How to Generate a Steady Cash Flow
Using What You Already Know
Valerie and her rescue dog,
By Valerie Young
“The number one money challenge for people who want to transition from a salaried job to being an entrepreneur is the unpredictability of their earnings.”
There are lots of different ways to “package” and sell what you know − teaching classes, writing a how-to manual, and so on. But there is another lesser-known way to turn your interests into income. And, it’s the only way I know that is actually designed to generate a steady and relatively predictable flow of income on a monthly basis.
If You Want a Predictable Stream of Income, Create a “Continuity” Program
From the book of the month club to the Netflix DVD rental model, member clubs (often referred to as “continuity” or “subscription” programs) have always been popular with consumers. It’s easy to see the appeal. Members like the idea that for a flat monthly fee they’re guaranteed exclusive access to a continuous flow of information, resources, entertainment, support, or products of interest.
The huge appeal to entrepreneurs is that membership programs provide a CONTINUOUS and relatively predictable flow of income. Take Consumer Reports magazine as an example. Instead of charging the full subscription price upfront, they will automatically bill the subscriber’s credit card in monthly installments of $4.95. Ongoing “membership” allows the subscriber to access password-protected areas of the website at any time.
You do the math. Even if you manage to attract only 1,000 members – at $4.95 a month that’s $4,950 in income a MONTH. Some continuity programs charge as much as several hundred dollars a month.
You don’t have to be a big company to start your own member program. Successful member programs can be found in such diverse niches as embroidery, jazz guitar... even sky diving!
Anyone Can Start a Member Program
Not too long ago Ryan Lee was struggling to support his young family as a physical education teacher in the Bronx. Ryan still loves the world of fitness. But today he runs 48 different membership sites − all in the health, fitness, and sports training field.
Here’s where it gets interesting…
You don’t even need to have personal knowledge or experience in a subject area to start a member program. It may surprise you to learn that the guy who founded
MassageBusinessUniversity.com has a background in fitness – but he himself is NOT a massage therapist. Instead, he relies on a team of “faculty” with expertise in growing a massage practice to create value-added content for his members.
Turn Your Interests into Income
As you’ve just seen, setting up a membership site can be as simple as figuring out what your audience needs and then finding the people who can provide it. But let’s take a hypothetical example of an untapped market.
Let’s say you love fresh lavender. Hop on the internet and you’ll find there are literally hundreds of viable farms and lavender related businesses all over the world – many in the U.S. and Canada.
Now what if one of these growers wanted to join the American, Canadian, or North American Lavender Growers Association? They could join the Australian Lavender Industry Association for $125 a year ($155 international) or the New Zealand Lavender Growers Association. It may be out there but I could not find a North American counterpart.
Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of opportunity knocking!
Think about it… even if you sign up a mere 200 lavender farm owners and charge them a modest $35 in monthly member fees. You’d be bringing in $7,000 a MONTH!
Don’t Know Where to Begin? Figure It Out!
I’ve been in this business long enough to know that you’re probably muttering, “But how am I supposed to start a member program for lavender farmers if I don’t know anything about out it?”
The answer comes down to three little words that every aspiring entrepreneur should memorize: Figure It Out!
Instead of trying to guess what your prospective members want, go to the source and ask them! Do lavender growers need help marketing their products? Making operations more efficient? Finding seasonal workers? Breaking into new markets? Understanding new and existing government regulations? Creating joint ventures like advertising campaigns or events with other growers? Learning about new state or provincial programs to support agri-tourism?
In my very limited search, I learned that as part of the planning phase prospective growers often travel to France for a first-hand look at the lavender industry in Provence. And yet, I could not find a single person running lavender farm tours to France. Now imagine if your member program sponsored tours to France and you got to go! How fun is that!
Once you understand your market’s needs, all you need to do is find authors, successful farmers, agricultural marketing experts, botanists, organic food store owners and others who you can interview or who you can get to write articles. You could set up Teleclasses, put on regional or national conferences, and otherwise seek out other resources that your members want. Like I always say, you may not know everything there is to know about a subject but you’re always smart enough to figure out who does!
As long as you make good on your promise to consistently deliver quality content, as a member program owner, you’ll receive a steady flow of revenue in the form of member fees.
Where Do You Begin?
Fortunately, when it comes to knowing exactly what it takes to set up and run a successful membership site, you don’t have to figure it out on your own.
Remember Ryan Lee – the former P.E. teacher turned millionaire fitness membership site owner? Well, last year Ryan teamed up with a really terrific guy named Tim Kerber. Tim is the co-creator of a turn-key membership software solution called MemberGate. Together they started (are you ready…) a membership site for membership site owners.
MembershipSiteOwner.com was created to help new and seasoned membership site owners to continue to grow and learn.
Next, Tim and Ryan teamed up to conduct a program to teach people how to start and run their own membership programs. Not surprisingly, the program sold out in a week.
Tim emailed me this week to tell me that he and Ryan are going to once again open up their Membership Site Bootcamp to new members.
To help people decide whether running a membership site is right for you they’ve put together a short video to show you:
§ How membership sites work
§ What makes membership sites the ultimate portable business (as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection you can run your business from anywhere)
§ The income potential including how recurring income increases the value of the business for future resale
You also get to see some pretty amazing case studies of actual people who, in literally a matter of months, are generating a steady monthly income stream from their new membership sites. I happen to know a few of these people behind these success stories personally, so I can assure you they are very real.
If the thought of generating thousands to possibly tens of thousand of dollars a month in steady, recurring income appeals to you I encourage you to watch the video at http://ChangingCourse.com/recommends/membershipbootcamp
“The Way to Get Unstuck is to Get Informed”
My guess is the first thing you feel when you hear about the income-generating potential of membership sites is excitement. After all, with a steady income you really CAN quit your job!
After the excitement though comes fear. Am I right?
If that sounds like you, then repeat after me: "I don't have enough information right now to be afraid OR excited."
When it comes to changing course, information really will set you free, because the greater your knowledge, the greater your options and the less risky change becomes.
As you watch the video, I’d like you to do two things. One, jot down any questions and/or ideas you have about member programs. Two, pay attention to any inner dialogue that is self-enabling or self-defeating. Then fill in these blanks…
The biggest question I have about starting and running a member program is….
The first idea that springs to mind is….
I know I can do this because…
The reason I know I could never do this is…
To learn more about how to start a member site and how to make it profitable, watch this short video now and be sure to sign up for the follow up case studies:
Whether your passion is salsa, gardening, art, or wrestling, there are a myriad of ways to turn what you already know into your livelihood. If you are drawn to the idea of a more regular, predictable income stream that has the potential to be extremely profitable, then running your own member site may be something worth exploring.
Dale Carnegie once said, “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” “
Whenever you find yourself thinking that your dream is not possible, find someone who is successfully doing the thing you want to do and follow them. I guarantee that this road will lead you to a lifetime of satisfaction, well-being, and even greater possibilities than you could ever imagine.
To your dreams,
Dreamer in Residence
Turning Interests into Income Expert
P.S. Get Rich Slow
When you watch the video you’ll see some revenue figures from actual member sites that range from $4,500 to a whopping $193,000. Again, because it’s a continuity program, these figures are per MONTH.
These numbers are impressive.
Yet, if you’ve been following Changing Course for any time now, then you know that I do not advocate anything that even remotely smacks of “get-rich-quick.” Starting a member site, or any reputable on- or off-line business, takes time and effort. And a member program certainly offers no fast, easy road to riches. But I figure if you’re going to work hard to grow someone else’s business, you might as well work hard to build your own.
I would not suggest you go into the membership site business necessarily expecting to be a millionaire like Ryan. And certainly not right away.
But I do believe that if you are willing to put in the time and effort, that it is entirely possible that by this time next year you could be earning enough from your member site to quit your job or at the very least go part-time.
The key is to begin. Here is the link again: