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Experts Speak: How to Grow a Membership Site

Today we are going to look at ways of growing your membership site.

I’ll be the first to admit that my membership site is not very large. And part of that is from just not promoting it.

So what authority do I have to speak on the topic?

Well, not as much as some. That’s why I’ve decided to ask 7 experts on how they have grown their membership site.

But before we begin, I should make a distinction here. This post is agnostic to the type of membership site they have.

Some will have a paid Facebook group, others will have a membership site built on WP, while yet others will use teachable.

Then we’ll have some who have a fixed term membership, recurring monthly or even lifetime access to a vault style membership.

The point is whatever membership site model and application they have chosen; this is about how they grew their membership sites.

So here’s the roundup for today!

Let’s learn how to grow a membership site!

The Experts


  1. Sarah Santacroce
  2. Tammy Lorette
  3. John Paduchak
  4. Tawnya Sutherland
  5. Justin Popovic
  6. Craig and Kelly Cannings
  7. Kathie Thomas

I asked each expert the following question:

\”What is your biggest tip for growing your membership site or community\”

And here’s how they answered…

Sarah Santacroce


Sarah Santacroce

Sarah has a number of memberships. Her model is that users pay for the membership provided and get lifetime access to the material.

Sarah has built up a strong community.

Her response to the question is this:

“Build it and they will come doesn’t apply here. You need to constantly drive awareness. I do that in the form of webinars or my annual LinkedIn Challenge. If you’re just starting out I would recommend that you really focus all your energy on your founding members. Treat them really well and they will become your ambassadors.”

It’s certainly true you have to keep bringing in fresh traffic and build that awareness.

One thing I can say I’m doing right is treating my own founding members really well.

You can check Sarah’s site out at

Tammy Lorette


Tammy Lorette

Tammy is someone I have a lot of respect for and she never ceases to amaze me.

With fierce determination, she built up her community of Virtual Assistants fast.

When asked the question this is what she had to say:

“Over 18 months ago, I decided to start my own Facebook group called the Virtual Assistant BFF group to support Virtual Assistants.  I wanted a group that provided Virtual Assistants with a place to engage, a safe space to ask questions and a space that offered support for them to get their business started or grow their business.

My group is now at 5400 members which I grew 100% organically by providing engagement and support on all my social media networks.  If you want to grow a membership site or community, my biggest tip is to do this by being present where your members hang out, answering and asking questions, providing free resources and being 100% authentic.  It’s a big, beautiful, virtual world out there and we all need to work TOGETHER!”

Community is definitely where it is at. People love to feel like they belong to something big.

You can check out Tammy’s website here – and perhaps even join her free community. It rocks!

John Paduchak


John Paduchak

John is a good friend of mine and has built membership sites based around live video. So his answer came as no surprise to me when asked how to grow a membership site.

“My biggest tip would be utilizing live video so you can start to interact and connect with your audience and a deeper level. This also helps them to know, like and trust you faster, as well as getting them to start looking at what you’re giving away for free. They then begin to think that if you give this kind of information away what could your paid programs be like? There’s nothing like real time interaction and that’s what you get with live video. So I think every community and Membership should have a video or live video elements so they really get to know you at a deeper level.”

I am also adopting some live video slowly into building up my own community. There’s definitely a psychological barrier to entry but it helps to just do it.

You can learn more about John and his methods at

Tawnya Sutherland


Tawnya Sutherland

Tawnya,  is another good friend of mine, and has the largest Virtual Assistant network on the planet.

She runs a group called VA Insiders. She offers live interactive coaching calls twice a month as well as access to a vault of information.


Here’s what she had to say:

“A tip for growing your membership site is to practice under promising and over delivering. Throw in some extras now and then for your tribe like discounts from partners, extra group coaching sessions, new content/resources, a private collaboration area for members only to stay accountable, extra training sessions now and then, etc. This will encourage them to stick around, creating the recurring revenue that you need to make your membership site profitable.”

Great advice, Tawnya! It’s very easy to promise the world then fail to deliver, so under-promising at the beginning is a great tip.

You can learn more about Tawnya’s membership site at

Justin Popovic


Justin Popovic

Justin was one of my first mentors online. He has always had a sense of community and connecting people.

I was even privileged to do a few talks for Justin.

Justin actually sells access to private label rights content through his membership with added training on how to use it.

Here is his response to the question:

“My biggest tip would be to do your very best to over-deliver on your promise. Whether you are adding new content on a weekly basis, surprising your members with unexpected value, offering direct support/mentoring or creating opportunities for them to generate revenue (either through your advice or your connections)… if you give far more than the price of your membership, you can really see some great success!”

Justin does exactly that. He over-delivers and connects people together. I love his freebies he throws at us too.

You can learn more about his PLR membership site here:

Kathie Thomas


Kathie Thomas

Kathie runs a community where she helps newcomers establish themselves as Virtual Assistants online.

She was one of the first to use the term “Virtual Assistant” and has been working online since the 90’s.


When asked the question, she responded with this:


“Keep being interactive with your members

When possible, seek one or two other admin – trusted members – to help keep the flow going.

Always walk your talk.”


Love the interactivity and time she has for people. She definitely knows her stuff.

You can learn more about Kathie and her membership here:

Kelly Cannings


Craig and Kelly Cannings

Kelly runs FreelanceU alongside her husband, Craig.

I have been fortunate enough to contribute to their training.

When asked the question, this is what Kelly had to say:

“Students come for the content, but stay for the community.  We recognize that the courses we deliver need to be relevant, practical and engaging, but offering a supportive community with trained moderators and mentors is the key to retention and growth.”

This is another tip close to my heart. Having members stay for members.

That’s exactly what holds my group together too!

You can learn more about Craig and Kelly’s membership here:

That’s a wrap


There we have it. The experts have spoken.

I highly recommend if you are considering a membership site, take a few of these points and work on implementing.

Begin with building that awareness but never forget your members are real people.

Treat them well!

If you have any tips or questions, feel free to comment below.

And don’t forget to grab your Membership Checklist Startup Guide too!

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