One of the greatest passive income secrets of the century is the online membership business. For a monthly fee, customers have access to exclusive content or membership-only areas they couldn’t get otherwise.
The benefits of an online membership business over a traditional business model are tremendous. With an online membership business:
- You don’t have to worry about physical inventory
- You can grow monthly recurring revenue
- You can build up customer loyalty over time versus one-of purchases
In fact, this business model has become so popular that 80% of software vendors are switching to it. If you don’t want to get left behind, never fear! Let’s take a look at how you can build your own online membership business.
What can I sell as a subscription?
In order to break free from your 9-5, you’ll need to figure out what to sell. Fortunately, online membership businesses have the benefit of low overhead. Usually they consist of online content, which is relatively easy and cheap to produce compared to traditional physical products.
Check out some examples below:
- Custom meal plans
- Weekly newsletters
- Membership exclusive forums
- Courses and tutorials
- Software licensing
With subscription products, the sky’s the limit! You can sell just about anything you can think of.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to take whatever you’re offering and jazz it up every once in awhile. Variety is the spice of life and will help grow your customer base.
How do I start selling subscriptions?
In order to start selling your subscriptions, you’ll need an eCommerce platform to sell from. An eCommerce platform allows you to rent the software you need to set up a shop for a monthly fee and is one of the easiest and quickest ways to start selling online.
But you don’t want just any old eCommerce platform. There are thousands out there and they all specialize in selling certain products. Some are meant for physical goods, some are meant for licensing software, and some are meant to send anonymous cat facts (no, really!).
For your online membership business, you’ll want a platform that offers subscription services. Some eCommerce platforms, like Sellfy.com, provide subscription plans specifically for digital products. Others might specialize in physical product based subscriptions. Either way, make sure the platform you choose allows you to bill your customers on a monthly basis.
Subscription services aren’t the only thing you should be looking for in an eCommerce platform, however. Some platforms offer neat additional features that can help take your business to the next level, such as:
- Security Features: The security of your membership business should be a priority. Hosting with an eCommerce platform that uses the latest SSL encryption technology can help keep your products and your customers information safe.
- Marketing and Analytics: Having access to features like email marketing and user analytics can help you identify performance trends and maximize revenue.
- Product Protection: Features like PDF file stamping and limited downloads keep your products secure and prevent digital piracy.
Growth is Key
Now that you have a subscription you can sell and a place to sell it from, your next step to breaking free from your 9-5 is growth. One subscriber isn’t going to replace your 9-5, but one hundred might.
Some quick ways to grow your membership business:
- Engage your customers: Membership businesses are all about community. Use surveys, forums, and giveaways to engage your customers. If they like what you offer, they’ll become your biggest supporters and spread the word.
- Use a referral system: Speaking of spreading the word, setting up a referral system is a great way to incentivize your existing customers to bring in new members.
- Develop interesting content: Interesting content will set you apart from other subscriptions. What can your customers get from you that they can’t get from anyone else?
- Subscription business models are becoming increasingly popular
- The sky’s the limit when selling subscriptions—the more unique, the better
- Make sure your eCommerce platform supports subscription selling
- Additional eCommerce features can help boost sales and retain customers
- Growth is the goal. Make sure your customers are happy and in return they’ll spread the word about you
Image credit: Online membership business via Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock