If you’ve been wondering how to start a membership to inspire others, wait until you hear this episode of The Blogger Genius Podcast.
This week, I’m talking with Roland Denzel, from EatMoveLive52. He is a life and wellness coach, and hosts a membership program to inspire others to get healthy.
In this episode, we talk about Roland’s journey from overweight kid to healthy adult, how he turned his experience into a book, and how that book launched his online business helping others loss weight and lean into health.
Roland and his wife lead their membership together.
To Roland, this is more than a business (although he shares the business lessons he’s learned along the way). This is a calling.
If you have something on your heart you want to share in a membership, definitely listen to this episode. And remember, we can help you get started with MiloTree Easy Payments!
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Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie and I am all about helping you, the creator monetize your business.
So, I want to tell you about the new tool that David, my husband and I have just built and rolled out and it is called MiloTree Easy Payments. It is the easiest way to start a membership or host a one time workshop.
All you do is sign up and we give you a link, we call it your money button, and you can use it, share it. So, people sign up for your program. That’s it. Plus, there’s no monthly fee, we only make money when you make money. We just take a small transaction fee.
We want it to be aligned with you. This is the most cost effective way to monetize your audience. And there’s no complicated tech to learn. We gave this a lot of thought we think this can be a game changer for you. Remember, there is money in your audience.
So, go check it out. Head to MiloTree Easy Payments. Now for today’s episode we are talking about memberships. I have Roland Denzel, on the podcast. He is a wellness coach and his blog is EatMoveLive52.
We talk about how he got into wellness, which as you all know is a huge space on the internet. And we talk about his membership and how he and his wife who has a separate one have built them.
And he’s willing to also share some of the mistakes he’s made or the learnings he has gleaned along the way. If you’re thinking about creating a membership, or even thinking about how to serve your audience, I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode.
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Roland Denzel. Roland, welcome to the show.
Roland Denzel 2:19
Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 2:22
We’ve been friends for a while. In fact, we got on a call recently so that I could learn about your membership because I’m doing research for MiloTree Easy Payments, and you were so generous with your time.
And I was like, “Roland, you have to come on the show.” And mostly I don’t know your story. I know you’re in wellness, I know you have a membership. I know you’ve written a book. But that’s kind of it.
So, would you share your entrepreneurial journey and where you are now?
Roland Denzel 2:52
Sure, I have to be honest that some of them is going to be like wish I would have done things differently. Yes, things are going well but hopefully somebody will get something good, something immediate out of the things that I could have done differently.
Growing Up Chubby and Wanting to Change Your Life
So, my history is I’m 54 right now. And for my first 35 years, I grew up either chubby, obese, overweight, and there were times when I was like normal weight. But it was really a struggle.
It was like I had to really exercise and really watch my food to do that. It was always a struggle. And when I was 35, I decided that I was done and I was going to take care of this.
So, I developed a system because the biggest issue was I would diet. You’ve heard of yo-yo dieting, so I would do the yo-yo dieting, it’s not really working for me.
And then I would quit and then like a year later, I would try again and then I would quit and a year later try again. So, I decided that what I was going to do was I was going to go on this next diet and it was going to be my last diet.
So, even if I was not satisfied with the way it was going, I was going to tell myself, you know what this has served me so far was doing well. Until I find the next thing that I want to do, I’m going to stay on this diet because it’s not doing any harm.
So, I’m going to stay on that diet. So, never be off my plan again. But in the meantime, research what was the next step or I would modify the diet, modify my plan so I move forward.
Because the hardest part is to start a diet but what’s harder than starting a diet? Starting it again because you have this history of quitting.
Jillian Leslie 4:33
Roland Denzel 4:35
Right and that’s a scar it’s like a trauma, little trauma. And every time you do it it’s that much harder. So, I decided I didn’t want to deal with that anymore. And so I didn’t.
So, when things weren’t working great for me I would say okay, what is it that I don’t like about this and how can I modify it so I do like it or what will work better.
And then I would just sort of transition straight from diet not working as well as I would like to diet that I hoped would work better. And it’s been almost 19 years now and I haven’t been off my plan.
Creating a Plan to Get Healthy
I’m doing air quotes like you can see it. I haven’t been off my plan ever since. So, I lost 110 pounds and I’ve kept it off for 19 years.
Jillian Leslie 5:16
Did it come back? Were there ups and downs, or was it a steady thing?
Roland Denzel 5:22
No, well, there were ups and downs on purpose. Where, I got maybe too skinny at some point, and decided that I needed to put on some muscle weight.
So, I started going and lifting weights and eating more protein. Anything that I did was on purpose, but I never got overweight again.
Jillian Leslie 5:40
Wow! And calling it a diet. Was that a good thing or was it better? For me, it’s like triggering just that word, I’d want to call it a plan.
Roland Denzel 5:53
Well, yeah. It’s one of those things where, first we kind of make fun of that. Because if you can say like, Oh, it’s not a lifestyle, in our book we call it a diet, but like if I was on Oprah, I would say, “Oh, Oprah it’s a lifestyle.”
In reality no one says, “Oh, I want to go on a lifestyle.” We try to use the words that people use and just make them okay, because just calling it something else is like perfuming the pig. Say, what is it? I was fat.
Some people, when I say I used to be fat, they go, “Oh, you shouldn’t say that.” Why? I was fat. I can say I was overweight, but that’s still the same. I was obese, I was chubby, no matter what word you pick, it’s going to trigger somebody.
So, I’d want to make it to where it’s okay to talk about these things. And it’s okay to be those things and acknowledge that you are but sometimes you want to change, sometimes people just want to be healthier.
Sometimes people want to lose weight, sometimes people want to gain weight. But all of those things are valid, and the terms that we use, you just have to meet people where they are.
Jillian Leslie 7:05
This is at 35. So, up until this point, you had I guess, like a regular job, and then all of a sudden, you kind of leaned into this.
Roland Denzel 7:14
Yes, I got really interested after a couple of years of being successful at this, I decided that I was really interested, I wanted to take charge of it educate myself. So, I got a nutrition certification to precision nutrition, which focuses on sports and weight loss.
I focus more on the weight loss, not training any athletes but you’ll learn a lot that’s where I learned a lot of my habits. Because a lot of athletes are where they are because of the habits that they have and skill, of course and genes.
But it takes a lot of habits to do those things. I got really interested in that. And you’re also a personal trainer and a kettlebell coach. And then I always like writing. So, I was writing nutrition articles for a website, no longer exists.
But they’re biggest fitness forum on the internet. And the woman who is now my wife was also writing for this website.
And eventually, we kind of liked what we wrote and maybe DM and emails for a long time, it was like for years. We’d never met just friendly emails.
And then there was like a fitness conference. Like, if you go to a writing conference, there are fitness conferences, too. So, we went to this fitness conference, and we were both pair and we met and then we went our separate ways.
And then we talked about writing a book together, I’ve been there. And her whole career was personal trainer, and also training the trainers.
She taught other trainers how to do these things. And had thousands of clients under her belt where my only client was me.
Writing a Book on Getting Healthy
And so, we decided to, combine forces and write a book. And along the way, fell in love and got married, published a book and started doing this business together.
Jillian Leslie 9:24
So, what’s the book called?
Roland Denzel 9:28
Several books we’ve written but the that particular book was called, Man On Top. So, it’s sort of like a little, it’s not really a memoir, but it has a lot of my personal stories like how I did it, and then her expertise on how you can do it too using this thing.
So, Man On Top: Lose Fat, Get Fit, and Lose Your Weight for Life.
Jillian Leslie 9:47
Wow. Okay, and then how did you turn this into an online business?
Roland Denzel 9:53
First I just started teaching. It was primarily a men’s weight loss book. So, I started working with men who read the book. So, there’s like a thing at the beginning, this was when the Kindle was new. And self-publishing was new.
I had a lot of printing and publishing background. So, my previous job I was a printing and publishing consultant. So, I knew a lot of the stuff that was there. I also knew about MarketX. I learned that you could, set up a mailing list.
And so, I would put a link at the beginning, “Hey, if you want, our free forums that you can print off, so you don’t have to write in your book, come to my website and sign up for the list. And we’ll send you these things either printer friendly, and you can print them off and do these.”
So, we got people to sign up there. And then I just started, that’s called an autoresponder where welcome sequence, here’s your thing, and then a couple days later, how to do the thing. What’s your biggest challenge with the book?
Would you like to leave a review of the book; I would really help. And then we talked to them about how we do coaching as well.
Jillian Leslie 10:55
Wow. I have to say, I am expecting the lessons of things that you didn’t do right the first time.
Roland Denzel 11:03
Jillian Leslie 11:04
But it was so brilliant. That was before anybody really knew about this stuff.
Roland Denzel 11:11
This was 2012.
Jillian Leslie 11:13
Wow. Okay. So, I would say, after that, everybody even to this day, when I say what are your biggest regrets? And they’re like, “I didn’t grow my list I should have started earlier.” So, good job there.
Roland Denzel 11:26
Thank you. The reason I’m very passionate about other people, because I work with other authors to help them set up this type of thing as well.
And then a lot of them are like, “Oh, I don’t want to do a mailing list. Mailing lists are useful.” I have all the big list on Facebook or big Twitter following that kind of stuff.
ADVICE: Grow Your Email List from the Beginning
So, I say that, here’s my first mistake. We had a very huge following on that fitness website. About a month before we launched the book, the website disappeared. The bad upgrade, I get upgraded. It didn’t go well and people just left.
The provider didn’t have a list; I can’t just blast everybody out. So, people that were there, we had a whole forum there for our book, you would now call our readers, advanced reader, copy readers.
People were ready to get the copy of the book, PDF copy, read review, we have our hope that those people would become clients at some point. And the website disappeared. And unless they tracked me down, I had no way to reach them.
So, if I could go back in time, I would have started the list way before, rather than keep it in that forum, or keep it in a Facebook group as you do today. It would be, “Hey, if you want to be on my team, go sign up here so I can contact you in emails.”
So, I went from having like, 25,000 people that I could reach through this forum down to like just a couple hundred in a couple of days. It really affects your book launch.
Jillian Leslie 13:03
Yes, it does. Yes, it does.
Roland Denzel 13:04
Start your email list early people.
Niching Down to Coaching Men in Wellness
Jillian Leslie 13:06
Totally. So, you launch these books, you’re coaching and you’re building your list and you’re coaching predominantly men, which I love because again, within the space of wellness, you’ve got this strategy that works for men like you’ve niched down to men.
Roland Denzel 13:30
So, this is where problem number two comes. Then we find out that most of our readers, because if you have like a Facebook group or Facebook page, or even to some degree, your email list, you can see the demographics. They will give you the percentage of this.
We found out that most of our readers were female, even though it was a men’s weight loss book. My personality is more women like me. I’m not like the testosterone guy.
So, if the dad bod thing was a big thing back then we probably would have put that in the title of the book.
Jillian Leslie 14:12
Roland Denzel 14:14
But it was before that time. So, our next couple books like, some of the programs were not niched down like that. So, we thought, “Oh, people just like us for fitness.” So, we kind of kept going with the men’s stuff, but there weren’t that many men coming to us.
We were attracting more women, but we didn’t have a content to support the women. So, it wasn’t until like a couple books later that we started more female focused stuff and our female focus talk and our email newsletter became more attractive to women.
But then you’re splitting things. So, you kind of got to pick a lane, you can change but then you have to realize that they’re leaving behind some of that, the people that you already have before.
Or if you’re mixing and if I talk about people or authors who cross genres, I write romance and thrillers there’s very little overlap.
So, you might continue to write the romance, you might continue to write the thrillers, but every time there’s a whole new audience, you have to attract. And that’s the same with weight loss for men and weight loss for women.
Jillian Leslie 15:28
Okay, so how did you then continue to build. So you knew, initially it was men, but then you realized, “Hey, wait a second, we’re attracting women.” So, did you lean into women?
Pivoting to Focusing on Women and Families
Roland Denzel 15:40
Yes. So, our latest books, Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well: 52 Ways to Feel Better in a Week. And we do have men that still read the book but it’s really for women and family for more family focused. And it did much better.
But if we could have gone back in time and started, like you kind of pick your lane, and you know, who you’re writing for.
And it comes down to, I think you’ve talked about your avatar, finding your avatar and visualizing that person, or maybe even putting a name to them, and a picture of them. So you know, who you’re writing to, like now it’s very clear who I’m writing to.
But back then it wasn’t you think you’re writing to everybody, but this is my personal story. So, I could have done lots of things. If you know who your avatar is, I could have told the same story.
Basically, my wife and I could have written that same book. But without calling it Man On Top, meaning it’s more for men.
Jillian Leslie 16:41
And as a woman that feels a little aggressive, as a title.
Roland Denzel 16:45
I know. My pastor at the time asked, “Is this a sexual innuendo?” I’m like, “No, it’s not. But more like you’re on top of the mountain.” I can see how it would be that way. It’s funny anyway. So, I get it.
Jillian Leslie 17:01
Okay, so then what did you do next? Are you predominantly making money via book sales via coaching? Via what?
Making Money with Coaching and Memberships
Roland Denzel 17:11
Coaching and our memberships.
Jillian Leslie 17:13
Okay, got it. Is it one-on-one coaching, or is a group coaching?
Roland Denzel 17:21
It’s mostly small groups. For a couple reasons, one, is I just love it so much more. I’ve been using Zoom for years, way before Zoom was cool or forced upon us, I was using Zoom. And I just like to get, five or six people on Zoom.
And then it’s just like you’re sitting there, at a table or a restaurant or something like that with five or six people and you just kind of go around the room and you can share experiences. And I can teach a lesson.
And then I can talk to each person about their goals from last week and what they wanted to do, and what their stumbling blocks were and then it’s just amazing, because other people will put their hand up, “Oh, I have that problem too.”
Or this is how I was able to overcome this. And even though I can say all those things to each person, in a one-on-one setting, it’s so much more powerful for them to all be nodding their head and say, “Oh, I’ve been there too.”
Or you see them like you say something sometimes or one of the other members will say something. And you can see they’re all writing something down.
It’s just such a better experience. And from a selfish perspective, my wife says, when I come out of these group meetings, I’m always smiling and happy. And when I come out of the one-on-one, sometimes I just feel exhausted.
Because it’s like, no, and it’s because the people are so much happier. You do a lot of group things, too. So, when you come out of there, you get energized by the group.
Jillian Leslie 18:59
I do. And you know what, for me like David and I have an entrepreneur coaching group for bloggers and online entrepreneurs. And it’s a small group. And I haven’t really opened it.
Being Energized by Coaching a Group
If you wanted to join, you can reach out to me, but we’re not really advertising it. And partly because there’s a specialness about this group. And they show up for us, but they also show up for each other.
And I weirdly feel like going through the pandemic with them has been so good for my mental health. And there is that feeling of we’re all cheering each other on we’re in different niches. We share what we’re working on.
We’re there to answer questions, but it’s like we go through and we do like a Q&A, but a lot of times it’s just me checking in and going, “What’s working for you, what’s not working for you?”
And I love it when the other people in the group, chime in, whether it be with help, support, more questions it’s so additive versus you’re right.
I also do one-on-one coaching, and I know what you mean about, it can be very draining. But somehow when you get this, group interaction, and if it’s good, it’s really good.
Roland Denzel 20:19
Absolutely. And what I found over time I learned this from my wife, she taught me. As a group, we meet once per week, it’s about an hour in this group setting, it goes, like three weeks of group, and then the last week is writing one-on-one with people.
And so, they can say things and check in more in depth with, Jillian, how you feel your overall goals are? Do you want to revamp your goals? Do you want to focus on something else?
I’m not a therapist, but it comes out as like, “Oh, I’m frustrated with this, I didn’t want to share with the group.” So, that gives us an opportunity to do those things as well. And then I make myself available for emergency tech, we call it the lifeline.
Like, when you call for a lifeline, because people come from all different directions. I’ve had people call me from Trader Joe’s and say, “Which of these hummus should I buy?” I’m like, “The fact that you’re buying hummus, it’s like a huge step.”
And they’re like, “Oh, thank you for saying that.” I go, “Buy the hummus that looks the best, that has the best ingredients that are going to call to you. And you’re going to enjoy.”
And they’re like, “Oh, thank you.” So, it’s fun to be able to do this. So, it’s a mixture of group and one-on-one. And I think it really works the best for everybody.
And then my goal as a coach is not to make people like, there are apps and services where they sign you up, and you’re on there forever. Like, Netflix or Amazon Prime.
There’s good reasons to be on some things forever, like your cable TV or cable, internet you want to be on forever.
But your weight loss plan, you shouldn’t, you should be able to learn the skills and the habits that it takes to set you up for a lifetime of health and healthy weight.
And so, my goal is to get people to where they graduate, and they don’t have to, be in there forever. And if I can’t teach you the skills and the habits you need in like six months to a year, then I’m not doing my job.
Jillian Leslie 22:38
There’s something very honorable about that. My mom is retired now, but she was a therapist, and she would always say that she would want people to leave. And yet that was not good for her business.
So, it’s like she would say, “You would think I want people to stay forever because they pay me and yet I really want them to leave, I want them to feel like they don’t have to be in therapy forever and that they have the skills.”
And my mom’s always like, “If you need to come back, come back. But don’t think that we’re going to be here for seven years kind of thing.”
Giving that you want people to leave. How are you continuing to fill your funnel and get people to join one of your groups?
Using SEO Strategies to Grow Your Audience
Roland Denzel 23:38
I continue to write blog posts so like some of it is SEO, like some of them for finding SEO. I’m still working on that I’m not the best. If I had somebody that gave me the keywords and couple of longtail keyword phrases, I will probably do fine.
But that’s the part that’s the biggest challenge for me finding the things that I should write about. Because what will happen is I’ll find something and write something that brings in a lot of people, but it’s not perfectly aligned with my brand.
So, now I’m bringing a lot of people that are looking for something different than what I offer. It may be consciously or subconsciously. So, that’s been a little bit of a challenge. But my wife is doing really well with Facebook ads.
We have three different memberships; we have one that’s just based on our book Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well.
So, it’s the three tiers, three pillars, eating. So, nutrition, movement, and overall lifestyle, which is a lot of mindfulness, stress relief, that kind of stuff. So it’s the three pillars.
So we have that membership and then my wife also, she’s a somatic experience therapist or practitioner, and emotional eating coach.
What is a Somatic Experience?
Jillian Leslie 25:05
So, will you explain what that is? What’s somatic?
Roland Denzel 25:08
Sure. Somatic experience is, if she was here, I would just say, “Come over here and explain it.” So, somatic is touch. So, it’s therapy that involves body, like more body consciousness, and some sort of touching. She does it over Zoom so she’s not touching anybody.
It’s body consciousness, and body awareness, and nervous system, and a lot of the stuff with the nervous system. So, she works with people also in small groups, and teaches them nervous system activation, calming down the nervous system.
Because when you have an emotional eating issue, it’s similar to having a gambling issue, or an alcohol issue or smoking issue, it’s something that your body needs. It’s not usually the food.
We all need food; no one needs to over eat the food. No one needs, specifically the sugar or no one needs specifically the half crunchy salty snacks. So, those are all things that are serving a purpose for us that we probably don’t really need.
So, we need to find out what are those things that that food is serving the subconscious purpose for us? And how can we address it, and then find a way to stop relying on that salty, crunchy snack, for instance, which triggers vibrations in the jaw.
Which hits a nerve, which goes up and stimulates a specific part of the brain. And that serves us in some sort of way. So, there’s no substitute for that. There’s addressing the issue that makes us like, we need that less.
And then finding our healthiest substitute for that, which is probably not food related. It could be mindfulness, it could be a practice of, sounds weird, but like humming because the humming will do the same thing. Find ways to address it.
And a lot of it is like once you’re aware that humming is like the ultimate solution. My wife sometimes like I hear her humming off in the distance with a client and I’m like, “What are you humming about?”
She tells me I teaching them when you have this particular craving, how to make yourself aware that it’s not necessarily that you need Doritos. You needed this feeling. Sometimes it’s a nostalgic feeling, sometimes you’re sad, sometimes you want to be happy.
And so, a lot of times when we do these behaviors, whether it’s meeting, smoking, chewing gum, whatever. It’s doing something to help us through something which is either like a big trauma or a little trauma or trauma we forgot we had.
So, that’s why somatic experience, trauma therapist, emotional eating coach, those things are all sort of intertwined. She has a six month program for this as well. But she works with people.
Jillian Leslie 28:18
She does your membership with you. And then she has her own?
Roland Denzel 28:24
Her own membership. I’m not qualified to teach for that membership because she’s a professional therapist.
ADVICE for Starting a Membership: Get Specific
Jillian Leslie 28:34
When you think about your memberships? What would you say you would recommend for somebody who was starting a membership? What do you think works and where have you struggled? Or what has been more difficult?
Roland Denzel 28:49
Let me give you an example. So, the struggle it’s called Eat Move Live 365. So, it’s for 365 days a week, you can do these things. We provide all the guidance for you to do that. It’s a little bit vague. Maybe not vague, it’s too much of everything.
It’s not solving a specific enough problem. So, if somebody needs to lose 50 pounds, and they look at the membership signup page, they’re going to go, “Oh, they’re going to help me with eating better, eating healthier.
Making nice recipes that are healthy, a couple of gentle habits. It’s like not specific enough. So, like we talked about earlier on, niche down. So, it’s not just niche down in the specific of like, what area you’re focusing on, but how you’re going to do it.
Give them something specific. I’m going to help you in this way. You can provide the other stuff too if you think that’s important. Like I could focus on food, nutrition habits and cooking skills.
Focus on How You Will Help Your Members Quickly Reach Their Goals
I could also give them some movement. And I could also give them some mindfulness. And that would be fine because those were supportive elements. But on my sales page and my signup page, I should really focus on how I’m going to help them quickly.
Give them what they’re going to need, and give them the skills that are going to sustain them for life. That would be a better way to do it. And we’re starting to make those changes now. Because once people get enjoying, they stay pretty much forever.
We’ve had people in this membership because the membership, we wanted it to be cost effective. Almost like the Netflix of health.
So, you come in, you get all the recipes you need, you get all the mindfulness practices, all the movement practices, and you get me and or my wife to help you navigate through these things.
But getting the new people in isn’t there because it’s like, we give you all those things you need. And people think that’s a little bit overwhelming.
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Head to Free MiloTree Blog Post Checklist. It’s as easy as that. And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 31:43
As I am working with David, my husband on building MiloTree Easy Payments, just a way for you to get paid for your members. But I am learning of course, best practices, seeing it in my own membership.
And I think you’ve hit on something really specific, or a really important piece, which is what is the transformation? What specifically are they going to learn by doing this rather than its kind of mushy, and soft, and an all-inclusive, like kind of like a buffet.
Give Your Members a Path to Success
And the thing that I have realized is that less is tends to be more our instinct is to like over-give to be like, it’s just so worth it. So look, you’ve got all these things to choose from.
And that it’s more difficult than for somebody to go well wait, I want you to tell me what path. Like I don’t want to choose my own adventure, I want you to go here, and then go here, and then go here.
I love blogs, for example, that have start here in the nav, because guess what I do, I start there. I’m not going to click around, if you tell me start here. And so, that’s something that I continue to think about in my own membership.
And also, when coaching others to build memberships, I feel like there are a couple specific things and you can tell me what you think about this.
One, I think is community and having that way for people to interact with you that you’re human and that they feel like they can touch you or get help from you.
Two, is to provide that kind of step like go here, then go here, then go here. And three is to not offer so much that it’s overwhelming, that they feel like kind of like you would hear diet where it would be like I failed.
It’s like if you’ve got so much that somebody’s supposed to do, and then they don’t. I belonged to this membership very recently, where it was to help me grow my Facebook group, which I’d love to do. And, it was like $14 a month.
And I went one time and started absorbing, watching videos. And there were a ton of videos. And then I stopped and it was like on my list of things to do and I never got to it and it made me feel bad. And it was only $14.
So, it wasn’t thousands of dollars or even $100. But I finally said to myself, if I don’t go look at it, like next week, I have to cancel. And you know what, that wasn’t a big enough motivation.
I ended up not looking at it and canceling and then I weirdly felt relief. Because even though it would have helped me it was too much. And I just couldn’t do it. And I felt too inadequate. It made me feel bad.
Interview People When They Cancel Your Membership
Roland Denzel 34:48
You brought up something that I’ve experienced as well with our membership, where we’ve had people cancel. And we try to do a nice exit interview, especially if they’ve been with us for a while.
Like, “Hey, thank you so much for sticking with us. And we would love to talk to you how we can help you in the future.” So if they need something in the future, maybe they know somebody who needs what they had.
And what we heard was that we were providing so much new content every month, but they felt like they couldn’t do it all. And they were overwhelmed, like, oh my gosh, this pressure to finish it.
When our goal was to provide enough, so everyone had enough to satisfy what they needed. So over time, we’ve dialed it back, we still have a huge, like a library of stuff.
But every month, we have much less new stuff every month, and we just say, hey, there’s more stuff here. So, we try to get more conversation with them, and then guide them to the additional things that they can have.
Because once you’ve built up a good library, like if you’ve run a membership for a couple of years, if you’re creating content for it, you have things, we have hundreds and hundreds of things in there, and a new person will never find it all.
That seems to be a lot, it’s great stuff. You don’t want that to be lost forever. So we curate, we bring it back. Because a huge part of the value if you’re doing a membership, you should make new stuff regularly to address the needs of the current membership.
Or if you’re doing like social media, things like what’s new in social media, you have to have updated stuff.
But if you’ve created recipes, the recipes you made two years ago are still amazing today. So share them, and bring them out. I know people who joined this week, they didn’t see that recipe two years ago.
Jillian Leslie 36:47
And they’re not going to go searching for it.
Roland Denzel 36:49
No, no, no. So, we started making tools for them. “Here’s the new content this month, you can print it off, and as a checklist.” And we would encourage them, circle the things you want to do. If something’s on you don’t want to do, cross it off, or circle it.
Because it’s a dopamine, if I get rid of the thing I don’t want to do now I no longer have the pressure. But we wanted them to acknowledge I’m not into mindfulness this month. So, just leave them off the list, don’t write those things down.
They’re there if you ever need them, but don’t feel obligated to do them, you’re giving yourself permission to not do it. And it’s been so much better.
And it’s been much easier on my wife, and me as well, because it’s less pressure to make brand new, elaborate things every month. And then we can support our members better.
Less is More When Delivering Monthly Membership Content
Jillian Leslie 37:44
I love that. I love that it’s the less is more phenomenon. And I am that person, by the way like dopamine hit. I make lists, and I love crossing things off. And even if I do something that’s not on my list, I write it on my list so I can cross it off.
Yeah, like after I’ve done it, because it does make me feel happy. And I do think that in this group or this thing that I had joined, had they given me a roadmap, I think I would have done much better.
Because it was this, all you can eat buffet of Facebook strategy, one, I can’t consume it. I have to kind of pace myself just in general just to absorb it. But the overwhelm was too great.
Take Away Road Blocks
And so, it’s funny, David and I today for MiloTree Easy Payments. One thing that we are working on is you sign up and you fill out a little form and we auto create a sales page for you that you can then use.
And we are continuing to take things off the sales page, even though of course you want more. But we’re like, “Do we really need to give this to people?” Sure. Again, it’s nice to have, but is it a necessary must have?
And so, this is a perfect example. You should have a section on your sales page where it talks about you and your expertise. And there’s a spot where you put your photo up.
And David challenged me and he said, “Do you think though, that if people have to put a photo up and especially if it needs to fit in a certain way and look good?”
Roland Denzel 39:31
Jillian Leslie 39:32
Yeah, exactly it was a circle. And he’s like, “You know that the person has to be smack in the middle of the photo and they might not know that and then it will look weird.” So, you know what we did we said screw it.
We’re not going to have people add a photo, because we don’t want places where it stops somebody in their progress.
And so, that’s been something I’ve been really thinking about in my own business of how do I give you forward momentum with fewer roadblocks, even if it would be great if I could offer you everything.
Roland Denzel 40:04
And that’s perfect. What I teach people both in my health coaching clients. And I also work with some authors, I told you before, I’m working with some authors.
But to get their productivity up, I always tell them, both groups, because this works with any habit, you should create habits that are so easy to succeed at so you just can’t fail. Because you can always make them harder.
But if you fail too many times, you’ll quit. And then there’s nothing to make harder. So, there’s nothing. So, start off small, it doesn’t really matter. Like for authors, write 10 minutes per day, start with that.
And then every time you finished it, take a marble and throw it in the jar, a coin in the jar, something if that’s your dopamine hit or make a check. Make a check on your calendar, throw something in the jar and makes it clink.
Give Your Members Easy Dopamine Hits So They Feel Good
Get one of those little bells like the service kind of bell ding, ding. Do it, you hit that thing that’s a dopamine hit. And then after like a few days of that, I thought I was pretty good. I’m on a roll now. I can now maybe 20 minutes per day.
And it’s the same thing with your diet and lifestyle. So, let’s say one of the things I want people to do is eat more protein. So, I say, lead with protein. When you’re thinking of your food, you’re going to cook or you’re going to buy, order-in.
What is the protein? Make sure you’re going to have enough protein for that meal. And then the rest, it doesn’t matter. Later on we’ll fine tune that. So, that’s pretty easy. What was my main protein source? Okay, it’s going to be chicken.
And is this dish going to have enough chicken? Yes, it is. Great. Ding. I did it. So, if you do that for a week, three meals a day for a week, that’s 21 dings. That’s a pretty good feeling because it’s so easy to do that.
You set yourself up. What’s the opposite of setting yourself up? Set yourself up for success? So, you want to do that. And the next time you’re like, Okay, what’s the next thing I can do? I was so successful, I got 21 dopamine hits last week.
That’s an extra dopamine hit just for hitting 21. And then you’re like, I’m going to double my vegetables. Because most people don’t have enough vegetables. Most people go with the five a day, but that five a day it’s the minimum.
That’s the minimum level. So, start with the five a day and then like oh, six per day seven per day, you can easily build that up over time.
And these are the kind of skills and habits that you’re going to build, it’s going to be 19 years later and you’re going to be like, oh, wow, I’m still doing this,
Jillian Leslie 42:36
Okay, here’s a question. What do you think in your memberships you guys do really well? And where are you working to improve them?
Community Is So Important in a Membership
Roland Denzel 42:54
The community I think is the biggest thing. I’m a people person, I’m not like super outgoing. And I’m not an introvert, but I’m sort of like a shy extrovert but in my groups, I’m really good with communicating.
And online whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert or you’re shy or outgoing. It’s really easy to share things online because you’re typing.
Or you can get on camera if you love to be on camera and you can put yourself out there to a group of people that love you. So, really allows you or they trust you, really allows you to reach them and it feels like you’re reaching them one-on-one.
So, I’ve had people like many people I feel like who are in our membership more for us and the calming effect. We can bring the voice of reason. We can help them reach their goals in a way that we understood we’ve both been there.
My wife, she was an emotional leader so, she had nervous system issues. I was overweight. I had gut issues that I’ve taken care of. Even though I’m a kettlebell coach I was not particularly flexible.
I was not an athlete but I still can do these things now. I was you and I was able to improve myself. So, if I can do it. People throw around vulnerable or make yourself vulnerable or throw around too easily.
And sometimes people try too hard to make themselves vulnerable but just be honest, be honest with people and allow them to know you. And you get to know them. And that’s the biggest way and then give them what they need.
Make sure that we give them what they need in a way that is not like turning on a fire hose and open your mouth and turning on a fire hose that’s not going to work.
Jillian Leslie 44:59
And what would you say you are working on right now, to make it even better.
Build Out the Journey for Your Members
Roland Denzel 45:07
One of the things you mentioned earlier, like when you go to a website, and it’s a start here. We’ve already implemented some of these things, I work with authors, and you can go to my website for authors, it’s very clear.
Here’s what I do. Here’s where you start. Here’s what things. And the same thing with my wife’s because you go to her purebelonging.com, it’s her emotional eating one.
It’s very clear, here’s a chapter of a book that you can get for free or here’s the workshop that she’s getting. So, it’s really, right off the bat.
She’s a coach, she’s an author, these are the services and types of things that she offers. Versus a lot of people hide these things, they make a blog post, and you don’t really know what they’re doing. It’s almost like they’re embarrassed that they are offering services.
So, people should know right away when they go to your site, because you want people to join your list, just for the free stuff. It’s fine that they’re on your list for the free stuff.
But eventually, you need to let them know that you’re offering some sort of services. So, they will do that.
The only reason people should be coming to your website over and over and over again, is if you’re doing an ad focused website, or if you’re an affiliate, you’re selling affiliate products, or something like that.
But if you’re a coach, or if you have a membership, you let them know right away. And that super thing that you give them for free should be as supportive of that work that you do.
Be a Content Marketer, Not a Content Creator
Jillian Leslie 46:32
I love that. It’s funny. So, as I told you, we coach bloggers. And what I say to them, and this is always a little bit shocking is I say, “You’re not a content creator, you’re a content marketer.” And they’re like, “What, but I’m a food blogger.”
And I said, “Yeah, but every piece of content you create is not just for the good of the world, it’s for the good of the world, and for you to grow your business.”
So, it means that in that post, if you want them to sign up for your list, that needs to be front and center, because there’s value there.
You offer some value and you put arrows. There could be actual arrows, but it’s like you let them know, “Hey, this is what you need to do next.” Kind of like the start here.
If you’re reading this blog post, I have one thing that will benefit you that I want you to do join my list or I want you to buy my cookbook, or I want you to go see this sponsor this post I’m working with, or I want you follow me on Instagram.
Whatever it is, I’m going to be super clear that this is the path rather than, hey, I don’t really want to seem salesy or tell you what to do. So, I might put just like a little mention of it way at the bottom.
There was a blogger we were working with and she sells these amazing balloon garlands. And the selling of the balloons was just this beautiful display of balloon garlands.
And then at the way bottom of the post was, “Hey, if you want to buy these balloon garlands, here’s where you can buy them.”
So, I said, “No, no, no, you put the balloon garlands at the top of the post, and you say, hey, before reading this post, get these balloon garlands.” Because then it’ll all make sense.
So, buy the balloon garland, now I’m going to walk you through how to set this up and have a beautiful display. So, I think you’re absolutely right, that the clearer we are, and I get you to sign up for my list.
I’m not tricking you into signing up, there’s value there, I believe in what I’m doing. So, I’m offering value. I’m not like, “Hey, I pulled a fast one.” So, it’s like a mindset shift.
Roland Denzel 49:09
Yeah, it’s like a Costco, like when they get a little tray and like, here’s the free sample. They’re not tricking you into buying those meatballs. They’re like, “Do you like these meatballs? If you do, they’re right over there.”
Jillian Leslie 49:18
Right. And you wouldn’t have known that you’d like them unless you tasted them. But now that you’ve tasted them, they’re good.
Roland Denzel 49:24
I’m not going to try those meatballs, because you might want me to buy the pack. Well, we’re not going to shove them in your cart and make you pay for them, you can unsubscribe from the meatballs or unsubscribe from the list or whatever.
I think one of the things that I realized with bloggers and authors is they think people are like them. Bloggers read a lot of blogs because I want to blog so I’m going to read a lot of blogs.
I can see what kind of blogs are doing well, and maybe that’s why they’re blogging now because they saw a lot of blogs. And I can blog, I can do that I can maybe do that better, I can do that differently.
Start Building a Relationship with Your Readers Right Away
I think most of us realize that unless your site is so amazing and rates so high on Google, no one’s ever coming back to your blog. I mean very rarely. So, if I google a recipe or I google balloon bouquet. I’m going to see that thing.
And if I don’t sign up for your list, I probably never come back. Because why would I need to come back again? If I google it, like, I’m not going to google that unless I google the same recipe again, I made those beef short ribs, like, what was it?
But if I google beef ribs another one could be near the top? And I won’t know necessarily that it’s the same one.
Jillian Leslie 50:42
Totally. People will say I got that recipe on Pinterest. It’s like, “Well, no, you didn’t get it on Pinterest. You’ve got it on somebody’s blog, but you don’t remember the blog?”
Roland Denzel 50:56
Yeah. So, it’s like, I sign up for a lot of things. And I unsubscribe for a lot of things. Because if I want that, if I like what that person’s offering, I want to get more of it. And that’s the same thing.
So, you have to know. I only do it if the thing that they’re offering is in line with the thing that I came for, or was looking for, it doesn’t have to match entirely. But it’s like, oh, I like those short ribs.
And here’s a recipe for things you can do with your Instant Pot, because it was an Instant Pot for rib make. Oh, I could use that this Instant Pot is new. I could use that thing. And maybe I will buy their cookbook or something like that down the road.
They didn’t trick me into it. And unless I subscribe, I’ll probably never go back there because I won’t remember which Instant Pot short rib recipe I found.
Jillian Leslie 51:43
Roland Denzel 51:44
On Pinterest. Yes, and it’s the same thing. So, you have to think when people are googling things for a solution, or searching on Pinterest for a solution or going on YouTube for a solution.
Even on Amazon, they’re looking for a book, either it’s a solution to the entertainment, or it’s a solution for a nonfiction book. So, you have to do what it is to get their attention and keep it because if you don’t, somebody else is going to do it.
Remember those super long sales pages, like 10, 15 years ago that would just go on forever and ever and ever and ever. And people be like, I hate those things as people are so slimy for having these super long sales pages.
And I said, maybe, because I want to be in the fitness industry, I say, “So, you have a kettlebell program that’s better than that person’s kettlebell program?” “Yes, but I’m not going to do those big long sales pages.”
Well, those big long sales pages work. And sales pages are like the force, you can use them for good or for evil, the dark side or the light side, so it really depends on how you use it. So, if you don’t use it, they’re going to buy from that other guy.
And you just said he’s a scammer. You just said he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. So, you by not making that long sales page, or the pop-up, or the freebie you to sign up for my list.
Let People Know How You Can Help Them – Throw Value at Them
If you don’t use those tools in a way that adequately gets that person you are allowing the scammer or the lessor or their competition or whatever to get that business.
So, if you feel like your product is the best, own it offer them. Find a way to get in front of that person and keep their attention because they’re not coming back to your website.
Jillian Leslie 53:30
I love it. That is so true. It’s something like I think 85% of your traffic is one time.
Roland Denzel 53:38
Jillian Leslie 53:40
And so, it is about how do you make that first impression throw value at that person, so they can’t help it sign up for the Crockpot, or the Instapot either. And to make it relevant you’re looking for an Instapot recipe.
“Hey, how about if you like this one, you might like this one. I’ve got this for you.” So, it’s just putting those pieces together. So, Roland I could talk to you forever.
But I want to be mindful of your time and I’d love to have you come back for a part two so we can talk further as you fine tune your membership.
Roland Denzel 54:21
Jillian Leslie 54:21
Especially, because I’m doing a lot of episodes about memberships as we go on this journey of starting our MiloTree Easy Payments. So, people want to learn about you learn about your membership.
And by the way you do have such a soothing voice l understand why people join your memberships. Because I’m like I want you as my life coach.
Roland Denzel 54:35
You should hear my wife.
Jillian Leslie 54:49
Roland Denzel 54:51
She has that exotic accent. She’s Bulgarian.
Jillian Leslie 54:55
Oh that’s very exotic. Yes. So, people want to reach out to you learn more about you and your memberships and all that you do what is the best way?
Roland Denzel 55:07
You can go to my website which is eatmovelive52 the numbers, eatmovelive52.com or you can email me at email@example.com and if you have questions about whatever, my wife’s website is purebelonging.com.
So if you wanted to see her emotional eating and nervous system work that she does, you can see her there. But we’re both on eatlivemove52.com and my wife’s always in the next room, so I can always get her out and show her the email.
So, feel free to reach out to me or I love on Instagram as well. I keep it super simple. I don’t have one of those fancy names on Instagram it’s just rolanddenzel on Instagram. Easy to find.
Jillian Leslie 55:50
Okay, can you spell that?
Roland Denzel 55:52
Yeah, R-O-L-A-N-D D-E-N-Z-E-L. So, Roland like the synthasite, like the keyboards and the big rock bands and Denzel like Denzel Washington, no spaces, or underlines, or anything like that. It’s the best thing because I have a unique name.
Jillian Leslie 56:10
Yes, absolutely. Well, Roland, I have to say thank you so much for coming on the show.
Roland Denzel 56:16
You’re very welcome. It’s great to be on. I love it.
Jillian Leslie 56:19
What I really like about Roland is how much he cares. I feel that in everything he does, he just wants to make people’s lives better.
If you’re thinking about a membership, that is really the secret sauce showing that love showing up for your people, and really trying to help them in their lives. I have a very quick favor to ask you.
If you’re enjoying the podcast, would you after you’ve finished listening head to iTunes and give us five stars. I think you can also do it on your Apple podcast player, or would you just share the podcast with a friend.
This way we’ll continue to grow and I can continue to bring you awesome guests. I’d really appreciate it and I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- How to WIN at Working with Brands with Jenny Melrose
- How to Think About Branding in a New Way with Phil Pallen
- How to Start Selling on Amazon Live with Nicole Carr
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.