Video Monetization

How To Sell Memberships: 8 Steps for Content Creators

By Elise Dopson
15 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

A woman writes down notes on her notepad while smiling at her computer.

Selling online memberships is a tried-and-true way to make more money, retain more customers, and create a stable income. 

Analysts have forecast that the digital subscription industry, including digital memberships, is set to grow to $687 billion in 2025.

Content creators, video entrepreneurs, and business owners alike are rushing to get in on the action. That’s because selling memberships will also allow you to get: 

  1. A predictable revenue stream: Membership revenue is reliable because of recurring payments that amount over time and help you keep customers for longer. 
  2. More accessible pricing: You can charge a lower upfront cost because of the more frequent payments. This makes pricing less intimidating and can increase sales.
  3. An online community: A community built around your business will increase customer engagement and retention. 

In other words: If you already create premium content or have an audience you’d like to turn into a thriving community, then the membership model is the way to go. 

So, how do you sell membership programs to online customers? And what should your membership site include? This guide shares the answers so you can take your content brand—and revenue—to the next level.

How to sell memberships as a creator

  1. Define your audience and value proposition
  2. Create premium content for your membership
  3. Pick a platform to host your content
  4. Establish membership plans and tiers
  5. Create an online community
  6. Build a membership marketing strategy 
  7. Refine the member onboarding experience
  8. Expand your offer with membership apps

1. Define your audience and value proposition

If you’re figuring out how to sell memberships online, the first step is to find your premium niche. This is your paid content’s core “theme” and the specific audience you’re selling to. 

Chances are, you already have a content niche that you’re targeting with free content or social media posts. But your premium niche needs to be more refined than the free content you offer—a compelling reason for someone to buy access. 

The good news is that you already have people in your audience who have the answers: your most engaged and loyal followers.

Head to this part of your community and connect with people who are consistently engaged with your content, or have already paid for your content, merch, or other offerings. Ask them:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • What goal are you trying to achieve?
  • What content or features might convince you to stick around?

Future members might stick around because of your message, personality, or things you teach them. 

In the case of fitness membership sites, for example, people might have joined your membership because they want to be fit parents who don’t get out of breath chasing their children around the playground.

Once you know why they come, pinpoint what your audience loves about your content and establish your shared values. Knowing these things will help you establish your niche and set you apart from other content creators in the field—2 major elements that will help when selling your membership. 

2. Create premium content for your membership

Once you’ve pinpointed the reason why someone should join your membership, it’s time to plan and create quality content that appeals to your target market. 

If you’ve already got videos and a following from your free content on YouTube or social media, start uploading all your existing content on your membership site. That way, you have a solid content catalog on your membership platform.

Plus, when you start categorizing your video library, you’ll start to notice:

  • Common themes you can further explore
  • Which of your existing videos your audience viewed and engaged with the most

If you’re still building up your backlog of pre-recorded videos, consider using live streams to bulk up your offering and engage with your audience on a deeper level.

If you specialize in online courses or coaching, for example, you could start filming your lessons and offer live video sessions, like DPAN.TV – The Sign Language Channel does on its membership site hosted by Uscreen:

Image of DPAN TV's video content, a membership site hosted by Uscreen,

While video content is a good way to get started, it’s not the only way to dazzle members and create a strong offer that’ll help you when selling. 

Supplement video content with other types of premium content, such as:

  • Online courses
  • Workbooks 
  • Podcast episodes
  • Guides  

Once you’ve decided on the formats, create a content calendar to keep you on track. This is where you plan what content you’ll upload and when. 

Even though your content calendar can change, you need to be consistent and upload new content on a regular basis. This will keep your service fresh, engage your viewers, and make them feel like they’re getting value for their money. 

3. Pick a platform to host your content 

You’ve got premium content to tease, and you’re well on your way to join the world of online memberships. Next, it’s time to choose a platform to host it. 

When choosing a hosting platform for your membership site, make sure it offers the functionality both you and your members need. A good video membership platform, like , will give you an all-in-one solution that you can use to build and run your site without writing a single word of code. 

You should look for one that allows you to:  

  • Personalize the member experience by hosting your videos on a custom domain and designing custom landing pages. 
  • Skip the manual payment process by allowing customers to make their own online payments with a built-in payment gateway.
  • Increase membership sales using techniques like upsells and different membership tiers
  • Engage with your members and build a community.
  • Impress members and increase retention with extra perks like digital downloads.

Once your site is ready to go, upload and organize your content in a sleek and intuitive way. A well-designed site and organized content library is important for a good user experience. It can inspire your members to keep using your service.

Uscreen offers the ability to create custom categories, filters, and tags for all your content, so your audience can easily find what they’re looking for.

For example, FLY LDN offers tons of filters at the top of its content library for members to easily narrow down their search.

Image showing FLY LDN video library for their membership site.

You can also structure your content as a series that lets members progress from one video to the next. This will make your platform more intuitive and can keep members using for longer.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

4. Establish membership tiers 

Selling memberships lets you earn a steady revenue stream because you’ll get an income from recurring subscriptions. 

As a rough guide, almost 47.4% of B2C memberships cost between $25 and $49 per month. A report recently showed that the average recurring membership fee across membership businesses from creators in 142 countries is $49.

That can be much higher if you’re operating in a crowded market, have a strong value proposition, and a thriving community of loyal fans.

To appeal to a wider range of customers, offer 2 to 3 different membership plans at different price points, with different levels of access and benefits. 

Top Tip: Our research shows that offering less than 2 options can cause you to lose out on potential revenue. But, offering more than 3 options can overwhelm your audience and cause them to bail on the sign-up process altogether.

When it comes to defining these tiers, most memberships offer a:

  • Basic tier: access to your library of video content. 
  • Middle tier: access to your library plus live streaming content (like webinars) and some additional benefits.
  • Top tier: unlimited access to all your content and benefits, plus any bonus digital products like eBooks. 

Having different membership levels gives your customers the chance to choose the membership program that best suits their needs and budget. It can increase conversion rates because you remove the binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ choice, and instead allow them to pick what suits their needs.

It’s also helpful because by surrounding your core offer with higher and lower prices, lots of people will find the price to be more reasonable or affordable.

Take HitBig Baseball, a membership site that offers 3 pricing tiers with a helpful breakdown of exactly what content and benefits members get in each one.

Image showing HitBig Baseball's membership pricing plans.
HitBig Baseball’s Membership Pricing Tiers

You could also sell more memberships—and boost your revenue—by making certain videos and collections available for one-off purchase or rental.

This can appeal to potential customers who aren’t ready to pay for a monthly membership. And as a bonus, this content can act as a sneak peek of what someone will get access to inside your membership before they decide to subscribe. 

One-off sales aren’t as glamorous or sustainable as memberships—you’ll have to constantly put work into promoting them and sourcing new customers.

But they hit 2 birds with 1 stone:

  1. You can pad revenue with smaller one-off payments alongside monthly subscriptions.
  2. Standalone digital products act as an automated sales strategy. People who don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription can buy a one-off piece of content, be impressed by it, and join your membership to gain access to more content and benefits.
Find Your Perfect Membership Price

Use our free tool to pinpoint your ideal membership price in just 3 steps, leveraging a decade of data.

5. Create an online community

People might come to your membership site for the content, but they stay for the community.

Building a connection with your exclusive content and other members will increase member loyalty to your service, which will help you:

  • Keep existing customers around for longer
  • Increase word-of-mouth marketing and membership sales
  • Receive high-quality feedback from your customers which you can use to sell online memberships

The best part: With a community, members start conversations for you. Chatter around your content and shared interest won’t go silent if you aren’t starting the conversation. 

Uscreen graphic showing how audience interact with creators vs how communities interact with creators

Some creators turn to Facebook or Slack to run a community alongside their successful membership site. This is troublesome because you can ruin your members’ experience by forcing people to switch between platforms. 

You also run the risk of alienating people in your membership base who don’t have a Facebook account. Not to mention, the platform can shut down your group at any time—without notice.

Instead, look for a membership platform that can house content and community in a single membership portal. 

With Uscreen, you can:

  • Help members express themselves with custom profiles and avatars
  • Encourage conversations with live streams
  • Engage with members in comments beneath your content 

The creator behind Practice With Clara, for example, uses Uscreen to build an exclusive community with over 1.6K members. People can join community conversations and watch yoga videos in one monthly membership subscription:

Image showing Practice With Clara's exclusive plan for her community.

Once you’ve got a safe space for people to chat and build lasting relationships alongside your premium video content, it’s time to grow your community. 

Here are some simple ways to grow a membership community:

  • Post prompts for members to engage with
  • Encourage members to share their own updates and ask questions 
  • Update members about new content
  • Set community challenges
  • Report on industry news
  • Encourage members to share their own user-generated content
  • Celebrate individual members in a regular spotlight feature

6. Build a membership marketing strategy

Once your site is up and running, it’s time to set up automated marketing tools that’ll help you reach more people, retain existing customers, and sell memberships online. 

A membership platform like Uscreen makes this easier with built-in marketing tools and endless integrations. 

When it comes to your membership marketing strategy, the good news is that you don’t need to do everything at once. Start with one funnel—such as a YouTube channel or Instagram profile—and direct people towards your sales page to increase membership sales.

That might mean:

  • Sharing member testimonials
  • Showing teasers of premium content on social media
  • Reposting popular member discussions 
  • Repurposing live streams
  • Hosting special promotions or discounts

Broadway Dance Center, for example, promoted its Black Friday offers on Instagram. 

People could get an entire year of online dance classes for $239—a bargain that not only convinces on-the-fence customers to buy, but gives the creator a large upfront sum for each membership sale. 

Image showing Broadway Dance Center's Black Friday deal for their membership plans.

What happens if your audience visits your landing page but doesn’t convert into paying subscribers straight away? 

In that case, have these 3 simple marketing tools to keep them engaged:

  1. Email list: A tool that allows you to collect email addresses from potential members (i.e. Mailchimp). Use free pieces of content, also known as lead magnets, to convince them to sign up. 
  2. Membership upsell: A tool that allows you to offer upsells of your subscriptions to customers as they checkout. For example, you might offer a free coaching session to people who join your email list but don’t buy your membership within 14 days.
  3. Abandoned cart:A tool that automatically contacts people who leave the sales process before completing their purchase. 

That way, you can begin to build a solid foundation for the long-term marketing of your business, as well as recover any potential lost income from on-the-fence customers.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

7. Refine the member onboarding experience

Selling memberships isn’t all about finding new customers. You can make more money by focusing on the people who’ve already subscribed.

A member’s first 30 days have a huge impact on whether they’re likely to stick around. If they don’t get value within that time or their first impression is less than stellar, you’ll have a hard job at convincing them to keep paying for your membership.

Solve this problem and make the onboarding process a fun, interactive experience. That could mean:

  • Sending a personalized list of resources or “start here” guide
  • Posting a welcome message in your community
  • Organizing mixers or pairing new members up with a buddy 
  • Automating an email series to drip your most popular premium content 
  • Recording a membership walk-through video 

At Peak Freelance, our audience typically has one goal: to make more money as a freelance writer. 

But we have writers who want to hit $50K; others who want to grow past six figures. And with 40+ hours of video content, it’s sometimes overwhelming for new members to find the content that best suits their income target. 

So, to help new members get value quickly, we’ve created Blueprints—mini guides that give advice on how to reach their income goal, with links to signpost them to our most relevant videos:

Image showing Peak Freelance's Blueprints mini guides for their online community.

8. Expand your offer with membership apps 

To boost your membership sales, there’s one more thing you can do to make that sign-up decision a no-brainer: launch membership apps. They seamlessly connect your content and community, and help your membership brand to stand out among your competitors.

Your own branded membership apps let users watch their favorite content any time, from any device—a valuable sell for potential customers, and an easy way to delight your existing members. 

Membership apps are a strategic business move that can help you increase customer satisfaction and boost your revenue. 

Our data proves it:

  • Uscreen customers with apps have generated 10x more subscription MRR
  • Uscreen customers with apps have 10x more daily and monthly active users
  • Uscreen customers have 2x more watch time on apps v.s. on web

But the cost is usually a sticking point for creators: You can hire a developer to launch your membership apps, but it usually takes between 3 and 6 months and can cost anywhere between $10K and $20K depending on the functionality you want. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a solution that’s:

…then you can lease an app from an OTT service provider like Uscreen who takes care of all of the details. Uscreen allows you to easily launch a wide range of branded membership apps as part of a package, like Roku, Apple TV, Apple Watch Fitness, iOS, Android, Fire TV and more.

Image showing Studio Bloom's website with a deal for their membership app.

Brooke Cates, for example, turned to Uscreen when building Studio Bloom—an on-demand fitness platform for mothers. 

But instead of banking on customers to engage with the membership through its website, Brooke used Uscreen to create 6 mobile and TV apps, including an Apple Watch tracker app. This allowed Brooke to send push notifications directly to her members, hit an impressive 65% viewership on apps, and generate over $82K in monthly revenue.

Brookes Cates, founder of Studio Bloom

The success of the apps showed me I could have more freedom for myself and my family, and a greater reach for my business. They did laps around what we could do financially with in-person studios and allowed us to reach a global space.

Brooke Cates | Studio Bloom
Founder @ Studio Bloom
It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

How to sell online memberships FAQs

How would you sell a membership?

1. Find your value proposition
2. Create videos or online courses
3. Add membership tiers
4. Sell one-off digital products
5. Engage potential members with live streams
6. Get members to sell for you

How do I promote my online membership?

1. Share member testimonials
2. Show teasers on social media
3. Give free content in exchange for email addresses
4. Repurpose live streams into TikTok videos
5. Optimize your membership site for SEO 
6. Create an affiliate program

Can you make money selling memberships?

Creators can make a full-time income by selling membership. The average creator on Uscreen, for example, earns $12,000 in revenue per month. 

How can I get better at selling memberships?

1. Offer a free trial 
2. Sell access to one-off products
3. Talk to existing members
4. Define your unique selling proposition
5. Let landing pages sell for you
6. Build a supportive online community

What is a membership growth strategy?

A membership growth strategy is a set of ideas created to help a membership business onboard more members. It can include ways to attract members, which offers to test, pricing strategies, onboarding strategies, and upselling strategies to increase average membership value.

How do you incentivize a membership?

Creators can incentivize members to join their communities by creating special offers around content that members want. By creating low-hanging offers, like discounted subscriptions, and trial access to exclusive content, members get a chance to experience what they would otherwise pay full price for.