the needs of your audience too!
There really are a few stand-out programs in our eyes. And not only do they range in price, but also in the style of the platform and what they can deliver. There are many new platforms popping up each and every year, so do your research. But don’t be afraid to move your site down the road, especially if you are seeing a need for more features as you grow.
The first piece to ask is, what do I need to deliver? Will it be focused on printable or digital resources? Then you want a platform that allows you to create a member hub of sorts. And a place for you to house all of your content behind a paywall. A paywall is simply a password-protected page. Your audience basically pays for the password to access all of the content. And then, you can change or add to the content in their library as necessary.
For the next style of Membership, you are able to include printable or digital downloads in addition to lessons (either video or audio). A hybrid platform allows you to create lessons to go along with your content.
This is the style of membership the CEO Teacher® follows. A hybrid, basically an all-in-one. A single place to get everything you need. From video AND audio lessons, a community hub, and a live coaching component to the tools and templates you need to create your own quality content…
When choosing YOUR platform, look for:
And for the more all-in-one spot to create a membership site you have some options. The all-in-one platform gives you some form of course or membership-style hub. Where you can house your lessons, core content, and printables. Even your PD hours certificates or completion quizzes.
Plus a way to create landing pages to sell your membership. And a way to integrate a checkout to your sales page with Stripe or Paypal or Apple Pay. Plus email integrations, closed captions, live meeting possibilities, or even a community hub. A place for the community to come together and chat. An all-in-one platform can truly make the difference between a so-so membership and a fantastic one.
An all-in-one will typically come with a bigger price tag. But if you do the math on the other components needed, an all-in-one can be a cost-effective version. You may see the all-in-one is more affordable in the long run. It really is up to you and your business needs at this time.
Before you begin creating your membership, poll your email list. Yep, this means that before you begin the membership you should probably have your email list on autopilot. And realistically you would want to have some content created that you know your people want or need.
Use data from your survey or poll to create the membership site that your customers need. You can also poll your social media followers and do research in Facebook groups where your customers hang out, but please know that data won’t be as pure as your email list.
Think about this as you create a membership. Why do they need your membership? What will make them stick around? If your membership doesn’t solve a problem, your customer won’t need to join it, or they may join and then bounce. But, if you listen to your people and create what they need, you can be sure they will not only join but stick around for the long run and tell all their teacher friends too.
You have the heart of a teacher. That perfectly positions you to know what teachers want and need. Large ticket business ideas (you know the ones- slick Facebook ads and salesy messaging) may not always hit the mark when helping you plan out a membership platform for teachers.
If your messaging misses the mark, teachers will call you out in a heartbeat. So instead, lean into your own teaching magic and find a unique way to reach your audience. And if you are still struggling to put it all together, that’s where we come in. The CEO Teacher® Membership is the only online business school for teachers. Created by a teacher.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because inside of the membership, you get the exact framework for creating your own teacher membership. The one that brought this community to you through a decade of trial and error!
If you are confident in the DIY route, here are a few of my favorite platforms for getting your membership platform up and running in no time.