Video Monetization

Pre-Launch Your Membership: Get a HeadStart on Sales!

By Eden Metzler and Marnie Alton
10 Min Read
Woman taking notes at her computer as she learns how to launch a membership site.

You’re getting ready to launch your membership, but your to-do list looks and feels endless.

So, what if I told you that you could scratch out more than half of those to-do’s, and still launch a successful membership?

Your catalog doesn’t need more than a handful of videos. Your site design doesn’t need to be complicated. And, more than anything, you don’t have to have it all figured out before you launch and start making money from your membership.

This guide is designed to help you cut through all the noise and launch your membership efficiently, and effectively. 

We’ll help reset your focus by walking you through the few things that actually need to get done before you launch (and we’ll share some tips for what to do once your membership is live!)

From planning, to content creation, to marketing; we’ve got you covered..

Let’s get started!

How to Get Unstuck When Planning to Launch

How much time has passed since you first thought about launching your membership?

We’ve seen (now successful) membership owners who sat on their idea for weeks, months, and even years before they lept into action and launched their business. 

Some delays are outside of your control, and there’s nothing you can do but wait. 

But, a lot of the time, the delays come down to overthinking, overplanning, and overdoing until you end up feeling… stuck.

If you have the time, the audience, and the gut feeling that a membership is the right move for you, then it’s time to allow yourself to get ‘unstuck’ so that you can turn your membership idea into a reality.

Overcome the Overthinking, Overplanning, and Overdoing

You’re probably more ready to start a membership than you think.

Feeling apprehensive is normal when starting the process of building a membership. It’s easy to fall into “analysis paralysis” with so many questions needing answers.

However, trying to address them all simultaneously can stall your progress. If you’re considering starting a membership, it’s likely that you are most of the way there already.

If you’re a perfectionist (like me), you struggle to hit ‘publish’ until it’s ‘perfect’.

But, spoiler: trying to launch with a ‘perfect’ membership will waste your time, delay your success, and tire you out.

Why You Should Pre-Launch With an MVP

MVP here stands for ‘Minimum Viable Product’, and – as the name implies – it refers to the absolute minimum input your membership needs before it’s functional and useful for your audience. 

An MVP membership means soft-launching with a small content library, a simple collection of perks, and straightforward pricing.

A quote from Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, that states "If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late."

If you shift your goal from launching and widely promoting a perfect membership to soft-launching an MVP instead, you’ll be able to test your ideas, see what resonates with your audience, and make necessary adjustments as you go. 

And in the meantime, you’ll be growing your member base and generating revenue. Something that’s impossible to achieve before you launch.

This is the time to showcase the content you already have, gain trust with an audience, iron out pain points, and slowly develop a membership site that you feel represents your brand.

As you continue to improve your membership over time, you’ll strategically and thoughtfully work through all of the kinks that come with creating something new – instead of trying to tackle these things all at once.

To get your MVP membership idea off the ground, we recommend that you figure out the answers to these 3 questions. Consider it your pre-launch checklist:

What content will you offer?

Your essential content is the videos that will make up your content catalog when you launch.

Note that not all of that content has to be created from scratch. You can actually repurpose some of your high-quality, existing content.

And, you also don’t need that many videos to launch! Based on what we’ve seen over thousands of launches, a catalog of 3 videos is enough for a successful launch.

Identify some high-performing content you’ve already created and published. Pick the pieces that resonate with your audience, and align with your membership.

Knowing the content that will skyrocket interest from those beginner members is key. 

Think about the exclusive perks you can offer to make your membership more enticing, too.

These are the bonus benefits that you offer alongside your exclusive content. These aren’t a must-have, but if you already have some ‘extras’ that are simple to setup and easy to maintain, then it’s a great way to boost the value of your new membership.

How will you charge your members?

Once you have your content and perks mapped out, think about how you’ll charge your members for access to these. 

We recommend launching your MVP with just one tier and flat fee to make it simple for you and for your members.

Once you’ve launched, and as you start to build, you can add another tier that includes more perks and a higher price. 

How will you promote your membership as it launches?

What will you do to attract those first members? 

We recommend keeping your launch strategy simple. Identify your high-engagement channels – including your email list – where you’ll promote your membership launch.

Starting simply with an MVP and leaving room for growth and feedback is far more effective for a successful launch. 

Let’s talk about how to get there.

How to Launch Your MVP Membership in 6 Steps

If you’re here, you’re convinced that starting a membership makes sense as the next step in your content monetization journey.

Starting a membership doesn’t need to be taxing. Let’s break it down from start to finish so you feel confident to launch your first membership.

1. Find the right platform

Putting yourself in the mind of a potential member can help you determine what features to prioritize when choosing a platform to host your membership.

Image showing the Uscreen membership platform interface, and the analytics features available in the Admin Area.

An all-in-one membership platform can streamline your setup when you’re getting ready to launch, but it also scales with your membership as you grow. It can save you time, and ensure a premium experience for your members from day one. 

Here are some must-have features to look for when picking a platform to host your membership:

  • Reliable VOD & Live Streaming Capabilities: Provide a seamless, reliable, and quality viewing experience.
  • Dedicated Community Space: Create an exclusive base for your community alongside your content.
  • Flexible Monetization and Payment Processing: Allow for recurring and one-time payments, providing an optimized and high-converting checkout experience.
  • Built-in Marketing Tools: Simplify your marketing efforts and amplify your membership reach.

If you need to do a bit more research, we have a guide to help you choose the best membership platform for your needs!

2. Plan out your content library

To launch your membership, you don’t need as much content as you think; 3 videos are enough to kickstart your catalog. 

Image showing the video catalog of membership site, Filmmaker's Academy, hosted on the membership platform, Uscreen.

Take your time to develop your membership idea with your audience in tow rather than before they sign up.

You want to see what your audience will respond to. 

Don’t try to predict the behavior of your viewers prior to your launch. Launching a few videos on your membership website and tracking their engagement will tell you what your audience resonates with. 

You may think that you have the most incredible idea for a video and spend a week planning, editing, and recording it, only for it to flop. 

Why waste precious time creating content before understanding your audience’s behavior? It’s disappointing and time-consuming to expect results without data to back it up.

And trying to build out an entire content library takes time. That time could be better used to do a soft launch of your membership and get feedback from early members. What works and what doesn’t work will quickly become clear. 

Repurpose the content that you already have.

If you’re starting a membership, it’s likely that you already have content to share, but it just needs a place to live.

For example, did you create a course that you think would resonate with your membership audience? Repurpose those videos into short clips! Want to provide exclusive, behind the scenes content for members only? Release an extended version of an already released video!

Many membership creators strategically use live streaming for a few reasons:

  • If you go live on a consistent schedule, you’re building a calendar of events that gives members a compelling reason to login regularly.
  • Many live streaming integrations allow you to connect with early members through real time conversation and Q&A, making them feel valued and part of an exclusive group. This will keep them engaged and likely create a lifetime member.
  • Some tools also offer replay, which creates videos that your members can watch later if they missed your stream.

Every single plan on Uscreen offers live streaming capabilities

Marnie Alton used the live streaming capabilities of Uscreen during the pandemic to shift her in-person fitness studio to an online-only fitness community

Screenshot of the homepage of fitness membership site, M/BODY.

Her membership, M/Body, now generates $40k a month in revenue. Uscreen allows her to host videos, stream live, and interact with her members in real time. 

Marnie Alton

We can expand and scale the business without expanding our workload – plus, we can touch more people, be a part of more lives, and have a more profitable business.

Marnie Alton | M/BODY
Founder at MBODY

Learn more about Marnie’s story here.

3. Structure your membership tiers

Once you have your content and perks mapped out, plan out the varying levels of access to these through different tiers. 

Right now, all you need to think about is what these different tiers will offer, not what they’ll be priced at. We’ll cover pricing in the next step.

To keep things simple when you launch, you can just offer 1 tier. Many memberships who are years into their business still only offer 1, and they’re no less profitable for it!

If you want to offer multiple plans for your members, and you have enough perks to do it, we recommend a maximum of just 2 tiers. 

  1. A Basic Tier: Access to your core content.
  2. A Premium Tier: Includes everything in the Basic Tier plus additional perks.

This will simplify things for you, and make the decision easier for your audience. If you build up to more content and more perks over time, you can choose to introduce another tier later.

Make sure you don’t overwhelm your audience with tons of options right away. Going too big can cause decision fatigue for you and have you waste time on payment models that your audience isn’t interested in.

4. Figure out your pricing

When figuring out the perfect price for your membership, there are 2 ways to work out what you should be charging…

  1. Value-based pricing

This option allows for audience input by asking the customer how much they feel the membership is worth. 

You can expect to get these types of answers by asking questions like:

  • “At what price would the membership be so cheap that you would question its quality?”
  • “At what price would you start to think the membership is expensive?”
  • “At what price would you consider the membership a bargain?”
  • “At what price would you think the membership is expensive but still acceptable?”

It’s a great idea to offer the opportunity for early members to share their insight through surveys, polls, or scheduled one-on-one conversations.

  1. Competitor-based pricing

This option requires you to research the closest equivalent memberships in your industry and compare what they charge against the value that they offer.

  • Look for what features your competitors are offering at their price point: would you offer more value that would justify a different price?
  • Seeing what other memberships in your industry are priced at is valuable for you to understand what customers are used to seeing and paying for a membership similar to yours.
  • You want to stay competitive. A lower price sometimes indicates that the membership hasn’t reached its full potential yet but is a great way to reward people for joining early and sticking with you.

It’s a good idea to start simply, with a one full-access membership plan, paid monthly or annually. As time goes on, you can learn from customer data. 

We built a free pricing tool to help you find the perfect price for your membership in just 3 steps. 

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 your essential pages

Make sure you have the basic web pages you see on any membership site for easy navigation for new members and users. 

Image showing the drag-and-drop builder feature of membership platform, Uscreen.

You’ll need:

  • A landing page
  • A page where people can sign up for your membership
  • A Terms and Conditions page
  • A privacy policy
  • One sales page to start

Need some inspiration? We’ve curated some examples from real membership sites across different niches.

6. Soft launch your membership

Once you make your membership live, you can start to promote it to your existing audience across your high-engagement channels to boost those initial membership sales.

The goal isn’t to grow a lot all at once, so you don’t need a complicated marketing strategy.

The goal is to attract your first few members to your platform so that they can start to provide feedback and help you to shape your membership into an even better experience.

Speaking of, prompting members for feedback will be one of the first things you do as you launch…

Ask For Input

Those first few members of your MVP are critical for understanding how to develop your membership over time. 

You want these initial customers to be genuinely excited and interested in sharing their insight to shape the future of your membership.

To get the right kind of feedback, target the highly engaged segment of your audience.

Look at your email subscribers, people who have bought physical products from you, and attendees at live events or webinars. These members are the ones who will be most interested in sneak peeks of your upcoming membership site.

Like beta testers for new video games or platform features, this is your target audience and they will experience the raw, barebones version of your membership site. You trust them to give feedback as someone who has previously engaged with your content.

We recommend offering a founder’s price rather than free early access: those who invest actual money in your membership have more incentive to get every bit of value they can for their money and are more likely to engage with the entirety of the membership and offer honest feedback prior to your full blown launch.

Make sure you are proactive in asking for feedback prior to launch, especially in the early days of your MVP. 

You can do this by:

  • Sending out targeted surveys
  • Organize focus group discussions
  • Offer personal one-on-one conversations  

Know that how you ask for feedback from these early stage members will have an impact on how helpful the answers are. If you ask open-ended questions, participants may get overwhelmed and give you a surface-level answer. It’s a good idea to come up with specific, thoughtful questions to ask that encourage participants to give detailed feedback. 


In every step of the pre-launch process, it’s important that you have the right foundation. It’s helpful to select an intuitive, full-feature membership platform. The right tool can determine the early success of your membership and its future in the industry.

Uscreen’s all-in-one membership platform is built to make it easy for you to build, launch, and scale your membership. 

Learn more about launching your membership with Uscreen by starting a 14-day free trial.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

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


How to launch a paid membership?

Launching a paid membership requires careful planning and the right tools. Here are the steps to get you started:

Find the Right Tool: Choose a platform that supports your needs. Tools like Uscreen allow you to create, host, and monetize your content, making the process seamless.
Plan Your Content: Determine the type of content you want to share. This could be videos, downloadable resources, exclusive articles, or interactive sessions.
Figure Out Your Pricing Model: Your pricing model should reflect the value of your content. You can take a value-based approach, setting prices based on the perceived value to your audience, or a competition-based approach, comparing your prices with similar membership sites.
Set Your Price Range: Decide on a price range that suits your target audience while ensuring profitability. Consider offering tiered memberships to provide options for different budget levels.
Create a Website: Your membership site should have all necessary pages, including a homepage, membership details, pricing plans, content library, and a community forum.

Using a comprehensive tool like Uscreen can help you streamline the process by providing all the features you need to create and manage your membership site. 

Are Memberships Profitable?

Absolutely. Many creators find that turning their business idea into reality is well-supported by creating a membership site. Here’s why memberships can be highly profitable:

Steady Revenue Stream: With a subscription-based membership model, you can generate a consistent and predictable income.
High Engagement: Membership sites allow you to connect deeply with current customers and potential members, fostering a loyal community.
Content Monetization: You can monetize various types of content, such as courses, tutorials, exclusive videos, and downloadable resources.
Upsell Opportunities: Membership sites provide opportunities to upsell additional products or services, such as one-on-one coaching, premium content, or special events.

Check out some successful examples of membership websites here.