Calan Breckon • Published March 3, 2023
Have you ever dreamed of creating recurring revenue in your life or business but you’re not sure exactly how?
One of the best ways to create a business that pays you consistently on a monthly bases is to create a membership site.
We ALL belong to membership programs.
Think Netflix, Disney+, Hulu. Even things like your cellphone bill is a type of membership. You’ve joined the membership in exchange for products or services.
Now, regular people like you and I are creating memberships around our learnable and teachable skills, or even physical products, and it’s brilliant.
It’s a creative way to foster a community of people while also sustaining yourself and your family. Giving you the freedom to do something that you love AND make money while doing it.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through Stu McLaren’s program for creating a successful membership site, The Membership Experience (formerly known as TRIBE).
I’m going to share my honest experience and how it affected my life as well as a few bonuses later on.
Let’s jump into it…
What is The Membership Experience?
The Memberships Experience is Stu McLaren’s signature program that teaches you how to create, launch and scale a profitable membership site.
Stu has been in the membership site creating space for a long time and learned everything that makes a membership work. He focuses on teaching you about marketing, retention of your members (which is huge), and the growth of your membership site.
Stu has literally helped thousands of people launch their membership programs (me included) and it completely changed my life.
I won’t lie and say I made thousands of dollars overnight, because I didn’t, and I’ll share those numbers later on. It’s taken a lot of time and effort on my part to grow the membership BUT it proved to me that it IS possible to do it, even if it’s slowly.
The Membership Experience only opens once a year, usually around April, and Stu always does a bunch of workshops that are free to anyone. I’ve seen people take the teachings from the workshops and launch their membership site within a few days. It’s wild.
I’m the type who wants to learn all the information first and go through every detail, but if you’re more of a wild child then even attending one of these workshops could change your life.
Who is Stu McLaren?
Stu McLaren is a Canadian entrepreneur that’s been perfecting the art of membership programs since 2008.
(I like to say he’s Canadian for the record because I think we Canadians are pretty cool beans)
In 2008 Stu created the world’s most popular membership platform for WordPress (WishList Member) which he later sold off his shares in 2014.
From there he went on to partner with New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt and helped to take Michaels’s business from 6 figures to 7 figures. Stu also helped grow Michael’s email list from 70,000 to over 500,000 during their time working together.
All of this to say, Stu really knows his stuff when it comes to membership programs.
Stu also brings an energy unlike any other when you’re going through his programs and he really does thrive off helping people grow their memberships and make an impact in the world.
He’s a high-energy guy with the knowledge to help you create the most amazing membership experience for your people.
Who is The Membership Experience perfect for?
The Membership Experience is for anyone wanting to build recurring and sustainable revenue into their business. Membership programs work for just about anything you can think of. For me, that was coaching in the personal development world and creating a membership around that with my other company which also has a podcast to support its growth.
I know loads of people in all different niches who have gone through TME with Stu and applied his teachings to their businesses.
From teachers, photographers, knitting, authors, content creators, and influencers, all the way over to physical boxes where stores set up a monthly box membership, and each month members get a box of goodies sent to them. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can set up a membership site and program that work for you.
I set up my membership site using Searchie as the hosting platform because Stu invented Searchie and knows exactly what a good membership site needs, but we will get into that later in the post.
If you’re starting from scratch with zero followers and no email list, then I’d suggest getting some sort of a foundation under you first before you jump into The Membership Experience. Yes, Stu McLaren provides a TON of great content to get you set up and started, but it can be overwhelming for someone literally just starting off with nothing.
A great program you may want to look into starting with instead is Amy Porterfield’s List Builders Society. In that program, Amy teaches you the basics of starting your email list and how to grow your following before you do a major program like TME or her Digital Course Academy.
If you do have some sort of a following or an email list using something like ConvertKit, even just a small one, then you are primed to join The Membership Experience and I’d suggest you jump in!
Pro Tip: if you want to grow your email list faster, look into making a quiz ;)
How does The Membership Experience course work?
The Membership Experience is split into 7 modules. Starting from the introductory module 0, you then move into the 6 training modules that will teach you everything you need to know in order to build a profitable membership site. Training modules are released weekly so that you can take your time with each one and hopefully not get overwhelmed.
Some people like the drip schedule, while others don’t. I personally like it because it forces you to actually take your time with the material and understand it on a deeper level instead of just blazing through it and forgetting most of what you’ve just learned. If you’ve ever taken an online digital course before then you should be familiar with how they run. The only difference with The Membership Experience is that it’s delivered live instead of going at your own pace.
Module 0: Introduction
Module 1: Foundation
Module 2: Content
Module 3: Marketing Strategy
Module 4: Marketing Tactics
Module 5: Retention
Module 6: Growth
The Membership Experience Pros
In big groups like this, it’s easy for people to get lost and feel intimidated but Stu and his team make a huge effort to make sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. They also encourage you to create small groups to help you stay accountable to your goals, which is a HUGE help because everyone works to support each other.
I really liked the Facebook private group as well because guaranteed someone has asked the question you have floating around in your head, so I would use the search function inside the group and find where others had asked and it was so easy to find answers that way.
All of the lessons were short and sweet videos with accompanying PDFs. This worked well for me because I get bored when someone talks forever, I need to get writing to get my thoughts out and to learn. So I would watch the short video lessons and then dig into the PDFs, which is where the real work got done for me. It’s also laid out in such an easy-to-follow way that as long as you take each step, you’re going to get to the finish line.
The Lifetime Access
It can be really hard to retain so much new information, especially if you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, that a lot of it will get lost on you. I love that when you join The Membership Experience you get lifetime access to the program.
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve gone back into the lessons to update something for myself or to take my learning deeper. I did this mostly when it came to the marketing aspects of the course because during the program I spent most of my time understanding the basics and didn’t want to overwhelm myself with all the marketing and more advanced information.
The Membership Experience Cons
Wrapping Your Head Around It
I found it really difficult to wrap my head around a lot of the planning and context that Stu was teaching because we were learning it in a course, so I kept making it out to be a bigger thing than it needed to be and overcomplicating it for myself.
I kept thinking about a membership in terms of courses and course language and it made it really hard for me to wrap my head around some of the teachings.
As amazing as the program is, there weren’t any lessons on tech implementation when I went through the program in 2019 so I had to learn about everything myself. Now, this was fine for me because I’m a tech guy and I enjoy learning about new programs and how they work but for the everyday person most won’t want to then go learn about all these things after taking the program.
Although, that worked out for me and the work I do because setting up all the tech and teaching you how to use it and keep it going is now my job.
It can be very overwhelming because there are so many options to choose from like ConvertKit for emails, Searchie for the membership platform, Zapier to connect it all, and ThriveCart to use as a checkout system. It can be a lot.
The Membership Experience Price
The Membership Experience costs $1,997 (usd) and Stu usually has bonuses for those who pay in full upfront for the program. There is also usually a payment plan option for those who need to spread out their payments to make it more affordable.
What is Searchie?
I’ve already written a full review on Searchie and why I enjoy using it for membership sites so I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but, Searchie is what The Membership Experience is hosted on which makes searching for the content you need super easy.
If you decide to join The Membership Experience then I’m sure Stu will tell you all about Searchie and you’ll also be able to learn about it while you’re inside the program actively using it.
I’ve worked with the Seachie team almost since the program launched and I’ve learned all the ins and outs on how to best use the platform not only for memberships, but also for course creation, and hosting paywall content as well.
My Searchie Interview
My Final Membership Experience Review
I want to be honest and clear here, I wrote this review before I even became an affiliate for The Membership Experience because I originally went through it back in 2019 and it completely changed my life. TME was the first online learning program I really went through and Stu taught me so much about what I know today about being an online digital creator and how to build an online membership.
In 2022 the membership site I built brought in over $37,000 in revenue which was almost triple from 2021 (which is the year it was launched).
I honestly believe that memberships and recurring revenue business models are the best way to generate income in today’s evolving digital world. Everywhere you look you can see big businesses implementing membership models.
It’s why I work full-time now in helping people build and implement their membership businesses and I love it. I’ve even been able to help charities and important organizations implement membership sites into their business models which have changed the game for all the good work they do.
If you’re still on the fence about The Membership Experience I’ve placed a button at the bottom of this page where you can book a call with me and we can chat 1-on-1 about my experience and you can ask me any questions you might have.
Zero sales. Zero pressure. Just my honest experience.
Get on my waitlist for The Membership Experience
Full disclaimer: I’ll be giving you a package of exclusive bonuses if you decide to join The Membership Experience with me because I’m an affiliate of The Membership Experience program. You won’t be able to purchase these bonuses anywhere else and I don’t offer them with any other programs.
The doors to TME only open once per year, so if you know you want to join the program and grab my exclusive bonuses then you can get on my waitlist and I’ll send you a reminder email when the time comes.
The Membership Experience (TME) costs $1,997 (usd)
Yes, Stu has a membership that you’ll be invited to join after you go through The Membership Experience.
The Membership Experience usually opens its doors in April.
If you’d like to be reminded when doors open then jump on my waitlist. I’ll also have a bunch of bonuses for you if you sign up through my affiliate link.
There is a 14-day refund policy on the Membership Experience starting when Module 1 is released, so your investment in TME will be 100% risk-free.