[PODCAST] How to Build a Subscription-Based Business

How to Build a Subscription-Based Business


JSB Talks Digital Podcast #96

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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In this episode #96, I discuss subscription-based business models.

Coming up in today’s show:

  • In Social Media News
    • GIFs in LinkedIn messaging
    • Facebook comments – only friends can see if you choose
    • Nametags on Instagram
  • I interview Matt Eldridge of Melt Design in the UK, because he mentioned his pooches in an email!
  • Shoutouts: Three ways I’m building subscriptions into my business model
  • Ask JSB
  • In JSB’s column: Why I decided to go down the subscription road  
  • Find out what social video tool saved my working week
LISTEN: How to Build a Subscription-Based Business - featuring @meltdesign | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet

Listen now:


Social Media News

GIFs in LinkedIn messaging

Do you think that GIFs in LinkedIn messenger is a good idea?

I often think GIFs on LinkedIn generally are a big dodgy because you are engaging with the professional connections in your life and not your friends.

Well, GIF platform Tenor has announced that it will be powering GIF searches within LinkedIn Messaging, as reported by TechCrunch.

LinkedIn GIFs - TechCrunch

Source: TechCrunch

Google recently acquired Tenor to help the company bring up GIFs inside Google images and other services like Gboard more easily.

As part of the new integration, LinkedIn members will be able to search for GIFs within LinkedIn Messaging as well as access trending GIFs, and in the near future have a custom stream that shows what’s being used most often within LinkedIn.

The update is now available for 50 percent of LinkedIn users, and will be rolling out to everyone else in the near future.

Tenor says that messages sent on LinkedIn have grown 60 percent in the past year, and that integrating GIFs on the platform will help “to create genuine connections with professional contacts such as coworkers, past colleagues or fellow alumni.”

I love LinkedIn, but I’d be careful about GIFs!


Facebook comments – only friends can see if you choose

Have you noticed the new option on Facebook comments?

You can now choose to have ‘friends only’ see your comments on a thread. With continued emphasis being put on privacy, the feature update appeared on my News Feed last week.

I like it, I think it give users more control and that can only be welcomed.

I’d love to know what you think?

Drop me a comment on the Digital Training Institute Facebook Page. 


Instagram Launches Nametags

Snapchat has Snapcodes, Facebook has Messenger Codes, now Instagram is launching its own QR code.

Nametags, which are scannable QR codes, will make it easier for Instagrammers to promote their account, across multiple channels both offline and online.

Instagram confirmed it is working on deploying this feature in the near future, which is already available to a small number of beta users.

Twitter user Genady Okrain shared screenshots and more information on how the new Instagram Nametags works.

Instagram Nametag Button


Interview with Matt Eldridge of Melt Design

Matt with Poppet And Pierre

In this episode, I interview Matt Eldridge, founder of Melt Design.

Matt runs an award winning creative agency that helps ambitious businesses and entrepreneurs put the right website, business systems, design and marketing in place to deliver excellent results and ongoing success.

I began working with Matt last month to help me scale up my online business.

In this interview, we discuss building a subscription-based business so you might discover if it’s a model that would work for you!

Find out more about Matt and Melt Design:

How to Build a Subscription-Based Business - @tweetsbyJSB chats to Matt Eldridge of @meltdesign | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet

Listen to my interview with Matt:

My favourite quote from our chat:

Matt Eldridge, Owner of Melt Design - Quote


Shout-Outs: Three Ways I’m Building Subscriptions Into My Business Model

In this part of the show I give shoutouts to brands, organisations or individuals whose work online is remarkable and worth talking about.

In this episode, I share three ways I’m building subscriptions into my business model.


1. Signature Courses

I’ve designed three JSB signature online courses to introduce my ideal customers to my full offering.

They will sit mid-way into the funnel and respond to the pain-points of my customers. The online courses are:

  1. Digital Communications Roadmap
  2. Trust Marketing – A Blueprint for Government
  3. Digital Content Creation Formula

Each of these topics are niche and specific to my audience – public sector marketing and communications professionals, and they are practical courses with formulas which they can implement into their organisations.


2. Digital Academy

I’ve also built a Digital Academy for Public Sector Marketing Pros. I’m often hired as a consultant to work on a specific project. However, sometimes it’s just not possible for agencies to hire me on an ongoing basis.

My Digital Academy presents a unique opportunity for individuals to work with me directly for 12-months with high-level topics crucial to public sector organisations being covered in depth.

Academy members will get:

  • 1 module per month
  • Useful resources including workbooks, handbooks and tutorial videos
  • Access to a members’ area to network and learn from their peers also working in marketing or communications in the public sector
  • All courses are CPD certified so there is professional recognition of learning which will help promotion and career development
  • There will also be other benefits such as exclusive interviews with experts, live Q&A with me and updates on changes in the world of social media


3. Mastermind

I’m also hosting my first Mastermind this year. However, I’ve invested significantly myself in being in Masterminds.

My Public Sector Marketing Pros’ Mastermind is aimed at senior managers and decision makers leading out on digital transformation. They will:

  • Manage a team
  • They will be responsible for digital transformation in some way
  • They are eager to build the profile of their organisation and themselves to build influence at home and abroad.

This 12-month Mastermind is limited to 10 people only and candidates will be selected on an application basis.



In this part of the show I bring the voice of my listeners onto the podcast.

In this week’s Ask JSB, my question comes from Michelle Baxter who has her own online business aimed at the dental industry.

Michelle asks:

“What is your on boarding process for new members in your academy?”

My answer:

  • Once registered members receive a welcome email with instructions on how to login to the members area, they are directed to the new members’ landing page and I will be there (in video) to welcome them and show them the ropes.
  • There will be a short PDF download to explain the mechanics of the Academy and the expectations from a learning perspective – it’s important we remind our clients that their learning is their responsibility.
  • We will also invite them into our members’ forum and get them to introduce themselves.
  • There is an option of a 15-minute call with me to ask any particular questions.

This is a relatively new on-boarding process for me, so I will test and iterate it and will definitely share what worked and what didn’t work in time.

Don’t forget if you have a burning social media or digital marketing question, simply click on digitaltraininginstitute.ie/askjsb and leave me a voicemail. You can also send me your question to any of our social networks.


JSB’s Column: Why I Decided To Go Down The Subscription Road

JSB Profile Pic

In today’s JSB’s column, I share why I decided to go down the subscription road and how far down that road I am!

  • I’ve been trading time for money for 10 years
  • I want to leverage the capabilities that technology has provided entrepreneurs
  • I know I can work smarter by thinking smarter in business
  • The online education business is booming proving that people are willing to learn online
  • I’ve settled on my online niche and they need my help to support them in the Digital Age
  • I know I have what it takes to build an online business, I just need to get out of my own way
  • I am constantly evolving my skills and my knowledge and this is my next step
  • I want to be able to work with more people by scaling JSB and this allows me to
  • I want to be able to speak on more stages, in more countries so having an online business supports my own business ambitions
  • I want to be able to work a four-day week at some stage and this will also help me to achieve this personal goal – it’s also Bobby’s goal for me!

If you want help developing your subscription-based business, then get in touch. Simply email [email protected].


Social Media Tool of the Week: FilmoraGo


The social media tool that saved my working week this week is FilmoraGo.

It’s a video editing tool which you can use on the go, on mobile or on desktop, and is super easy to use and very user-friendly. I use it on both mobile and desktop.

Top features include:

  • Import photo and video clips
  • Preview clips in real-time
  • Supports imports from social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Fantastic templates and effects
  • Choose from stylish themes
  • Royalty free music
  • Fit for purpose ratios

Find out more at https://filmora.wondershare.com or download it for iOS or Android.


I love feedback

I’d love to know what you think about this episode. So please get in touch by commenting below or tweet me @tweetsbyJSB or send me a snap to @jsbsnaps.

Review JSB Talks Digital on iTunes


Listen: JSB Talks Digital Episode #96

I would like to thank Eoghan Murphy aka The Galway Gamer for producing my podcast series and to Flirt FM on the campus of NUI, Galway where I am based for the use of their studio.

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