Ward chats with Lauren Dragon-Cook, founder of The Rooted Connection about following your intuition to make important business decisions, the scalability of an online membership vs. 1-on-1 consulting, and how she uses Facebook groups to reach a larger audience.
- The Rooted Connection
- It's A TRIBE THING - Stu McLaren
- The Membership Economy
- Apply to be a guest on the Member Maker podcast 🎙🤩
Ward: [00:00:00] Hey, Lauren, what's going on? Thanks for joining me.
Lauren: [00:00:02] I'll thank you so much for having me Ward. How are you?
Ward: [00:00:05] Good. I'm good. So as always when we start off with you telling the audience about your business a quick little overview.
Lauren: [00:00:13] Sure. So my membership site is the rooted connection and I help creative entrepreneurs mostly but also people that don't own businesses how to tap into their intuition so that they can start creating breakthroughs in their lives and businesses.
Ward: [00:00:34] Cool. So when you say tap into their intuition, just could you just maybe expand on that a little bit?
Lauren: [00:00:41] Yeah, definitely. So as business owners, we run with the logical we run, you know our businesses through processes and systems and workflows and how can we make our life easier? And so what we fail to do is really listen to what our intuition is telling us about certain things. So it helps to. You know, we're told our whole life we need to trust your gut, you know, trust your gut what your gut is telling you, you know, mothers intuition those types of things. But how do you actually tap into those, you know intuitive promptings? How do you learn to listen to what your gut you know, quote-unquote is telling you. So that is what the the memberships all about. I'm teaching you how to actually recognize those Intuitive promptings and you know decipher what they mean essentially.
Ward: [00:01:34] Right that makes sense. Would you say that sometimes you shouldn't listen to your intuition though, right? Because I would imagine it's not 100% of the time, correct?
Lauren: [00:01:43] No, and a lot of time to people mistake their intuition for what also their mind their or their ego in my world is what we call it tells them and so the difference between your intuition versus you know, what your brain is telling you the intuitive nudges that you receive are very they're very quick. They're very precise, but they are never like condescending. They're never like, oh you're an idiot you shouldn't do that or you know, they're never like a negative. It's just like a confirmation of something that you already know. Your brain is the one that is like, oh you're an idiot. You shouldn't have bought that software. You shouldn't have bought that course or you know, whatever and like criticizing and critiquing. That is where I think a lot of people to will like misunderstand and they will not trust their intuition because it's actually you know there their ego or their brain talking.
Ward: [00:02:43] Okay. So why don't we give people a little bit more information about how how and why you created a membership model for your business.
Lauren: [00:02:51] Yeah, so I work still work one-on-one with clients. I helped them in a various way all various ways. But what I was Finding was that people were having the same questions over and over and over again and you know instead of just working with them individually. I mean, you can only help so many people, you know individually, I would rather be able to answer those questions and help larger, you know range of people and that is where the membership for me came into play. I've been part of masterminds before I've been part of. You know workshops and all of those types of things, but for me a membership just made the most sense because also you're building a community while learning and so it just kind of checked off all the boxes for me.
Ward: [00:03:47] Right, so it's just so I'm understanding correctly. It sounds like you were doing more one-on-one Consulting before this?
Lauren: [00:03:53] Yes. I still do one-on-one work, but now it's not the primary source of income for my business. The membership is and the membership is something that I can rely on consistently month to month versus you know, sometimes wondering where that next clients going to come in and you know that type of thing.
Ward: [00:04:12] Yeah, I definitely know what you mean. We used to be more involved in custom software development and really is kind of a roller coaster when you're doing consulting as far as you know, when revenues coming in when is it not? When's it going to stop it can get a little crazy. So what what do you charge for the membership right now? Like what's the business model?
Lauren: [00:04:31] So I have three different levels or three different packages essentially right now. You can join monthly and that's $55 a month. You can join for a year and that is 550 for the year or you can join for Lifetime and that is 997 I believe.
Ward: [00:04:54] Cool. How did you come to those prices?
Lauren: [00:04:57] Well a lot of like trial and error and asking. I did a lot a lot a lot of research before actually launching my membership. I wanted to make sure I was creating something that, A, was fulfilling a need but, B, people saw the value in and I actually when I first launched the membership back in February, I started out at forty four dollars a month and then 440 for the year, but I had so many people tell me over the you know course of the next few months like you should really be charging more. There's so much value in here, you know, whatever. I was like, okay. I mean, I'm not gonna not gonna deny that. All right. So that's kind of where I've landed for now. Will I raise the price in the future? Possibly, you know, possibly the membership is growing and taking on a life of its own so I don't see why I wouldn't but right now $55 a month feels really good.
Ward: [00:05:54] Yeah. That's an. Little tidbit there for people to pay attention to is, you know one the first price you use when you launch something. It's a guess to an extent. Especially haven't launched something similar in the past. So you got to pick something that's good enough. Listening to the feedback you actually get from from customers and Prospects of you know, this is a great deal or this is really this is too expensive. You're going to hear both of those no matter what and we've talked about this before on the podcast with other guests. But the idea is that you really kind of need to figure out is the feedback heavily leaning in One Direction or the other it's you know. Some months that might it might wave a little bit but overall, is it heavily leaning towards this is a great deal or is it heavily leaning towards this is really expensive. And then that that can kind of be a gauge for how you should wish Direction you should nudge the pricing and we found that that's the most effective.
Lauren: [00:06:46] Totally and actually it's funny because I did something a little backwards from what we learn about memberships. I actually my second launch. I had raised the price to 64 dollars, but then it just didn't feel right. It just there was something about it, It just did not feel right at that time at that moment. So I actually backtracked and I then again we're told and we're taught and we you know, it's really frowned upon to do that. But again, I had go with my gut and what my gut was telling me so I just mentioned to them that I was restructuring things a little bit and I was putting them into a lower a lower tier and they were all appreciative for it.
Ward: [00:07:29] Yeah, not everybody likes paying less, right? So for this membership model, there's the three different let's call it that really tiers is more just like payment options I guess. What is actually included like what do people get when they join this membership?
Lauren: [00:07:47] Yeah, so they get access to the framework where I do all of the teaching and the videos and the audios and all of that that's where they're going to find like all of the educational type material. But also we have hot seat calls once a month where three members of the community inside the membership get to have 30 minutes of chat time with me we get to dive into whatever comes up for them. You know, what whatever they're needing Clarity on in their business or the life. And so they get hot seat calls. I also bring in masterclass experts. So obviously we can't be, you know an expert in everything when it comes to any topic. So I bring in experts in like crystals or meditation or you know, the Enneagram. Just different various elements that comprise intuition and what else we have a bonus area where I throw in goodies all the time like worksheets and you know various resources and things like that and we have a Facebook private Facebook group, which is huge because the community especially with dealing with Intuition you feel like an outsider. Especially when you start to really like talk about it you feel like you're going crazy. You feel like you're a wackjob. So having a community of like-minded, you know people that are experiencing similar breakthroughs or whatnot. It's so super helpful because then you know, they have a safe place to go and talk about things and joke about whatever they need to so that's a huge component to. Yeah, so
Ward: [00:09:35] it sounds like there's a lot of recurring vauel. Which I think is a good thing to pay attention to for people listening that everybody wants to have a membership business generally, right? Everybody wants to get paid on a recurring predictable basis that that's kind of like the dream as an entrepreneur. But you need to make sure that you're also delivering an equivalent and hopefully more value than you're actually charging for. So that your members not only keep paying but they're happy to keep paying. They are so happy you're leaving enough on the table so to say that they will, you know be evangelical for you. They'll go and tell other people about how great this is and that's kind of what you're striving for for a membership business. And I'd say a lot of people there they can focus on getting that monthly Revenue, but they're not as focused on how much value their actual customers are getting which is more important I'd say.
Lauren: [00:10:23] Oh my gosh, I think you nailed it there. And actually one thing that would back that up entirely is I don't mention that I am going to throw in this particular bonus of a monthly energy forecast. I'm going I literally every single month. I hop on and I take a look at what's kind of going on energetically if you will with that month and it's a total bonus. And so the first time I did that people went crazy because it was just one extra. It was like a gift but I've kept doing it throughout the months now and they love that and that's just going above and beyond you know what they are expecting. So yeah.
Ward: [00:11:05] Right. So let's start with or go back. I guess to closer to the beginning when you were first gearing up to launch the membership the initial time. How did you build up an audience? And how did you get people even to know about what you were going to be doing?
Lauren: [00:11:20] That's a fun one. Let's keep it short. Um, so when it comes to that I made actually many shifts in my business period I originally was helping wedding professionals with the back end behind the scenes of their businesses and it just kind of morphed from there, but I was doing weekly Facebook lives. And I was talking about all kinds of different business topics from SEO to marketing to video to you know, the the struggles of wedding season just you know, all kinds of different things and it was called the Creative Boss Life podcast. And so I had you know this group of people that you know lived and breathed for that particular podcast and those episodes. And so when I told them that, you know, I was really considering doing a membership for people and creating, you know, a community around that they went crazy and they loved it. They loved that idea. And so I had already been doing I guess the legwork I would say, you know and just showing up consistently, you know being a guest on podcasts like this one. You know just getting getting my face out there so that people knew who I was and what I was planning on doing and so yeah it all kind of just fell into place from there if that makes sense.
Ward: [00:12:46] Yeah, and at this point, what would you say is your is your biggest audience building Channel?
Lauren: [00:12:54] It's it's definitely a toss-up between Facebook and Instagram. My Instagram is growing every single day just through showing up on my stories and hashtags but on Facebook, it's there literally like neck and neck for for the number of followers and all that stuff. But again, the numbers don't matter so much because there are always people that are watching you without making themselves known. And that's one thing I learned a long time ago.
Ward: [00:13:26] Right and I we've heard this from a decent number of guests that you know, one of their biggest channels is Facebook and or Instagram and I always kind of have a little bit of a push back. So I'm always sort of curious just you know, your philosophy on this. Obviously, there's been a lot of a lot of stuff in the news about the privacy issues with both those platforms. And that's one one part of it. But the other part of it is also, you know, when your audience is on someone else's private software, would you agree that you're not really fully in control of that audience because they can manipulate how often they see your content if they even see your content all that kind of stuff is sort of out of your hands.
Lauren: [00:14:06] A million percent. Oh, absolutely. The odd thing with that though Is that even though even though I don't own you know those that list of people who are however you want to really you know, think of that it's still more sought-after with people like you mindlessly will hop on your phone and you'll hop on Instagram, you know, or your you'll hop on Facebook. You're not always checking your email. And so e-mail though in addition to those two platforms is huge because that's where you know, I do control that list. I am able to say I quote unquote own that list. But yeah a hundred percent agree with what you're saying because it's it's very manipulated and it's very controlled and it's interest interesting. But you know, you can work around it I think in various ways.
Ward: [00:15:00] Got you. So what what other marketing tactics have you sort of tried which and you know, I marketing, you know, it's a little different than building an audience right there obviously connected but specifically when it comes to how to get people more people to purchase your membership. What kind of marketing strategies have you done that have been working? Well one one
Lauren: [00:15:23] area that I have found that works really well is building that interest. Building that initial like peeking their curiosity. And so what I tend to do every week on Facebook for instance, I do a weekly card reveal and so it's something where it's very interactive. Someone is going to select the, you know, first card, second card, or third card and it's going to serve as. An answer or guidance to you know, whatever topic they are asking about. But what ends up happening is those cards are so spot-on. They're like. Wait, what what how the heck did you do that? And so then from there it just kind of like snowballs and the best way because they're like, wait a minute. I want to learn how you did that. What did you do? And so from there I will get people almost every week, you know saying, how can I work? You know, how can I work on this? How can I learn more? And so it just, you know naturally kind of flows into the membership that I've created.
Ward: [00:16:27] Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. Um, let's let's shift then to what have you done, you know marketing wise or audience building wise that hasn't really worked?
Lauren: [00:16:38] Oh, that's fun. One thing for me in particular when I was still working with wedding professionals specifically was I tried to create Facebook ad funnels. Facebook ads, running them myself for me personally and I'm not speaking for everyone but for me personally, it was a major Crash and Burn. I didn't know enough about you know, look-alike audiences and and all of those things and it was just for me personally. It was a major major crash and burn but I do know that moving forward I will absolutely be hiring somebody to help me with that because you can't do it all. You know, you can't you can't wear all the hats and think that you're you know Superman or superwoman. But that was one area that definitely definitely was a disaster. But that's without saying that I do Boost post once in a while. But I'm not running like ad campaigns anymore.
Ward: [00:17:44] Yea we've heard mixed reviews from other folks who have tried ads and you know, we've tried at we've never tried ads and it's not really on our radar to try that kind of stuff. But yeah definitely is one of those things that is hit or miss and and if you miss and if you spent a lot of money can be a real problem. So I'd really caution people before they jump into spending any money on Advertising especially on the social platforms. So do you have any resources that you might want to recommend? In terms of that help that have helped you build a membership business or come up with pricing or business model strategy in general. Is there anything you can think of?
Lauren: [00:18:20] Yeah, actually a couple of different things my my friend Tyler McCall is kind of where I got the idea. I guess you would say of creating a membership and I believe he was a podcast guest a few episodes back and he held a retreat a workshop in Chicago last year where he sat with a group of 10 of us and really help to break down how to go about, you know, creating a membership from the ground up essentially and so from there though, Um, I'm not sure if he's doing anything like that anymore but his membership is incredible and it's thriving, the Follower to Fan Society. But I actually just recently joined Tribe with Stu McLaren. So he's a fantastic resource for people that are looking to dive into memberships and you know, it doesn't matter where you're at on the Spectrum. Like if you're just getting started or you've been at it for you know, a couple of years. He his information and his knowledge with membership sites blows my mind. There was also a book that I read that was really helpful. I believe it was like, oh the economy membership or something like that. I would have to look it up, but it was a really good read. I know that doesn't help at all. But it was a red book that was super helpful. But yeah, there's definitely resources out there that. You know free and paid that you can tap into and I'm sure you guys I'm sure member space has plenty of blog articles as well that can help you get started off on the right foot too. Yeah, cool.
Ward: [00:20:05] All right. So let's let's leave it there Lorne is is there anywhere you would like to direct people to go if you want to learn more about you?
Lauren: [00:20:13] Yeah, they can hop on Instagram or Facebook. My handle is Lauren Dragon-Cook. They can visit the membership to get an Insider's look at it by going to therootofconnection.com/refer that way when the doors are closed. It doesn't matter if they're closed or open. You're going to be able to see what the actual membership looks like. And yeah, that's about it.
Ward: [00:20:37] Thanks for spending time with us.
Lauren: [00:20:40] Yeah, thank you so much for having me.