A Membership Community Changed Our Entire Business
From 2005 to 2017 we ran live events at our beloved 48 Days Sanctuary (a converted barn on our Franklin, TN property). We would cap those events at 48 attendees who would cram in that barn to share two amazing days together, learning about writing, coaching, and bringing creative ideas to life.
But then I wondered, would it be possible to create a similar experience where the people would not have to buy airline tickets and book hotel rooms? Could we possibly have an online community where people could share ideas and resources – not just for two days but on an ongoing basis? And where the group would not be limited to just 48 people but could include more who were eager to develop their ideas from dream to reality.
Stu McLaren and The Membership Experience
I researched how to build and run an online membership community. There was clearly one guru who was the master of this concept. Stu McLaren of The Membership Experience was well known for his expertise. I devoured everything I could find from Stu – including his complete course.
We launched the 48 Days Eagles Community in January of 2017 and had 378 people quickly enroll at our launch special of $24 a month, generating $9072.00 the very first month. The second month our revenue jumped to $18,952. I followed Stu’s guidance with every little detail.
I was thrilled as I observed the interaction of these members. How they shared generously and encouraged each other. The idea of membership community was indeed working well.
Our Membership Community Came Through When Live Events Stalled For Us
On May 1, 2017, there was a wonderful article on the front page of the business section of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper with a picture of me, describing the beautiful retreat center we had created on our rural property just outside Franklin, TN.
Unexpectedly, that article prompted a visit from the codes department from the county we lived in. They informed me that I was in violation of the zoning for that area and that I would need to cease and desist from having any live events on our property.
Thank goodness we had the online community already in place!
Our Membership Community Came Through When the World Went Into a Pandemic
Guess what – in February of 2020 the whole country rolled into the pandemic. Everyone who had live events scheduled had to cancel them. Most took a tremendous hit financially because of that loss.
Thank goodness we already had our online community in place!
Where other leaders were scrambling to come up with any alternate plans, we were fully prepared and experienced to welcome those potential attendees into our membership community – and they came, eager for the connection of being able to meet with like-minded people.
I’ve been an author with a singular message for several years – 48 Days to the Work You Love. Having our 48 Days Eagles Community has allowed me to expand that message in a much deeper and more intimate way to my readers than would be possible in just reading the book.
Is a Membership Community For You?
But what about you?
- Do you have a unique message?
- Are you an expert in an area that interests other people?
- Are people already asking you for your advice on a particular topic?
- Have you been stuck in starting over every month with your income?
- Would you enjoy a continuous monthly flow of recurring revenue?
It could be that you are an author as well, or you are simply an enthusiast in photography, art, playing guitar, fitness, nutrition, Cocker Spaniels, or Corvettes.
Today the monthly fee for the 48 Days Eagles Community is $48.00. We raised it slowly from that initial $24.00 but now our members are fans and they are rewarded for introducing their friends.
The Value of Recurring Income From A Membership Community
Yes, I enjoy royalties as a successful author with 48 Days to the Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays, The Rudder of the Day, Wisdom meets Passion and An Understanding Heart. But those royalties pale in comparison to the recurring income from our community.
If you’ve read this far, you are probably intrigued by the possibilities for your own online membership community. And I am pleased to share that my friend and mentor, Stu McLaren is going to be doing a 3-day series of free presentations to introduce you to the same principles that have guided me in having this amazing part of our 48 Days business.
The first presentation will be on Thursday, April 21st.
I would never have tried this on my own.
I’m Grateful for the Obstacles That Opened My Eyes To An Online Membership Community Business Model
I had some major obstacles that caused me to explore new options. But in retrospect, I’m grateful for those “obstacles” that opened my eyes to an online community that now generates far more in revenue than those live events did – and it’s not just income for two days; it comes in like clockwork month after month.
You can be smarter than I was – don’t wait on an obstacle to get your attention. Take your own positive action to watch Stu’s presentations and decide for yourself.