I spent my weekend coughing, drinking orange juice and curled up under my sheets with Kajabi. The New Kajabi. Here are my first impressions of the platform and my thoughts on using the New Kajabi for your membership site.
A year ago, I wrote an article on Member Mouse, as I was in the middle of trying to find a membership platform to host my membership site. At the time, I was testing Paid Memberships Pro and Member Mouse, with plans to move on to WishList Member. Instead I gave myself a much-needed respite after my long-time friend and oft-times business partner, Ron died unexpectedly of a stroke in mid-November.
For me, taking a break from web technology for a year was like taking a break from walking for a year. I came back having to re-learn everything all over again… including WordPress.
During my year off, I chose to work as a bookkeeper for an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization. I thought it would be mindless, mechanical work. And it would have been if the company that hired me had done any bookkeeping at all over the previous three years. The job turned out to be quite challenging, a bit stressful, and somewhat frustrating.
After my stint with the nonprofit corporation was done, I went back to doing what I do best – helping busy entrepreneurs create content, build information products, and market themselves online. Which pretty much catches you up to date.
My current client-employer is a successful real estate investor who hired me to help him create several products simultaneously, one of which is a paid membership community for novice real estate entrepreneurs. Because he already has the New Kajabi, we’re using the New Kajabi for his membership site.
What is Kajabi?
Kajabi is a content delivery platform. It allows you to create and deliver both paid and free content. I’ve used Kajabi before when it was Kajabi Next and found it… technical. And even using it all last weekend, Kajabi didn’t strike me as a platform for the busy mom who just wants to share strategies with other busy moms in a membership community. At first glance, Kajabi seems like a comprehensive tool for professional online marketers who spend their prime hours building membership sites, not the busy mom whose aim is to share strategies with other busy moms in a members-only community.
Kajabi is Actually Very Straightforward
I know. I know. Easy isn’t everything, Sorilbran. True. And the New Kajabi turned out to be very straightforward once I stopped looking for it to be super-easy. Straightforward? Yes. Intuitive? For me, no. I had to watch hours of tutorials and read about a dozen articles online to get a clear picture of Kajabi’s functionality and capabilities.
The New Kajabi has fantastic functionality. You build an entire website, fully equipped with a blog and static pages right on the Kajabi platform. What does that mean? It means you can have the New Kajabi for your membership site and not even need a separate website for your brand. I’ll get more into that later.
What About Designing a Website Using Kajabi?
Well, that’s the one drawback for me was the design limits. Coming from a WordPress background where functionality can seem limitless with the strategic use of plugins, Kajabi’s design capabilities feel quite limiting to me. There are a handful of website templates from which to choose and I had a hard time distinguishing one template from the next. Wonderfully, the website dashboard is set up a lot like the WordPress dashboard, so it was easy to navigate. But I didn’t happen to come across a website design I like, so we opted to build a separate .com website outside of Kajabi and use New Kajabi solely to host the premium content / membership site.
I would have to learn more HTML code to get the blog posts to look like I want them to look. Not my favorite thing.
Organizing Content on Kajabi
I think this is the area that was least obvious to me. As a blogger, I’m used to using tags, categories and posts. In the Kajabi ecosystem, categories and posts are used to organize paid content. Here is the hierarchy:
The Sales functionality for your membership sit will contain an Offer that you name and to which you assign Products. Each product is made up of one or more multi-media Posts and downloads. Each Post is assigned a Category; within each category you have the option to release enable the content to be published immediately or to be included as part of a content drip, delivered X number of days from the date the member first got access to the product.
So for instance, for my client’s membership site, we’re building out 52 weeks of drip content that’s divided by topics that we’ve called Units. Each unit is made up of a series of training modules and each module is made available seven days after the previous module becomes available. In Kajabi-ese…
- The Offer is the Real Estate Entrepreneurs Program (REEP) monthly membership
- There will be a total of 10 products bundled as part of this membership.
- Each product contains between 4 and 10 training modules + downloads like sample contracts, worksheets, and instructions + supplemental video content to further explain or show examples of each topic covered by the training modules
- Each training module is put on a drip schedule using categories. So Module 1 is available immediately once a REEP member signs up. Module 2 becomes available 7 days later. Module 3 becomes available 14 days after sign-up. Module 4 becomes available 21 days after sign-up. Etc.
I will admit: I didn’t immediately grasp the way in which Kajabi structured this part of the membership system, despite having used at least two other membership platforms before. And I didn’t love the video tutorials. For whatever reason, that one guy who explains all the features makes me sort of zone out.
This guy sort of makes my eyes glaze over.
Kajabi’s List Management Capabilities
Kajabi also provides its members with the ability to send emails and manage their lists from within Kajabi, or to integrate their own list management software using Zapier. Were I just starting out, I would use Kajabi’s list management functions just to keep things simple. But of course, my client already has a list of nearly 7,000 members in InfusionSoft, so we’re in the process of integrating InfusionSoft to track and tag user engagement.
The New Kajabi does have a pre-determined set of emails that go out to your new members confirming their membership and letting them know when the next training module is available. You have the option to revise those emails or use your own once you integrate your own email auto-responder.
In part two of this review on using the New Kajabi for your membership site, I’ll talk about creating landing pages, setting up your Kajabi store, and pricing. Have a productive week.