015: Get Buyers Flowing Into Your Low Ticket Membership Site With Little $7 Products

Sponsor: Membership Cube

Break down big goals into manageable chunks.
Disrupt the marketplace. Do something helpful that gets you to stand out.
Speed to implementation: get it done this month, not in 6 months.


  • Don’t start with $7. Pull a piece out of your $97 or $197 product. 20 page PDF, 1 hour video, software tool or calculator
  • Reasons to go low ticket: get the buying juices flowing, build a buyer’s list by undercutting the market, recycle all those low ticket sales into your ad budget
  • Recruit buyers into affiliates to make it viral: offer 100% if possible (JVZoo) or the highest possible commission (Clickbank), even 110% or 150% if you have the accounting for it


  • Reasons to use Wishlist Member: you control it (self hosted), easy installation (one WordPress plugin), connects to most autoresponder and shopping carts. Little things like it asks for registration after payment. Levels instead of “products” or “packages.”
  • Extra level, after login page (upsell with payment button and “no thanks” link), priorities on levels, link to become an affiliate
  • Affiliate tools: banner ads, swipe copy. Call or email affiliates. Training materials. Automatic email reminders. Know your numbers, especially conversion rate.

Closing Thoughts

  • Beware of offering it all “peacemeal”: only create a few front-end products
  • $7 bump: keep walking the price up (while promoting it) if you get bored
  • Don’t sell a $7 report on how to make money selling $7 reports
  • Don’t fall in love with the number 7. Solve a real need in the marketplace.

014: How to Create a Coaching Program Using Your WordPress and Wishlist Member Membership Site

The Offer
– all your products, weekly 1-hour meeting (same day of the week, same time every week)
– show up on time: if they miss that meeting with no advance notice, there’s no rescheduling
– recurring GoToWebinar and recurring Google Calendar

How to Fill It Up
– offline seminar, speaking gig, application process: find out if they’re already making money and have a list
– have the button in place and a web page listing exactly what they’ll get (a list of all your products plus the weekly meeting)
– free 20-minute coaching call bonus with your products, to see if they’re a good fit (i.e. some people only needed four sessions or 1 month with us)

Weekly Meeting
– every Tuesday at 2PM Eastern, for example: send a reminder email that morning that you’re meeting
– they provide a list of things that got them “stuck” that week
– I used to record the session and make them commit to four tasks at the end of each meeting, but they don’t need it anymore

013: Monthly Continuity Sites (Q&A Group Calls and Coaching Programs)

What you want is an appointment based business: show up and make money instead of staring at the computer screen.

Q&A monthly sites
– case studies: Double Agent Marketing, Webinar Crusher
– have a “library” of all your best stuff, plus a tool they’d normally pay monthly for (hosting, webinars, Twitter auto-poster, online schedulding service)
– worried about content? tackle real problems or recap the past 30 days

Coaching program
– Platinum program: 2400/month: includes all our products (we manually open up access to what they ask for)
– Weekly 1 hour meeting: recurring GoToWebinar and Google Calendar
– the hour is theirs: we pass them the screen and solve whatever needs solving

Important lessons
– monthly continuity is the hardest to sell: many people don’t see the value unless they’re huge fans of yours, and usually existing buyers
– the first step is having the buy button on there: even if you only make a few thousand dollars per month from 1 hour, it’s worth it!
– even if you’re reluctant, charge what you’re worth: 100/month… 2000/month… everyone has a price

012: Fixed Term Membership Sites, Pitch Webinars and Reactivations

payment plan
– 2-payment plans, 30-day payment plans are boring — 10-payments is too long — go with 5-6 payments
– drip content
– pain of disconnect (they lose templates or software)

pitch webinars
– demonstrate value
– show a magic trick
– justify that price and sell hard

– a huge number of our cancellations are simply from expired credit cards
– no discount or bonus for rejoining, just contact them with a button to get back on their payments (50% reactivations for us)
– case studies: Make a Product, Income Machine, Setup a Fan Page

011: Single Payment Membership Sites: Develop Your Core Offer with Low Ticket and High Ticket Products

Low Ticket (under $97)
– most important: solve a simple problem (importing content, pitch on a webinar) — something that is complete on its own, with a logical “next step” upsell
– sales letter: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (Why, What, How-To, What-If)
– share a tool (WP Import) with video, PDF, and maybe a quick training bonus so they get to know you
– case studies: WP Import, Backup Creator Express, Action PopUp

High Ticket ($97 and up)
– end goal: four milestones (modules)
– components: setup, a big result that almost sells itself, a must-have tool, then combining it all to get to the next level
– case studies: Make a Product ($197), Dropship CEO ($247), Webinar Crusher ($297), Membership Cube ($997)
– walk up the price as you build it: Podcast Crusher, Graphic Dashboard

Words of Advice
– If you’re selling a course, make it at least $97 — if you have a tool, offer a lite version for $47 or $7
– Stop chickening out. A high priced product is just a number
– You can always add more to the offer: bonus video, TimeTrade coaching link
– Don’t spend too much time thinking about the price — $37, $67, $77, $127, $147 don’t matter much. It’s $7-$17 vs. $47, $97, $197, $497, $997

010: The Difference Between Free and Paid Membership Content (Moving the Free Line?)

When to Be Paid vs. Free?
– problems: useful but incomplete, tiring yourself out making the free stuff
– create the paid first
– pull out a “useful” piece

Content Marketing
– demo your solution (so you can dish a lot but they still need to buy)
– it’s all available for free on YouTube and Google anyway
– “put yourself out of business” — Gary V

Ideas & Examples
– Member Genius 1.0: free membership plugin
– WP Import 1.0: free content import plugin
– what do most others give away for free?
– shortcut: grab three YouTube videos

009: WordPress Membership Sites Explained

Membership sites can be recurring or single payment sites. We like to use WordPress and WishList Member to do that.

WordPress powers about a quarter of all websites online, and it’s a really easy tool, mostly, for blogging. You can go and add a new post or journal entry in just 1 click without messing around with webpages, uploading FTP, databases, coding, any of that silly stuff. There are thousands and thousands of different themes or designs, and maybe hundreds of thousands of different plug-ins where you can change and expand on the functionality of your site. Add in opt-in forms, pop-ups, quizzes, countdown timers, and membership sites, which is what we’re going to talk about today.

WordPress. You might have heard about this site called “wordpress.com,” which is, in a lot of ways, a replacement for an older site called “blogger.com” where for free, you can make a word… a blog, a journal entry type of site, which is, I guess, okay if you’re just having fun on the internet, but if you have a real business, you need to have a dot-com domain name. You need to have a real web host, and then on that web host, instead of living back in the dark ages of editing webpages, create a WordPress blog. Set up a self-installed WordPress blog is what it’s called, and the place to grab that is at wordpress.org.

But just having WordPress on its own, which by the way is free, just having that on its own doesn’t get you very far, and that’s why our membershipcube.com course shows you everything, how to grab a domain name, set up web hosting, set up WordPress, set up this WishList Member plug-in, create a sales letter, and start taking payments tonight. Now, is the site going to be super pretty tonight? No, but you can start taking payments tonight, and then do the nice-to-haves, the extras, the goodies when you want to.

WordPress. You set up your own web host, you get a WordPress… this WordPress software installed, and then that creates a WordPress blog for you. Then, from then on, you can just go to that WordPress blog and add in any new journal entries that you want to. For example, my WordPress blog is at robertplank.com. That’s the first thing you need to understand. It’s really important is create a website, have your own dot-com name, set up WordPress, and start posting journal entries.

Then, here is where it gets a little tricky, so make sure you pay extra close attention. What we’ve been talking about are these things called “posts,” right? Journal entries, so maybe I can go to that site on June 1st and make a post, and then it says… There’s a title of whatever new journal entry I just made. It says it was made on June 1st, that is made by Robert Plank, and then I can put in whatever text, video, audio, links that I want in that post, right?

I make that post on June 1st, and that appears, and that’s the 1 post I have on my site. Then, maybe I go back on June 2nd and make a new post. What does it do? It puts that newer content at the top, so over time, as you post these journal entries to your site, which are text, audio, or video, then it… They’re now arranged newest to oldest, right? Someone can come to your site a year later, and they can see your newest, shiniest entry, and they go further down the page, and then they see the entry before that.

I’m explaining this for a very specific reason. That’s because posts, journal entries go top to bottom, and then to get a little fancier… Now, WordPress allows you to create pages. Now, what the heck is a page? Didn’t I just… There’s posts and there’s pages? What the heck? A post is a journal entry. It goes top to bottom. Pages are the navigation of your site. Usually, we place them in the top area of our website that they go left to right.

Now, what the heck is the difference between a post and a page? A post, like we said, journal entry. You post it. It’s dated June 1st. It’s dated June 10th. It’s dated whatever day that you made it, but then you can make a page like you make an about us page or a contact us page that’s separate from the day-to-day stuff. What date is that contact us page? What date is the about us page? There is none, so a page is just some extra kind of navigation in your site, and the reason why I’m explaining the difference here is because when you make your membership site, your protected download area, I almost always create them in pages.

When we’re making a blog, we just toss in content in there. It doesn’t really matter in what order someone goes through it, right, because maybe… I mean, if someone comes to my blog today, they’re going to see the latest entries, and if they decide to go back in time, then they can, but it’s not like if someone comes to my blog… It’s not like you go to see, and then you say, “Well, I can’t read today’s news on CNN. I have to go back to when the CNN website started. I have to go back to 1980, or 1950, or something and start reading there.” It doesn’t work like that, right? It also doesn’t really matter in what order you read things, and usually, you just want to read today’s or this week’s information anyway.

In a membership site, it’s different where… especially in a course, in a fixed-term membership site. We want people to go from start to finish. In that case, posts don’t make sense. What makes more sense are pages, and so the scenario that I want to get in your head is that someone comes to your website, they see a button to click on to pay you money, they buy access, and they come to what we call a “dashboard page.” They come to a page where there are… They just see links to the different modules. We tell you to have 4 different modules to explain whatever goal you want people to get to, and you might, in the future, link to bonuses, or other resources, or things, but just to keep it simple, they log in. They see this list of 4 other pages to go, and click on, and get to.

I know I spent a few minutes here explaining posts and pages, but I think that’s really, really important is that if you have a free blog with journal entries and things, that is a post. That’s a set of posts, but then if you have a protected membership site, we’re talking about having a bunch of pages. We’re talking about having what’s called a “dashboard page,” which links to a page called “Module 1,” a page called “Module 2,” a page called “Module 3,” a page called “Module 4.” All right, so that’s how you set up content in your WordPress blog.

Now, I want to move on to this idea of this thing called “a theme.” A theme. That means that that’s the design or it’s the look and feel of your WordPress membership site. All right, so a lot of people do the things they need to do in their online business and their membership sites in general in definitely the wrong order, and they go and look for the theme first. They say, “Well, I want to have a beautiful-looking site.” No. You install WordPress, and it comes with a theme already. It looks pretty plain, pretty black and white, but you need to get something in place before you focus on the non-important stuff.

The way that your website looks really isn’t that important. It’s not as important as you think. What’s more important are the words or the videos, the content within that site, but I do… It is important that you do understand what a theme is, but then people say, “I get my themes from these 10 different sites.” No, you don’t. You have 1 theme on your site, and they’ll say, “Well, go to Woo Themes. Go to Elegant Themes,” and all these different places to go, and they just… People focus on the wrong things, and they’re not doing research and buying 10 different themes or designs for their site, but then… because that’s fun, but then, they don’t actually create the site that they needed to create in the first place.

With WordPress, don’t worry about the way it looks because there are literally so many themes out there that once you get the site up and running, once you have the site, first of all, installed. Next, with some content in there. Next, with a button where someone can pay you money and join the site. Then, when you have 20 minutes, 10 minutes free, then go, and hunt around, and find the theme, the design, but that’s something that could come later. In WordPress, you set it up, you create posts, you create pages, and then you go and change the design or the theme.

Before we even get to that, let’s get to the most important part because you set up a WordPress blog, you can have content, but now you need to protect it. The plug-in we recommend for you to do this is called “WishList Member.” We’ll give you a free copy to this when you join us in our program at membershipcube.com.

Next, a couple of just really simple ideas about WordPress membership sites, especially with WishList Member. Once you understand this, I think that it will make things a lot simpler for you because I know that when I first… I mean, years and years ago when I was first messing around with membership sites, I was so confused because I thought, “Well, I need to get a merchant account, and how am I going to do the billing, and how am I going to control access because… Am I going to just like wait, and check every day, and see if someone hasn’t paid in 30 days, cut off their access?” That’s all a lot simpler than you might think.

The first thing is this plug-in called “WishList Member.” Now, what does WishList Member do? It doesn’t even handle your credit cards for you. Okay? That’s what a service like PayPal or Stripe is for, but WishList Member just controls access and says, “Well, is this person a member of your site or not?” Let’s say someone already paid you money. They can go and enter a username and password, and get in, and then see all your content, but if they didn’t log out or someone just wanders and stumbles across your website, just to keep it simple, they can’t see any of your content.

With WishList Member, the whole point of this is that someone must be a member of your site in order to get in. Then, what makes WishList Member the best membership plug-in, what makes it really unique is this idea of levels. Okay, so a level is a group of pages or posts on your site. Just to make it really simple again is we like to make a… When we first make a membership site, without even thinking, we make a level called “full,” and then… That’s F-U-L-L, and then we give that full level access to the entire site, access to all pages and posts.

That way, we can make the site, make the content, which is the pages and posts, make the level, which is called “full.” Full has access to all pages and posts, and then we can go and even manually create a member of our site, so we can create a member name, Lance Tamashiro, and we can give him access to full. He can’t like change the content, but when that member logs in, they can see all of our pages and posts.

Now, if you want to get crazy later on in the future, you can, for example, make this full level only have access to some of your pages and posts, and make another level called “upsell,” or “silver,” or “gold,” and that’s an advanced thing to do later on in the future, but you have WordPress, you have pages and posts, you install WishList Member where you can make a level that then controls what page and posts that your new users who are going to pay you money have access to.

Then, to move on a little bit, and then think about what comes next is, “Okay. Well, it’s great if I can manually add a user to my site. That’s one thing or even import some users, but then somebody pays me money. How does that work?” All right, so the way that works is someone pays you money, and we recommend you use PayPal. In our Membership Cube course, we show you how to do this with PayPal. They click the button, they pay you $10, $1,000, whatever, and then… So after they pay money through PayPal, PayPal then contacts our site. PayPal sends a signal over to our membership site saying, “Hey, look. This person just paid you money,” so then create a temporary user for them, it’s called.

Then, they’re sent back to your site, and they see a form that says, “Thanks for paying us money. Now, you need to create an account for yourself. You need to figure out what user name you want, what your email address is, and what your first name and last name is, and then what password you want.” They fill on those 5 items, and then that temporary placeholder member then becomes their account that they can log into our site next week, next month, next year, in 10 years, whatever, so that’s great. That’s how the users create it. That’s how they can create their own user account.

There’s even a way where you can have them click a button and make an account for free, but I highly recommend you, you charge money right out of the gate. You charge money, and then later on, if you want to take out a piece of your site, then give that little piece away for free. That makes a lot more sense, and then what do you do if someone then refunds to keep it simple? All right. They pay you $10, and then they decided it wasn’t for them, they refund. What happens then?

PayPal sends another signal to your membership site saying, “Hey, over here. You know that person that bought before, they just refunded,” and then WishList Member says, “Okay. Well, we’re going to cancel them from that level,” so we’re not going to just blow away their whole entire user account because we want to still have that record that they were there, but then they now… For example, Lance Tamashiro was on what’s called the full level, paid us money, went back, cancelled. PayPal said, “Uh-oh, this person cancelled,” and then now, we can see that they used to be on the full level, but they’re crossed out. They are now cancelled from that full level.

If you really think about this, this is like the simplest possible way to think of things that member accounts in your membership site are just on or off. Okay? WishList Member doesn’t even know what price you’re charging or how often you’re charging, just do they have access or not? Are they a member in good standing or not? Then, this comes into play with monthly sites because… Let’s say that instead of charging $10 one time, you’re charging $20 per month. Someone pays for month 1, pays for month 2. On month number 3, they choose to cancel, or their credit card balances, or something, but on month 3, then their recurring monthly payment fails, right?

Basically, if someone pays you money once, takes the money back, that’s called a “refund.” If someone is paying you monthly over and over, and then they don’t take money back, but they stopped paying, that is called a “cancellation.” At least those are the PayPal terms. So then, it’s exactly the same logic. PayPal says, “This person stopped paying us month to month,” sends this thing to our membership site. Now, they are cancelled from that full level. So far, I know we’ve thrown a lot of terms in there, but I hope I made it as simple as possible.

Set up WordPress, don’t… I mean, use posts for a regular blog. For a membership site, create pages, install WishList Member, have… Create a level that says they get access to these pages, and then when they pay you money, they go and do the checkout process. That allows us then to create 1 account on that full level where they have access to all your pages. If they refund or cancel, [a notice 00:15:57] will get sent, and then they are cancelled from that level. Maybe they bought other products from you. Technically, you can sell 10 or 100 products in 1 single membership site. You just have a hundred different levels.

Somebody might buy 9 different products from you, buy product number 10, refund that one, and we don’t want to cut off all their access to the site, just to that collection of pages that they no longer have access to. All right. By the way, this all makes a lot more sense if you see it. I’m doing my best here by talking to you in a podcast.

A couple quick extras. I know you’re curious about some of these goodies we could have in membership sites. I told you to create your content in a membership site as a set of pages. That way, it’s not just a list of journal entries in whatever order. You can control the order. But then, we can make our pages easier to get to, right, in using these things called “menus,” which are your links at the top and widgets, which are links on the sidebar. We can link and we can control in what order, and what things we link to, and what they say within our membership site.

We can install a plug-in called “TablePress,” and create a table or a grid, and arrange the links in our other parts of our membership site any way that we want to. What about upsells? Upsells, maybe you’ve even figured this out so far, so how do I have an upsell? What if I want to sell not just 1 product, but 2 products in my membership site? I want to sell a beginners real estate course, and then an advanced real estate course.

Simple. You make a level called “Beginner” in WishList Member. Then, you say, “All right. Maybe I have 4 different pages I want to have give access to. Maybe I have a dashboard page to all of them. Great.” But then, I want to say, “Well, they pay me $10 for that beginner course,” and then when they log in, I want to say, “Wait, stop. How would you like to upgrade to the even more advanced course for $100?” For that, so you’d have a level called “beginner,” and then give access to the 4 pages of that beginner course. Then, you can make a level called “advanced,” and then you would give access for the advanced level to your 4 advanced pages.

All right. So far, so good. But then, how do you tell them to stop, and how do you give them what’s called an “upsell” or a “one-time offer” after they pay you money and they buy into your course? This is where there’s a thing called a “login page,” so you can basically control… After someone logs into your site, you can control where they are sent to, so you can say, “They log into my site. They’re on the beginner level. I want to send them to a special page thing.” “Wait, stop. Here’s the advanced course,” and have a payment button where they can click on that for $100, and then check out, and then they get sent back to your membership, and then they can log back in and apply that second purchase to their account. Now, they have access to the advanced course.

That might be a little bit of an advanced thing for you to think about today, but it is possible to not only sell multiple products in the same membership site because of levels, but also, you can have upsells. You can have an unlimited number of upsells in your membership site. You just control which special page, which login page they’re sent to once they come to your site.

Then, one final thing I want to mention. One final tool I want to tell you about when you join our membershipcube.com course is a plug-in called WP Drip. If you want to have the kind of membership site that drips out content on automatic pilot, whether you want to do this to reduce refunds or you want to do this to have a monthly site where you don’t have to always be updating it, you can use our plug-in called “WP Drip.”

WP Drip is great because your content starts at the beginning, and you can space it out any way you want. You can give them a month upfront, you can give them 1 week at a time, but the point is that you might have years and years of content in your membership. Someone joins, and they get started at the beginning. So then, if you have pages and posts based out a day apart, 2 days apart, a week apart, 5 posts a day, whatever, they get that content dripped out to them at the same rate, at the same speed that you originally posted in that members area.

Go and check out WP Drip in our Membership Cube course, and I hope that that gives you an idea about the little terms and concepts with WordPress. I know we threw a lot at you today, but these are all important things to know about, that you need to have WordPress hosted on your own site, that posts or journal entries and pages are navigation, that themes are the way your site look and feel, but that’s a problem for way in the future. Get your site making money first.

How do you get your site to make money? Join us in Membership Cube. We’ll give you the WishList Member plug-in, which controls access. You create levels to decide which content is protected. Now, WishList member also keeps track of who’s the member in good standing and who is cancelled from particular levels. Then, you use PayPal to connect it altogether where someone can click a button, check out, then they’re sent to a registration form, and they create that account where they’re now a member of your site. If they ever cancel, PayPal notifies your site and cuts them off.

Then, to add all the extras, the nice-to-haves, you can control the navigation, menus, TablePress. You can create upsells by creating other levels and doing these things called “login redirect pages,” and even drip content using our WP Drip plug-in. You can find out about that plug-in and a whole lot more at membershipcube.com, so go there right now. I’m Robert Plank from the Membership Site Podcast. Please rate and review us at membershipcube.com/blog/itunes, and I’ll see you for the very next episode of the Membership Site Podcast. Thanks and bye now.

008: Must-Have Enhancements for Your Membership Site

We’re talking in this podcast about how to set up a WordPress site, how to charge people money either one time, high-ticket, low-ticket, recurring, fixed-term membership site, so that we have this thing called “passive income.”

My website is membershipcube.com, and you can go there and claim a free copy. It’s included with our course, a free copy of a very excellent WordPress plug-in, a software tool called “WishList Member,” which you can use to control and basically have a gatekeeper in front of your site, so you can pile in a members area, pile members into your members area.

Whether you want to have 10,000 people who all pay you $10 or you want to have a hundred people who will pay you a thousand dollars, it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is you do need to have an easy way to manage all of those members. For example, if someone joins your site, and then uses the videos, uses your content, comes back in a year, and they can’t get in, you don’t want to have to deal with that. There should be a way, and there is a way when you use this tool called “WordPress” where they can click on a link that says, “Did you lose your password?” Click on it, they get back in.

If someone buys from you, and they get access to this download area, this members area, you don’t necessarily want them to pass around your download link, or if they refund, then they should no longer have access to your download area, and all those things, that’s what a membership site gives you. Membership sites don’t have to be recurring. They can be just free or one single payment. Today, we’re going to talk about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ways that you can enhance any kind of membership site because… Okay, a couple quick things.

First of all, when you sell something, anything online, you need to sell something that is the solution to a problem. We have a course called “Podcast Crusher,” and what that solves is that people who don’t have a podcast online or they have one, but it’s not ranked, we show people how to rank their podcast in iTunes over time, over a period of a few months, so that’s the problem we’re solving. Your problem might be that they need to lose weight, that they need to learn how to trade in the stock market, whatever, but you need to solve a problem and not just pile them on with some ideas or some kind of tips.

There are some really cool things you can do to make your membership site really pop, really stand out, and it’s not necessarily from you having to put in hundreds of hours of work. This isn’t from you having to pile in hundreds of videos or anything like that. Let me just list this for you. The thing that you can add to your membership site very easily, very quickly within the next few days if not today are PDF transcripts, checklists, challenges, list of resources, collect addresses for bonuses, mail out physical DVDs, have a group or personal coaching call, and bundle some kind of software with your membership site. That last one is my favorite, so even if you’re in a niche where you might not think software is involved.

If you were in the hypnosis niche, there are these things called “binaural beats” where you can play through your headphones and things, these special tones that either wake you up, put you to sleep, get you focused, get you energized, relaxed, whatever. What if you had some kind of a membership site where the problem it was solving was it was just fixing all of their mind issues, right? If someone has anxiety, if someone is unmotivated, if someone is always tired, whatever their issue, they can join your site, and you have the core training. You have a series of 4 modules that get them past the usual stuff every once you’d get past.

But then, you have some kind of special software where after listening to each session, or even if they had completed the sessions and they come back a month later, they can listen to these different binaural tones every day. Maybe there’s even some kind of software where they can create their own custom, whatever you’d call it, tone, music, track just to solve whatever their particular problem is, or what if you had a hypnosis course and you created your own set of hypnosis audios to solve whatever particular problem where you took requests or you just made one once per week anyway, so you just add it into the members area.

You want to have these extra enhancements, and so the easy one right off the bat is a thing called a “transcript,” a PDF transcript, and we do this in all of our sites. I used to not do it, but ever since we started doing it, it really makes… It makes it easy… It’s one more extra easy way to sell the course. It’s one more extra way to justify people paying for something high-ticket, and there’s that certain percentage of people that learn best from video and another percentage that learn best from reading, or some people like… are more tactile, and they like to print things out, and mark them up, and highlight them.

What we do is we use a software tool called “Camtasia Recorder” to basically record PowerPoint videos, and then quit PowerPoint, and then do other things on the screen, and then we can dump out the audio, and then go to a transcriptionist and pay someone to go and type up all those things. Okay? Then, we take still frames out of our video, and then sandwich them into the word document that comes back, and then save it into PDF form. I use Microsoft Word for that, saves as PDF. Even if you don’t have Microsoft Word, Google Drive will allow you to paste in some text, put in some images, and then save it as PDF right then and there right in your web browser even with no software If you’re on a Mac, PC, Chromebook, whatever.

Really easy way to add value to your membership site, yet… First of all, have video. Demonstrate something on video in your training, and then go and get it transcribed, and then sandwich in still frames. Not a ton, but every few minutes, still frames of what you’re showing someone, so that technically, someone could not even watch a minute of video in your site. Technically, someone could just open up their PDF document on their laptop, tablet, or print it out, have it on their desk, and then they can just read it, and follow along, and still get the same information.

Now, speaking of different people absorbing things in different ways… Personally, I’m the kind of person where I don’t like to go back months later and re-watch videos. In many cases, I should because we forget things, and we don’t even realize what it is we forgot, so sticking with the podcasting example. Let’s say that somebody buys access to Podcast Crusher. They go through the course, they set up their podcast, but for whatever reason, they neglect it for a few months. It happens to a lot of people. Then, they want to go back, and they want to add in new episode into their podcast. They don’t want to have to watch 4 hours of video to get it all again, and this is where the checklist comes into play.

If you teach someone something that requires a few steps, so for example, podcasting. We tell people which exact headset to use to record audio. We tell them what tool to use to… or actually hit the “Record” button and record the audio. We tell them how to trim the edges of the audio, how to add in a theme song, how to put it online, how to tag it properly, and so there are… It’s not like a ton of steps, but there are few steps. If you haven’t done it in a few months, or if you’ve only done it once and then never again, then for sure, you’re going to miss those steps.

Even if all you have is at the end of every module, every session, what we recommend is you have about a 60 to 90-minute session in your membership course and have four of those. Have 4 milestones where someone is building up yet another piece of whatever it is they’re building. If they’re building a podcast, building… creating a rental property, whatever the niche is. Even if you just had a set of bullet points saying, “Well, I told you how to do this thing called a ‘podcast.’ Now, here are, just in very compressed form, the steps.”

I’m really glad that you listened to today’s podcast because we have a tool called “wpnotepad.com” that we include in that Membership Cube offer I talked to you about earlier. What’s great about WP Notepad is… Having a checklist and having bullet points, that’s great, but WP Notepad will actually allow you to have a set of checkboxes next to each little item. That’s really cool. Someone can go, and if you have 10 steps, 20 steps, I wouldn’t go any too much longer than that without breaking it up into sections, but they can check off on their browser the steps that they’ve taken.

What’s great about WP Notepad is this saves that person’s exact changes. For example, if I went into Podcast Crusher, and there were the 10 steps to follow to publish my latest podcast episode, and I checked off say five out of the ten, and then you went to Podcast Crusher, and you only checked off one, and we both came back a month later, then I would see the 5 boxes I checked off, the same exact ones that I personally checked off, and you would see the one box you checked off. You get it? What’s great about WP Notepad is that all the changes are personalized to the exact person.

WP Notepad has some other cool features and things like, for example, it allows you to add a note-taking area, so it almost looks like when you go to a blog and leave a comment, only the comments are yours. They’re private. You’re the only one who can see them, so that way, you can take your own personal notes. You don’t have to worry about scraps to paper. Having a checklist, super easy to do and super helpful for other people buying your course later because you don’t just want to have one single product launch, have a flash in the pan, and then you’re done. You want to create these streams of income where anyone can find you 5, 10 years later and still buy into that membership site you created all those years ago, and they’re still happy.

Next, similar to checklists, but at the end of all of our milestones sessions of our course, modules, we have a thing called a “challenge.” Okay? This is always in the video itself, and it’s always a slide, and then we have text below the video on the page in our members area, and you can see this by buying access to Membership Cube, and you’ll see exactly what a challenge is. A challenge, it contains 4 questions regarding the actions that a person is about to take after they’ve completed your training. We teach somebody how to make a podcast, and the questions in the challenge are, “What is the name of your podcast? How long will your first episode be? What is the title of that first episode, and then what time and date will that all be online?” We ask 4 really simple questions, right?

The point of this is definitely not for someone to go out and take some action to come back to answer this. This is just for someone just to commit, right? If someone doesn’t have time, they only have 2 minutes, that is the perfect length of time for them to answer our 4 quick questions because they don’t have to do anything yet. They just have to commit to it. We ask them 4 questions, and we keep them very, very easy questions. Usually, the first question is for them to name something, and then the last question is usually some kind of a deadline.

If you’re already stuck and you say, “Jeez, I don’t even know what the heck to ask someone for a challenge like if I’m teaching like weight loss, what the heck am I going to ask?” Let’s say that you had your first module about weight loss, and it was all about tracking their meals and throwing out the junk food in their house. Already, you can ask simple questions like, “What are 3 foods that you’re going to give up for the next 30 days?” That could be the first question, right?

The second question can be, “What are 3 items in your house you can throw away or at least put on the banned list to never buy at the grocery store again?” All right. That’s an easy one, and then a third question could be something like, “What new physical activity will you take like walking or jogging for just 10 minutes this week to change your lifestyle?” Then finally, number four will be, “What time and date will the junk food be thrown out of your house?”

Really simple. We end on just what time and date will that be done by. We begin on what’s something that you can name or list for us, and then whatever the middle two in between there. We might ask for something like a URL or you might ask them for a number like we say, “Well, will your first podcast episode be 5 minutes long or 20 minutes long?” The whole point is that we get them to commit to something.

Now, you can do this in one of 2 ways. You can do this using WP Notepad, and that’s actually the way we do it now. The way we do it now is they watch our video, they answer the questions in the challenge, and then they are the only ones who see their answers, except for me because as the administrator of the site, I can go in and look and see what people answered as their response. Don’t tell anybody, but the way we used to do it was we would have a comment box, and people would post their 4 items at the end of every module there, and this had an interesting effect.

It had an interesting effect because if we just… The reason why we switched is because we used to do a lot of live training. Now, many times, we’ll put out a course, and we’ll just put the video on there, just real quick, real simple, but when we did a lot of these live training courses, people were on a live webinar. We have a couple of hundred people on this live webinar at that very moment, and they would… They’d all be on there. If you have 200 people on, it was easy to get say 20, 25 people to commit their 4 answers. I’m hesitant to reveal that, but it is tough to get people to publicly post things, but if you can get 10%, 20% of your current members or your live attendees to fill on those questions, then that’s great.

This is also great because it only takes 2 minutes, so if they’re there anyway, they might as well do it, and we do it right there during the call anyway. When we use WordPress comments to do this, the built-in comments you can leave in WordPress, it has another interesting effect, social proof. If suddenly 25 people come in, and in about 2 minutes, there’s a flood of all these people committing to the actions they’re going to take, then anyone else who’s on the fence or anyone else who comes in months later when all the videos are already posted and they see all these people participating, they say, “Okay. First of all, it must not be as difficult as I’m building it up in my head because look at all these people who are doing it. Second, this training must be awesome because all these people are participating, and third, this person must be a great marketer because they have tons and tons of students in the class.”

Then, what we used to have people do, we don’t do it so much anymore, is we tell people to come back to that same post and leave another comment saying, “I am done.” In that way, we’d have even more social proof because, first, we have those handful of quick action-takers committing. They go out and get some results. They come back and say, “I am done,” so then you’d have just a huge, huge list of people who then took some action.

We switched away from that like I said because we used to have a lot of live training, and then now, we post… Now, we just… Many times just post a video. There’s not much of a difference there. Then, the other thing that happened too is we had some of these posts in our membership site that got 600-plus comments, and I have to go in and look at them all, and then sometimes, people would say post a URL like their blog or their podcast, and then I leave that on there for like five… He doesn’t come back 5 years later, and a lot of these [texts 00:17:18] should be gone, so that’s… There’s a few reasons there why now we use WP Notepad instead of the comment box, but either way you want to do it, that’s an easy way to do that.

Now, next, very… Another simple thing to do is to list the resources that you mention, and this is again a nice little touch. Most people don’t do it, and it’s going to be so helpful when you do it, but what you do is if you mentioned any kind of website, item to buy, tool, piece of software, book, whatever, have that list on the webpage where you have the module. Basically, what we have is someone logs into our site. They see usually a table or a grid of different modules to go to, so module 1 is the place where they need to start. They click on that. They go to a new page, and they see what? They see a video they can play. They see the challenge they can fill out, and then they see a bullet-pointed list of resources.

For example, we might have a training course or a module where we say, “Well, use WordPress,” so link to WordPress. We say, “Install this program called ‘iTunes,'” link to iTunes. We say, “Use this headset to record your podcast,” an Amazon link to buy that and get that shipped to your home. We just have this list, and many times, it’s only 4 things. Sometimes, it gets up to about 10 or 12, but it’s just so helpful to have that list, so as they’re watching the video, they can click on the link, open a new tab. In that way, they can just do it as they’re watching.

Then, what I like to do, another nice little touch is install a plug-in, a free one called “TablePress,” and arrange many of these resources into a nice, little grid, so that rows, and columns, and things like that because that way, they can just click around and easily… We can easily compress all of these links into almost like one webpage above the fold and as opposed to just a list, so a list of resources using either bullet points or TablePress if you can manage it.

Next, as we’re getting into the homestretch to last few items here. One is to collect their physical address. They paid you money, and you might have paid for advertising. You might have done some kind of marketing like a pitch webinar. You might have had to sell them in your support desk. You might have to help them out with support anyway, so why not collect their address. Always collect their mailing address even if they’re getting something from you for free, for a dollar, for $7, for $2,000. Collect their physical address.

Why? Because we… and collect their phone number too. We use a plug-in called “WP Kunaki,” also included at Membership Cube, to do that. Why do we do that? Why do we collect their address? Because at the very least, you can give them a quick phone call saying, “Thanks for buying. I just wanted to say thank you.” It’s a nice touch. Most people won’t do that. Second, if you ever wanted to write a quick postcard or something, or use a service called “doubleagentcards.com” and shoot them a quick thank you message, or have a URL on there for some other offer they can buy, then why not?

If you want to send them one of your books or you want to, at some point, make DVDs of your course, you can mail those as well. WP Kunaki pops up prompts when they log into your site, so we don’t want to capture their mailing address before they buy or after registering their account. There’s already a lot of steps there, so what happens is they go to a webpage called a “sales letter,” click a button, usually check out through PayPal, and then they go to a webpage where… By the way, we use WishList Member for this. The webpage says, “What username do you want? What password do you want? What’s your email address? What’s your first and last name?” What is that? Five items.

They do that, and even… You’re going to be surprised at how many people will pay money even high-ticket, and then not really do much more than that, but that’s just how it works, but most people get to that point. Then, as soon as they log in, and then it pops up, and it guesses based on your shopping cart like there might already be an address there, and they have to either accept that, or correct it, and then accept it. It will keep popping up every time they come back to our site until they actually click that “Confirm” button. Then, once they do click that “Confirm” button, a few things happen.

First of all… The biggest thing is that you get a notification. You get an email saying, “Such and such person verified their address,” and then you can go in and take whatever action needs to be taken, send some DVDs, call them on the phone, and then you can click a special link, and mark them as “Shipped.” They verified themselves, and then you can go ahead and ship whatever needs shipping, and then now, they are marked as “Shipped.” You know what? Later on, you can even go through and unmark all of your members as verified, so they will all have to come back later and reconfirm their address. That’s WP Kunaki, included in our Membership Cube course.

Now, you can make physical DVDs of your course. The tool I use to do this is called “Kunaki,” K-U-N-A-K-I, and a software tool called “Sony DVD Architect.” We cover physical products in Membership Cube near the end, but don’t think that physical products are the reason why you’re not making money like physical products, having a physical DVD, physical manual. First of all, that’s a big cost. Like for a 4-module course, which would be about… I don’t know, 300 pages or so. I would say that that costs us about $10 to $15 for the DVDs to ship out, and then probably about another $15 including shipping to get the manual created as well.

If the course is a piece of crap, having a DVD version is not going to save you, so that’s one thing I want to put out there that DVDs and things like that are nice to have, and the way that you can ship them out is to have this WP Kunaki plug-in which works with WordPress and WishList Member. They log in, a pop-up appears, confirm their address, you get a notification, do whatever needs to be done.

Next, group or personal coaching call. It’s one thing to give people video training and stuff like that, but a lot of people, they need either some extra hand holding or after they go through and complete, [you’re expected 00:23:47] to know what the next step is, and you can do it in one of 2 ways. You can do a group call. We prefer more where you say, “Okay. You join this course. You get all the videos, you get them all instantly. Go at your own pace, but in 2 weeks or in 7 days, we’re all going to meet at a group call to answer any questions you have.” What you do is you sign up for a trial with a service called “GoToWebinar,” and then schedule the time, and go to webinar.

Basically, you say, “I need to create a title for my next training session, my next bonus session. I need to decide on what time it will start,” and then GoToWebinar gives you a special link. People can click on the link and register for your webinar, and then when it comes time to present the webinar, you click the button, open up the call, show your stream, they hear your voice, you talk about whatever needs to be talked about. If they have questions, great. If not, still talk about what you’re going to talk about, and you’re done.

The other variance of this is the personal coaching call where… This is where you meet with each person one-on-one, so this is… if you have a small list, or you want to do something different, or if you’re selling a high-ticket product like a thousand-dollar product, this is really easy bonus to add in. Sometimes, every now and then, I’ve done it for a low-ticket product. Now, why would I do that? If someone only paid me $7 or $20, why the heck would I meet with them for 10, 20 minutes? Isn’t that minimum wage rates? Well, not the way that I look at it.

The way I look at it is that I’m getting a customer for life, and I like to have… Every week, I like to have some time allotted to do some kind of personal one-on-one coaching call, and so who… If someone wants to schedule themselves 6 months in the future, I’m still going to spend that 1 hour or those 90 minutes a week meeting on and doing coaching calls because I’m at the computer anyway for those 90 minutes.

We use a tool called “TimeTrade” for this. What’s good about TimeTrade is you can set basically office hours. You can say… I think what we have right now is we have it like every Tuesday from 10:00 to 10:30, my time, Pacific time, and then 2:00pm to 2:30pm. Those are 2 different slots someone can sign up for personal coaching with us as a bonus to one of our products. Those are the 2 timeslots, and so I only have to deliver 2 coaching calls per week. If someone has to schedule themselves out a couple months later on because those are the only spots available, that’s just how it is.

Then, we use TimeTrade to actually schedule the appointment. It connects to our Google Calendar, and then we use a tool called “Skype” to call people either on Skype or over their phone landline and talk to them for 20 minutes about whatever it is that they’re talking about. They don’t try to stump us. They don’t usually have tough questions. Many times, the questions they do have are huge light bulb moment for me and make me realize, “Well, hey. That gives me a good idea for something, some feature to add in that software, some extra YouTube video, or something to keep in mind the next time I promote that course because I figured out now that’s the reason why they bought the course.”

We’ve gotten testimonials that way. We got them to buy other things from us that way. It doesn’t work out like that every single time, but if you enjoy what you’re doing, if you enjoy stock trading, real estate, hypnosis, internet marketing, whatever your niche is, then why the heck wouldn’t you meet with someone who also likes that for 20 minutes? You might even make a friend, or a joint venture partner, or an affiliate along the way.

Then finally, software. Software is great. I mean, software is bad because it’s tough to make, right? It might be expensive. You might have to hire someone. You might hire someone to maintain it, but it’s great like all that little bit of a downside is far outweighed by the huge upside that this is a way that you differentiate. Most people don’t have software, and most niches, there is some kind of software. Why don’t you go to Google right now and search the name of your niche like… Let’s try hypnosis software.

I’m going to search “podcasting software” because I’m really curious, and the podcasting software, that’s something that I really wanted to do for a while, so what if I made like a mobile app where they could tap a button, speak up their podcast episode, and it would go, and tag it, upload it, get traffic to it?

If I look for hypnosis software, there is Virtual Hypnotist, Subliminal Hypnosis, and I’m just looking around, and it looks like there are software where they can layer in the hypnosis. They can say, “Well, do you want to have a long or a short session? Do you want to have visual input? Do you want to have wavy lines? Do you want to have nature sounds? Do you want to have white noise? Do you want to have a female or a male voice? Have the voice be fast or slow? Have any kind of subliminal messages?” All kinds of interesting things.

You want to make it, so they can customize hypnosis, brain wave tracks for waking up, thinking, energy, focus, happiness, relaxing, and fun, so look up the software that your competitors put out in your niche, and chances are that you can put something out that’s a lot easier to make and a lot simpler. Many times, you might be able to even buy a resell rights. Maybe if we look up like “hypnosis software resell rights” and just see if anyone is selling some kind of a resell right, so I’m seeing audios and things like that.

But then, we maybe we can find resell rights to some kind of like an audio player, and then buy hypnosis audios, and then package them together, or there are… There’s a site called “Code Canyon” where many times for like web-based scripts and things, or WordPress plug-ins, or if you want to make like a Udemy clone, a Fivver clone, a job site, things like that, many times, we can buy the full-on rights to that, and then give it away as a free bonus for people who then buy our course.

Even if you can’t do that, what if you even just contacted someone that made one of these software programs and asked for a discount, or how about this? How about free access for your students? This is something where you’ve done this a couple times, and I love doing this. I love doing it because… I got to say. Someone buy some other course, then they can get free access to maybe like our backup creator plug-in or something, so this is great for them because they can sell a course, and then one of the reasons to buy the course is they get our plug-in.

I love it too because I get that lead. I get a new… $100, or $200, or $500 buyer that I wouldn’t have had before. It can’t hurt just to contact the developers. The worst they can do is say no, and we’ve made many of these deals. Like for example, in Membership Cube. When you buy Membership Cube, then we go out, and we… We have a pool of licenses on hand for WishList Member, and we actually pay out of our pocket. We don’t get it for free. We pay out of our pocket for WishList for you, and so this makes like a really cool deal because you can get them and us all in one package, and then we win because we don’t have to make the sale of the membership plug-in, and then WishList win because they get you as a lead for their software.

Software. I could go on and on about that with your membership site, but if you can swing it, if you can make some kind of deal, some kind of bundle, buy some rights, get a discount, get a free access, whatever, then that’s a real nice way to make your membership pop, membership site pop in addition to a PDF, checklist, challenge, list of resources, collect addresses, put out DVDs, group or personal coaching call, and software. Man, we covered a lot today, and what I want you to do right now is go to membershipcube.com and sign up, and get your membership site online tonight.

We’ll show you how to use WordPress. We’ll show you how to use WishList. We’ll show you how to put the videos online there. We’ll show you how to get the payment button online there. We’ll show you how to get the sales letter on, get some traffic because life is too short to not have a membership site, to not have recurring passive income, to wonder, “What should/could if I only figured out a way to get my membership site up and running?” Let’s do it this week. Let’s do it tonight at membershipcube.com. I’m Robert Plank from the Membership Site Podcast. Please rate and review us at membershipcube.com/blog/itunes. I’ll be very grateful that you do, and I’ll talk to you in the next episode. Thanks and bye now.

007: Online Membership Site Mistakes and Cop-Outs That You Can Easily Avoid

I’m Robert Plank, and welcome to the Membership Site Podcast where we discuss everything you need to know to set up a passive income using membership site, using eLearning, using online training to generate this passive income. We’re going to talk about creating content, dealing with technical and WordPress set up, and bottom line, to get you having that passive income up and running. Today we’re going to talk about some mistakes and cop-outs a lot of people fall into. Now when people make membership sites, they get way too crazy and they psyched themselves out. I know because I do this all the time.

I want to make a membership site. I want to teach somebody stock trading, real estate, something like that, and it’s really easy to lose sight of the fact that all you need to sell something on the internet is a webpage and a button, and a place for people to end up after they clicked the button and pay you money, even if that’s $10, even if that’s, heck, $1. I have some training at membershipcube.com that I want you to check out. If you happen to have an Amazon account and like to read Kindle books, I have a book for you, and that’s at membershipcube.com/book. That’s B-O-O-K. I’m going to talk to you about membership sites today, and I have 7 quick mistakes that you can avoid. The big lesson running through thread of everything today is to teach to your best customer who will use your training.

this really helps me. You might have heard of this silly and tired idea of having a customer avatar and decide whatever your perfect customer is, figure out where in the world they live, and what their name is, and what their age is. I think that’s kind of silly and even stupid, borderline stupid. What I would rather do is I would get even a handful of social media followers or people on your list, and figure out who is your guinea pig, or figure out if you have that one coaching client. There’s got to be someone who you know will actually make use out of the training that you have, whether it’s stock trading, real estate, internet marketing, how too program, how to knit, how to race a horse. Whatever that subject is, teach to your best customer who will use your training.

Now, 7 mistakes to unpack, and I’ll just give them to you, and we’ll unpack them. Number 1, they can figure out how to use it. Number 2, I don’t need to show a case study. Number 3, I’ll just wing it. Number 4, I’ll make lots of little videos to string them along. 5, I’ll make bonus videos if I leave something out. 6, instead of showing it, I’ll just say hire this guy, and then I’ll reteach and reuse the stuff I used to pitch the course. All right. We’re not going to drool on a lot of these. We’re just going to breeze right through them.

The first thing is if someone comes to you and whether we’re talking about your selling a course on Udemy, whether we’re talking about you’re hosting your own thousand-dollar membership course, people came to you because they’ve exhausted their other options. If they want to know … For example, we have a course called podcastcrusher.com. If someone finds us at Podcast Crusher, then maybe they’ve heard about this thing called a podcast, and they were discouraged just by thinking about it. Maybe they tried to make a podcast on their own. They tried to piece all the free information, free tools together. They probably bought some other competitor’s course.

It might have been a $10 course, it might have been a $2,000 course, but they probably bought something and tried it and threw up their hand sin frustration because they just couldn’t get it to work. It was either too many steps, too complicated, too confusing, or it didn’t go into enough details. You need to find that sweet spot. When we’re trying to find that sweet spot, just assume I know nothing. I’ll give you a couple of examples. In our course called Podcast Crusher, we showed people how to record an audio segment, and then how to set up a WordPress blog, and then how to submit that blog to iTunes.

We might have easily just said, “Oh, yeah. Here’s WordPress. Just don’t worry about it.” Well, no. We took the 5 minutes to show how to click the button and how to set up. We could’ve said, “Well, here’s iTunes. Just submit it.” Well, no. We took the 5 minutes to go and install iTunes and to submit that new blog or that new podcast to iTunes. We showed Skype, and we showed how to install Skype and how to record Skype. That’s where we approach the boundary of getting a little ridiculous. You might say, “Well, doesn’t everybody have Skype?” or you might be getting into that territory of, “Well, if I give a mouse a cookie, I have to give him this and explain this and explain this.”

That’s around where I draw the line. I’ll show someone how to install Skype, but I’ll spend a maximum of 5 minutes there. I’ll just say, “If you’ve seen this thing called Skype, great. If not, go here. I’ll install it. Now it’s on there. Now we’re all caught up.” Likewise, if we’re, for example, showing a book publishing course that we’ll deliberately show somebody how to type up their book or type up a blog post on a free tool called Google Drive. Why would we do that? We would do that because we don’t want to have to … It’s fallen to the one trap of saying, “Well, here’s Microsoft Word. If you don’t have it, tough.” Then we also don’t want to fall into the trap of, “Well, here’s how you go to get Microsoft Word. Then you got to go pay for it, and figure out which package is right for you. Now we’ll just use the free tool. That way, everyone has caught up.” Assume I know nothing and give me the 5 minutes I need to get caught up to you.

Number 2, I don’t need to show a case study. The next frustration, the next roadblock you’re going to come across, if they’ve come to you … We’ll just stick to the example of the podcasting course. If I’m buying a podcasting course from you, I want to see you actually set up a podcast. If I’m buying an affiliate marketing course from you, I want to see you actually running an affiliate campaign. I get so frustrated when I watch a video like this. Some will say, “Let’s set up a podcast. I’m going to call my podcast Test Podcast.” They say, “Let’s make an episode. I’m going to call my podcast episode Test Episode 1, and I just say …” that doesn’t help me. I’ve seen what the box is and all that look like. I want to see you filling it in. Not only that, but I’d actually like to see you build something.

In the podcast example … Heck, the reason why this podcast exists, the one you’re listening to, is because as part of the course, we had to have a case study where we set up a podcast. Of course I made a new podcast. If you’re running course where you’re marketing affiliate products, well then, I want you to actually set up the account, set up the pay traffic account, set up the way of making money, you send some ads to it, and then show me what the results are. That’s a little bit of a risk to you, be maybe it might not work.

If this is something that you do every day every week, if this is your bread and butter, it should be easy to at least show me how to set up an episode of a podcast. It should be easy for you to show me how you made a sale, or even a quick $100 on Amazon, or on some affiliate network. It should be easy for you. Even though you might think that saying test product, test podcast, test video, test ad campaign, even you might think it’s the same thing as showing your real campaign, I guarantee you it’s not. I would like you to build something along with me, me being a student of your class.

Then number 3, you have the trap of saying, “I’ll just wing it.” The whole point of having a course is for me to, in a lot of ways, duplicate what it is that you’ve done. That’s why it helps for you to, first of all, catch me up in any area where I’m lacking, like if I haven’t seen Skype, or Google Drive, or Word Press before, so that’ll help. Then it also helps for you to show me what your building to. Show me the finish product the big picture, and maybe even show me the sales page or the pitch webinar, and then when I’m in your course, you can even remind me of what this is all leading to. It’s leading to a podcast with episodes, a blog that makes money, an affiliate campaign that runs on its own.

We have another membership site called profitdashboard.com, another course to teach people how to make money on Fiverr. Fiverr is a site where you can go and apply and do different quick small jobs like set up WordPress or record voiceovers, things like that. In this Profit Dashboard Fiverr Course, we make sure too at the beginning of each module, show what we have set up, and to show the money that we’ve made so far on Fiverr. That way, people know what we’re building to. I like to think of this as the 4-minute mile. The 4-minute mile means that before 1950-something no human being could run a mile in 4 minutes.

Then a runner named Roger Bannister broke that barrier, and then after that, so many more people have run a mile faster than Roger Bannister, but it just took that first person to show that it was possible. That’s the self-help motivational lesson there. Human being’s physiology didn’t change at all between 1940 and 1950, but one guy showed how to run a mile quickly, and then now all the mental barriers for everyone who came after him were gone.

Number 4 is that, “I’ll make lots of little videos to string them along.” You might get crazy and thing, “Man, okay, I’m going to teach affiliate marketing, and then I’m just going to make a hundred videos. I’ll make a 2-minute video showing how to register on this one ad network. I’ll make a 2-minute video showing how to register on another ad network. I’ll make a 2-minute video showing how to set up a Google AdWords campaign. I’ll make a 2-minute video showing how to make a Facebook Ad campaign.” Can you already tell how exhausting this is going to be? That only works for so long. You can only string me along in little 2-minute or little 5-minute increments until … I just want to know what the heck it is that we’re building, and I want it to all make sense.

There definitely is something to having these longer videos, these 30, 60, 90-minute videos where you can tell me the big picture of this 60-minute session, list me the steps we’re about to take, and then start taking the steps in showing me, and then keep switching back and saying, “Okay. Out of the 6 steps we’re going to tackle today, here are the first 3.” and then go back and keep going, “Well, here’s the next few.” Now keep going, “Now here’s everything we did.” Even thought it might seem like more work for you, first of all, it’s not. Second, it’s so easy for you to just knock out a 1-hour session to plan all these little 2-minute, 5-minute sessions. Then guess what? Now I have some scope, I have a bigger picture, and it’s easier for me to wrap my head around 4 modules, 4 milestones as opposed to 100 little 5-minute videos. Okay.

Next, this leads us to number 5 where we say, “Well, I’ll make some bonus videos if I leave something out.” I’m going to teach affiliate marketing, and if … What’s it called? … Amazon March comes out and they have new way of coming out with T-shirt, or if Teesprings updates their interface, or if whatever ad network I grab my links from, if they go and change things up, I’ll just be able to say, “I’ll make a bonus video.” The problem though is, okay, I’m sold on the idea of I just have to watch these 4 things to get an affiliate’s income set up.

Then part way though, you’ll say, “Okay. Well, go and sign up for this ad network, but I’ll I’m not going to do it right no. I’ll just make another video.” I have to stop the video I’m on. I have to go and find the other webpage where you stashed some bonus video about how to sign up on eBay or how to set up on Amazon. I have to watch that, and then come back to your video. It’s just like, “I don’t even know what the heck I’m supposed to do.” If you wanted to do that, I would rather you splice in that little 5 minutes here you sign up. Just show me the 5 minutes, you don’t have to drool on it for the whole time, but just tell me …

If you’re going to show me Neverblue ads, if you’re going to show me Facebook ads, and part of those steps require you making an account, then just cut to you making the account, and then move one, but don’t get lazy and don’t just say, “Well, go find the extra video. I’ll put it up somewhere.” That’s not a very good experience for me as a buyer.

Next is the cop-out of saying, “Well, you have to complete these steps. You have to do these tasks, but just go hire someone to do it. I’ve seen this a few times. I bought a book publishing course once. This was years ago, and it was how to get a book created. The teacher, he blew past a lot of steps. He blew past the step of making the book. First, I was already stuck there, but luckily I know how to write a little bit. Then he blew past the step of making the cover, but I guess I can go and find the cover. Then when it came time to actually take the book and get a print version made, get a cover and all that made, he said, “Well, go to a freelance site called Fiverr.com and search for this specific username, and just hire this guy and he’ll do it for you.” I’m thinking I could’ve gone on Fiverr myself and search for that.

If someone is buying a course from you, give them at least the steps to do it themselves 100% if they had to. I know that if you look at what people are doing, you say, “Okay. I want to teach somebody how to book online.” They very well might go and hire someone to do it. I’m kind of this way too, and I also know people like this where even if I plan on hiring someone to take some steps for me, I still want to see all the steps, and I still want to see what is involved, because maybe I only want to outsource 1 section of it, or maybe I want to do it myself the first time, the hard way, and then I want to outsource sections of it after that.

What if the person you’re recommending quits, and then what stop you from making a course about publishing a book on Amazon and you say, “All right. Step 1, get the book made, go on the site, hire this guy. Just have him do it. Okay. Then getting the cover made, go on this site, hire this guy. Then getting all the margins made, hire this guys.” Next thing I know, you’re just giving me a Rolodex, you’re just giving me a directory, which could be a nice bonus, but just show me, in as simplest steps as possible, how the heck it’s done.

There’s definitely a little bit of … You need to think about it, not for too long, but maybe spend a day or 2 thinking about “How do I present the thing that need to get covered?” without going too far down the rabbit hole, without telling someone how to install Microsoft Word. If someone hasn’t heard of Skype, maybe I’ll show them how to install that really quickly, and then I’ll give them the big picture, and I’ll do this as possible with as many free tools as I can. If I’m using a tool that’s only available on PC, also have a Mac version. Then just make it so that in any 60-minute session, for example, we’re only going through 6 steps. We do a lot of recapping. That way, the very first time they go to publish that book, set up affiliate income, whatever, the first time, even though they might want to hire someone else in the future, that first time they can stumble around and they can follow your instructions, and they can do it. It’s all about step by step.

Finally, the biggest cop-out of them all is that, “I’ll reteach and then I’ll reuse the stuff I use to pitch the course.” This happens a lot too. I haven’t made any of these up. These are all things that I’ve come across when buying membership sites, but now you can learn from all their past mistakes. Let’s say I’m buying a membership course about copywriting for example. Copywriting is basically you add a persuasive language to a webpage to make some sales. One thing that I’ve seen happen on more than 1 occasion, for more than 1 person is they’ll make a PowerPoint presentation, and they’ll make a free one, and they’ll present it on a Google Hangout or on a GoToWebinar if you’ve ever attended a webinar before.

They’ll teach all kinds of awesome copywriting knowledge. I’m like, “Oh great. He’s got stuff about how to write headlines, how to craft a hook, little tweaks to improve conversions, lots of awesome stuff.” They buy the course, and then this person reuses all of their slides to sell me the course to make the content of the course. I’m just thinking like, “Something just doesn’t seem quite right there.” I sat through a free 1-hour presentation, and they shared all kinds of stuff that blew me away actually with the quality of what they shared for free. Then when I bought it, it was almost the same thing.

I’m totally fine with a quick recap, and it’s totally fine to overlap somewhat in your free content, in your free pitch, well, because you’re getting them a sneak peek about what they get once they pay you money. To just reuse all those slides and then charge money for it, something isn’t quite right. A recap is okay, but think about any kind of free content you’re giving away. That’s like module 0. That’s like all the little stuff to getting caught up, to hit the ground running with your copywriting course, affiliate course, Fiverr course, whatever else examples we talked about, podcasting course.

The bottom line, everything we covered today is that it doesn’t take any extra time or work to create a great course, compared to a mediocre course. Maybe like an extra 20 minutes, but it’s not like it’ll take you any extra days or weeks to just think about these 7 things. If your membership site is going to hit any of these boxes, then readjust. The cop-outs were that they can figure out how to use it, so their solution is just give me the 5-minute recap of how to use Google Drive, how to use Skype. I don’t need to show a case study. You think they’ll be able to figure it out. Well, they won’t. Actually, you build something along with me, and make it as close as possible, so that I can just watch your video. You say, “Go here, click that.” I can pause. Go there and I click that as well.

Don’t just wing it. Have somewhat of a structure, a plan, PowerPoint slides. Show me what you’re building up to. Don’t make little 2-minute, 5-minute videos. Make a full on 60-minute module that tells me, “Here’s what we’re building. Here’s the goal. Here are the steps.” and then take me through the steps. That way when you recap, it’s a lot easier than trying to click through all these 5-minute videos. Next, if you leave things out, don’t just send them off to a bonus video, either explain it real quick, or splice in a little extra bonus. Don’t tell me just to go hire someone, show me the basic way on how to do it. If I need to make a book cover for an Amazon book, show me how to do it using free tools, or give me some templates to do it, or just give me something to get me by tonight so that I can have a book published tonight.

If you want to say as a bonus, hire this person for a book cover, well then great. Show me how to make the bad looking book cover, so I can get at least the book online, and then afterwards, I can go hire the person to update the cover to be better. Then don’t use your pitch materials to teach your course. Treat that pitch as module 0. It’s okay to put little bits and pieces in there, but don’t be lazy. Don’t reuse the free stuff to make the paid stuff. Teach to your best customer. It doesn’t take any extra time.

I know we went over a lot of different ideas and concepts, but the way for you to actually see this in action, for me to take you by the hand and say, “Here’s the software I use. Here are the steps I take.” Join us in our membershipcube.com course where I will literally set up a site alongside with you. We’ll set up WordPress. We’ll set up WishList member. We’ll get a sales letter in place. We’ll get a pan button. We’ll set up everything you need, and that’s at M-E-M-B-E-R-S-H-I-P-C-U-B-E.com. Be sure to also rate and review us in the iTunes store by going to membershipcube.com/blog/iTunes.

I’m Robert Plank from the Membership Site Podcast, go out there and make some money, and we’ll talk to you next time. Thanks for listening.

006: Marketing, Entertainment, and Value (How to Blend It All Inside Your WordPress Membership Site)

We talk on this program about how you can make money by selling things like your knowledge, your training courses, videos, written materials, software inside a thing called a membership site, which is powered by WordPress and by WishList Member. A membership site is a site where your customers can become members. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sell high ticket low ticket a month reoccurring forever. You can charge 1 singe payment, and that 1 payment give someone life time access to your membership site.

Today we’re going to talk about specifically making a training course, and how to do it without driving yourself crazy, how to do it so that you have a really good idea, and you get it knocked out as fast as possible, and it basically becomes the best possible version of that training course you wanted to create, and it becomes something that your buyers love and get to use and want to go through over and over again every time they want to get some kind of a repeatable result. Setting up an Amazon business, renting out a home, running a webinar, running a podcast, you will create a training course which …

When someone tells me they’re making a training course, what that says to me is that they’re recording a set of videos, preferably screen capture videos using a tool called Camtasia Recorder, so I can see a certain set of steps on a screen that tell me to use these tools in this order, and maybe use this template, maybe type in this text, click on these boxes, check these buttons, click these links. Then what it builds up to is a goal has been completed. You tell somebody how to get up to a certain goal, which is for example a highly ranked podcast as key state we’re going to be talking about today, where someone wants to know how to make a podcast at all.

We create a sales letter. We have maybe a video on a sales letter saying, “Here’s what you want, podcast is done, podcast is ranked highly.” Then they join and they click to get access to that course, pay us money, get in the membership site, and there are a set of modules. I don’t like to have a bunch of written stuff. I’m not going to give somebody a 300-page document and say, “Here, you go have fun.” I also don’t want to give someone a list of a hundred 5-minute videos. That’s not helpful either. What I’m talking about is a 4-module course. A module is about a 60 to 90-minute video where in the 60 to 90-minute video we show some PowerPoint slide, explain a little bit about what we’re about to do by taking the first step, setting up our podcast, show us some slides, speak out some bullet points, leave PowerPoint, go and click around, do a few things, and then switch back.

That’s all well and good to say, “Okay. Well, I have a podcast set up.” By the way, the course we’re talking about is a real course. You can go and get it at podcastcrusher.com. At the moment, it’s running on WordPress and WishList Member, just like we’re talking about. You can get your free copy of WishList Member in our training course. We buy a copy out of pocket for you at membershipcube.com.

Setting up a podcast. Whether you know how to do it or not, you can probably agree that, that’s a little bit of a technical activity to undertake. We don’t want it to be this kind of course where we say, “Well, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about podcasting.” Let’s think about this too. If I gave you the restriction of saying, “You have to teach me podcasting, show me podcasting in 4 modules, and it have to be an hour or so each.” your tendency is to say “Aha. I know, the first module will be about how to get a microphone, and the second module would be about how to plan what to say, and the third module would be about how to record their podcast, and then the fourth and final module would be that now they’re podcast is set up and online.”

That sounds like a really boring course. What would be a lot more exciting is if somehow we could figure out a way to get your podcast online in the very first module. I know that another tendency is to say, “All right. I’m going to teach remote podcasting. What I’ll do is I’ll open up my browser and I’ll say, ‘Here’s the microphone to buy, go do that.’ Then I’ll tell them, ‘Here’s the WordPress plugin that get your podcast setup, go get that. Then I’ll tell them, ‘Here’s the website to submit your podcast to iTunes, go do that.’ Then I’ll say, “Here’s the guy to hire to get a cover and a theme song made, go do that.'”

You might think that’s helpful because technically you are pointing them in the right direction. Technically, someone could assemble that all together, but that’s not a very helpful kind of course for you to say, for just to say, “Go hear do that, go head do that.” I’d rather you show me every step of the way. Just because you might have seen it done 100 or 200 times, just because it’s easy for you, I don’t know what I’m even looking at because this is my very first time seeing anything podcast related. When we’re talking about a training course, you want to show people how to combine tools and websites with your templates and steps to get to a real goal, something that they have built like a podcast, a webinar, a website, a rental home, whatever applies for your niche.

Now, the other thing to keep in mind is that, and it sounds a little pessimistic, but a good chunk of won’t make it past that first module, past that first 60-minute video. That’s just a fact. We have to give them a big result, and that means that we can’t … If we’re teaching about membership sites, we can’t possibly wait until the very final module to show them how to have the membership site online. It needs to be the very first module, because a lot of people won’t get pass the first video, and it’s a lot easier to sell a course where we say, “Within X number of minutes, you’ll have a membership site, or a podcast online.” We want to give somebody a big result in that very first module.

The next thing to keep in mind with membership sites, training courses, with these 4 60-minute videos, is that each of these modules has to be build towards them, having something new built. That means that … Well, for example, in our Podcast Crusher Course, in the very first module, they have a podcast episode recorded, like you’re listening to right now. They have a podcast of their very own set up online on iTunes. Then the second module is about them then filling in a few of the gaps. They record episode number 2. They add in music. They add in graphics. We have them host their podcast on the proper place to host podcast episodes. The next module is about how to get a bunch of interview guest for their episode to turn out content. The fourth and final module is about how to use social media and Twitter to get all that traffic to their podcast.

It’s not like we have 1 module where we take a brake and talk about strategy. Every single module out of these 4, give someone something tangible that they have built, really, really important. The next thing to keep in mind is that most of your customers get tired after 4 modules or 4 weeks, however you want to do it. If you’re saying to yourself, “Well, I need to have an 8-module course. I need to have a 12-module course.” that’s not a good idea unless you really, really want to. It’s not a good idea unless you just happen to have so much stuff that it won’t fit, but have a 4-module course if you could help it. If there’s really tons and tons of stuff, then make it 8 modules, but it definitely shouldn’t be any larger than that, because we don’t want to overload people. We don’t have to tell them about every single nook and cranny when it comes to podcasting.

I don’t need to teach someone about video podcasting because, well, I don’t do it and it’s no not that big of a thing to do at the moment. We just have them do some basic podcasting, because that is what most people want. You have these 4 modules and you have this video recording and use a screen capture tool like Camtasia to capture your screen. People see your screen, they hear your voice, you save it in a video, you put it inside of that membership site. Within the 60 or so minute session, where you’re showing someone, for example, in that first module, how to record a podcast episode and the tools to combine to get it in online, we want to make sure that they wake up every 10 minutes. This is another big reason why we like to move to PowerPoint slides and then move off of PowerPoint slides.

Let’s face it, sitting in a computer is boring just like how sitting in a classroom at school is boring, so we want to be more like a TV show. We want to kind of mix things up. I like to make sure to have something fun and cool to say every 10 minutes. I like to repeat important points, but at the same time, I also want to make sure that if I’m going to tell someone, “Well, here’s how you record a podcast episode. We’re going to install this program. We’re going to go over here. We’re going to click the record button. We’re going to say these things I told you to say. We’re going to trim off the edges. We’re going to save this.” That’s a lot of steps. Right? If I zip around it quickly, I could show it all in 3 minutes, but then you wouldn’t explain it.

Then I could also talk for 20 minutes about what I’m going to do, show it for 20 minutes, and then spend 20 more minutes talking about what I just did, and then we would’ve wasted a whole hour just on literally clicking 3 buttons. We need to figure out whatever middle ground is right for you, where you need to repeat the things you’re doing, especially if it’s a brand new unfamiliar screen, especially keeping in mind that most people have never ever seen the screen you’re about to show. At the same time, we want to make sure to keep the length of 1 module under 90 minutes, and we want to make sure we don’t leave too much out.

I need to show people everything in that little video demonstration of how to record an audio file for their podcast and save it. If I find myself running out of time, then I might just skip the parts where I make it perfect. I might say, “Well, just don’t bother about trimming your audio file, if you know what that means. Just record it, save it, and that gets the job done.” We want to keep all those things in mind. Make sure that they stay away every 10 minutes, so repeat a lot to not zip around too fast, but also stay under 90 minutes, and also make sure that we include at least the bare essentials of what we have to click on and do. I guarantee, if you just tell someone, “Here’s Audacity, here’s the program to record audio.” most will just be completely lost. If there’s 1 popup or 1 button they don’t understand, they will be a deer in headlights. They won’t know what to do.

It’s easy for you to say, “Well, here’s WordPress. Go ahead and install it. Here’s how you go add a new posted WordPress. Go ahead and do it.” but they need to see exactly how you did it. We’ve been talking so far in this program about you make a 4-session format for your course. In our podcasting course, the first module is how to get that podcast set up, but let’s think about this now as well. You say … All right. The first module I’m going to show people how to get a podcast on line, and then that frees up a space for us, and maybe the last couple of modules can slow it down a little bit, and we can focus on things like making your podcast right on getting podcast traffic. Now, it’s a much more interesting course.

Even in a 60 to a 90-minute session, that might sound like a long-time. You might be telling yourself, “There’s no way I could talk for 60 minutes.” Well, you really only have room for about 6 steps. I might be talking about, “Well, here’s how to record your podcast. Here’s how to upload your podcast. Here’s how to install a WordPress blog. Here’s how to install this podcasting plugin. Here’s how to add your first podcast episode to your blog, and then finally, step number 6, submit it to iTunes.” That’s just off the top of my head.

That alone will easily, easily fill 60 to 90 minutes, especially because we’re going to have a slide in PowerPoint that says, “Here are the steps I’m going to click on.” Then we go back and we click on those steps, making sure that we’re super slow and we’re not moving the mouse pointed all around. We click on of what needs to be clicked on, then we switch back to PowerPoint slide and explain what it is that we just did. You tell them what you’re going to look for and what you’re going to click, then you leave your PowerPoint slides that you’re recording, and do those steps, and then you recap. You can do the recap much more quickly than when you’re telling them what you’re about to do, but recap what you just did. That way, it really sinks in.

The next thing as we’re talking about PowerPoint slides is I like to have a slide, and I put at the title of the slide, the word today. Then I list about 6 or so bullet points of what we’re going to cover in that 60 or so, or 90-minute or so module. That way they know, just right at the very beginning, the things we’re going to do. Then I make sure to copy this slide throughout my various other slides in my training. That way maybe we’re halfway through, and we can go and say, “Okay. Remember how in the beginning we said we’re going to do these 6 things? Well, now we’re on step number 3 recording your podcast.” That ways, it’s very clear what we’ve done so far, and how far long we are, and where we’re going.

Then we keep calling back to that today’s slide as we call it, so that way, we’re not just running around without a structure without a plan. Then at the end of whatever it is we’re showing, we have an item called a challenge. These are just 4 quick questions detailing a small action they’ll take. That means that in our podcasting course, for example, where I show them in the very first module how to get everything set up, the basic set up, then at the very end we say, “Now that we’ve shown you this, we have 4 quick questions for you.” Those questions are number 1, what will your iTunes podcast be named? Number 2, what will you name the first episode of your podcast? Number 3, what URL will you set up your podcast blog? Number 5, what time will your podcast be submitted to iTunes.

That is what a challenge is. That way, the pieces are kind of coming together, because we have an idea for a scope of a whole podcasting course, but then we say, “Okay, well, here’s the very first module.” We get your podcast set up, and then we break that down and say, “Well, today, in the 5-minute podcast module of Podcast Crusher, we’re going to cover the tools and our recording process, the workflow on how to record, save, upload, and publish, the case study where we record our first 5-minute episode right in front of you. Then the setup, we’ll reinstall WordPress, the PowerPress plugin, and then submit to iTunes.”

That’s an example of just doing it a training on how to set up a podcast. By the way, that is in podcastcrusher.com. A lot of little piece to put together there, but I hope that a few of these things sink in, that having a lot of written stuff is okay if it’s, for example, the transcript from a video you created. That way, you don’t have to write a lot of stuff. People only have to read things if they chose to. I honestly think that the most fun way for someone to take in information to see it on video. That way, there’s no confusion about what to do. Don’t just list some websites, don’t just say, “Here go over … Here’s how to record and good luck.” Actually, have a real case study in your membership training and set something up in the most simple way possible. That way, they will actually see it done.

We can’t have just the set up part. We can’t have just the demonstration part. We have to give them some kind of context. We have to tell them how it’s going to fit in. That’s where PowerPoint slides come into play. We can’t teach people everything in PowerPoint slides, but PowerPoint slides kind of tell them what we’re about to do, then we go and do it, then switch back to PowerPoint, and explain to them what it is that we just did. Have a 4-module course where a module is 60 to 90-minute session where you record your screen, so people see exactly what’s on your computer screen, and then you speak it out, and you can use the PowerPoint to say, “Today, we’ll cover these 6 things. Now let me unpack the first thing. Let me tell you what we’re about to do, why it’s important and what we’re going to click. I’ll go leave the PowerPoint area, click on those things, recap it, and then move on to the next module, next module, next module.”

By switching back and forth out of that, it’ll keep it interesting. At the end, we ask for 4 quick questions on how they will then implement what it is we just showed, where we just ask them 4 question where if they answer those 4 questions, they won’t have, for example, the podcast self-setup just yet, but they’ll have most of the decisions that they would’ve had to make in order to set up that podcast.

A lot of stuff to throw in at you. To see it all happen, to see the tools we use, to see how we setup a course on all those fun things, go right now to membershipcube.com. We have a training course for you there, and we buy a lot of different plugins out of pocket for you, like WishList Member, like Paper Templates, like WP Drip to drip your content, like WP notepad to add a checklist to your membership site, and so much more. Go to membershipcube.com. While you’re at it, while you’re going to websites, make sure to go to membershipcube/blog/iTunes. Rate and review the podcast. That helps encourages us to make more, and I’ll see you on the very next episode of the Membership Site Podcast. Thanks for tuning in, and bye for now.