Should You Use the New Kajabi for Your Membership Site? Well…

Should You Use the New Kajabi for Your Membership Site? Well…

The New Kajabi. Here are my first impressions of the platform and my thoughts on using the New Kajabi for your membership site.

A year ago, I wrote an article on Member Mouse, as I was in the middle of trying to find a membership platform to host my membership site. At the time, I was testing Paid Memberships Pro and Member Mouse, with plans to move on to WishList Member. Instead I gave myself a much-needed respite after my long-time friend and oft-times business partner, Ron died unexpectedly of a stroke in mid-November.

For me, taking a break from web technology for a year was like taking a break from walking for a year. I came back having to re-learn everything all over again… including WordPress.

During my year off, I chose to work as a bookkeeper for an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization. I thought it would be mindless, mechanical work. And it would have been if the company that hired me had done any bookkeeping at all over the previous three years. The job turned out to be quite challenging, a bit stressful, and somewhat frustrating.

After my stint with the nonprofit corporation was done, I went back to doing what I do best – helping busy entrepreneurs create content, build information products, and market themselves online. Which pretty much catches you up to date.

My current client is a successful real estate investor who hired me to help him create several products simultaneously, one of which is a paid membership community for novice real estate entrepreneurs. Because he already has the New Kajabi, we’re using the New Kajabi for his membership site.

What is Kajabi?

Kajabi is a content delivery platform. It allows you to create and deliver both paid and free content. I’ve used Kajabi before when it was Kajabi Next and found it… technical. And even using it all last weekend, Kajabi didn’t strike me as a platform for the busy mom who just wants to share strategies with other busy moms in a membership community. At first glance, Kajabi seems like a comprehensive tool for professional online marketers who spend their prime hours building membership sites, not the busy mom whose aim is to share strategies with other busy moms in a members-only community.

Kajabi is Actually Very Straightforward

I know. I know. Easy isn’t everything, Sorilbran. True. And the New Kajabi turned out to be very straightforward once I stopped looking for it to be super-easy. Straightforward? Yes. Intuitive? For me, no. I had to watch hours of tutorials and read about a dozen articles online to get a clear picture of Kajabi’s functionality and capabilities.

The New Kajabi has fantastic functionality. You build an entire website, fully equipped with a blog and static pages right on the Kajabi platform. What does that mean? It means you can have the New Kajabi for your membership site and not even need a separate website for your brand. I’ll get more into that later.

What About Designing a Website Using Kajabi?

Well, that’s the one drawback for me was the design limits. Coming from a WordPress background where functionality can seem limitless with the strategic use of plugins, Kajabi’s design capabilities feel quite limiting to me. There are a handful of website templates from which to choose and I had a hard time distinguishing one template from the next. Wonderfully, the website dashboard is set up a lot like the WordPress dashboard, so it was easy to navigate. But I didn’t happen to come across a website design I like, so we opted to build a separate .com website outside of Kajabi and use New Kajabi solely to host the premium content / membership site.

Kajabi review - website templates

I would have to learn more HTML code to get the blog posts to look like I want them to look. Not my favorite thing.

Organizing Content on Kajabi

I think this is the area that was least obvious to me. As a blogger, I’m used to using tags, categories and posts. In the Kajabi ecosystem, categories and posts are used to organize paid content. Here is the hierarchy:

The Sales functionality for your membership sit will contain an Offer that you name and to which you assign Products. Each product is made up of one or more multi-media Posts and downloads. Each Post is assigned a Category; within each category you have the option to release enable the content to be published immediately or to be included as part of a content drip, delivered X number of days from the date the member first got access to the product.

The New Kajabi for your Membership site

So for instance, for my client’s membership site, we’re building out 52 weeks of drip content that’s divided by topics that we’ve called Units. Each unit is made up of a series of training modules and each module is made available seven days after the previous module becomes available. In Kajabi-ese…

  • The Offer is the Real Estate Entrepreneurs Program (REEP) monthly membership
  • There will be a total of 10 products bundled as part of this membership.
  • Each product contains between 4 and 10 training modules + downloads like sample contracts, worksheets, and instructions + supplemental video content to further explain or show examples of each topic covered by the training modules
  • Each training module is put on a drip schedule using categories. So Module 1 is available immediately once a REEP member signs up. Module 2 becomes available 7 days later. Module 3 becomes available 14 days after sign-up. Module 4 becomes available 21 days after sign-up. Etc.

Huh?

I will admit: I didn’t immediately grasp the way in which Kajabi structured this part of the membership system, despite having used at least two other membership platforms before. And I didn’t love the video tutorials. For whatever reason, that one guy who explains all the features makes me sort of zone out.

 


This guy sort of makes my eyes glaze over.
I can remember running down the process in my mind several times, trying to connect the dots as I drove to pick the kids up from school. By the end of the week, I pretty much had the process down, which is why I say the functionality is fantastic once you stop looking for the easy win.

Kajabi’s List Management Capabilities

Kajabi also provides its members with the ability to send emails and manage their lists from within Kajabi, or to integrate their own list management software using Zapier. Were I just starting out, I would use Kajabi’s list management functions just to keep things simple. But of course, my client already has a list of nearly 7,000 members in InfusionSoft, so we’re in the process of integrating InfusionSoft to track and tag user engagement.

The New Kajabi does have a pre-determined set of emails that go out to your new members confirming their membership and letting them know when the next training module is available. You have the option to revise those emails or use your own once you integrate your own email auto-responder.

In part two of this review on using the New Kajabi for your membership site, I’ll talk about creating landing pages, setting up your Kajabi store, and pricing. Have a productive week.

Testing, Testing: Membership Site Platforms

Testing, Testing: Membership Site Platforms

More passive income, please! It’s time to build a membership site and three platforms hang in the balance – Member Mouse, WishList Member and Paid Memberships Pro. Which one will deliver? Which one will I choose? Let’s start with Member Mouse.

This post was originally published on Iconic Woman.

We’re Building a Membership Site, Kids!

Today I begin the process of testing membership platforms. A little over a month ago (I think), I began recruiting focus group testers for four training products, the first of which (No Coder Needed, a one-day WordPress crash course) I will unleash on my focus group in 4 days.

I’ve been slow to get this done, but a long and difficult ten days writing last week reminded me of just how much I want to stop writing for money and start writing for purpose. So, no more excuses. The next 45 days are all about product development for me.

I’m coming off a writing job where I learned a ton, but it’s taken me two days to get rid of the “writing headache” (the tension headaches I get when something goes wrong in the writing process and it can’t be fixed to my satisfaction – infrequent, but possible). I like my client – he’s brilliant – and I learned loads, but we had to renegotiate some things and make-do with other things and… today, I’m begging for more passive income, please! So for the next month, I am testing membership platforms.

Why did I choose a membership model?

I chose a membership model because I can’t get my message across in one or two products. My message is bigger than one medium can accommodate and a membership site enables me to engage multiple mediums at once – blogging, training courses, books and video – while generating a consistent stream of income. While I’ve worked with clients to build their training products and install them in membership communities, I’ve never built one of my own from the ground up. My most recent memberships include Jon Morrow’s Serious Bloggers Only community and Blazer-Kennedy’s GKIC.

The Wily Mompreneur training community is my first membership program. In it, I am creating a community where current and future mompreneurs can come to learn more, earn more, and succeed more. I’m amped about the program and ultimately, I want to be able to offer structured programs to women who want to make the transition from welfare to entrepreneurship.

Awesomesauce.

That said, a membership site will allow me to work out any kinks and get valuable feedback from my target audience. In this abbreviated version of the summer program that will launch next year, I can drip the content I would typically deliver in person to my subscribers over the course of two or three months and their valuable feedback will show me how to improve the course.

But first, I have to find the right platform.

First Platform: Member Mouse

For the next two weeks, I will be using the Member Mouse WordPress plugin to run the site. I chose Member Mouse for a few reasons:

  • Free trial period – The 14-day free trial period is attractive to me because I don’t like being wrong and the trial period allows me to tinker around with the tool before making a commitment.
  • Affordability – Unlike some of the other subscription-based membership platforms, Membership Mouse is EXTREMELY affordable. After the trial period, my investment to keep Membership Mouse will only be $19.99 per month for up to 1,000 members with the Starter plan. I can slide that up to 5,000 members at $39.95 and 10,000 members at $59.95 with no huge price jumps in between. The next jump up is the Advanced plan for $99 per month, which allows 50,000 members. Ultimately, it’s more cost-efficient to go with a one-time payment plan, but Member Mouse provides an easy way for anyone to get started.
  • WordPress Plugin – Member Mouse is a WordPress Plugin, which means I already know how to use it.
  • Features – Member Mouse offers an ample list of features for the Starter plan, which may have been available for the freemium level of PMP, but I didn’t see it. My criteria was the ability to offer my members a free membership level, to sell products / downloads, to drip content, to be able to see how well the products are performing (MM has a feature that tells you what each customer is worth to you based on how much the customer spends), lock content, and create a members area (as my man, Mario Brown emphasizes – the web marketer, not the boudoir photographer). I get all those features plus upsells, one-click buying for my customers, smarts tags, coupons and integration with Mailchimp (so every new member who joins automatically gets added to my list).

I have to admit: Member Mouse is winning my heart right now. I actually started with the free version of Paid Memberships Pro last night, but by this morning, I was on to something else. My decision to not use PMP last night was probably fueled by fatigue, so I will try PMP again in another few days when I launch the second training program.

In the meantime, I’ll keep you up-to-date on the developments with this test and check in a few days from now when I start using Paid Memberships Pro and Member Mouse side-by-side. Whichever one comes out on top, will officially be added to my currently non-existent list of affiliate products (you had to know we were going there, didn’t you?).

I know the most useful strategies on any blog often show up in the comments. So which platforms have you used? Which were your favorites? And most important, what should I be looking out for? Speak on it.