Why Monthly Masterclasses Are the Worst Forms of Memberships

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Hae Park
Mar 19, 2020 · 4 min read

Welcome back! Today, I’m bringing up a topic that most people or membership owners don’t realize or know about. Monthly masterclasses. Sounds familiar, right? Well in recent years, along with the booming growth of memberships, this feature has been an essential part of info-memberships.

Now, I’ve consulted and developed over 20 types of membership structures – from SAAS products and coffee subscriptions to monthly masterclass memberships like what I’ll be talking about today.

To give you context, monthly masterclasses are different topics that the membership owner or whoever leads the content, teach every single month. Usually, it’s accompanied by slides with a short Q&A session at the end.

I’m not saying that this is bad. I’ve seen and created cases where monthly masterclasses were a very crucial part in the members’ success journey and retention. However, it is an issue when it becomes the main feature of your membership. It’s not only detrimental for the membership as a business, but it affects the experience as a member and you as the owner.

1. The pressure to create catchy, consume-worth masterclasses

As a membership owner, you’ll always have the pressure to create masterclasses that your members are attracted to instead of being able to focus on a variety of subjects that relate to your membership. One of the biggest advantages of membership is that you can discuss any topic you want, as long as you relate it back to the problem you’re solving.

If your membership is about becoming healthy and maintaining your health, you can bring in topics anywhere from mindset and yoga to shopping and technology as a means to tie it back to healthcare. But this is as long as your monthly masterclasses are a bonus to the membership, not the core content.

If the monthly masterclasses are your core content, you can’t have that flexibility because you’ll be worried about “If it’s not good enough, they’ll cancel”. Unfortunately, your masterclasses will be directly related to how many members stay the next month. If your members feel like the classes aren’t related to what they need, they’ll think the membership is no longer useful.

2. You’re always HAVING to put new content out

If you’re not creating, you’re not making money. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated but you have to create a masterclass, and a good one at that, every single month. But I want to talk about something that’s way more important than that.

We’re human, and out of the 12 months in a year, you’ll have at least one or two where you’re simply exhausted from what you’re doing. Now that’s totally normal – my belief on burnout is that its proof of how hard you’ve worked until then.

But even when that happens, you still have to put together a masterclass that relates to #1 – need to make catchy, valuable content.

3. No one consumes all your content

Now I hope this doesn’t come to you as a surprise, but your members don’t go and consume everything you put out. Honestly, I know so many people who’ve told me they watch the monthly masterclasses in the first few months, and they slow down as time goes – resulting in them to cancel.

The problem with monthly masterclasses is that it’s too much information for people to handle. Instead of “there’s too much content, I can’t handle it!”, you have to keep your members wanting more. Instead of making it feel like homework, you have to spend more time making each feature a big deal so that they can’t get enough of your membership.

Even if your members are paying every month for the content you put out, they’ll still be attracted to marketing posts others put out on social media. That’s the reality.

So, what’s the solution?

It’s quite easy.

First, you want to develop a framework your members can go through every time they want to achieve a result or get a problem solved. The ideal amount of time for completion is around 60 to 90 days.

Then, you want to set up your monthly content to support your members through the framework. It’s not NEW content, it’s clarifying what you already created. This can be done through Q&A sessions – ideally.

Now how do you AMPLIFY that?

I’ll give you an example. Every month, let’s say there’s a Q&A session. You can spend 10 minutes trimming every question answered in the video, and you can add it to an archive – you can even outsource this. And what we actually did was hire a member success person to go through our Facebook group and comment on questions with the link to the video and a transcript answer.

The key here is to not name your Q&As as (May 2017) or something of that form. Like honestly, who goes through 20 videos that are all 1 hour long? Maybe a few people, but a majority won’t. Instead, take the time or hire someone to edit, title, and categorize them for relevancy. It’ll help your members go through the content and get their questions asked SO much easier. Remember – most of your members will actually be silent consumers who don’t ask questions.

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    Haeun Park —

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