Memberships 101 for Web Designers

Members-only content is increasingly popular for online business owners — and thus increasingly important for web designers. Helping your clients build online courses, content libraries, and other membership products is a valuable supplement to traditional web design services.

Types of membership products

There are many types of online membership products business owners and creators use for income. Some businesses focus on just one membership type (like an online course) and some incorporate several. Some of the most common membership products are:

Online course

Online courses are a great way for your clients to further establish themselves as an expert in their field, while also generating steady income! Courses aren’t just for coaches, either. All creative professionals and service providers can use courses for a range of benefits to their brand and business. Online courses can help your clients:

  • Boost their profile as a leader in their area of expertise or “zone of genius.”
  • Develop a long-term source of income.
  • Provide an entry-level point for people interested in their services but not yet ready to commit to a full one-on-one package.
  • Build a unique re-marketing tool — after the course is over, your client can keep students informed about new memberships and service offerings.

Content library

content library is a repository for digital content like videos, tutorials, templates, images, downloadable guides, and printable worksheets. Rather than having each of these products residing on a separate landing page (or in a cluttered Google Drive folder), a content library allows you to arrange them all beautifully by type and function.

Digital downloads

Digital downloads are a high-profit option for creators with a wealth of ideas to share! Because your client won’t need to maintain any physical inventory or deal with shipping, they can create one digital download product and sell it multiple times.

There are no limits when it comes to selling digital downloads on your client’s website. You can help them sell PDFs, printable classroom handouts, checklists, social media templates, icons, audio files, eBooks and more.

The best part about digital downloads is their lifespan — create a file once and sell it multiple times!

As your client begins building a membership business, they may find that they start to attract a community of engaged and excited people, all interested in what they have to offer. It’s only natural that as their audience grows, they’ll want to interact with their audience (and allow their audience to interact with each other) more.

paid community is the perfect opportunity to help expand your client’s membership business, grow their brand, and develop relationships better than is possible on social media.

Paid Zoom calls can take the place of in-person events like seminars, workshops, training sessions and masterminds. By moving events onto Zoom (or other video conferencing software), your client can reach a wider audience, develop a new revenue stream, and build their brand as an expert.

Launching paid video conferencing is a great way to teach their core audience a new skill, without creating an entire course around the topic. (Of course, if they are already an online course creator, paid Zoom calls are another great way to drum up interest in their more in-depth content offerings!)

Digital magazine

Digital magazines let your client offer exclusive, paywalled high-quality content to paid subscribers without the cost and logistics of printing and mailing a physical magazine. Their audience will enjoy the freedom to read their magazine on any device or print articles out if they prefer a tactile experience.

Private podcast

private podcast works like a public podcast in that people can listen to episodes directly from your client’s website or using a podcast player app such as Apple Podcasts, Castro, Overcast, etc.

But unlike public podcasts, a private podcast doesn’t show up in public directories. So no one can listen to your client’s private podcast unless they’ve been granted access.

Creating a private podcast can be as simple as an ads-free version of a public podcast and/or your client could create bonus content exclusively for their members.

By providing a private podcast, you can help your client give people yet another reason to join their membership. And it can help retain members for longer because they’ll lose access to updates in the private podcast as soon as they cancel their membership.

Paid newsletters typically provide extra value that goes above and beyond the content in standard marketing blasts. Paid subscribers may receive:

  • Expanded print or audio content
  • Early or discounted access to videos and courses
  • Special members-only website access
  • Exclusive downloads (like eBooks and guides)
  • One-on-one coaching
  • “Office hours” and “ask me anything” sessions

Membership software

There is a wide range of membership software available for different types of membership products. Some software is specific to a certain type of content — for example, Teachable is a platform for online course creation. You create all course content on Teachable, and that’s where your client’s students access it.

Other software, like MemberSpace, allows page and content protection on your client’s website. This means your client can house all of their content on their own website, with more control over the content type and branding, and their members don’t need to leave their website to access it. With MemberSpace, protected content is not available to the public — members are required to sign up (and pay, if the content is paid) before accessing it.

MemberSpace even allows you to protect specific content links, if your client’s membership includes important files like the digital downloads or ebooks we mentioned above.

Creating memberships for your clients

The process for building membership products for your clients will vary depending on the membership software you use. With MemberSpace, the process is simple:

  1. Design pages on your client’s website. The specific pages you’ll need will vary based on the type of membership product you’re creating. If your client is launching a course, perhaps you create a course homepage and a separate page for each module. If you’re helping your client design a content library, perhaps you build a welcome page featuring category links and a separate page for each category. It’s up to you!
  2. Protect pages with MemberSpace. Using MemberSpace, you’ll choose the specific pages on your client’s website you’d like to protect for members-only access.
  3. Set up Member Plans and payment options. MemberSpace allows you to offer free, one-time payment, recurring payment (subscription) or multiple payment (e.g. payment plan) plans. Perhaps your client would like to provide tiered access, with additional content available at higher tiers of membership. Member Plans are simple to set up in MemberSpace, and come with a wide range of member billing options, including the ability to collect sales tax, offer free trials, provide discount codes, and more (see our full list of MemberSpace features).
  4. Customize signup options and the member experience. With MemberSpace, you have 100% control over the look and feel, so you can design members’ signup and login process to match your client’s branding. Add custom signup fields if needed, and customize the automated emails members receive (confirmation, cancelation, password reset, etc.).
  5. Hand off to your client. With MemberSpace, you can handle all the behind-the-scenes set-up and then hand off the site to your client, and they’ll be billed for their MemberSpace subscription directly. By default, you’ll remain an Admin on their site, in case your client needs future updates or you’d like to provide ongoing management services.

Using MemberSpace as a web designer

MemberSpace offers several benefits for web designers, developers, and other professionals helping clients create memberships:

🤑 Free access: Connect unlimited client sites, no subscription required!

🖥 Easily manage multiple client sites: Access all MemberSpace sites you own (or are an Admin on) from your Agency account.

⏳ Unlimited trial: Your client’s billing will not begin until they’re ready to add members to their site.

🤝 Easy hand-off: A streamlined process for passing along a finished site to your client. By default, you’ll remain an Admin on your client’s site.

💸 Automated affiliate credit: If you’re a MemberSpace Affiliate, you’ll automatically receive referral credit for new customers you refer.

🧰 Agency resources: Helpful resources for building client membership sites, onboarding through hand-off.