Building a 6-Figure Membership Program in Less Than a Year

Damn Happy, Damn Healthy!  Sound like the way you want to be living!?


This isn’t only what Chelsea Kaller preaches, but it IS how she lives her life.  And, she’s developed an epic membership program for women based on this that has just taken off!  It’s an at-home fitness membership that she’s built in 8 months from a following of less than 1k on Instagram.  She’s now on track for 200 members which will mean consistent, recurring revenue of AT LEAST 10k per month.


Chelsea is one of my clients and closest friends (she’s seriously one of the best humans I know!), even though we’ve never met in person!  We’ve been working together for a year and we’ll be together for another 6 months. We have this amazing soulmate-client-coach vibe going on.  AND we’re going to meet for the first time in San Diego in October – WOOO!!!


Her journey through entrepreneurship and specifically how to build a membership program is inspiring.  Chelsea went from earning $300 per month when she first started out, to $12k this last month!!!!!! Want to know how she did it!?  Follow along…


Chelsea’s story


Chelsea’s journey started in the health and fitness industry.  She studied exercise science and health promotion in college and she was also an athlete who had someone designing workouts for her.  It wasn't until she left college that she realized how she never really had to think about her own personal health before. She had to learn how to create workouts on her own and find balance for herself.  Lifting, cardio, yoga…there are so many things out there (same for nutrition) that can make it all feel so confusing and messy. Chelsea felt frustrated because she couldn't find something that would work for her and was always just following suit of other people (as so many of us do).


2 years ago she found that balance between being healthy and fit and being happy too!  She believes you can have your health and also have all the things you love in your life.  Even with this new found balance, her corporate job was limiting and holding her back from sharing her ‘Damn Happy, Damn Healthy’ message and truly impacting people’s lives in a meaningful way.  


In July last year, she decided to take on some clients to see how it would go…and technically she was ‘doing it’, but not really GOING FOR IT, because she didn’t have any skin in the game. She had to decide whether she was going to go ALL IN or whether it would just be a side gig.  And then, 1 year ago, in October 2018, she resigned…and hired me! 


It takes a lot of courage to quit a job!  It is a really scary thing to do and does need to be done responsibly (there’s a difference between stretching yourself and going into massive debt!).  But as Chelsea said, making these big decisions are never going to be easy or comfortable. She knew she needed to invest in herself at a high level and that meant resigning so that she could go all in and show up in the way she wanted.


The method to Chelsea’s membership program success


So, anyway…Chelsea’s Damn Happy, Damn Healthy membership program is a health and fitness membership for women who are frustrated with the health industry and have struggled to find something that works for them.  The idea behind the membership is that you don't have to flip your life upside down to gain more health. Members get 5 new workouts each week, bi-weekly challenges with a live video, and have so much fun. While it runs smoothly now with nearly 150 women, Chelsea started out with a group of only 20 women less than 1 year ago.


Chelsea’s advice on mistakes to watch out for when creating a membership program are:

  • Be careful not to overcomplicate the program and offer too much.  Her membership is so simple – it really doesn't sound like much, but too much can feel overwhelming and is one of the reasons why members drop out of programs like this. People need simple!  Think about making a membership part of someone's daily routine or checkpoint; something they would like to be doing anyway. It can be cheap with too much going on and people will feel overwhelmed and quit, and it can be expensive and simple, but used every single day.  Or, just as Chelsea’s membership is running, you can find a middle ground! (Her simple, low cost program has a crazy-low turnover rate, with 18 of her original 20 ladies still in with her!!!)  

  • Start small and learn from doing.  Chelsea started with a beta test group of 20 people for the months of November & December 2018.  This was such a crucial part of her success – things go wrong and you need time and a trusted group of people to work out the kinks with before launching to the public.  Chelsea launched in Jan 2019 and felt so much more prepared after having a couple of test months. 

  • Culture and community is key.  You need to create a culture where people have fun and feel comfortable.  In Chelsea’s case, they stay in the program not only for the workouts, but for the community too!  And this can take work and care to establish! People will love your program because they FEEL loved and then they’ll share this with other people.  For Chelsea, this has indirectly been one of her largest sales tactics; word of mouth and referrals. The best way to attract clients is to serve and nurture your current clients!  And part of this means not taking on too much because then you can’t serve the people you already have.


So, is running a membership program really a form of PASSIVE income?


It is a lot of work, especially in the beginning when you’re learning the flow of things.  Chelsea started out with 1:1 clients and then decided she really wanted to have a membership program.  She spent 2 months preparing what this was going to look like and then 2 months with her beta test group to figure out her systems.  Part of this type of program is that members can leave at any time, so it's important to show up, serve them, nurture them and keep giving them what they want and need.  So, it’s definitely NOT passive.  


There does come a time after you’ve laid the groundwork, where the work becomes easier because you do have a system in place that allows you to find a rhythm.  BUT putting in the hard yards at the beginning is crucial. Since November 2018, Chelsea invested her time into launching on a monthly basis, trying to build up her numbers, gaining about 30 new members per month.  And the biggest factor in her success was the fact that she made her membership her focus for 6 straight months (no more 1:1s during this time!).


As a membership program grows, it will feel like it is becoming somewhat more passive as you’ll have a higher recurring revenue for the same amount of work.  The work Chelsea has to do now for her 140k+ members, is not dissimilar to the amount of work she had to do when she only had 20. Her membership will keep growing and she won’t need to put in any more time…genius!


Chelsea is even now at a point where she feels like her membership program is flowing with ease and she can take on 1:1 clients again.  In fact, she just had a ‘launch’ for these 1:1 spots and signed 8 high ticket clients in just over a week! And this time around, she’s able to double what she used to charge.


Why it might not be working for you


For most people, I would say not to start with a membership because of the fact that it is A LOT of work upfront.  But Chelsea is a bit of a unicorn when it comes to this. She had the drive and passion and the financial backing (from years of hard work in the corporate world) and she wasn’t afraid of being uncomfortable…that was really the key!  


To run a successful membership program, Chelsea would suggest you think about the following:

  • Are you really comfortable with being uncomfortable?  If you’re not willing to step into discomfort or challenge yourself, then the uplevelling and results are not going to happen.  If you just go through the motions, you’ll get results that reflect that.

  • Is your message clear and are you confident in your offerings?  When Chelsea first started out, she knew she wanted to serve people but needed to get more clarity on HOW she wanted to do this.  And without this clarity, she struggled to get more clients (when she was running her 1:1s). So, she stepped away from the 1:1s and into a group program providing heaps of free value, focusing on community and building trust.  Through all of this she grew as a person too, and started to realize that it can be easy to sign ideal clients when you KNOW what kind of person is looking for you.

  • Does it really have to happen over night?  Give yourself time to figure it out and for it to grow – you won’t make 10k per month at the snap of a finger.  The time it takes is crucial to ensure your strategies and processes are smooth and actually enable you to step back down the track.  Really, what’s 6 months in the grand scheme of things!?

  • Are you doing it because you love it, first?  So, your income might take a hit for a short period of time, but if you can see past the short-term and really run your membership because you love it and believe in it, then the money will begin to flow.


Investing in yourself


Chelsea has worked SO hard and together, we mapped all of this out – it is no fluke that this crazy-big transformation has happened in just 1 year!  But just as much as you can map out the strategy and plans, it has a lot to do with INVESTING. Each investment she made in me and in other ways was higher and higher each time, and each investment became easier to make because she knew the return she was going to get on it was worth it.  In order to uplevel, you have to get a little uncomfortable. And energetically, when you invest, the universe WILL give back.


“If you walk in the same shoes each day and in the same way, you can’t expect anything to change.”


You can get a free week membership in Chelsea’s Damn Happy, Damn Healthy group starting on 22 September.  This is for you if you’re frustrated with your health and fitness or just want to bring more focus to it, but don't want to have to give up anything else in your life.  She’s also creating her own podcast soon which will be epic ‘cause she is a natural, so keep an eye out!


Megan Yelaney Inc. is also opening up a membership program soon too!  I’ve been planning this since May/June and it’s finally coming to fruition.  There will be spots opening up later in September – it’s the most affordable way to work with me, so stay tuned – details will be up soon!


Find out more


You can follow Chelsea on Instagram @chelseakaller and sign-up for a free week in Chelsea’s membership here:  


You can also tune into The Pretty Awkward Entrepreneur Podcast where Chelsea and I talked all about her successful membership program – it’s episode 13.  Screenshot that you're listening and share it on social – let me know what your favorite part was and tag me @meganyelany & @prettyawkwardentrepreneurOh, and anyone who leaves a review will be in to win my client attraction masterclass as well as a month in the upcoming membership for free. 

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Megan Yelaney | Business Coach

Instagram: @meganyelaney


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10 Girl Boss Lessons from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Who runs the world? Strong women everywhere are breaking barriers and paving the path for our future. Despite the many hurdles (both visible and invisible) female leaders push on with grit and determination. At just 29 years old, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tops the list. She’s the youngest woman to be elected in Congress and one of the most talked-about figures in American politics. 


Her rise to prominence isn’t conventional. She had a humble start, waitressing while campaigning to become the US Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. As a millennial politician, she’s shared much of her journey on social media and there’s a lot we can learn from this powerhouse.

Alexandria is also authentically honest and not afraid to speak her opinion – even if it’s unpopular. She doesn’t forget the community she came from, which is why people everywhere look up to her. Being a strong woman doesn’t mean putting yourself first. “My job is to put other people’s needs before my own, not the other way around.” 


She also strives to leave the world a better place, “Our goal is to leave no person behind as we venture into a secure and better future.” Sometimes we all need a little motivation to be the best versions of ourselves. Hola compiled 10 girl boss lessons from AOC that are sure to leave you inspired.

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the #prettyawkward way : )

Hey! I’m Meg, and I help online coaches get booked out with clients & scale to 6 figs! I’ve created a multi-six figure business in 6 months utilizing different business building and social media strategies. I fully believe in the mission of online entrepreneurs and coaches, and hate seeing them post about their coaching and programs with little to no success. My mission is to help entrepreneurs, like you, start and launch their businesses successfully, in a strategic way so they never feel like they’re “winging it” again.

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