Once you’ve decided to create a membership, one of the things you’ll need to determine is the price. How you price your membership is very important. You can turn away or bring in the right market based on the price. Price in and of itself doesn’t always indicate value, though; that’s for the members to determine. What you need to do is figure out what you want to charge based on the type of value and the number of members you want to attract.
Limited Memberships Mean Higher Fees
If you have a limited membership where you only let a certain number of people in the group at any given time, then your fee structure will be based on that. Figure out the time and effort the membership will take from you, how much you want to earn each month, and then use that information to determine the monthly fee.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a membership that you’re only going to allow ten people to join. In this membership you allow open office hours, a one-hour personal call each week, unlimited email interaction, a weekly webinar, and a monthly webinar on a topic of interest to the group. Plus, you have a private Facebook group for members current and past only.
You can go by the time it takes you to conduct all this work, or you can instead just determine how much you need and want to make. Let’s say you’ve decided you want to earn $100K a year with the membership. With only ten paying members allowed at any given time, you’ll need to charge about 833 dollars a month to each paying member to earn $100K a year.
Here’s the math:
Desired earnings 100K a year / 10 Members = 10,000K /12 Months = $833 per month, per member.
Unlimited Members Means Lower Fees
With unlimited members allowed, you won’t have time for the one-on-one work, so it’ll be hands off other than interaction in a private forum. So, let’s say your membership offers a learning center, with a new course added each month that relates to the niche, plus a group coaching forum. Through the membership you’ll offer other opportunities, but they’ll all be group format and no one-on-one activity. For example, you may offer a webinar monthly on a topic, as well as early intro to new products and services.
In this case, you need to find out how many potential customers you can attract to meet your goal of $100K a year. If the market has one million people in it, how many of those can you convert to paying subscribers? At $27.97 a month you’ll need about 298 members to meet the $100K a year goal.
You’ll need to study whether it’s a possibility or not. If not, you may have to raise or lower the price to ensure that you attract the right amount of regular members to the membership.
Here are some examples of how it might break down.
Goal $100K a year:
You’ll need to also keep in mind the payout to affiliates, marketing, advertising and so forth, but this gives you a general idea of what to consider when pricing your membership for best results. It always starts with your goal, big or small group, and your audience. How many of them are there, and how many can you attract and keep happy?
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Someone once said that, “While money doesn’t buy happiness, it sure does make me giggle a lot.”
Obviously, this was said by someone who not only was given money, but also had time to spend it.
Because, the truth is, money alone doesn’t create joy; being able to have time to spend it and do things with those you love is what happiness and success truly is.
When people want to become entrepreneurs they don’t actually think about the work; they think about the freedom.
What Is Success?
This boils down to what success really is. Success is freedom. Success means that you can take the day off to spend with your kids on a field trip. Success means that if you want to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with your spouse on Sunday morning, you can. Success means that if you want to take that trip to Nepal, you can.
Yes, money does help you afford those things, but money is only the means by which you can purchase them and anyone can make money. But, not everyone who has money also has the time to actually enjoy it. Time is finite; money is not.
The Value of Time
Timothy Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week says, “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”
That’s why prioritizing the things you do things based on money will often backfire. Instead, base everything you do on what kind of time it will cost you.
What will it take you away from that you really would rather be doing? Some things, of course, have to be done that we don’t want to do. However, most of those things can be outsourced and worked around the most important things on your to-do list. Most things can simply wait.
People who are truly successful in life realize the truth of the limits of time and they do everything they can to make the most of the time they have. That’s why some of the most successful people you know are so productive.
Successful people often live by their calendars and schedules. That might seem unromantic but the truth is, scheduling in work and fun will make your life better by leaps and bounds.
In fact, get out your calendar right now and first schedule in all the things you want to do with your family and for yourself that are not related to work. Once you’ve done that, you can fit in work around those things. That’s the entire point of becoming an entrepreneur - to have freedom, but it’s important that you remember what constitutes freedom. Not money, but time. How much is your time worth?
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Going to B2B events is a great opportunity to generate leads for your business. There are many types of events, such as seminars, workshops, webinars, teleseminars, conferences, tradeshows and even executive briefings. For many of these types of events, you’ll need to take a portfolio with you so that you can impress the other attendees.
You can add these things to both a physical and an online portfolio. Put the URL of the portfolio on your business card, plus make a few copies of your portfolio to hand out to prospects who come to your event table.
Examples of Content
Any demonstration that you can write well is an important addition to your portfolio. Adding a few examples of your best work will help the attendees see what you can do.
If you’ve published a book, you should bring plenty of signed copies of the book to give away and to sell if allowed.
Show Unique Work Examples
Any project you’ve worked on that demonstrates outside of the box thinking, plus how you solved problems, is a good project to include in your portfolio.
Include Your Education
If you have relevant education, courses, or certifications, include a copy of the certificates in your portfolio. This shows a commitment to your work.
Define What You Do
Ensure that anything you put in your portfolio demonstrates exactly what you do for your target audience who will be at the B2B event. Leave out anything that is not directly relevant.
Prove What You Can Do
Find relevant samples that prove the best of what you can do for your audience. If you design websites, show the best websites, especially websites that are relevant to the audience at the B2B event.
If you’ve received any awards, put copies of those into your portfolio. This shows that your work has been recognized by others and makes people trust you more.
If there are good press mentions including published press releases that you can include, do so. These show that you not only know what you’re doing but other people think you do, too.
Include a Resume or CV
Many business owners balk at including a resume or a CV, but the fact is people want to know your history. This will help develop trust. At least point them to your LinkedIn profile.
If you have some great testimonials, include them in your portfolio because word of mouth is powerful. Even if the person doesn’t know the testimonial giver directly, it can make a huge difference if they can at least verify the person.
Including these things in your portfolio is a good start to helping you make any B2B event productive for you. The idea is to sell yourself to the right audience so before you start, choose who your sub-audience is from those who will attend the B2B event.
If you’re just starting out, or you are finding that you’re short on funds, you may need to find ways to market your business on a shoestring budget. Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s not effective, though. In fact, some of the most effective forms of marketing are the least expensive.
Use the Good Old Business Card
You can get inexpensive business cards online from websites like Vistaprint.com, Moo.com or make them on your own printer with your computer. Do not use the free versions of business cards, but if you find a coupon or get a discount code you can get cards inexpensively. Now, use them.
When you go to any event, be sure to leave your business card. When you have any reason to hand out your phone number to anyone, for any reason, even if it’s not totally related to business, give them your business card. You never know when someone will need the services you offer, or when your friends and family will meet up with someone who needs your services. Hand your cards out freely.
Build a Website with a Blog
It’s very important to watch your budget, but don’t be cheap. Using self-hosted WordPress makes having a website with a blog that looks professional really easy. You can get free themes off Wordpress.org, buy a domain for about 15 dollars, and host your website for as low as 5 dollars a month. Every penny of that cost is worth it.
If you’re technological deficient and can’t afford to hire someone, consider using a website builder that offers a blog function. You want the blog to be on your website and not separate from your website like a Blogger or Wordpress.com blog. However you choose to do this, the next step is to write regular informative, keyword-rich blog posts that you promote via social media.
Use Social Media to Promote Everything
Set up branded social media accounts for your business. But, you don’t have to be on all social media networks. Instead use the knowledge that you have about your audience to choose which social media networks that you should be present on. Make good profiles that represent your brand in a cohesive way.
When you write a blog post, send it to social media. When you take a picture of something, or have a question about something you’re creating, mention it on social media. Use social media to engage your audience in creative ways. You can use social media to get email list signups, promote events, and more – all free.
Find a Joint Venture Partner for a Project
A JV partnership is not a real business partnership. It’s a joining of forces or collaboration between complementary business owners who share an audience but are not in direct competition. Finding a project to work on like this can essentially help you both double your audience.
Make the JV partnership a time-limited project that has a definite beginning and ending to start. Determine all the rules and how money will be handled up front and put it all in a contract. Define each aspect of the work that each of you will be responsible for completing. Be clear and stick to the plan and you’ll both come out successful.
Write a Book
If you’re an expert on anything, you can write a book about the topic. You can publish it easily on Kindle, or promote it as a PDF document right from your website. You can sell it, or give it away for free. It’s up to you. But, a book can push you forward in the eyes of your audience as a true expert and become a calling card.
Get on the Speaking Circuit
Using your book as a foundation, put the word out that you’re ready to give talks locally and for the cost of a ticket, room and board, go to other speaking events. Sometimes, you can even get paid for speaking once you’re established and in demand. So, not only can speaking become a good marketing opportunity, but it can also become a new revenue stream.
When you really have no money, a great way to get the word out is to create a lot of buzz. You can do this in a number of ways. Create a viral video, write a controversial blog post, or have a contest with videos that get voted on by the video creator's friends, family and audience. It’s a great way to get people talking and to get free advertising. Offer a relevant and amazing prize package and it’ll also create buzz.
Build Relationships through Networking
Choose networking events wisely. You want to network with people who can become clients, or who can send you clients. Since your budget is limited, try to find online or local networking events that you can attend. There are many mastermind groups online that have a fee for joining, but are awesome ways to find clients once you spend the time building relationships and developing trust.
A really great way to increase your customer base is to convince your customers to refer you to others. Most of the time satisfied customers will tell others about you, but in some cases they may not because they want to keep you to themselves. This is especially true with service-based businesses. So, a great way to overcome this issue is to give your customers a reason to tell others about you such as a discount coupon, or additional freebies for each paying customer they send your way.
If you sell products, consider starting an affiliate program as a way to get more people to tell others about your products and make more sales without it costing you anything more than a percentage of sales.
Using these marketing ideas when you have little to no money will take mostly time, especially if you need to learn how to use the technology. However, putting to work even a couple of these ideas will push your business forward.