What is Possible with Online Courses and Membership Sites Part 1


I’m starting a series with one of my favorite topics; online courses and memberships. There’s so much to review here and I’m breaking it up into a series so I can cover it all. I jumped into this a couple of years ago with some of my clients and I want to share what I’ve learned.

First, let’s cover where we are today. The Women in the Workplace 2020 report breaks down what most of us already know; women are being significantly impacted due to the COVID outbreak and necessary life changes.

Working women have always done a double shift. Even as they became more powerful at the office, home dynamics still haven’t changed. The pandemic has exacerbated this trend. Many women are looking for new options that allow them to work in a new way, and on their own terms.

We are seeing success with online learning in general and specifically, women who have launched courses are seeing success. Even those just starting are finding a place for their online offers.

Here are a few reasons why this trend is going so well.

  • More people than ever are comfortable working remotely and using online collaboration tools like zoom.

  • People are finding new ways to connect and realize that there’s a place for online learning and online communities.

  • There is a demand for new ways to share and distribute information of all types. I don’t think this is going to decrease once the pandemic is over. It’s been widely accepted as a method for learning and collaborations.

  • The specifics of an online course:

  • Most courses are structured to have a specific goal with a definitive end.

  • You normally see a set one-time fee sometimes with the option for multiple payments.

  • Some courses are completely self-paced, but many now offer a hybrid approach of information along with calls or sessions led by the course creator.

  • Content can be documents, videos, and audio that is either released all at once or dripped out over time with each step building on the next.

  • Access can be provided for different time periods. Some people give you lifetime access, others offer access for a “season” and sometimes share a discount if you want to “re-take” the course later.

  • How memberships work:

  • These are content access that keeps going. Think Netflix or HBO. As long as you pay you can get the info.

  • Courses can be part of memberships.

  • Memberships are often helpful with execution. It’s a way to get access to information when you need it from a leader or others who in the group.

  • There’s an opportunity for community. People can connect, collaborate, and get to know one another. They can support each other and provide accountability.

  • Content in memberships is handled multiple ways. Some of it is always there so when you join, you get all info that’s been shared before and will continue to have access as long as you stay in the group.

  • Memberships require a retention strategy. How can you keep your members engaged so they want to stay?

  • Some things to think about:

  • Start with your content and think about the best way to share it.

  • Think about how engaged you can/want to be. Being hands-on is key for successful courses and memberships.

  • Think if you want something to be finite or on-going.

  • Courses and memberships are long game strategies that really work. It allows you to take your expertise and monetize. It can be an opportunity to work in a new way or reach new people.

    Women in the Workplace 2020 Report