Updated: Aug 14
Theoretically, having a course or membership site sounds easy enough! Right?
Rather than selling your time, you sell your knowledge. And instead of working one-on-one, you can reach hundreds, even thousands of people.
But...if you’ve never created a course or a membership site before, it’s going to feel overwhelming. And stressful. And you’re definitely going to question whether or not you’re doing it right.
Today, we’re tackling 5 questions about course and membership creation that frequently come up.
Hopefully, by the time you finish reading these, you’re ready. Because there is no theoretical about it. Knowledge products are the absolute best way to break free from the hamster wheel and build the business you deserve.
Obviously, it’s going to be a learning process. But fortunately, this is the type of activity where you can learn as you grow.
So let’s dig into those questions.
How Much Content Do I Need to Start Selling?
One piece. One single piece.
It could be a webinar. Or a guide. Or even a checklist. It doesn’t matter. If you have one piece of content that provides valuable information and helps your prospect achieve something, let the selling begin.
One piece of advice though...make sure the content you created is actionable. You see, the difference between blog posts & articles (stuff you can get for free online) and your Knowledge Product is usability. By the time your student finishes your content, they should be able to write a killer subject line or meditate effectively for 30 minutes or transform a boring patio into a summer hangout.
Whatever you want your students to achieve, make sure your content gives them all the skills they need to do it. Otherwise the value won’t be enough to sustain your business.
At What Point Do I Need to Get a Knowledge Platform (like CustomerHub)?
If you start by selling your “one piece”, you probably have some time. If I was selling an ebook or webinar, I would probably deliver that content through a link in an email. And that’s undoubtedly what your buyers expect.
But be aware that delivery through email or an accessible link is super easy for your buyer to pass along to others. Legal or not, there’s a lot of “sharing” that takes place with Knowledge Products.
Knowledge Platforms come into play once you’re ready to protect your offering behind a gated area. And for some, that might mean - right now. With your one piece.
But more than likely you’ll have 4-5 pieces of content created before a Knowledge Platform becomes essential. Just bear in mind that the sooner you add your content to a membership site, the easier it will be to keep everything organized.
How Much Time Do I Need to Dedicate To My Offering?
Depends on the offering.
Courses are a lot easier to maintain. You only have to create the content once and then you’re done. However, to provide the best experience for your students, you should consider a pre-assessment, post-assessment, and some way to contact you (email, phone, open office hours) while they complete their course.
If you choose the added benefit of access to you, then the time required is based on how much interaction your students need.
Membership sites are a little more time-consuming. Especially if your customers are on a month-to-month payment plan. Because you’ll need to provide fresh content that keeps them engaged and willing to pay.
If you manage to build up a strong, interactive community, then the greatest benefit of your site will be in the built-in support. And you won’t have to produce as much content. But building up that community takes some time as well.
The initial time investment is obviously the most challenging. Once you have the content created, and a plan for maintaining new content or helping your students, it gets a lot easier.
What Format Should My Content Be In?
This one is specific to you and your community.
First, determine what’s easiest for you to produce. If you’re a great writer but horrible on camera, then you’ll likely have more written pieces. If you hate writing, podcasts might become your best friend. The easier it is for you to create, the faster you can get it on your site.
Second, determine who your students are. Do they want to read, listen, or watch? Different industries are going to produce different types of learners. Analytical people will likely benefit from written words. Visual people, well, they’re going to need to see you and/or a lot of pictures. And if you sell to a mainstream crowd, then a mix of everything is probably your best bet.
Third, fit the format to the content. If you’re teaching someone how to write great headlines, then it’s a no-brainer. Write more than you record. But make it fit.
Now, having said that, here are some tips to make your content more effective:
Make things aesthetically pleasing - it increases the perceived value of your offering
All content needs images - even readers need lots of white space and images to break up the chunks of content
If you’re creating recordings or videos, make sure the quality is solid
Even specific types of learners like to switch things up - try creating diverse content
If you’re creating videos, keep them short - you can include hours of content but break it into manageable chunks
The nice thing about content is that you can always try different formats. Keep the communication channels open with your students and they’ll help you create the content that works best for them.
How Much Should I Charge for My Course or Site?
Oh, man. That’s the question of the day, isn’t it? And the answer is going to depend 100% on factors that are unique to you.
I’ve seen memberships that were as cheap as $5 a month. I’ve also seen memberships that cost over $1,000 a month. So there is a wide, wide range.
What factors should you take into consideration:
What your content can help members achieve. If your content can create over $300 in monthly value for your members, then you can charge at least that much. The more in-demand your knowledge is, the more it’s worth.
What your competitors charge. We never shy away from charging more. If your course or membership site is solid, charge more for it. But if there are competitors in your space, you’ll get a quick idea what people are willing to pay for your knowledge.
How much content will be included. If you interact with your members on a regular basis and/or include a lot of content, you can charge more for it. Price your site or course around the amount of content you plan to produce.
How much you want to make. While that might sound crazy, why would you create a course or membership site unless it was worth your while? Determine how many students you’ll likely attract each month and then divide your desired revenue by the number of students.
Are there other factors to take into consideration? Sure. But again, the great thing about a course or membership site is the flexibility. You can always charge more. Or less. .
Every question you have about courses or membership sites can be answered...as you go.
Very few people regret selling their Knowledge Product before they were fully prepared. But there’s a lot of people who wonder why they waited so long.
There isn’t a perfect model. If you’re like most business owners, you’ll always be adjusting and tweaking. And that’s totally okay. You can still be making money. So get that content together and start selling ASAP!
When you’re ready to protect your content, sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of CustomerHub.