For a long time now, many successful course creators have relied on Facebook Groups as an end to a means for creating a community for their courses.
Takes Cristy “Code Red” Nickel, for example, she built a multimillion-dollar fitness and nutrition business by using WordPress, Click Funnels, Instagram, and Facebook Groups to run her business. At her peak on Facebook Groups, Nickel’s Code Red business had over 70,000 people spread across 20 different Facebook Groups (including one that housed over 30,000 members!)
Nickel realized, however, that the sheer amount of moving parts she was juggling with her small team was simply not sustainable or scalable in its current state. That’s when she sought out a way to migrate her communities off of Facebook and into a platform that provided her more flexibility and scalability for his business. Now she’s making over $15,000 a month thanks to building her own mobile apps to host her paid memberships community, Code Red.
We have five lessons from Code Red’s migration off Facebook that will help you create a membership business that’s an enormous success.
1. Own your space
One of the main reasons that Nickel sought out an alternative to her Facebook Groups was because she increasingly had a hard to interact with Facebook's moderation and censorship policies. She constantly was battling with the platform taking down her content, locking her out of her Facebook Group accounts for long periods of time, and the algorithm failing to show her members her content.
Not only was this tiring for her team and her community, but it was also losing her money in the process. Migrating her business over to Mighty Pro allowed her to take full control over her work in ways impossible on Facebook. Now, she’s able to fully control the moderation of her content and doesn’t have to worry about an algorithm hiding her content from her community. When her members log in to her fully-branded mobile apps the only content they see is pertaining to Code Red.
Why was this so effective? Because Nickel has her audience’s full attention when they log in to the app. This has also allowed her to create a more cohesive experience where she can post her podcasts, natively livestreaming, and even conduct her group coaching all in a space that she owns.
2. Less is more for small teams
Another key lesson to learn from Nickel’s migration off of Facebook is that it’s allowed her to more effectively delegate her resources. Code Red has always operated under a tight ship with Nickel working alongside a small team, so you can imagine how hard it was to manage a 70,000-member audience.
Transitioning to an all-in-one community platform like Mighty Pro opened up more possibilities for Nickel and her small team by reducing the amount of friction they had through juggling so many different platforms before their migration. Nickel told us about how this has helped scale her business and take the pressure off of her shoulders from being the main focus of the business, “I went from managing at least six platforms to getting everybody into one app, one network, one community, one place. People can get everything in a one-stop-shop.”
Now, instead of relying so heavily on her 1:1 coaching business which took a major hit after Nickel lost access to her Facebook account for a time, she and her team have been able to expand their business by offering more digital products to their members right inside the app.
3. You may lose some members in the migration–that’s okay
Something that we stress to many successful online course creators who consider moving to Mighty Pro is that losing a few members in your migration is ok. As I pointed out earlier, Nickel’s fleet of Facebook Groups collectively housed over 70,000 members all interacting with her various fitness and nutrition programs, as well as 1:1 Coaching. But when she moved to Mighty Pro, she lost a portion of her community in the transition. Before you high tail it and click away from this article, listen to this.
Nickel lost members, but it didn’t hurt her business, in fact, she was able to more consistently generate revenue. While her Mighty Pro network has over 13,000 members (which may seem like a gigantic loss) she still is raking in $15-30,000 a month through the various digital offerings, and paid membership subscriptions she offers.
Think about it this way, before, members of the Code Red community might have had to follow Nickel on Instagram to learn about her products, then go through a Click Funnels pages, then purchase them on a third-party payment platform, and then join a Facebook Group all before they could get what they paid for.
That’s a lot of steps, and in turn, a lot of people won't’ convert with that many hoops they need to hurdle. This is why for the longest time successful online creators have relied on continually increasing their audience size because, despite a large number of people in these groups, only a fraction are actually repeat buyers.
We’ve found that many of our most successful creators–folks who are making six figures of additional revenue through paid memberships–are able to achieve these lofty numbers while keeping their community size small.
4. People want to pay for a place they belong
This should be obvious, but building your paid membership business on a platform that people actually want to spend time on will benefit you in the end. I think we can all agree that Facebook has increasingly become a place that doesn’t feel great to frequent. There is a lot of negativity on the platform, it’s hard to see what your friends are posting, and the sheer amount of advertising they pump at you is nauseating.
Nickel told us that she’s seen a positive shift in tone from her members after migrating off of Facebook, “My members love the app, and they love not having algorithms affect their experience when they log in. It's our own private network where we get to be with our people, and it’s drawn us all so much closer together.”
5. Choosing the right platform for your business opens new possibilities
Finally, the lesson that encompasses all the things I’ve explored today with Cristy “Code Red” Nickel’s migration off of Facebook is that choosing the best platform for your business allows you to be more creative and try new things.
When Nickel’s was using Facebook Groups, so much of her time was spent making sure that everything was working, and that her members could actually interact with her content. Because of the limited functionality of the platform, especially with having the ability to charge for your services, NIckel and her team primarily relied on 1:1 coaching experiences, monthly challenges, and customer nutrition plans that were hosted on a variety of platforms.
Now that her business is hosted on Mighty Pro, she’s found that it opened up more possibilities for her to explore. She natively livestreams in the app which allows her to keep up with her growing community, she’s able to post her podcasts for members to listen to and comment on.
More importantly, she’s able to market her various digital products like recipe books, nutrition plans, and more right in the app and allow her members to actually use them without having to jump through a number of hoops. This wasn’t possible when she was using her old tech stack and it’s allowed her to let the business run itself a bit more so she can focus on developing new and interesting things for her members to purchase in the future.