Monetizing a social media audience can be a challenge. Traditional options like advertising and brand sponsorships may not align with your content, and simply charging for access can feel transactional. That’s where paid membership communities come in. By creating a space for meaningful connections and shared values, you can turn your social media following into a sustainable business. If you’re considering adding a membership community to your content business, here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Find a community purpose that isn’t about you
Instead of focusing on giving your members more of what you’re already doing, identify a value or purpose that your followers share. Create a space for them to connect with each other around that shared interest or goal. For example, disability influencer Tiffany Yu’s membership community is centered around elevating disability pride and helping others become leaders in the disability space.
2. Define your member growth journey
Think about who your members are when they join your community, who they want to become, and the steps they need to take to get there. Architect an experience that guides them through this growth journey, whether it’s through a step-by-step course or learning from their experience of being in community with others.
3. Choose your connection to learning ratio
Growth within communities can happen through connection or learning. Determine the ideal ratio of the two for your community and communicate it to your members. If your community is more learning-focused, provide access to educational resources. If it’s more connection-focused, facilitate networking and support among members.
4. Charge enough to make it worth your time
When pricing your membership community, consider the value you’re providing and the time you’re investing. Charging a higher fee ensures that you can be profitable and create a worthwhile experience, even with a smaller number of members. Aim for at least $40 per month to ensure higher revenue.
5. Start small, then let your community grow alongside you
If you’re hesitant about launching a paid membership community, start with a smaller-scale test. Host a one-time event, a short-term community experience, or a weekend virtual retreat to gauge your audience’s response and your own comfort with this type of business. Invite your audience into your process and let them know what to expect. As you grow, involve your first members in shaping the community and attracting new members.
By following these tips, you can turn your social media following into a thriving paid membership community. Remember, it’s about creating a meaningful experience and providing value to your members that they’re willing to pay for.
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