Let’s talk about the difference between an Online Course and a Membership Site.
One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “What is the difference between a course and a membership site? And how do I know which one is right for my product?”
For me, the biggest difference between the two is:
A course has a start and a stop time – A membership is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you can take your customer, someone who purchases your course, from point A to point B, and they can get some sort of transformation and be done, and then they’re off to the next step, your idea and your product is perfect for a course.
If your product would be more beneficial for your customer to go from A to B, then to additional support, and continue with accountability and community, your product may be perfect for a membership site. So, as I mentioned previously, a membership site is the gift that keeps on giving. This doesn’t mean you have to add videos every single month, it doesn’t mean you have to add downloads and content every single month over and over and over again.
What you can do is have a series of training videos within your membership site and then have a community aspect with it.
Maybe you go live within a “members only” Facebook group every month; maybe you offer hotseat coaching once a week; or you have some sort of “value add” every month that keeps your community engaged, keeps them moving forward and generates accountability. So, the biggest thing with a membership is it has the community aspect.
Those are the main differences between the two offers.
Warning….Don’t get stuck here! Many people get stuck with this question, “Should I offer a course, or should I offer a membership? Should this be a membership? Should it be a course?” They get stuck in this cycle and they can’t decide which one is right for them.
I want you to take two seconds right now, answer these questions and decide…
#1. Do I want something packaged that I could sell continuously? Do I not want to rely on a community aspect or on continually adding value? If you answered yes, then a course is perfect for you!
The second question is…
#2. Do I want to sit down every month? Have a community? Have accountability and show up every month for my customers? Does this sound exciting to you? Does this give you energy? Do you want those continuous touch points? If you answer yes, then a membership would be great for you!
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t have much knowledge about courses and membership sites and how each might work out for you, I suggest starting with creating a mini course. (and if you need templates to get you started, check out my Course Creation Template Vault!)
So often people jump into course creation and feel like they need to create a big course and sell it for thousands of dollars. This can be very overwhelming for someone who is new to the online space and new to digital products.
If this is you, and the course idea really overwhelms you, I want you to take a breath right now and start smaller….. I recommend starting in the mini course arena. Your mini course could just have five videos and it could be a small transformation that you’re taking your customer through from point A to point B.
Don’t overcomplicate it, don’t get overwhelmed in the cycle of wondering if a course or a membership site is right for you.
Start small, get comfortable with the process of creating a course, launching it, and getting customers, before you ever hop into the massive courses that you want to sell for $1,000+.
So hopefully that was helpful for you.
The biggest advice that I have for you is take two seconds and write down ‘HOW can my people go from point A to point B and get a transformation and be off and on their way?’
Those are the questions that I’d answer as you move into the digital product space and as you start deciding if you want to start selling a course or a membership!
So, what do you think?
Comment below if you are team COURSE or team MEMBERSHIP!
xo Amy Jo