How to Find Competent Membership Site Help
In this course you’ll explore your options when it comes to having your membership site built for you, tested, supported, and beyond!
The Completion Level of Your Training.
There are several different places you could look for different kinds of service providers. This section will explain what you should be looking for.
What kind of contractor do I need?
Most people assume they need to hire a developer to help them set up a membership site.
Although it’s helpful to understanding coding it’s not actually necessary to hire a developer to set up a membership site simply because setting up a membership site typically doesn’t require any development!
All of the plugins, themes, integrations, etc., are usually already built and available, and setting everything up is usually just a matter of following the instructions in each app’s documentation.
But of course, you’d probably prefer not to have to do it all yourself (or maybe even any of it!) And there are a few different kinds of service providers you can engage to help you.
1 – Independent (solo) contractors
These are folks (usually developers, but not always) who can set up and configure a membership site for you and have experience with membership sites in particular (which is important, because there are certain intricacies to setting up a membership site that you only understand with experience).
This is a great choice because it allows you to communicate with just one person, build a professional relationship, and pay a reasonable amount (depending of course on your requirements and the rate at which the contractor works).
2 – Agencies
Most agencies consist of at least a few developers and a project manager. If your project is quite large in scope this may be a good option for you. You would only have to deal with the project manager, and he or she would be responsible for “translating” your requirements for the tech team, and in turn translating their communications to you.
Expect to pay more money to work with a reputable agency, as their costs are “blended” and have to take care of the entire team, their marketing, operations, etc.
It’s also often the case that you have to have a minimum engagement, whether in hours or price, to work with an agency.
3 – Productized services providers
Our MemberFix service is a prime example of a productized offer.
We work with our customers on the basis of tasks. We help you decide and prioritize tasks via our strategy session calls, we action the tasks one by one, and you can request as many tasks as you’d like.
The type of service provider that you ultimately end up hiring will depend on a combination of your needs, preferences, and budget. If you’re not sure which one would be best for you, just leave a comment below this mini-course and I’ll come around to answer.
Where to find great contractors?
1 – Upwork
Probably the most obvious place to look for help is on a job board site like Upwork.
I hired most of our team members on Upwork using our special process for finding quality workers.
While you have to pay a pretty generous fee to Upwork, you get the benefit of a work diary that takes screenshots of your contractors’ screen while they work, a huge marketplace with lots of providers, a competition element that allows contractors to prove their willingness to work with you, resolution / dispute procedures, and escrow services.
I quite like Upwork to be honest, and I’m happy to pay the fee for their service.
2 – Google it!
There are plenty of contractors and agencies who specialize in membership sites. Googling around can produce some good leads on talented providers.
3 – Qualified contractors listings
Many software providers list “qualified contractors” on their website to give their customers an easy way to work with vetted providers who know that particular software well.
For example, I’m on the list of MemberMouse qualified contractors as I have a long history of working with this particular membership plugin and have many satisfied customers. As a matter of fact, many people find me this way to this day.
There are also membership site communities like the Member Site Academy that have curated contractor lists.
4 – Referrals
If you like the look and feel of a particular membership site where you yourself are a member, you can always reach out to the owner and ask them who helped them with their site.
More often than not they’re happy to recommend their contractors to you!
How much will it cost?
You’re not going to like this answer but it’s the honest one: costs depend.
They depend on a lot of factors including how ambitious your project is (and hence, how much work is involved in making it a reality), your negotiation and project management skills, and of course the cost of service providers and all of your apps.
I’ve seen people start membership sites for about a $100. And I’ve witnessed customers blow tens of thousands of dollars to build something really complex only to have it sit there collecting dust afterwards.
I would recommend avoiding this latter category and taking a bootstrapping mentality of spending as little as necessary to build your membership site. Especially if you’re not 100% sure that people are going to be willing to pay you money to join that site.
It’s best to take a DIY approach (if you have the time), or have somebody put a minimum viable product together for you, so that you can at least try to sell a few memberships to validate the strength of the idea in the marketplace.
If you’re looking for an “average” cost to start a membership site, it’s usually between a few hundred to a few thousand bucks.
When will it be ready?
Once again, our favorite answer: it depends!
One thing is for certain. You should plan for the worst, hope for the best, and communicate your expectations and timelines and deliverables to your service provider very clearly BEFORE you engage them for work.
If you leave anything vague, you might wind up running out of money and an incomplete site to show for it.
Can I hire YOU, Vic?
My team and I do all of our work through MemberFix. Please check out the MemberFix landing page, think of any questions you might have, and contact me so that I can clarify anything you might like to know. 🙂