No amount of acceleration will get you to your destination when you are headed in the wrong direction. And, you can’t change direction until you recognize you are following the wrong path.
There are three important ways we create Retention Deficit Disorder within our membership and subscription programs. But it’s not your fault; our culture is leading us astray, creating anxiety, confusion, and frustration both within us as well as the people we are trying to attract to our membership.
Here’s how you can take control, break through membership growth plateaus, and grow your recurring revenue.
Trade Information for Wisdom
I’m a recovering news junkie. I followed every story, always had an opinion, and happily debated the big stories of the day.
Even as I write this, I feel the urge to check out what’s happening right now and what everyone has to say about it.
I’ve been programmed to value information. Purveyors of information, news media, talk radio, and social media sites only make money when you or I “tune in,” thus they do everything they can to make today’s story more important than anything else in your life.
But it’s not.
I started my news recovery with a 30-day fast. No social media, cable news, news sites, or anything else. The first couple of weeks were a challenge. And the first time someone asked me, “What do you think of the [biggest news story of the day]? I was swelling with a desire to go find out all I could about that event.
What I discovered, though, was that the people around me would tell me anything I really needed to know. Otherwise, I had a lot more time and energy back because I wasn’t getting emotional about nonsense in the news.
More importantly, I developed a much better perspective. It’s a lot easier to solve a corn maze from above, looking down from the sky, than it is when you are walking around within the maze. It’s the same thing when you remove your emotions and energy from the everyday grind of the news. It gives you a better perspective and makes it easier to solve any problem.
Trade Popularity for Leadership
Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s important.
Today’s social media cannot make you into a leader of people. But it can pretend to by offering likes, hearts, and shares as a proxy for your popularity.
Posting a cat video that gets you a thousand likes and shares doesn’t make you important. It may feel good that people like your video, but that doesn’t mean you are relevant or important to the people who click that like button as they scroll past. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cat video or anything else you may post.
Leadership is about delivering something of value, including people in a mission that’s greater than themselves, giving them the opportunity to grow as individuals, recognizing them when they take an important step toward improving themselves, and connecting them to a community of others who are on a similar journey.
Selling is not leadership. But leadership gives you an opportunity to scale a much larger business than you ever could through commerce alone.
Is there any doubt as to whether Apple is a leader in the world of technology and music? Is Amazon a leader in retail and entertainment? Is Disney a leader in delivering time-out experiences?
You can scale up a tremendous business by being a leader. But you can’t become a leader by growing a business.
Trade Churn for Retention
There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a new customer. The thrill of the hunt. The high fives. And the sense of affirmation that comes from someone telling you “yes” together with their credit card details.
While the adrenaline comes from getting new members, membership growth comes from retention.
And you know a crazy secret? The best way to attract more new members is to focus on retention.
When retention is your priority, you deliver better products, your focus becomes about something bigger than simply making money, you give your members opportunities to grow, you recognize members for their steps forward, and you become better at connecting members in a vibrant tribe.
This change of focus off yourself and onto your members and the connection you are trying to build makes you far more attractive to the members you are trying to recruit. Everything about building your membership becomes easier.
Everything in our world is programming us to believe that more information, more popularity, and more new customers are the solutions to our problems. But the fact is that the opposite is true.
Working harder at the wrong activities leads only to greater frustration. Join me in leading a life of less frustration, lower confusion, and decreased frustration. Let go of the 24-hour news cycle to find the clarity and wisdom within yourself. Trade the tokens of fake popularity by embracing leadership instead. Dump the new member acquisition addiction to embrace the opportunity of becoming a leader focused on growing member connections. And together, we’ll fight Retention Deficit Disorder.