Are your fans/readers angry at your new membership service?
- Calling you a fraud?
- Feeling betrayed because your services went from free to paid?
- Spreading negative sentiment about your true motive?
- Accusing you of scheming for money?
- Making you feel guilty about asking for money?
My post was inspired by this insightful Facebook group post.
It’s very common that people get angry and feel betrayed the moment you start charging for something. They were your best friends when everything was free and fun but the moment you ask for money, they accuse you of being greedy or only doing things for money.
Starting a membership site can be the biggest offense to these people. Even the ones who WOULD be willing to pay feel like you’re trapping them into an endless cycle of payments. They’d much rather pay a ONE-TIME FEE than ongoing subscription payments forever. Of course, that’s what everybody wants.
So how do we deal with that?
1. Thank your fans for their support.
You have tons of positive fans and supporters who are happy to become your customers. They want to grow in their own life and happy for your growth as well. Acknowledge them, thank them. Respond to their needs first. Ask THEM for feedback and what they’d like to see. Address your fans before the haters! Put your fans first.
2. Share your goals
Explain where you started, how you’ve helped many people over the years. And now you want to help them in more intensely. That you’re even more passionate now then ever about what you’re doing and want to bring even more value to what you’re doing.
3. Share your challenges
Simply announce that your free community/service has grown to a point that you can no longer sustain it. Some free resources will always be available but you also have paid services in place for those who need extra support.
If you had some formerly free services that are now paid, simply explain that you cannot help everyone over the internet for free. Thank them graciously for their feedback and point them to your competitors or other places where they can find free information.
It might also help to do some qualifying here. Explain the type of users you are most able to help and the ones that you can’t help much…ideally, you’re showing them how you wouldn’t be able to help them much at all, whether free or paid. And if they open their mouth telling you how valuable you are to them….well… 🙂
4. Let the haters go
There will always be people who want something for free and don’t see the fairness in a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s fine. Everyone loves free stuff. And nobody likes a free service suddenly costing them money. We all try to avoid spending money. It’s natural. Many people live their entire lives trying not to spend a dime, even on things they care most about. Let them be. Thank them graciously for their time and let them know you’d love to help them in the future if it was ever possible.
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