Lately, small businesses are having a love affair with the idea of membership sites. I say “the idea” because oftentimes, implementing this platform successfully has more hurdles than expected. A lot of people get excited about one or two aspects and don’t truly think through the sales funnel.
Based on Australia’s east coast, wedding and portrait photographer Andrew Hellmich runs the premium membership podcast PhotoBizX. I think of his podcast as an absolute must-listen, and not just because of the photography aspect. In fact, it’s one of the best examples I’ve seen of a premium membership podcast.
Have you been dancing around the idea for a while, but you’re not sure where to start? Or maybe you worry about the risks involved. Either way, this is the podcast for you.
A Unique Journey
Only four years ago, Andrew dreamed of having a hundred subscribers. Today, he’s fast approaching ten times that. So how did he get to where he is today? Well, his journey began when he regularly attended paid photography seminars. He quickly realized he wanted to release that same content in a format nobody else was utilizing: podcasts.
Unlike the prevailing wisdom, Andrew decided to operate on a paid model straight out the gates. His thought process? “If I’m going to take one whole day out of my week to do this, I want it to generate income. I’ll get paid if the content is worth paying for. And I was happy to take that risk! […] I don’t think it would have been fair to the listener to build an audience and then start charging. I think I did the right thing by picking a model and sticking with it.”
Putting Yourself in the Listener’s Shoes
That concept of “fair to the listener” is central to how Andrew operates. Every step of the way, he puts himself in the listener’s shoes, and it shows. Andrew plays an active, highly engaged role in the community he has built. “We email regularly, I send them videos. It’s a small community but we’re very close. They feel like friends.”
So listen along as we bring Australia and Sweden together through the power of podcasting. Andrew shares his insights on all aspects of his business, including:
- With over 200 episodes, how has he kept the show interesting for the listener?
- What were his expectations with regards to memberships?
- How does he see the premium membership model evolving in the coming years? Will it stand the test of time?
- With all his close involvement in the community, does he do everything himself?
- If he were to start from scratch today, what would he have done differently?
I enjoyed hearing about his evolution, his process, and yes, even his false starts and failed experiments. I say this because I’ve tried a lot of membership sites, and we’ve built several for clients as well. Speaking to that, I think Andrew’s platform is a perfect example of how this process should work. If you’re a small business interested in a membership site or just increasing engagement via email, I urge you to check out the trial. The cost is only $1 for a month of premium access.
A Note to Fellow Podcasters
If you’re like me, you love to record and release your podcasts, but editing is another matter. Sometimes editing, in all its time-consuming glory, is what prevents me from releasing content as consistently as I’d like.
That’s why I’m excited to announce our new podcast editing service, Face 4 Radio. Having spent the last two years editing our client’s podcasts, Moondog Kelly took the lead on this new project. Here’s a secret: she edited both this week and last week’s edition of the Moondog Marketing podcast! Yes, you read that right — I actually turned over the reins for the first time in almost 200 episodes. So if you’re ready to break free of the editing grind, Face 4 Radio is here to help.