Robbie Kellman Baxter: Building a Business in the Membership Economy
In recent years, we have experienced a massive transformation in the way organizations relate to the people they serve. The focus has shifted from ownership to access, from transactions to relationships, from single payment to subscription pricing, and from one-way conversation to open dialogue. In this new Membership Economy, businesses are called on to build trusted relationships with customers in order to earn their loyalty.
Robbie Baxter is the founder of Peninsula Strategies, a consulting firm that supports solopreneurs, venture-backed startups and industry leaders in developing business strategy. She has 20 years of experience working on growth initiatives with nearly 100 organizations in 20-plus industries, including ASICS, Netflix and The Wall Street Journal. Baxter is also the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue, an Inc Top 5 Marketing Book of 2015, and she received her MBA from Stanford, where she serves as the Vice Chair of Stanford Women on Boards.
Today, Baxter explains the Membership Economy, describing how she supports entrepreneurs and startups in building authentic relationships with their clients and customers. She shares her transition from corporate product marketing to independent consulting, discussing how being the mother of young children made it difficult for her to be an A-player in a traditional nine-to-five setting. Listen in for Baxter’s insight on defining your area of expertise and learn how to choose a career path that works for your life.
Key Interview Takeaways
Businesses benefit from building relationships with customers. Baxter coined the term Membership Economy to represent the massive shift in how organizations relate to the people they serve, developing trust with consumers in order to win their loyalty.
Independent consulting requires niching down to a specific area of expertise. Baxter fell in love with the Netflix business model and leveraged her understanding of the Membership Economy to build a successful consulting business helping entrepreneurs and startups establishing meaningful relationships with clients and customers.
Integrity is key in the membership economy. Subscription businesses that don’t treat their customers well will lose them.
As an independent consultant doing knowledge work, it doesn’t matter WHEN you work on a project, as long as you complete it on time. The flexible model affords more control over your career and may be ideal for women who are the mothers of young children.
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