Case Study: How Front Row Dads is Growing a Virtual & In-Person Membership Community


In this video and case study, Ali interviews Rachael Dietrich, the Operations director at Front Row Dads. As a member(dev) customer, Rachael shares key things to consider when streamlining and scaling your membership operations.


Front Row Dads (FRD) is an intentional membership community for fathers who want to put family first to be more conscious and effective in their role as husbands and fathers. FRD operates a hybrid virtual and in-person membership model

FRD already had an established membership site before working with member(dev). Ali and Rachael discuss the many wins and lessons learned when it comes to operating a sustainable membership model along with the support provided by the member(dev) team and platform.


  • 300+ active members
  • 50% YOY growth since 2018
  • 2 sold out annual retreats per year (since 2018)
  • Average of 75+ members in attendance for virtual summits
Coaching Model

Front Row Dads self titles their community “The Brotherhood” which very closely ties back to the intimate relationships forged in this community. As a member himself, Ali discussed with Rachael the needs of the Front Row Dads as they began expanding their events and online community.

  • Group Training Calls – The FRD team provides ongoing live training calls as well as access to pre-recorded sessions for members as they intentionally create and plan their journey in fatherhood and marriage.
  • Membership Levels or Tiers – Initially, the FRD team only offered one pricing level or tier which was monthly. Over time, the began to add different membership levels which provides access to different resources and events within the membership.
  • Retreat & Event Exclusives – Events play a pivotal role in the membership subscription that FRD provides. This includes both in-person and virtual events which are available based on different membership tiers. After the pandemic, FRD made a strategic shift from in-person events to more virtual, but has now returned back towards offering different in-person events in addition to online options.

Rachael shared how important it is to focus on the key goals and metrics to create success for the members as well as the FRD team. The FRD team emphasized the need to engage in activities that are aligned with the company’s core values and goals. This makes it super clear what to focus on as well as what not to place energy towards.

Relationships and powerful conversations are a pivotal piece to how they provide connectivity inside their membership. FRD makes decisions based on what’s best for the member, they want members to feel valued, respected, and supported as an individual and not a number.

FRD is people centric and make decisions based on curiosity and playfulness.

At their core, the leadership team believes in open communication or “real talk with repair.” Being transparent with your intentions as well as thoughts and feelings.

Systems & Processes

The FRD team sends and reviews feedback from surveys after events and determines what to focus on improving and which things to maintain. A majority of members are subscribed to the annual plan and they create membership “pillars” to support a members long-term growth inside their community.

They use Telegram for real-time communication within the community as well as access to call replays and training content within member(dev). In addition, FRD has upgrade options for in-person events or retreats to create a deeper connection and support for their members.

Planning and executing virtual and in-person events initially was a huge undertaking, but at present the FRD team has systematized their process and systems for different event types that create a customer journey that leads to organic membership growth.

The team creates unique personalized experiences for members including celebrating new member gifts or special touch-points unique to their members.

The FRD team has systematized their process and systems for different event types that create a customer journey that leads to organic membership growth.

  • After a SWOT Analysis, the team discussed that “People-Pleasing” didn’t always produce results for their event or membership growth which helps them make decisions when it comes to their quarterly planning
  • Monthly commitments may not receive the transformational experiences as much as longer term investments such as annual.
  • Trial memberships were not converting the true meaningful impact for members; it resulted in causing “waves” or disrupted parts of the community when members left.
Online Platform

Previously, the FRD team was on the Mighty Networks Platform which provided less customization features. They chose member(dev) in 2019 for its ability to customize specific areas of their virtual experience, leading to better member engagement and long-term growth.

Since moving to member(dev), they’ve focused on the following aspects of their online platform:

  • Using member(dev) to provide a simple registration and checkout flow.
  • Using member(dev) to provide members a simple way to pro-rate and upgrade when necessary.
  • Customized access for the content library and events based on membership level or tier.
  • Offering virtual event access and registration, which is a critical part of the member experience.
  • Leveraging member(dev) to create a customized leaderboard, which supports member referrals and community growth.
  • Gradually streamlining their tech stack and removing unnecessary tech to increase profits and reduce overhead.
  • Having an online platform allows you to scale your impact.
Key Insights
  • Be strategic about the marketing of a membership to instill the value of a longer term commitment resulting in a better experience and goal accomplishments.
  • Always align company decisions based on values and goals.
  • Provide a clear marketing journey and intentional member experience for long-term growth.
  • Determine the capacity for offering in-person events and streamline your process for preparing and delivering the process.
Final Thoughts

Conversations and community are the key to creating a clear focus for growth, retention, and impact for their membership.

  • Create an intentional customer journey considering the lifetime investment for the membership.
  • Develop a marketing plan and strategy that creates clear alignment for your community values.
  • Offer healthy incentive for your members to upgrade to an annual investment.

We hope you enjoyed this case study. If you’ve like to learn more about Front Row Dads you can visit their site at:

Melody Johnson

Melody has extensive experience helping visionary leaders and teams expand their recurring revenue through powerful learning experiences. She's well versed in curriculum development, group programs and subscription business models. Melody is passionate about getting our customers better results through effective education and training.

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