Membership sites have become an incredibly hot topic over the last several years, and it’s no wonder with their potential for creating substantial recurring income for online business owners.
However, if you’ve never built or run a membership site before, the process can be a bit confusing. Here are the most critical components that you need to consider before you spend time building your membership site.
Before you can start a membership site, you need to know whom your members are going to be. You can define this as specific markets or market segments. You can also define this as whether you want your membership site to cater to individuals or groups of people in companies or organizations.
You need to determine the products or services that your target audience wants that you can deliver with your membership site. Providing value to your members means that you have an understanding of the content, community, and savings, as well as the ability to deliver what they need.
You need to figure out when you want the membership period to begin and end. For many organizations, the standard duration of a membership is 12 months. However, many membership models offer a monthly membership option, while others require multiple years for memberships that are typically tied to an event, like certification.
How do you want to deliver your membership benefits? For years many companies have provided paper-based benefits and even localized in-person benefits. However, most online businesses these days have set up electronic-only memberships.
It is essential to establish how much, if anything, you want to charge for your membership. Memberships can range from just a couple of dollars a month, to tens of thousands of dollars. More and more companies are using the concept of “freemium” membership to help them build a community of loyal customers as a larger economic strategy.
You need to know why you want to create a membership site. The ability to create a successful membership model and an economic plan that will sustain it are incredibly important in the planning phase. However, doing what you are deeply passionate about can be an excellent foundation for success.
When you are ready to create your membership site, keep these six components in mind to ensure that you are successful. How you utilize each of these components will help you form a membership site that best fits your company and the needs of your target audience.
One great Zoom feature is the ability to place a virtual background for your meetings and events. This is an opportunity for you to provide a really professional-looking background that portrays the best image of you and your business. When you sign up for a Zoom account there are a number of virtual backgrounds that you can choose from to replace your existing backgrounds. These tend to be images of oceans, cityscapes, and nature which are OK but you can do better than this.
Image or Video
With the Zoom virtual background feature, you can choose an image or a video as the background to your Zoom events. We do not recommend the use of video as this can be really distracting for your audience. To get the best results from virtual backgrounds, Zoom recommends that you use a green screen and that your lighting is uniform. This allows Zoom to identify the difference between the background and you. We recommend that you create your own virtual backgrounds that include the branding of your business. It is a good idea to add your logo to your background as well as your name and website address. You need to create an image that reflects your camera type. So if you are shooting in 16:9 then the minimum image size should be 1280 by 720 pixels.
Best Setup for a Virtual Background
To get the best results from virtual backgrounds it is recommended that you use a green screen (or another solid color background). You can get these green screen backgrounds online pretty cheaply. The quality of your background depends on the quality of your camera. It also depends on the lighting in the room you are using for your Zoom event. You can get inexpensive ring lighting from Amazon that will improve things significantly for you. One important tip when setting up your virtual background is not to wear clothes that are the same color as your background. This will make it a lot harder for Zoom to identify you from the background and it will look really weird.
Enabling Virtual Backgrounds
You will need to enable virtual backgrounds in your Zoom account first. Log in to your Zoom web portal as an administrator and then select “Account Settings”. Find the option “Virtual Background” under the “Meeting” tab and then enable the setting. You can setup the virtual background feature on a group or user basis and also for Zoom rooms. The process is the same for all of these. Go into the settings for the group or user and make sure that the virtual backgrounds feature is enabled.
Using the Virtual Background Feature
You will need to install the Zoom client on your desktop or mobile device to use virtual backgrounds. For a desktop, you just need to click on your profile image and then select “Settings”. If you have the virtual background enabled in your web portal then you will see the option to use a virtual background here. You will be asked to choose if you have a green screen in place or not. It is not essential to use a green screen but it does produce the best results. If you are using a green screen then select the right color. If you have added your own virtual background image then select this now. Now you are all set and you can save your settings.
Facebook Live is a platform that should appeal to anyone who is trying to build a personal brand and establish themselves as a thought leader in their niche. This will encompass a very large proportion of digital marketers and make this a platform that a lot of people start making use of.
What this also means is that some of the people reading this and planning on creating live content won’t have much experience with creating video content. So if you’re not an experienced YouTuber, read on to learn some of the tips of the trade that will help you to create more engaging and professional video.
Video quality makes a huge difference on YouTube. On Facebook Live of course this isn’t such a big issue (seeing as everyone is recording from their phones) but you can nevertheless make a big difference if you invest in a high quality camera phone.
What’s arguably even more important meanwhile is that your videos be bright. Even a low quality video will look much clearer crisper if the room has lots of light! Either invest in a light box, or try to use natural light strategically. Aim for ‘Rembrandt lighting’ which means lighting your face from one side more than the other.
Your audio is equally important. Make sure that you record your sound using a lapel mic or a phone with a clear built in microphone. Speak slowly and clearly and think as well about the acoustics of the room you’re in: this can make a surprisingly big difference! Avoid echoing spaces where possible and think about your background noise. If people can’t hear what you’re saying, they’ll leave quickly!
Being a good presenter is about being engaging and clear. It’s also about being charismatic and smart. Try to dress for the occasion but likewise don’t look overdressed as this will just make you look desperate – which is never a good look! Go for ‘effortlessly smart’ and try watching your favourite YouTubers for tips.
Finally, think about your ‘set’. The area you film in is very important and will make a big difference. In particular, try to avoid filming anywhere where there’s too much activity behind you that could be distracting. Likewise, avoid filming anywhere that looks untidy or unprofessional. Your living room is not a good choice if there is lots of rubbish strewn around the place!
One size doesn’t fit all. We need to be able to personalise the learning experience for all. Have you ever undertaken a training course where you covered content you already knew, or content that was relevant? We probably all have at some stage, I’m thinking about all the OH&S induction training I have done at different organisations.
We have all had different experiences. Growing up we have been exposed to different things, been to different places, been taught or told things from different people. We have worn different hats. Roles we have had in school, in groups and work have all been different. This has shaped the experiences we have had. All of these experiences impact on what we think. Which in turn impacts on how we act and react. And our experiences impact on how we learn. It impacts on what we already know and how we make sense of new information we receive. It impacts on how we react or engage in our learning experiences. It impacts on the speed that we acquire new knowledge. It also impacts on our natural curiosity and our desire to learn. But, in the workplace we expect everyone to learn the same way. We send people off to sit in a face-to-face workshop to hear and experience the same things. We push out linear eLearning courses that everyone needs to start at the same point and finish at the same point, covering the same content. Too much emphasis is on everyone taking the same path. Expecting everyone to start at point A and finish at point D. Even though some people may be at point B, C or even D already. We aren’t focusing on the objectives enough, what performance outcomes we need in the workforce.
The strategic objectives of the business. We need to set the objectives and help people achieve them and give up some control on the path that they take to get there.
Based on the experiences people have, everyone has different gaps in knowledge or skill. Everyone needs a personal learning journey to reach the objectives. A journey that allows them to fill the knowledge and skills gaps they require.
There are many benefits to personalising the learning experience. People have a greater choice over what or how they learn. As a result, they are more engaged and more motivated to learn. It also provides an opportunity for people to learn at a time that suits their need.Personalisation isn’t anything new. It’s already happening. Just look at the movie recommendations you get on Netflix based on what you have already watched, book suggestions after you’ve purchased on Amazon, or adds popping up in your Facebook feed after you have searched an overseas holiday or new car.
So how do we personalise learning?
We need to implement the right technology. We need to have systems in place that allow people to access and source a range of information, systems to allow people to easily access content, systems to allow people to share content with others and encourage social learning.
We need to capture data about what people are doing, where there are gaps and what they need to know. The xAPI standard provides a great opportunity to do this. We can capture learning events that have taken place or decisions that people have made in scenarios and tests. From this we can then direct or recommend content to fill the gaps required.
There is so much content available on the internet. YouTube is one of the most used search engines for people to learn something. We need to be able to embrace these resources and curate content for our learners. We also need to allow people to access this range of content and allow for user generated content. For people to find their own information and to share it with others.
Encourage Continuous Learning
Encourage people to go out and find information that they need. Not simply rely on being spoon fed content that lives on the LMS. Go beyond that and allow for their natural curiosity. Encourage people to find information to solve the problems. Encourage people to develop their skills continuously, in alignment with the organisations strategic objectives or to meet customer demand.
Embrace Campaign Learning
This is the name our friends at HT2 give to a more agile approach to corporate learning and development. It involves a campaign of Plan, Do and Measure. It incorporates content curation to deliver courses quickly, rather than waiting months to build and deliver the perfect course, which may be out of date as soon as it goes live. It involves planning a campaign around the organisations strategic objectives. From this a range of tools can be used to inspire, instruct and implement change. Then measure the impact in real-time, quickly and early.
Personalised learning means better learning, with more engaged and motivated learners. This results in better outcomes and, as a result, better returns.
So, how can you personalise learning in your organisation?
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