a) Has the person been bribed in some way to make this statement. Many site owners will offer freebies or upgrades in exchange for testimonials . If the person who makes the testimonial is not in your circle of acquaintances and you can’t ask them personally you can only rely on intuition to protect you. What they say and the way they say it is vitally important. If your hear the warning bells and have any reservations keep your credit card firmly in your wallet or purse, No matter how attractive it may seem on the surface
b) Are they affiliates and are they going to benefit in some way if you join. Testimonials from affiliates always need to be taken with a pinch of salt. They want to recruit you because they want to get a portion of the recurring commissions themselves. Sites that are transparent and clearly explain their affiliate program can be trusted more than those who keep it secret. For pyramid and MLM type schemes this is the basic business model with several tiers of affiliates all chasing to get members underneath them. These types of schemes tend to focus on the money you can earn rather than the benefits and training you will receive by joining the site and play on peoples greed to hook them in.
A good membership site will sell itself by word of mouth, If you are going to join sign up under the existing member who you would most like to benefit from your commissions. Top Affiliates will often be the most active members of any membership website because they have the most to gain from its continued success.
c) Does this person have a track record for honesty and for promoting quality products and services. Some people will promote products or services, claiming they have used them just because they want the commissions. Others are more ethical and will only recommend a product or service to their network if they have personally used and tested it themselves. This is where knowing who to follow is important. As an existing member promoting your own membership site you are putting your reputation on the line, so make sure whatever you stand behind can deliver the goods.. 8) Will I Be Constantly Pressured To Upgrade To The Premium Membership Levels Many paid membership sites have tiered levels of involvement, they have an entry level membership which is either free or under $50 per month which gives you access to most of the sites resources and then there are higher level memberships that will offer more interaction such as group coaching or one on one mentorship programmes. Read the small print carefully, you might only be receiving full access for the first month and then have to upgrade to continue to benefit. Many sites give you a free 30 day trial this can be a good way to see if you are actually getting value for money. The Real Money Is On The Backend Most membership programmes make their real money on the backend. A membership site that costs $40 per month to join will cost you $480 per year. If their top Membership level costs $800 per month that is going to cost you $9600 per year So for the site owners there is a huge incentive to get you to upgrade because they stand to make 20 times what they will earn from your regular membership. So in any tiered system expect some form of promotion and leveraged sales process Take Away Tactics They will always frame it in ways that will make it enticing by creating hypothetical situations showing what you might earn as a member which would easily cover your membership fees and then apply a take away i.e. Showing what you will lose by not joining, the potential profits that you won’t make. Don’t be swayed by these type of tactics. And don’t ever lose sight of where you are actually at in your business. . 9) What Is The Real Cost To My Business Always remember that in most businesses your gross profit margin is between 10%-%20 (It may be higher if you are in the information product business as you have less overhead expenses) This means that if you spend $100 you need to create between $500 and $1000 of sales to replace that capital in your business. Add that up over the coming y ear and calculate if you expect to see that kind of return on your investment. For an $800 coaching programme at a %20 profit margin the real cost to your business is $48,000 in sales What Stage Is Your Business At And Are You Actually Ready To Expand? I am not knocking any of the high end membership sites, I am sure they provide great value to their customers and have the success stories to prove it I just want people to be more aware of the real costs and be sure their business is at the right stage to reap the benefits that are promised. I believe the high drop out rate of many of the membership sites is that people want to run before they can even walk. They get seduced by the flashy videos and mesmerising sales copy and think that by joining, their business is suddenly going to explode with little or no work on their part. What they usually find is that they are either overloaded with information and don’t have enough time to integrate it or they commit one of the cardinal sins and that is trying to serve two or three masters at the same time, joining several membership sites and never really committing to any of them. . 10) Are The Other Members Facing The Same Type Of Challenges That You Are? Sometimes joining a membership site is exactly what you need because you don’t have the contacts, knowledge or resources to take your business to the next level. This is where a good membership site is so powerful because you will be mixing with people who have gone though the exact same problems that you are facing and can share their experience. You can also meet people who have the talents and resources that you need in order to grow. I have heard from many of the top business experts that most entrepreneurs find this stage the most challenging because they are forced to let go of total control of every aspect of their business and start hiring, delegating and outsourcing. Are You Paddling In Shallow Water Or Are You Swimming Out Of Your Depth? If you are already experienced in Business you wouldn’t necessarily want to join a membership site that is full of excited enthusiastic newbies. As Bill Bartman said in The Opus Movie,
if I go into a group of 5 people I want to be the dumbest one there so there is something I can learn from everyoneComing from the worlds 25th richest man these are real words of wisdom. It pays to be a little out of your depth and mixing with people who know more than you. It’s important to find the right balance. This is where tiered memberships are very useful. People who make a similar level of financial commitment are usually at similar stages in their business development. . Are You Still Interested? If you have made it all the way to the end of this article then you might want to check out a site I reccomend, it’s called the Master Business Builders Club . Please be aware that this it is my affiliate link so I stand to benefit should you decide to Join. Are There Any Other Questions? I hope you enjoyed this post and received some benefit from my observations, please feel free to add your comments and include any important questions that you think I might have missed. If you haven’t done so already be sure to follow me on Twitter to get all my latest updates http://www.twitter.com/iandavidchapman If you follow me I’ll follow you