Today I’m going to show you how to overcome one of the biggest problems musicians face today: building up a consistent income. While I’m not saying this strategy I’m going to share will be the only thing you need to do to make your music career financially stable, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
In this guide I’m going to introduce you to the concept of having a members area in which you can connect with a highly loyal section of your fanbase. Those that are actively looking to keep up with what you’re doing and want to be the first to have all your new material. So read on for all the details. Note: This is the first in a two part guide. The second part should be read after this one, and can be seen here:
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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What Is A Membership Website?
A membership site is a website which is only accessible to people who have signed up to be a member. You can either make your membership free to sign up to, or you can make it a paid membership. In this guide I’ll be focusing on creating a paid membership site for those in the music industry, whether you're a musician, a record label, or other. There are plenty of other guides on building your fanbase without making money, so I won't be covering free membership sites today.
Why Make A Membership Website?
I’ve already showed you why you should build a music website and how to do that. While having a website to promote your music is a must have in itself, having a membership section on your website is taking things to the next level. You’re giving fans the opportunity to feel like they’re part of something special, as they get new material before anyone else.
Think about it, if you could pay say $5 a month to hear new material and exclusive content from your favorite musician, would you do it? My guess is that a good percentage of you would. And if not, would you pay that $5 a month if you were also entered into competitions with the chance to meet them in person or win free tickets to one of their gigs? Or possibly even have them talk to a group of you in Google Hangouts?
When you’re giving so much value for a small amount ($5 is only an example number, you can pick more or less if you like. This however is a good starting point) there will always be people who take you up on your offer. For example, I give musicians and music industry professionals some of the best online music courses and hundreds of people have taken me up on that offer. Why? Because at that price and with that much value, it’s almost a no brainer. If you work in the music industry and want a professional to share all their knowledge with you, it’d be silly not to spend $5 to get that. Walk up to anyone else and ask them for help, and they'll charge you at least $100 per hour for their knowledge (if they'll even share it at all).
This is the kind of thing you want to offer your fans; if they’re a big fan of yours, it’d be silly not to spend $5 to get songs most others haven’t heard as well as exclusive access and the chance to win loads of goodies. Of course, you’ll need to make them fans before selling the membership to them will be easy, but if they really like you, $5 isn't much to get a lot more access.
The great thing about membership sites, is that when you have a paid member, the income you get from them will be recurring. Let’ say you offer your fans a couple of new songs every month alongside a few other bits. For those exclusive goodies, they pay the $5 a month. As long as they keep paying, they keep getting new material.
Now let’s say you manage to get 20 of your most loyal fans to sign up to your membership. That’s $100 a month you have coming in, as long as those people stay members. With that money you can record the two songs needed to give to your members. The membership money covers your studio costs.
If next month you manage to get another 7 paying members (every 4+ days you get a new sign up) but you get two of your existing members dropping out (which happens no matter how good what you offer is), you’ll then have 25 members. That’s $125 a month. $100 will go to your studio costs, and $25 will be profit for you.
Now while that might not sound like a lot of profit, there are a couple of things you need to remember:
- The above are just examples. In reality, you might get another 20 members in the second month. That will mean a total of $200 a month in recurring revenue and $100 profit. And if you get 20 more people the third month with 5 people dropping out, that’s now $175 a month recurring profit. As long as you keep adding new members, your profit will go up.
I gave you lower figures in the example as I don’t want you to think this is a quick path to riches. If you have a decent sized fanbase and charge $10 a month, you may get 100 joining in the first month. After your $100 or so recording fee, that's $900 profit a month recurring. The numbers will all depend on your own personal situation.
Now, to get people to part with even $5 a month takes some work, but it’s definitely achievable. Even if you can only add a few new members a month you’ll be on the right path.
- Whether you have 1 member or 1000 members, your workload will still be pretty much the same. Sure there will be more support emails with more members, but in terms of how much effort you’re putting into the content you deliver to members, it’s exactly the same. So the more members you can get, the more per hour you’ll effectively be making. This will build up over time.
To Be Continued…
So there you have it, what a membership site is, and some of the reasons you should set one up if you're a musician or have a company within the music industry. Part 2 can be seen here:
This further looks at why you should set a membership site up, looking at what to include in your membership site to make people want to join, and how to get one up and running. Check it out now.