The Merrymaker Sisters are great friends of ours from all the way Australia! They have created an amazing incredible membership based around yoga and pilates. They’ve got a world-wide following, a world-wide community, and an amazing membership. In this episode we get deep into the weeds on the tech behind an amazing membership website, we talk all about branding, and most importantly about building an audience and traffic using social media like Instagram and Facebook. It’s an amazing conversation with literally two of the most amazing people I have ever met.
I know you’re going to get a lot out of this talk today with Carla and Emma the Merry Sisters and the founders of the MerryBody membership! It’s going to be amazing episode packed full of information and it’s going to help you get and keep more members right now. Are you ready to build a million dollar membership today? Alright, let’s go!
Memberships are much more than a skill.
Memberships are about much more than a skill or a course. Memberships can truly help you change peoples’ lives. The Merrymaker sisters are such a great example of this! They are changes peoples’ lives through health, fitness, and simply putting joy in their lives. They love the analogy we do and truly believe in the ripple effect of picking up and casting your stone every single day. There is no denying what a small change in your life can do for not only your life but those around you. In the case of memberships those ripples can be all over the world!
In the Merrymaker sisters’ case let’s say someone adds in a daily exercise routine. What changes would that person see? They would become happier, more patient, your relationships become stronger, you influence everyone to become more generous. You just truly never know what those ripples can look like! The potential of your one positive change is endless.
You have to center your membership around you.
I am not good at 1-on-1 coaching and that means I can’t have the same affect on people that I’m teaching. I do better by teaching everyone skills at the same time. To have the impact that my wife Jocelyn and I want to have - the membership model is the only business model that will allow us to achieve that.
The Merrymakers said they hear people all the time using coaching as bonuses and have even tried to do so themselves and it never panned out. They, like us, do not like coaching at all. Like they say, it’s important to do work that you enjoy. DOn’t just use methods or tactics because you hear other people boasting about them. There’s no right or wrong way. It’s not just about the content itself but how you deliver it is just as important.
How the Merrymakers got into the membership model.
One of the things that the girls have really kept in mind throughout their online business journey was “following their bliss.” For them their business has always been about defining their own bliss. When it came to the point where they were no longer “blissful” in their business with cooking and recipes, they decided it was time for a new chapter. That is when they spoke to a friend that told them they simply needed to step back, stop making anything, stop selling anything. They were waiting to see if any ideas would come to them.
It was at this same time that they were both getting trained in pilates and yoga. They were only doing this because they were interested in it and loved the personal development they were getting from it. They realized they were talking a lot about yoga and pilates and looked forward to it in their spare times. It was then that they knew they wanted to create something around it. They also knew they wanted it to be different than other online yoga and pilates businesses. It needed to be centered around finding your joy, self-acceptance, and self-respect. From their experiences and being surround of “diet culture,” people constantly looking at new ways to lose weight, they realized that when they went on fitness journeys in the past it was because they didn’t feel good enough about themselves. But yoga and pilates was completely different - it was a way of making them feel not only comfortable in their skin but grateful for the bodies they were in.
That is how MerryBody Yoga and Pilates began! They came up with a 4-week program and began doing that for about a year. People loved and it were buying but they began looking at the three programs they had running and realized that around 50% of people were returning. That’s when they realized what they were missing was a membership model - after all they had had one before! They wanted to do a beta to not only test the audience but also test themselves to see if the membership model would come through again. They knew it meant putting out a lot of content for each month and wanted to make sure it was something they were capable of.
They soon realized the people in their beta loved it as much as they did - so they decided to take the plunge. The great thing was that they had created so much content from the programs that they could fill the membership so from the launch they had a ton of stuff ready to go. It felt as if all the business knowledge over the past 6 years were leading up that very moment and with that, they launched in March of 2019 and now have nearly 800 members!
How do you structure your membership?
One thing that really stands out about the Merrymaker sisters is seeing the relationship they have with their members. Here is a peek at what they currently do inside their membership:
Some of the cadges being made will be switching to LearnDash so that they can have a native app that will integrate everything better. LearnDash will also work better for them because members can check off things as they learn or do them, track everyone’s progress, and they can celebrate with them easier by being able to track everything.
Everything has its’ quirks but the reason that we are switching everything t Kajabi is so that everything can stay on one platform and you don’t have to separate all of your memberships onto different things - it takes all of that out and simplifies your entire membership into one space! In the first week of using Kajabi I had 50 people pay $100/month the first week!
I love the parallel here. If you really want to run a million dollar membership you can’t be scared to change things! If you can improve the experience for your people you will make more money!
Don’t get stuck on your goals.
The question that i ask a lot of membership masters is, “how big do you want to grow?” We really focus on getting your membership to a million dollars and you can do whatever you want with the rest of your life. At the same time there is a give and take. You have to figure out how far you want to push it. Do you want steady grow or do you want to double or triple your membership?
Carla and Emma went into it thinking that bigger was always better that was until they had a lunch one day. A friend asked them if they truly wanted to grow their business. They started thinking about what it would mean if they grew massively and had dozens of staff. It would mean a ton of extra responsibility, extra pressure, it was something they really had to think about. Their current goal is 3,000 members which for them is the million dollar number and once they hit that mark it will be a check-in to see what they want then.
They said it perfectly - everyone thinks of a 5-year goal, 10-year goal, all of these things and they change over time. You have to constantly check-in with yourself and reevaluate is those goals still line up with what you ultimately want. You can’t leave behind the joy in he journey. If you’re not enjoying getting to that next destination then is that goal right? Is it even worth it?
Our goal is 100,000 members. Do I think that would ever happen all at once? Probably not. But once you hit that 500 member threshold you realize that you can probably get as many members as you want - if you’re willing to pay that price. If you’re willing to make that trade. If you’re willing to do things differently. It’s extremely tempting when you have the world in front of you to go get the world. It’s also possible to stop wherever you want and slowly grow. No other business model can give you the exact life you want like having a membership. It’s alright to pivot it’s okay to accept change if that comes.
How do you build an audience?
The Merrymaker sisters are the absolute queens of building an audience - it’s insane how good they are at it! Audience and traffic are the biggest issues in every online business. You’ve got to be able to build an audience. It doesn’t have to be huge, you can have a small list.
MerryBody does not have any ads that they run! They didn’t really come up with a strategy to get where they are now, they just kind of through mud on the wall and saw what stuck. Their audience truly comes from an effortless place because they are allowing what they love to do to reach people in an authentic way. Not only do they love yoga and pilates they love content marketing. The love writing, posting, creating content, they used to do it for fun!
When they decided to build a brand they realized that their brand is them. They wanted to get people into their membership that are like them. They put pieces and things together they and certain members like. People then relate to that.
SEO experts told them what they were doing was all wrong, that they would never be found. Their name “Merrymaker” has helped them stick to that as a brand and truly embody it through every part of their business - it has become their mission.
They knew and loved communication. They knew how to deliver the fun that they love so much. They stick to their values and we they are that’s how they get their audience!
Every single day they post twice on Instagram. Usually at least one of them is a quote. They actually have a theme of quotes that they use every single month and no one would know this except them. Ex. One month may be “inner strength” so they come up with quotes all month to post about inner strength. Then, the second post is either a photo of them or a video posted. That post is because people rate to their relationship and see themselves with their siblings. They don’t want to be “sales” in their Instagram posts, they just show people different podcasts or pieces of content in a way that adds value to their brand. A lot of people preach about getting people off your platform, get them into your blog, and making the sign-up. But, they don’t see things that way. They see giving people value and trust as the most important aspects of their brand. When people are intrigues they start following. When they do push sales and sell something then people genuinely want to check it out. It’s not, “sign up, sign up, sign up,” it’s “this is cool, check this out, but also we have this.”
The sisters appreciate their monthly members and the recurring revenue. The most rewarding part for them though is knowing the impact they are having on their members’ lives every single month.
They prolifically show up. They consistently post content. They relentlessly tell people about their mission.