Moving Community from Facebook to Subscription Members Site

17 replies
I'm a fitness trainer and I currently run two successful Facebook groups. One is for readers of my book and the other is for clients who pay for my online training.

The facebook group is a community hub for my clients and they all say it's a very important aspect of the service they get from me - I spend literally hours in there every day coaching them.

FB has worked well up to now, but things are going well and I'm at stage where it's getting clunky to cross-reference payments to add/remove group members and to keep all the content (videos, workout sheets, etc) files on Facebook.

It's time to move my community onto my own site.

I have a bit of experience building Wordpress websites, so I'm going to have a go at building it myself. I just posted a question on the Website Design board about the best plugins to use, if you can help that with: http://www.warriorforum.com/website-...nity-site.html

I'd also really appreciate a few tips from anyone who currently runs a successful subscription members site, especially if it has a community element.

Tips on getting and retaining members, how to tier membership options, providing great value for clients and maintaining a lively community would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance. :-)
#community #facebook #members #moving #site #subscription
  • Profile picture of the author NatesMarketing
    s2Member Pro is awesome and what I use.

    I have a community element as well and s2Member integrates nicely with that.

    You can also make stuff role specific so different members have access to different parts.

    There is a lot that goes into a membership site...but s2Member is a great place to start...and if you have further questions....feel free to PM me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Julia B
      Thanks Nate someone mentioned S2, so that's sounding good. What do you use for the community element?
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      • Profile picture of the author NatesMarketing
        Originally Posted by Julia B View Post

        Thanks Nate someone mentioned S2, so that's sounding good. What do you use for the community element?
        I just use bbPress.org - and I have used it in conjunction with BuddyPress.org before too....that might be helpful as you're running a fitness type of website.
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        • Profile picture of the author Julia B
          Buddypress looks really good NatesMarketing. But I'm bit unclear on how it works. Is it actually a WP plugin or a whole platform in itself?
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  • Profile picture of the author joaquin112
    Try amember combined with xenforo and wordpress. Works well for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Julia B
      Originally Posted by joaquin112 View Post

      Try amember combined with xenforo and wordpress. Works well for me.
      Thanks joaquin, lotta votes for amember so sounds promising. Will check out xenforo.
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  • Profile picture of the author knishida
    Hi, Julia. I just replied to your other post as well…

    Congrats to you on running some very successful groups!

    Digital Access Pass (DAP) is a plugin for WordPress that probably has all the features you are looking for. And depending on how you want to "coach" your members, you might also want to look into JigsawBox. The latter offers a unique coaching element that no other WP plugin features.

    However, I wanted to add something here…If you are already running successful groups via Facebook, that means that your tribe is already comfortable there and that it's a proven platform for your business.

    You might want to consider doing a "mash-up" of both your own password protected membership site that houses all of your content and is organized in a way that FB groups aren't capable of along WITH a private FB group to encourage community bonding and conversation.

    This works VERY WELL for a lot of my clients. Because most of their members are already spending a lot of time on FB, it is easy and natural for them to add another group and participate in conversations there vs having to log into a separate site to converse just with that community. There is less friction in getting people in the door and a higher level of participation.

    I just offer that up as something to think about!

    And FYI, JigsawBox integrates with FB groups. They used to also integrate with forums but not sure if they still do.

    With regards to your other questions about memberships. feel free to PM me. I've been coaching people on structuring and running their membership sites since 2007.

    Cheers!

    Kim
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    • Profile picture of the author Julia B
      Hi knishida, thanks for the info, that's really interesting.

      I have been thinking a lot about the Facebook thing and I do feel a bit torn about it.

      On the one hand, as you said, people like it because they're using it anyway, are familiar with the functions and obviously in many ways it's much slicker than I could offer in a forum on my own site.

      On the other hand, the group for my paying clients is getting difficult for me to manage as I have to manually check paypal payments against the group membership list. Other issues include not being able to easily send a message to all group members via Facebook and no function to create sub-forums within the groups. Also I have lost several potential clients who didn't like the idea of my community hub being Facebook-based. I've found some people are very anti-Facebook and have deep-set objections to using it. I think having my own forum may give a perception of more value to some people too.

      But maybe some kind of mash-up could work. I'm intrigued to hear that jigsawbox integrates with FB. I'll check that out.

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author MelanieandMiles
    Hey Julia.... Not sure if you have figured out your next steps and made the leap yet, but we have been very impressed with DigitalAccessPass' membership system mentioned by knishida

    Our membership program has seen a few 'evolutions' and we had some clients on PayPal, some clients on account A) on ClickBank as a vendor and some clients on account B) as a vendor on Clickbank.

    IT WAS A MESS!!!!

    We went with the Membership Site In A Box system with DAP (Digital Access Pass) and the developers helped us dial everything in and managing members, access, member content, etc. has never been easier.

    We don't have the level of community interaction you do, FB groups and email lists work for us, but DAP does integrate with all of the following forum systems:
    Simple Press
    BuddyPress
    bbPress
    Mingle
    XenForo (non WP)
    vBulletin (non WP)

    Whether you've made your move already or not... Just found this post in a search engine result and we were inspired to share how satisfied we are with our decision to migrate to Digital Access Pass.

    Best of luck to you!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author criniit
      I run several very successful membership sites/communities and I swear by member mouse (MemberMouse - WordPress Membership Plugin).

      Extremely easy to use, has advanced features that a lot of the other membership platforms don't have (I have used them all). Also for a forum it integrates seamlessly with bbpress.
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      • Profile picture of the author jacobmark
        Ever use profit themes?
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    • Profile picture of the author Julia B
      Sorry about the slow reply guys, only just seen your comments.

      I've been sidetracked on another a project for a couple of weeks, so haven't got to the stage of installing the membership app yet. Although I do now have the bare site set up with Buddypress.

      Thanks for the advice all.

      MelanieandMiles and WillR, DAP sounds promising, I haven't looked at that one yet so I'll check it out.

      MelanieandMiles, I'm interested in how you got members via Clickbank. I need to focus on getting the basic site set up for now, but that is something I'd like to look at in the future. Is it working well for you?

      I'll take a look at MemberMouse too criniit, thanks for the tip.

      I don't think so jacobmark, I don't know what that is!
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    For something like this I definitely recommend Digital Access Pass. You want to pick the best solution right from the start. There is nothing worse than finding out you want to add extra features later on and having to change membership sites because of that. So always go for the best right from the start. I use it with all of my membership sites and it's been excellent.

    As someone else mentioned above, if the community is working for your members on Facebook, then do not take that away from them. One of the reasons a Facebook community works so well is because of the amount of time people spend on Facebook and so they see your group content in their newsfeed and can interact with it. Moving that community over to your own portal will likely not have the same success.

    So leave your thriving community where it is and then add the members portal where you can host all of your download materials and members only content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia B
    Anyone got any opinions on Member Press?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Julia,

      Have you ever looked at Membergate? It does everything without having to integrate (or "bolt on") any plug-ins . . . multiple membership levels, built in forum, image gallery, public and private access (you determine which), shopping cart, digital delivery, very strong security, email . . . I mean everything. And they set up everything for you. Great customer service, the whole enchilada!

      Good luck in this new venture,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author AnnaMolly
    I would move operations to a main site, but remember to not abandon your Facebook activities fully. Some members will not follow right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author roblawrence
    You can't do any better than Wordpress as a CMS and one of the many quality plugins it offers such as Membermouse, Wishlist member, S2member, etc. The best part is that Wordpress is always evolving and a new version comes out every 3 to 6 months. With a standalone software like Kajabi, Membergate, Subhub, etc. the development cycles are a LOT longer. Maybe once a year or two a new version comes out. That's way some of these look a bit dated and responsive design is not offered yet. Hasn't been built. With Wordpress you get the best and latest software for free, and a whole community of people and plugins to integrate in with in. An entire ecosystem to run your business.
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