Case Study: Setting Up a Profitable Online Side Business
Tony Eyers runs Harmonica Academy, a membership site that offers music tutorials, classes and workshops for people who are interested in learning the harmonica. He offers detailed harmonica instruction on his website, as well as encouragement, motivation, and lots of free samples. He also runs a second site which offers the same instruction but in Spanish.
Turning your passion into an income stream
Tony’s passion for the harmonica, and sharing his skills online through his website, has developed over the years into a profitable online side business. His intention is to transition his career from being a technical engineering type person, to one who makes a living from music and music instruction.
Using an all-in-one membership website builder
When Tony began his search for an online solution that could handle his needs, he looked at a number of different options. Being technically minded he was confident that he’d be capable of building what was needed himself, but then he stumbled across SubHub and realised that he didn’t have to. Here was the all-in-one solution he needed – a platform that fulfilled all his needs without needing additional plugins or hacks.
Tony says, “I’ve got an engineering background in IT-related things, and so experience in constructing various systems. Back then, much more than now, to create a subscription-based site required various technical things to be put in and to be to made to work. I looked around and SubHub was the only turnkey solution. At that stage there weren’t any competitors. I considered doing it myself and I probably would have been capable. I think it would have been challenging. I had the skills, but it still would have been challenging. It’s less so, these days, but I’m very happy for my sites to be on SubHub, and I have no plans of shifting, ever.”
Tony’s approach to customer service
One thing that has been key to Tony’s success is his attitude to customer service, and he encourages anyone running a membership site not to neglect this part of their business. He says, “I check my sites every day and if anyone is having issues, I fix them immediately. I offer a refund, no questions asked. I make a point of providing immediate refunds. If you take money from someone you’ve never met, who’s on the other side of the world, who’s trusted you, that’s a contract that you have entered into that you have to honour. And you do that by providing the service that’s been paid for and stuff like that. And then, if they don’t like it, by giving the money back.
Support you can count on
Although Tony is very capable of fixing the majority of issues that crop up with his sites, he still appreciates a little extra help from the SubHub team from time to time. And like all our clients, he is instrumental in driving forward changes to the platform that all our clients can benefit from.
Tony says, “SubHub has been very good, support-wise. At times, there have been issues and the response is very professional, I have never had an instance where it hasn’t been.
Something else Tony appreciates, and has encouraged him to stay with us for so long, is the fact that he’s had a chance to build a strong relationship with the people who are taking care of his business.
Tony says, “One of the things I really like about SubHub, and I think is quite unusual, is that people stay there for long, long time. Usually you’ll have someone for six months and then they move on, and you have this constant churn. However at SubHub, it seems to be set up in a way that suits people, so they stay, which is very nice for someone like me.
Advice for building a membership website
Finally, Tony had this advice for anyone who is interested in building a membership site, “I would definitely recommend trying SubHub, because it’s a one-stop shop. You don’t have to worry about technical things, you don’t have to glue this thing together and glue that thing together. If it breaks then SubHub fixes it, so you don’t have to. If anyone came to me and said, ‘I’m setting up a membership website, what do you recommend?’ I’d say SubHub. You just set up your test site, then you literally just create your content.”
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