What is a Membership (or Members Portal)?
In the world of online business, there seems to be an infinite amount of business models and terms for what your online offers could be.
Let’s talk about two of the most popular info-product models to emerge in the last decade from online business owners.
The Membership Model and The Online Course Model.
These are similar in that they both offer the knowledge and expertise of the creator to their audience, for a fee.
What is the difference between hosting a Membership Program and an Online Course?
The answer is simple on its surface, money.
In the realm of memberships and online courses, a membership is a content delivery method (webinars, weekly lessons, forums…) that you pay for monthly for and loose access after you cancel your payments.
An online course is a chunk of knowledge that you pay for upfront (or in a payment plan) where the payments end and you still get access to all of the material from anywhere from a full year to indefinitely. These are usually in the form of traditional video lessons, PDF downloads, and a sequential timeline of instructions that lead you to a specific result.
These models correlate to other places in our lives where we use memberships, like Netflix or a gym membership. Those are recurring fees where your contend delivery/service only lasts as long as you’re paying for it. Whereas, online courses don’t necessarily correlate payment with length of service.
What should you do?
In simplest terms, if you have a community where you’re offering hands-on support with continuing education, and new material constantly being introduced and updated, you should package it as a monthly membership.
If you are teaching a number of lessons meant for people to achieve a specific result after your lessons are completed, you should package it as an online course.
Are you offering step-by-step guided lessons with a ton of hands on support in an ever-evolving industry? You can also consider a hybrid model which charges a flat rate for the online course portion, and an ongoing membership fee to be part of the community.
There is no right or wrong way to sell your info-products, just be sure that the model serves the content, and not the other way around.
First priority should be how to best serve your audience this information by making it as accessible and digestible as possible, not shoehorning content into a specific model.
Happy content creation!
Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.