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    Bio: Janice Means Traffic | 8 min read

    How To seed Your Membership Site For Maximum Online Impact!

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    For maximum impact, membership sites need testimonials, referral sources, and results! However, if your site has not launched or is about to launch, how do you have members to supply testimonials, quantify results, and provide referrals? The short answer is: a seeded site!
    For this article, we’re going to assume that the reason you’re building a membership site is that you, or the person you’re building the site for, have some level of expertise in the topic area the site will focus on. If you’re building the site because you want to learn and are going to have people walk along with you for a fee, that’s a different article I’ve yet to write.
    Another assumption is, that you have a lot of content which may or may not is organized. And that the content has been tested, whether in bits and pieces or in a full flow, from front to back. Which means you have some results.
    Given all those assumptions are true, we have the seeds. If you don’t have the assumptions in place, we can rapidly create them. You’re welcome to contact me about how to do that. And, that article may appear in a future issue.
    1. Define the number of active members you would like on the site when you do your first general release launch. That number will drive how much effort you do in the next 2 steps.
    2. Contact those that went through your content previously and ask them to be grandfathered members of the site. Your goal will be to make this group 50% of the number you determined in step one. Make them an offer that they can’t refuse.
    • Three months of free access. Or some free offer that makes sense for your content.
    • Twelve months of access for the price of three months of access. If you know your site will evolve way past the content that this group has been exposed to, determine an offer that has them begin to pay for the new content.
    For this deal, they must provide their results, feedback, and testimonials. And, ask them to review any updates you’ve made since they worked with you before. These reviews are to be used as testimonials, results, and feedback as well.
    3. Ask the grandfathered members to invite 1, 2, or 10 inaugural members to the site (calculate based on projecting the other 50% of members from number 1). And, make the offer for some inaugural members yourself. The inaugural members will be given a deal that they can’t refuse either.
    Inaugural members might get the benefit of kick-off pricing for the life of the site, as long as there is no lapse in their membership.
    You should allow a grandfathered member to upgrade to an inaugural member as long as their grandfathered offer has not expired.
    Why? The life of a member on a membership site averages three months. You want to create an incentive for the early entries to hang around. You want them to be a welcome committee. You want the new members to see that they are not alone in this new site.
    Inaugural members should be encouraged to report their results, provide testimonials, and possibly become an affiliate partner (when appropriate).
    4. Encourage (or require) these “seed” members to proactively participate in any forums or support areas you have as part of the site. This will be especially true if you expect your site to become more than membership but a community.
    This should give you a reasonable base to now launch the site to a broader community. Good Luck.

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    Bio: Janice Means Traffic

    Janice Means

    Janice is President of Marketing with JR – Common Sense Marketing with Extraordinary Results. Janice spent years in Corporate IT interwoven with various Marketing stints. Janice brings her Fortune 50 experience to you with a focus on traditional offline marketing strategies. However, she is pretty savvy online to make sure that the online and offline strategies complement each other.

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