Have you ever wondered why you keep reading about friends and fellow entrepreneurs or small business owners joining membership groups or group coaching programmes?
What’s the attraction, and what are the benefits of membership groups?
Working solo can be lonely
Building your business can be hard work but it can also be pretty lonely. You have most likely experienced office jobs before where there is a ready complement of people to talk to, people to bounce ideas off, people to have a coffee break with. Now you run your own business you’re on your own and there’s very little time for coffee! Friends and family may be supportive but they don’t really understand what you’re going through.
A membership group can provide you with virtual or even actual physical company, depending on the setup, and it can also be a great place to ask for advice and for opinions on any decisions you’re about to make.
Access to Resources within membership groups
Depending on the type of membership group you’re considering joining, it’s likely that there will be some valuable resources inside. These may be in the form of courses, workshops, webinars or blogs, and will teach you how to do something new, or how to do it better. It’s fairly common to join a membership to learn something specific and then to stay because the company became as valuable as the resources.
Contact with other entrepreneurs
Just as it’s important to have contact with other people to stop you bouncing off your own four walls, it’s also valuable to talk to people who understand what you are going through. Starting your own business brings its own particular stresses and challenges and it can be great to talk through your business problems with a group who understands. Someone else in the group may have a solution for your particular problem, or may be able to recommend an app or piece of software which will be useful.
When you start a new business you can be stuck in your own tunnel vision to a certain extent. Other members in a membership group can open your eyes to other ways of thinking and educate you about how other industries work.
Networking in membership groups helps build brand awareness
As well as getting help on your own business you can also offer help to other entrepreneurs within your own area of expertise. As you get to know other members of the group and build relationships with them, they will get to know your brand. At some point in the future they may be able to recommend your business to a contact who needs what you are offering, and likewise you may be able to recommend their business. Good membership groups lead to more leads, which lead to more sales. But be sure you’re not being spammy – a membership group is not a place for selling but a place for helping and learning. If you’re providing value, new business is just a by-product of this.
Frequently learn about new products or apps, or new ways of working
A membership group will bring a wide variety of people and industries together who will be able to offer insight on their individual experiences. They will be able to recommend apps or products which can help you with a particular problem, or advise how to work around things in a different way.
Build mentoring or accountability relationships in membership groups
One of the biggest benefits of being a member of a group is to get accountability for your plans and help you to follow through with them. Setting up an accountability group or buddy system within the membership can really help all of you to set goals and achieve them within a certain timeframe.
A membership group can also give you access to individuals who will be happy to give you mentoring and advice, and when you have become an experienced member you too can mentor someone who has recently joined. This is often a rewarding experience for both parties.
Celebrate your wins among the membership group
One of the benefits of membership groups which is not talked about so much is the ability to celebrate your wins, however big or small, with people who truly understand them. Among family and friends, you may feel people don’t want you to talk about your business all the time, but inside your membership group it is absolutely expected!
It’s very motivational to celebrate the small wins as well as the big wins, and to celebrate your group’s wins as much as your own. They are your team, and you will cheer them on just as they cheer you on, and help you all to achieve the next step in your goals.
Collaboration with others in your membership group can be rewarding
When you’re in a membership group, you have a ready made contingent of people you are beginning to know and trust, and out of this trust rewarding collaborations can be born. You can write guest blogs for them, such as this one I wrote for the Content Marketing Academy (CMA). You can work on new projects together. You can even end up setting up a new business together.
If you are interested in joining the CMA, you can do so here (affiliate link).