This is part two of the musician's guide to membership websites. For what a membership site is and why you should build one if you're a musicians, record label, or music industry company, check out part one:
Once you've read that, have a read of the below for additional benefits of making a membership site, what to offer members, and which software you need to easily set your membership site up.
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:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
Benefits Of Musicians Creating A Membership Site Continued
The previous guide has more reasons why you should set a membership website up, but here is another one:
- Your income will become more steady. While selling songs, merch and gig tickets are all great, you’re only as good as your last sale. What happens during the winter months when not as many people are buying tickets? Or during those seasons where disposable income is at a low? Or if you get sick for a few weeks? Your sales will dry up, that’s what.
If however you have fans of your music on your monthly membership, this income will carry on during these period and you’ll know you’ll have a base income coming in regardless. As long as you’ve pre-recorded and scheduled your material for the next month or two (which I always recommend) you’ll even be able to take a couple of weeks holiday off and money will still come in.
Again, I’m not saying it will be super easy to get members to your membership site, but as you can see it’s worth putting in the effort to getting them. As once you get on a role and increase your numbers each month, the rewards will be clear to see. Your income will literally go up every month, as long as you keep the majority of your members happy and add new ones over time.
What Should Musicians Offer Potential Members?
So what should you actually offer those fans who decide to join your membership? Here are a list of things:
- Exclusive songs. For most people, giving your fans songs which they can’t get anywhere else will be a big draw for them. If they’re that much of a big fan of your music, this will be something worth paying for. Exclusivity always does well. I’d say offer fans two exclusive songs a month. One isn’t enough to justify $5 a month, but more than two is probably giving away too much. Once you include other membership benefits and the fact that exclusive songs are worth more than general public songs (make that clear to fans) you’re offering a lot of value for a very low price.
- The chance to win things. Member only competitions are great. As they're only open to paying members, less people will be entering. This means that each person has a much bigger chance of winning, and are therefore more likely to get involved. You should make this clear to non members, as if they have the chance to meet you in person for example for only $5, this is enough of a reason to sign up for some. Other prizes you could give away include gig tickets, an exclusive Skype call with you, a signed copy of your album, a personally signed photo of you and more. Add these to the below ideas, and you'll have a very attractive membership offer for fans.
- A monthly Google hangout. With Google Hangouts you can get online with up to 100 of your members and just talk to them. In this time they can ask you questions, give ideas on where your music goes in future, or just talk generally. Whatever you're happy to do. You may even want to flip things around here and there, and maybe ask them questions one month. This can show you're happy to get to know them, and give you a better incite into what you fans are really like. This can better help you target other fans in future as you know the kind of audience which will buy into you.
Either way, people will love to chat to you in person if they're a fan. So if they can do that alongside others for say $5 a month, this will be a big draw to many.
- Exclusive downloads. If you have wallpapers, screen savers and possibly even ring-tones, you can give this away exclusively to members. It won't cost you any more to produce usually, but if will be an extra incentive which may just convince a fan to turn into a paying member.
Which Software Should You Use to Make Your Membership Site?
If you know you want to build a membership side to your website, my guess is you may be wondering how to set that up. Well, if you have a WordPress site (and I think it also works it you don't have WordPress), you can use a plugin like Digital Access Pass to protect certain aspects of your content. This is the membership plugin I use on Music Industry How To. It allows me to protect pages, create members of different levels, and deliver new content to members on autopilot.
The support team behind it are always helpful when you email them, and they give clear instructions on how to set it up. You can even hire them to set it up for you if you'd prefer that.
There are also other membership site plugins out there, but I've never used them so can't recommend them personally.
That's it for the second part of out guide about creating a membership site. If you haven't seen it yet, you can check out part one here.
If you want to add another income stream to your website and also identify your most loyal fans at the same time, you should definitely consider adding a membership side to your website. They can bring in recurring income, making the money you make from music much more stable.
So, is this something you'd potentially try and add? Let me know in the comments.