Boss Project membership success story

Membership Success Story: Boss Project

Membership type: Content library, Online course, Community, Digital downloads
Built with: Squarespace + MemberSpace
Established: 2015

Boss Project was designed to help individuals launch and grow a thriving business through coaching services and their all-inclusive membership.

Boss Project started their membership, the Co-op, to help people launch and grow an online business. Through virtual resources like a content library, online course, community, and digital downloads, members of the Co-op learn how to create a sustainable and scalable business, all while freeing up time for their personal lives.

Boss Project helps small businesses through various digital products and a membership
Boss Project helps small businesses thrive through their membership, the Co-op.
membership grants access to all digital resources
Instead of buying each product separately, the Co-op grants members unlimited access to all resources.

Meet the owner

Abagail Pumphrey is the co-founder and CEO of Boss Project and the Co-op membership. After a layoff, Abagail started her now 7-figure work-from-home business!

Her goal is to help small business owners gain financial freedom while maintaining control of their personal lives.

Membership Q & A

What is the pain point you solve for your customers?

Our membership is designed to grow your revenue and save you time. We focus on offering a mix of solutions — some are easy to implement (we’re talking a minute or less strategies), and others are more long-term focuses that help people turn their business into an asset that fuels their financial future.

What were you doing before your membership business?

Prior to launching the Co-op, we sold primarily courses. Rolling out the membership meant we could now focus on not just growing recurring revenue, but also providing opportunities for one-off sales to the products available INSIDE our membership.

💡 Membership Tip
In addition to an all-inclusive membership, consider selling individual pieces of your membership as one-off digital products.

What challenges did you have in the early stages of your business? How did you solve those challenges?

Challenges aren’t just something you experience in the early stages of your business. New things pop up all the time. I like to think of them as opportunities. I ask “How can we tackle this new problem like an experiment and try and test things?” rather than thinking about it as a linear problem and solution.

In the early stages, we pretty cold-turkey let go of our 1:1 clients to pursue educating our audience through courses. While this was very effective and grew rapidly, it also meant we were only bringing in one-time purchases. To create more sustainability and ultimately build the team we wanted, we needed a guaranteed base to start from. Growing a membership allowed us to not have to start from $0 at the beginning of every month, even though it presented its own set of unexpected challenges.

Challenges aren’t just something you experience in the early stages of your business. New things pop up all the time. I like to think of them as opportunities.

Were there any keys to success, or big "a-ha!" moments that really elevated the growth of your business?

There were many, but one that really sticks out was unraveling my self identity with that of the business. Ultimately having my worth tied into the success or failure of the business meant I was on a whiplash-inducing rollercoaster. One minute I felt on top of the world, and the next felt like I crashed into a brick wall. Until I could really pull back and see myself as independent from my work, I had a ceiling on my potential. Fueled by both the intimidation of actual success AND the larger risks that came with managing a larger company.

At this point I know enough about business that I can see what levers to pull. My mindset and focus play a much bigger part in outcomes at this stage.

Did you have a social media following or large email list before you started your membership? Which platform(s) was your audience on, and how did you initially grow your audience there?

Yes. Initial audience growth was from blogging and Instagram.

How do you market your membership and find new members?

Our membership is on what I like to think of as a launch loop. We drop new templates and resources inside our membership once monthly. This gives us a natural opportunity to promote what’s new to our existing audience and spark a little FOMO. A few times a year we will do a larger promotion, sometimes accompanied by a sale, to add a bit of urgency since our membership is always open.

the Co-op membership offers various pricing tiers with MemberSpace
Each of the Co-op’s pricing tiers is linked to a plan-specific signup link powered by MemberSpace.

Do you spend any money on paid advertisements? Which platform(s) do you advertise on, and how helpful is this in finding new members?

We ran ads significantly in the past, however, we are not currently running any ads to the Co-op.

Facebook/Instagram — with the rising cost of acquisition, we turned off ads for a significant period of time and are just now re-experimenting with them.

Have you done anything to focus on retention and reduce canceled members?

Retention (i.e. minimizing churn) is a massive focus for us internally. While I don’t think there is a prescriptive way that always works (sometimes you try something that worked before, it may not work again), one of my favorite approaches is really taking a pulse on our members.
We consistently poll, survey, and listen to our customers to understand their current challenges, what they are facing in the market, as well as current trends we might want to capture. This fall, we actually did a pretty massive overhaul and moved from exclusively templates to including both the tools and strategies. We rolled out the inclusion of many of our most popular courses. This both was an effective way to attract members and also keep them staying around.

💡 Membership Tip
Surveying and listening to customers is an important way to maintain awareness of their current needs and help you better serve (and retain!) them.

What are some of your favorite online tools for running your business?

Adobe, ManyChat, Slack, Instagram, Fellow, Squarespace

members log in with a MemberSpace-powered signup link
Abagail linked to the login form in her top navigation so members have easy access to protected content.

Do you have a team helping with your membership business? What does your team help with? Are they full-time, or independent contractors?

Yes, we have a lean team of 4 full-time staff.

Jen is our Operations Assistant. She handles customer service, keeps our project management systems running and manages the production of our podcast.

Caitlin is our Program Manager. She assists with curriculum development, ascension planning, program maintenance, and works to understand the needs of our clients and students. AND handles a ton of design work behind the scenes.

Jared is our Marketing Manager and resident encyclopedia. He can recall just about any resource our team has on hand to help a customer in need. He also handles email communication, tech setup, payroll and benefits management.

I’m the owner & CEO. I write nearly all our content. Handle sales strategy. Focus on vision for the company. Host our podcast. And consult with our clients both in group and 1:1 settings.

What's your source of inspiration?

My inspiration is a bit of a moving target. Sometimes it’s a walk in my neighborhood. Other times it’s cooking a new recipe. Maybe a podcast that sparks an idea. Or someone I just see totally crushing it. I constantly look for what is bringing me joy and motivating me to show up.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

Don’t make it so complicated. Once you commit to something and consistently show up there. It’s hard to set things down. Simple is scalable. No need to chase all the sparkly squirrels that come your way.

Simple is scalable.

What's next for your business?

Just watch out. 2024 is about to be our most wild year yet. We have a lot of top-secret projects on the docket.

Membership Business Takeaways

  • Selling individual components of your membership as one-off products can be a great way to grow your revenue, as well as introduce new customers to the value of your membership.
  • Try to see your business challenges as opportunities to experiment, learn new things, and continuously improve!
  • Staying tuned in to your customers’ current needs can provide valuable insights to inform your membership content and improve retention.
  • Simple is scalable. Starting small is much better than not starting at all! You can always add additional value as you go.

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