In his blog today, Seth Godin asked the question, "Do you have Customers or Members?" It's short, sweet, and to the point - as he always is. The article is basically pointing out that if you are good enough to get customers to sign up to become members of your "world" they will become more than just customers - they will become members of your coalition.
Sorry, I'm neither short nor sweet, but I will get straight to the point.
The reason people want to join memberships (especially on the web) is that deep down they ache to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel like they belong to a group of individuals that believe what they believe, act the way they act and feel the way they feel.
We all belong to some group or another. You have your family (rooted in your name or your lineage), you have the school you attended (and the year you graduated), you have your Generation (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, etc). You have your Ford truck owners, your Chevy truck owners, GMC truck owners and now, you have your Toyota truck owners. You have your Apple computer users and your PC computer users. The list goes on forever. Some of these memberships are formal - others aren't so. But don't kid yourself, the allegiance is often stronger than you can imaging.
What memberships do you have?
Takes Customer Loyalty To A Whole New Level
When your customers begin to treat you as if they are in a group - because they believe in what your business or product is all about - you have reached a new level of loyalty. You have moved from just having customers to cheerleaders and raving fans.
So, how do you turn your customers from thinking of themselves as only customers to thinking of themselves of members of an elite group. Simple, create the elite group - and make it worth being in. If you envision it and communicate that vision to the world, others will follow. It may not be a million or even a thousand, but I'll bet it's more than one. But even one is a start.
People will subscribe - they will join. Not because you created it. It's not a "If you build it, they will come" thing. It's a lot more than that. They will join because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to FEEL like they aren't alone in the world - even know they know consciously they aren't.
People aren't actively looking for things to join, but when your words or ideas appeal to them, and you give them a chance or even invite them to become a part of future dreams - they will join you.
And when they become a member of your group - you will gain a level of commitment and support the likes you've never seen before.
So, set a goal today to build a subscription based club in your business. Think about what you can provide to make it worthwhile to them to join - what separates you and your vision from the rest of your competition.
And of course, most importantly, just make it so!