Building a membership site is the best way to add a recurring revenue stream to your online business and create financial stability.
While there are quite a few online programs focused on helping you build a successful membership, there’s none more popular than Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience, formerly known as TRIBE.
We get many questions from those interested in joining the program, and most of them ask for advice on whether The Membership Experience (TME) is right for them or not.
That’s why we decided to create this ultimate review of The Membership Experience, where we’ll take an in-depth look at every aspect of the course and help you decide whether you should join it or not.
I have gone through the course myself, so I’ll share my personal experience about it too.
Let’s get started.
- High-Level Overview of The Membership Experience
- What’s Included in Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience?
- What We Like About The Membership Experience?
- What We Don’t Like About The Membership Experience?
- Who Is Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience For?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Membership Experience Review Conclusion (and Our Bonuses)
High-Level Overview of The Membership Experience
The Membership Experience (formerly TRIBE) is an online course that helps entrepreneurs transform what they know, love, and do into recurring revenue by building successful membership sites.
The goal of TME is to provide creators with a proven plan that will give them the clarity and direction they need to create, launch and scale a highly profitable and low-stress membership site, regardless of their niche.
It is an open/close style online course that opens for enrollment only once a year, and all the students take the course together.
The course is authored by Stu McLaren, one of the leading membership site experts globally, and has been teaching this stuff through high-end workshops ($5K+ per person) and his TME program.
He is also a former co-founder of the popular WordPress membership plugin—WishList Member, where he worked closely with 70k+ membership site owners in various niches.
In fact, all the course material in TME leans heavily on Stu’s experience being behind the scenes helping these membership sites when he was running WishList Member.
As far as the course structure is concerned, TME includes an introductory module and six core training modules that cover every aspect of building a profitable membership site, including content creation, marketing, member retention, scaling, etc.
The modules are released one week at a time, so you have time to go through the material and then discuss it with Stu and the TME community. This allows the modules to really sink in and avoid overwhelm.
In addition, there are two implementation weeks scheduled within the program to help you implement your learnings.
That being said, The Membership Experience is much more than just the core training content. It has strong coaching and community components, and we’ll cover all these things, including what’s there inside the course modules, in detail in the next section.
What’s Included in Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience?
The Membership Experience includes an online course with seven modules, live Q&A sessions with Stu McLaren, an exclusive FB group community, a free TME live ticket, and several other bonuses.
Here are the details of everything you’ll get in TME:
Module 0: Foundations
TME kickstarts with the Foundations module, where Stu shares some key concepts before diving into the core training.
The Foundations module has nine video lessons and is about building a foundation for all the work you will do in your membership going forward.
Throughout the lessons, Stu will encourage you to ask some very fundamental questions about who you really are, what you really want from your membership, and how you want to serve your members.
If you dig in and do the work suggested by Stu in this module, you will gain a great amount of clarity about every other step in the process that will majorly contribute to your success.
The lessons have a simple format with a video that includes the main content and a PDF that has the summary for that lesson. You can also download the lesson in a .mp3 format if you want.
In fact, all the lessons in this course follow the same delivery format and offer the content in multiple modalities so that you can consume it in the way you prefer.
Module 1: Audience
TME’s first core module, Audience, focuses on helping you create an effective content and marketing strategy that helps build a strong and engaged audience for your membership.
The module is divided into nine lessons, each covering a different aspect of audience building. Some of the key topics covered in this module include:
- Pick a Social Media Platform: The different social media platforms and how to pick the one that will work best for your audience
- Content Creation: How to map your content calendar and create content fast
- Lead Magnet: How to create a lead magnet that attracts and converts potential members into leads
- Landing Page Setup: Tips and strategies for designing and optimizing landing pages that convert
Overall, this module provides you with the tools and resources to build an effective audience-building strategy for your membership.
Module 2: Content
The second module in the course is all about the content that goes inside your membership.
The Content module has 13 video lessons where you’ll learn how to plan and structure your content in a way that makes sense for your membership and provides real value for your members without you getting trapped in the “content treadmill.”
To start with, you’ll learn about the six different membership models, and you will be able to choose the right membership site model.
Stu then discusses the two types of content you should have in your membership and deep dives into how you can create each type for your membership.
Finally, Stu talks about how you can plan your content and delivery to make it easy for people to consume and implement.
Module 3: Marketing
Marketing is an important topic for The Membership Experience course, and this module covers it in detail.
The Marketing module has nine video lessons that give you the big picture about marketing and will help you understand what is involved in membership marketing.
A lot of discussions in this module are focused on the “what” part – what strategies, what launch elements, what timing you should be thinking about, etc.
Moreover, it includes lessons on helping you create a perfect offer, price your membership, and build a high-converting sales page.
Module 4: Launch
The fourth module in The Membership Experience is all about launching your membership.
In this module, Stu will provide details on how to execute an effective launch strategy, whether you decide to do a simple Founding Member Launch or a more elaborate launch with all the bells and whistles.
There are seven core video lessons and seven electives in this module, and Stu talks about all kinds of things like launch styles, the phases of a successful launch, and all the launch components such as video series, live launches, etc.
He further goes into great detail about what you should do during your launch – specifically, what to say and how to say it.
He also discusses in detail selling through webinars and things like how to format your webinar and what you want to say at different points.
The good thing is that he provides lots of different examples and specifics, which makes the information in the module very actionable.
Module 5: Community
This module focuses on building a strong and active membership community that people keep coming back to.
In this module, Stu provides seven video lessons that include topics such as driving communication engagement, getting members to connect with each other, choosing the right platform, and managing community growth.
Stu is a big believer in building a community. He often says about memberships, “People come for the content, but they stay for the community” and he covers it in detail in this module.
Module 6: Retention
Retention is the most effective way to maximize your membership profitability and is super important for the long-term growth and viability of your membership.
Stu is a big advocate of keeping your members happy, and so in this module; he goes through a ton of different tactical things that you can do to boost membership retention.
He groups all the strategies into 5 buckets – Community, Content, Communication, Recognition, and Pricing and there is a separate video lesson for each of them where he shares several actionable ideas along with examples.
He literally teaches you dozens of retention strategies in this module, but you don’t have to implement all of these strategies at once.
Rather Stu suggests that you find the one that resonates the most with you and then focus on that. As you get that rolling, you can start to stack other strategies and tactics into the mix.
The Membership Experience Community
One of the best things about TME is the amazing community of membership site owners that you get to be a part of.
To start with, you get access to an exclusive TME Facebook community where you’ll find hundreds of amazing people to connect, learn and grow with.
TME Facebook group is one of the best online communities out there, and it can be very effective in providing the necessary support and motivation for you to make huge strides in your membership journey.
Support and Q&A
The Membership Experience isn’t one of those online courses that leave you on your own after enrollment. Rather it provides you with a lot of options to ask your questions and get support.
Inside the FB Group, Stu will go live every weekday during the length of the course and will answer your questions.
Nothing beats getting your questions answered by one of the topmost membership experts, and this is our favorite part of the course.
And then, they have integrated Searchie inside the Q&A area, which allows you to search inside the replay videos using keywords that take the whole experience to an altogether different level.
Plus, you can always leave a comment in the FB group with your questions, and you can create a support ticket if you want.
Special Bonuses From Stu McLaren
In addition to the course, community, and support, Stu also offers different bonuses as part of The Membership Experience. However, please keep in mind that some of these bonuses may or may not be available depending on when you join the course.
- TME Live Virtual Ticket – You’ll get a free pass to the once-a-year live conference hosted by the TME team, where you’ll learn from Stu live and also get to meet other students and hear about their success stories.
- Borrowed Audience – In this mini course, you’ll learn how to quickly build an audience from scratch. And if you have an existing audience, you’re going to be able to leverage this same strategy to grow your audience.
- Founding Member Launch Bonus – This is one of our favorite TME bonuses where Stu walks you through the exact strategy behind doing a founding member launch.
- Fill-In-The-Blank Launch Script Templates – These are the exact templates that Stu uses to craft 7-figure promotions and help you know what to say to position your membership and easily attract people to it.
- Membership Sales Page Toolkit – This bonus includes design templates and swipe copy to help you quickly create a high-converting sales page.
In addition, Stu also offers some surprise bonuses from time to time. Last year’s surprise bonuses were awesome, and hopefully, they’ll be equally good this year.
When you consider everything (including content), TME has to be the most comprehensive online program for membership site creation. So if you’re planning to start or grow your membership business, you should consider enrolling in the course.
What We Like About The Membership Experience?
Many things are great about TME, and that is why it has become the #1 program for creating a successful membership site.
Now, here is a list of things we like the most about it and that separates it from other membership site training courses:
1. Awesome Content and Engaging Delivery
The first thing that stands out for The Membership Experience is the actual course content. The lessons cover everything from planning and building your membership to growing and scaling it.
Moreover, the lessons are very concise and without any fluff, making it easy for you to consume them. You even have an action task at the end of every lesson, which ensures that you implement what you learn in the course.
Finally, Stu’s delivery style is amazing, making TME’s content pretty engaging and entertaining.
2. Strong Focus on Member Retention
There is no better strategy than member retention to boost your membership’s profitability. And the entire TME program has a strong focus on teaching you how to engage your members and thus improve retention.
It has a dedicated module on Retention, and Stu touches on this topic in almost every module. Most importantly, he shares many actionable strategies to boost your membership retention.
3. Amazing Community and Support
As mentioned previously, TME has an engaged Facebook group where you can connect with and learn from hundreds of business owners in different stages of their membership site journey.
When taking a course alone, you might lose interest and get discouraged easily. So, having a community definitely helps in keeping you motivated and accountable.
Another thing that we like about TME is the excellent customer support. You can ask your questions in the FB Group.
But more importantly, Stu will do live Q&A calls from Monday to Friday for the whole 9-week duration of the program, which is simply unbeatable.
4. Proven Record of Success
One thing that really stands out about The Membership Experience (TRIBE) is its proven record of delivering results for its students. Thousands of creators have enrolled in the program and used its framework to build a successful membership site.
Here are a couple of reviews from past students:
Plus, TME comes from Stu McLaren, who himself has a proven track record as a membership site owner and has the experience of working behind the scenes with 70k+ creators.
What We Don’t Like About The Membership Experience?
While there are a lot of things to like about TME, it doesn’t do as good a job in a couple of areas:
1. Doesn’t Include Any Tech Implementation Modules
TME doesn’t have any modules or mini-courses to help you with the tech side of things. So whether it comes to choosing a membership site platform or setting up your membership, you don’t get any training on these.
If you already have a membership site, this won’t be an issue at all. But if you’re thinking about starting one from scratch, the lack of tech training can slow your progress.
In fact, this is the reason why we decided to create our own bonuses, which complement The Membership Experience and will help you with the tech side of things for your membership site. You can read more about the bonuses and how to get them in the conclusion section.
2. A Large Number of Students Go Through the Course Together
If you prefer being part of a small and intimate group of people, you might not like the fact that a few thousand students join TME every year, which means a large number of students will be part of the FB group and will be going through the course at the same time.
However, you should be able to get your questions answered fairly easily through the live calls, and if you join TME through us, I’ll provide unlimited, one-on-one support via email for the duration of this program.
3. It Takes a Lot of Hard Work to Build a Successful Membership Site
While this isn’t a drawback of TME, you should keep in mind that building a successful membership site requires hard work.
TME will empower you with all the knowledge, frameworks, and support you need to succeed, but it has no magic pill for hard work.
Who Is Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience For?
While TME is one of the best courses in its niche, it won’t be right for everyone like any other program. So, let’s help you figure out if the course is right for you.
1. You’re an Existing Blogger/Youtuber/Podcaster
If you have already built an audience through a blog, podcast, or even a Youtube channel, The Membership Experience can help you monetize your audience.
With TME, you will get a step-by-step process to build and launch a membership site that brings real value to your audience and helps you monetize your expertise.
2. You Have a Thriving Freelance/Coaching Business
If you are a freelancer or a coach with a thriving client business and you’re looking to incorporate a more scalable model into your business, you can consider creating a membership site, and in this case, you can check out TME.
3. You’re Looking To Diversify Your Revenue Streams
You already have an established business, or maybe you’re selling online courses, and you’re looking to add a more predictable revenue stream to your business.
In this case, membership sites would work well for you, and TME can help you build and launch your first membership.
4. You’re Looking To Take Your Business Online
For those who have an offline business, TME can help you turn your knowledge/expertise into a digital product.
It will help you decide on the right membership model and then provide you with all the knowledge and frameworks for implementation.
5. You Already Have a Membership, but You’re Struggling to Grow It
If you have a membership site but struggle to grow it, TME could certainly be worth joining. You’ll get to improve your membership further, learn to launch your membership properly, and improve member retention.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Membership Experience Review Conclusion (and Our Bonuses)
The Membership Experience is simply the best membership training out there. The course is created by Stu McLaren, who is a leading expert in the niche and has helped thousands of creators build successful membership sites over the years.
If you’re planning to start a new membership site or even grow your existing one, Stu is the best guy to learn from, and you should definitely check out TME.
We’ve already discussed what you’ll get as part of Stu McLaren’s The Membership Experience, but we have added a stack of our own bonuses to help you get faster results.
Our bonuses aren’t really designed to teach you what’s already there in TME. Rather, they’re designed to complement the program and help you with the tech side of things.
So, here’s a list of the additional bonuses that you get when you join TME through our affiliate link:
- Private 1-on-1 Calls: You’ll be able to schedule 2×45-minute calls with me. During the calls, I can help you choose a membership platform, set up your membership site, and craft a membership strategy, or I can answer any questions you might have.
- Unlimited Email Support: You’ll get access to me via email for the duration of TME 2023. If you get stuck at some point or just need some advice, you’ll be able to reach out to me directly and get personalized help.
If you have any questions about Stu Mclaren’s Membership Experience and/or any of our exclusive bonuses, please leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.