As a consultant, personal coach or professional services provider, you meet with clients day in and day out, sharing your advice and techniques to help them reach their goals, whether it is finding their first home, launching their new business or treating a health condition.

Due to the nature of your business, you likely work with clients one-on-one, which means the number of people you can support is limited by the eight-hour work day. Though you want to serve more clients, your resources are already spread thin trying to maintain the relationships you have with your existing customers.

But what if you could package your advice which you’re likely often repeating for each client anyway into online videos or courses and share them with a broader audience? That’s the power of membership sites. These types of sites are ideal for one-to-one service businesses: You’ve already got the expertise and knowledge and have proven there’s a demand for it. Now it’s just a matter of scaling.

You can expand your customer reach while also creating personal customer experiences

You may be thinking that going online will diminish your best quality: your ability to personally help and connect with each client. And the idea of building a membership site sounds daunting, not to mention the time and effort involved in maintaining it.

These concerns are enough to keep many entrepreneurs from taking the leap and launching their first membership site. In fact, these concerns are the most frequently mentioned topics in membership site “how to” articles, such as this one by Memberful.

With modern platforms and plugins built specifically to support business owners in launching membership sites, setting up and running your site doesn’t need to be so technologically overwhelming. Thanks to that same technology, you can serve more clients and deliver your products via your membership site in a way that still feels like a one-on-one interaction.

In fact, according to the Scale With a Membership Site guide, “With membership sites, your members still feel like they are getting one-to-one treatment and are part of a special, supportive community.”

It’s all about how you deliver

There are several types of membership sites and techniques for delivering content so that you can best communicate your information while maintaining a personal connection.

For example, some sites involve community forums where your clients can ask each other questions and discuss important topics. Some sites are focused around training and education, where members progress through courses. Others serve as repositories of information that members can view and consume on their own time.

You can tailor your content to reach different audiences or serve different pain points. You can also use a variety of mediums — such as videos, podcasts or interactive webinars — that allow you to show your personality and connect with clients on a human level even without being in the same room.  

Membership sites are not meant to detract from your connection with clients but rather enable connections with even more clients. Once you set up your site, it’s important to continue to update content and engage with members to keep them active. Contrary to popular belief, membership sites aren’t exactly “set it and forget it.” You’ll earn recurring, mostly passive revenue, but you’ll also need to continue serving clients in individual ways. 

Membership sites actually work, especially for service businesses

Trading your time for money working one-on-one with clients often leads to burnout and challenges reaching a sustainable income. Membership sites have proven to be an effective way to eliminate those issues for personal service providers.

Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted said, “I was able to double my revenue, as well as flip from consulting income to almost 90% leveraged income from affiliate and program sales … that was my biggest ‘aha’ about the power of online courses.”

Socially Sorted isn’t the only business that has successfully grown by incorporating a membership site. Book More Brides also used a membership site to boost its annual customer base by almost 2,000%.

In addition to the ability to serve more clients worldwide with your knowledge and service, membership sites allow you to:

  • Build a community that makes your clients feel a sense of belonging and support so that they stick around long-term
  • Serve more customers without being limited by your busy schedule
  • Give your clients meaningful value by helping them achieve their goals, thereby earning loyal customers
  • Track your customers’ experiences to better understand their needs so you know exactly where to spend your time and marketing budget
  • Bundle your knowledge into consumable pieces of content so you can scale the number of customers you can reach 
  • Charge a monthly or annual fee for your exclusive membership so you can start earning recurring revenue

Determining the type of site, creating your content, and choosing a site platform are the first steps in launching a membership site. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions and details about each of those important tasks, check out the Scale With a Membership Site guide.


About Aslan Williams
Aslan Williams grew up in a small, southern town, tailgating at football games and watching sunsets over the Mississippi Delta. Since leaving her southern roots four years ago, she has lived in five countries, practicing yoga, teaching English and honing her marketing skills at various International internships. Now, as a recent graduate from UCSB, Aslan is applying her degrees in Communication and English in her role as Content Engagement Coordinator at Ontraport.