Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Doing it Online:
- Which offer type should you choose to create – course vs membership vs mastermind?
- The pros and cons of creating these popular offer types
- My top tips for creating an amazing offer
- Unlock our eCourse MBA Workshop for FREE (usually $97)
When you’re thinking about creating your first digital product, one of the first things to do is decide what is the best (aka most fun, easiest to run and most profitable) type of offer to create.
Now I know as well as anyone…there are soooooo many damn options out there to choose from – how do you choose which one is right?
So I will caveat this by saying – I personally believe every business needs to be created deliberately and strategically to suit to the goals and dreams of the business owner – I know this because I didn’t do this…and here I am at business #3.
It took me getting it very, very wrong and learning each time before I reached my dream business with the perfect mix of happiness / freedom / profitability.
So I want you to think about this first – what is it that you actually want from your business?
Imagine yourself waking up in the morning and feeling excited about the day ahead…what does that look like and what are you doing? Get specific. You need to be clear on this BEFORE you start creating anything else.
And now that you’ve done that…
For it to be the best…it has to be the best for YOU, for YOUR situation, YOUR unique talents, YOUR dreams and goals…got it?!
Having said that…I’m going to break down the pros and cons of three popular offer types – the course, the membership and the mastermind.
Offer Type 1: The Good Old-Fashioned Course
I think a course is a good starting point for most people – to test things out on. Firstly you need to have “walked the walk” before you build your course so that you’ve mastered the craft enough to feel comfortable teaching it to other people.
Start by thinking about 1 ideal client and 1 pain point they have and then you map out how to get them from where they are now to where they want to go.
This looks like breaking that journey down into step-by-step modules (usually released daily, weekly or monthly).
Why do I recommend you start with a course?
- Easier to sell – It’s easy to communicate the benefits when you’re clear on the ideal client and the ideal outcome (who this is for / who this is not for / what they’re going to get)
- Easier to run – Courses have a clear structure which means you can plan out your year based around your course launches and outline.
- Profitable price – the sweet spot for a course is $500 – $1000 and this is a doable investment for those signing up too
- Allows a margin for marketing for paid ads which will help you scale (when you reach that point
Top tips for running an online course:
- Have a strategy of regular launches with an evergreen funnel in the background. The goal is that the evergreen funnel should cover off your bread and butter expenses (cost of running your business, the cost of paying yourself and a 20-30% buffer) and the launches are then the icing on your cake.
- Have a simple upsell or downsell option. Having this can add an additional 20-30% to a launch, so it’s super powerful!
- Make sure you don’t get so wrapped up in the marketing tactics and what’s next (aka shiny objects) that you don’t spend the time making sure the course is actually amazing and that the people in the program are getting fantastic results. Be sure to collect and listen to the feedback so then you can update it so it’s the best it possibly can be and delivered in a simple and actionable way.
Offer Type 2: Membership
A membership differs from a course in that people pay a recurring monthly subscription, that gives them access to something, usually new content, Facebook group, group support.
I know many people who run fantastic memberships and they love it (and they’re super profitable)…but the membership model is one of my least favourites…
I’ve run 3 of them – so I’m speaking from personal experience here!
People create their membership thinking it will be easy (easier to sell, easier to deliver) but unfortunately that’s a short-sighted view and in fact, I feel the exact opposite about memberships.
Yes it’s easy to get started with a membership and to sell the first month…but you can become a slave to creating content for your membership…so what started out as an awesome idea…soon becomes the thing you dread doing #nothankyou
Stop and ask yourself – do you think you’ll enjoy creating content month after month for your membership….in 6 / 12 /18 months time? Or will you be pulling the safety parachute to get you the heck out of there?!
It also isn’t easier to sell a membership just because it’s cheaper either. It requires just as much effort as the other types of offers. The more expensive offer often converts better because it has the clear container of what exactly the buyer can expect from it and what they’re going to get out of it.
With memberships it can be difficult to articulate exactly what the benefit of the membership is…other than access to a tonne of stuff…and in the time of information overload…this isn’t particularly desirable to many people anyway.
Now I’m not saying you’re destined to fail if you create a membership…just be clear on what are the benefits for the people signing up to your membership.
Top tips for creating an amazing membership:
- People will sign up for the promise of solving a problem they have…but will stay for the community that you create. Create amazing content AND cultivate an engaged community.
- Focus on selling your annual / lifetime plan: If people pay month-to-month…they might jump in once and then get distracted – but paying for a whole year encourages that commitment from them. Include some additional bonuses for these people to really incentivise those plans.
- To save yourself the hassle of becoming a slave to creating content…sit down at the start and think about the end result you want your members to have and create a roadmap to get them there (in the easiest way possible for you!)
Offer Type 3: Mastermind (The Higher Touch Hybrid)
This is your higher priced program ($500 – $2000 a month) with smaller intimate groups and less structure to the training.
Masterminds are suitable if you’ve already done the 1:1 work (think coaches) but want to be able to leverage your expertise and scale to help more people (the 1 to many model), but in a way that still feels high touch.
With the right model and person running them, masterminds can be transformational. I like the high-touch hybrid masterminds, which are a blend of curriculum and more support than your average course.
High-touch hybrids are for us introverts…everything is virtual with a lot of support available. They can include a built in curriculum with group hot seat coaching and a Facebook group (like my eCourse Empire).
Top tips for creating an magic mastermind:
- Have the step-by-step curriculum as the backbone for your mastermind.
- Give access to a HQ of trainings they can access at any time (and don’t have to wait until the next call)
- Have a plan for what’s next. This looks like an evergreen element to your mastermind (building a waitlist) so you’re not starting from scratch every time your round of the mastermind ends.
So what will it be…course, membership or a mastermind?