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You want to setup an ecourse, online program or recurring membership but you don’t know what tool to use, where to start?
I have setup dozens of memberships for entrepreneurs and public figures and I’m here to help you get clarity on what to do!

How to choose a membership plugin that will work for you now and in the future? There is unfortunately not one solution fits all. It depends on a number of criteria that I’m going to outline below (there could be more!!).

There are several steps that I go through with my clients in order to determine what solution is best for them. Because my background is in software development, I have a good understanding of how the tools I use work and we even sometimes get into the code and fix bugs that they later on incorporate into the actual product.

HERE ARE THE STEPS THAT WE GO THROUGH TO DETERMINE WHAT SOLUTION IS BEST:

1) DEFINE YOUR PROGRAM AND COURSE DETAILS

This sounds obvious but you’d be amazed at the number of clients I had coming to me without knowing exactly how their course/program is going to look like. This step is critical. It does not mean that your program can’t change in the future, but it’s a necessary step to get you started.

– how many modules/weeks
– how is the content delivered (all at once, dripped daily, weekly,..)
– what payment system you want to support
– do you want a live course or an evergreen or both
– do you want an affiliate program
– do you want to track progress of your students?
– do you want support for multiple programs that have nothing to do with each other
– which list management system do you want to integrate with if any?
– do you want to offer a trial period?
– do you want to offer coupons?
– do you need to protect just pages and pdfs or also posts
– are you going to need access to the code for customization (you or a developer)
– are you going to manage it yourself (interfaces are more or less friendly for non developers)

2) CHECK WHAT YOUR LIST MANAGEMENT SYSTEM RECOMMENDS/INTEGRATES WITH.

if you use aweber or mailchimp you’ll be fine with most solutions. If you use infusionsoft or ontraport, ask them which solution they best integrate with for what you are trying to do.

3) MAKE A LIST OF MUST-HAVES

This list is very important because it is going to determine if some solutions are viable or not for you. If you absolutely want an affiliate system for example, do you want it integrated with the membership or would you be ok with a solution outside of your membership?

4) MAKE A LIST OF GOOD-TO-HAVES

There is not one perfect membership solution. It is important to make a list of nice-to-have but I can live without in order to give you more options.Things like coupons, free trials, membership pause are typical nice-to-have but not always mandatory.

5) DO YOUR HOMEWORK

If you are going to hire someone to do it for you, they should ask you all these questions before coming up with a solution. If they don’t that probably means that they are just familiar with 1 solution and will try to make it work for you, that sometimes works but is not a good sign.

If you want to do it yourself, check out the membership solutions out there (I have put a list below) and see if they support what you are trying to do. Ask around what people are using and make sure you compare apples and apples! They might have completely different needs than you so a solution that works great for them might not work so well for you.

The reality is that whatever solution you choose it is either going to cost you time or money, so make sure you go through these steps to save you time and/or money.

There you have it, my complete list of criteria that I ask every client before we make a decision on which solution is best for them.

Here is a list of membership solutions that I have used and that you can look at when shopping for a membership solution; They are in my order of preference though I’m really starting to like instamember 🙂

AccessAlly (Works with Infusionsoft and Ontraport)
wishlist Member
instamember
Optimizepress 2.0 (optimizemember)
S2member
Digital Access Pass
premise
Paid memberships PRO
MemberPress

If you’re still confused or feel stuck and afraid of making the wrong choice, let’s get on a quick 15-minute chat and I’ll get you some clarity on what options you have!

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