You can truly expand your business fast if you offer a full-fledged and valuable membership site free to your prospects and customers. This is a killer way to build your email list and to really get close to your audience. You see this happening in a micro way with Facebook groups, and how small business owners are using them to build community.
Let's look at the many benefits of offering a totally free membership.
Grow Your Business
People like free stuff so if you offer a free membership community for your audience, they're going to jump on it. This is especially true if you already have a following and customers. They like to feel as if they're VIPs and in the know.
Build a Community of Fans
When you have customers, they may or may not buy from you again. They might not remember to look for you, so it's not even that likely they'll buy from you again – unless the price is right and they happen to see a new advertisement or mention of you. If they're a member of your community, they'll see it.
Identify New Target Markets
Something interesting happens in a private community among like-minded individuals. They start sharing about other things. They share their lives in an intimate way with the other members. It starts feeling like a safe place to share. When they share, you learn about more ideas and products you may want to create, or lookalike audiences you can target.
Build Your Brand
Having a popular membership site will help you build your brand because more people will know who you are. Give your members the incentive to promote your membership too. For example, give them points for getting people to sign up and for sharing that they can use toward products. That will help you build your list free.
Promote Paid Products
Since they are getting the membership free, you can promote all your paid products to them when they're using your platform. Since they're not on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, all the distractions are gone and they're going to be more likely to take advantage of your offers.
Offer Paid Upgrades
Even if you have a free membership site, it doesn't mean you can't offer a more exclusive one that offers more time with you – such as one-on-one video conferencing or something each week. If your free membership is hopping, people are going to want to find out about the exclusive options too.
Build Your Email List
Everyone who gets in your membership is being signed up to your email list. Because it is such a high-value offer, they're not really going to think anything about giving their email to be part of a membership. It's easy.