#014 How I run my Membership Programs with Gamification.

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Episode Summary

Everything is better when you make it a game. On this episode, Ben walks you through how he turned his membership programs into a game (and how that game helped everyone inside become more successful).

Episode Transcription

So, if you’re listening to this one I’m guessing it’s because, you either, run a membership online, or you would like to run a membership online. And, the cool thing about running memberships … And, this is something that I’ve actually, gotten really good at over the last few years. Is, when you run a membership online, people pay you month-after-month or week-after-week to be a part of something. And, you know, you don’t have to hustle so much because you know you’re going to wake up that month at the beginning, and you’re going to have that income coming in.

But, running memberships can be hard. What should you put into membership? How should you keep people going? How do you keep people motivated, if they’re trying to accomplish a goal? And, how do you make sure that people that are in the membership, aren’t getting distracted by the things that you’re putting into the membership that are for the folks that have been in the membership for a year? And that’s the hard part about running any sort of, membership is because, the folks that are in it longer, need things that are different than the folks that are just getting in today. So, how the heck do you manage that? And that’s what I want to walk you through.

First, I want to take you down memory lane for me. And this is where I came up with the concept that I’m about to teach you. And this is a story of where I really figured out how to run a membership online effectively. So, here’s sort of, the ball game. I run a membership … Well, I run several memberships. But, the one I’m going to tell you about, it’s called Closers Café. And what Closers Café is, it is filled with people that want to put together digital services for brick and mortar businesses. So for instance, one of the main ways that I make money is, I post on Facebook for businesses. I run their Facebook page in their presence, and I post two times a day. And typically, I get paid anywhere from $100.00 a month to $300.00 a month, to do that. Now, we’ve got it setup to where we can automate it, we can do all kinds of cool stuff. To where I’m not having to create content or post all the time. But, that’s how it works.

So, on Closers Café, we teach people how to do that. Now, the hard part about Closers Café is, there are people that have been in Closers Café for months and have a lot of clients that they’re doing this, and they need different things then the folks that are just getting in today. So, how do we manage that? Well, here’s where the story comes in. A few, I guess, years ago at this point, maybe just a year ago. But, I was sort of, putting together Closers Café, we were teaching people this stuff, and you know, we were doing well. People were successful. But, I started noticing this problem of people being able to stay motivated or focused because, we were teaching some thing’s to the folks that had been there awhile, to the folks that had been there in the beginning. People didn’t really know how to take that. And it just so happens that, at that time, my kiddo was going to karate class. And this is something that he wanted to do, and he was about six at this point. And he wanted to go through karate class and learn this stuff. He had a little friend that was going through karate class, too.

And, his mom would take him most of the time. But, I would end up taking him sometimes too, when his mom was doing other things. And so, I would go in and … I’m going to be completely upfront and transparent here. Many a time during this class, I would be sitting there, and I would be working on my phone or doing something on my phone. But, as I was sitting there, you know of course, I’d look up and the stuff that he was doing because, I was proud of him. And, I didn’t really notice this the first few times but after I’d been there three, four times I started to really pick up on something interesting about the way karate classes work. It’s … All of these kids that were in these karate classes, they were being handled just slightly differently based on the color of their belt. Now, if you’ve ever done anything with karate, you know how the belt system works. You know, you have a colored belt. You know how to do more. You’ve been to more classes. You’re more advanced if you have a certain color belt. So you know, all the way up to black belt. And then, there’re degrees of black belt.

What I did not realize before I went to karate class is, how many different levels there were, and how mechanical this whole thing was. And really, more importantly to our purposes is, how this whole system is designed to gamify learning self defense. And to keep you paying to come back to learn self defense. So, this is something that I started to be really interested in. So, I started going to these classes, and I started really watching this. And so I thought. “Wouldn’t it be cool, if we put this into our Closers Café membership? And would it help people?” And so, this is what we started to do. We put together a belt system, if you will. We call it, Levels. And what I’ll do is in the show notes for this, I will make sure that we put sort of, a look of what this is, and it’ll walk you through sort of, how we help people with building their own business by helping brick and mortar businesses through this level system.

So, what we did, we created this level system, and when you come in, you’ve got a few tasks that you’ve gotta complete, and it gets you from white level to orange level. And then, orange level to green level. And then, green level to blue level and so on. All the way until you get to black level. And by the time you get to black level in Closers Café, that means that you’re making $10,000.00 a month recurring. And, the only way to get into black level is if you’ve done that for three months in a row, at least. So you can’t get into the black level area, and that’s … We even have a special group that we put those people in. But you can’t get into that group unless you’ve made $10,000.00 a month recurring. It can’t be just one time sales, it’s got to be recurring, every month. And, you gotta be doing that to get in there.

So, it sort of started out like this. Orange level, you couldn’t get to that until you did a couple things. Now, at white level what happens is, you jump in. Your brand new. You have to basically, pass a test. So you go through our main training that teaches you how to do the recurring revenue stuff by posting to Facebook pages for businesses. Once you get done with that, you get a little test. You pass that test. Once you pass the test, you post in our Facebook group and then, you pass from white level to orange level. Now, the only way to get from orange level to green level is, you have to actually go in, pick a nitch of clients. So, I would say I’m going to go after Chiropractors and here’s 20 prospects in my area that I’m going to go after. You have to have those things done. Then you go from orange level to green level.

Now, what you’re maybe starting to realize is, is every time you pass a level, and you go further into this. It gets a littler harder and harder to pass the level. So once you go from orange level to green level. Green level, you can’t get to blue level until you’ve actually, signed up your first client. Now, we’ve trained everybody how to do this already. But they can’t pass the level until they get there, okay? So, from this point we’ve got folks that, you know, go get their first clients. When they get their first client, they go from green to blue. And, what happened was sort of unexpected. But it was extremely powerful. When we started putting in the leveling system, not only did our retention level in the membership, start to kick up. But the success of the members started to kick up. Meaning, we really started to see that our members were more successful because, they knew the things they needed to be paying attention to.

Now here’s the thing that I didn’t mention. Every time you pass a level, we will build something in as a reward, that helps you get to the next level. So, when you pass white level, and you pass the test, you get a website. We’ll build a website for you for your agency so that, you have that when you start going out trying to get clients, and so on and so on. And at a certain point, once you get five clients, I show people how to market their services at events. How to setup a booth and do that. So, each time you pass a level, you get something else that takes you to the next level. This was absolutely revolutionary because now, not only did our members have sort of a badge of honor and members that were farther down the road could help other members. But, that’s the thing. We started getting people that were feeling responsible. Not only to help the person behind them but, to still keep reaching forward. And they knew what they needed to pay attention to because, we could say. “This is only for people that are orange level or higher. Or, red level or higher.”

And so, it really gave us a language to speak, and a way to segment people in a way that we could help them continue to grow. And it’s been something that’s been absolutely revolutionary. So, I tell you this story for a few reasons. If you’re trying to get a membership started, go check out closerscafe.com, that’s a great place for you to get started. You could learn pretty much all we’re doing there. But, another key thing here is, if you’re running a membership or you’re trying to keep your membership more organized. This is something that’s super easy to setup and, once you get it going and you get it going right, you’ve really dialed it in for your thing. It really helps you to keep people organized and to keep them focused. And that’s the key. Most people don’t progress in life because, it’s hard for them to stay focused on the task at hand, and that’s what this has done for us.

So, I’m going to make sure that we upload this to our website under the show notes at serialprogressseeker.com, you can go check it out. I’ve got a few extras, I’ll show you the sheet that everybody gets when they first start Closers Café so you can sort of, see the levels and how they do that. This is something that you can probably use in your own memberships. And, like I said, I hope you enjoyed this particular episode. If you did in fact enjoy this episode, do me a favor. Jump over and click that subscribe button. What that will do is, it will notify you every time we have a new episode come out. We try to put out at least, one episode a week, if not more. But at least, one episode a week with this kind of information that can help you to grow your business. If there’s something specific that you liked, do me a favor and leave us a review. Tell me what it was that you liked about the episode, and what you’re going to go do with it. What business your in, tell me about yourself too.

Now, on top of that, you can always jump over to serialprogressseeker.com. We’ve got behind the scenes stuff. We’ve got show notes. And we’ve even got some cool stuff that you can do that can help you grow your business, just right on the site. So, hopefully you enjoyed this episode. I have a lot more great stuff coming your way. I’m looking at my notes right now, we have so much good stuff planned for this podcast. Stuff that, I think, people would normally pay a lot of money for. But, why do that when we can give it to you for free?

Alright so, I hope you enjoyed it. I will see you next time.

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2 comments on #014 How I run my Membership Programs with Gamification.

  1. Great post.
    I could see this working equally as well for our clients, in that we put together a “menu” of services that progressively get more involved in their business. Each upward level of increased services, at increased pricing, with increased profit results. Your ‘pitch’ to a new client is ” let’s start your new service with my company at our lowest cost, for this one/single service, and we’ll call it the Orange Service. As we prove ourselves and you make money from it, then we can move you up to our Blue Service at “only” X dollars more per month. And so on. The menu would serve as your complete “end game” and eases a new doubtful prospect into your system. But lets your new prospect know how much more you can do for them if/once you have proven yourself. Each new level/color grant’s more opportunities for both yourself and prospect.
    Looks like I’m re-structuring my business.
    Many thanks Dr. Ben.

  2. Dr. Ben, I have 2 questions but first, I run a 5 figure MRR and have been wanting to gamify for some time now, and this is brilliant!

    1. Where are the example downloads you mentioned in the podcast? Maybe I missed them?

    2. My daughter, Nadia (18 yrs young), has her own VA business providing MRR services like writing content for example. Providing FB posting (if it can be delegated and or automated to her VA team) would be a great line extension for her. Where can she sign up for your Closers Cafe group?

    P.S. I received your podcast from my friend and brilliant copywriter Michael Drummond.

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