The Power of Online Memberships
Have you ever noticed geese flying overhead, whether that be south for the winter, or back home in the spring?
In Canada where I live, this is a regular sight and a sure sign of the seasons passing.
From time to time, it's easy to notice that there is a certain pattern to the flying geese. Often, they fly in formation, in a shape that makes it easier to fly as a group than alone, something that conserves energy for the trip.
Online memberships, when built right, are built on the same philosophy, even though they consist of bits, bytes, pixels and websites and not beaks, feathers or wings.
Have you noticed that things are easier to do when you're surrounded by like-minded people going for the same goal?
Training for a marathon seems less onerous when you run with a bunch of buddies.
A garage sale seems like too much bother until the neighbourhood holds one together.
And of course, goals become so much more achievable when there's a coach in the picture.
An online membership usually consists of a private website available to a certain set of people with common interests and goals.
Much like a library, online memberships take on a certain form, often containing resources such as books, magazines, articles, and even audio and video materials.
Premium membersip sites will often integrate a personal touch by providing support from a real person, whether that be by email, help desk or at a discussion board.
At its most elaborate, membership websites can leak over into the offline world, and members who were previously cyber-buddies only meet face-to-face for the first time and the bonds get cemented. These tend to be memberships that have the most longevity online...they achieve this by weaving in real meetings so the online connection takes on a new dimension.
Online memberships have certain significant characteristics:
A membership site gives your clients access to the information they need, when they want it, not just when you are available by telephone.
A membership site gives your clients access to each other, and the body of knowledge they represent, which can be enormous. The powerful connections that are made are very good fodder for a multidimensional coaching experience for your clients.
A membership site can be demanding to maintain, since new content and material need to be developed to ensure the membership is fresh and up to date.
With more than a million people in the world now identifying themselves with one of thousands of online groups, online memberships are modern 'tribes' that are filling the gaps being left by neighbourhoods and even church groups of old.