Can a simple WordPress membership management plugin really make a difference to your business' bottom line?
Yes! We know that AccessAlly is our WordPress membership management plugin that helps entrepreneurs create amazing online spaces for their own clients...
That's one of the reasons why I'm so excited to showcase Naveed & Sonika's membership site in this case study.
But the coolest thing is this: not only is this site built with AccessAlly, but it's also designed with the principles of the Login Optin™ Strategy throughout the workflow of her business.
This dynamic duo - tool & strategy - has been key to a solid online success. Let's take a look.
Table of Contents
- Make Or Break - The Mindset of an Entrepreneur
- The Challenges of DIY-ing a Membership Site... Versus Teaming Up With A Pro
- Drawing Attention to Variety Through A Free Course
- A Well-Designed Membership Site, Complete With Organic Upsells
- Keeping Membership Students Engaged Throughout the Program
- Additional Engagement Strategies For A Flourishing Membership Site
- The User's Perspective: How AccessAlly Shapes Up As A WordPress membership management plugin
- The Best WordPress Membership Site Is Nothing Without A Vision
- A Vision For A Future of Growth
Make Or Break - The Mindset of an Entrepreneur
I sat down to chat with Sonika last week to learn a little more about her business and why it's been so successful. It was immediately apparent that Sonika is filled to the brim with natural passion and talent.
At the age of 23, she and her new husband Naveed started their entrepreneurial journey together in a focused effort to pay off debt.
Their seriousness and effort payed off. With a "we do or die now" mindset, they invested wholeheartedly in the Bob Proctor & the Proctor Gallagher Institutes... and were able to pay it all off within a month and a half.
But even though she was coaching successfully, Sonika knew that she could develop her business further by bringing it into the online sphere. And for this, she needed a membership site.
The Challenges of DIY-ing a Membership Site... Versus Teaming Up With A Pro
At first, Sonika decided to invest her own time and energy into learning how to build a website.
A Google search connected her with the WordPress membership management plugin AccessAlly... and she found herself immediately attracted to its style, user-friendliness, and immense capabilities.
But at this point, the reality of entrepreneurial life hit: Sonika was forced to let the DIY project drop in order to focus on other pressing areas of her business.
She quickly realized that building a membership site for people going through her program was a "must." And since her vision was fairly elaborate, she had to invest in the help of someone who she could trust to make it a reality.
The result is pretty spectacular.
Drawing Attention to Variety Through A Free Course
Sonika's website welcomes visitors with a rich, polished feel. Not only is the branding consistent and well-done, but the message is loud and clear:
We have the resources you need to stay focused and successful as entrepreneurs.
Naveed and Sonika use The Login Optin™ strategy... so their free courses are front and center.
The exit intent popup on the main site gives a gracious optin offer that's designed to give new subscribers a taste of the quality they can expect when working with this husband-wife duo:
As soon as you sign up, you receive an initial welcome email that includes a unique login and link to their free membership site.
A Well-Designed Membership Site, Complete With Organic Upsells
"I'm big on organization," she admits. "Which is one of the great things about the AccessAlly plugin. I like everything to be in one place so it's easy for my new subscribers to see what Naveed and I are about."
The organization and design of this membership site is key. The new subscriber who logs in to access the free material has to scroll past all of the paid courses in order to find their own icon:
... the level of intrigue builds with each free course that's consumed. And if you're excited about what Naveed and Sonika offer, it becomes a virtual no-brainer to buy the paid courses.
Keeping Membership Students Engaged Throughout the Program
One of the other challenges of using a WordPress membership management plugin is that the tool itself is never enough. There's also the challenge of making sure your students stay engaged at a high level throughout the courses.
While some of her free courses are fairly "simple" and straightforward, Sonika's VIP courses are composed of multiple modules... which requires a higher level of commitment and focus from her students.
One tool that Sonika and Charm chose to use to keep the course material interactive is the LMS plugin for WordPress, AccessAlly Pro. AccessAlly Pro natively integrates with AccessAlly and has its own tagging capabilities that allow it to accurately track and segment students throughout their online course experience.
From checklists to progress tracking, this plugin offers motivation and incentives to help students stay focused on mastering the content:
Additional Engagement Strategies For A Flourishing Membership Site
It's worth pointing out here that even though an LMS plugin like AccessAlly Pro is amazing in terms of student motivation, you have to interact on a variety of levels to truly keep your students motivated.
So Naveed and Sonika also use Facebook groups as a means of interacting on a deeper level.
"Using groups is an easy way to keep everyone engaged," explained Sonika, "because they're on Facebook more than they're in their email accounts."
With a "free" Facebook group open to those who are interested in what she teaches, Sonika also has 5 or 6 other groups that she uses for more focused, course-based clients.
I do think it's important to emphasize the need for multiple levels of engagement with your students. Membership sites are complex ecosystems. The best tech tools are virtually useless if you lack a great strategy and means of reaching your clients.
The User's Perspective: How AccessAlly Shapes Up As A WordPress membership management plugin
They say that hindsight vision is always 20-20, so I wanted to know what Sonika thought about her choice of AccessAlly as her WordPress membership management plugin.
"I really love it - especially the flexibility and the ease of use," she said.
"I love beautiful websites and having them work great. [With AccessAlly] you can customize it, so it’s flexible in that sense. And it's so organized! I was really taken aback and awed by Charm's membership site... all you have to do is login and the icons light up if you have access to them.
"When I found out that this was a simple setting in AccessAlly, I was so blown away. So that would be the other thing that I love: Charm does ongoing maintenance to keep my site up and running... but I can make my own tweaks easily if there's something quick that needs to be changed."
The Best WordPress Membership Site Is Nothing Without A Vision
As a visionary herself, Sonika continues to encourage other entrepreneurs to pursue clarity in their own journeys.
"Having a vision is extremely important," she says. "But sometimes, [entrepreneurs] try to go too far, too fast. And this is counter-productive, because we don’t want something that’s only going to last a month."
Instead, she recommends to "stay focused on being patient; on building something sustainable that's going to give them a life that they want."
This emphasis powers much of her business coaching, and appears in her free course, Drown Out The Noise:
"It’s very easy to get caught up and intimidated by people who have made it big," Sonika admits.
"When I first saw advanced membership sites, I wondered how I would do that. But if you stay true to who you are (but keep seeing your vision and your membership site and being you!), you’ll find the resources you need to be a perfect fit. And for me, AccessAlly is just that."
A Vision For A Future of Growth
After seeing (and experiencing) the success of an AccessAlly membership site built with the philosophy of the Login Optin strategy, Sonika sees a future of growth.
"I've got a new project that I'm working on," she shares. "And there's a lot more that I can do to pursue my own mission to help other entrepreneurs succeed."
Best of luck to Sonika and Naveed in their mission!
Hearing success stories like Sonika's definitely confirm our own mission here at AccessAlly: to pair up dedicated entrepreneurs with the tech tools they need to build a flourishing online business.