After more than 20 years of the Internet, there’s an increasing amount of free sales and marketing content right at your fingertips. So much that it can be frustrating and confusing to understand what’s good and what’s crap.
One of the most popular ways to get free content marketing advice, guidance and curated content is to join a free Facebook group or community. Like most, I’m sure you’re a member of quite a few.
Here at CMA, we have a free content marketing Facebook group for entrepreneurs, business leaders and marketers who want to master the skill of creating world-class content that helps their buyers to make confident and educated buying decisions.
However, we can’t run and grow a successful business here at CMA if everything we do is free of charge. In fact, the only reason we can create free content is because we have customers who are willing to pay for our products and services.
If you are a member of the free CMA Facebook Group, you may be considering joining CMA and wondering what the difference is between free access to CMA content, versus paying a membership fee for CMA.
Why do we give away a lot of our content for free?
We are running a profitable business here at CMA so there has to be a significant difference between what you get for free and what’s available for our members that pay a fee.
Before I started CMA back in 2012 I did a lot of research and it was clear to me that the majority of marketing companies are poor at marketing.
From the beginning, I vowed that we will practice what we preach. It’s more important to me now than it ever has been. We are still creating content, still pushing to be better, still showing people how it’s done. We even participate in the same challenges we facilitate for our members, and whilst drafting this article I’m using the same blogging template we created for our members to use.
We create a lot of free content and have done for many years. We have regular blog articles, free tutorials, the CMA Podcast Show and our video channel.
All of this free content is our marketing. It’s how we get customers, just like our members and clients do, too.
What’s the difference between the free CMA Facebook Group and the paid version of CMA Membership?
The major difference between the free Facebook Group and the paid-for CMA Membership really comes down to how much time we spend in each place and how much direct coaching we provide.
For example, there’s almost no direct coaching in the free Facebook Group, and we provide both 1-2-1 and group coaching for our paid members, who have direct access to us.
Here’s a quick rundown of the major differences between the free Facebook page and the paid-for CMA Membership:
- Engage and communicate with the wider CMA community
- Join free monthly live training sessions with Chris and Nic
- First to know about new content from CMA
- Alerts for in-person CMA events
- Weekly live calls and coaching with Chris & Nic
- Content feedback from Chris and Nic
- Priority level feedback, advice and guidance from Chris and Nic
- Direct access to Chris and Nic
- Access to premium content – Content Success Formula, courses, programmes and expert sessions
- Inclusive access to content marketing challenges and accountability groups
- Engage and communicate with the CMA Squad via private and highly curated Slack group
- Access to high-performance Masterclass sessions with Chris (Additional monthly fee)
In short, if you’re serious about making significant progress and getting better results faster from your content marketing, being a paid member is going to work out better for you.
Who is a fit for joining the paid-for CMA membership?
Roughly 30% of our Facebook Group are paid members of CMA, so clearly paying for membership is not suitable for everyone.
The obvious main reason for not joining is that it costs money to join the CMA membership. There are two main pricing options:
- Pricing option 1: If you have a start-up company or your company is currently earning an annual revenue of under £10,000, you can join CMA for £4.99 per month, or £49 per year.
- Pricing option 2: If you have an established company earning more than £10,000 in annual revenue, membership is £49 per month, or £468 per year (saving £120 compared to the monthly fee).
What type of companies pay to join CMA?
Most of the companies we work with in the CMA Membership are <£1m companies. There are a few exceptions, and for the larger companies, it’s typically the in-house marketers that join CMA to learn The CMA Way.
1. Entrepreneurs & ‘Companies of One’
Small companies, working solo or perhaps with a few team members and outsourcing specialist skills. The business owner is the person who looks after the marketing and sales of the company and joins CMA to receive directed learning, accountability and coaching to create a better quality of content and achieve ROI by getting more of the right customers for their business.
- Interview with Col Gray of Pixels Ink (Podcast)
2. In-House Marketers
Typically larger and more established companies, with clear ownership for the business functions – sales, marketing, business development, leadership and customer service, for example.
The In-House Marketer is more than likely working solo in the company, or perhaps with one or two other team members.
One of the biggest challenges In-House Marketer’s face internally is organisational buy-in.
In-house marketing teams join CMA for professional development, to learn how to make a bigger impact inside the organisation and to get direct guidance on how to create content that drives ROI and additional sales for the organisation.
3. Managing Directors
In companies between £1m and £5m in annual revenue often the Managing Director is heavily involved or has ownership over the sales and marketing function for the company.
Company MD’s are interested in creating content that helps to be seen as a leader in their industry, to create functional content marketing strategies, achieve ROI and develop their team so everyone is involved in the content marketing for the company.
Who is not a fit for joining the paid-for CMA Membership?
The great thing about CMA is that you can cancel your membership and leave at any time you like. There are no long term contracts, and when you leave you will still have access to all the free content from CMA (Read the terms).
It doesn’t happen often, but some people join CMA and leave having done nothing to develop their content marketing. There are a few reasons why this happens:
1. There’s learning to do
We’re not going to pull the wool over your eyes on this one. If you aren’t prepared to carve out time to learn how to do things ‘The CMA Way’, then it won’t be long until you are wondering why you feel like you’re not getting very much value from your membership.
Those that feel like they are getting value and stay with CMA are those who jump right into the learning and quickly implement what they are learning. You may think you know how to do content marketing, but there’s a good chance that you don’t really know, which is might be the reason why you’re thinking about joining CMA.
We know exactly how to drive sales with content marketing, and there’s a very specific way to do it. If you want to get value from CMA, you need to spend the time learning. If you want to be more successful, your learning is never done.
2. There’s actual work to do
I know you’re already busy, but there’s more to be done and once you know better, you have to do better…and we make this pretty clear from the start.
Up until now your marketing probably hasn’t been getting anywhere close to the amount of attention that it will need when you join CMA.
We’ve heard every excuse under the sun for why you aren’t going to do the work. It’s like water off a duck’s back for us.
If you work, we work. It’s as simple as that. If you aren’t prepared to put the work in we can’t help you. No one else is going to do the work for you.
Generally speaking, if you want to get value form your membership, we will encourage you to be working on your marketing each day, publishing content at least weekly, and we will push you to be better all the time.
3. You don’t want to get better
CMA is really only for people that want to be better, so if you’re pretty happy doing what you’ve always done there’s no point in joining. CMA is for those that want to grow, develop and challenge themselves to be more successful.
It’s one of many things we all have in common. We simply cannot settle on where we are. There’s always room for better.
4. You don’t believe that you need content marketing
What else is there?
Even though it’s hard to find another good solution for your sales and marketing problems, you might still not be ready to fully embrace The CMA Way.
It’s possibly the most frustrating but common reason why people do not move forward – because they can’t make a decision.
Most people are being pulled from pillar to post on every kind of marketing tactic.
CMA isn’t for people that want more one-time marketing tactics that they continually have to chase.
CMA is for people that are seeking a true evergreen strategic method for growing their business. It’s for those that are fed up with all the ‘guru’ crap out there and want to do it the right way.
If you want to grow your business in way that makes you feel proud of your work and your business, then you should learn how to do it The CMA Way
- Why you must create the best content that exists (Podcast)
- Content marketing is a sales conversation (Podcast)
- Should I give away my best content for free? (Podcast)
- How to be found online when no one knows who you are (Podcast)
5. You’re already a member of several other marketing memberships
There are a number of highly regarded marketing membership organisations available to you from all over the world.
Making the decision to join more than one organisation shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s not just about the money, but more importantly about your time, effort and attention.
Our advice is to choose carefully and to base your decision on what challenges you are currently having in your company.
Here are a few examples of the types of problems that CMA can help you with:
Some of the problems we solve in the paid-for CMA Membership…
- Your current content marketing isn’t driving traffic, leads and sales
- Your current SEO agency isn’t getting the results you expect
- You don’t know where to start with content marketing
- You need to get better results from your marketing efforts
- You don’t have a content marketing strategy and it’s time to fix that
- You need additional training and development for your team
- Your company can’t be found online by your buyers
- You are getting traffic to your website, but very few leads
- You don’t have the time for content marketing
- Your team aren’t buying-in to content marketing
- You want to be seen as the market leader in your industry
- You’re spending too much on paid advertising and PPC
- You want to do more of your marketing in-house
6. You are looking for a ‘magic bullet’ solution
Even to this day, many business people believe that there’s a single solution to fix all their problems, and that’s what they are searching for.
People that join CMA aren’t deluded by this pipe-dream. They know that if they want to be successful, they are going to have to do the right type of work to achieve their goals.
If you are the kind of person that can’t stick to implementing and working on just a few tried and tested marketing and sales principles, and doing them the best you can, then CMA isn’t going to be a fit.
We don’t want people to think they can join CMA and expect to build something incredible overnight. It just doesn’t work like that.
When you see content from people that are doing it The CMA Way, you can tell immediately that they are different, because they are the best. That’s why they stand out from the crowd. They aren’t interested in cutting corners, or just ticking the boxes. Every day they want to be better than they were yesterday.
There’s no magic bullet, there’s no quick fix. There’s just doing the right thing, with the right attitude and doing the best you can to create great work.
- Why does content marketing fail? (Podcast)
Are you ready to become a committed member of the CMA Squad?
The free CMA Facebook Group is a great place to start. There’s a lot of value and learning for you there. However, if you want to step up and be challenged to do better, then the paid CMA membership is where you need to be.
There’s no other organisation in the UK that teaches content marketing like we do here at CMA. That’s why many of our members are being recognised all over the world for the work they are doing. We don’t settle for mediocre, we strive to be the best, and we do it The CMA Way.