We launched and shut down 5 paid membership programs. Here’s what we learned.

Paid membership programs are often promoted as really good, easy revenue for educators and entertainers alike on YouTube, but after launching 5 different paid memberships and doing everything we knew to do in order to grow it, eventually we ended up shutting every one of them down. Why?

We just shut down our most recent paid membership effort, called our Growth Network, after a year and a half of giving it everything we had.

But through that experience I think we’re getting closer to the thing that’s actually going to work.

In this episode I share what we tried, what happened, why I think it didn’t work, and what we learned from it going forward for our business. Plus, I introduce you to a new platform we’re using that’s been incredible for our business.

CHAPTERS
0:00 Introduction
1:08 I’m not anti-membership
2:29 My first failed membership program
5:21 I tried Patreon instead
7:55 A math exercise for my time and effort
8:44 My most recent membership attempt
14:37 Evaluating what I did wrong
20:59 What the data is leading me to try instead
28:42 The main lessons I learned through all this
30:40 Stumbling across something GREAT for us
33:29 Discovering Volley as a perfect solution
39:53 Trying Volley with our other programs
41:26 Volley directly solves our problems
42:05 Creators who could benefit from Volley
44:03 Get direct access to me in Volley
48:07 Conclusion

JOIN ME IN VOLLEY! And get free access to a mini-course that the co-founder and I put together to help set you up for success in using it to grow your business and your audience at the same time. Click here: https://hi.volley.app/land?tk=UmD8rkwMfnfPbyFunZ7auE-tk

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Check out our YouTube foundations course, "30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel," here: https://videocreators.com/30days

Our new Video Creators Academy free 1 month trial: https://videocreators.com/vc-academy/

To register for the next session of our advanced YouTube group coaching program, Video Labs, go here: https://videocreators.com/video-labs/

To have us create a custom YouTube growth strategy for you that meets your goals, let’s start by doing a one-hour consultation first. Sometimes people find they get everything they need from that one hour first and don’t end up needing our full, hands-on custom Action Plan. https://videocreators.com/consulting

SEND US VOICEMAIL of your questions, comment, story, or reaction for us to use in a future podcast episode! https://www.speakpipe.com/videocreators

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[Music]

welcome to the video creators podcast we

help youtube creators grow their

audience and business with next level

tactics and strategies want to

accelerate your channel’s momentum be

more profitable and change the lives of

more people than ever before you’re in

the right place the video creators team

has over a decade of experience

providing youtube strategy for brands

like disney warner brothers hbo and even

youtube themselves so far our team is

responsible for helping clients generate

over 17 billion views on youtube and now

to help you here’s tim lennon and delena

hello creators how are you guys it’s

great to see you for another video

creators podcast episode where every

monday we have some longer forum content

just designed to help you guys move

forward with your youtube channels to to

make more money to reach more people and

change more lives with the message that

you’re spreading through your content

and through your business and one of the

ways that we’ve been trying to do that

here on video creators for about eight

years now is with online community and

and membership paid membership programs

we have had

i don’t know man i have tried this every

single way i know how to try i’ve

followed all the expert guidance and

leadership and and advice and we’ve paid

for consulting and uh joined other

people’s membership coaching programs

and

and so what i’ll do today is like if you

are one of those creators who’s who

either has a membership program or

you’re thinking about starting one uh or

yours isn’t working very well or

whatever i think that we have found

after launching and shutting down about

five of these programs over the past

eight years um maybe ten years actually

that

there are some things here that that i

think would be helpful for you to think

about in terms of what we’ve learned and

our experience in in doing all these now

let me say i am not anti-membership i’m

not anti um

like any of these programs that you that

you see out there but i do think that um

that it may or may not make sense for

everyone and it really depends on your

audience and your goals what you’re

trying to accomplish so let me explain

what that means here um so

the very first membership program i

started

was on

what was it was a program we called

video labs membership so people go

through our our video labs uh course our

eight week training

and at the end of it they we would

always and i’m not i’m not making i’m

not exaggerating it’s like every single

time at the end the people who went

through video labs would be like this

was amazing how do we keep going and for

a while my answer was like i don’t know

like um

you know there really isn’t a way for

you to keep going and they and so then

they would often go off and create their

own groups and as far as i know some of

those groups from about eight and ten

years ago are still meeting regularly

today and they would continue on their

own which i fully supported and loved

but after seeing that happen a few times

i’m like

you know there there’s clearly a need

here that they want and i wasn’t looking

at it just as like here’s a revenue

opportunity for me i was thinking

there’s a way for me to serve these

people better and they’re looking for a

way to be served in this way so so what

if like instead of them going off and

and and forming their own groups which

i’m totally fine with like i’d also

encourage that and support that what if

there was an another opportunity for

them to do that here inside of video

creators and so we put together what i

call the video labs membership program

which was a monthly fee and for that

monthly fee you would

get access to some additional content

and trainings you would

also i think it was a

weekly or monthly i don’t remember um

like live zoom call we’d get in together

and do some q a and we would do

um

uh some additional uh yeah trainings and

resources and things like that for them

every month and i think we also had our

own private facebook group that’s right

that’s what it was and

and that worked okay

but after running that for about a year

i saw a very similar pattern happen

which was after people

finished video labs they were really

excited they wanted to keep going and

about 18

of them sometimes 20 some percent would

would convert into the membership

program

which i think was like a

few hundred dollars um

a year or something like that

and

whenever and a little bit what would

happen is people would uh get into it

they would start taking advantage of it

and they would be really engaged about

the first two maybe three months and

then after that

they

they decided that like uh you know like

they would i don’t i don’t know what

they decided they just kind of fizzled

out and at the end uh there was not a

single person who renewed their

membership and so

um i was like okay well they said they

want this but like i guess this isn’t

the right thing or whatever and so um i

i shut that program down started launch

decided to launch a patreon and because

one of the things i heard often from my

audience was like that being a youtube

creator is lonely and if they just want

someone who understands them and and and

can talk with them about things that

they’re experiencing and struggling with

on their channel they don’t have anyone

else in their life they can do that with

and so when they get together like in

our community they just loved it that

they could have those conversations and

and talk about those things and and so i

launched patreon with a lot of those

types of community things as well we

tried integrating discord that didn’t

really get much traction so i i

cancelled that uh we also did try doing

some live zoom calls and hangouts and

social things and and and we had a good

really solid core of people who were

showing up consistently and regularly

and taking advantage of everything and

and by uh

and out of about i don’t remember how

many patrons there were 800 maybe

something like that at the time uh we

had about 20 people like regularly

engaged and so from a revenue standpoint

you know it wasn’t bad

but from a time commitment standpoint

and from like the people actually

engaging in it it was like you know what

i don’t feel like this is this still

doesn’t feel like it’s serving people

the best way possible and it is

profitable but there just seems to be

like this seems to be like a lot

more

like like it’s still it feels like

pushing a rope uphill and when i looked

at the churn rate of uh which is like

how many people are subscribing how long

do they stay subscribed for and how do

they cancel

i got to a certain level with patreon

and it was just flat and wasn’t growing

anymore and then it started slowly

declining and declining and declining

and it wasn’t like a huge decline but it

was like you know everything i was

trying to do to get this thing where it

just wasn’t working and so it launched

really well but in the long run

i was putting a lot of time and energy

and money into sustaining our patreon

community

and and it felt like you know what

there’s got to be better ways i can

serve them and i know there are better

ways i can serve them because i actually

am doing it in other parts of the

business

that are doing really well and that are

there that are profitable and having a

really tremendous impact i just wasn’t

getting i wasn’t seeing the impact other

than like the 20 people who were really

engaged and so it was really hard to

shut down patreon but i did it because i

thought that

you know these 20 people who really love

it i’m glad that they love it but

there’s got to be a better way to serve

these people better and

and one of the exercises i started doing

my business around that time was looking

just purely from a mathematical

standpoint

where is my time going and how much

fruit or how much results or revenue

however you want to call that is coming

out a result of that activity and what i

notice is that there’s some activities i

do that that don’t require a whole lot

of time and are immensely valuable have

a huge impact on on creators and the

people that we’re working with our

business and outside of our business

and then there was like this other thing

like in that in that case it was patreon

where i was putting like over half of my

hours every week into that thing and it

was like barely breaking even and

declining and i couldn’t figure out how

to turn it around so i said well you

know

i i gotta i gotta shut this down too so

i so i shut it down

and i tried other things too youtube

memberships very similar scenario

happened there um other memberships on

my website um and then about a year and

a half ago uh we we decided you know

what we keep hearing from people that

they love the community and the

interactive part of the video labs and

the other things that we’re doing so

like and those those programs uh like

video labs and things they have built-in

coaching and stuff with us but it’s for

a defined period of time eight weeks 12

weeks depending on the program uh three

months depending on the program so uh it

um so we’re constantly hearing people

like we love this we want to keep going

with this and we’re like okay

so and about a year and a half ago i i

worked really hard on changing some

things with our course called 30 days to

a better youtube channel which is our

foundational level course for people who

are trying to grow on youtube and just

frustrated with the amount of traction

that they’re not seeing on their channel

and and they’re trying to get more

traction but they just need a

step-by-step like literally do this do

this do that in this order this way here

you go and then if you do ev every

single one of these all these trainings

and these exercises and assignments in

30 days you will have a fundamentally

better youtube channel that is optimized

and poised for growth

so that program was doing really well

and so we decided well let’s add a

community part to it where we can help

coach some of these people through some

of what they’re what they’re doing there

on their channel

they get access to us they can post in

this community and and they’re only

going to get access for 30 days for free

so there’s plenty of time while they’re

going through the the course or they can

they can get into this paid membership

program for free for a three a free

30-day trial for while they’re going

through 30 days to better youtube

channel and

and me and my team and other strategists

here will will be there to to support

those people and and so we launched that

as an upsell after people bought 30 days

to put a youtube channel you could get

into what we called the growth network

and for 47

a month 47.99 i think a month um

yeah there would be uh regularly regular

q a like live q a sessions there would

be um weekly challenges that we were

doing uh we were doing like social hours

just hanging out so people could connect

uh on zoom we were um doing guest live

guest interviews with guest experts and

we were uh multiple times a week just

posting in there

with uh like engaging posts and polls

and feedback and ideas and and we were

doing our best to reply to every single

comment that was popping up in there and

then when that got to be too much we we

build a team of mentors that we believe

and trust um they believe in trust

because they’ve gone through our

programs and they’re fantastic people

and so we had so people were getting

lots of engagement from us and our team

and

we were putting everything we knew into

this community how to do and

uh in lenin uh he’s

moved on to do some other things to

really focus on his business

but his full-time job here at video

creators for a year was just the growth

network to make sure everyone who’s in

there got exactly what they needed

coaching them through everything giving

them feedback providing ideas and titles

thumbnail feedback and like and and

everything

and

and we

even though i was like this is

hands down the most valuable

expert driven youtube community that i

have ever seen like this isn’t just like

a like a facebook group where sometimes

you get a lot of people just pulling

their ignorance together this is like

like my team who’s trained and certified

and has tons of experience and multiple

people are all in there

like this is the most valuable

experience that you could ever get as a

youtube creator from a membership

program and uh we’re going way and above

and beyond and

for some reason we saw the same thing

happen which is

like it launched with a bang and the

conversion rate was really high from

video labs into or i’m sorry from 30

days to better youtube channel into the

uh into that growth network um the

upsell converted at about 40 some

percent

um some i think it once it got as high

as 50

which is like half the people who saw

the offer took us up on it for that for

that free trial

and then we looked at the data and it

wasn’t going well it wasn’t lenin’s

fault it wasn’t anyone it was just like

we this is the same experience i have

had with communities like even though

we’re putting everything into it we i

know and they’ve been trained and gone

through other like membership courses

and coaching programs and stuff like

everything we were doing was suppose it

was right it was correct and it was like

we’re going away above and beyond what

we thought we need to be doing and we’re

coached and trained because most people

like it’s very simple you just do this

that and the other thing and boom and

we’re like i don’t know who you people

are but like we are doing way more than

that and it is still not simple and so

some people are like well you’re doing

too much you got to back it down because

they feel like they can’t take advantage

of everything that you have there and so

we tried that too and we got worse

results so

um yeah and not just in one program in

multiple different programs we like

we’ve tried all that stuff

and so what happened with the growth

network is we saw that same thing like

slowly it was declining

um the conversion rate into the program

was really high so we knew the offer was

strong um and same experience before

there was a really dedicated

active core group of people who just

love this thing

and even though we had several hundred

people in this program

and it was like the churn rate was

really high

and the people converting from the free

trial into the pa long term paid

membership past three months was really

low

and

uh and so we were forced to kind of just

be like

what the heck like what are we doing

wrong and it took me i’m kind of

embarrassed to say it took me this long

but it did you know i’ll be honest here

is you know i started thinking about

how i teach business development to

youtube creators and i was breaking a

lot of my own rules

some of those most foundational rules

are

you need to know what your audience

wants the value they actually want to

consume from you

and then you need to sell that to them

and

for 10x the value

in a format they’re willing to pay for

and so i guess not to throw myself under

the bus too much i thought i was

listening to my audience and hearing

like tim we want a place where we can

talk about this stuff tim we want a

place where we can access your team tim

we want a place where other people

understand me and i can get feedback and

ideas and and things like from from

people who know they’re talking about

people who’ve also been through these

same programs and can come at this from

the similar strategy and perspective as

i’m coming at it with and those are all

legitimate things i heard

so that’s why i was confused like where

is the disconnect what what is happening

here and

after lennon and i spent a lot of time

talking about this and he did a lot of

surveys and interviews with the people

every single person came in the growth

network he made a point to private

message them and got into calls with

lots of them help them on board you know

and get into the material and into the

content into the community and

everything we found

what i found is you know like it’s it’s

i should have seen this coming it’s the

classic example of where

your people might not know what they

want

you know and they might say this is what

i want and they might actually want that

for a little while but then other things

they want more

actually end up trumping the thing that

they said they they actually wanted

and and so here’s what happened with

with with the growth network um to kind

of kind of

give some context to this

it served some people really well they

really loved it but even after we

invested full-time hours into this thing

every week it didn’t grow the way that

we needed it to

people didn’t stick around as long maybe

for a month or two than lee but the

number of people who went past three

months was very low and so that was an

indication to us that we can do better

we tweaked and modified the program over

the year to try to make it better and we

found we tried all the different

solutions but never just found one that

serves people to the capacity that we

really wanted to serve them and so we

came to this conclusion that it was best

to lay this thing to rest

and call it a great experiment that we

all really enjoyed but that we should

focus on other programs and services

that were serving people at a really

high level

and what we realized is there’s there’s

the the swing and the miss that we kept

hitting is although people said they

want community and they wanted access to

us and they want the value that’s

happened there what they really want was

was is two things that we is what we

discovered the hard way one what they

really wanted and they didn’t haven’t

even identified this themselves so i

don’t blame them for like it’s nobody’s

fault but what they really wanted is we

want something that’s going to

one save us a lot of time

and and this is in everyone’s audience

by the way this is just just our

audience i’m not saying this is true for

anyone else other than us and and the

type of creators we have attracted is is

one they wanted something that was going

to just save them time and engaging in a

community to get value costs people time

the second thing that we

learned that these people really really

wanted and this was us reading between

the lines and looking at all the common

things people were saying and not saying

in exit interviews and things like that

is um

on the exit surveys and the interviews

like we legitimately did interview like

a lot of like zoom uh 15-minute zoom

interviews with people who are leaving

but also exit surveys that they got

afterwards which a lot high percentage

of people filled out

the the other thing they wanted is like

there needs to be a direct perceived

benefit to me

and

engaging in a community

has an indirect

benefit to me

and so not only does it does it not

directly save me time and i can’t

quickly make that correlation that yes

engaging here and spending the five

minutes to break this post or even the

15 minutes to engage in other people’s

posts and respond to them will somehow

save me time i don’t even know exactly

what the benefit is so so it made sense

that people would be pretty engaged in

the very beginning and then slowly kind

of fizzle off as other things were more

clearly a higher benefit and to them and

their efforts on on youtube and the

other thing we noticed is it kind of

started feeling to a lot of our people

like engaging with the community was

just like another thing they had to do

now it worked really well for us inside

of like eight weeks of video labs or or

30 days of of 30 days to better youtube

channel or in business labs or in the

action plan

those we don’t really have a community

element to action plan but

when it was a defined period of time

people could figure out how to stay

engaged and how to make it work for

eight weeks because there’s a there’s a

date on the calendar when this is all

over and goes away and you want to take

full advantage of that until it goes

away but when it’s ongoing for an

undefeated undefined period of time

and there’s no sense of completion to it

like we don’t know when this is over

when have we completed this subscription

when have we gotten everything out of it

we know how to it

that just made it harder for people to

stick around

or it also made it difficult for them to

really to fully engage because they knew

it like it would be there the next month

that they really wanted it to be and

after three months of that go by they’re

like you know what i’ve engaged in this

for three months so you know i’m gonna

i’m gonna cancel

and so um

the the people who are in there were

working hard on their channels and they

they were the right people to be in

there um but

but it was like you know what i

i think i just want to work harder on

building my channel right now that feels

more important it wasn’t really saving

them time and it wasn’t didn’t have a

direct benefit uh to them so after all

that we at the end of

december so last month um

decided we’re gonna we’re gonna close

all of this down

and we refunded everyone’s money for the

month of december just to make sure no

one accidentally got overcharged for

their time in there and

and and shut that whole thing down

so what do we do instead well a couple

things this is what those are the things

we learn people really want and so

because we had a clear idea like now we

understand what people really want

we decided to like how do we lean hard

into that thing and the thing that one

of the things among several things that

we do really well here at video creators

that serves people really really well

and people get a lot of value out of we

have we tend to have

better completion rates than normal in

our online courses and i think there’s a

lot of reasons for that some of the

things we do intentionally and

strategically inside the course material

itself

because when we sell something to

someone like we we’re we don’t want to

just we’re not satisfied if all that

happens is they feel good about their

transaction

we actually want people to take

advantage of the thing you’re paying for

we want it to

we want it to produce the results for

you that you want to see we want you to

take to use us and leverage like we want

to feel good about the work that we’re

doing we want to feel good about the way

that that we’re spending our time uh and

the way it supports our families when we

do that and when people just pay for a

course and then it just sits there like

you know i know it’s ultimately and i

had several people tell me this so like

tim

you you can lead a horse to water but

you can’t make him drink i’m like

you’re right but i don’t want to use

that as a cop out to as a way to like

let myself off the hook for considering

is there a better way that i could help

that horse drink when we get to the

water you know it’s like

like

is there something else i could do that

would help that make them help make it

easier for them to actually take

advantage and

and consume the full value of what

they’ve paid for and actually get the

results that they want because i believe

that when people grow their channels

grow

and their businesses grow around their

channel they’re making more money that

they have the ability now to reach more

people and change their lives with the

content and the message that they’re

spreading and the business that they’re

growing which is a business that

ultimately revolves around sale solving

a problem for somebody and so the more

problems we can help people solve for

more people like the better right so the

thing we lean into instead is like our

online courses

um have a higher than normal completion

rate and people are really satisfied

with them and they get a lot of value

out of them and and we have a lot more

online courses that we’ve been wanting

to build but just haven’t because

there’s not like a really clear place in

the sales funnel to put them and and and

the as you guys know the muddier the

sales funnel comes like the less likely

that someone is to actually go through

it and then there’s more too much

friction for them to take the next step

and or too much confusion be like which

course do i need x or whatever and plus

we’re not really an online course

business anymore there’s a lot of i mean

there’s a lot of competition around that

now of of people who have launched and

grown successful channels and and they

make their online course about here’s

how to grow on youtube and things and

we’re not really interested in playing

in that space as much as we are in like

we actually want to work with people as

clients

and put our money like where our mouth

is and say like

like when you work with us there’s no

hiding behind generic material like it

like

and when your livelihood is on the line

like the advice you get the strategy you

implement it has to work right it’s not

like

these people aren’t paying us just to

get access to someone’s good ideas um

that may or may not have been tested or

proven like and we like putting

ourselves on the line and in fact we

this is like you see it right on our

website now like we tell people we’ve

gotten so good at helping people reach

the goals they want on youtube that we

say we now tell them if if you do if you

follow our process and do everything

that we instruct you and coach you to do

for three months and don’t hit your goal

at the end of it then we will work with

you for free until you do

and we have not once had to deliver on

that on that on that promise because

either one they don’t do what we do and

they’re like yeah i know i didn’t have

time to do it or whatever or

um they do it all and they hit their

goal so uh so yeah we feel really really

good about about that

and so when it comes to like

the the training material like a lot of

our clients they have a lot of common

questions and we’re like man we could

sit here and do an hour-long meeting

with them and talk about it but we could

also like like we could put this into

online course and help a lot more other

people too who can’t maybe afford the

services or don’t have time to commit to

what those types of agreements look like

or something like that and so uh what we

lean into instead is like what the

people really do want from us is they

want they do want access to expertise

and they want it in a way that feels

like there’s a direct benefit to them

and that’s going to save them time and

our online courses

uh check both of those boxes and so we

have a lot of online courses some that

are just for

for our internal clients that we haven’t

really made public others that we only

launch like once or twice a year

no just once a year black friday is the

only time we do those two um and we have

tons of these guests expert interviews

and trainings that we’ve done for for

the growth network and other places and

so we launched what we now calling the

video creators academy which is

a monthly subscription for the for the

same price 47 well it’s 99 cents cheaper

now 47 a month that was just because our

platform using before

required us to put a 99 on the end of

the price for some reason but 47 a month

and you get access to an entire library

of of content right now there’s 12

trainings and online courses in there

from everything about

creating and launching online courses

and making money with that to um to

growing a business around your channel

to monetization strategies to

setting up the right equipment and

systems to make content creation

scalable to a online course i did with

with an acting coach on on how to feel

comfortable on camera and how to tell

better stories i’m just doing all these

other things on my head there’s how to

live stream comfortably with a lot of

personality there there’s um tons of

them in there okay and we’ve actually

have eight more that we’re adding this

month um because we’re like oh finally

we have a place to put all these

trainings and and things that we’ve been

making into this academy where people

pay a monthly fee for access to the

um

to all the training and so

and then also

what we also learned is that people do

want some feedback though they don’t

want to just be like okay i learned

something but what about this tim and

how does that work and how do i respond

to that and like how do i take this and

apply it to my channel or whatever and

so we do have a monthly coaching thing

as a part of that as well where people

submit questions and we will answer them

every month and post those as a

growing searchable indexable library of

questions that people can have access to

and to get quicker answers um like a

knowledge base to to their questions as

they work through a lot of that material

so we launched that

only about a month ago even privately in

fact this is the first time you’re

talking about it publicly so if you’re

interested in checking it out there’s a

link to it in the show notes um below

this video and you can just you know go

check it out see if it’s right for you

or not there’s a one month free trial so

you can check it out risk free and get

on the inside and see what you think and

keep going or not all right so

so we think that we’re

that the academy and i say we think

because you know says the guy who’s done

this five times

unsuccessfully

for the long term anyway uh i i think we

are getting closer to

to

understanding what our audience really

wants and so

a couple lessons we’ve learned and then

i want to share with you another tool

that we’re using that has really helped

us scale our revenue and the impact and

how many people we work with and and has

been a game changer for us and it’s a

free tool too but um and they’re not

sponsoring i’m just telling you this

because i think it’s really helpful for

you to know yeah so i learned i learned

a few things

one is

it’s really really really

very very very really very put those two

words together somehow important that we

understand

um not just what our audience tells us

they want but what they actually want

and to go a layer deeper into like this

is what i hear

but where where is it what is that

coming out of where is that coming from

and if we solve that problem for them

what does that do for them and to like

don’t be afraid to experiment and try

things i think sometimes we hold on to

things too long and end up wasting a lot

of time and energy and money and

frustration on something that’s

ultimately like the data is showing and

every effort you’re putting into it is

showing like this thing just might not

be working and that could apply to

anything to your youtube channel like i

have a friend who

has been posting a video almost daily

for almost 10 years

and out of all that effort he has about

20 000 youtube subscribers

and i just want to go dude come on like

try something else you know it might be

time for a pivot or to reevaluate the

the way you’re you’re delivering the

value you want to to deliver or

something so um

maybe we’re not waiting that long but

how long is too long that’s the question

you know and and for me i thought like

we i felt like we gave each of these all

that i knew how to give and i didn’t

have any more ideas or solutions for how

to improve it and so i was like all

right we’re not we’re not going to keep

spinning our wheels here we’re going to

we’re going to try something else so i

think the academy uh scratches a lot of

those all those edges now

in the process and this is the other

thing that comes when you shut something

down it forces you to sometimes find

alternatives and try new things

rather than just getting stuck in the

thing that’s kind of working and you’re

never really motivated to go find

something that could work better and

thus you kind of get stuck in this thing

that’s just kind of mediocre instead of

what happens for us and stumbling across

something that’s actually great

so one of the problems that we were

running into with our video labs pro i

am man airing all of our dirty laundry

here we go hopefully this is helpful to

you guys um one of the problems we were

running into with with video labs

is a couple things so so the thing that

makes videos really good it’s an eight

week it’s our advanced level youtube

training so after you go through 30 days

about a youtube channel you’ve you’ve

learned how to optimize your channel for

growth and everything is set up to go

and you’re like great and we do talk in

there a little bit how the algorithm

works so you understand why you’re

optimizing things the way you are and

some ideas to start infusing growth into

your channel but then video labs goes

into in depth about how the algorithm

works and how to optimize your videos

for home page and for search discovery

and for suggested traffic and it goes

into how do you really craft content

that it hooks and engages people and

how to use your analytics to spot more

opportunities for growth and to fix

things that are holding you back and

stuff like that so it’s our it’s our

next level in-depth uh training that we

do and and the issue was that it was it

was our group coaching program and so we

had to limit it to 12 to 20 people which

on one hand sounds like oh it sounds

like a good sales tactic tim there’s

like you’re limiting it to 20 people

yeah but

there was like we were almost always

selling them out and and there’s a lot

of people who wanted to take advantage

of it who couldn’t because

because there’s a group coaching program

we’re getting to a zoom call every week

and we were talking uh we were working

through the assignments together live in

that zoom call we were answering

questions together live in the zoom call

sometimes breaking out into breakout

groups in the zoom call to like work on

assignments and things together on our

channels and um and then yeah and so it

required that everyone’s schedules

aligned and time zones worked out so

that you could be in that call at that

time every week for eight weeks and for

some people depending on their jobs

depending on their you know what they

got going on in their in their in their

lives depending on where they live in

the world like that just wasn’t feasible

and so it was difficult for a lot of

those people to get into it plus the

fact that limiting it to 20 people

um meant that like we just there was a

cap on how many of these that we could

sell

and uh and how many people we could

serve inside of each one because of that

live interaction about zoom call and so

as i was looking for other membership

programs and looking for advice and and

and for a few efforts and ideas i

stumbled up upon

this program uh this this app is as a

platform it’s an app for ios android and

mac and windows called volley and

volley

is a program it works very differently

than any other community platform i

think of it this way if you’re familiar

with slack

i describe it as kind of like if you

took slack

in and merged it into like

snapchat or marco polo or something like

that asynchronous video chat is

technically what it’s called is where

you use you leave a voice a video

message someone else watches it they

leave a video message back and then you

go back and forth with video messages um

right so

like that and so they were building this

platform uh originally for for uh teams

uh virtual teams are working online

together especially since the pandemic

um so there’s more human connection and

interaction but it also saves a lot of

time because you’re not typing all the

time and and you are just talking

instead and uh and

and so i was like oh that’s interesting

so i download the app and i play with it

a little bit and

i had this epiphany moment

playing with this i was like

this

is exactly this allows us to exactly do

what we

want to do which is to scale

our group coaching program

and

serve people better at the same time

like any any of you who are business

owner like that’s what you want to do

right it’s like how do we serve people

better and scale at the same time

without a lot of additional resources

needed to do that and so the when i was

playing with volley

i created uh i i at the time i was also

launching a a new a new the beta version

of a new course called business labs

which um is this is a just kind of like

we do in video labs but it’s or but it’s

a process that’s designed to help

creators who are currently making uh six

figures on youtube grow and scale to

seven figures on youtube

mostly from a business development

perspective it’s not an audience

development course it’s a business

development course around your channel

on youtube and

and so

i i thought well how let me let me try

using volley for our community platform

and business labs and i think what i can

do

is since this asynchronous video we

don’t need to get into a zoom meeting

every week how about

we just use volley instead and

and instead of people kind of competing

for attention inside of the zoom meeting

what if instead everyone could get

undivided attention from everyone

because they can just post their video

question or their homework response or

whatever whenever when they have time

when they’re working on it and then i

can come in once or twice a day and

reply to all those

and and so in bali you can create

difference um you create a space which

is kind of like a workspace in in slack

um that’s like so think of like we made

one for us a space for business labs and

then inside of business labs we create

several different channels which would

be like rooms that you can interact in

and

so i made a different room a different

channel in there for

like uh introduce yourself and a random

off-topic one an announcements one where

only i can post into that one

but everyone can see it there and then

and then i made a new a different

channel for every section of the course

as well and then in the coursework when

they do the assignments or have

questions they report on those things

as they’re working through it in

inside bali and oh my gosh

it worked

amazingly well

and what happened is instead of having

to limit business labs to only 20 people

so that i have enough time to give

everyone time and attention inside of a

live call instead we had almost 50

people in there

and it was still less time for me and it

wasn’t because people weren’t engaging

it was i could serve people better

everyone’s time was used more

efficiently because they were they would

post their video and all of us being

creators um we were uh you know used and

comfortable being on camera especially

for our audience and so uh it worked

really really well and i thought oh my

gosh like

a couple things that happen with volley

one is instead of serving um

20 people i could serve 50 people

almost 50 people by myself and they

still have they still get the same value

and experience they had before

actually they’re getting a better

experience than they had before because

there’s more perceived connection with

me as a facilitator and with each other

because it’s not just like an online

like group where people during the week

while they’re working through a course

or just posting this online group like a

facebook group or something where you

don’t really get to know people and

their mannerisms and personalities

you’re just getting to know like text

that they write

and and this was like kind of like face

to face communication in in some ways

and

um

and it also eliminated the need not only

have meetings but that opened up

well let me say this when it open when

it eliminated the need for us to have

weekly meetings at a certain time that

unlocked the material for people to be

able to join from any time zone with any

schedule and

and work through it at their own pace

which when we were meeting in a zoom

call every week that like kind of forced

everyone to work through the material

uh and get through it at the same time

which sounds good but what ended up

happening is is

within the course of eight weeks life is

just gonna happen at some point and

you’re not gonna get to that material

and you’re gonna fall behind you’re not

gonna get the best assignment and then

you’re gonna feel like you’re just

playing catch up for the rest of the

time in that course and that happened

every single course with like half the

people that would

that were going through it every single

time we ran video labs and and so now

like a little bit more flexibility

there’s still some accountability

because i said i’m only going to be here

in bali uh for two months so i’ll give

you plenty of time to work through the

material and implement it and i can

coach you personally as you’re working

through it and have questions and want

to implement things and uh and stuff but

because people knew that like i was only

gonna be in there for two months they

were still like that scarcity part that

still kind of helped them feel motivated

to get through the material in a timely

manner

um and so after my experience there i

was like you know what i think there’s

an opportunity here for us to try this

with

with other things how about with our

one-on-one coaching clients that we do

in our action plan and and uh

and and so what we’re doing we’re going

to be trying now with them is like most

people don’t really get the value of

volley until they experience it and then

so when people first come on as a client

for our first initial three months we’re

still going to be doing the zoom calls

but they’re still going to get access to

that strategist in bali

and then our we are predicting and we’re

already testing with a couple clients

and it’s working very well

that after they start getting used to

using bali to interact with us and ask

questions and get feedback and things

from from their strategist that they’re

probably gonna be like i don’t really

need zoom calls anymore and we’re like

we know it was just hard to get you to

pay for that up front like without zoom

calls right so

um and it reduces the amount of email

that they’re doing uh and so instead of

them spending time in further inbox

reading emails from their clients taking

the time to email them right back it’s

just like an ongoing conversation and so

instead of spending 10 15 minutes

composing an email it’s about two

minutes just to reply back in a video

format that they get instantly and can

reply back to and it’s and it’s a higher

perceived value because the human

connection is so much higher and it

feels like personalized attention not

like support desk type of thing right uh

and so they’ve been really satisfied

with it and so

um and so i really think that we we are

going to be diving deep into volley

because it helps us save time and it

helps our clients and our our customers

and the creators we’re working with save

time which is what they really really

want and then two there’s absolutely a

direct benefit to them because because

the amount of time it takes to

communicate and get the feedback you

want and the ideas you want feedback on

and and to work with in a client

situation or and even in a group

coaching situation is so much faster

and so much more personalized and so

much more unique that it to the person

it feels like this is absolutely a

direct benefit to me and and so we have

found that volley is like really good in

like in three different situations

number one if you are an educator like

we are you’re running online courses and

you want a more scalable way uh to have

to help more people but also in a deeper

better way

um than just text in a way that feels

more like a connection that the people

are developing with each other and with

you uh volley is hands down like the

best thing now it does take some

coaching to help people get into it very

quickly

um i i found that you really need to

help people feel very confident and

comfortable very quickly but if you’re

if you’re a coach like uh or or an

expert or or an educator or something

something like that then i think

volley’s worth considering uh and i’m

i’m not sponsored by this um they do

know i’m talking about them because i

talked to them a little bit about this

beforehand but they like i’m i i

volunteered to do this okay because i

think it says that valuable for you um

and they did offer to sponsor it and i

said no i think like i just wanna like

when i believe in something i’m just

gonna talk about it

and then number two um

if you are an influencer maybe you’re

more on the entertainment spectrum of

things um maybe you’ve probably already

abandoned this content by now because

this may not or may not turn pertain to

you as much but uh i found it like it’s

a really good way to engage with your

community for you to give them access to

each other kind of similarly to discord

um but in a more uh in a way that people

can engage more on their own time and

their own schedule rather than having to

be as something live at the same time in

order to have that experience

and

three really good if you are doing

something like we’re doing with client

services you’re an expert you’re an

agency and you are working with clients

and you really want to reduce the amount

of time you’re spending in email and

while also improving the amount of of

how of attention that your clients feel

like they’re getting from you and

personalized attention i think volley’s

great for that situation as well so i

want to give you guys access to me on

bali for two weeks uh and and i i talked

with the one of the co-founders of

volley about about this um turns out he

was he’s a video creators fan himself

which i was totally blown away surprised

by he’s like yeah tim i used to grow a

youtube channel and watch you all the

time i’m surprised you’re here like

welcome and i was like oh my goodness

great so um so anyway he is a a former

youtube creator himself and

uh

and so so his name’s josh so josh and i

have created a little mini course for

you completely for free inside of a bali

space that we’re inviting you to for for

free just to come check it out interact

with me and josh ask questions see what

it’s like

that little free mini course is in there

where josh and i go back and forth on on

how to really leverage volley as an

educator as an influencer and as like a

coach or someone who’s working with

clients and as well as the process that

i’ve figured out after using volley for

a little bit that really helps your

people on board really quickly and

easily with making them feel comfortable

and making them feel confident about

using the platform and and because the

sooner you get that they feel that way

though like the more they’re going to

engage and really get the full value out

of it uh and so

yeah there’s a link in the show notes of

this episode it’s a long link so i can’t

say it for you verbally you’re just

gonna have to go to the show notes and

tap on it or click on it depending on

where you’re listening or watching this

and uh and it’s completely free it’ll

take you’ll have to create a free bali

account and then you’ll be boom right

into the our volley space with me and

i’m gonna be in there for until the end

of the month until january 31st and josh

will be too and just interacting with

you and by interacting with you i don’t

mean like just announcing things once in

a while i mean like i want to hear your

ideas and i want to interact with you on

them and i want to hear what you’re

thinking

and what your experience and ideas you

have for for how to make volley even

better and

i have i have no stake in this thing i

am just like this thing is working

really really well for us it’s allowing

us to serve almost twice as many people

with the same personnel and less time

and really high so

yeah i’m just really excited about this

platform and so when i think about what

we’ve been learning about launching

growing and shutting down paid

membership i think part of it is that

the platform really needs to be aligned

with the value that you’re trying to

deliver in a way that’s sustainable for

you and your audience and

for us i think bali is going to be

something

pretty close to that that’s going to be

an integral part even how i even how i

communicate now i like i use slack less

and i instead with my personal assistant

with with caitlin

we used to meet uh have our one-on-one

conversation for an hour every tuesday

where we go over like schedules and

email responses and

projects that we’re working on and

things and instead now with volley we

just do that communication a lot more

quickly and naturally through the week

and instead of our meetings being one

hour creeping into two hours now we’re

meeting for like 15-20 minutes sometimes

and we’re like okay we’re good we

already we already took care of

everything else and more real time with

folly so

it sounds like i’m just fangirling over

it um and maybe i am but i really do

believe in it and i honestly just kind

of want to interact with you guys and

hear what you think about it as well and

hear your responses and ideas and

stories and and yeah and see how see how

it works for you guys so so click that

link in the show notes of this episode

jump into bali completely free

experience it with me and with josh in

there and we just want to hear from you

and learn from you and hear what your

impressions are as well and as well as

give you access to that free course that

we’re giving you in there about how you

can best leverage volley to really

further and grow your audience but also

grow your revenue um depending on how

you plan to monetize this and we do talk

about monetizing it and i go into more

details about how i monetize uh volley

now as well so um all that’s in there so

tap that link down in the show notes and

go check it out

so i feel like that’s a high overview of

what i’ve been learning about growing

and launching and shutting down paid

memberships

i am really looking forward to hearing

from you guys as as always there’s

another link in the show notes if i

don’t have too many called actions here

but there’s another link down there

where um if you want to leave me a voice

message you can do so and i love to

answer those and and talk about your

ideas and your responses to this in in

future uh episodes because i do learn

from you guys all the time when you

email me when you reach out you guys

been so

valuable for me i really appreciate the

the insights that you and the

experiences that you have shared with me

experiences i will never have but i get

to glean from because you have been

sharing those so thank you so much for

doing that and thank you guys so much

for being a part of this video creators

community thank you for giving me the

freedom to experiment and try things and

fail at things and do other things

better and then discover amazing things

and be like oh my god you know like

thank you for for everything you guys

have been doing for me um and not only

for the feedback but just allowing me to

have the freedom to to do these things

and i really appreciate you guys being a

part of this journey with me so thanks

for being here and i think uh next week

we’ll get back on track with some of our

normal uh episodes uh delana and i will

be here and we may or may not have

guests joining us uh to replace lennon

who’s gone but we’re really excited for

him so thank you guys for being here and

i will see you guys again next week for

another video creators episode see you

guys then bye

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