How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business
Featured in this Story of Awesome: Extraordinary Success 48 Days
Launched February 2019
48 Days Eagles is a paid membership site for career entrepreneurs ready to level up.
Dan’s Mighty Moment: “If people want to get my attention, then they need to engage at a higher level. That’s what our Mighty Network allows us to do.”
When you’re the best-selling author of 48 Days to the Work You Love with a wildly successful podcast and weekly email newsletter that reaches tens of thousands of people, what in the heck would inspire you to spend the past year investing your time and energy in over 600 people on a brand new platform?
For Dan Miller, it was the power of a connected network of entrepreneurs that gets more valuable to everyone with each new member who joins:
“I've always looked for ways to connect people. I don’t want them looking to me for answers, but instead lifting each other up on the way to achieving their goals.
These deeper connections have been my priority this year–to build relationships between the most motivated people in our 48 Days Eagles community. And to do it, I wanted a place where we didn't have a lot of distractions and intrusions, where people felt it was just ours.
While Dan knew he wanted to focus on the most engaged entrepreneurs in his community, he still had to figure out how he would structure this new chapter in his business for maximum impact and ensure it was worth his time.
First, he had to find the platform
Dan’s first step in bringing together his most motivated entrepreneurs to connect with each other was choosing a software platform that enabled him to:
- Build his own culture and norms around the kinds of connections he wanted to create, outside the noise and distractions of Facebook groups
- Offer opportunities for people to take on more leadership roles, learn faster, and achieve results quickly
- Create and organize different paid membership tiers in one place (without having to push people from platform to platform)
- Connect the people in these different membership groups and programs to each other naturally and easily
A member of his own mastermind group suggested that he check out Mighty Networks, where he had just launched his own paid membership site with much success.
As an early fan of Ning, Dan recognized Mighty Networks CEO & Founder Gina Bianchini as being behind both platforms and eagerly dove in.
Next came the structure: Choosing quality over quantity
Dan’s 48 Days Eagles members include writers, coaches, speakers, brick-and-mortar business owners, service business owners, musicians, artists, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, and more.
After building his audience for years, the clarity of his vision for the 48 Days Eagles community was razor-sharp. He focused on quality over quantity:
“If people want to get my attention, then they need to engage at a higher level. That's what our Mighty Network allows us to do. If you're really serious about this, changing your life, transformation, moving ahead, accomplishing things you've never done before, this is where it's going to happen.”
Dan structured 48 Days Eagles with the following levels:
48 Days Eagles Community – Base Membership $48/month
Dan’s base membership of $48/month includes Topics like Speaking, Coaching, Podcasting, Entrepreneurial Business, Monday Mentor Trainings, Creative Opportunities, Getting Started, Resources, as well as monthly themes that go deep into the full set of skills and strategies the modern entrepreneur needs to be successful.
“It's not just like we show up wondering what we're going to talk about this week. We're about helping people take an idea and turn it into reality. We're about helping people with progress. So, I don't artificially try to create activity. It's like the old salesman's malady. They confuse activity with accomplishment. We want to be moving people toward accomplishment.”
In addition to these Topics and monthly themes, members can pinpoint their exact spot on their entrepreneurial journey and have a clear path for how to progress:
“We have inventories that people take immediately upon joining that identify them such as Incubating, an Eaglet, or Soaring. Members don't come here to just get warm fuzzies and hang out. So we identify and celebrate points of progress and wins. Somebody just released a book, somebody just got a speaking opportunity, somebody just launched a seminar, all those things we celebrate as a community.”
Then, Dan uses a Weekly Calendar to build a habit among his members with:
- Monday Mentor Calls–one hour at 2pm CT with a member or an outside guest (recordings are archived in the community)
- Tuesday Office Hours–in the live chat or Zoom
48 Days Eaglepreneurs Mastermind Group – $500/month limited to 30 members
This is an invite-only mastermind group for Dan’s inner circle, most of whom he has known for two years or more. By keeping it small and priced at a premium, he can ensure that members achieve the results and transformation they’re yearning for.
Coaching Mastery Insiders Group – $4,800 one-time payment for six-month program
Being able to offer programs–or online courses–alongside the 48 Days Eagles Community makes it easy to convert members to these programs and streamlines the management for Dan and his team.
Ready for commitment: People who pay, pay attention
With regard to his membership site, Dan makes a clear distinction between the value of free and paid:
“People can listen to my podcast, get my newsletter, all day long at no cost. But we have a real clear connection in our culture between cost and perceived value. If it doesn't cost anything, it's probably not worth a whole lot.
There has to be some kind of a commitment if you're going to have a vibrant community. People who pay, pay attention. If people pay, they implement what you say, they take action and change their lives. We're helping people develop business ideas. We're clear on the value that's going to be delivered, and it's going to turn into profitable businesses in our case, so there's even that quantifiable factor there.”
Indeed the numbers reflect this. Among 48 Days Eagles members, 75% are full-time entrepreneurs already, and the rest are moving in that direction.
As for the value they’re getting? More than 90% of members who have ever joined are still members today.
How do Dan and his team deliver this value in his membership site daily? While he continues to experiment, there are a few core principles Dan brings to his community today.
Watching the community run with it: The right mindset, right idea, right network
Dan’s passionate belief is that surrounding yourself with the right supportive, motivating people can make all the difference in your career as an entrepreneur:
“We tell people, ‘If you have an idea and you want to be successful, you’ve got to have three things: the right mindset, the right idea, and the right network.’ We provide people with a network of people who are going to cheer you on.
A lot of people who take this off-the-beaten-path journey as entrepreneurs aren't going to get a lot of encouragement from the people closest to them. Here people will say, ‘You can do this. I'm with you.’”
In keeping with this philosophy, Dan gives members opportunities to step up as leaders in the community:
“While we offer structure, resources, and monthly themes, I also want the members of this community to be driving it. I want our people to be in positions of leadership and serve as the voice and the face of the community. I've appointed a Dean of Coaching, another the Dean of Speaking. We're here to see that everybody succeeds. This is not just the Dan Miller show. This is to help people get in front of people they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
But lest you think Dan’s community is just about members promoting themselves, he’s clear that’s not how things work:
“There’s an old Dale Carnegie principle, ‘You earn the right.’ You have to earn the right to be heard by the community. If you prove yourself to be valuable, you'll start building influence. I have people say, ‘I want to be on you with a Monday Mentor call. I want to be a guest on your podcast.’ I respond, ‘Get involved in the community. We're going to watch you for six months, see what you do, how you engage, what kind of advice you offer. And, if it impresses us, we're going to give you more and more opportunities.’”
Not surprisingly, members of 48 Days Eagles drive much of the engagement inside the community–asking questions and sharing detailed responses that include ideas, resources, and encouragement based on their own experiences.
Members cheering each other on (with a few surprises from Dan)
Celebrating and showing members appreciation is core to the culture of 48 Days Eagles.
When a new member joins, not only do other members welcome the new folks as they introduce themselves, but Dan himself has a surprise in store. He sends each person a physical package with an autographed, hardcover copy of 48 Days to the Work You Love, and Rudder of the Day, a daily devotional, along with a handwritten note from him.
The package is unannounced (unless a future member is reading this now!) and sets the tone of surprise, delight, and service that permeates the culture of 48 Days Eagles:
“We want to surprise people throughout the course of their membership. The package is unexpected, and really wows people. We just want to reward people for doing things that really matter. We do a lot of pouring back into our members.”
Dan and team also host meetups around the country, often around conferences. Last March, at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, they invited other members who were in town to join them for lunch, and 48 people showed up. And it’s not just Dan driving these gatherings either:
“We see people get together spontaneously. They say, ‘I'm in Jacksonville, anybody want to meet up?’ We'll have four or five people get together. So, they do a lot of that initiating themselves.”
Always experimenting and leveling up
Dan isn’t shy about sharing his goal to grow 48 Days Eagles to 2,500 members. He highlights questions and wins from the community in his podcast and newsletter. By continuing to generously share his knowledge for free, while showcasing the amazing growth happening inside his community, he’s confident they’ll achieve their goal and bring in the right 2,500 people:
“We don't just say, ‘Hey, join this membership at $48 a month.’ Instead we say, ‘Here's a free resource for you. Let us know if this helps.’ Then with the newsletter and podcast, It's just this subtle encouragement, invitation, to step your game up and join us in the community.
We don't push too much because we recognize this is a special group. We focus on creating a community culture that makes people say, ‘This is something I want to be part of.’”
3 key takeaways from 48 Day's Story of Awesome
- Make a clear distinction between free and paid. “People who pay, pay attention. If people pay, they implement what you say, they take action and change their lives.”
- Use your community to elevate your members. “I want our people to be in positions of leadership and serve as the voice and the face of the community.”
- Give members a structured path to success. “Members don’t come here to just get warm fuzzies and hang out. So we identify and celebrate points of progress and wins.”