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Behind The Membership with Callie Willows
50 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Replacing the Family Income in Just 8 Months with Jenny Finnell
We’re kicking off season five of Behind The Membership with an awesome guest. Jenny Finnell is Founder of CRNA School Prep Academy, a highly specialized membership for nurses in the United States who want to become Registered Nurse Anesthetists. The Academy has recently reached its first memberversary and in that time has become a big success - so much so that Jenny was able to retire her husband and reduce her own working hours within eight months of launching the membership! In this episode we talk to Jenny about her membership journey so far. How some queries from nurses resulted in her creating a free Facebook group that sowed the seeds for her idea of the Academy, why she hired a team to help her ahead of her launch and how she’s growing her membership successfully with little to no marketing. Plus we talk about the challenges she faces managing her time juggling life as a mom of three children (one of which is a newborn) while managing the Academy, how the flexibility of the membership model enables her to better serve her members and much much more! About Jenny: Jenny Finnell MSN, CRNA, and Founder of CRNA School Prep Academy. She runs a membership community for aspiring Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in the United States. She has been working as a CRNA for over 6 years with a variety of experiences. She is passionate about giving back to the anesthesia community and loves fostering leadership through mentoring future generations of CRNA's. Key Quotes: “I actually essentially retired my husband to help me full-time with the business. And as of December of 2020, I only work two days a week and when I go back from having our third child, I plan on only hopefully working one day a week.” “I really think just showing up and serving has been what has made this business so successful.”“I just want to keep growing it as far as the resources for my students and getting the community involved. I think that the more community I get involved the better, the more resources for my students”Connect with Jenny: Email: email@example.com Follow her on Instagram Find her on FacebookCheck out her Facebook groupSubscribe to her Apple podcast
59 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
Doubling Your Member Base During a Pandemic with Katie Wardrobe
Katie Wardrobe from Midnight Music, a membership specialising in helping music teachers with technology, is the final guest for season four of Behind the Membership.Midnight Music has been running for 4 years now and while it has always been successful, Katie has actually managed to nearly double her member base during the current pandemic, even though she has actually been focused on providing more free content and resources for her audience during this time.In this episode we talk about how Katie has started providing her previous member only webinars for free each month, attracting thousands of attendees each time, her experiments with creating live courses, and why she reduced her price during the pandemic.We also talk about the increased challenges involved when schools are paying for a teacher's membership, how Katie engages her members by answering forum questions via video, hiring a content manager to keep her free content on track and much, much more!
55 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Creating a High Level Coaching Membership with Coach Pamela Mitchell
Coach Pamela Mitchell has been a professional coach since 2003, with a focus on helping people to reinvent their careers so that they can live a life that they love. When demand for her services became too high though, she decided to launch a membership offering - the Reinvention Launch Club - in order to help more people.It wasn’t all plain sailing though and in this episode Pamela discusses the mindset shifts that needed to happen for her to be able to move from creating a more traditional content focused and high volume membership to a smaller, more curated and intimate experience where the focus is on individual and group coaching.We also talk about how Pamela makes use of associate coaches to provide a more one-to-one experience for her members without her needing to spend all of her own time coaching, the challenge of finding your own path and being clear on what you enjoy and what's going to give your members the best results, and the quest to find the perfect community solution.Plus lots more!
49 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Setting Ambitious Goals for Your Membership with John Michaloudis
John Michaloudis from MyExcelOnline, a membership which helps people to become Excel experts, is this week’s guest on Behind the Membership. John started his membership just two years ago after growing tired of running course launches, and with 1600 members is already a third of the way to his goal of making $100,000 per month with the membership. In this episode John is talking all about how he is using evergreen webinars with fast action bonuses to make sales every day and how email marketing and Facebook ads also contribute to his sales. John also shares how moving from a Facebook group to a forum for his community is one of the best things he’s done, and how John isn’t the person answering questions in his community. Plus we talk all about the benefits of adding things like Trustpilot reviews to a sales process, creating a business you can take 6 months away from and how member success stories make all the work worthwhile.And of course, much more!
43 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Creating a Custom Web App for Your Members with Marisha Mets
Marisha Mets from SLP Now, a membership for speech language practitioners, is this week’s guest on Behind the Membership. SLP Now has been running for over four years and over that time has evolved from a simple membership to a full web app offering thousands of practitioners teaching resources and even their own CRM and case tools.In this episode Marisha talks all about how she went from creating resources for her own use to launching a hugely successful membership and the challenges she's had along the way, including learning how to manage her time effectively and finding the right developers to create her app.We also talk about the benefits of starting simple, and how a membership has helped give Marisha more freedom and flexibility, particularly when faced with health challenges. Plus how running a twice yearly online summit works well for attracting new members, and how she utilises tools like Net Promoter Scores and Intercom to get feedback from members and provide additional support.
49 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Adding a Membership to a Successful Manufacturing Business with Felicia Lo
Felicia Lo from School of Sweet Georgia, a membership site for fibre artists, is this week’s guest on Behind the Membership. Felicia first started her blog way back in 2004 and her physical business manufacturing beautiful hand dyed yarns, Sweet Georgia Yarns, in 2005. Over the years Felicia has also taught classes for companies like Craftsy, written a book, and run a yarn based subscription box, so by the time she started her membership School of SweetGeorgia in 2017 she already had a huge amount of experience in her market.In this episode, we're talking all about how Felicia is able to run the membership site alongside her well established physical business, and how having the two overlapping, but still separate, sides of the business works well for her and gives her more flexibility and stability.We also talk about how Felicia used Patreon for her initial idea validation, which gave her the incentive and accountability to create her full membership site. And we talk about the team she has helping her to keep both businesses thriving, plus how she focuses on YouTube for attracting new members, her plans for bringing guest teachers to her in-person studio to record courses, and much, much more besides.
48 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Staying Consistent as a One-Man Band with Warwick Brown
On this episode Callie is talking with Warwick Brown who runs the KAM Club, a membership site for key account managers which has been running for about nine months. In this episode, hear all about how Warwick came to start the KAM Club and how he utilised existing resources, like his blog content, to get him started much quicker - although he still put off launching the membership for a long time!Warwick also talks about the challenge of consistency, particularly when it comes to content creation, and how finding a way to link his free and paid content together has made his life so much easier. And we talk about finding enough time to do everything when running a membership site solo, how Warwick provides a lot of personal support in his membership site, from 30-minute welcome calls, to personal videos and check-in messages, despite it being low cost. And how, despite quitting his high salary job, and not yet making the same amount with his membership, he couldn't be happier. Plus, of course, much, much more!
50 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Fighting Through a Crisis of Confidence with Trish Blackwell
Trish Blackwell, a confidence coach and creator of the College of Confidence is our guest for this episode of Behind the Membership. Funnily enough, Trish's biggest challenge with her membership initially was actually having the confidence in her ideas and what she wanted to create. Something that she was able to overcome in order to build a thriving membership site that's now been running for over three years and which is continuing to grow and evolve.In this episode, we're talking all about how Trish overcame her original doubts and how the membership model has allowed her to 3x her private coaching fee, while still helping even more people. We’re also discussing the challenges of running a business with small children at home and how hiring support for her community was a game changer for Trish and her membership, plus much, much more.
52 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Facilitating Change Through Difficult Conversations with Carole Copeland Thomas
Carole Copeland Thomas, a diversity and inclusion expert, is talking all about her membership the Multicultural Symposium Series in today’s episode of Behind the Membership.Carole's online membership actually evolved from her long running annual conference with the aim of providing somewhere business owners could have a year round conversation around important topics that relate to becoming a more multicultural and inclusive business. In this episode we're talking about the importance of Carole's work and the impact it's having, how she's able to keep her membership very low cost and affordable because of corporate sponsors, and how her current focus is on scaling the membership even further.We also talk about how she combines her offline events and online membership and the monthly webinars that she runs as both a retention and marketing tactic. Plus of course much more!
49 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
The Quest for a Sticky Membership with George Reid
On this episode of Behind the Memberhip, George Reid is talking all about his membership site for Amazon based businesses, the LaunchPod Academy. George started the membership 15 months ago after originally working for Amazon in the UK and then creating an Amazon agency. Over the last year, the membership has become the main focus of his business though, now accounting for 80% of his revenue. One of the things George is most passionate about is ensuring he is giving his members the best experience and making his membership as ‘sticky’ as possible, meaning his retention, even for annual renewals, is great. In this episode, we're talking all about how George originally started the membership with his brother but is now flying solo, how he is utilising guest experts for creating content, and some of the new strategies he's trying to improve his retention even further.
46 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Launching Quickly in a Global Crisis with Caryn Liles
My guest today is Caryn Liles from the Centre of Canine Education. And while her membership is only a few months old, I really wanted to share her experience with listeners to show what's possible with memberships even when you have to launch quickly and in a market that you may not think is a fit for online training. Because when COVID-19 first hit earlier this year, Caryn could have easily thought the worst when she had to close her brick-and-mortar dog training business down overnight.Instead, she chose to pivot quickly to an online membership model for both her existing clients and a wider audience as well. And it's been such a success that she isn't even sure if she'll open up her physical business again. In just a few months having a membership has quite literally been life-changing for Caryn, giving her more time, less stress and a better work-life balance than she ever thought possible. I love what Caryn has created and how she has really embraced the membership model while still putting her own spin on things like offering free discovery calls to attract new members.
62 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
Aligning Your Members to Your Vision with Steve Pavlina
Today's guest on Behind The Membership is Steve Pavlina, a prolific name in the personal growth space and owner of the Conscious Growth Club. Steve actually has a bit of a different membership model to most you'll hear on this podcast, offering a 12-month membership at a price point of $1997. He also only launches the membership once a year, so his membership is small and intimate by design.Steve shares some great insights into why he picked this model and why it's worked well for his audience and the kind of results he helps his members to achieve. Steve has really fine-tuned who his membership is for and isn't afraid to remove those that aren't a good fit, realising that alignment and attracting the right members is absolutely key for the kind of community that he is creating.Listen in to hear how going to Disneyland every day for 30 days was what inspired Steve to first start his membership, how 30-day challenges work for his membership community, and how his low-key five-day launches brings him six figures, allowing him to focus on his members for the other 360 days of the year. Plus, of course, much more!
58 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
More Time, More Freedom, More Income with Warren McPherson
Warren McPherson from Piano Lesson with Warren joins Callie for episode 1 of Behind the Membership Season 4.Warren’s membership focuses entirely on teaching people how to play gospel piano, and he transitioned to a membership model after first selling low-cost courses. As you’ll hear though, the initial transition wasn’t smooth, with Warren quickly realising a successful membership isn’t just about putting everything behind a paywall.In this episode you’ll hear how Warren made that course to membership transition and how he is working to combat the challenge of retention, including how making one particular change cut his churn rate by an impressive 8%.We're also talking about why he wishes he'd grown his team earlier and how he has played the long game when it comes to audience growth, allowing him to now attract 50-100 new members a month just through content marketing.And even though Warren’s membership is still just a couple of years old it has allowed him to work less and his wife to leave her job so that they can both spend more time with their young son. They’re even moving to a new state, something that didn't seem like a simple idea for them before the membership.Hit play above to hear about all this and more!
47 minutes | Aug 14, 2019
Building a Legacy by Creating a Membership with Chris Ducker
Chris Ducker joins Callie in the final season 3 episode of Behind the Membership to talk all about his membership site Youpreneur Academy. Chris already had several successful 7 figure businesses before starting Youpreneur Academy four years ago, and here he talks about how his desire to create a legacy and help others achieve success led to him creating his membership in the first place. And how then niching down from focusing on general online businesses to personal brand businesses really made a difference to his results. Chris also discusses how the positioning of the membership and its place in his ecosystem has evolved over the years as he's added additional features like a live event, new book and round table mastermind, as well as new projects he has on the horizon. And Chris talks about how he spent 12 months testing the closed door model, and why he wouldn't do it again. How organic marketing and content is the key to their new member sales, and what he's doing to achieve a five to 6% retention rate, including the importance of growth records in his community, and why he's stopping his monthly member q&a call. Plus, Chris reveals that he spends just three hours a week on the membership on average! Listen in to find out how.
39 minutes | Aug 7, 2019
The Accidental Membership that Became a Six Figure Success with Caylee Grey
"Fairy art mother" Caylee Grey joins Callie on this episode of Behind the Membership to talk all about her art journaling membership, Get Messy Art. Caylee's membership journey is actually a little different to most, as the membership was started accidentally as a result of a personal project rather than being the goal from the start. However, it's safe to say it was a great accident as the membership is now four years old and has flourished, creating an amazing business for Caylee that has allowed her to quit her job and achieve more freedom than she previously thought possible. In this episode, Caylee discusses how she makes use of seasonal themes for her content, and is currently testing out the closed door model to only let new members in at the start of each new season. As well as how she utilises the experiences of guest teachers and members to help with content creation. And Caylee also talks about how she focuses on making the membership action driven, and how she nutures members and provides the space for them to connect and engage with each other on a deeper level. Plus the challenges she has had along the way, and much, much more besides!
43 minutes | Jul 31, 2019
Reducing Stress and Creating a Membership You Love with Deborah Engelmajer
In this episode of Behind the Membership, Deborah Engelmajer discusses her membership site for makers and handmade businesses, Tizzit HQ. Deborah's membership is just eight months old, but already a six figure a year business. Deborah shares how she actually delayed creating her membership site in order to build her audience first, which she attributes as the key to her success. She also talks about how having a membership site has reduced stress and provided more balance, enabling Deborah to do what she loves, like focus on her community. And Deborah also discusses how engaged the Tizzit community is and what she does to encourage this, including how she sent welcome packages to her first 250 members when she initially launched. Plus the challenges of content creation, how aspects of the membership such as coaching calls, have evolved since the membership first opened and much more.
41 minutes | Jul 24, 2019
From Overworked CPA to Successful Guitar Membership with John Hatcher
John Hatcher from the Blues Guitar Institute joins Callie Willows for this episode of Behind the Membership. John was previously a CPA and tax accountant working 60 to 80 hours a week, but since having his membership he has been able to quit his job and now focuses full time on his membership site, giving him far more freedom. This is even more impressive when you consider that John's membership only actually costs $9 a month! In this episode John talks about how he made that career transition, as well as how he manages his time and the challenge of content creation in a video-heavy membership site. John also talks about how he went from not having any community at all in his membership, to struggling to get engagement, to now having a thriving community with members connecting and sharing their own videos as well. And of course lots more too!
51 minutes | Jul 17, 2019
Experimenting with Closing the Doors to her Membership with Varvara Lyalyagina
Varvara Lyalyagina from Start Blog Up joins Callie Willows for this episode of Behind the Membership to talk all about her membership for Russian speaking entrepreneurs, The Studio. In this episode Varvara's talking about how she is succeeding with her membership despite it being for a market not as familiar with the membership model, and why she has decided, after a year of being open all the time, to experiment with moving from an always open model to closing the doors and only letting new members in at certain times. Varvara also talks about the emotional challenges of running a membership and learning not to take cancellations personally, the power of members promoting your membership for you, and how adding a personal touch with things like video and gifts is aiding her retention. And Varvara also shares her strategy for running online parties to attract new members, plus more!
52 minutes | Jul 10, 2019
Moving to an Evergreen Membership Model with Jodie Clarke
Jodie Clarke from The Empowered Educator joins Callie for this episode of Behind the Membership. While Jodie's membership is only just a year old she has already surpassed her member goals and even managed to retire her partner from his job, which has had an enormous impact on her family's life. In this episode Jodie's talking all about how she succeeded with her membership, from nurturing her wait list to her webinar strategy that's bringing in 5 to 10 new members at a time on autopilot. And Jodie also talks about moving from a closed door model to an evergreen model and why she's chosen to do that, and so much more as well!
43 minutes | Jul 3, 2019
Fitting a Membership to Your Lifestyle with Chris Marr
Chris Marr from the Content Marketing Academy (also known as CMA) joins Callie Willows for this episode of Behind the Membership. Chris launched his membership in 2015 after running a six month in person masterclass and it's now a major focus of his business. Here, he talks about the importance of customer experience in creating a community culture, using free in-person workshops as a way to attract new members and how he has recently launched a very low cost price tier to help those who can't afford his full membership fee yet. We also talk marketing challenges, how Chris is successfully using Slack for his members community and how the membership has enabled Chris to create the lifestyle that he wants, as he's undergone the transition from flying solo to being a father of four and family man.
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