How Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth Grew Her Mission-Based Membership to over 1,200 members!

 

Rebecca Dekker is one of my own personal students and the founder of Evidence Based Birth that helped nurses, mid-wives, and doulas learn the best practices and most up-to-date research for helping mothers have an amazing birth experience.

Rebecca has built an amazing membership of over 1,200 members and is an incredible membership entrepreneur and online CEO.

In today’s show we are going to go deep into why Rebecca started her mission-based membership site, how she has built an incredibly diverse community, and how she has leveraged her team to not only build a successful membership business but also a business that provides her family incredible time freedom.

 

How to build membership sites for mission-based online businesses

  •  Memberships can cause a ripple unlike any other business model. (5:00)
  • The team you hire helps you scale your mission. (16:35)
  • When you need to hire more people for your team. (39:00)

 built an incredibly diverse community, and how she has leveraged her team to not only build a successful membership business but also a business that provides her family incredible time freedom.

 

 

Show Notes

Rebecca’s membership Evidence Based Birth makes research on child birth widely accessible. Anybody can go their website and read their articles but what she found over the years is that about half of the people on it are professionals in the field. The other half are expecting parents. The professionals really just wanted more information because it’s their passion, it’s what hey do for their career.

What Rebecca has created is what she calls a professional membership or pro members. They join at a monthly or annual rate and get access to all of their continuing education courses which are good for contact hours for nurses, doulas, and childbirth educators. Some of Rebecca’s classes are also approved for mid-wives to take her classes. They essentially get a library of recorded classes and online community. Every month Rebecca also gives trainings with guest speakers. For all of their articles that are free online - Rebecca uses a graphic designer to make PDFs for all of the research with permission to use them all of their clients.

By using the membership model Rebecca is helping all these professionals learn and grow together, moving forward, and keep progressing.

  

Memberships can cause a ripple unlike any other business model.

Rebecca does the research with her team. They put all this content out there. The membership ties all these people together through the amazing content. Her memberships then go out together as a society and they birth babies. They literally bring life into the world. It all came from this one little drop at the top where Rebecca throws her stone in.

That’s simply not possible in any other business model.

Rebecca encourages this type of movement and sharing what they’ve learned from her members too! She encourages them through thing like monthly challenges each month where they then get in drawing for a prize.  

Ex. One month it was for COVID-19 research resources. They created a free crash birthing course. So if members were to share that free birthing course on their social media page and then come back and tell Rebecca’s team, they get entered into a drawing for a free autographed copy of her book.

When Rebecca started her membership she was happy with 10 or 12 people reading her blog posts, helping those few people made it worth it for her. She started blogging to satisfy her own love of writing. She was curious about the research of child birthing and started down a journey of learning what the research said about all kinds of different things and decided to blog about it as she learned. It just took off from there!

About three years later she “quietly” launched a membership site and instantly got around 125 members! 

It was surprising because she had been very hesitant after hearing a podcast about memberships and it seemed extremely hard to start one. At the time she didn’t have the helped that she does now to manage all of the customers - she only had one virtual assistant. This made her discouraged and she began wondering if she could continue. 

She put that thought aside once she heard how we did and remembered that she could too! 

Now - Rebecca is helping the 1,200 members help the 50 for so families they help each year. Think about that: Rebecca casting her stone is now helping with 50,000 to 60,000 births a year! Without the continuing education and support aspects of the membership model this would not be possible!

 

The team you hire helps you scale your mission.

Aside from the amazing freedom the recurring revenue has given Rebecca its ability to continue her passion and mission that is most important. We love this because that’s why my wife Jocelyn and I wake up every morning too!

Let’s not forget about her team. The team is what brings it all together for Rebecca’s membership. Rebecca is one of the most organized team leaders that we’ve seen! 

Here’s what Rebecca’s team look like:

  • Rebeca is the CEO. She is the founder and leads the ship.
  • Rebecca’s husband is the CFO. He does all the bookkeeping, payroll, financial reports. He manages some physical products and manages that shop too.
  • Director that helps with her instructor program, where people learn how to teach classes and workshops. (There are around 260 around of the world). That director helps with all the customer service needs in that department and works as a trainer for those people. Manage applications, renewals, head-to-toe for that part of the membership.
  • Operations Director that manages projects, content releases, product releases. She also covers for Rebecca when she is on a trip or vacation.
  • Research Editor (This position is contracted out). These people are masters in public health - they basically help Rebecca research articles to send out for peer review. She works very closely with Rebecca.
  • Coordinator for her professional membership (this position is contracted out). This person welcomes them, takes care of all of their customer service needs, moderates their Facebook group, helps Rebecca plan trainings.
  • Communications coordinator (this is a contracted position that is transitioning into a full-time employee position). This person primarily works on email communications/coordinations, customer service. it is rare that Rebecca goes in and sends an email herself. This person has worked with Rebecca the longest and knows how to speak in her voice well at this point.
  • Graphic designer - this person’s entire job works on graphic design for the membership from top to bottom.
  • Audio/video editor - This person edits the podcast for Evidence Based Birth (they just passed 1 million downloads). Different members of the team will them touch the podcast before it gets released.
  • Contract workers that film videos for Rebecca and the team.
  • A Spanish translator that is contracted out from time to time.
  • A medical editor that does a final editing of her research articles that is contracted out. 

She has had very little turnover and everybody gets along great. Part of this comes back to how organized their team is. 

Their administration meetings on Monday are run differently than most people. They go over their content production calendar, email production calendar. She specifically wants to know what emails are going out over the next following weeks and when, and is everything ready for that release? It is basically a content first meeting. Rebecca also likes to be scheduled about 4 to 6 weeks in advance for her podcast. This meeting helps her team know which one is coming up next. They are very careful about what communications they send out. That part of her meeting takes about ten minutes.

Each quarter they go over who Rebecca calls their “year in a glance” which is something the communications director puts together. Ex. in the fall of 2019 they planned out the entire year for 2020 to what who each thing is happening for the business.

The thing that Rebecca’s team loves most about it is being able to work ahead. Instead of forgetting to do something their team is already several steps and have it done far in advance. They are less stressed if they can work ahead - so Rebecca certainly encourages it! 

The next thing they do in their meetings is talk about the team agenda. They are only allowed to have 3 things on the agenda. Anybody can propose an item and the operations director prioritizes it. They go through each thing (10-15 minutes each), it has to be things that everyone needs to hear and be in on.

At the end of the meeting everyone shares their “big rocks” or what is filling up their jar so they can fill it with the little pebbles. This helps everyone be accountable.

All-together they only meet for 1 hour every week! 

The membership makes growing the team possible, too! Rebecca knows each month about how many people: quit + join. And, that predictable income allows her to know how many people and what positions she can afford to hire. It smooths out the decision-making process in her business.

 

When you need to hire more people for your team.

All of her positions and hours are based upon: where are people stuck, where is the business becoming bottle-necked, where are more hours need, and if she needs to hire another person. 

Rebecca didn’t start out with a big hiring boom. She tried to slowly add hours and positions as they became needed - which is totally understandable. As a business owner I know how this is an ever-changing aspect of the business and you don’t want to jump the gun on it!

For me and my wife Jocelyn our team is divided up into the three biggest things that we think we need. Then, over time this will expand and grow. For now it looks like this: 

  1. The podcast, YouTube channel, content. I foresee there being someone working ten hours a week on social media. Then, someone working 10 hours a week on audio/video editing.
  2. Our retention director who does customer service but also audience management. This is an email person that will also be managing communications between Jocelyn and I. 

We hired this retention director from our community because she knew everything inside and out of our community. She has been with us for years and even has a site of her own. Rebecca gave us the idea t hire from our community and its great! Because, when we start raising members of the community they bring a passion that some people might not bring to the job because they are coming in on the same page as us.

 

You can connect with Rebecca Dekker on:

  • Her website: evidencebasedbirth.com
  • On Facebook: Evidence Based Birth
  • Instagram: @evbirth
  • Book on Amazon: Babies Are Not Pizzas

  

Remember to subscribe and leave us a review to the Membership Masters Podcast here on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/membership-masters-podcast/id1519253634 

You can also listen this week's full episode here on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/28WYzlvvWpAe2miPxip8Br 

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