3 Mistakes You Absolutely Must Avoid When Building Your First Memberium Site
When you've built as many Memberium membership sites as I have, you fine that many are just not built right. When we are talking for the first time, we find out from the site owner that:
- the site is flat out not working,
- it’s not very reliable results or
- it doesn't do what they need it to do in order to support their business.
The cause is usually because they or someone they hired built it and its their first time they've taken on a membership site. We hop into to check it out and find out the site needs some repairs. Sometimes that means some basic stuff. Other times it means a total overhaul. to get it working right.
In order to help future first timers, I thought I would write the 3 mistakes we see first timers make a lot and what they can do to avoid these.
Mistake Number 1 — Designing the Site Incorrectly
You typically use Memberium for publishing your online course, membership program or a client portal. If you think through, all you really need is is designwise:
- A home page with a login webform. That's where you enter your username and password to log into the site.
- A dashboard or page where members arrive a select what they want to do next.
- A way to display the content your are making available to their members.
A simple design is usually what a first timer needs. I always recommend starting simple before you grow. Most people do well with this approach unless they have more involved requirements. What I recommend is you study other membership you like and “borrow” their design, navigation, and page layouts.
Visit our Memberium membership site at https://members.larryjacob.com. We publish tours of several of our membership sites. They are good for getting ideas. It's all free. Don't worry.
I do wan to emphasize that your membership site content is the main attraction. The membership site is what supports your content and it should "keep to the background.” Don't try and get fancy. That can become a distraction for someone learning what you have to teach them.
Mistake Number 2 — Building Membership Site in Your Wordpress Install
More and more, we are seeing site builders combine their www site and their membership site in a single Wordpress installation. I used to tell people that's a big no-no. I've soften up a bit on this. We are building more sites than before with a single installation. Wordpress and supporting plugins have gotten better at supporting this configuration, but it does make things a bit more complicated.
We do get site where a single Wordpress installation makes sense. It’s not the typical situation required by the typical first time online course builder. The best way to make your decision is to think through what is the purpose of your www site and your membership site. They are likely to be different.
Your www site:
- promotes your business,
- educate people on what you do, and
- establish your as the credible expert.
The www site will have information concerning the services or products you offer. It will have an About Us and a Contact Us. All these work together to take the customer down a buying journey and complete the sale.
A membership site is about fulfillment. It:
- delivers the content the member requested or purchased,
- provides resources and other features that make up your offering, and
- works to upsell members additional products and services.
Members already using your membership site aren't needing to be told about you. You built up enough credibility with them to get them to buy from you. Once they start learning from you, you building additional credibility. That is behind you now.
What tends to happen when you build a single Wordpress installation with www site and membership site features is that you have one site struggling to deliver to things. You have to deal with conflicting site navigation objectives. You have to coordinate site features that work to attract customers and make sales with features for making the content you make available easy to use.
In most cases, it is best to avoid that single Wordpress install approach. Save yourself unneeded hassle and use two Wordpress installations.
Mistake Number 3 –Doing Too Much From the Start
We run into a lot of customers asking us to include a lot of features on their site from the start. Some of the feature a wants and not need adding complexity when complexity isn't necessary.
Anyone launching an online courseor membership site should first focus on getting members moving through their course. The builder should be asking themselves, "What’s the minimally viable product?" What is the least amount of features they can release and have a products that accomplishes what is needed.
Though this may sound odd, I recommend you start selling you membership before you have even built yet. Get yourself some paying members and confirm you have a product or service that will sell.
Make your first Memberium membership site a very basic membership site platform. Consider selling your online course over the phone taking credit card payments manually. You can go as simple as offering your membership content via a private Facebook group. Of course that doesn’t require Memberium, but it’s usually a good solution for testing your idea.
A top priority of any business offering a membership site service the first time is sales. Confirm you have an audience for what you sell and convince yourself with real sales that members will buy it. Only when you’ve done that would I recommend getting elaborate at all with your membership site platform.