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Customer Success Story

How Dana Malstaff Built a Successful Membership for Boss Mom with AccessAlly

After being laid off from her job due to a company restructuring, Dana Malstaff decided to take the opportunity to start her own business — only to discover six weeks later that she was expecting her first child. 

Determined to navigate the challenges of being a working mom, Dana sought to create a community and support system for other like-minded women who wanted to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship. 

In 2015, she wrote the acclaimed book, Boss Mom, which gained significant recognition and attracted a loyal following. Drawing from her experience in community building and her understanding of how people work, Dana built the highly successful Boss Mom community. 

Her passion for nurturing and supporting women in various industries inspired her to create the Nurture to Convert Society, a membership program designed to help women grow their businesses and support one another.

Through her work developing the community and the society, she has demonstrated that support and community are not just buzzwords, but integral components of building a successful business and finding fulfillment as a mompreneur.

Computer with a screenshot of the Nurture to Convert welcome page

A learning management tool that can handle big ideas

Dana has big visions, and she needed a tool that would facilitate her bringing these visions to life.

She started with a community, which grew into a paid membership, which has spawned several certifications — and she’s not done yet!

And she has a vision of scaling her business that focuses on being more profitable with less effort.

“Scaling means that you can get bigger without the extra effort,” she explains. “I never wanted a business that scaled off of people. I wanted a business that scaled off of content and off of what we could offer.” 

So Boss Mom needed a tool that would provide her with the flexibility to create a variety of different offers that would serve needs as she discovered them within her community, and a system that would reward community members for taking action toward their own goals. 

Discovering the membership solution for the Boss Mom community

Dana’s vision started with a community, and one of her big strengths is building community mindfully.

“A community isn’t just a place that everybody goes,” she explains. “It will not thrive unless you teach people how to engage in the community and then you reward people for being there for other people.”

From there, she added courses; she dabbled in group coaching, in-person experiences, products, creating a “vault” for all her products, and so on.

“What we realized is what women in our audience need is ongoing support. They need ongoing support through the clarity stages, through the building stages, into the optimizing stages and they need ongoing support for when none of it works.”

Just adding more content wasn’t the key. 

She needed to create a place where people could learn the system — and then have the support to optimize, to refine, and to continue to grow within that system. 

For the Boss Moms, the solution was the Nurture to Convert Society: a membership she was able to create using AccessAlly.  

“With just the name change alone and the way that we changed the system, sales doubled,” Dana says.

“And now two years after having that done, we now have a third of our members come in just from saying people have referred us. We are constantly getting new videos and testimonials. We have people that say that they’re never going to leave. And so recognizing that the key to a membership is not more I think is one of the biggest things that anybody can take away.”

Using gamification to reward taking action

Once the membership had been working for a while, Dana was inspired to up-level and add gamification — which she knew AccessAlly could handle. 

But she didn’t want to offer points for just anything.

“I don’t want to just give people points for watching the stuff,” she says. “That’s the least interesting thing for me. I want to give them points for actually doing the stuff that gets them results, which makes me look good — I look great when my members are successful! So it’s my goal to make our members successful and then the integration allows us to also see when people haven’t logged in or they haven’t done things, so we can then trigger things to get them engaged. It’s worked out really well for us so far.”

So Dana uses AccessAlly’s gamification features to give reward points for actions that members take, like:

  • Landing their first podcast interview
  • Reading a particular book
  • Asking for a testimonial

These points then can be used to unlock bonus content like additional templates they can use in their business — which, in turn, get them to take more action. 

Creating directories to help support the community

Another AccessAlly feature Dana is taking advantage of is the ability to create directories on her website. 

One major feature of the Boss Mom community is local in-person meetups, so Dana has created a local meetup directory that members can use to list and find their local meetup events.

Now, she’s also added a directory for Nurture to Convert Society members, which allows members to find and hire each other in their own businesses. 

Two screenshots showing the directory page and upgrades page

Certifications that grew from the community’s needs

As the Nurture to Convert Society grew, Dana began to notice another need her members had: certified partners.

She noticed that a lot of members wanted to start outsourcing things like social media and copywriting, but when they hired people outside the community, those outsiders didn’t understand the Nurture to Convert systems, and it created friction within members’ businesses — which, in turn, created friction in the community.

Dana’s big vision struck again when she realized the best way to alleviate this friction was to create certification programs so that members could hire people certified in the systems they already knew, loved, and used in their businesses. 

Once again AccessAlly already had the tools she needed to start two certification programs: one for virtual assistants (VAs) and one for content writers. 

“This is the other thing that I love,” Dana gushes, “is when someone comes in and they’re in the VA certification, they get a different dashboard page. When they come in and they’re doing the content, they get a different dashboard. If you were anywhere else (using any other tool), I’d have to build something completely different. But for us, because it’s all based around these AccessAlly tags, I can just give them this one space where they have a different view and they have different sidebar of what they have access to. As we’re doing this, I’m not having to reinvent the wheel, all we have to do is say, where do we want them to land?”

AccessAlly makes it possible to customize exactly what members see and have access to, so there’s no need to switch tools or send users to another website — and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel or anything else for that matter. 

Building a marketplace of templates and ideas

What’s next on Dana’s big vision board? She’s always dreaming, and her next big move is to allow certified members to create mini funnels inside the membership site. 

“You allow me to do funnels in a really interesting way inside of my membership,” she gushed, “which is really cool.” 

One big idea: Templates created by members, for members.

Participants in the content certification write email sequences as part of their certification. But rather than let that practice work go to waste, Dana’s idea is to then turn those email sequences into a template that’s for sale in the template marketplace — and the member gets a 50% cut of each sale. 

Then, once someone has made a purchase of the template, the member who created it will be allowed to have a video on the thank you page, introducing themselves and their services as an upsell. 

“I love it, because I don’t have to figure out how we’re going to do it — AccessAlly has all the capabilities in there,” Dana says. “We’re going to be able to create a marketplace so our certified members not only get more clients from our members, but they also can have passive income, and then they also can upsell. We are able to create this really small funnel within the whole system, and our members never have to leave. What we want eventually is to be able to have an actual marketplace and for our members to never have to leave to get the things that they need. And it’s great because I can do it all within the AccessAlly system.

“Most of these things are NOT POSSIBLE with other hosted systems,” she emphasizes. 

Two screenshots of the login page and nurture system page

Being inspired by what’s possible

Dana and the entire Boss Mom and Nurture to Convert Society ecosystem are an incredible example of dreaming big, scaling seamlessly, and finding the right tool to do both.

Dana has used the capabilities of the AccessAlly tools to help inspire her to develop exactly the offers her clients need, exactly when they need them. 

And she’s done it all while scaling on her own terms; not adding more but instead niching down and finding the best solutions that will increase her profitability and serve her audience better. 

Ready to get all the tools you need to serve your community in one place? Check out the AccessAlly demo and find out how!

Photo of Dana Malstaff

"AccessAlly has all the capabilities I need that aren't possible with other hosted systems"

When someone comes in for a different certification, they see a different dashboard page.

If you were using any other tool, I’d have to build something completely different. But because it’s all based around AccessAlly tags, I can just give them this one space where they have a different view and they have different sidebar of what they have access to. I’m not having to reinvent the wheel.

I love it, because I don’t have to figure out how we’re going to do it — AccessAlly has all the capabilities in there. Most of these things are NOT POSSIBLE with other hosted systems.

Location: Carlsbad, California

Industry: Entrepreneurship

AccessAlly Client Since: 2016

Switched from: Thinkific

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