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How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community
Featured in this Story of Awesome: Raw Spirituality
Launched April 2019
Raw Spirituality is a paid membership site offering guidance, support, and online courses for people who want to learn more about the concepts of spirituality, from healing one’s energy system to manifesting spiritual partnerships.
Alyssa’s Mighty Moment: “I certainly don’t have all of the answers, and the idea is that we’re moving through this process together, that’s what we’re all here for.”
Alyssa Malehorn wanted to find people on her same wavelength.
A spiritual teacher and psychic medium, Alyssa had started a podcast with partner Zack Fuentes called Raw Spirituality in the spring of 2017. It was a way to share insights on core concepts of spirituality, like “awakening”—your initiation on the spiritual path—and “ascension”—a process where one moves to a higher level of consciousness.
Soon, her listeners started reaching out via email to ask questions and discuss those concepts in more detail, which gave Alyssa an idea:
“I just felt like, these people all need to know each other.”
She wasn’t interested in being the ultimate authority on what it means to take a spiritual path. Instead, she wanted to be able to share her own experiences while encouraging others to do the same. And she knew that for someone exploring their relationship with spirituality, having a solid support system was crucial:
“When people are moving through the process of a spiritual awakening, many times they feel isolated or like the people in their lives don’t really understand what’s going on with them. We wanted a place where they could have a little online family, a community where they could build friendships, be accepted, and not feel judged.”
From people getting started with their own spiritual awakening, to more advanced seekers expanding their understanding of consciousness or healing their relationships, Alyssa knew she wanted to offer them education, guidance, and support:
“We help people understand what’s going on in the spiritual world. We’re going beyond the ordinary into the dynamics of the unseen world, demystifying the path to enlightenment, and sharing insights with each other about all things spiritual.”
The podcast that started it all... And then some
After hearing from some of her podcast listeners, Alyssa knew she
wanted to build a community where members could feel accepted and share their stories and experiences without judgment.
But she wasn’t sure where to start.
Without knowing any alternative, she turned to Facebook, where she created a group for Raw Spirituality Podcast listeners. But almost immediately, it didn’t feel right. Like all social media, Facebook offered too many distractions. It was also very time-intensive, and Alyssa was constantly running into problems:
“At first everybody in your group sees your posts. But then we got to a point where for some reason the algorithm wasn’t delivering our group activity to nearly anyone. It was frustrating.”
Besides, Alyssa, who can be sensitive to both online and real-world environments, says the energy felt off:
“It didn’t feel like a really safe place for people to go deep into a community, especially when we’re talking about our own spiritual paths.”
At the same time she started a Patreon, where people could contribute however much they wanted to support the Raw Spirituality Podcast.
But that didn’t feel right either:
“Patreon just kept reminding me of that starving artist archetype, like we were asking for them to support our work. But that wasn’t what we were doing at all. We were giving them the relationships and environment to get results with their own spiritual practices. They weren’t supporting us. We were supporting each other.”
Striking out with both a Facebook group and Patreon, Alyssa wanted to find a way to bring people together so that they could share their experiences, stories, and journeys together in a safe, supportive environment all their own.
That’s when she discovered the solution.
The journey to a new membership model
In addition to building a community, Alyssa wanted to offer resources for listeners of the Raw Spirituality Podcast. She had been offering a handful of online courses through her own website, but that proved to be a challenge. Without a thriving community, people didn’t stick with the programs.
Soon, a friend suggested she create a Mighty Network. Here, Alyssa could find a home for her growing community of listeners and offer her online courses in one place.
When she saw how easy it was to set up and get familiar with her new Mighty Network, Alyssa was ready to take the plunge.
Within a few weeks, she migrated her 650-member Facebook group to a new Mighty Network. She followed a proven playbook for moving her Facebook group that she learned about from Mighty Networks. She posted links to explain the move and set a deadline so that everyone would be joining her new Mighty Network simultaneously with a live event:
“I told everybody, ‘This Facebook group is going to be archived by this date.' I put a clear line in the sand and then made our new Mighty Network awesome.”
The surprising results of combining a course and commmunity
To make her new Mighty Network awesome, Alyssa moved her free online courses to the Mighty Network.
There were about 30 different video lessons in the “Awakening & Ascension Library,” covering topics like energy centers and the divine masculine and feminine. It also encompassed roughly 40 different free guided meditations.
Alyssa kept all of these resources free, organizing them under the no-cost Awakening and Ascension offering. And while she previously set up one-time payments and lifetime access for her paid online courses, with a Mighty Network, Alyssa was finally able to offer ongoing paid subscriptions to these courses:
“We moved to a subscription program because it really just makes a lot more sense. People can join the program. They can be involved. They can be part of the coaching calls and all that. Then, they can drop out for a while if they want to, and come back. We like giving them that flexibility.”
Here’s how Raw Spirituality’s subscriptions are structured today:
- Awakening & Ascension Library – Free
- The Awakening & Ascension Library gives members free access to video lessons, meditations, and mantras, including:
- A guided meditation and mudra (or gesture) library
- Video lessons about the awakening and ascension journeys
- Video lessons about soul mates and relationships
- Video lessons about frequency and meditation
- Video lessons about psychic senses and intuition
- Video lessons about spirit guides and angels
- Explore + Expand – $29.99/month or $329.99/yr. with a 7-day free trial
- The Explore + Expand Group is for those who are ready to merge their spiritual life with their everyday life. Benefits include:
- Early notifications about special offers and announcements
- More than 50 bonus Raw Spirituality podcasts
- An extensive meditation archive
- Access to live events, including broadcasts, meditations, Q&As, class recordings and more
- Special communications from Alyssa and Zack
- Monthly New Earth Broadcasts, where Alyssa shares what’s important and supportive for ascension
- Lightworker Academy – $249.99/month or $999.99/year with a 3-day free trial
- The Lightworker Academy is an intensive course designed to help healers strengthen their energy systems at their own pace with video lessons, guided meditations, group coaching calls and more. Benefits include:
- Exclusive content, only for Lightworker Academy students
- Six modules that provide students with tools to explore, encourage, and support the embodiment of their larger soul self
- 24 video lessons
- 33 guided meditations
- Bimonthly group coaching calls with Alyssa
- An archive of group coaching calls
- Daily support in a private group
- Manifesting Spiritual Partnership – $249.99/month or $999.99/year with a 3-day free trial
- This online course aims to help people who want to upgrade their relationship into a spiritual partnership with video, audio and written lessons, and group coaching calls. Benefits include:
- Access to exclusive content, only for Manifesting Spiritual Partnership students
- 37 video lessons
- 21 written lessons
- 42 audio lessons, including guided meditations and hypnosis
- Access to twice monthly group coaching calls with Alyssa and Zack
- Daily support in a private group
What distinguishes the free and paid programs is not just the freshness of what’s produced or direct access to Alyssa, but the people each program attracts. The paid programs tend to attract people motivated to meet each other and share their stories and experiences. It’s another (nearly unstated) benefit.
Additionally, Alyssa gives potential members a chance to explore the paid offerings before committing:
“People love the 7-day free trial, or the 3-day free trial [for] the courses. These have made a huge difference. We record and archive all of the coaching calls that happen in the online courses, and we record and archive all of the live events that happen in the Explore + Expand Group. This means our free trial prospects see not just the kinds of content we offer, but the other members they’ll meet and get to know. For the right people, they know pretty quickly they want to be a part of it.”
The people have been the biggest reward
With her Mighty Network, Alyssa has finally found the right home for Raw Spirituality for herself and her followers. It’s given her the opportunity to have her online courses and community in the same place, which means less work:
“Having my online courses and community in the same place has been a game-changer. I have one spot to check in on my Lightworkers, check on our Spiritual Partnership people, check on the group, check on everybody, and post little hellos to people. I can do this now in 15 or 20 minutes, whereas on Facebook and my website it used to take me hours. I don't have to jump around everywhere.”
It’s also given members a way to create their own connections. In fact, Alyssa notes that while some questions are directed to her, most of the conversations are just happening among members (as she wanted to be the case):
“What people post just blows my mind. They share what's going on in their lives, in their relationships, and more. If they're just starting to meditate, they post challenges that they're having with it, and they get a huge amount of compassionate support from other members.”
The number of those members is growing, too. Raw Spirituality now hosts just over 2,020 members, nearly triple the number of the members Alyssa started with.
It turns out that she was able to grow faster and add more people by moving off a Facebook group, even though many people told her initially that no one would follow her to a new platform.
They were wrong.
Today, she points everyone she meets to her Raw Spirituality Network, including visitors to her personal website, people visiting in-person at her meditation center in Austin, Texas, as well as her newsletter subscribers:
“Anyone who signs up for the newsletter, we automatically invite to our free tier in our Mighty Network. A lot of people join this way.”
Finding an even bigger purpose
Transitioning to the new normal has been surprisingly easy for Alyssa:
“It’s been amazing. Where I thought the main benefit of doing this would be to ease my technology headaches by being on a single platform (which it has), the benefits have been so much deeper than just the time savings.”
One of the biggest surprises moving away from social media has been the tone and connections happening in the Raw Spirituality Network:
“As opposed to what we experienced in our Facebook group, we don’t attract negative energy here the way it was rampant there. We don’t have trolls like we had on Facebook. People are safe to share and go deep.”
She also notes that the Raw Spirituality Mighty Network plays to her strengths, particularly as a person who operates her business from an intuitive perspective:
“I can see the marketing need for an email list, but that’s never been something that would actually motivate me. I realized what motivated me was my passion to create support systems for others– to be there for other people, and to help bring out other people’s gifts.”
Raw Spirituality is just getting started
With the Raw Spirituality paid programs and free community in place, what’s next for Alyssa? For now, as her programs essentially run themselves, she’s able to focus on writing a book to be released this summer, while also stepping in where she’s motivated to nurture students on their spiritual journeys:
“I don’t feel the need to be the ultimate authority on anything. That’s not why I’m here. We want to share our experience and then we want other people to share theirs. That’s what’s happening in Raw Spirituality and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
3 key takeaways from Raw Spirituality’s Story of Awesome
- Beware the naysayers. There will always be folks who tell you what you’re doing won’t work. Be confident in your approach, whether you’re starting a community from scratch or moving your established following in a Facebook Group.
- Meet members where they are. Give your members options for how to get involved and figure out what’s right for them as Alyssa does by offering a range of plans with different offerings, all with free trials to try them out.
- Co-create with your members. They’re awesome. Alyssa acknowledges that she doesn’t have all the answers, and you don’t have to either. Leaning on your members and incorporating their feedback can strengthen the overall community.