If you have a book or a product, and you want to know if you should be doing a membership because you want recurring income, of course, what you really want to establish is that there is a recurring need in your marketplace.
One way to get that recurring need is to see what is happening in the marketplace. So who else is in the marketplace? What are they selling on subscription? What are people in your database already buying on subscription? One way to find out is to ask them. Who do they subscribe to? What do they already purchase?
You could ask them questions like what is their annual budget for expenditure in this category? What are their top three favorite products in the market? What kind of subscriptions do they have? You can ask them, you know what they’d like? Or what they would want to see. But that’s often going to give you a misleading answer. And it certainly – they may not actually pay for that.
Now, there are some arguments, you know, for and against validation. I have a friend, Dan Norris. And he’s not that worried about validation. He thinks that you’ve just got to keep trying stuff until one takes and use your intuition and use your gut and keep making offers until something takes. So I think the idea of recurring is seductive, and everyone wants it. But you really need a recurring need. You’ve got to find something that people want to buy, ongoing.
So, intensely knowing your customer is good. Working off your gut feel is good, research what is already out there is good, working very closely with your audience and find out what they already buy is a terrific starting point, which should give you some clues as to what to start first. And then the steps to follow after the research are to make an offer.
And you don’t have to have a website for this. This is a common mistake, you do not need a domain. You do not need a website, you do not need business cards. You need a living, breathing human and however you communicate with them, whether it’s face-to-face at a barbecue, whether it’s at a club, whether it’s at a dinner table at an event, whether it’s you getting your hair cut, if you can convince the other person in the conversation that they need this and that they’re really keen to have it and they ask you questions like when can I have it? How much is it? How do I get started?
That’s the result you want to elicit. And remember that the whole concept of selling is just helping people be better off. So if you can make some sales that would give you some heart or some validation, other people call it to know that this might be worth rolling out on a larger scale.
If you could step in front of an already existing audience with a similar offer to what they already buy, that’s probably the short cut. I do have training on it in the Profitable Membership Business training. It’s inside James Schramko Community. It’s also a standalone course. It has the step-by-step process for building the offer, coming out with pricing, knowing where to position in the marketplace, even the platform that I prefer to use for that.
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