I am back from my visit to Tampa with the grandkids.  We spent four wonderful days at Indian Rocks Beach and I came home with a nice tan ;).

Forum groupMy last post revealed how to create balance within your membership site and why balance is the one element that will keep your members coming back.  If you remember, in order to achieve balance, you must educate the mind of your member as well as engaging their emotions by touching their heart.

But, how do you do that?  There is an module that is the perfect platform for creating balance within your site and that module is your forum.  A forum can achieve so many things within your membership site not the least of which is the ability to get to know your members on a personal basis as well as letting them get to know you on a personal basis.  The more human and approachable you are to your members, the more loyalty they will feel to you and your site.  How important is loyalty when it comes to retention!  Remember, it is easier to retain an existing member than to try and recruit a new member.

Most likely your members joined because they sensed the ability to learn something from you…because you are offering something they want.  It is undoubtedly what drew them into joining…but, how do you retain their desire to belong?  How do you keep them interested and coming back?  You must create balance…because, we as humans are always looking for balance (consciously or unconsciously) in everything.  It’s nature’s way…and, we are part of nature.

A forum allows your members to interact with each other.  They can share ideas and tips as well as support each other.  This will form relationships and bonds within your community.  To this day, I have friendships with people that were formed within a forum community…people I have never met personally.  A forum keeps your member from feeling “alone.”

But, the most important element within that forum is you.  You must take an active role…afterall, to your member, you are the leader.  If you don’t care enough to participate, why should they?  On the other hand, if you are actively participating, you become more than just a leader…you become their trusted confidant and friend.

Your forum may be the most powerful tool you have within your site to retaining members.  Use it wisely.  Feed their brain and stroke their heart.

I recently joined MoreMonthly…a membership site created by Randy Smith.  Not only do you gain access to some awesome products you can download for your own private use and to promote with, he offers a forum where you can learn from others, post about something you might need or want to learn or tell others about your newest project etc.  The first thing I did when I poked my head in the door was check out how much activity was going on in the forum and to guage how active Randy was within his own forum.  I must tell you that he is a prime example of excellant forum attention.  In fact, his last post to the forum was today.  And, taking a quick journey through his forum told me that he actively participates on a regular basis.  This revealed to me that he cares about his members enough to share his time with them…our most precious commodity.

Because Randy offers quality products for his members and actively participates in his forum, I know I will be hanging out.  I too will become an active member because I want to get to know the ‘leader’ on a more personal basis and the forum will allow me to do that.  And, in the process I will develop some strong ties to individuals that not only satisfy my own human need for interaction with like-minded people, but could be my ticket to success in the future.

Forums are the ideal networking platform.  Use them wisely…and, follow Randy Smith’s example in MoreMonthly and actively participate with your members.  Become one of them and retain those precious members you worked so hard to get.

Create balance by educating their mind…and engaging their emotions (heart)

Check out Randy’s blog RandolfSmith.com.  Here’s a marketer who really does care.

Next time we’ll discuss another important module for your membership site.

Till then, thanks for sharing some of your precious time with me and know that….

I care about your success.



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