I am studying various membership offerings on websites related to consciousness, metaphysics, and related topics.
What I have seen so far is what I call the “data dump!”
After you purchase your membership, you are presented with an overwhelming list of items you can study. Sometimes they are organized in various categories. Other times, they are not.
This kind of library poses a few problems:
1. It just feels overwhelming. Where do you start? What should you look at next?
2. When the library is full of audio and video material, it is not searchable. And I don’t want to look at a two-hour video to realize that it was not the information I wanted.
3. If this library is behind a paid membership, there is little incentive for users to keep their membership. The exception here is when new content is added, so the member hand around for that. But it still leaves a ton of old content dead in the water.
We Can Do Better
I have some ideas on tackling these issues, but I confess I have not seen them implemented yet.
1. Where do you start?
The library should have a roadmap, with a clear START HERE sign. Everyone new will appreciate this: one button, instead of hundreds of items to choose from. Of course, this works if each item has a “Go here next” button. You are creating a pathway through your library, guiding your reader.
To take this to the next level, the new members can take a quick quiz at the “START HERE” landmark, based on which they will get a different pathway that will better suit their interest. I think this makes the library much more valuable.
A notable mention here is the content drip approach. I am not a big fan of this because I like to move at my own speed and jump around if I want to. That being said, even content-drip is better than no deliver strategy.
2. Making the video and audio search-able.
Each video and audio should have a description with time indexes describing what is going on: topics addressed, questions answered, resources, etc. If you did not do this for each video or audio as you have created it, you are faced with a considerable task 5 years later.
Soon, artificial intelligence will come to the rescue, but until then, you could hire someone, or more than one, to go through the videos and create these indexes for you. You can find people willing to help on Fiverr, but be ready to spend some money. For a paid membership, you should be able to recoup the expense quickly, and it will significantly increase the library’s value!
3. Reviving old content
A spiritual library never gets truly old. Usually, the information is timeless, and it can help new and old members alike. But new members are not likely to dig around in the past five years, especially when new content is being added each month or each week.
A pathway through the library will help. Making the content searchable will also expose some gems. But you can take this much further with automatic semi-random content delivery.
Here is what I mean:
Each week send an automated email to your membership suggesting one of the library items and the notes associated with it and invite the members to study it. If you have to pick this by hand, it may be too much work; therefore, you should select one semi-randomly. Semi-randomly means that you will use a quiz or use historical data to determine your members’ interests. And you randomly choose items that they did not see yet but might be interested to see.
Such a message will be highly relevant. Of course, it requires some creative technical solutions to segment your audience based on interests. Either your newsletter provider can do that, or a piece of code on your software could handle this.
Imagine how much more valuable the old content suddenly becomes and how much better you serve your audience!
4. And a bonus: create a community around the library.
It’s much more engaging to comment on something and have a discussion around an item with your peers. You can ask questions if you need more clarity, or you can be generous and help others understand or point them in the right direction.
A community will take care of this. A basic comment feature under each library item is ok, but a forum is much better as it allows your members to create new topics that maybe you did not think of.
Can you think of more?
If you have other ideas on making a spiritual library more “alive”, I am very interested to know. Reach out!