In June I took one of the hardest decisions in my business… I decided to close down my membership program, the Blissful Biz Hive, after 2 years.
When I decided to do this, I had over 100 paying members in it, and they brought in a nice chunk of revenue every month.
In this episode I’m sharing the full uncensored story with you and what brought me to this change in my business.
The Blissful Biz Hive was my membership program. People signed up and paid a monthly fee. As a member they got access to a range of business trainings, a new training every month, monthly Q&A calls, a social media calendar and more.
When I started the Blissful Biz Hive, I wanted to offer yoga teachers an affordable way to gain valuable marketing experience, in their own time.
And I thought it would be great to have a recurring monthly income through it, because people would pay every month.
Those reasons still hold.
But there were problems right from the start. I’m going to break it down for you into 5 reasons why I decided to cancel it.
But first, I want to address this: If you’ve been a member in the Blissful Biz Hive, or still are, I want to thank you for putting your trust in me and my offers and I hope that you got some value out of it!
#1 People cancel, like all the time.
This is totally normal but it’s exhausting, trying to get new people to join, just to see them cancelling the next month.
I did a lot of offers where people paid only $1 for the first month and also a few promotions, but the truth is growth was really slow, and it sometimes felt like 2 steps forward, one step back.
This whole circle of getting people to join, getting them to stay as long as possible before they would cancel again, it was just exhausting.
#2 A high number of students means a high volume of support requests.
If you want to have a thriving membership program, you want to scale. It’s all about the numbers, right? More members mean more revenue.
But more members also mean more support requests. By this I mean requests for invoices, for refunds because people didn’t realize that they would be charged each month, questions about the trainings or general things.
In the end it was more than I was willing to handle. It was exhausting, it took up a lot of energy.
It’s not that I don’t want a high number of students to work with. I’m ready to grow, and to work with thousands of students.
But you have to consider that students in the membership paid a lot less than students in one of my online courses and caused more work in the end.
#3 People didn’t get the results I wanted them to get.
People paid between $20 and $29 monthly to be in the Blissful Biz Hive, depending on when they joined. For the quality of the trainings this was very affordable, so I would have thought that my members would be happy and dive in and put what they learned into action.
And a few did, but every time when I asked my members if they got results that they would want to share with me, I heard crickets. No one got back to me.
I’m guessing that most people signed up with the best of intentions, but then, they didn’t put what they learned into action. Or they stayed a member but didn’t log in anymore after a while.
The truth is, with the membership I kind of gave my students an excuse to not take action. Because they were doing something, they were paying each month and they were allowed to learn in their own time. But in many cases, this meant that they wouldn’t do anything.
Again, I don’t speak for all my students, so if you’ve been a member and you feel you got a lot of value out of it AND it helped you grow your business, I’m thrilled and really happy for you.
I’m just afraid you are in the minority here.
It is all well and good watching trainings, attending Q&A sessions etc. but what good is it really if you are not implementing what you have learned.
And this was a real issue for me, because getting my students results is what drives me on.
It’s what motivates me more than anything.
I don’t like the kind of business model that’s relying on a lot of people NOT taking action. Gyms run on that business model. If all the members would visit the gym every day, they wouldn’t have enough space. They rely on people to sign up and then rarely actually go.
And most membership models are like that. If all students would be very active and asking questions or for feedback, it would be too much to handle.
I realized that this can work, from a business perspective, but it’s really not what I enjoy.
I want to get my students results.
And I also realized that I prefer to work with less students, but they are committed, because they invested more into an online course, they have more skin in the game, and they bought the course to get results.
With online courses too you have students who buy the course and then they don’t implement what they learn, but I had so many success stories too, compared to really none from my members in the Blissful Biz Hive. This is a big reason why I wanted to move my focus to online courses.
#4 Creating new content every month was exhausting.
For the membership I created a new training every month, for example how to create a successful Facebook group, how to define your niche, or more advanced stuff like how to set up an email sales funnel. At the end I had over 20 trainings in the member site, and I was running out of ideas for new trainings.
I felt I had to offer something new and exciting every month, but I didn’t want to become an expert in everything.
For example, some members asked me about a training about podcasts, but I don’t really want to create a training on podcasts right now.
While I always planned to batch create upcoming training, by this I mean create for example 3 trainings in one week and then I would be all set for the next 3 months, in reality I was never able to catch up and every month this loomed on my to-do list.
This is something you have to give some serious thought when you want to create a membership!
Plan out the content for 12 months, and how much time it will take you to create it each month, and how much revenue you want to earn with the membership to make it worth your time. You also have to plan for people cancelling, and what you will do to get new members.
You really have to be strategic about it, and I was, I had a solid plan for the first 12 months. But now, 2 years later, I’m just running out of steam. I feel I have all the trainings in there my students need. I didn’t feel like creating more stuff, every single month, just for the sake of it.
I probably could have changed the model and focus more on Q&As and masterclasses every month, instead off adding new trainings. But, there’s also reason 5:
#5 It doesn’t fit into my business model anymore.
This reason is specific for me and my business, and not a problem with memberships in general.
The goal of the Blissful Biz Hive was to teach you how to build an online business. But then I created the Blissful Biz Accelerator last year, a 12-week group coaching program where I teach my students how to create and launch an online course, with a lot more support.
I started this more as an experiment, as a higher priced offer. But I loved it, the whole experience, the weekly coaching calls, students sharing their ideas and results, everything.
So, I launched it again, and then I realized that a lot of my students didn’t have an email list, but they still wanted to create an online course, so I added more trainings that focused on that.
And, before you knew it, there wasn’t really a big difference anymore between this program and the Blissful Biz Hive.
It was confusing, people asked what’s the difference and I didn’t have a really good answer.
But I knew that I enjoyed working with my students in the Blissful Biz Accelerator a lot more, they were more committed, they got results, and they brought in more revenue which allowed me to support them more.
This is the main reason that I decided to shut down the Blissful Biz Hive and instead launch the Blissful Biz Academy!
I’m not going to lie; it wasn’t an easy decision.
There were members who stayed with me for a really long time and I will miss them, and the community.
But in the end, I didn’t want to put my energy there anymore.
I believe that in every business we have to look at our model from time to time and re-evaluate. What is working, what is serving us, and what maybe isn’t anymore.
And that’s what I did! I created a new business model, and in the end, the Blissful Biz Hive didn’t fit in there anymore, on top of all the little annoying things that came with running the membership, so it had to go.
Sometimes we need to make tough decisions, to be able to grow. Sometimes we need to move on.
And I hope that closing this door will open up new opportunities. Right now, I’m focused on the Blissful Biz Academy and making it the best program I can to help you build an online business.
Maybe this is something that applies to you and your business as well.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is what you’re doing bringing you joy?
Is it where you want to focus your energy?
Do you see a future in it?
If not, it might be time to change things up! Just like I did.
There you have it, the full story why I shut down my membership. I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes glimpse into my business.