Don’t make this classic subscription site mistake

Subscription sites are awesome. I don't know about you, but I love Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and tons of other subscriptions I pay monthly for. I also enjoy subscriptions that I pay yearly for, like the United Club (formerly the Red Carpet Club, which sounded so much better).

I like all these subscriptions, not because they take all my money, because they not only bring value but often keep getting better. Amazon Prime, for example, just keeps getting better year after year.

And if you're building a subscription site, you already know that you need to add value—not just once (at the start) but every month and every year.

At this point you're likely thinking that the classic mistake subscription sites make is the “set it and forget it” challenge. And that is indeed a problem. But there's a bigger challenge I want to address.

But let's back up a bit…

Understanding the Sales Cycle

Most people don't buy your products or services from scratch. It's not even after seeing a great or funny commercial or ad. Nope. What happens is that a person has to get comfortable with you. They have to appreciate you. They have to value what you bring to the table.

In essence, in order to spend money with you, they have to trust you.

This is not rocket science. It's not new news. I get that. But if it's so obvious, you'll see my why it's so surprising to me that so many make this classic subscription site mistake.

The Classic Subscription Site Mistake

If you know that you need trust to make a sale… If you know that a subscription site is a “big ask” because it's more than a single payment…

Then the classic mistake is selling people a subscription site first.

This is the primary reason why I don't sell coaching directly. It's not the primary pitch on my site. Even though I offer a monthly recurring program to help companies, my site is focused on selling little things like eBooks and suggesting that people who want advice start with a Clarity call.

Because it's easier to sell simple products that allow people to test my insights and develop some trust before inviting them to spend more – especially in the form of a monthly charge.

Here's the simple model.


Most of us aren't Netflix

I started by talking about Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime. So it's easy to question whether this model is a mistake, since Netflix doesn't sell you anything before you buy a monthly subscription. I get it. But my response will always be the same: most of us aren't Netflix.

So in the absence of that reality, my suggestion is the same to everyone.

Prime the pump by selling small products before ever making the pitch for something larger like a subscription site.

Trust me, it will make it a lot easier to close the deal on your subscription site.