Why You Should Close.
Do you ever feel like you're about to journey on a path that has such huge excitement and opportunity? Yet has your stomach in knots because it's also equal parts fear and complete uncertainty.
And the thing is, you know you need to go forward. But you hesitate. Waiting for a season when there is a bit more time or money. Or do a bit more research? Or make sure you understand all the technology or play out any possible scenario that could happen?
You know that day doesn't exist, right?
Sometimes you just have to walk into the darkness, and feel around for the light switch. You know it's gotta be there, but is it on this side of the door or that side? Or heck, is it across the room? Who flippin' put a light switch on the opposite side of the room? And how many steps is it gonna take to get there?
That's exactly how I felt when I heard this for the first time.
"Close Your Membership and Grow Your Business."
If you have a business (and even if you don't) you already know this. There are sales on certain products for a limited time to give people an incentive or urgency to buy now. And as I write that, it's so obvious.
(and if you're needing some urgency in your biz, scroll down to my 3 hacks)
Yet, I couldn't translate this into my online business.
You see, I have a membership site. Two of them actually. And the reason I started them was to have this additional stream of income that could grow. Every month. Every week. Heck, every flippin' day!
I was so excited to create this platform for my business. I hired and worked with coach(es) that helped me curate content, messaging and systems. I learned how to navigate software that my old self would of curled up in a ball crying trying to learn it. But after months of learning, I had launched a product.
And there was some great initial momentum. People signed up. Yay.
People stayed. A bigger yay.
And then it stalled.
What was the problem? I believe I had a great Free offer for my people to kick the tires of my memberships. But both of them were just sitting there... not growing.
Here's the deal. I loved my membership projects, but they were taking time. Lots of it. And if they weren't going to grow like I wanted... then really, was this even worth it?
So last December I thought I should tweak my marketing for TDH Virtual Dance on Demand. Rather then say it's a platform to "how to learn how to dance," it could also be marketed as "another great way to get exercise." I used that messaging and offered a great deal for membership if people signed on before December 31st.
Guest what happened?
A double in membership!
Cool. I was thrilled.
But that's where it stayed.
I was under the illusion that more people knew about TDH Virtual Dance on Demand and they would eventually sign up in January, February or March...because let's face it, it's WI and we had a winter from hell. People will totally need something to do during those long winter months. So I left the option open for people to sign up for a free trial and become a member of TDH Virtual anytime.
And guess what?
No new memberships from January - April. Even though I was marketing it consistently, I was being featured on podcasts and speaking about TDH Virtual Dance on Demand to whomever would listen.
What the heck?
And then, on an early morning in May during my morning #walkuniversity, I learned from the guru of membership platforms Stu McClaren. If you haven't heard of him, he's one of kind! Funny, full of energy, wicked smart and has a resume a mile long of all people that he's served over the years. And he said this,
"Close your membership to grow your membership."
What? That's so counter intuitive. I created my memberships so I could have more revenue every month.
But was my membership growing?
I really had nothing to loose. And honestly, it sounded lovely. I could market the hell out of it for a few weeks, then close the doors and really not talk about it until I wanted to open the doors again.
So that's what I did. But I had to act fast. Summer was on the horizon, and I had a little window of time before Memorial Day weekend and summer officially kicked off. I felt my opportunity to get new members would be better if I could do it before the summer months.
But here's the deal. Since I literally had two weeks to put this all together I had to be super creative with my time and money. I didn't have the thousands of dollars to put into ads and it was recital week for my studio. There was no extra time to create a webinar or anything new.
But I needed to try. I needed to prove this strategy right or wrong for myself. And whether you have an online business or a brick and mortar, I have three tips can help you too.
3 Hacks to Create a Successful Launch
1. Create a launch team. Find a group of people who love and support you and will promote everything you do and say. I gathered a group for a committed week of "work" explaining what my expectations were and if they were onboard for the challenge. There was an incentive for them if they participated fully.
2. You don't need high tech. I didn't do a webinar. I did four Facebook Live videos on my business page featuring each aspect of my online dance program. I did them at 4 different days and at different times of the day, hoping to capture as many people "live." They were short. 20 minute videos giving them a short story, a short tutorial, an insiders view of the membership and their bonus items if they bought that day and different bonuses if they bought by the end of the week.
3. My team most days usually consists of me, myself and I. But this time I had a Wing Woman who, without me asking, not only helped promote it above and beyond what I could do. Mindy saw areas where I was missing, and created graphics, more IG stories and even was online during the FB lives so she could help answer questions from potential people.
So during the course of a week, Sunday - Sunday we announced, launched and closed membership to TDH Virtual.
If you're tired reading that...I'm not gonna lie, it was a lot. It was way more exhausting then I thought it would be, especially during recital week.
But did it work?
I had some big goals. Did I hit them?
Did I grow?
I made more in that one week then in did in the past five months of my membership all together.
So. What could your business do in two weeks? In one week? You don't need to have six months. You don't need a huge budget. You don't need to have the latest software, or gadgets or bells and whistles.
Everything you need is already right in front of you. You maybe just can't see it. So take a leap of faith, get out of your own way and start walking.
And then close it.
And tell me all about it so I can cheer you on!