3 Ways A Custom Membership Can Make Your Private Practice Stand Out

Having a custom membership is hard work. It’s a hot topic right now in the clinician space, because actually, memberships are great for the business model of a clinician.

When we’re speaking about memberships, we are talking about an offering for your practice where ideal clients pay a specified amount per month to gain access to specified sorts of content. It’s almost like a course and community all-in-one.

custom membership on wordpress

What is a custom membership and how does it differ from a regular membership?

A custom membership is one that is built ON your website. It’s not something you link out to on a third- party platform such as Kajabi, Thinkific, Podia or Teachable (although those platforms are great!). This style of membership is self-hosted, which means you manage all the members and the content within the backend of your website. Because of this, the customization is endless compared to the third-party platform option.

What are the benefits of having a custom membership?

We will be the first to tell you: a custom membership isn’t for everyone!

But, when you are ready, there are so many benefits to having a custom membership over a third-party platform so let’s outline them below:

  • The customizations are endless!
    • If you’ve dealt with a third-party membership platform, you’ve likely found yourself thinking that it’s super hard to make changes to the layout, the design, the aesthetics, the functionality, almost anything. With a custom membership, we meet with our clients and essentially ask them to “brain dump” their ideas out loud – nothing is off the table! From there, we do our research and reach out to plugin developers or company point of contacts to see if there’s something out there we can create for you!
  • The user experience is completely unique to your business!
    • Something about a custom membership that sets you apart is that the experience can totally be unique to your business, which in turn, makes your membership more valuable. Personally, when I’ve signed up for courses in the past and see it’s on Kajabi, I know what to expect in regards to the layout, the progress, the setup, any and everything! This can be seen as a downside because it puts a lot of pressure on your content if it’s the only thing unique compared to competitors.
    • Think about your marketing strategy: “You truly will not find anything else like this!”
  • Being self-hosted keeps management in one area!
    • As a business owner, I can reassure you that I try my best to optimize platforms and the amount of subscriptions I have. With that said, third-party platforms can get EXPENSIVE! Normally, these platforms increase your subscription amount as you grow in members which is a negative connotation: you want more members but don’t want to pay for more! What’s the use?
    • When your membership is custom, we build it within your website (we have clients who have used AccessAlly, Memberspace (and our membership uses this, too) and Memberpress. There are so many plugins made available out there for your specified niche. This is exactly why we go into the “research & development” phase of a membership project.
    • When you have a WordPress website, all of your members, content and information are all visible within the WordPress Admin.

Why might a custom membership NOT be for you?

Custom memberships are for the business owner who:

  • Has already been using a third-party platform and is becoming frustrated with it
  • Is eager to have something completely unique to their business
  • Ready to invest

The starting investment (at our current rates) for custom memberships are $1,750. This only covers a very simple membership with a dashboard, main module page and inner module page. On average, our membership clients spend around $4,000 to achieve a completely custom look. This investment varies depending on what plugins are needed, how many integrations are necessary and the amount of pages needed to achieve the full membership functionality.

What materials are required to build a custom membership?

There are a lot of steps to create your custom membership! Often, this process takes up to 3 months but can go quicker if you have all the correct materials for us to get started:

  • If you already have a membership built on your third-party platform, this is great!
    • Already having a membership live with members makes the process SO much easier. It allows us to get an insider-eye on what your current setup is like, and how you would like it to differ visually. This also allows us to see your current pain points of your membership and where we can step in to make some improvements!
  • If you do not already have a membership live (which is fine), we need:
    • Membership outline:
      • What modules will you have? What are the specifics? What content is in the membership each month? How will the modules be laid out (video, PDF, etc)?
      • Will there be a community?
      • What do you want on a dashboard?
      • Where do you want users to go when they login to your membership?
      • Welcome video / tour of the membership / how to get started
      • List of requirements for your membership and desired functionality
  • This may sound obvious, but you NEED a fully-functioned website design.
    • We cannot build a custom membership on a broken or not up-to-par website. To self-host a membership, your website needs to be fast and setup correctly so that it can sustain the capacity of members and content you will have.
    • Likely you’ll need to upgrade your hosting plan to include more storage.
    • If you aren’t sure if your website is up-to-par for membership standards, reach out for a free branding/website audit and we will email you a 20 minute Loom video reviewing your contents!

Hey there, I’m Chloe Thomas!

I’ve been beyond blessed to grow this agency to serve many private practice clinicians around the globe. Consider working with us in branding, website design, copywriting, memberships or SEO management! We have many other ways to connect:

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