Membership vs Online Course

After years of running an online business, there is one thing that remains constant, which is that programs and launches are fluid and you need to be open to change. Recently, we made a major change to our membership program by switching from a membership model to an online course format for the Wellness Business Accelerator.

Many of the health coaches that I talk to find themselves in a state of analysis paralysis when it comes to putting an offer out to work with them. Typically, this is where perfectionism kicks in the most. They’re filled with fear wondering if their new client will like their coaching and feel like it’s a good value.

The kicker with that philosophy is that ultimately, that kind of thinking will lead to you never make an offer which means you won’t make any money. That’s problematic.

My friend, it’s through the process of making offers, having clients, and analyzing the feedback that you’ll continue to fine-tune your program suite.

If you do find that you want to change up what you’re offering it doesn’t mean that what you did originally was a failure. Quite the opposite actually. It just means you have more information now and can make a better choice to serve your clients. That’s a BIG WIN!

When we made our recent changes from a monthly membership program to online 12-12-week course for the Wellness Business Accelerator, we had to look at which one made more sense for our business and goals and our client’s needs.


When we originally started our membership, there were multiple reasons we chose this type of content delivery model.


  • Memberships are great because they allow you to provide continuous new content and support to your clients.
  • Since content is continuously added to memberships, your members will have a variety of content to choose from and it may cater to a variety of needs while still being specific to your niche. It also allows you to build your membership content as you go, rather than creating everything upfront. This is perfect for some types of content but not all.
  • Since you’ll be working with your clients on a monthly basis, you can develop and nurture relationships with them. Your long-term members are your biggest fans!
  • Last, but certainly not least, it’s a steady source of monthly revenue.

Even though memberships are a great way to connect with your clients and deliver your coaching programs, there are a few downsides too.


  • Since there is no clearly defined end goal, you’re constantly adding content. This can be very time consuming to do yourself or expensive to outsource depending on what you’re creating for your members each month and your ROI.
  • If you’re doing open and close cart launches, you will also have a lot to manage during launches – you’ll have your existing clients going through your monthly content and have to onboard your new clients at the same time.

There were many reasons we chose to transition from a membership to an online course. We had to consider the pros and cons for this as well.


  • Although you may improve your course and add additional bonuses from time to time, online courses only require you to create the content once.
  • If you have an evergreen course, it’s great way to start bringing in more passive income.
  • Your course should have a clearly defined goal for your clients. This can help you provide big wins for your clients in a shorter amount of time.


  • With online courses, you’re usually creating all the content before you’re launching the program. That’s why it’s essential that you’ve identified the needs for the outcome of your online course before creating it, so you know you’re creating something your ideal clients actually want and need. Click here for Your Online Coaching Program Blueprint.
  • Since you’re not bringing in recurring monthly revenue, you need to consider how software cost plays into the picture. Most software has limitations for number of users or courses, so if you aren’t generating monthly revenue or you’re planning to launch multiple courses at once it can get pricey to host several students who only pay once.

If you’re interested in creating an online course, listen in to Episode 166 of The Wellness Business Podcast: How To Turn Your Knowledge Into a Profitable Digital Course with Amy Porterfield.


Regardless of the way you’ve structured your online coaching program, you may have wondered how to decide whether you should switch things up with a new program or finding ways to update your existing program.

Here is a 7-step process for determining if you should create a new program or update your current one:

  1. Write down all of your current program offers (any way someone can currently work with you).
  2. Determine if any of them overlap in information. If they do, how much?
  3. Consider any new directions you want to go in or new type of clients you want to reach.
  4. Decide how it all fits into your customer journey.
  5. Identify where the new programs should be plugged into your customer journey and where the old programs can be removed.
  6. Decide if old programs can be updated/tweaked or if it would be easier to start from scratch (think of your long-term goals).
  7. Schedule the changes and updates on your calendar based on your goals to make sure you’re meeting them.

CLICK HERE for a detailed walkthrough of this 7-step process (with examples!).


Kathleen LeGrys and I recently launched a brand-new program called the Wellness Business Accelerator. It’s a 12-week course for wellness business owners that will teach them everything they need to know to attract their dream clients, nurture them, and over time enroll them into their paid programs. We also cover systematizing and automating many aspects of your business so you can get more done in less time.

We’ve had lots of questions about why we decided to change program models from a membership to a 12-week course, how we made the decision to go for it, and why we’re convinced that it’s a better fit for our students.

Since we’ve had so many questions from our students and followers we decided to peel back the curtain to share our process for making this decision with you in case you have a program that you’re thinking about changing delivery methods and would love someone to walk you through it.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why we recently decided to change our course model from a membership to a 12-week course
  • The trends we were seeing from our members that got our attention and started us on the path to making this decision
  • 5 specific questions we asked ourselves before making our final decision to move forward so we felt confident we were making the right decision for our students

If you’ve wondered why we made this recent pivot from a membership to a course, tune in to get a behind-the-scenes look.

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