How to Grow Your Membership Community | Rob Balasabas of Uscreen

Last updated on June 15th, 2024

If you’re trying to grow your membership community, you’re going to do a lot of video. There are a lot of factors to consider, so we asked Rob Balasabas to tell us the top things you need to know about your membership (or you might call it a video membership).


There are three main parts to a great membership, including:
1) Your content library (on-demand content)
2) Access to you, the thought leader and your thought leader team, typically through live streams
3) Your private, gated, online community.


SPECIAL GUEST: Rob Balasabas of

HOST: The VidAction Podcast is hosted by:
– Dane Golden –


Dane Golden:
If you’re doing video marketing and you’re thinking about doing memberships, there’s a lot of factors to consider. So we asked Rob Balasabas to come on and tell us the top things you need to know about your membership, or you might call it a video membership. Rob, what’s the number one thing?

Rob Balasabas:
The number one thing about video memberships is that it’s really three parts. Some people define it different ways, but for us it’s really three things. There’s your content library on demand content. There is your access to you as the thought leader or your thought leader team, which is typically through live streams.

And then also the most important part really, that a lot of people miss is community. So having a community, a private, gated community that’s exclusive to the members where they can meet and safe, that’s really the definition of a membership in our point of view.

Dane Golden:
So let’s break it down one by one, each of those pieces and what you really need to have the sort of basic fundamentals of a good membership.

So let’s start with that first part.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, absolutely. So the content library, you know, a lot of us have streaming, you know, platforms and subscriptions to Netflix, to Disney+.

And really this is a key important part. And this, you know, this library of content can typically be exclusive content that nobody can find anywhere else but you’re inside of your membership.

It could be early access type of content. It could be content that maybe is available, say on your YouTube channel, but is really in a specific order in terms of maybe a course or a masterclass. And so really that on demand piece of your membership is very vital. It’s because. It’s something that people will tune into and then consume on their own time.

And so that’s the first part.

Dane Golden:
And take a step back for a second. This is The VidAction Podcast. I’m Dane Golden from VidAction. We help businesses with their YouTube ads, and the guest is Rob Balasabas from Rob, tell us about yourself and Uscreen.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Dane, thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. When you invited me it was like, this is great. We’re going to catch up.

Yeah, really glad to be here, Dane. Thank you so much. Yeah. My name is Rob Balasabas. I’m head of partnerships and community at Like Dane said, I’ve been here for about two years.

We are a video membership platform. We build memberships both on the web. We have a platform for that, that businesses, marketers, creators can use. And then we also then build white labeled mobile and TV apps to house those memberships similar to Netflix, but specifically for our clients.

And so, yeah, I’ve been here now for, like I said, two years before that I was with another company that me and Dane also crossed paths at, which was TubeBuddy, and had a great time there. And also the amazing co-host here. I used to work with her with Shelly, Shelly Saves The Day. And yeah, it’s just been a really fun ride, Dane just being in this industry.

Dane Golden:
And so let’s break it down a little bit. I’m going to take this off the rails immediately

and ask some questions. So let’s talk about what types of businesses can be helped by a membership. We presume that people here are doing some sort of social video, and they are also probably on YouTube but let’s talk about it in the context of, How this helps market a company?

Is it just people who are purely online businesses or is it some sort of other thing that people are doing? Let’s get a little bit of the scope here.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, that’s a really good question. Of course anybody that is online, anybody that’s actually on YouTube, if you see a niche that’s on YouTube, it is most likely represented as well inside of our customer base. And so we have a lot of folks in fitness, right? Very natural sort of, you know, adaptation of an online membership.

Most of those fitness creators that you see on YouTube sometimes they’ll also have an in-person studio. But then they also have a virtual or online version as well where they’re teaching on demand. They have challenges online. They have live sessions and you know, workouts online as well.

And then they have their community. You know, anyone that is in e-learning teaching, anything, you know, whether it’s cooking, sewing, horseback riding, you know, marketing that is also represented there as well. We have some folks that are in the homesteading space, Justin Rhodes, which is a really, a successful YouTuber has his membership on Uscreen. And so he’s all about homesteading you know, raising his own you know, food and growing his own food and all that stuff. And how he does that he’s a vlogger and he has his own membership where his community meets. And he has all sorts of content, which actually would probably be really good to talk about Dane the type of content that’s inside there.

You know, folks that are teaching photography and you know, jiujitsu and just all sorts of niches.

Dane Golden:
So folks generally in the educational space that want to bring in more business, create a stronger following, and more profitable through memberships. What tell us, first of all, let’s ask this question. Maybe no one’s ever asked you, maybe they have. How do you know when you’re ready to start a membership?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I’m, I’m going to be really honest with that question. Dane you know, memberships… let’s take a step back. There’s you know, there’s a lot of different ways to make money as a content creator. As you know, there’s affiliate marketing, there’s brand deals and sponsorships, there’s courses, there’s coaching.

I would, and for each of these different types of revenue streams and businesses that you can set up as a creator, there’s sort of like a how big of an audience do you need to have, you know, especially on YouTube? So, you know, I would say affiliate marketing and probably coaching is probably more on the beginner side of things.

So if you were just starting a channel you could probably right away, of course, start becoming an affiliate for different tools and programs and software that you use. You can be an Amazon affiliate, that sort of thing. And you don’t really need a big audience. You know, people will find you, you answer their question, you know, people are finding you through search.

Cool. This is a great product. I like this review, or I like this tutorial, this walkthrough. I’m going to buy this product. I’m going to sign up for this tool and I’m going to use this person’s affiliate link. I don’t know them very well. You know, I don’t have a relationship with them or anything like that.

But I’m going to go ahead and use this because this fills my need and solves my pain point today. You know, if it’s coaching right, coaching would be probably even in the early end. You know, as long as you’re showing your your expertise. Cool. This person Dane, knows his way around you know, video ads and YouTube ads.

Cool. I don’t want to do that, but I see value in it. Dane seems to know what he’s doing. I’m going to see if I’m going to reach out to him and see if he can coach me or maybe he can actually provide the service to me. And again, you don’t need a big following. When it comes to memberships you do need that loyal following

that’s willing to pay you monthly for your content and to be part of your world, to be part of your community and to have more closer access to you. And so I would say for us we really are looking for creators that are, the best creators that we can help are the ones that already have a pretty solid following.

You know, they may have already done courses or, you know, done you know, affiliate marketing or coaching or, you know, brand deals, and now they want to create this recurring revenue for themselves, and that’s really more later stage. Not, you know, you don’t need a million subscribers, but you do need to understand a few things and already be a little bit further ahead than sort of a beginner creator.

Dane Golden:
Well, let’s talk about when you create a course. Versus a membership, what’s the difference Is should you master one before the other? Both at the same is one part of another.

Could you sort of just get us some definitions and sort of what’s a general best thing to do?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a really good question. We have a lot of course creators that come to us and say, Hey, you know, courses are, courses have been really good for me, you know, and over the last couple years or several years you know, I think most people are very familiar with online courses. My, a little bit of background on me, if you guys don’t know, is actually used to work at a company called Thinkific.

And Thinkific is an online course platform and you use it to build online courses. And so I was there for about five years, so I really know that world pretty well. Again, I think if somebody was starting out, yes, I would say build a course. It gives you a course. The different domain difference between a course and a membership is that a course is finite.

There’s a beginning and there’s an end, right? Whether it’s, you know, a five video course, there’s five modules, five videos, or 10 or whatever it is, but there’s a beginning and there’s a definite end. And there’s no commitment to you as a creator or to you as a business owner or marketer. Beyond that you’re selling this and here’s the course. It’s on demand. You can watch it, you can consume it. And and that’s it. You know, we’ve done the transaction is finished with a membership. It is because of the nature of me of membership. It’s a recurring payment. It’s a subscription typically. And so now you have to really be more strategic and really think through, okay, it is a membership. People are going to pay me every month. And so by the nature of that, I need to deliver value every month. And so you need to think through what’s your content plan? How are you going to manage your community? Right? You know, am I going to do live streams? Right? And so you really need to it’s very different.

There’s pros and cons, of course. The pro being. One of them is the recurring revenue nature, right? You know, you don’t have to worry about, Hey, am I going to sell another course next month? I don’t know. Do I have to sell another course to get more revenue from this customer, right? Because I’ve already sold them one course.

I don’t have any other courses, so I have to make more courses. I have to, you have to typically, because I know this pretty well, knowing online course world and really successful creators. There’s the, you know, you have to hype it up and open the cart. You have to do a webinar, you have to close the cart, you know all of these things, and then you have to close it again, and you have to do that over and over again.

It becomes really exhausting versus a membership model, Where everything is, you’re driving traffic from your podcast, from your YouTube channel, from your Instagram reels, all to the membership landing page, the membership sign up, and people just join in when they’re ready and they can consume your content.

They can hop into the live streams, join the community, and you’re really just, you’re just, as long as you’re delivering value, then your business is running and your revenue is scaling. As long as you know, of course you have to deliver value. So,

Dane Golden:
Well, let me think of this. From someone who runs, let’s say, a small agency or consultancy that has those chops that could be

training or could be having a membership. Let’s say you start a YouTube channel and you’re educating people about your niche. Then you, so you have some ad revenue there, or maybe a sponsorship.

Maybe you’re knowledgeable about consulting people with software, for instance. Now someone said, great, well you can go on, let’s say this book a call with me for a consulting fee. Now that’s the next level, but maybe there’s some sort of ongoing contract that you have. Now. I could do something like that.

Maybe I have. Some number of those people. And then I say, great, well, I’ve done that, but I really could expand to these other people, maybe not quite as in depth as I’m able to give to a full client relationship, but I’m able to really expand who I can reach. And but also thinking, well, these people may be spending $50, $100, $200, $500 a month, whatever that may be for the membership. But that person, through building that maybe not quite as strong but somewhat stronger relationship with me, that person could also be ready for a bigger client relationship with my company as we go forward. Do you see businesses doing that or is it more people who are like, Hey, I’m a coach and a trainer and an educator, and that’s what I do. I don’t do that other part.

Rob Balasabas:
Right, right. Yeah, that’s a really good question. I guess the, what we’re tr discussing is where will a membership fit in the business, you know, in, in the overall sort of business layout for an entrepreneur, for a coach, let’s say. So, we have a lot of coaches that. Obviously have memberships using our platform.

What we’ve noticed is that it’s the foundational piece of their business. So whether it’s, whether it comes before or after high ticket one-on-one coaching is really varies. Sometimes coaches will drive to the one-on-one coaching. Cool. We’ve done our four sessions or two weeks, or, you know, 10 week session to get you from point A to point B.

If you want to continue, we can. This is the price. If not all good, but you do, I do have this membership, which maybe it’s not a thousand dollars a month, but maybe it’s a hundred dollars a month. And it’s maintenance now. Right? We’ve done the hard work, right? We’ve got you to a good place. Now it’s maintenance.

You know, let’s say you’re a YouTube coach. Cool. We’ve got your channel to a point where now you have systems in place and you know you have a team in place. I’ll help you bring an editor on and you know, content plan is in place now. Cool. That’s done by the way. If you want, you can continue because as YouTube changes all the time, algorithms change and all these things change.

Rules change. You’re going to want to keep up, right? Yes, of course you are. So, here’s my membership. It’s a hundred dollars a month versus a thousand dollars a month working with me one-on-one. You’re still going to get access to my content. You’re still going to get access to my, you know, live workshops remotely through live streams.

And you’re going to be connected with other like-minded people like yourself who are trying to grow their YouTube channel. It’s like, perfect. Cool. And then, so that’s sort of one path. Sometimes Dane, it’s the backwards way. It’s. They join the membership first and then they raise their hands and say, Hey, this is really good for me.

But I actually wouldn’t mind talking to you one-on-one, maybe once or twice a month. Okay, cool. So you’re still part of the membership, but you know, for another 500, a thousand dollars a month, then we do one-on-one calls. So, yeah. But there is that foundation of that recurring revenue that most businesses are trying to reach.

Dane Golden:
Okay, so let’s sort of circle back and talk about what’s in, in this soup, this bucket of things. Someone is joined in a membership. what’s the baseline of things that people should expect to put in their membership and their time commitment, and how often and what types of communication?

With their members, what size should their membership be? How many other people should they have helping them? Like, you need to add another person, each 20 people, or something like that. So give us a little bit of scope for people who just don’t know that yet.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a really good question. Let me try and paint that picture. So, as far as most creators, most marketers or entrepreneurs that run memberships, the ones that we’ve found typically have. Three, either skills themselves or they’ve outsourced the skills. One is the content creation side.

Most of the time the marketer or the entrepreneur keeps this part. They want to be the face, they want to be the talent. So there’s the content creation side. Now that doesn’t just mean like showing up on camera and making videos. That means, you know, writing scripts, you know, uploading videos optimizing videos, all those things.

Scheduling live streams. So that’s the creative side. Then there’s typically a tech implementer, so somebody that handles all the logistics of Uscreen, the platform integrating PayPal and Stripe and all those things. You know, making sure that all the integrations are set up, all the live streams are set up, all of those technical parts of the business is handled.

And then there’s typically a third, which is really important, which usually comes in later. But is once, once they have this part, sometimes the creator or the marketer or the business owner has this part, which is the sort of the c o hat. This is the business strategic side. You see a lot of creators, Dane.

I know you, you know, a lot of creators. A lot of creators are not the most business savvy. It’s not a knock. It’s just they’re creative people. They can, they’re just such creative people, and so sometimes they’ll hire. Somebody that will take care of the business side of things so that they can just continue being creative and showing up and engaging and building the relationships with their audience.

And so they’ll bring that on. Now, some creators have that knack for business. You know, Chris Doe comes to mind. You know, a lot of guys, Roberto Blake, you know, these guys are very business savvy. And so usually Dane, those are the three components. That makes for a successful membership business, whether the creator keeps those and wears all three hats, which is sometimes really rare, especially as you scale especially on the community side, right?

Community side, typically we see membership site owners because they run a community. The community’s very important because of the recurring nature of memberships. People are let, there’s a term out there that I know then you’re familiar with, but some folks may not be, which is churn.

Churn is when somebody cancels their subscription, cancels their membership. So when you cancel your Netflix, Account your churn, you’ve added to the churn rate you’ve increased. They’re the quitters. Yeah. The community part of it is what we’ve found. We’ve found that memberships on Uscreen that have a community are almost two or three times less likely to churn.

If they are community engaged.

Dane Golden:
You’re saying two or three times less likely. So if Fif maybe maybe if 20% of your group has stayed on after three months,

then if you have that community element, then 60% of your community, I’m not, I’m just making up these numbers, but…

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Yeah.

Dane Golden:
that was it, you three times as retentive…

Rob Balasabas:
Totally. Totally. And it also takes away a lot of the work in the community. The reason why is that when you have a community people get connected with each other. Like, so if me and you are in the same community, Dane, we’ll connect, we’ll become friends. We may do collaborations. It’s hard for me now to leave this community.

Because now I have a friend, it’s just like in real life, right? You know, any sort of group where maybe you’re, you know, you’re, you have a workout buddy that works out with you. It’s like, Hey, you know what, today I’m going to quit the gym. No, Rob, how can you quit, man? Like, you’re my guy. Like, we work out together all the time.

Like, you know, Dave and Sally, they’re going to, they’re meeting us at the gym. And so it’s hard for me to quit because now I have accountability connection. And so it’s, so the same thing…

Dane Golden:
And a…

Rob Balasabas:

Dane Golden:

Rob Balasabas:
Social fabric. Yeah. It’s, you know, so, so community. That’s why we really drive this really hard with a lot of entrepreneurs when they’re building memberships, is they forget the community part because they’re thinking memberships, they associate with Netflix or subscription businesses, which, you know, is subscription is a payment model.

It’s not…

Dane Golden:
– it’s a regular service, but, it’s different in, its in its personal connectivity, in that in Netflix, you’re committed to sitting on your couch and watching something. With the membership that you’re talking about, you’re committed to communicating with other people of similar interests.

Rob Balasabas:
That’s right. That’s right. Yes. I don’t get to talk to anybody else that uses Netflix or is subscribed to Netflix because it’s a subscription, you know, it’s not a membership.

Dane Golden:
Rarely. Rarely.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Yeah.

Dane Golden:
So, so, so let’s break down. Let’s really dive into that part there where you say, okay, that this thing is getting people connected. You’ve said live stream.

That can mean a lot of different things. That can be a one to many. That can be, I have, you could call it in office hours.

I don’t have a membership currently, so I don’t know what the right language is, so I’m, I need you to help me.

Rob Balasabas:
No, it’s…

Dane Golden:
But But, but what is that thing? Is it is it there’s a slack like component or discord like component, and that’s the sticky part that people are sending each other dms. Is it, do they have break, break off one-on-ones within a larger group?

What are those elements and how often should that happen and how often should we expect people to participate?

Rob Balasabas:
That’s a really good question. Dane. Yeah. How often? Yeah, so within the me, within the community, there’s typically. Similar to Slack and Discord? Yes. So definitely channels to buy topics is really best practice. It’s really foundational for our communities, having those channels and topics. You have live streams again, because you want to connect people, so you want to do the live streams.

And typically those live streams can be anything from a workshop. It can be me as the thought leader. You know, you join my membership. Awesome. Once a month, Hop on, or every two weeks I hop on, I teach something. That live stream typically can then become a on-demand video, right? Somebody misses it, they can watch the video.

It can be hot seats, right? It can be, Hey, Dane, you’re a great member, You’ve done some really cool things recently. Do you mind joining and actually let me interview you and you can share your story with the rest of the members, right? And be inspiring. And so that can happen, I can bring a guest on as well.

The office hours is actually really cool too. We’ve seen those happen really well where essentially like you just come in and you ask questions. I don’t have anything prepared, but members can just come in. You ask me all your questions, you know, what are the hurdles, blockers for you this week?

Let’s unblock that. Let’s get that answered. My favorite, which is actually what you just touched on, is sort of more of this like sort of meetup type of live stream or live sessions where you know, members just come in and it’s just sort of like a cocktail hour. It’s just like hanging out virtual coffee shop.

Cool. Here we go. Here’s a big, you know, here’s 30 of us. Great. We’re going to break off into little pods of five. Everybody’s going to have a chance to speak and share. And you can do it a number of different ways. Dane, the ones that we actually do within our membership, within our community of customers is we’ll have a couple of questions that we want everyone to answer.

You know, what’s your hurdle this week? And you know, last, our last session was how do you, what’s the best way to market your membership? These are all membership site owners, so what’s something that, you know, worked really well for you? And so people just discuss that. And so, yeah, so those are, you know, there’s tons of different things.

The frequency of it. That’s a really good question. That answer is really dependent on the group. You know, some groups like monthly, some groups want every month, The beautiful thing that I’ve seen as memberships grow is that ambassadors for lack of better term, ambassadors within the group.

So these are members that are very bought in. They really are. They just love your community. They’re willing to support your community. They’re good people, and they have sort of taken the reins to really take ownership of the community. You know, they start conversations. They may lead the live streams, they may lead the office hours.

Right. And that’s what you want, right? A good community will have ambassadors so that you can step back and let them be the voice. So

Dane Golden:
And the ambassadors are an employee. They’re a friend, they’re a moderator. They are someone who’s what?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Typically, they’re just members. They’re members that have. Really just enjoyed. And so, they’re, this is usually a volunteer position or maybe they get a free membership. Now some of them can become employees if that’s the route that the the entrepreneur wants to take. But yeah, they typically start as just a member that have shown a lot of love for the community.

Dane Golden:
I know some companies Like, Tim Schmoyer’s company over time, his best employees that he brought on were people who took his courses and memberships. And so they became, over time, the most invested people and then became leaders in his business. And it’s, you know, it’s so difficult to find, we’re such so niche oriented in what we do today, that one way of finding the best people is finding the people who are already.

Fanatics and learning about what you’re doing, and in fact paying you to be trained.

Rob Balasabas:
That’s so true. Yeah. I mean, it is like this is the best ambassador. They, I’ve taught them everything they know. Right? Yeah. No, Tim’s great.

Dane Golden:
Now you mentioned offhand the number 30, but let’s say I have 500 people in a membership are only 30 going to show up. It’s the first 30. Or do I need to have five different sessions throughout the week and you just sign up for the one that works for you? And I’m just going to keep with questions.

I’m not going to actually listen to the answers, so no. And should I, how important is it to think about the time, for instance Do I have people in Europe, do I have people in Asia? Are the types of folks that are focused on this more for their personal interests or their professional interests? So if it’s something that I am teaching people about software, maybe they’re learning about this on their lunch hour, and maybe I do it at 11:00 AM Pacific, which sort of makes sure that generally people can do it during the workday, or maybe if it’s yoga, I want to make sure that I can do it at 9:00 PM on a SAT 9:00 AM on a Saturday.

Or 6:00 AM on a Monday. How important are those? All those different things that I said.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, they’re all very important. I mean, you want, you don’t want to exclude anybody in your membership, right? You don’t want them to feel like, oh I’m in London, so I always miss all this stuff. You know? So you want to make sure that you do include them. You want to make sure that you’re talking to, you know, your members and you’re surveying and you’re paying attention to the data.

You know, of course everything’s online. It’s a platform. So there’s analytics and you can see when people are logging in and all those stats. So you have to be very cognizant of that. In terms of, as your membership, your initial question, your initial question in terms of the size of your membership, your community, I think it is, that’s a really good question.

Because you’re, You know, it’s a good problem to have, but if you have a membership that just continues to grow it’s really hard to feel you know, not make them feel like they’re just a number, Yeah exactly. You don’t want it to feel like a number. So I do feel like yes you know, you have to have this big community, this big group, you know, that’s what the channels are.

But it’s important to find a way, depending on what platform or what tool or what model you’re using, that people have their small pockets where they can come back to. So for us, actually, Dane, what we’re building is accountability groups. And so these are pods basically of members within, right? And so, at least I know like even though there’s 500 people here, There’s four people that I know, they’re part of my crew.

They’re like my little like, you know, table within this big, you know, cafeteria, right? These are the people that I know really well. Maybe we meet outside of this, you know, membership, you know, once or twice a month on a Zoom call, you know? That’s the kind of thing you want to encourage because you want people to feel like they’re in a big place.

Although this is a big place, I feel like it’s very small for me because I have my connections, so I…

Dane Golden:
I noticed that some people, when they’re doing memberships, they, they only permit, and these are people that can sign up, a whole bunch of people all at the same time.

They only permit certain signup periods. And let me

ask you, is the reason that they have this very short window is so that people can sort of have their freshman class and they feel like they’re going through it together and you can say, okay, great. We are also adding a Monday live stream. And that’s the one. You’ll be in because we’ve booked these other times during the week. Because we have a lot of people. Is anything I’m saying making sense?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, it makes all, all that makes sense. Yeah. I mean the, again, different memberships different combinations of people that you attract you know, kind of lends to doing different things like that. I think time zones are tricky. I, you know, I know you do as well, Dane, you work with a lot of people all over the world, so time zones are tricky and live streaming is tricky.

You know, but I think there’s always a little bit window like, you know, for us, our team is fully remote all over the world. There’s like 20 countries represented in, in inside of Uscreen on our team. But there’s always like a sliver of time where there is some overlap. That makes sense. So, In the beginning, it’s a bit of testing.

It’s a bit of like, all right, let’s try Tuesday morning and then let’s try, you know, Thursday afternoon or at the end of my day here on the West Coast, or, you know, but it’s a bit of testing. You can’t, it’s hard to get away from that.

Dane Golden:
And so, what if great, someone signed up and that you’re great. It’s Monday, 11:00

AM Pacific. We’re all going to do the live stream. And they’re like, I can’t do it. I can’t. They have that thing now. Are they done with the membership? Is there a way of salvaging this person? Or it’s just like you have to have a different day, or maybe we can squeeze you in.

What do you do about that? Or do they ever mention it or do they just quit and not say anything?

Rob Balasabas:
That all really depends. I mean, as a as the owner of the membership, that’s a business decision you may have to make, like, Hey, you know what? My membership is growing. I seem to have a lot of people over here that are not able to join. Maybe I have to think of a second time. This is where maybe a survey.

Surveys are so powerful within a membership is just really you have to understand your members and you have to talk to them. At the very least, a survey. You know, the best case is you hop on a call, you know, you, Hey, can I take 15 minutes? Dane, I mean, I, we’ve been missing you so much and all the different live streams on Monday mornings.

Do you have 15 minutes? You tell me when you’re available. Let’s hop on a call. I just want to kind of understand, you know, your cadence and your week. And maybe we can figure something out, you know, and so knowing that I’ll talk to you, I’ll talk to a few other people that aren’t making on the Mondays.

And maybe there’s another time that is like common for everybody that’s available. So, communication is key. With memberships, these people that sign up for your membership, they’re the most engaged and most invested in your business, right? You know, they haven’t just subscribed to your YouTube channel or liked some of your videos or commented.

They’re putting their dollars every month to support you in your membership, and so it’s worth your time to really get to know them and understand them.

Dane Golden:
So let me ask this question and I apologize for all the beginner questions that I

Rob Balasabas:
No way. Not at all. Dane.

Dane Golden:
but, okay. So I’ve been. Writing and rewriting a course

Rob Balasabas:

Dane Golden:
that has two. It’s unusual in that most people deal with either YouTube organically or YouTube ads and not both.

And our approach is sort of a flywheel approach that is YouTube organic, YouTube paid and blog, YouTube organic, YouTube paid blog and so on, right? And it is, that’s our approach for helping businesses. And it’s a little bit unique and I’ve tested it with groups of, you know, six to 10 that I have not charged. And I said, okay, here’s the six weeks. And we did it every six weeks. And I continue to hone it, but I’ve never charged for this course.

I would envision that I could say Great. We are going to do this in the membership, and we are going to all go through it together. Maybe you watch the prerecorded part and then we break it down in a live stream,

or we do a live stream again and again. But if you want to see the prerecorded version, and then we can spring off with certain elements.

Is that a membership? Have I, in my head, created a membership?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, I think so. I think so. I mean, I think I, I take it all the way to the basics, which is YouTube paid organic, somebody that’s interested in that. Any topic that is always changing. Can be turned into a membership. I mean, it can be a course as well, right? Or it could be a course within a membership.

Because it is always changing, right? It’s always changing. So there’s always a, there’s always a natural reason to, hey, this is new. Hey, here’s an update. Hey, this month here we’re going to talk about this. And so that is a good foundation. It’s not the one question that you ask whether or not, Hey, is this a membership?

The other question that you need to ask yourself is that, is there a market for it? Are people going to are people willing to pay for. This, is there enough value that they can’t find this somewhere else? Not the content Dane but the the expertise and access to somebody that will answer their questions.

So similar to, you know, what you would do. And so based on that, yes. So, you know, and then you look around, right? You look around. Is there any a membership around this, you know, around YouTube ads or paid media? And you’ll probably say yes. And when there is the answer is yes.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. That means it’s a validation of your idea. Like, hey, this the validation of the market as well, the market demand. And so, okay, great. There’s somebody who’s already doing this, you know, Rob’s already doing this. Great. Okay, cool. How successful is that? You have to take a look.

And then you-

Dane Golden:
How do you know how successful it is?

Rob Balasabas:
You sometimes, and this is something that know a lot of memberships or people that have digital products, they join the membership. They subscribe. They have to see like, Hey, what is this market research? Right? So they’ll join and they’ll be part of the membership.

They’ll go through the onboarding flow. They’ll understand, they’ll be part of the community now. Okay, great. There’s about 10,000 people here, you know, validated. Then the thing that you would probably want to do as well next is you would see where is there a gap? Is there something that’s missing?

Is there a complaint? Is there a common pet peeve that these, you know, members are feeling that maybe I can fill, that I can do better? Or maybe it’s not missing, but it’s just. It’s not as good as it could be. I wish, you know, I wish that they were live streaming more. I wish that they had multiple, you know, other time zones available.

You know, I wish they would talk about this more. I wish they were you know, showing more graphics or whatever that is. But is there a pain point there that I could do better? You’re like, okay I can see there’s some, there’s a place there with, based on my knowledge and experience and resources, I can provide and deliver a better product.

And so those are some of the thoughts that I would go through.

Dane Golden:
And so some of these comments that I see about memberships in courses, it all a ton of questions come up about promoting them. In a lot of ways. Most of the time people say, well, you’ve got to create an email list. You have to create a YouTube channel. You got to, you know, do ads on Facebook or Instagram.

And of course we help businesses and creators with ads on YouTube.

What is the, does Uscreen have a course to help people promote courses, or how does that work? How do you, how does Uscreen help? People get their customers or

Rob Balasabas:

Dane Golden:
– do you recommend?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I have my own que I have my own answer, personal answer to doing that well, just being in this industry for a few years now. You know, Uscreen has resources. There’s our blog, has a bunch of stuff there, and then there’s also our own private community where we have a bunch of resources and training as well.

And then we also refer to experts that will help you with whatever marketing channel you’re trying to use. My personal, you know, sort of opinion on the best way to sell your membership or best way to sell your digital product is especially I’m going to speak to folks that have videos on social media or videos on YouTube.

You have a following on YouTube. Maybe you’re a coach entrepreneur on YouTube or you’re a brand. The best way has never been directly from YouTube to the membership. Right. It’s never really worked. For the most part. Some folks maybe, yes, you know, there’s some amazing people out there that can do that really well and build that.

But typically there’s a piece in the middle where you need to nurture that relationship and really sell that first. So, and it’s very old school. It’s nothing new. It’s really from YouTube to a lead magnet. An email nurture campaign, whether it’s three or four or 10 emails that then leads them to buying or signing up for your membership.

And that’s been the best way that I’ve seen. So it’s never a YouTube to sale sometimes, you know, that can happen. But usually that is now that middle part where you know you’re using emails, Dane, that’s where the ads can come in, right? And so if you’re, if you know that is working well, then you insert ads, right?

And so you start using paid media YouTube ads. There you go.

Dane Golden:
I’m sorry. So you’re saying to your marketing, to the email subscribers that people who subscribe to that email, you’re also telling them, even though, you know, they’ve subscribed, by the way, I have a course.

Rob Balasabas:
That’s right. Yeah. By the way, I have a course, by the way. Hey, by the way, here here are some resources, you know, and so there’s a whole thing we can get nerdy on an email email nurture sequence, but-

Dane Golden:
But list building is a fundamental part of this.

Rob Balasabas:
Fundamental. I still very much believe in list building and emails and and then using ads to once you figure out your your campaigns and your funnel, then you know, you know that this campaign and this sequence does really well.

It converts really well. Then I’m happy to spend a dollar if I can, Get a dollar 50 on the other end every single time. Right. So, but that’s not, that’s your space.

Dane Golden:
Okay, Rob Balasabas, last question.

Rob Balasabas:
Oh, right.

Dane Golden:
What was the question I should have asked didn’t?

Rob Balasabas:
Oh wow. That’s a really

good question.

Dane Golden:
enough to ask?

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good question.

Dane Golden:
Or which one did I ask that I shouldn’t have asked?

Rob Balasabas:
No. All your questions are great. I’m actually going to take that question for my podcast. I love that question. I think no, you asked how early I would say what is the pitfall of memberships? I would probably say, what is the pitfall of memberships? You know?

Um, that’s the –

Dane Golden:
– of memberships? Rob, I want to ask you, what is the pitfall of memberships?

Rob Balasabas:
What is the pitfall of memberships? I think that the pitfall of memberships is that you start and you are not ready for it, and you just, you don’t, you didn’t expect. The work that it takes. It’s a lot of work. It’s, you know, Dane, you know, we’re in, in, in this industry and we see we hear passive revenue all the time.

Hey, passive income, passive, you know, make money while you sleep, which is, you know, partially true because we live in an online world and people are signing up to your memberships while you sleep. But it’s work. You know, you get up and you have to think of your content. You have to think of your community.

And so, the expectation, the misalignment of expectation that hey, it’s a subscription when they sign up, it’s money every single month with very little work when in fact the truth is it’s a lot of work. And so, you know, at Uscreen we try to be as honest and as real with expectations as possible.

And so it’s really important that people know that it’s a lot of work, but the payoff is really good. And, you know, as you build your recurring revenue that you can scale you know, a lot of creators don’t turn back.

Dane Golden:
And Rob Balasabas, how can people find out more about you and and maybe get, get nurtured? Get nurtured.

Rob Balasabas:

Dane Golden:
How you you to nurture them? Rob.

Rob Balasabas:
Yeah. There you go. Just head over to you already said it, Dane. Just check out our website. There’s a blog, there’s lots of resources there. And then for me, if you want to connect with me, just find me on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best place to connect with me there.

Dane Golden:

Rob Balasabas:
That’s it. That’s it.

Dane Golden:

Rob Balasabas:
Thanks Dane.

Dane Golden:
Great. And I’m Dane Golden. This is The VidAction Podcast. You can find it on all your podcast places. And now we’re doing video most of the time on my YouTube channel, VidActionTV. Or you can go to That’s my services where we help you with your YouTube ads.

Shelly Saves The Day, she’s on assignment today, so she wasn’t here and she was sad to miss it because Rob is awesome.

Rob Balasabas:
Miss Shelly.

Dane Golden:
So thanks to Rob Balasabas, and until next week, here’s to helping you help your customers through video.

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