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A few weeks ago I mentioned that since I'm starting to focus on my Biology blog even more, I was going to be intentional about connecting with other bloggers in my niche or related niches.
Well, one of those bloggers is none other than Leah Fisch. When I saw what she was doing, I knew I had to connect with her.
Not only that, I knew I had to get her on the show because she has a very interesting Membership Site model that I thought would be interesting, not only for what I'm doing with the blog, but also for you to hear about and maybe even think about as a possible model for what you're doing.
Leah agreed, and here she is 🙂
Who is Leah Fisch
Leah Fisch took her passion for Organic Chemistry and turned it into her blog at Leah4Sci.com, where she provides lessons, offers tutoring, runs a membership site and does a whole lot to change the world, one organic chemistry student at a time.
Leah is also a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves, where she served a year in the middle east as part of the Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom back in 2010.
While in the reserves, she worked towards her dual degree in Chemistry and Biology. Leah has built her audience by providing value, and provides tutoring service and a membership site to her audience.
Notes from Podcast Episode
Goal: To be able to create a membership area behind your blog where you can provide valuable information that your audience want.
Starting a Membership Site
- You can work with multiple members (students, in this case) at the same time.
- Provide them access to much more in depth resources.
- The amount or fee they are charged is less than if you were to charge per person.
Ideas on How to Determine Your Topic
- Ask from your email list / clients. “Okay, we have our session tomorrow, which topic do you want help with?”
- Ask clients if they had access to a resource that helped them with tutoring or helped them minimize the hours that they need – “What is it that they would want?
- Send an “I need your help,” email to your list – I’m thinking of providing a membership, what is it that you as a student feel is a must-have resource?”
- Depending on the list’s response, craft your next question.
- Do a webinar – start a candid convo/chat to get ideas about what you can work with them on.
- NOTE: Get the idea from your audience not from your own. Remember, they won’t pay for something unless they know they want it. – “What are you struggling with? What do you need?”
Why it’s beneficial to create videos?
- You teach on a topic that your members need help with.
- You are able to build your membership only content and library.
Useful Tools for Creating and Managing Your Own Membership Site
- Wishlist Member. Handles memberships and Protects content. e.g. When someone purchases, it gives them access. They have a username and a password. They can log in and get access to the information.
- David Risley's workshop – Blog Marketing Academy
- OptimizePress – A WordPress theme that does a good job at making sales pages, squeeze pages, and also membership pages.
- Paypal – For payment processing.
- Aweber – An autoresponder. This is for sending emails to your members and letting them know when resource/s is/are available.
- GoToWebinar – For presenting during sessions. This allows you to send an email to your list with the link that they can register to be able to attend the webinar. Then, they can attend and that’s when they can raise their hand and ask questions in the Q&A session with screen sharing option.
- Tablet – Where you write and what you’ll use to teach. Where you’ll be writing or drawing on. Will be often used for most of the content that you’ll be creating.
- YouTube – She uses a video VA to help you with editing her videos such as cutting out redundant parts. Include timestamps in the transcripts to help your members quickly search for the topics that are being discussed in the videos.
- Facebook Group in membership site. This may be used to ask members questions. Help is available 24 hours (other members can chime in and answer for you when you’re not available). This provides direct access to you as the tutor to answer your members’ questions. This also gives direct access to be able to get their answers quickly.
- Visual Website Optimizer – a split-testing software
- Dropbox – used to share files with your VA.
- Virtual Staff Finder – where to find reliable VAs.
Recommendation: hold weekly live sessions using GoTo Webinar.
- Create the content with the members rather than programming it or creating it in advance.
Answers to questions may either be:
- Referring them to an old topic or video in your library or archives.
- If not covered yet:
- Find out if two or three people need help on the same topic.
- Schedule that as the topic for the week.
- Have them send in some questions in advance (You can do this in your Facebook group page).
- Create your video tutorial.
- Review the topic.
- Review the questions.
- Move on with the Q&A.
Launching the Membership site
Start with a few initial members.
- Offer to hold a “Promo webinar”
- This will be held like a regular webinar
- Choose and teach a topic most difficult for students at that point in the semester.
- At the end, mention that a membership site will be launched with the same type of learning style offered on that first webinar. Also inform them about the schedule of the webinars to come whether they will be on a weekly basis, twice a week, and so on.
- Don’t forget to record every session.
- You are able to show them what they would be getting if they become members.
- A call to action at the end of every video for them to come and download an eBook from your blog.
- Expose them to the idea of the membership site right after they signed up for the email list. Tell them about it now. Plant the idea for them.
- Interact with the members.
- Continue sending them valuable information to your list.
- If they say they need help with a topic, give them the link to the videos or resources available in your blog.
- Send study tips, just general valuable information that will help them.
- Mention the membership site casually whenever you can.
- About once a month, do a public webinar just to remind them, “Hey, this is what you would get as a member.”
- Allow them to experience what the membership site will be like. “Hey, by the way, I’m going to be doing this every week if you want to be a part of it, you can sign up for the membership.”
How She Manages Her Membership Site
- Hired a VA
- Dropbox : used to share files with your VA.
- Virtual Staff Finder : where to find the most reliable VAs.
- Hired a Coach
- Make a blueprint
- Determine your goals for 2014
- Think backwards. Think what to do to reach that goal.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get…”
— Leah Fisch, leah4sci.com
About The Podcast
Learning With Leslie is a podcast dedicated to helping you build a business around a blog. No, not one of those blogs that will fall by the wayside when Google has a mood swing, but one that will thrive no matter what gets thrown at it.
I share tips and strategies that I’ve learnt building blogs since 2008 and interview experts who are knowledgable about various aspects of blogging so that we can learn from their experiences.
If you’re a blogger, thinking about becoming a blogger (pun intended) or are not even sure if blogging is right for you, go ahead and tune in to see what this blogging thing is all about.
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