Starting a Membership Site? Here’s What You Need to Know

Membership Sites are all the rage!  There is no doubt you have seen membership sites popping up left and right.  And with good reason!

It’s a great way to serve your ideal clients, create evergreen content, and have a more predictable stream of income - what’s not to love!  

But something to keep in mind is that membership sites are different than 1:1 services or group programs/courses and therefore need their own contract. Your Terms and Conditions (or Terms of Purchase) for your website or other group programs won’t necessarily translate to your membership site.

Because of how membership sites function there are additional issues to consider: like how renewals and refunds work, permissible use of the site, and protection of your intellectual property.  Having an in-person meetup for your members? That opens a whole different can of worms and needs to be taken into account.

If you are (or are thinking about) opening a membership site that is AWESOME.  Just remember that your new little baby needs its own TLC to make sure it (and that stream of revenue it’s creating for you) is protected!  

Here’s what you need to think about for your contract.

  • Payment terms - having monthly charges, automatic renewals, and payments made at different times requires some special language. Make sure your Terms spell out how (and when) everything is charged

  • Refund policy - when can members cancel? What type of refund policy do you have? Do they have to join for a certain amount of time before they can cancel?

  • What’s included - from A to Z you want to spell out the benefits.  You, of course have the flexibility to revise this as you wish, but it’s good practice to have the minimum (eg, access to weekly modules, monthly phone call, etc.) included in your terms.

  • Protection of your content - important! No doubt you are creating some solid videos, PDFs, tools and resources - you need to make sure you have the right language to protect your IP. Note: if you are a web designer or doing branding, etc. - some of what you create may require you issuing a limited license to your members

  • Disclaimers - the *oh so important* piece of any legal agreement - this protects you, your income, and your biz.
     
  •  Dispute resolution - what happens if a member gets pissed and wants to bring a legal action against you?

Your membership site can be the cornerstone of an awesome business so make sure you have the right structures, including a proper contract, from the beginning!