6 Reasons Why a Subscription Service is Strategic for Your Personal Brand
Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed an explosion of subscription-model services and products across different industries and verticals.
You probably have at least five to ten active subscriptions right now in your personal life (not even counting your business-related subscriptions) that are sustaining your needs across finance management, video streaming, music streaming and more.
From personal development thought leaders like Rachel Hollis rolling out monthly coaching, to companies like Kajabi, to major players and pioneers like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Apple, just about any service or product is now available as a subscription.
Introducing the recurring revenue model into your business carries with it the power to take your personal brand to the next level.
Predictable revenue, easier financial access for your clients, community engagement opportunities, scaling your reach and mission – the subscription model goes way beyond the territory of financial predictability.
You have the opportunity to connect with your clients in a deeper, agile way, while benefiting from the metrics, insights and revenue that come with this service structure.
Here are 6 reasons why including a subscription in your logical product progression is strategic for your personal brand.
1. Generate Predictable Revenue with a Subscription Service
The days of conducting one major launch each year, with the hopes of hitting your revenue goals and with the hopes that your affiliates come through for you, are a thing of the past (sort of).
I’m not suggesting that you move away from the single sale model into a recurring revenue model exclusively. Packaging your products and services within the single sale model should remain part of your logical product progression.
However, it’s time to augment your logical product progression (i.e. your sequence of products, services, offerings that you take your clients through from start to completion within your brand experience).
Adding subscription services to the mix will generate predictable revenue in ways that the annual launch (or even evergreen product sales) are unable to do.
For example, when you know that 100 clients paying $99 per month for your service will stick around for around 6 months before canceling, you’re looking at almost $10,000 coming in over that 6 month period.
You didn’t have to convince a client to give you $594 upfront. They came in, and are staying for the ride, at a much lower price point. And a percentage of those 100 clients will stay even longer than 6 months, depending on the value, community and ongoing support you offer them.
Why is having this predictable revenue important?
Well, let’s say you have a personal brand, and you’re thriving. You want to support as many people as you can, and in order to do that, you need to scale the strategies and products that are converting and resonating with your clients.
In order to scale, you need to hire team, conduct paid advertising to reach more people, sponsor events that are aligned with your brand, and maybe even develop products that require capital on the front-end (like self-publishing books, custom journals and more).
When you have a baseline of predictable revenue, it’s easier to scale and invest back into your business with confidence.
2. The Subscription is Financially Accessible
The subscription service is a great top-of-funnel offering to introduce people to your services, training and brand at a low (but recurring) price point.
A $500, $1000, or even $2000 product (online course, service package, etc.) may require a significant financial and time commitment.
However, the subscription has the potential to require less of both financial and time commitments.
With less perceived commitment required on the front-end by your clients, you now have a product/service that is more accessible across a range of demographics. With more people accessing your offerings, you have the opportunity to impact more lives and introduce your brand to more people.
For example, maybe a busy entrepreneur sees your $997 online course that spans over 7 weeks and thinks, “No way.” They’re seeing a huge time commitment in your offer stack, which isn’t in alignment with their own scheduling reality. However, maybe that same busy entrepreneur can conceive of giving you 1 hour per month for a monthly coaching call. This same client may join your monthly coaching, see the value you offer over a few months of being a member, and develop a new understanding of the importance of learning with you at a deeper level. Six months into coaching, they may decide to join that $997 online course to access the deeper level of core training you offer.
How’d they arrive at that understanding of your value and credibility? Through your subscription service.
By offering your services within a subscription model, you have the opportunity to provide a lower price access point. Not only can you expand your client base this way, you’re also creating an opportunity to establish your value, credibility and additional services/products to your new clients!
3. Introduce Subscription Clients to Additional Products and Services
Once your clients join your subscription service, this is only the beginning (or one part) of your relationship with them.
As part of your subscription service experience, you can build in a robust follow up sequence to engage new clients, drive them to use certain features of your subscription service, as well as engage each other in the community.
Not only that, but you can also use the communication touch points (email, SMS texting, live video, membership area, community space) to introduce your companion products and services to your subscription clients.
For example, let’s say that you have a monthly coaching subscription, where you deliver live personal development coaching for 1 hour per month to paying clients. You will communicate to them leading up to the live session, during the session, and after the session to direct them to the training replay, supplemental worksheets or downloadable resources, and even curated answers to the questions clients asked during the live session. Perhaps you’ll send an email sequence before, during and after that monthly session. Baked into your copy, you can include a call-to-action to learn more about your other coaching, or a $297 product bundle only available to your coaching subscribers.
Even during your live session, you can deliver your content, while also seeding other products you offer that would support your coaching subscription clients even more. You can provide a special link for them to redeem the offer on the landing page of the live coaching call, or even in the follow up email and/or in the membership area where they receive their replay training and supplemental resources.
One way to look at it is: your subscription is a taste of your more robust trainings and services. It’s an introduction to you and the value you offer as part of your personal brand.
Also, your subscription is a portal through which you can introduce your additional products and services to your current subscribers. You’re delivering value every month and building a relationship with them, so naturally they’ll want to deepen their relationship with you to continue receiving more value.
Leveraging those communication touch points each month is vital to not only subscription retention, but to inviting your subscribers to join you in additional services and products.
4. Subscription Metrics Offer Insight into Your Best Clients
As you track your subscription service performance, you can use those insights to identify your most committed clients!
In order to run an effective subscription service, you need to track and measure sales, stick rate, churn rate, lifetime value, monthly vs. annual subscriber count, and clients who attend your live monthly sessions (if applicable). Leveraging a platform like Spiffy to provide you with the most accurate metrics is key.
Once you have these metrics, you can identify your most committed customers, and drop them into funnels offering specific products/services simply based on their buying and retention patterns in your subscription.
For example, you can identify clients who’ve chosen the annual subscription payment plan (rather than the monthly payment plan), and drop them into an email sequence in which you celebrate them and offer them something exclusive. Honor their commitment to 12 months of coaching with you and thank them by offering them a discounted product bundle that will accelerate their achievement in half the time!
Use your subscription metrics to get to know your clients better. Segment these clients based on demonstrations of financial and time commitment. Launch targeted messaging to them to grow your revenue.
Your subscription numbers have the power to deepen the resonance of your personal brand with your clients, in a palatable and intentional way.
5. Reach More People in Less Time with a Subscription Service
Reason #5 applies more to monthly group training/coaching than perhaps a software subscription.
Have you been working 1-on-1 with clients and finding that you’re not making the impact you’ve been looking to make?
Providing group training within the subscription model allows you to reach more people within the same time frame that you were supporting one person. This is your chance to scale your impact.
For example, you can roll out group coaching that you offer live for 1 hour per month for paying subscribers. Deliver the training through live streaming video services using a platform like Zoom, Ustream, Youtube, or even Vimeo. Answer select questions during that one hour of training. Provide a supplemental worksheet and the replay of the training right after the live session, making those resources available in the member’s area for those who were unable to attend the live training.
Within this model of training, you can have an unlimited number of clients who are all benefiting from your expertise, insights and time.
Not only that, but providing this group training subscription at a lower price point (between $19-$50 per month) can allow you to increase your 1-on-1 training rates.
Provide tiers of access to you and your expertise by integrating the subscription service into your personal brand strategy.
6. Increase Community Engagement Using Subscriptions
Great personal brands know that building community and offering clients an opportunity to connect with you and each other, is key to increasing customer lifetime value.
People aren’t just buying your product or service. It’s way beyond a monetary transaction.
When people join your programs and enlist your services, they’re building their cultural capital. They’re buying into your brand identity, and what you stand for. And they want to hang with people who are doing the same.
Subscriptions offer you a great entry point into robust community building.
For example, you can host your monthly coaching, providing a forum or chat feature for people to connect with each other before, during and after the training. They can pop in and ask you and your team questions, share their success and insights with you, and connect with fellow subscribers.
Adding fresh value each month and providing recurring community engagement strategies is key to supporting retention and stick rate.
Remember: your clients can cancel at anytime. That’s the nature of the subscription-model. After all, if they’re not feeling like their receiving the level of value that they’re paying for or expecting, then they’re gone.
That means that retention strategies are everything. Providing great community engagement throughout their subscription experience serves as a great recurring value-add that not only allows them access to you and your team, but it’s also a feature co-built by fellow clients.
So, the win-win is, you have the opportunity to create a strong community experience for your clients by offering the subscription service, and, you can leverage community engagement as part of your retention strategy.
Adopting the subscription model and integrating it into your personal brand requires an acknowledgement that buying patterns and perception of value in the marketplace are changing and diversifying.
It means that you’re ready to support your clients in a new way, while benefiting from this recurring predictable revenue source.
As Richard Kestenbaum aptly puts it, “Subscription companies don’t create new types of products, they are a new way to sell existing types of products. Subscriptions don’t change what consumers want, subscriptions get consumers to look at existing products in a new way.”
The subscription model shifts the way you package your product and services, and the way value is perceived by clients and leads. With these shifts comes the ultimate challenge to continue innovating, to continue adding value, and to improve communication with clients.
These shifts also necessitate the development of a robust, optimized personal brand with products and services that meet and continue to exceed your clients’ needs and expectations.
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