Why you should launch a membership with Tracy Harris
Memberships are a fantastic way to help your community in a bigger and deeper way.
In this episode I chat to Tracy from Mums with Hustle about whether a membership is right for your business and how to build an engaged and connected community.
In this Episode:
- 04.27: What is a membership? Is it right for your business?
- 08.41: Different membership types and structures
- 13.27: The secrets to membership success and how to keep members engaged
- 18.33: What NOT to do when launching a membership
- 22.17: How Tracy juggles motherhood and a business
Tracy Harris is the CEO of the Mums With Hustle online community and education platform for mums in business, creator of the online Instagram course, Hashtag Hustle, and Founder of the online marketing academy, The Social Method Society. She is fiercely dedicated to supporting big-hearted women wanting to design their life first and business second – by harnessing the superpower of Instagram as part of a complete digital strategy. One that aligns with who they are at their core and one that sees them creating their own version of success.
Have you ever wondered if you should launch a membership for your business? Well today’s guest is a Queen when it comes to memberships. Tracy Harris from Mums with Hustle shares her best advice about whether membership sis right for your business, how to start and how to keep members engaged and excited to stay.
I was so happy to record this episode, because as you guys know I recently launched a membership – Money & Marketing Makers, which is all about teaching my members how to market their business and make more sales, then how to manage their financials/money so that their hard earned dollars stay in the bank account. If you want to find out more, and join the amazing members to grow your business profit, make sure you click on the link in the shownotes for today’s episode.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
I’m super excited to have Tracy on the podcast. Tracy’s podcast was the first episode I appeared on way back when, and it’s such an honour to have her on my podcast. Welcome Tracy!
Can we learn a bit about you and your business, Mums with Hustle.
It’s lovely be to chatting to you, and a privileged to be on your podcast Clare.
Mums with Hustle is almost 4 years old and I cannot believe it. In that time I’ve been so blessed to have built an amazing community of women in business, and the majority of those women are mums. I love cultivating community and creating a space for ambition-wired, passionate women that believe in a world where they can be both a mum and a business owner. We are all about being a catalyst for change, and helping ladies start, grow and scale purposeful, heart-centred businesses. One of the things I’m most passionate about is online business and online marketing. You’ll see me teaching Instagram marketing, online business, memberships and courses and other digital products.
Fabulous! So many different things you are doing. You have been one of my biggest business inspirations. The reason I wanted to get you on what to talk about launching a membership. I feel like everyone is talking about memberships at the moment. People are asking me about it, whether they should start one, whether it’s right for them. You have your membership, The Social Method Society, which has how many members Tracy?
Approx. 900 people.
Great. So I’d love to pick your brain all about memberships from a real expert. First of all, what is a membership? And is creating a membership right for all businesses?
What is a membership? Is it right for your business?
The reason everyone is talking about online memberships, because it is something to consider. It’s an online recurring revenue stream of income. I’m truly passionate about it because I’ve had courses and services, but the thing I love about membership is the ability to impact more lives and be a catalyst for change, and I want more women to feel supported regardless of where they live, so an online business is a way to have that impact. It is also scalable. The other thing is the recurring revenue element because I don’t like living a life full of anxiety and stress, so I don’t want a business that adds to that, and a membership is one way I can scale my business and have security month after month. It’s something people subscribe to and it doesn’t have to be an information based membership either, we subscribe to things all the time. For example, our household bills are a type of subscription, Netflix, magazines.
It’s all about what could a subscription-based model look like in your existing business. That is a membership.
That’s what I love about it. For anyone who is creating online products and going through a launch cycle, it can be very stressful and up-and-down. If someone wants to work with you, then they need your support on a regular basis, not just on a short term service, and you can provide deeper value over a longer period of time with a membership. That’s in the service space, but there are product subscriptions as well right?
There sure are! Coming to mind straight away, a couple of my ladies in my inner circle mastermind, they have product based subscription models in their business. It’s not just about sharing information, you can do this with a product. Liv Morgan, from By Liv Online, is an earring designer and maker and she sends her members new awesome dangling earrings each month. There are literally so many different niches out there and with your business you can fulfil an ongoing need for those people.
As a business owner, you also have recurring revenue. I want to talk about the different ways you setup a membership. Do you have different launch cycles or do they join anytime? Do you take people on a journey? How do people structure a membership?
What type of membership model will suit you
First and foremost, I have to give a huge shoutout to the man that taught me everything. Anything I say on this podcast, it’s probably come from Stu McLaren. He has a course called Tribe, and that is where I learnt everything I know about memberships. Several of the women in my mastermind have done Tribe, and people in my community have done the course too. I’m an affiliate for Stu as well. Having been a graduate, I know what that course has done for my life and women in my community, so it’s easy to put my name behind it. So if you are interested in learning more about memberships, go to mumswithhustle.com/tribe and there you’ll be prompted to put your name and email, and you will get a free membership guide from Stu himself. This course is life changing and only open once per year and I will be leading people through that course this year.
There are so many different ways to launch and market your membership. Two of those ways are to a) OPEN all the time and setup as an evergreen type of experience and b) OPEN AND CLOSED launch model where you pick a few times in the year, and the goal is to launch less and less. If you only launch once a year, that is amazing. The benefit of the second option is that there is more urgency around that offer being available, so when it’s not available all the time, it makes people feel it’s now or never. The thing I like about not being open all the time is my favourite part is not launching, its being in and serving. It’s being in one new fresh cohort, look after them, give the best onboarding experience, and that is when you can have impact. If your focus is always on getting more members, your energy is split. I like to focus on getting my members to achieve their goals, rather than being on the front end trying to get new people in.
I know someone who has a membership that basically takes people on a journey, almost like a program you work through on a regular basis. What are your thoughts on that format?
People need to know where they are at when they come in and where they are going. That is the pathway. 100% people should get crystal clear on who they want their product/service to serve and get in touch with their ideal client and know what their desire is, because once you map that out, you can figure out how to get that person there.
What are your secrets to membership success? And how do you keep your audience engaged and subscribed?
The secrets to membership success
Part of having a membership or subscription is accept that people will leave. It’s a revolving door. People will come and go. It’s like when you jump on Instagram for the first time, you can get really sad when you see that follower number go up and the go down. Same with email marketing. It’s like a gym, people join gyms and stay for a while then leave or sometimes boomerang and come back later on. As soon as you get comfortable with this idea, that is the biggest mindset hurdle. You do need to focus on retention and that doesn’t always mean throwing more content at them, you need to try and satisfy those members by launching less, and put your energy into serving members and getting them a great experience and results. Build a community that people feel like they can’t live without it. Focus on the members you do have.
Someone said to me once that they did a post and 15 people unfollowed her, and I said, I wouldn’t know that, I don’t attach value to it. Sometimes I unsubscribe to email lists of people I love because at that point in time my inbox is overflowing or I’ve gone on a cull, and I usually end up back on there list. I imagine that’s the same for people on an email list. You never know what’s going on for people who have unsubscribed, they could just have too much on at that time, but are still telling other people about you!
In terms of keeping people engaged, how do you do that? You mentioned not to send more content to them.
Great question. You need to know people are consuming the content, then you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood of experiencing a win or shift or moving along that pathway. So try to increase consumption of what is already there. Also, community is really important. People may come for the shiny bells and whistles and the great content, but they stay for the community. Focus on what unites people and start and facilitate conversations and opportunities for people to meet in person. Give people a reason to stay. Stay in communication and let members know what is new and the wins that others are experiencing. Some people feel they email their members too much. Emailing people less is never the answer.
Amazing hacks there.
Since launching a membership, I’m sure you’ve had things that didn’t go to plan, what would you do differently from the start?
What NOT to do when launching a membership
I’m blessed because I launched before I was ready and I have over 300 women join. I launched within a few days of saying I’m going to open this thing. I didn’t let that hold me back. We sit on our ideas too often and wait to have all the ducks in a row and look for reasons why the time isn’t right, and when you do that, you will find all the reasons. Just press go and launch a successful membership. I’m a huge fan of launching before you have the content. Tell people that and invite people to come along for the end result. You learn from having a membership, you don’t learn from sitting on your hands. The sooner you get out of the starting block and into the game, that’s when you start learning.
Would have done it sooner might have been your tip! I did that, I launched within a week of having the idea, and never looked back. The only thing I thought was why didn’t I do this sooner. Learn along the way, at least you are out there.
Memberships are fun. Online courses can be more rigid. A membership, you can listen to your members and change things up, I find it more intimate.
Last question for today, you have been building your business with two young children, similar age to mine, mine are 2 and 4 years old. Watching you navigate this journey, could share some advice on how you juggle children and a business?
How Tracy juggles motherhood and a business
First of all, you are a freaking Rockstar if you are operating from a belief that you are worthy of having your own business already. You don’t need to delay it until they are older, there is nothing selfish about wanting to do it.
The biggest thing is our own expectations. If you are starting a business from home and have the little ones at your feet then 1) cut yourself some slack. 2) Embraced the pockets of time you do have, so that may be working at night or weekends when you have some support, maybe entertain the idea of getting family, friends or daycare to help out even one day a week. Ask what it is you need? Building a business doesn’t mean you have to be the main carer of your children all the time – for some that suits them being the full-time carer. Some truly want to, and there are some that thing they “should”, so do the inner work and unpack that. Any sentence that starts with “should”, is part of underlying subconscious limiting belief. There is nothing wrong with structing your work week for you and your family. 3) Don’t get caught up comparing. If you see someone going leaps and bounds in your business and here you are with a child that doesn’t have day naps, or you are a single mum, do go looking for why it’s not possible for you, look for reasons why it is possible, and opportunities and time will present. 4) Know what is the next best step. You can do amazing things in 20mins if you know what the next best task is, we flap about when we don’t know what to do with that next block of time. Or we do know what we should do and procrastination steps in, because we are scared of the growth. None of us need more time, your business is an open-ended task, you will never be up-to-date, there’s always an email, always a website to update, you could be putting more time into members. If you only did one thing a day, in a year from now you would be 365 steps ahead.
My favourite one there is look for examples of what is possible, I’ve definitely leaned into mums who run business, rather than comparing myself, I think yay that’s possible for me and I look for inspiration in people, not comparison.
It’s been great having you on the podcast! If people want to connect with Tracy, I’ll share her links in the shownotes for today.
Thank you for joining us Tracy!
Thanks, talk soon.
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.