Hosting a membership site can be a great way to share yoga with your audience. Particularly in this time when a lot of yoga teachers are teaching classes online, hosting a membership site can be an easy and effective way to repurpose all those video recordings.
Making these video recordings available on an online platform can be a way to help your students maintain their yoga practice between live sessions, or to reach an audience you may not otherwise have access to !or vice versa)! There are lots of benefits to having a membership site for yoga, but it can be tricky to get started – particularly when it comes to figuring out which platform to use for your membership site.
Shannon Crow and Amanda McKinney dig into some of the details of starting a membership site on this podcast episode, but in this article, we explore some of the popular platforms yoga teachers use to host their yoga membership sites.
**Information sourced from The Connected Yoga Teachers Facebook Group.**
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Recently entering the “membership sites” scene with a host of new features, Offering Tree promotes itself as an “All-in-One Software for Wellness Businesses”. Offering Tree allows yoga teachers to sell memberships and packages from within a website hosted on their platform, or to embed the membership and schedule snippets onto their existing website. The service includes being able to collect recurring payments securely, as well as sliding scale capabilities for greater flexibility.
Some of the other benefits of hosting a membership site on Offering Tree are unlimited storage, and not having to worry about where to host content (all digital content can be hosted directly by Offering Tree). In addition, Offering Tree supports sale of individual content pieces, as well as setting expiration dates for purchases if you prefer to “rent” out your content.
Offering Tree also includes a scheduling and appointment booking tool, email marketing tools, and a digital dashboard to track website analytics – all for a streamlined experience in running your yoga business. At $22 / month, Offering Tree is also one of the more affordable options for yoga teachers just starting out who want to launch a membership site, and even has a 14-day free trial to see if it is a good fit for your yoga business. Yoga teachers have also commended Offering Tree on their excellent customer service.
A common choice among yoga teachers with membership sites, Wix.com was repeatedly recommended for being a straightforward solution with many in-built options.
A Business Unlimited or Business VIP plan is required to have access to the option to offer subscriptions to your audience, but includes 10 hours (Business Unlimited plan) or unlimited (Business VIP plan) video hours to showcase and stream your videos online. You can store your videos on Wix, and make them downloadable if needed. For students, videos can be free, purchased one-off, or a part of a monthly subscription, depending on how you set up your membership program.
Wix has an option for subscriptions to collect recurring payment, so you don’t have to worry about chasing down payments each month or limiting access to subscribers who have cancelled their memberships. It also has the option to offer free trials or reduced-price plans to attract new students.
The biggest drawback that yoga teachers have cited with Wix is the higher price point, which may not be accessible to new yoga teachers just starting out.
Some yoga teachers are using Teachable as an all-in-one option to manage video hosting, payments and subscription. It is easy to set up, even for yoga teachers who are not tech-inclined, and offers integrated email marketing and third-party integrations with platforms like Facebook, Convert Kit and Mailchimp.
However, several yoga teachers had gripes about the visual appeal of Teachable as a platform. As Teachable is primarily designed for courses and not as a video hosting platform, the user interface is not as appealing. Yoga teachers also commented on Teachable needing better search options.
All paid plans on Teachable include unlimited video bandwidth, unlimited courses and coaching services, and unlimited students. However, do note that for the basic plan, in addition to the annual fee for Teachable, a transaction fee (5% of each sale) is levied. Yoga Alliance members can also enjoy additional discounts.
A comprehensive option for yoga teachers looking for a platform to host everything. Your website, sales landing pages, forms like student waivers, email provider, membership, courses – everything can be hosted on the Kajabi platform. Kajabi also offers business analytics tools to help you keep track of everything in your yoga business.
Kajabi may not be the right choice for you if all other aspects of your yoga business are up and running, because it does come with a hefty price tag. However, if you are looking for a one-stop answer to set up all the elements of your yoga business including a membership site, Kajabi could be the answer. Yoga teachers have also commented that while Kajabi works to host a membership site, it is not possible to create an on-demand video library for one-off purchases.
Yoga teachers using Namastream for their membership sites describe it as working very well for an unlimited membership option for students. Namastream allows yoga teachers to stream live classes via Zoom, which they can then add to their library of recorded classes. It offers options for daily, monthly, weekly, or annual memberships, and unlimited storage capacity means you’ll never have to worry about having too many videos on the platform.
Payments are also easily taken care of with recurring billing for memberships, and integration with Stripe or PayPal makes it a streamlined process for students. Namastream also offers the option to create discount codes to gift students or attract new members, and their analytics feature ensures you can track sales and student activity easily.
Price may be a deterrent for yoga teachers just starting out, as their plans begin at $104/month.
A great place to start, especially if you are not 100% certain that hosting a membership site is for you, MemberVault’s free plan allows you to explore different options for free. The user interface is more visually appealing, and MemberVault offers a variety of features like website, landing page tools, and shopping cart service to make it easy to run your yoga business.
One major drawback of MemberVault is the lack of video hosting options on the platform itself, which means you will have to host your recorded videos on a different platform (e.g. YouTube, DropBox, GoogleDrive).
- Instabook: A straightforward option that covers all the basics of hosting a membership site, including live streaming classes and events, an online library to host recorded videos, and options to manage scheduling, booking and payments.
- Vimeo On Demand: A popular video-hosting platform that some yoga teachers have used as their membership platform. Students have the option to rent or buy each class individually or subscribe monthly for access to the whole library.
- Thinkific: A comparable service to Teachable, Thinkific offers a range of features for yoga teachers to easily set up and manage their membership platform with little hassle.
- Punchpass: A class management softwarefor both in-person and online classes, Punchpass allows yoga teachers to customize their students’ passes for single visits, 10 visits, unlimited visits, or recurring memberships.
- Patreon: An innovative solution by some yoga teachers, Patreon is great for those who want to avoid paying fees upfront. Students can pay for a monthly membership for access to content, and Patreon gets a percentage of the membership fee, depending on the pricing plan you choose.
Setting up and hosting a membership site for your yoga business can be a great way to share your practice with more people and build a sustainable business for yourself. There are a variety of options available for yoga teachers who want to take this route, but it is important to consider your needs as a yoga teacher and business owner before picking a platform.
Many of these platforms offer free trials for you to get a feel for what it would be like to host your membership site with them. This is a great way to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to their customer service staff who may be able to address any questions, concerns or queries about setting up a membership site.
Do you have a membership site? Let us know in the comments which platform you use and what you love about it!
About the Author
Crunch Ranjani is a copywriter & editor who specializes in writing content for health & wellness professionals.
She loves to travel and has been a digital nomad since 2013.
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