You may have noticed that, so far, my blogs have focused very much on thinking about your members. That isn’t going to change. Online membership isn’t just about getting your ‘stuff’ out there, it is about creating an experience. That means that being in the head of your potential customer is crucial (frankly, it’s crucial in any business but that’s a different conversation).
There are some key considerations about other matters, however, and the ‘how much?’ question is key.
Quantity of content has two strands:
- How much do I provide in any one ‘session’?
- How far ahead do I need to be in terms of developing the content?
This is a huge question so, in true ‘online membership’ fashion, I’ve split this blog up into two parts. Last time I focused on the amount of content in a session, so now lets look at how far ahead to work.
How far ahead?
How much? is very much a question that is thinking from an audience perspective.
How far ahead do you need to be? on the other hand, is about the management of your content and of your time. Only you know what time you have available and what it takes to put each content drop together. Here then, are my thoughts on the matter – but feel free to adapt and adjust for your own needs.
Firstly, do not wait to launch until all your content is ready and perfect. Otherwise you could be investing masses of time and money into something which, on first contact with customers needs to be changed and re-written. For my clients, I find that the ideal place to be is about 2 months ahead. It gives leeway for any bumps in the road and changes in direction. For launch however, I would strongly recommend you get an additional month ahead.
Because, quite simply, you are going to need to put a lot of your time and effort into making that launch a success. If your focus is on promoting the new service you won’t have time to build anything else so that extra month allows you to relax and put your attention where it needs to be.
Once you are launched, the absolutely vital component is to deliver further content when you say you will. If you have a live element to your service, you can provide updates if you’ve decided to change things, but keeping promises builds trust in the service and is more important in a member’s first few months than later on, when they’ve had some results and can see that it is worth sticking around. So keep yourself a couple of months ahead in order to keep that promise.
After a couple of months, do some analysis of how your members are interacting with the content and, based on what is working and what is not, you are now in a position to make adjustments. This might relate to how often you release materials, or how much you release at a time, or even to discard some components of what you provide.
This last one tends to be the hardest to do. You’ve worked hard on this, it’s great content, it makes the material even more exciting…. But if your members aren’t using it or can’t make sense of it or aren’t ready for it, all you do is risk overwhelming them and pushing them towards the ‘Cancel’ button.
And, at the end of the day, taking care of your members is what it is all about (more on that in my next blog!).
Thoughts? Comments? Have you done it differently? Let me know in the comments below.