Subscription programs aren’t new. I’ve hosted several subscription programs for aspiring digital entrepreneurs and delivered online business coaching in an ongoing (sometimes called evergreen) subscription model. Many digital entrepreneurs also host both ongoing and short-run subscriptions, and for good reasons.
But First, a Story…
In 2011, I enrolled in a 12-week limited-term subscription course called Get Paid To Write. It was marketed by Ev Bogue, who, unfortunately for us, abandoned his online business model and now focuses only on writing technical manuals.
Get Paid To Write was a course about how to establish yourself as a writer online. It was right up my alley and I signed up the first day the enrollment period opened. As a subscriber to his blog, it cost me $247 (his final price was $347) for the twelve-week program and I knew it was a bargain because I knew from Ev’s previous products, that it would be packed with value.
I signed up using a Mailchimp form that Ev provided and paid the tuition using my debit card on his site. Each Tuesday for twelve weeks, I received an email in a nicely formatted template that was branded with the banner pictured above.
Each week’s topic was related to the next and each addressed an element of the overall process of how to monetize one’s writing for the web. It remains one of my favorite courses and made it easier for me to take advantage of an additional course from Ev as well as enrolling in an ongoing subscription program he offered.
This story is relevant today because it represents, on many levels, how a limited-term subscription model works to deliver specific knowledge. It generated a significant financial return for Ev and it taught me many valuable lessons not only about how to run a limited-term subscription, but how to better execute my craft as a writer and marketer.
Why You Should Start a Limited-Term Subscription
Packaging what you already know is a sure-fire way to get a digital business started even if right now you don’t have a website or an email list. I share in my training manual how to do all these things.
In the meantime, here are five reasons why you should consider it:
Reason 1: No Initial Risk The reason there is no initial risk for you is that you don’t have to create your entire course before marketing it for sale. One of the biggest mistakes I see digital entrepreneurs making is spending months writing a book or a course and then feeling like a failure when they see very little return if any. That’s an example of what’s called hope marketing. We throw something online and hope that it sells. There’s a smarter way to launch your subscription.
Reason 2: Immediate Cash Flow When you launch your limited-term subscription, you should see immediate sales and instant cash flow, if you’ve done it right. This involves marketing the content you know your market wants. There are even ways to gather the assistance from your audience to create the product they actually want. When that happens, you experience solid buy-in from your audience. When launch day comes, unless you blow the pricing part, you’ll undoubtedly see instant cash flow and that means you’ve got a winning subscription product. Then, and only then, do you get busy creating the content.
Reason 3: Establish Authority When we first start out in digital business, we don’t have much in the way of reputation or authority. But that doesn’t mean it takes years to establish. You can rapidly establish authority in your area by offering a limited-term subscription that teaches one facet of your specialty area. Creating and marketing a subscription product can rapidly result in your reputation rising within your industry when it focuses on teaching a specific knowledge or a skill and promises a highly-desired outcome.
Reason 4: Limited Research Required Since your limited-term subscription is based on the knowledge you already possess, your level of research is relatively small. You know this material already, and although you might need to figure out how to package your existing knowledge and marketing it in a smart, respectful way, there are many ways to acquire this knowledge.
Reason 5: It’s a Win-Win Proposition Both you and customers benefit from a limited-term subscription model. The customer benefits in that they have a voice in determining what goes into the product. You benefit from rapid cash-flow, the increase in your authority, and no creation until your audience signals that they’re willing to help. How do you get them to help?
I’ve made good money from Subscription Programs. I’ve charged as little as $25/month and as much as $99/month for my subscriptions. They’ve been both short-term subscriptions and evergreen or ongoing subscription models.
After condensing what I knew about packaging my own knowledge about subscription programs, I decided to start helping others do the same. That’s where my resource guide comes in.
I’ve created it to help you learn the basics of selling more of what you write via email subscriptions.