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How to Build a Word Class Membership Site with Vic Dorfman from MemberHost

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محتوای ارائه شده توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business.. تمام محتوای پادکست شامل قسمت‌ها، گرافیک‌ها و توضیحات پادکست مستقیماً توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business. یا شریک پلتفرم پادکست آن‌ها آپلود و ارائه می‌شوند. اگر فکر می‌کنید شخصی بدون اجازه شما از اثر دارای حق نسخه‌برداری شما استفاده می‌کند، می‌توانید روندی که در اینجا شرح داده شده است را دنبال کنید.https://fa.player.fm/legal

In this LMScast episode, Vic Dorfman shares his unconventional journey from being a classical musician to venturing into the online business world. And also he shares how to build a word class membership site.

Vic Dorfman is the founder of MemberFix and MemberHost. Vic was a classical violinist until his path changed and he adopted a digital nomad lifestyle after reading “The 4-Hour Workweek”. When he first started his web company, he worked as a freelancer doing SEO and content writing.

When he first started his web company, he worked as a freelancer doing SEO and content writing. Vic efficiently grew his staff over time and turned MemberFix into a company that focuses on offering thorough technical assistance for WordPress membership websites.

He also explores the difficulties in hosting these kinds of websites, which inspired the development of MemberHost.io to solve the particular technological needs and maximize efficiency.

Here’s Where To Go Next…

Get the Course Creator Starter Kit to help you (or your client) create, launch, and scale a high-value online learning website.

Also visit the creators of the LMScast podcast over at LifterLMS, the world’s leading most customizable learning management system software for WordPress. Create courses, coaching programs, online schools, and more with LifterLMS.

Browse more recent episodes of the LMScast podcast here or explore the entire back catalog since 2014.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program, I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co founder of Lifter LMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest. His name is Vic Dorfman. He’s from memberfix.rocks and also has a hosting company specifically for the LMS and membership site e commerce industry. It’s called memberhost. io. Welcome to the show, Vic.

Vic Dorfman: Thanks, Chris. Good to be here.

Chris Badgett: I’m really excited to get into your story today, to get into how people can sell some things we’re seeing in the membership site industry. But before we get into your story, what, how did you get here? What’s, your backstory. And we’ll do that in a second but, first give us the, context of memberfix.

rocks. And the hosting company.

Vic Dorfman: Okay. So I’ll, walk you through just a quick backstory because it’s crazy how it all came about, but basically I was a classical musician in college. I studied classical singing, opera singing, and I did that for a while. Became a professional musician or started to become a professional musician in that world.

It really takes decades to be a proper classical musician and didn’t really like it. There’s actually a lot of politics surprisingly, and you’re just living in a practice room and then there’s still some little kid who’s 10 times better than you. And you make very little money at first and just the whole, this is your.

You follow your passion thing. Wasn’t working out for me very well. So quit that join the army briefly decided before I get shipped to basic training, I’m going to go do some traveling. So I hitchhiked across the U S max out all my credit cards, flew to Central America, and then I remember I’m sitting in a little bar.

In Nicaragua, in Central America, and there’s just this guy next to me, I said, Hey man, what’s up? He’s Hey man, what’s up? And somebody had given me this book, The 4 Hour Workweek. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. And I said, Hey man, have you ever read this book, The 4 Hour Workweek? It’s amazing, you could do extra.

He’s Bro, I’m in the book. I’m one of the case studies. So I meet this guy, Ty, who’s now become a good friend of mine. And he was basically doing like that whole digital nomad, passive income lifestyle way, way back before it was a thing. And then years, later, when I moved to Thailand, we linked up.

He lives out here and we became good friends. And basically what happened is I didn’t go to the army. I wound up working for an e commerce company and wasn’t really loving that. I did that for a few years living in Miami. And then at some point, I think I was about 24, it was 2012 or so. I just had this impulse to buy a one way ticket somewhere, anywhere to Thailand, which is where I wound up going.

And I just came out here with no money. Actually, I had negative money, had about 23, 000 in credit card debt. A couple thousand dollars in my checking account, old laptop, and I was living in a hostel and just every day going downstairs to the lobby, catching the wifi. Logging into the warrior forum, which I don’t know, this right back in the day and just saying, Hey, can I do anything for you guys?

Can I write you an article? I was writing articles, I started to get carpal tunnel syndrome. I said, okay, this isn’t for me. Then I was doing SEO and I think the first thing that I did that hit was that I made a membership site about keyword research. So I was doing SEO stuff. And I wanted to teach the keyword research component.

This is back when keyword research was just like the easiest thing ever. And some, one of our members reached out to me and he’s Hey Vic, I like your membership site. I said, thanks, man. He said, can you build me one? Okay. Why not? So I built this guy a membership site and I think he referred another person.

To have me build them a membership site. And this was back when there was, I think, two membership plugins. I think there was or there were three, there was a digital access pass, wishlist member, and a member. I think those were the, three, I don’t think there were any LMSs as far as I know. And then it just struck me that membership sites are a important thing.

It’s a big thing. It’s probably going to become a bigger thing and there’s nobody who’s really positioned themselves as being a. Membership site expert, or I’m sure there were membership site experts. I know there was like Mike Phil Zane. There was all these marketing guys doing membership sites, even before WordPress custom coding, everything, custom coding their carts.

And but I thought, okay, cool. This is a really interesting space with a lot to learn. And I just started working in that area and. Initially I was like freelancing, learning the ropes, learning all the tech learning how to sell, how to communicate with people, all of that good stuff.

And then at some point I tried to scale the team a couple of times, didn’t work a week. By the way, we could touch on hiring because I have some pretty unique insights. And I know a lot of the e learning people are like the people who are creating their courses, they want to help, but they don’t want to have unreliable freelancers.

So we could touch on that if you’d like. And anyway, a long story short, I did wind up successfully. Hiring. And now we have a really great team in place. We have a leadership team in place. And for the past, I would say we’ve been doing this like over 10 years, including the freelance days. And now after 10 years plus probably.

We’re really hitting our stride and we’re really able to help people with their tech, with their membership tech with their e learning stuff, just with the whole technical WordPress component, and we’re just getting great results for our customers. Giving a lot of value is fun and pleasant for everybody.

So I feel like. Okay. We’re becoming the kind of agency that we want. We’re still a long way from our goal, but it’s, getting really exciting now to be able to help people at this level and see them succeed.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Let’s. Let’s talk about the difference between memberfix. rocks and, memberhost.

io. So what are those businesses that you use to help membership site owners?

Vic Dorfman: Sure. So memberfix is our agency side of the business. And it’s, I’m the owner, I’m the sole owner. And what we do is we help to set up, support, and maintain. All the WordPress membership site tech so the e learning component, community component membership component, and then all of the peripheral things and third party integrations and so forth.

And so we just focus on the tech side. We don’t do copy or we don’t do coaching or we might do some incidental advising as we’re working with a customer and if we have a great idea, we say, Hey, this might be a better way of doing things. But generally our focus is just supporting them on the technical side and being their tech part.

So we have customers who we help on a sort of like a recurring basis who are part of our care plans who just need ongoing support because they have like really big successful membership sites. Or they just don’t want to deal with the tech stuff. And then we have people who just engages for, projects.

We we’re working on a couple of pretty big and exciting projects at the moment with some interesting companies. That is the agency side. And then the hosting company actually came about because. Over the years of doing this, what I found is that virtually none of the commercial hosts, the ones that you would, I’m not going to name them, but we’re talking about none of them really understand the technical underpinnings and the technical requirements of these types of sites, right?

These are very heavy sites, transactionally heavy sites that hammer the database. Depends on how the plugin is coded some are leaner. And more efficient, some are heavier in that regard. You can’t just cash these sites indiscriminately because it causes conflicts and there’s a lot of little nuances and subtleties about how you optimize performance.

On these types of sites, because really what you’re optimizing for is the ability to have lots of concurrent users logging in and interacting with the site without it slowing down, throwing errors. And of course, crashing because then you’re losing money, right? That’s another thing that makes this model unique is that it’s basically if the site goes down or if it slows down substantially, then you’re not able to take new customers.

You’re not able to take to serve your existing customer base. So it. It’s quite it’s quite important to our customers to have that level of hosting and support and, niche expertise. And that’s how member host came about. That was actually a partnership that I did with one of my team members.

And then our. CTO, our technical co founder, Denny cave, who also runs an agency who also works a lot with e learning sites and who runs an infrastructure company called mighty box. And that’s going really, well.

Chris Badgett: Who’s the perfect fit customer for member host.

Vic Dorfman: For member host, it would be generally a larger site, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of members, even hundreds of thousands of members.

I don’t think we’ve had a site with a hundred thousand members yet, but we certainly have tens of thousands on a few sites who are willing to or let’s say who, understand that any downtime or, slowdown impacts their conversion rate impacts their their anxiety levels very significantly.

And who just want like a partner who basically gets them the best performance because we, our sort of guarantee is that we will outperform any commercial host and we will, we don’t just resell AWS which isn’t even that performance. Not to get super into the weeds, but if you’re hosting your membership site on AWS.

Please send me an email because you’re paying double for less performance infrastructure. And so I would say, yeah, ideal customers can be a bigger site, but we do host some smaller sites. We just put them on a single node environment as opposed to a clustered environment. Probably doesn’t mean anything to most of your listeners, but those are the kinds of things that we’re passionate about and that we’re devoting ourselves to every day.

So that you don’t really have to worry about it.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Let’s dig into creative partnerships a little bit. I know that’s a expertise of yours and you’ve been in this space for a long time. You’ve, I’m sure you’ve seen things that work and don’t work. How do we do creative partnerships effectively?

Vic Dorfman: I don’t know, Chris, if I can really claim expertise with creative partnerships, because honestly I’ve, had five, maybe five or six. Partnerships. Okay. Why would you do a partnership? Let’s, start with that. Why would you do that versus doing something on your own or hiring people or getting investment or whatever?

It’s usually because you don’t have capital or you don’t want to take on investors or take on loans. And you have identified that, okay, if you partner with these certain people that you can put in your sweat equity. And you guys can work over time and build a profitable company and bootstrap it essentially.

Maybe you put in a little bit of money, maybe the other founders put in a little bit of money, but it just allows you to, get to market and try an idea a lot quicker. You have more people working on it, more people that are able to contribute some funds. And so I’ve tried a couple partnerships with affiliate sites where I was just the investor, right?

And then basically I partnered with a guy who was an SEO expert and then a writer and we figured out the division of equity. Spun up an LLC in Wyoming and got to work and those kind of worked out, but I don’t think I will ever make my investment back. So those are going to be wound down. And then another one we tried to build like a another reason you might want to do a partnership is, and this is more in the context of your team is what if.

You have a really talented team member who has a talent in a particular area like we did in our case with our software architect. And we said, Hey, why don’t we build like an analytics suite on top of member press because everybody was clamoring for better reporting for member press. And that turned out to be really, hard.

Like incredibly technically challenging and it required expertise that we didn’t have with databases and SQL stuff and like data science queries and stuff. So we, that didn’t work out either. And a member host was born because of this need that I explained that we saw in the market and that actually really did work out and I guess.

The reason maybe that worked out is because all of those others failed. So it’s dating around before you have enough understanding about the opposite sex and your own preferences and your. Issues before you, you can effectively select a, great partner for yourself.

Actually, it’s very analogous to that, I think. And so when we partnered for member host, I just knew right away, like it clicked yes, all these guys are hard workers. All these guys are at a high level. We’re on the same page. This is a great idea. Nobody’s doing this. Then now other people are starting to do it.

And it just worked out and we bootstrapped through music. It’s profitable. I think it’s going to eclipse our agency fairly soon. It’s a much better business model. I think that’s another big factor of it. So I think creative partnerships are probably pretty low percentage, but if, you have a really great idea in a hungry marketplace you could strike it big, but probably won’t for a while.

You might have to fail a few times. Check back with me in 10 years. I’ll let you know.

Chris Badgett: I love that. I’m a partnership guy too. I just can’t do it all and one plus one equals three when it works. And I, when I look at LFTR LMS users, as an example the, membership sites and the LMSs and the courses that work the best, it’s never a solo act.

There’s smart people collaborating, working really hard over a long time horizon. They really compliment each other. Let’s talk more about people and hiring. You’re a traveler. You’re very worldly. Back in the day of early days of four hour work week and online business and stuff, there was this concept of outsourced to a developing nation, get a virtual assistant and delegate, and automate your life.

But it doesn’t really work that way. Like how do you, what have you learned in all your collaborations in terms of building team and hiring?

Vic Dorfman: Just a quick, funny anecdote on that. I remember when I read the four hour work week, I was, as I’m prone to do, I was proselytizing to everybody.

And I, told my older cousin who he was an IT already, and he was quite a smart guy and I said, Hey man, the four hour work week, blah, blah, blah. He’s Oh yeah, I read it. And he said something like I think the author overestimates the ease of outsourcing things offshore. I said, fuck, do you know, do you even read the book?

I was such a punk. And of course that’s true. It’s not easy to find good people, whether remote or in house. And as I told you like I try to scale member fix. Multiple times. And initially I started by trying to scale in India, in the Philippines, which are like the classic outsourcing locations.

And also apropos that you mentioned, like I’ve, lived in different places. I’ve lived in Thailand for 30 years. 13 years now I’ve been all around Asia, South America, Central America. And I think the reason it didn’t work with, and I’ve had other people echoed this experience as well.

The reason it’s hard to find, a team, maybe you can find good individual freelancers, just great people everywhere. So don’t miss misunderstanding is because of the work culture, but also the broader culture of Asian countries, which is a lot about face never telling your boss. No. Saying yeah, we can do that regardless of whether that deadline is realistic, regardless of whether you have even taken the time to understand if you have the capacity or capability to do something.

Myself being Ukrainian by birth. Growing up in the U. S. I thought, okay why don’t I check out Eastern Europe? Because that was percolating at the time. And that turned out to be where we hire all of our team members and the culture there. The broader culture and the work culture is more like.

Speak the truth do it tactfully, ideally, right? But don’t evade what is the case. Call a spade. If you say you’re going to do something or deliver something on time, you have to do it. Otherwise, it’s like in the West don’t tell white lies.

Whereas in Asia, everything is white lies. You always have to read between the lines. And again, this is a broad generalization. And there’s exceptions to that, but if you’re looking to hire, whether for your team, if you’re running like a information company, LMS membership or whatever, or like for an agency like ourselves, you hiring is already such a time consuming and expensive.

Difficult process that you have to fish in the right pond, right? Yes, you can fish in this pond where you’ll catch maybe a good fish from time to time, or you can fish in this other pond where like your chances of catching a big juicy fish are a lot higher and that’s been my experience. And yeah, Eastern Europe is really great.

Chris Badgett: Do you have any tips on how to recruit in Eastern Europe, for example, like certain websites or ways to advertise the opening or, scout for talent?

Vic Dorfman: Yeah, I actually wrote an article about this on, our blog. It’s called how to hire rock stars in Eastern Europe, something along those lines. But I think you, you probably want to start with Upwork, right?

Because that’s by far the biggest marketplace for online talent. I’ve tried some other marketplaces like what’s that other one job rock, which is specifically for Eastern European team members. But I find that Upwork is really great. Now with Upwork, the trick is that if you want good people, right?

They have options. Good people have options. You need to sell them, you need to sell your company. And you need to sell your mission. You need to ideally believe it. And a lot of people have responded to my job post and said, Hey I usually don’t respond to invites, but I really love what you wrote there.

So I really took time to write the copy. And try to communicate what we do at Member Fix, why we’re passionate about it, why it’s important, why it would be cool for you to work with us, because it actually is super cool to work on our team and, and the other key, I think, is that you can’t just post your job very much.

Like you can’t just put up a sales page and expect the money to come rolling in. You got to then go and reach out, like actively search for people on Upwork that have like great profiles, great feedback. Like those are the people that you want all things being equal and their budget considerations and so forth.

But all things being equal, you want the best people you can afford. And so you got to go out and get those people and basically seduce them with your wares has been my experience.

Chris Badgett: Nice. You mentioned selling the job position. Let’s talk more about sales and how to, especially in this online world, whether we’re selling a membership site or courses, or we’re An agency or whoever we are, how do we stand out in this noisy market when we’re selling?

Vic Dorfman: I don’t think you necessarily have to stand out in terms of let’s say your product. It would be nice if you did, right? But a lot of people make a really good living selling variations of the same thing. But as we were discussing before the call, I don’t want to get too deep into it because I don’t want to give it all away.

Because we might talk about it again later, but basically. I think what I’ve seen with at least membership site owners is a lot of times I think they confuse the they confuse the business with the delivery system of the value. Like a membership site is like your delivery system of value where you give the people the stuff or part of it, let’s say it’s not the business.

Or it’s not like the business model, right? So it’s hard to separate that. So I think maybe because there’s a lot of the blind leading the blind as well. People think, okay, I’m just going to put up a membership site. I’m going to put up a sales page. I’m going to pay for some Facebook ads. I’ll get somebody to write the copy and then I’ll I’ll have a bunch of members join.

Yeah, if you’re lucky, that might happen. If you have a big audience, that might happen even despite the fact that’s the wrong thing to do. But I think if you’re under like a million dollars a year as, a information business or membership site or e learning site or community, like if you want to get there as quickly as possible go do prospecting, which that’s a whole big conversation but, go do prospecting get on zoom calls with people.

Find out what their needs are and say, Hey, I have this thing, which is a really great thing. It comes in the form of a membership site. You might even find out that a membership site is not the optimal delivery vehicle for your, for the value. You’ll probably find out a lot of other really useful stuff, like what kind of language people use when describing their problems.

You can use that same language back to them. And yeah, I think. You just got to get on the phone that’s, a lot of people are averse to that. And even you, said, Chris, like you said, I’m an introvert I, get on the phone and sell all the time and yeah, it’s not that hard.

If you have a great product, it does all the heavy lifting and you don’t even have to be pushy. You don’t have to be salesy. People will sell themselves a lot of times if, they have a legitimate need and you’re actually able to. fulfill on that need and you have good testimonials and stuff. And then once you’ve done that long enough and you have enough customers bringing in enough recurring revenue, then you can start leaning more on the sort of like more passive.

Things like building out your funnels optimizing your paid ads your, return on ad spend and social media and all that crap. But that is so secondary in my mind. So peripheral to just going out, finding where your prospective customers dwell online, right? Building relationships, giving as much value as you can up front, like giving so much value.

It hurts for free, not expecting anything in return. This is all Alex Hormozy basically but it’s, it, that is what it is. And then getting on calls with people and they will sell themselves is, the truth.

Chris Badgett: Any other tips on just having a strong business model where selling becomes more obvious and easy?

Vic Dorfman: Like within the membership space, you mean? Yeah. Like membership element

Chris Badgett: space, yeah. How do we get a strong offer? I feel like a lot of people, like you say, get caught up in the mechanism of the membership side and the tech and the passive income goal and stuff like that. But how do we build a strong offer that becomes much easier to sell?

Vic Dorfman: I guess the first thing I would do is read like all of Alex Hormozy’s books. That’s he has a book called a hundred million dollar offers, which. Explains exactly how to do exactly that. There’s a lot of technique to it, I think, but to give a less cop out answer, I think if you, it’s doing, exactly what I just suggested, going out and talking to your prospective customers.

Understanding them deeply understanding what you’re offering relative to their pain points. How are you solving it? Maybe do it for free a couple of times figure out how you can really help people. Like I think crafting an offer needs to be done like. Like in the context of deep collaboration with your customers, right?

Because they’re going to tell you what they need. You’re not going to guess it. You might, but you’re probably wrong. So my suggestion is just go out and okay, if you want to get just using a weird analogy, but if you want to get really good with women, don’t read a bunch of books on how to talk to women.

Go and talk to a bunch of women. And ask women like that’s that’s been my experience. And I think it’s very similar to people will tell you what they want. If you just shut up and listen ask good questions, take notes, take it seriously, think about it for awhile. And, yeah I think that’s the approach I like.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Sales is a lot of listening and in order to listen, you need to find the right people and talk to them and ask questions. And the pitch is really just the end. If it’s a fit, if it’s qualified. Any. With all your time in this space, any like unconventional counterintuitive insights you’ve gleaned or fun stories of something that’s really working for membership sites, either on the tech side, on the sales side on the niche side, counterintuitive

Vic Dorfman: things, man, I don’t know, like. I was telling you before we started the call that there’s just so many things I’ve seen that just don’t make sense, logical sense or you mentioned a great example yourself, right? I don’t know if you’re at liberty to discuss it on air, but yeah, sure. It’s like, the balloon thing who would even like do that?

And think that they’re going to be successful. And then he did it and he is successful. I don’t know if you want to like

Chris Badgett: Yeah, we could get into that. Ziv Raviv, a Lifter LMS customer in Israel is a kid entertainer. Like he ties animal balloons and like host those kind of birthday parties.

And he built a multi six figure business and it just keeps growing every year for the past five years. The total addressable market for balloon artists is around 5, 000 people worldwide. And when you look at his website and people making literally entire outfits out of little teeny balloons and building these big displays and teaching tricks with balloons.

You just realize how big the world is. And I think one of the interesting things with someone like that is they are the market they’re serving. They’re just further along in the journey. That seems pretty tried and true. It’s one thing to spot an opportunity like, Oh, I heard there’s, opportunity in cryptocurrency as an example.

But are you a crypto trader? Have you been down the Bitcoin rabbit hole? Are you are you, have you been in this niche for five years in multiple bull markets or whatever? It’s not about just opportunity spotting. And you mentioned Alex Hermosi. Jim launch and serving Jim owners. He was a gym owner.

And he had to do gym sales, he did a bunch of turnarounds. He had, he got burned in partnerships and then he figured it out. And it’s just doubling down on, you. That’s almost, I think not that counterintuitive, but it gets overlooked. Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we go to the new shiny thing or.

See somebody else making success, but are you actually in that niche yourself? And if not, maybe, and you really want to do it, maybe you should partner like you’re talking about. That’s how I got started. I, partnered with experts around the world in permaculture, which is a niche within organic gardening.

I knew internet marketing and, websites and online, but I found the best experts in the world and we built a successful like online business. And, but I would fly on a plane to Costa Rica to go film a permaculture workshop in the middle of the jungle. Because that’s what the skill set I brought to the table.

So I don’t know, we’re just riffing here, but if you’re not like you are Vic, I’m passionate about membership sites and online business and marketing and sales, and you know what, you and I have been in this field for since the four hour work week or before, which is a long time. It’s been like 15 years or something.

So, we have a few, we’ve seen a few things and we can talk the talk and help other online business owners. Yeah. So I love niches and I love that you’ve niched on serving the membership site owner. That’s a really specific niche and like you’ve stayed focused on it year after year.

Vic Dorfman: Yeah. And I, it’s it’s. I love everything you just said, man, by the way. It’s just that’s a general rule of the universe is that people will listen to somebody who they see who’s undeniable, right? Who manifests through and through what they’re trying to teach other people.

And some people are a little further along, but it’s important enough of a distinction to where they could still effectively teach. But like you made me think of a martial arts example would you learn? martial arts from some random dude, like in a shopping mall in New Jersey actually, there’s actually a lot of really tough dudes, random shopping malls, New Jersey now, but you would want to learn from somebody who, like, you look at them like, okay, I want to be like that guy in that area. And it’s very hard to fake that. So using your balloon example, the guys like. He does that. He does that. And so other people like, oh, I do that too. And no, it’s super interesting.

It’s super interesting

Chris Badgett: The the great thing about your focus on membership sites and, what we’re talking about with partnerships here is a lot of subject matter experts who’ve been in it for a long time are not figuring out from like 500 web hosts in the world, which one’s right for me.

You’re there to partner, to help people do what they do to teach the balloon tying, the jujitsu or the gardening or the cooking. Or the what, whatever the niche is

Vic Dorfman: that’s the hand weaving. We I don’t know if, can I highlight some of our super interesting customers that we work with?

Just, yeah, I love it. You love niches, right? So yeah we have this great customer. Her name is TN and she runs the hand weaving academy. I think it’s handweavingacademy. com and she was she’s a former Google employee and she left her Google job to do this thing. And it’s she probably knew because, and now that I have more experience, it’s actually not surprising because hobby niches are like the most passionate groups of people.

In general. But I just didn’t know that was the thing. And then we have this other customer, Brittany, and she does crochet and some of these sites in these really weird niches. Are doing great great revenue or like great profit. Even we even had a customer and this is something that I would never think would work.

So a lot of counter, when you talk about counterintuitive stuff, I think what’s counterintuitive is like what you think would actually work. And you’re almost not qualified to tell somebody who’s in a niche. I do know that you have to stick with something long enough for it to pan out sometimes.

So there’s the working smart versus working hard thing, but this really great couple Mike and Karina, they run a love letter from Ireland. And my Irish heritage I think it’s my Irish heritage. com and basically they help people discover and understand their Irish roots and it’s such a huge thing.

Like people are so into that and it’s it’s super cool and they’re passionate. They travel all around Ireland. They’re like out there taking photos of and video in these beautiful locations talking about the families and clans that come from there. It’s so freaking cool, man.

Like what people do. And yeah, I don’t know, that’s the most unconventional or counterintuitive thing I would say. But other than that, I think it’s mostly just following sound business practices taking care of your people, working hard, trying to work smart, learning doing your sales, doing your marketing and being, patient to a degree, which it’s hard to do.

Chris Badgett: I love that. Patience is definitely a good one. That’s counterintuitive in this fast paced world. And that’s why the niche is important, because you’re going to be here for many years, so you might as well pick something you love, have some patience with it, keep learning and sharpening the craft yourself.

I love it. If you’re watching this or listening, we are going to be doing a special webinar presentation with Vic to help you be more successful with your membership site. So keep an eye on your inbox for that. Go to LMS cast if you’re not subscribed. So they’d make sure you’re on the email list.

To get the notification about the training. If you’re looking for web hosting for a successful scaling membership site, and you really want something that’s rock solid and just step outside the noise and the shopping paralysis of the 500 web hosts out there. Check out memberhost. io. Take a spin by Vic’s others website, memberfix.

rocks. See what’s going on there. Any final words for the people, Vic?

Vic Dorfman: No, not really. I think we covered pretty much everything. Definitely come to the webinar. We’ll, be doing, I’m going to try to give away all the things I know, I don’t know that many things, but all the things that I know will give to you.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thanks for coming on the show, Vic and sharing your story and those insights there. We really appreciate it.

Vic Dorfman: My pleasure, Chris. Thanks for having me.

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS. Go to lifterlms. com forward slash gift.

Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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محتوای ارائه شده توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business.. تمام محتوای پادکست شامل قسمت‌ها، گرافیک‌ها و توضیحات پادکست مستقیماً توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business. یا شریک پلتفرم پادکست آن‌ها آپلود و ارائه می‌شوند. اگر فکر می‌کنید شخصی بدون اجازه شما از اثر دارای حق نسخه‌برداری شما استفاده می‌کند، می‌توانید روندی که در اینجا شرح داده شده است را دنبال کنید.https://fa.player.fm/legal

In this LMScast episode, Vic Dorfman shares his unconventional journey from being a classical musician to venturing into the online business world. And also he shares how to build a word class membership site.

Vic Dorfman is the founder of MemberFix and MemberHost. Vic was a classical violinist until his path changed and he adopted a digital nomad lifestyle after reading “The 4-Hour Workweek”. When he first started his web company, he worked as a freelancer doing SEO and content writing.

When he first started his web company, he worked as a freelancer doing SEO and content writing. Vic efficiently grew his staff over time and turned MemberFix into a company that focuses on offering thorough technical assistance for WordPress membership websites.

He also explores the difficulties in hosting these kinds of websites, which inspired the development of MemberHost.io to solve the particular technological needs and maximize efficiency.

Here’s Where To Go Next…

Get the Course Creator Starter Kit to help you (or your client) create, launch, and scale a high-value online learning website.

Also visit the creators of the LMScast podcast over at LifterLMS, the world’s leading most customizable learning management system software for WordPress. Create courses, coaching programs, online schools, and more with LifterLMS.

Browse more recent episodes of the LMScast podcast here or explore the entire back catalog since 2014.

And be sure to subscribe to get new podcast episodes delivered to your inbox every week.

2023 WordPress LMS Buyer’s Guide

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program, I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co founder of Lifter LMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest. His name is Vic Dorfman. He’s from memberfix.rocks and also has a hosting company specifically for the LMS and membership site e commerce industry. It’s called memberhost. io. Welcome to the show, Vic.

Vic Dorfman: Thanks, Chris. Good to be here.

Chris Badgett: I’m really excited to get into your story today, to get into how people can sell some things we’re seeing in the membership site industry. But before we get into your story, what, how did you get here? What’s, your backstory. And we’ll do that in a second but, first give us the, context of memberfix.

rocks. And the hosting company.

Vic Dorfman: Okay. So I’ll, walk you through just a quick backstory because it’s crazy how it all came about, but basically I was a classical musician in college. I studied classical singing, opera singing, and I did that for a while. Became a professional musician or started to become a professional musician in that world.

It really takes decades to be a proper classical musician and didn’t really like it. There’s actually a lot of politics surprisingly, and you’re just living in a practice room and then there’s still some little kid who’s 10 times better than you. And you make very little money at first and just the whole, this is your.

You follow your passion thing. Wasn’t working out for me very well. So quit that join the army briefly decided before I get shipped to basic training, I’m going to go do some traveling. So I hitchhiked across the U S max out all my credit cards, flew to Central America, and then I remember I’m sitting in a little bar.

In Nicaragua, in Central America, and there’s just this guy next to me, I said, Hey man, what’s up? He’s Hey man, what’s up? And somebody had given me this book, The 4 Hour Workweek. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. And I said, Hey man, have you ever read this book, The 4 Hour Workweek? It’s amazing, you could do extra.

He’s Bro, I’m in the book. I’m one of the case studies. So I meet this guy, Ty, who’s now become a good friend of mine. And he was basically doing like that whole digital nomad, passive income lifestyle way, way back before it was a thing. And then years, later, when I moved to Thailand, we linked up.

He lives out here and we became good friends. And basically what happened is I didn’t go to the army. I wound up working for an e commerce company and wasn’t really loving that. I did that for a few years living in Miami. And then at some point, I think I was about 24, it was 2012 or so. I just had this impulse to buy a one way ticket somewhere, anywhere to Thailand, which is where I wound up going.

And I just came out here with no money. Actually, I had negative money, had about 23, 000 in credit card debt. A couple thousand dollars in my checking account, old laptop, and I was living in a hostel and just every day going downstairs to the lobby, catching the wifi. Logging into the warrior forum, which I don’t know, this right back in the day and just saying, Hey, can I do anything for you guys?

Can I write you an article? I was writing articles, I started to get carpal tunnel syndrome. I said, okay, this isn’t for me. Then I was doing SEO and I think the first thing that I did that hit was that I made a membership site about keyword research. So I was doing SEO stuff. And I wanted to teach the keyword research component.

This is back when keyword research was just like the easiest thing ever. And some, one of our members reached out to me and he’s Hey Vic, I like your membership site. I said, thanks, man. He said, can you build me one? Okay. Why not? So I built this guy a membership site and I think he referred another person.

To have me build them a membership site. And this was back when there was, I think, two membership plugins. I think there was or there were three, there was a digital access pass, wishlist member, and a member. I think those were the, three, I don’t think there were any LMSs as far as I know. And then it just struck me that membership sites are a important thing.

It’s a big thing. It’s probably going to become a bigger thing and there’s nobody who’s really positioned themselves as being a. Membership site expert, or I’m sure there were membership site experts. I know there was like Mike Phil Zane. There was all these marketing guys doing membership sites, even before WordPress custom coding, everything, custom coding their carts.

And but I thought, okay, cool. This is a really interesting space with a lot to learn. And I just started working in that area and. Initially I was like freelancing, learning the ropes, learning all the tech learning how to sell, how to communicate with people, all of that good stuff.

And then at some point I tried to scale the team a couple of times, didn’t work a week. By the way, we could touch on hiring because I have some pretty unique insights. And I know a lot of the e learning people are like the people who are creating their courses, they want to help, but they don’t want to have unreliable freelancers.

So we could touch on that if you’d like. And anyway, a long story short, I did wind up successfully. Hiring. And now we have a really great team in place. We have a leadership team in place. And for the past, I would say we’ve been doing this like over 10 years, including the freelance days. And now after 10 years plus probably.

We’re really hitting our stride and we’re really able to help people with their tech, with their membership tech with their e learning stuff, just with the whole technical WordPress component, and we’re just getting great results for our customers. Giving a lot of value is fun and pleasant for everybody.

So I feel like. Okay. We’re becoming the kind of agency that we want. We’re still a long way from our goal, but it’s, getting really exciting now to be able to help people at this level and see them succeed.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Let’s. Let’s talk about the difference between memberfix. rocks and, memberhost.

io. So what are those businesses that you use to help membership site owners?

Vic Dorfman: Sure. So memberfix is our agency side of the business. And it’s, I’m the owner, I’m the sole owner. And what we do is we help to set up, support, and maintain. All the WordPress membership site tech so the e learning component, community component membership component, and then all of the peripheral things and third party integrations and so forth.

And so we just focus on the tech side. We don’t do copy or we don’t do coaching or we might do some incidental advising as we’re working with a customer and if we have a great idea, we say, Hey, this might be a better way of doing things. But generally our focus is just supporting them on the technical side and being their tech part.

So we have customers who we help on a sort of like a recurring basis who are part of our care plans who just need ongoing support because they have like really big successful membership sites. Or they just don’t want to deal with the tech stuff. And then we have people who just engages for, projects.

We we’re working on a couple of pretty big and exciting projects at the moment with some interesting companies. That is the agency side. And then the hosting company actually came about because. Over the years of doing this, what I found is that virtually none of the commercial hosts, the ones that you would, I’m not going to name them, but we’re talking about none of them really understand the technical underpinnings and the technical requirements of these types of sites, right?

These are very heavy sites, transactionally heavy sites that hammer the database. Depends on how the plugin is coded some are leaner. And more efficient, some are heavier in that regard. You can’t just cash these sites indiscriminately because it causes conflicts and there’s a lot of little nuances and subtleties about how you optimize performance.

On these types of sites, because really what you’re optimizing for is the ability to have lots of concurrent users logging in and interacting with the site without it slowing down, throwing errors. And of course, crashing because then you’re losing money, right? That’s another thing that makes this model unique is that it’s basically if the site goes down or if it slows down substantially, then you’re not able to take new customers.

You’re not able to take to serve your existing customer base. So it. It’s quite it’s quite important to our customers to have that level of hosting and support and, niche expertise. And that’s how member host came about. That was actually a partnership that I did with one of my team members.

And then our. CTO, our technical co founder, Denny cave, who also runs an agency who also works a lot with e learning sites and who runs an infrastructure company called mighty box. And that’s going really, well.

Chris Badgett: Who’s the perfect fit customer for member host.

Vic Dorfman: For member host, it would be generally a larger site, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of members, even hundreds of thousands of members.

I don’t think we’ve had a site with a hundred thousand members yet, but we certainly have tens of thousands on a few sites who are willing to or let’s say who, understand that any downtime or, slowdown impacts their conversion rate impacts their their anxiety levels very significantly.

And who just want like a partner who basically gets them the best performance because we, our sort of guarantee is that we will outperform any commercial host and we will, we don’t just resell AWS which isn’t even that performance. Not to get super into the weeds, but if you’re hosting your membership site on AWS.

Please send me an email because you’re paying double for less performance infrastructure. And so I would say, yeah, ideal customers can be a bigger site, but we do host some smaller sites. We just put them on a single node environment as opposed to a clustered environment. Probably doesn’t mean anything to most of your listeners, but those are the kinds of things that we’re passionate about and that we’re devoting ourselves to every day.

So that you don’t really have to worry about it.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Let’s dig into creative partnerships a little bit. I know that’s a expertise of yours and you’ve been in this space for a long time. You’ve, I’m sure you’ve seen things that work and don’t work. How do we do creative partnerships effectively?

Vic Dorfman: I don’t know, Chris, if I can really claim expertise with creative partnerships, because honestly I’ve, had five, maybe five or six. Partnerships. Okay. Why would you do a partnership? Let’s, start with that. Why would you do that versus doing something on your own or hiring people or getting investment or whatever?

It’s usually because you don’t have capital or you don’t want to take on investors or take on loans. And you have identified that, okay, if you partner with these certain people that you can put in your sweat equity. And you guys can work over time and build a profitable company and bootstrap it essentially.

Maybe you put in a little bit of money, maybe the other founders put in a little bit of money, but it just allows you to, get to market and try an idea a lot quicker. You have more people working on it, more people that are able to contribute some funds. And so I’ve tried a couple partnerships with affiliate sites where I was just the investor, right?

And then basically I partnered with a guy who was an SEO expert and then a writer and we figured out the division of equity. Spun up an LLC in Wyoming and got to work and those kind of worked out, but I don’t think I will ever make my investment back. So those are going to be wound down. And then another one we tried to build like a another reason you might want to do a partnership is, and this is more in the context of your team is what if.

You have a really talented team member who has a talent in a particular area like we did in our case with our software architect. And we said, Hey, why don’t we build like an analytics suite on top of member press because everybody was clamoring for better reporting for member press. And that turned out to be really, hard.

Like incredibly technically challenging and it required expertise that we didn’t have with databases and SQL stuff and like data science queries and stuff. So we, that didn’t work out either. And a member host was born because of this need that I explained that we saw in the market and that actually really did work out and I guess.

The reason maybe that worked out is because all of those others failed. So it’s dating around before you have enough understanding about the opposite sex and your own preferences and your. Issues before you, you can effectively select a, great partner for yourself.

Actually, it’s very analogous to that, I think. And so when we partnered for member host, I just knew right away, like it clicked yes, all these guys are hard workers. All these guys are at a high level. We’re on the same page. This is a great idea. Nobody’s doing this. Then now other people are starting to do it.

And it just worked out and we bootstrapped through music. It’s profitable. I think it’s going to eclipse our agency fairly soon. It’s a much better business model. I think that’s another big factor of it. So I think creative partnerships are probably pretty low percentage, but if, you have a really great idea in a hungry marketplace you could strike it big, but probably won’t for a while.

You might have to fail a few times. Check back with me in 10 years. I’ll let you know.

Chris Badgett: I love that. I’m a partnership guy too. I just can’t do it all and one plus one equals three when it works. And I, when I look at LFTR LMS users, as an example the, membership sites and the LMSs and the courses that work the best, it’s never a solo act.

There’s smart people collaborating, working really hard over a long time horizon. They really compliment each other. Let’s talk more about people and hiring. You’re a traveler. You’re very worldly. Back in the day of early days of four hour work week and online business and stuff, there was this concept of outsourced to a developing nation, get a virtual assistant and delegate, and automate your life.

But it doesn’t really work that way. Like how do you, what have you learned in all your collaborations in terms of building team and hiring?

Vic Dorfman: Just a quick, funny anecdote on that. I remember when I read the four hour work week, I was, as I’m prone to do, I was proselytizing to everybody.

And I, told my older cousin who he was an IT already, and he was quite a smart guy and I said, Hey man, the four hour work week, blah, blah, blah. He’s Oh yeah, I read it. And he said something like I think the author overestimates the ease of outsourcing things offshore. I said, fuck, do you know, do you even read the book?

I was such a punk. And of course that’s true. It’s not easy to find good people, whether remote or in house. And as I told you like I try to scale member fix. Multiple times. And initially I started by trying to scale in India, in the Philippines, which are like the classic outsourcing locations.

And also apropos that you mentioned, like I’ve, lived in different places. I’ve lived in Thailand for 30 years. 13 years now I’ve been all around Asia, South America, Central America. And I think the reason it didn’t work with, and I’ve had other people echoed this experience as well.

The reason it’s hard to find, a team, maybe you can find good individual freelancers, just great people everywhere. So don’t miss misunderstanding is because of the work culture, but also the broader culture of Asian countries, which is a lot about face never telling your boss. No. Saying yeah, we can do that regardless of whether that deadline is realistic, regardless of whether you have even taken the time to understand if you have the capacity or capability to do something.

Myself being Ukrainian by birth. Growing up in the U. S. I thought, okay why don’t I check out Eastern Europe? Because that was percolating at the time. And that turned out to be where we hire all of our team members and the culture there. The broader culture and the work culture is more like.

Speak the truth do it tactfully, ideally, right? But don’t evade what is the case. Call a spade. If you say you’re going to do something or deliver something on time, you have to do it. Otherwise, it’s like in the West don’t tell white lies.

Whereas in Asia, everything is white lies. You always have to read between the lines. And again, this is a broad generalization. And there’s exceptions to that, but if you’re looking to hire, whether for your team, if you’re running like a information company, LMS membership or whatever, or like for an agency like ourselves, you hiring is already such a time consuming and expensive.

Difficult process that you have to fish in the right pond, right? Yes, you can fish in this pond where you’ll catch maybe a good fish from time to time, or you can fish in this other pond where like your chances of catching a big juicy fish are a lot higher and that’s been my experience. And yeah, Eastern Europe is really great.

Chris Badgett: Do you have any tips on how to recruit in Eastern Europe, for example, like certain websites or ways to advertise the opening or, scout for talent?

Vic Dorfman: Yeah, I actually wrote an article about this on, our blog. It’s called how to hire rock stars in Eastern Europe, something along those lines. But I think you, you probably want to start with Upwork, right?

Because that’s by far the biggest marketplace for online talent. I’ve tried some other marketplaces like what’s that other one job rock, which is specifically for Eastern European team members. But I find that Upwork is really great. Now with Upwork, the trick is that if you want good people, right?

They have options. Good people have options. You need to sell them, you need to sell your company. And you need to sell your mission. You need to ideally believe it. And a lot of people have responded to my job post and said, Hey I usually don’t respond to invites, but I really love what you wrote there.

So I really took time to write the copy. And try to communicate what we do at Member Fix, why we’re passionate about it, why it’s important, why it would be cool for you to work with us, because it actually is super cool to work on our team and, and the other key, I think, is that you can’t just post your job very much.

Like you can’t just put up a sales page and expect the money to come rolling in. You got to then go and reach out, like actively search for people on Upwork that have like great profiles, great feedback. Like those are the people that you want all things being equal and their budget considerations and so forth.

But all things being equal, you want the best people you can afford. And so you got to go out and get those people and basically seduce them with your wares has been my experience.

Chris Badgett: Nice. You mentioned selling the job position. Let’s talk more about sales and how to, especially in this online world, whether we’re selling a membership site or courses, or we’re An agency or whoever we are, how do we stand out in this noisy market when we’re selling?

Vic Dorfman: I don’t think you necessarily have to stand out in terms of let’s say your product. It would be nice if you did, right? But a lot of people make a really good living selling variations of the same thing. But as we were discussing before the call, I don’t want to get too deep into it because I don’t want to give it all away.

Because we might talk about it again later, but basically. I think what I’ve seen with at least membership site owners is a lot of times I think they confuse the they confuse the business with the delivery system of the value. Like a membership site is like your delivery system of value where you give the people the stuff or part of it, let’s say it’s not the business.

Or it’s not like the business model, right? So it’s hard to separate that. So I think maybe because there’s a lot of the blind leading the blind as well. People think, okay, I’m just going to put up a membership site. I’m going to put up a sales page. I’m going to pay for some Facebook ads. I’ll get somebody to write the copy and then I’ll I’ll have a bunch of members join.

Yeah, if you’re lucky, that might happen. If you have a big audience, that might happen even despite the fact that’s the wrong thing to do. But I think if you’re under like a million dollars a year as, a information business or membership site or e learning site or community, like if you want to get there as quickly as possible go do prospecting, which that’s a whole big conversation but, go do prospecting get on zoom calls with people.

Find out what their needs are and say, Hey, I have this thing, which is a really great thing. It comes in the form of a membership site. You might even find out that a membership site is not the optimal delivery vehicle for your, for the value. You’ll probably find out a lot of other really useful stuff, like what kind of language people use when describing their problems.

You can use that same language back to them. And yeah, I think. You just got to get on the phone that’s, a lot of people are averse to that. And even you, said, Chris, like you said, I’m an introvert I, get on the phone and sell all the time and yeah, it’s not that hard.

If you have a great product, it does all the heavy lifting and you don’t even have to be pushy. You don’t have to be salesy. People will sell themselves a lot of times if, they have a legitimate need and you’re actually able to. fulfill on that need and you have good testimonials and stuff. And then once you’ve done that long enough and you have enough customers bringing in enough recurring revenue, then you can start leaning more on the sort of like more passive.

Things like building out your funnels optimizing your paid ads your, return on ad spend and social media and all that crap. But that is so secondary in my mind. So peripheral to just going out, finding where your prospective customers dwell online, right? Building relationships, giving as much value as you can up front, like giving so much value.

It hurts for free, not expecting anything in return. This is all Alex Hormozy basically but it’s, it, that is what it is. And then getting on calls with people and they will sell themselves is, the truth.

Chris Badgett: Any other tips on just having a strong business model where selling becomes more obvious and easy?

Vic Dorfman: Like within the membership space, you mean? Yeah. Like membership element

Chris Badgett: space, yeah. How do we get a strong offer? I feel like a lot of people, like you say, get caught up in the mechanism of the membership side and the tech and the passive income goal and stuff like that. But how do we build a strong offer that becomes much easier to sell?

Vic Dorfman: I guess the first thing I would do is read like all of Alex Hormozy’s books. That’s he has a book called a hundred million dollar offers, which. Explains exactly how to do exactly that. There’s a lot of technique to it, I think, but to give a less cop out answer, I think if you, it’s doing, exactly what I just suggested, going out and talking to your prospective customers.

Understanding them deeply understanding what you’re offering relative to their pain points. How are you solving it? Maybe do it for free a couple of times figure out how you can really help people. Like I think crafting an offer needs to be done like. Like in the context of deep collaboration with your customers, right?

Because they’re going to tell you what they need. You’re not going to guess it. You might, but you’re probably wrong. So my suggestion is just go out and okay, if you want to get just using a weird analogy, but if you want to get really good with women, don’t read a bunch of books on how to talk to women.

Go and talk to a bunch of women. And ask women like that’s that’s been my experience. And I think it’s very similar to people will tell you what they want. If you just shut up and listen ask good questions, take notes, take it seriously, think about it for awhile. And, yeah I think that’s the approach I like.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Sales is a lot of listening and in order to listen, you need to find the right people and talk to them and ask questions. And the pitch is really just the end. If it’s a fit, if it’s qualified. Any. With all your time in this space, any like unconventional counterintuitive insights you’ve gleaned or fun stories of something that’s really working for membership sites, either on the tech side, on the sales side on the niche side, counterintuitive

Vic Dorfman: things, man, I don’t know, like. I was telling you before we started the call that there’s just so many things I’ve seen that just don’t make sense, logical sense or you mentioned a great example yourself, right? I don’t know if you’re at liberty to discuss it on air, but yeah, sure. It’s like, the balloon thing who would even like do that?

And think that they’re going to be successful. And then he did it and he is successful. I don’t know if you want to like

Chris Badgett: Yeah, we could get into that. Ziv Raviv, a Lifter LMS customer in Israel is a kid entertainer. Like he ties animal balloons and like host those kind of birthday parties.

And he built a multi six figure business and it just keeps growing every year for the past five years. The total addressable market for balloon artists is around 5, 000 people worldwide. And when you look at his website and people making literally entire outfits out of little teeny balloons and building these big displays and teaching tricks with balloons.

You just realize how big the world is. And I think one of the interesting things with someone like that is they are the market they’re serving. They’re just further along in the journey. That seems pretty tried and true. It’s one thing to spot an opportunity like, Oh, I heard there’s, opportunity in cryptocurrency as an example.

But are you a crypto trader? Have you been down the Bitcoin rabbit hole? Are you are you, have you been in this niche for five years in multiple bull markets or whatever? It’s not about just opportunity spotting. And you mentioned Alex Hermosi. Jim launch and serving Jim owners. He was a gym owner.

And he had to do gym sales, he did a bunch of turnarounds. He had, he got burned in partnerships and then he figured it out. And it’s just doubling down on, you. That’s almost, I think not that counterintuitive, but it gets overlooked. Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we go to the new shiny thing or.

See somebody else making success, but are you actually in that niche yourself? And if not, maybe, and you really want to do it, maybe you should partner like you’re talking about. That’s how I got started. I, partnered with experts around the world in permaculture, which is a niche within organic gardening.

I knew internet marketing and, websites and online, but I found the best experts in the world and we built a successful like online business. And, but I would fly on a plane to Costa Rica to go film a permaculture workshop in the middle of the jungle. Because that’s what the skill set I brought to the table.

So I don’t know, we’re just riffing here, but if you’re not like you are Vic, I’m passionate about membership sites and online business and marketing and sales, and you know what, you and I have been in this field for since the four hour work week or before, which is a long time. It’s been like 15 years or something.

So, we have a few, we’ve seen a few things and we can talk the talk and help other online business owners. Yeah. So I love niches and I love that you’ve niched on serving the membership site owner. That’s a really specific niche and like you’ve stayed focused on it year after year.

Vic Dorfman: Yeah. And I, it’s it’s. I love everything you just said, man, by the way. It’s just that’s a general rule of the universe is that people will listen to somebody who they see who’s undeniable, right? Who manifests through and through what they’re trying to teach other people.

And some people are a little further along, but it’s important enough of a distinction to where they could still effectively teach. But like you made me think of a martial arts example would you learn? martial arts from some random dude, like in a shopping mall in New Jersey actually, there’s actually a lot of really tough dudes, random shopping malls, New Jersey now, but you would want to learn from somebody who, like, you look at them like, okay, I want to be like that guy in that area. And it’s very hard to fake that. So using your balloon example, the guys like. He does that. He does that. And so other people like, oh, I do that too. And no, it’s super interesting.

It’s super interesting

Chris Badgett: The the great thing about your focus on membership sites and, what we’re talking about with partnerships here is a lot of subject matter experts who’ve been in it for a long time are not figuring out from like 500 web hosts in the world, which one’s right for me.

You’re there to partner, to help people do what they do to teach the balloon tying, the jujitsu or the gardening or the cooking. Or the what, whatever the niche is

Vic Dorfman: that’s the hand weaving. We I don’t know if, can I highlight some of our super interesting customers that we work with?

Just, yeah, I love it. You love niches, right? So yeah we have this great customer. Her name is TN and she runs the hand weaving academy. I think it’s handweavingacademy. com and she was she’s a former Google employee and she left her Google job to do this thing. And it’s she probably knew because, and now that I have more experience, it’s actually not surprising because hobby niches are like the most passionate groups of people.

In general. But I just didn’t know that was the thing. And then we have this other customer, Brittany, and she does crochet and some of these sites in these really weird niches. Are doing great great revenue or like great profit. Even we even had a customer and this is something that I would never think would work.

So a lot of counter, when you talk about counterintuitive stuff, I think what’s counterintuitive is like what you think would actually work. And you’re almost not qualified to tell somebody who’s in a niche. I do know that you have to stick with something long enough for it to pan out sometimes.

So there’s the working smart versus working hard thing, but this really great couple Mike and Karina, they run a love letter from Ireland. And my Irish heritage I think it’s my Irish heritage. com and basically they help people discover and understand their Irish roots and it’s such a huge thing.

Like people are so into that and it’s it’s super cool and they’re passionate. They travel all around Ireland. They’re like out there taking photos of and video in these beautiful locations talking about the families and clans that come from there. It’s so freaking cool, man.

Like what people do. And yeah, I don’t know, that’s the most unconventional or counterintuitive thing I would say. But other than that, I think it’s mostly just following sound business practices taking care of your people, working hard, trying to work smart, learning doing your sales, doing your marketing and being, patient to a degree, which it’s hard to do.

Chris Badgett: I love that. Patience is definitely a good one. That’s counterintuitive in this fast paced world. And that’s why the niche is important, because you’re going to be here for many years, so you might as well pick something you love, have some patience with it, keep learning and sharpening the craft yourself.

I love it. If you’re watching this or listening, we are going to be doing a special webinar presentation with Vic to help you be more successful with your membership site. So keep an eye on your inbox for that. Go to LMS cast if you’re not subscribed. So they’d make sure you’re on the email list.

To get the notification about the training. If you’re looking for web hosting for a successful scaling membership site, and you really want something that’s rock solid and just step outside the noise and the shopping paralysis of the 500 web hosts out there. Check out memberhost. io. Take a spin by Vic’s others website, memberfix.

rocks. See what’s going on there. Any final words for the people, Vic?

Vic Dorfman: No, not really. I think we covered pretty much everything. Definitely come to the webinar. We’ll, be doing, I’m going to try to give away all the things I know, I don’t know that many things, but all the things that I know will give to you.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thanks for coming on the show, Vic and sharing your story and those insights there. We really appreciate it.

Vic Dorfman: My pleasure, Chris. Thanks for having me.

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS. Go to lifterlms. com forward slash gift.

Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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