How to Grow Your Practice With Memberships

Memberships and online courses are all the rage right now, with topics ranging from interior decorating, pet grooming, and how to start a landscaping business. One of the reasons they are so incredibly popular and successful is because they allow people to achieve a desired outcome faster and easier.

And that makes it a perfect fit for those of us in the health and wellness space. By making it easier for them to work with you and providing them a small discount on their services, patients are much more likely to take advantage of a membership, as long as they receive a benefit.

What’s a Membership Program?

Think of a membership program like having a Costco membership or Amazon Prime – but built specifically for your practice. A membership is where you provide some kind of curated content or a monthly/annual treatment package or plan that provides incredible value and helps them reach their healthcare goal even faster. In exchange, they pay you a discounted monthly or yearly fee to take advantage of it. 

When structured correctly, a membership program can provide incredible value to your patients AND provide an extra source of revenue in addition to your primary services. And let me tell you – having that reliable income stream can make a HUGE impact on your bottom line!

For example, let’s say you have 50 of your regular patients paying $49 a month for a discounted adjustment or 15-minute nutritional consultation. They’re super happy because they’re getting a discount and you’ll be assured of consistent cash flow.

That’s an additional $2,450 of income each month that you don’t have to worry about! Woot woot!

I know… that sounds great and all, but how does this whole thing really work? What would this look like inside your wellness practice? Let’s find out!

Types of Membership Programs for Your Wellness Practice

Membership programs can be structured in a variety of ways, depending on your specialty and the types of patients you serve. Here are some ideas for two different types of practitioners – health coaches and chiropractors.

Membership Programs for Health Coaches

If you’re a health coach, having a membership program is a no-brainer. Subscription-based memberships are becoming a significant part of the in-person and the online virtual health coaching space. 

There are a number of ways you could go about creating a membership program. Here are three super common examples:

  • Group coaching. Each month, members pay a certain fee to receive group coaching sessions with you and a few other clients at the same time. I recently interviewed a clinician who’s built a THRIVING practice doing this. You can hear more about her amazing story here.

    Facilitating your group coaching sessions can be as simple as emailing your members a Zoom link and then communicating with them via text or emails in-between sessions. This is an excellent way to scale your practice without adding a ton of additional work.

  • Online courses. Have you been itching to create an online course about your area of clinical expertise but you aren’t sure how to do it? One way to get around this is to offer it as a monthly subscription and release different topics to your members each month.

  • A resource library. I know you have TONS of resources that you’ve compiled and created, like that list of anti-inflammatory foods or your really cool diagram about how cholesterol works. Putting these resources in a password-protected library is one easy way to begin a simple membership. You can give your group coaching members access to this, or if patients want more of a “do-it-yourself” approach, they can simply pay a small fee to have access to your library of content.

You might be thinking… “This information is already out there for free in Googleland. No one will ever pay for this…” But I’m going to challenge you on that. Think about the amount of time you’ve spent, searching for something online. How many hours did it take you to sift through all the crummy sites and misinformation? How much time did you waste going down the proverbial rabbit hole?

This is EXACTLY why there’s value in creating a specific place where you can store your most useful resources in one centralized spot. How much easier would it be to have all of these resources in one place to help keep your patients on track and give them the answers to their questions without having to ask you? Pretty invaluable, I’d say! 

Membership Programs for Chiropractors

If you’re a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or other licensed practitioner, a membership program might look a little different since your main jam is providing hands-on therapy. But trust me, this can work for you as well. Here are three ideas to consider:

  • Maintenance Memberships. Once your patients have completed their recommended treatments, you can create some kind of ongoing maintenance plan. Consider offering them a monthly VIP membership including an office visit, adjustment, or access to weekly curated recipes. Their monthly or annual fee would give them a fixed number of visits or treatments each month. Or you can charge a higher fee and provide unlimited visits.

  • Wellness Memberships. As a wellness practitioner, you are highly vested in your patient’s overall health. In addition to providing a particular type of service, you might also consider recommending certain supplements to support their ongoing wellness journey. Having a monthly membership where your patient comes in and receives their supplements for the month is an easy way to keep them consistent in their protocol, which translates to predictable, reliable income for you.
  • Pre and Postnatal Memberships. If you love working with mamas and babies, you know full well that they need a little extra TLC while they’re pregnant. But once they deliver their baby, many will drop off and not come in as often as they should. Consider offering a pre and/or postnatal membership program where moms pay a monthly fee to receive adjustments both during and after their pregnancy. And don’t forget to include the baby!

The great thing about offering memberships is that you can tailor them based on your ideal patient and their precise needs.

How to Kick-Start Your Membership Program

Once you decide how you want to set up your membership program, that’s where the fun begins! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Map it out. Don’t make it too complicated. Create a general outline of the things you’d like to include, the type of patient that would be a perfect fit, how you’ll deliver the content (video, email, in-person, etc.), and the type of payment options (such as a yearly pay-in-full option, monthly payments, or both).
  • Get feedback. Bounce your concept off a friend, a few of your patients, or even better, your business coach to see if you’re on the right track or if you have a little more work to do.
  • Decide where you’ll provide the content. Options include Google Docs, email, Dropbox, or a platform like Teachable.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to plan out the details of your membership, get it properly set up, and then let your patients know all about it!

While planning is important, don’t wait until it’s perfect to get started. You can always adjust along the way!

Get Your Membership Planned Today

For patients who aren’t able to afford to work with you directly, having a membership program can provide a practical and more affordable way for them to get help while having access to quality information. And for you, membership programs offer the benefit of recurring revenue and an opportunity to really scale your practice!

It’s time to start thinking through the options above and begin mapping out all of the details. You’ve got this my friend – I’m rooting for you!

Ronda Nelson Smiling

Hi, I’m Ronda Nelson and I help wellness practitioners grow thriving, profitable practices that allow them to work with ease, live a life they love and make an income they can be proud of.

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