Adding a Membership Program to your Business Model

Adding a Membership Program to your Business Model

So you’re thinking about adding a membership program to your online business model?

Great! We’ve helped quite a few businesses make this decision both logically and successfully. Creating a membership site can be a really great way to generate revenue, and who doesn’t want that? Membership programs open up channels of communication that are more direct, that can help to grow and reward your most loyal audience, help build engagement, and have TONS of SEO benefits. How do you get started? Don’t worry, we’ve done this before and can help you determine the best way to make this happen.

First, you’ll need to break down your goal with this membership program. What is your goal? Are you selling a physical product or a downloadable file? Looking to increase followers? Want to reward loyal blog followers with more exclusive content? Want to promote a members only workshop? Create some exclusivity within your audience?

Second,we need to determine which membership style is most appropriate for your business. Let’s take a look at the different types and decide on where to start:

Free – Easy to build a contact list with but subscribers tend to be flighty
Single payment – Perfect for allowing access to restricted content
Ongoing payment – Great for engaging content
Drip format – (free or paid) ex: 4 week course – content offered one week at a time

Third, describe your membership and what benefits your subscribers will receive. This is essentially your sales page. Describe all the benefits and opportunities that would entice someone to not only sign up for your program, but to look forward to every post.

Fourth, create a welcome/thank you page and let your members know what to expect. This is a great place to get them to engage on all outlets (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and ask them to make sure your important updates aren’t going to be filtered by spam. This page also presents an opportunity for new members to recommend your program to friends. An share button that says, “I just joined ____, and am getting started on my ____ right away! Join me!”

Finally, create content and get it ready for your site. File formats can be a variety of types: text, pdfs, videos, & audio files are all great content types, as long as you’re producing quality content. It’s always great to offer a mix of these formats to

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How do I protect my brand?

How do I protect my brand?

Ever had anybody try to use your brand, logo, design or content without permission? It happens, and it can get ugly. It’s safe to say that most people who are willing to steal someone else’s work are less willing to be civil about it when they’re caught. There are countless stories of hardworking business owners having their brand stolen, and being forced to decide between an expensive legal battle, (usually impossible for small businesses), and having to start their business from scratch.

Thankfully, with the the help of many other bloggers and the US Copyright Office, we can learn how to protect ourselves from these distracting experiences and continue to build our businesses with honor.

So, what’s the difference between a copyright and a patent? What’s a trademark?

Good questions.

Registering a copyright is not totally required, but is absolutely recommended. It is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture; the list goes on.1 The copyright goes into effect immediately after the work is created. The tricky thing however, and what we are protecting with a copyright, is our ability to prove that the original work is ours.

Note: a copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. Patentable materials include machines, manufactured articles, industrial processes, and chemical compositions. The duration of patent protection depends on the type of patent granted: 14 years for design patents and 20 years for utility and plant patents.2

A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.3

Without a registered copyright, or in other words a documented, dated, registered statement proclaiming ownership before anyone else, we enter into what could be called a paper trail competition, usually involving very expensive lawyers battling to prove who created what first. Sound like fun?

Not really. Let’s avoid that.

How do I register a copyright for my brand?
Search Google, search the trademark database and search social media sites to see if your brand name … Read the rest

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Creating Your Marketing Strategy

Creating Your Marketing Strategy

Navigating the world of marketing as a new business owner can be overwhelming. For the inexperienced, it can feel a lot like navigating a maze blindfolded. Unfortunately, this maze comes with some potentially expensive wrong turns. With all the different marketing opportunities available, there’s bound to be some trial and error, (in fact there always will be). But with a little help and some informed decision making, we can minimize error and maximize your impact on the market.

First, let’s consider your demographics:

Knowing your audience makes ALL the difference in business and every successful marketing campaign. Beginning a campaign without understanding who you are marketing to is a bit like sending a message in a bottle out to a rough sea. You’re getting your message out there, but you’re not working towards a specific goal. Someone may find it and read it, but who? Where? What will they do with it?

Understanding WHO you are speaking to and what they NEED allows us to create a message specifically tailored to address their needs. Who are your potential clients? Where are they spending their time online? What about in person? What needs are they looking to fulfill? The answers to these questions allow us to understand how to craft your brand as the answer they’re looking for in the places they’re searching.

Then, evaluate your business and where it’s at currently:

Have you heard of the SWOT analysis? Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? These are a few of the very important topics to consider when brainstorming your business’ future:

  • Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
  • Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others
  • Opportunities: elements that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
  • Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project

These are not only VITAL for every business owner and marketing team to understand, they form the backbone of any campaign. Once our team has established an understanding of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, a clearer picture of where your business stands versus where you want it to be, will emerge.

Set a realistic online marketing budget:

Generally, 20% of your profit should go back into generating more business, a majority of which should be focused online.

Implement an efficient Read the rest

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Why is Blogging Important for my Business?

Why is Blogging Important for my Business?

Most of us are aware that hosting a blog on your website is good for business, but why? How can a blog really help with sales? How much time do you need to spend on writing, and is it really that important? We want to tell you that blogging not only IS that important, it’s a wonderfully effective (and inexpensive) tool that can really fuel your business! Here are just a few of our reasons why:

Blogs give your brand a personal voice. Advertising is not what it used to be. Direct ads often do little more than annoy viewers, and mailers tend to get recycled. Keeping a regularly updated blog, connects you with your market in a way that is more appropriate for today’s consumer, and less aggressive in its approach.

Let’s not forget that blogging is a two way street. Blogging allows readers and followers to engage in conversation WITH you. It is extremely important to invite your readers to comment, share, and discuss appropriate material with you! If someone commented on your suit, car, or attitude in person, you would typically respond with a “thank you!” Always remember to engage the reader in the same way you would in person. You’re building relationships here!

Low Cost and possible revenue from outside advertisers. Bloggers that work together succeed together and many exchange goods or services for advertising space. Network! Approach other blogs or business owners and be open to opportunities. Bloggers and readers alike take these relationships very seriously. Because blogs are all about personal relationships, trust is very important! Choose your partners wisely, and write any reviews honestly. Remember, readers come first.

Your Blog will fuel your SEO. Having quality content on your website not only attracts readers, it allows you to earn backlinks to your articles. Backlinks, or “inbound links”, are links that are directed back towards your website, and are “earned” through offering quality content that others want to share. Search engines give higher credence to a website with lots of relevant backlinks. I want to reiterate the word relevant here. The higher the relevance of inbound links, the greater their impact on your SEO.

Now that you have a few reasons to start blogging, how do you get started?

There are a few important moves to make that will help you get your blog off to the right start:
1. Host your own blog

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Aaron rebuilt my ski tour businesses web site from the ground up after I relocated 2.5 years ago to Bend, OR, where Aaron was living. He did an excellent job with our site on every level. He listens carefully to what you need and is quick and efficient in implementing the process to get where you want to be with your site. Aaron is very good about responding quickly to any questions or problems that have arisen since we implemented the site he built. I have been totally pleased with all that Aaron has done for me and I recommend him highly.
Aaron's work impressed me from the start.  He has the ability to transform what we were thinking to great design ideas.Did everything timely and we have used him on two projects so far.  Aaron would be the first person I would call for our next project.
I hired Aaron Pyne to build my law firm website in 2014.  In addition to getting great new site, Aaron was easy to work with, very responsive and answered all of my questions throughout. He was able to get my site up and running quickly and efficiently. If you are in need of a new site, or need help restructuring your current site, I highly recommend Aaron
From the first time I saw Aaron's work on a magazine cover I was completely impressed with his work. Aaron is truly a gift and his creativity, professionalism and strength of character by far surpasses many others. He is easy to work with and always has your best interests at heart. I would highly recommend Aaron, he's the best!
Aaron has delivered an exceptional service, his graphic design content has exceeded my expectations. Being based in Australia I was initially concerned with communication (given the time zone difference), however Aaron’s quick response time highlights his high level of commitment to his clients.
Highly Recommend I have worked with Aaron Pyne for the past four years on several website projects as well as flyer design, logos and business cards. His ability to create what you describe in your mind AND/OR to come up with is own unique and appropriate design for each project makes him an incredible asset as a designer. His patience, eye for detail and professionalism is always present from beginning to end of every project. I highly recommend him and will continue to work with him on many of my future projects. Thank you very much Aaron.