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Community

Membership Community Secrets - Turn Your Passion Into a 6-Figure Business!

We’ll teach you how to go from wherever you are to a 6-figure membership community business.

By Mighty Team

May 31, 2024

10 min read

IN THIS ARTICLE

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    We've watched membership communities come and go over the past decade. We've seen the ones that grew from nothing to be six, seven, and even eight-figure businesses. There are so many inspiring examples of membership communities, but here are some of the coolest wins we’ve seen recently:



    • The entrepreneurship organization that made $30,000 in 2 ½ weeks with 5,000 members.

    • A health-focused membership that just added 100 high-ticket members (and $40,000 in ARR).

    • A speaker and author who added $30,000 in revenue to their membership community after a 4-week promo.


    And while we love to celebrate these wins, there are tons of other incredible membership community stories–from communities big and small.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Courses and live streaming - Galaxy DAO


    In this post, we’ll introduce you to the magic of a membership community. We’ll teach you how to build a paid membership community–giving you a roadmap to go from wherever you are to a six-figure business.


    There are no guarantees, but these are the tried and proven methods we've seen work again and again.


    This is our guide to a 6+-figure membership community.



    ((toc))


    1. Get a razor-sharp niche


    It's almost a cliche at this point, but we’ll say it again. The riches are in the niches.


    Communities that are too broad struggle.


    For a first-time host, it's tempting to cast a wide net. Don't you want as many people as possible in your community?


    No!


    The problem is, when you have a community full of people with unrelated interests, you can't possibly engage them all. And it's unlikely they will engage each other either.


    Your community falls flat.


    The niche is what makes it thrive. Membership communities can be built on everything from German polka dancing to anime. From public speaking for finance professionals to email newsletters for nonprofts.


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    The niche is your superpower. And when you are building a membership community online, you can reach around the world to find the people in your niche.


    Star with a broad idea for a membership community and then niche down more than you think you need to.


    Try Our Community Name Generator

    Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.

    Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.

    The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.


    2. Have a Big Purpose


    When we teach Community Design™ on Mighty, we always start by having you develop a Big Purpose.


    A Big Purpose is the reason your membership community exists.


    A traditional business has a mission statement. And membership communities that thrive have a Big Purpose.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - your-big-purpose


    We are so passionate about communities developing a Big Purpose, we built it into our community engine. Each new community is prompted to select a Big Purpose.


    Try it!


    Start Your Free Trial


    3. Have an Ideal Member


    This is related to your niche, but start with one Ideal Member. That should be one person you serve, with one narrowly-defined problem or goal.


    Want to know one of the best exercises you can do to find your Ideal Member? Interview them!


    Once you have a good idea of your niche, make a point to interview some ideal members. Even if it's a bit intimidating, you'll be glad you did it.


    Ask them questions like:



    • What are you struggling with?

    • What kind of support are you looking for?

    • What would you be willing to pay to get the results you need?


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    Doing these interviews will bring you one step closer to creating a thriving membership community. Because it gets the idea out of your head and into conversation.


    But make sure you listen closely to your Ideal Members.



    • If everybody expresses interest but nobody is willing to pay for it, you might need to pivot.

    • If the problem you identified is different from the one your ideal members are talking about, you might need to pivot.


    It's market research, so make sure you take it seriously.


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    4. Start small


    There are membership communities that launch to thousands of members. We hear the stories of $50,000-a-month membership communities. We even told you a few at the top of this article.


    And don't get us wrong, we hope you'll get there!


    But even if you are just starting out, there is beauty in keeping it small at first.


    Smaller communities have an easier time connecting. You can get to know everybody, which is virtually impossible in a community of thousands of people.


    And once you have gotten really good at meeting the needs of those 10 or 20 people in your initial community, you can start scaling to reach thousands.


    But remember, you don't necessarily need thousands of people to have a thriving community. Our average community on Mighty charges $48 a month. You could have a six-figure membership community with 174 members. And that's not including the things most of our communities offer as upsells: events, private coaching, masterminds, and courses. It's possible to get to six figures with 30 or 40 members if you do it right.


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    5. Sell something


    If it's your first time building a membership site, sell something.


    Just hold your breath and rip off the Band-Aid. You can create a landing page and invite your first members. Maybe it's a live course or an opening event. Sticking up an offer, even pre-selling it, can help to validate your membership community idea.


    6. Consider screening


    The health of your membership community depends on the quality of people in it. And screening is a way to make sure you only get quality people.


    It sounds counterintuitive. Are you going to turn people away? Make it harder for people to join your community? Add more friction?


    But in some cases, these “negatives” are offset by one very strong positive: the people who are in your community actually want to be there.


    While it's hard to say no to potential members, screening can boost the value of your community for those who do come in. And that's worth its weight in gold.


    Screening could include:



    • Setting up an automated questionnaire on your checkout process.

    • Making a list of requirements for people to join.

    • Hosting live one-on-one or group interviews with potential members.


    It might even mean saying no to people who aren’t the right fit. But–once you have a thriving community–you’ll be glad you did.


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    7. Understand the numbers


    In order to go all-in on a membership community, you need to understand some important numbers.


    There is no thriving community that has 100% engagement all the time.


    None. Zilch.


    Every community has what we call super members, or “supers”. These will be the 5 to 10% of members who are super engaged and bring 100% to everything you do.


    50% of the members may pop in and out on occasion. And there may be members you never see it all who pay the membership fee.


    These numbers are pretty normal. Don't let it discourage you. And don't take it personally!


    If people have signed up for your membership community, they can see the value in it. Especially if they are paying a membership fee every month.


    Your community might represent a dream they have, even if they can’t commit 100% to it right now. Your community might be the encouragement they need to take small steps each month.


    In short, don't sell yourself short. Just show up and do the work and don't sweat it too much.


    Remember that communities for busy people may have even lower engagement. A community of CEOs might scratch a very important itch, but it doesn't make these people less busy. Trust that they will show up and engage when they are able.


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    8. Understand the value of the membership fee


    It’s easy to think of a membership fee from your perspective. It’s your cash flow after all.


    But you need to consider what a membership fee does for your members too. In this case, a membership fee helps people commit. Paying members are more engaged. Because people who pay, pay attention.


    Our numbers also show that paying a membership fee doesn’t decrease members’ willingness to pay for upsells either. 75% of free Mighty Networks are making upsells to paid products. But 90% of paywalled networks make upsells!


    This suggests that not only do members pay, but paying members are willing to pay for additional value. Take this into account when you are pricing your membership site.


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    9. Skip the free trial


    People who sell stuff online often offer a free trial. But it’s not always necessary. Only 27% of our top 250 revenue-generating Mighty Networks offer a Free Trial.


    Free trials have their place. But they also change the dynamic of a community. When you have members dropping in and out, engaging but not staying, it can damage your cohesiveness.


    In many cases, it’s better to do the work up front to make sure your Ideal Member is right; do the screening, and make sure that people step in the door ready to give 100%.


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    10. Create more offers


    For most successful membership communities, the untapped source of new revenue is those who are already in the door.


    While it’s common to think, “I’m already charging them, I can’t charge for something else,” we find that engaged members often want something more. This might be an engaged mastermind group, 1:1 coaching, or an incredible virtual or even live event.


    We’re not saying to charge more just for the sake of charging more.


    But DO look at your existing members and make sure you’re giving them all the value you possibly can–even if it means a new offer!


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    11. Make sure members connect


    We study successful communities. And there’s one thing they have in common.


    Successful communities are full of members who have made a friend (that’s not the Host). People come into communities for content, courses, and events, but they stay in communities because of the relationships they build.


    This means that one of the most important things for any Host to do is to create opportunities for your members to meet each other and make friends. It might be asynchronously: in a discussion prompt or post. Or it might be synchronously: in office hours, a live event, or even through structured breakout groups or networking sessions.


    Get out of the way and let them connect.


    Your community will be stronger for it.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - SplashScreens


    12. Enlist your “supers” to help


    Your super members are a powerful resource. And most Hosts don’t use them to their full potential. Your most engaged members are looking for ways to connect more. And you can get them involved in ways above and beyond normal membership:



    Not every super will agree, but we find supers are often just waiting to be asked to do more. Don’t be afraid to enlist their help.


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    13. Choose the right platform


    Finally, the biggest boost to your membership community might come from the community platform you choose to build on. When you choose a platform that lets you combine any sort of content, courses, community, and live events together with a powerhouse digital business engine–you’ve got the recipe for an amazing community business.


    When we built our community platform, we took into account everything you could need for a thriving membership community.


    This means:



    • The ability to create any kind of content you want, including posts, long-form content, discussions, polls, and livestreaming.

    • Sell memberships, live or pre-recorded courses, virtual events, masterminds, group coaching, or bundle any of these–all in your home currency.

    • Unleash connection tools like no others: discussion starters, chat & messaging, AI profiles and text improvements, rich member directories and profiles, and conversations built in at every turn.

    • Build your own brand identity, colors, customized Spaces, or even upgrade to a branded app.

    • Create your own sales engine with auto-landing pages, customized screening questionnaires, and welcome features.


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    Conclusion





    Are you ready to start? Come build your membership community on Mighty! It’s G2’s top-rated community platform, with everything you need to go from 0 to 6-figures. Try it free for 14 days–no credit card required.

    Ready to start building your community?

    Start Your Own Mighty Network Today!No credit card required.

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