6 Backend Offer Ideas if You Hate Memberships

mini workshop

By Jenn Monaghan 

Some people use their Mini Workshop to generate cash flow. 

They’re not focused on creating a backend offer for their clients. Instead, their goal is to sell as many workshop tickets as possible and move on to the next workshop. 

It’s a simple system—and for the most part—it works. 

But for most of us, our Mini Workshop is a gateway to our bigger offer — a membership, a program, a one-on-one strategy session, a group coaching service. 

If you’ve yet to create a backend offer, it can be difficult to navigate the right one for your biz. You want to find an offer that appeals to your clients and fits within the vision for your business. 

Here’s our advice: your backend offer shouldn’t feel too heavy. If it feels like an ongoing stream of anxiety or dread, it’s not the right choice. Remember, you want to create an offer that you actually want to fulfill.

We’re gonna share a glimpse into six backend offers that can work in virtually any niche. 

With each offer, make sure to ask yourself: would it feel good to fulfill this offer to my clients? If you feel hesitant, it’s time to move on to the next offer.

VIP days 

Are you searching for a backend offer that isn't such a big commitment? 

A one-on-session is perfect for clients who crave an intensive support session from you. These are often clients that don’t yet have an interest in joining a membership or a long-term coaching program. Instead, they’re looking for immediate and tangible support from you, an expert in your field. 

"1:1 sessions or VIP days" -Danielle Doucette 

A VIP day is one day (or a few hours, or an afternoon) spent with a single client.

Whether it be in-person or through Zoom, the idea behind a VIP day is to provide high-level and personalized support to your client. This might look like walking your client through setting up their email automation or familiarizing them with new software. 

Try opening up a limited number of spots each month according to your schedule and your capacity. 

A different kind of membership 

If the idea of hosting a membership site feels heavy to you, consider this…

"I once heard that James Wedmore (I think it was him) started his first membership about orchid care. It was a no community membership that was evergreen with only a year or two of content that got dripped every month. After the two years, the membership was over for that person" -Lene Dybdahl Holm 

A membership doesn't have to be so hands-on and time-consuming. You don’t need to have an official platform or community in order to host a thriving membership. In fact, you don’t need to show your face or generate conversation at all. 

Hear us out…

Instead, try keeping your membership contained to email. You can collect the email addresses of your members and release content as often as you’d like — this could be weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Your content could be anything from video tutorials and training manuals to templates and marketing materials. 

This is ideal for anyone who desires to host a membership but fears the daily responsibilities. 

A recurring workshop or a series 

If launching workshops feels fun and easy to you, why not do it more often?

The thing is, a workshop can actually be the perfect backend offer for your clients. If they enjoyed the experience of attending your live workshop, jumping on board for future workshops might be a no-brainer. 

Try putting together a package offering of your workshops. You can either deliver these workshops live in the future or you can sell a collection of your past workshop recordings. 

 "I've thought about doing recurring workshops every quarter! I, too, don't want to do a membership, but I want to design a way to keep supporting some people, whether or not they've purchased my backend offer." -Annie Bacher

A brief weekly call 

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, and/or don’t feel the need to overextend your schedule. 

For some, offering a simple 15-minute call each week is more than enough. This weekly call can be anything from a feedback session to a simple check-in or question and answer period with your client. 

"15 minute call/week" -Cara Bell 

This is perfect for clients who are working with a smaller budget or not yet ready to jump into an intensive coaching program. It provides them with routine support and it gives them a glimpse into what it’s like to work you with one-on-one. 

P.S. Try packaging these weekly calls into a monthly package for your clients. For example, your package could be $500 per month for four weekly calls.

A coaching program 

A coaching program is a more long-term strategy for helping your clients reach their goals. 

As opposed to a VIP day or a 1:1 session, coaching clients are seeking more extended support from you. You might help them define their goals, develop a pathway to achieving these goals, and provide support and accountability along the way. 

With a coaching program, there are generally two options: 1:1 coaching or group coaching. As for the time period, that’s entirely up to you — we’ve been part of coaching programs that span from only a few days or a few months to an entire year. 

"3 or 6-month coaching program. They can renew when it ends." -Sandra De Freitas

A cohort 

A cohort is a small group of people who are banded together to accomplish a specific task. 

The idea behind a cohort is to break your members into smaller groups based on their interests, similarities, or skill levels. For example, if your workshop is teaching people how to widdle a spoon, you can offer three different cohorts based on the different widdling stages — beginner, intermediate and advanced. 

In the case of a workshop, the cohort will follow after you deliver your workshop. Be sure to weave invitational cues into your live workshop and follow up shortly thereafter with an email that explains the different cohort options.

"I call them cohorts, but small time-bound groups make a ton of sense. See if there are a few of your workshop attendees that are in similar stages of progress. Figure out what's easy to facilitate, map out the steps and create a short implementation cohort." -Ben Esteban