How to Build a Thinkific Membership Site Step-By-Step

How to Create a Thinkific Membership Site

So you picked Thinkific to build your membership website but need guidance before getting started.

Worry not; we’ll show you how to build a Thinkific membership site step-by-step.

We’ll cover the platform’s important membership features and how to use them to create the best experience for your customers and run your membership site efficiently.

But before getting into the tutorial part of the article, let’s discuss why using Thinkific for your membership site is a great idea.

Why Is Thinkific a Great Option for Membership Sites?

Thinkific undoubtedly has a lot to offer for online courses. However, it is also one of the best platforms for memberships.

Thinkific gives you all tools to build a successful membership site quickly and easily. Here are some of our favorite Thinkific membership site features:

Powerful Online Course Builder

Thinkific is one of the top online course builders on the market.

For starters, you can create various types of lessons, including video, audio, text, live lessons, and file-based ones. Thinkific also supports live lessons through its direct integration with Zoom.

Additionally, the platform offers important learning and engagement tools, such as quizzes, assignments, certificates, content dripping, prerequisite lessons, etc.

Native Community Tool

One of the biggest perks of using Thinkific for your membership siteprogramis that it offers an online community feature.

Through it, you can create a dedicated membership community for your members to engage in conversations with each other. You can organize your community into spaces, create engaging posts, and also do live events.

Thinkific’s community feature
Thinkific’s community feature

Members-Only Pages

One of the useful membership features offered by Thinkific is for creating members-only pages. With it, you can create custom website pages that will only be accessible to your paid members.

This feature is excellent if you want to offer standalone content to your members without building elaborate courses.

Flexible Subscription Pricing Options

Thinkific also stands out with its flexible pricing options. Specifically, if you’re selling a subscription-based membership site, you can offer flexible pricing plans to your customers.

  • Offer a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly recurring fee.
  • Offer a free trial period so your clients can test the membership experience before paying.
  • Customize the initial payment and charge a custom amount on top of your subscription free.
  • Offer multiple pricing options for your membership.

Powerful Thinkific Apps

Another Thinkific feature that stands out is the platform’s dedicated app store, which makes it the only hosted membership platform offering this functionality.

While Thinkific’s native features are impressive, you can extend the platform’s functionality through custom apps.

Thinkific App Store has over 80 apps, and dozens of them can be useful for enhancing your membership website.

Thinkific App Store
Thinkific App Store

For example, there is an app called Community Box that lets you create a directory of your students. Similarly, another app, Flix, can transform the default student dashboard into a Netflix-like experience.

Here we’ve given a summary of why a Thinkific membership site is a great option. However, if you want to analyze the platform in more detail, check out our in-depth Thinkific Review.

Now, let’s go through the steps to create a membership site.

1. Create a Membership Bundle

The most essential feature for creating a membership site is the ability to bundle and sell multiple products together. For this, Thinkific has a feature called Memberships & Bundles.

If you’re already subscribed to Thinkific, you just need to log in to your account to get started. Otherwise, you’ll first need to sign up for a free trial.

Afterward, go to Memberships & Bundles under Manage Your Learning Products in your admin dashboard and click on New Bundle to get started.

Thinkific’s Memberships & Bundles
Thinkific’s Memberships & Bundles

As soon as you name your bundle and click the Create Bundle button, Thinkific will take you to the products section, where you can select the courses to include in your membership site bundle.

Click on Add Product and select the course you want to add. By following this step, you can add as many products to your bundle as you wish.

Adding products to your bundle
Adding products to your bundle

We’ve not covered the process of creating a course on Thinkific in this article as we have a dedicated guide on the topic. If you want to learn more about the process, please check this Thinkific tutorial.

Apart from courses, you can include members-only pages. As discussed previously, this feature is helpful for delivering standalone training content rather than full-fledged online courses.

To create one, go to Design Your Site -> Site Pages and click + New Custom Page. Next, enter a page title and click the Create Page button.

Creating a custom page in Thinkific
Creating a custom page in Thinkific

Thinkific will now take you to the page builder, where you can design your page and add content.

To add a video, click + Add Section and select the Video section. You’ll then be able to upload a video to your page section.

Add a video section to your page
Add a video section to your page

Once you add content to your page, it’s time to modify the access settings.

For that, click on the gear icon in the top left of your screen and choose the Enrolled Students option. Finally, select the bundle you created earlier in this chapter.

That’s it. Now, only your members will be able to access this page.

Restricting page access to members only
Restricting page access to members only

While you can always add new content to your membership courses, this is a great way to deliver one-off content in your membership site.

Now, let’s move on to the next step and show you how to build your membership community.

2. Create a Thinkific Community

A private community is one of the most important aspects of a membership site. This section will walk you through how to set up a community in Thinkific.

To create a community, go to Manage Learning Products in your admin dashboard, select Communities, and then click on + New Community.

Creating a new community in Thinkific
Creating a new community

Thinkific will ask you to name the community and create a brief description.

You’ll then see the settings for customizing the community access, including the possibility to make it accessible to:

  • All logged-in students
  • Enrolled students
  • Students in groups
  • Only you

However, you should choose the Enrolled Students option for a membership community and select the membership bundle you created earlier.

Community settings in Thinkific
Community settings in Thinkific

Here you can do a couple of more settings.

For example, you can customize the appearance of your community by choosing the primary color and the font. Then, you can upload a community home banner image.

Customizing your community’s appearance
Customizing your community’s appearance

Now that the initial community setup is done, you can review your final product and make some more changes.

To preview your community, click on the Go To Community button in the top right of your screen.

The community has a simple layout with user posts and discussions on the right and navigation on the left.

Thinkific allows you to create spaces to keep your community organized. Right off the bat, you’ll get four different spaces in your community:

  • General
  • Announcements
  • Introductions
  • Questions

You can add, remove, and edit spaces as you please.

Adding a space to your community
Adding a space to your community

To create a new post, click on the What’s On Your Mind box. You can then select a space, enter the post title and write the post content. Your posts can include an image, a video, or another file.

Creating a new community post
Creating a new community post

That’s all you need to set up a Thinkific community, and as you can see, the process is pretty straightforward.

3. Set Up Membership Plans

After building your core product and community, it’s time to create your membership plans.

Thinkific offers many options for pricing your bundles, but we’re mainly concerned with subscriptions.

To create a pricing plan, go to Memberships and Bundles and click on the bundle you created.

Then, select the Subscription/Membership option under Pricing and write down the pricing.

Thinkific lets you create a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription. You can include a free trial and also charge a custom upfront payment.

Setting up bundle pricing in Thinkific
Setting up bundle pricing in Thinkific

Now, you can have multiple pricing options for a bundle. As you scroll down this page, you’ll see the option for setting up Additional Pricing for your membership bundle.

Again, select Subscription/Membership and enter your pricing.

Additional Pricing is useful if you want to offer subscriptions of different duration. For example, you can offer a monthly and a yearly subscription plan for the same bundle.

Setting up additional pricing options
Setting up additional pricing options

Thinkific offers another useful pricing feature where you can offer 1-click upsells on the thank you page.

To create an upsell, go to the After Purchase section and click on Add Flow. Then you can choose the product you want to upsell to your members after purchase.

Setting an after-purchase flow
Setting an after-purchase flow

Now, creating multiple membership tiers with different benefits in Thinkific is more work.

To create multiple tiers, you’ll have to as many bundles, select the products you want to include in each, and set the pricing.

4. Build Your Membership Sales Page

After you’ve set up the pricing plans, it’s time to take care of the membership sales page.

By default, Thinkific creates a landing page for every bundle. You can then use Thinkific’s page builder to achieve the desired look for your sales page with ease.

To access the page builder, click on Build Landing Page from inside your bundle.

Accessing the bundle landing page
Accessing the bundle landing page

Inside the page builder, you’ll see the builder options appear on the screen’s left side, while the page’s real-time preview will appear on the right.

The default bundle page comes with two sections: Banner and Bundles. You can customize these sections as you wish.

In the Banner section, you can customize the heading and background, add an image or video, and adjust the page alignment.

Editing the bundle landing page
Editing the bundle landing page

If you want to add a new section, click the Add Section button. Thinkific has over 20 section templates for you to choose from.

You can use these to highlight membership benefits, show customer reviews and testimonials, display pricing options, including frequently asked questions, show a countdown timer, etc.

Thinkific-page-sections
Page section templates

Select the section type you want to add to your page, and it will get added to your page. You can then edit the section by clicking on it in the left panel.

This will show you various options for that particular section.

Customizing a page section
Customizing a page section

After you’ve made the necessary edits, click on Save at the top right corner of the screen, and your bundle page is ready.

Now that your membership site is complete, you can start sharing it with your audience.

However, before you do that, you need to make some final settings and publish the bundle.

For this, go to your bundle and click on Settings. Make sure your bundle URL is correct, and you can also make your bundle Private or Hidden:

  • A Private bundle will be visible on your website, but students must request access to enroll.
  • A Hidden bundle won’t be visible on your website, but anyone with a direct link can access the sales page and enroll.
Thinkific bundle settings
Thinkific bundle settings

To make the bundle live, go to the Publish Menu, and click on the Publish button.

Publish-course-bundle
Publishing your bundle

After you publish your bundle, it’s important to check out the entire flow to ensure that your users will have a smooth experience signing up for your membership.

You can replicate the user experience by creating a 100% off coupon code for yourself and then purchasing the membership using a different email address in a private window.

This way, you can see whether your sales page, checkout process, and membership library are in order and ready for your customers or not.

Summary

Thinkific is, without a doubt, an excellent platform for creating a membership site. It allows you to offer multiple courses and community as part of your membership and also provides handy selling tools.

In this guide, we covered all aspects of building a Thinkific membership site, right from creating your membership bundle to setting pricing options and building a sales page.

We hope this article helped you learn how to launch your membership with Thinkific.

If you aren’t using the platform yet, sign up for a free trial to start using it.

Do you still have doubts or questions about Thinkific membership sites? Leave them down below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.