“I hate memberships, but I love this membership”
*Cue our excitement when this slid into our DM inbox* I mean, if that’s not the complement of the year, I don’t know what is.
In January 2021 we launched our annual membership The Curate Community and we’re super proud of it — not only for what it means for our business, but for how it’s serving our members. We also received comments like…
“This community is invaluable. It exceeded my hopes for it. Worth every penny!”
“So much value 👏🏽 👏🏽 👏🏽”
“I feel like this should cost 5x what it is. Thank you!”
I’ve wanted to start a membership since the early days of Curate Well Co. I loved the idea of having a branded platform that cultivates community, breeds meaningful relationships, and actively enrolls collaboration. And to be real, the idea of monthly recurring revenue was super seductive too.
A couple things I was conscious of to make sure The Curate Community was a success:
- Making sure the audience was large enough to make the community (and our effort) impactful on our business.
- Solidifying resources to make sure whether we had 50 members or 500 members, our membership could still run effectively and efficiently.
- Cultivating a community that had true, interested engagement that didn’t fizzle out a month into the launch.
In order to make sure I could deliver on the environment I wanted to create for the membership, I needed to do one important thing. Wait.
- We waited until we knew we could launch with economy of scale.
- We waited until we had a team that could help run the membership.
- We waited until we knew we’d be able to build something that would truly support the long-term vision of Curate Well Co.
And most importantly, we waited until the membership not only felt necessary to the evolution of Curate Well Co., but also the evolution of our community and how we could offer real value.
And while we were waiting, I planned. I designed a membership I was actually excited about and would want to join myself. I also built relationships and fostered community like nobody’s business, even though we didn’t have the “container” launched yet. And I laid groundwork that made for an exceeded-our-expectations launch.
Most of the success we’ve found creating our annual membership boiled down the loyal community we’ve created, the inspired clients we attract, and the brand we’ve built around our business. Because we enroll our community in everything we do AND ask for feedback, we knew that The Curate Community was something our Ideal Client was asking for — whether they explicitly said it or not.
Features That are Unique to The Curate Community
Our community is founded on collaboration and connection, first and foremost. This is the fabric of our membership — the thing that ties it all together. So, we host our membership on Slack which actively fosters both group and one-to-one communication. We love Slack because:
- It’s searchable and chronological, allowing our members to find the information they want easily
- We can host conversations in dedicated channels, keeping the space organized while allowing for diversity in conversation
- It has a member directory built in — every member can include their bio and contact info on their profile
- Emojis — enough said
In addition to prioritizing meaningful connection, mutually beneficial collaboration, and easy conversation, we also provide continued learning opportunities for our members via webinars, member only trainings, guest expert workshops, social events, and a podcast.
When we polled our founding members,
- 16 met a new friend in the membership
- 6 hired someone from the membership
- 10 collaborated with someone in the membership
- 12 met up in real life or in a Zoom room with someone from the membership
- 5 gained a new client from the membership
When building this community we were conscious to create one that surrounds you with people who are courageously doing things differently and will support your ideas without stealing them. A community that doesn’t exploit the idea of community to generate revenue, but is focused on connecting you to people you can collaborate with and your business can benefit from. A community that puts you first, is welcoming to everyone — regardless of their status — and holds you and your unique talent in the highest respect. A community founded on true relationship-building, that makes you feel seen and heard.
How to Know It’s the Right Time (and the Right Offer) to Launch for Your Community
Conduct market research
Ask your community what they want and need before solidifying your offer/membership. Hold space to make adjustments that will serve the consumer — even if you don’t agree.
Ask for feedback
Check in with the experience others are having. Their perspective is likely different than yours and will offer invaluable insight.
Consider the data
Use the data to support your decision-making. It will allow you to meet the expectation of your community, support them exactly the way they need, and appeal to their preferences. They will tell you exactly what they want if you know how to ask.
Looking to launch your own membership and need some help with all the logistics? On April12 we start enrolling for the The Membership Bootcamp — a 6-week LIVE seminar series and intensive to help you launch (or re-launch) your membership successfully and sustainably. You’ll get our full blueprint for conceptualizing, creating, launching, and scaling a membership so you can do the same. Join the waitlist to get first dibs on April 5, 2021 — The program starts April 27, 2021.
You have an opportunity to set a new tone for our space (your space), define the new trends in your industry, and attract people you’re dying to serve by ditching the norm. Take this as a sign to do it differently and create something that’s never been created before. Click here to learn more.