Business Owners: What are some ways you market your Martial Art school?

Discussion in 'School Management' started by Flashx80, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Flashx80

    Flashx80 White Belt

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    Any tips?
     
  2. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    invest in it decently and use pretty open methods the most people will see. Im not a business owner but im not stupid in regards as to how to market something. and its what i have seen other places do.

    Primarily its either drop pamphlets into letter boxes of houses, put flyers up and make a website/Facebook group. And demos somewhat help as well. And also some branded items which some people might wear. in fact website and putting posters up is probably the two best ways to do it as then if someone is looking for a place it should show up for the town through google.
     
  3. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    It depends on what kind of Martial Arts school you have. Regardless of style.
     
  4. Matt Bryers

    Matt Bryers Orange Belt

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    I run the Cage JSA in Cromwell CT (cagejsa.com)

    Our 3 best sources of leads are our Google Business Page, our website and our Facebook page.

    We run paid ads for specialty courses or offers.

    If you are a new school I would strongly suggest spending as much time as possible updating you Google Business profile, establishing a solid Facebook page, and creating a simple website to attract new leads.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Well, our top 3 ways of getting new students are: website, referrals, and walk-by (having a decent location & visible signage). Lately, I've been working on improving our social media presence and developing better Facebook/IG advertising. We also have a booth at various town events/festivals. I've tried print advertising, direct mailers, advertising on grocery carts and so forth, but none of that's ever gotten us much in the way of results.
     
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  6. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can tell you for me the website (and linked to that SEO) is whats motlst likely to get me in the door. It needs to be clear on what you teach, and what your schedule is. Price too but that's something I can figure out when i get to your dojo if I'm okay with, since I know most places dont post their prices online (not so for everybody).
     
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  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Agree, but I would place referrals 1st, website 2nd, & walk-by/visibility 3rd.
    We have dojangs in two towns. Visibility in the smaller is not as important so we have quite a bit more invested in signage and store front at our Nashville location. Website and visibility runs a close race according to feedback.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    In my experience, you have it entirely backwards. Demos produce more visits than pamphlets, posters, and flyers, by a long shot. There's some debate on where websites and Facebook pages fit in. They're definitely necessary from what I see, but they don't seem to drive as much business as in some other areas.
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've also used Groupon to some good effect. I don't have a school (nor even an independent program now - I'm teaching inside a Karate school these days), but I do work with the dojo owner to drive business.
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've also used Groupon to some good effect. I don't have a school (nor even an independent program now - I'm teaching inside a Karate school these days), but I do work with the dojo owner to drive business.
     
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Completely forgot about groupon! Yeah, when people without experience are looking to train, I've heard groupon come up more than once.
     
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  12. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Probably, you have to pay more for a demo i would think as you need to rent the spot at a event and you need events in your area to really do it. And then weather can cause issues if its a outside event. I personally have found my local places via the internet mixed with fliers or just knowing them.

    edit: none of these are exclusive to each other anyway, you can do as much marketing as you can afford or deem fit and use what ever combination of methods you can afford or deem fit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    We have never paid for a demo venue. If memory serves we were invited to most all of them. Usually a local fair or city/county festival type venue. We have also done quite a lot of demo's with professional organizations.
    If you are paying to put on a demo you are going about them the wrong way. That would be some other form of paid advertising.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed on all points. And I suspect demos are most effective in convincing parents.

    EDIT: I did find my primary school via a demo, though it was a one-man demo by the then-CI.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I know some places payment is necessary. I'm not actually sure if my instructors ever paid for the privilege. A couple of the demos were at locations where folks were paying for space, in general, so I suspect they paid at those.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I can see that if you go to them seeking the opportunity to demo.
     
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  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Website was the big attraction for me. But it's not just a website. It's a website that you have to update and make relevant. It has to look professional and inviting. People don't trust websites that look as if someone only spent 30 minutes on it and called it done.

    I always call Facebook the look at me page were people are fighting to get attention so I don't invest much effort into Facebook. When people want to find something they don't search on Facebook, They do a Google search and go to a website. When people want attention and like, they go to Facebook. Facebook is excellent for creating general awareness but not so go for getting local business. It's good for showing the world what you do but most people on Facebook aren't looking to buy.

    Did my old school have a Facebook page. Yep. but it didn't bring any business in. There's a lot of competition for attention on Facebook..

    The biggest thing that will really help is to understand where your Martial Arts system fits into the community interest. Do people in that area like Kung Fu or is the community a TKD community. I recently watched a Karate/MMA/ Muay Thai / afterschool martial arts business either move, or go out of business. Point is they are no longer in that spot. Part of me wants to grab that space to open up my own school their but the business side of me says, There's a reason why that school isn't there anymore. Location is everything.
     
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  18. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    When we had a demonstration team and did demos, most of the local festivals & such wanted us to pay for a vendor spot before we could sign up to do a demo. It was like a package deal.
     
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  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I don't know exactly how the equation works but Facebook and twitter and such "add up" in the SEO hit ratio. As I understand it Google (Bing, etc...) has a heavier weighting than Facebook who has a heavier weighting than Twitter. One reason companies/people relying heavily on online presence will have multiple pages and Twitter feeds.
    It can get heavy building the presence on the front side and if you are doing online sales or need a fresh presence frequently I would say it is better to hire someone in the business.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
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  20. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    This is a social media ranking. The Google algorithm looks for things of relevance and Trending. The best way to do this is through social media like Facebook and Twitter.. The more people who participate on your facebook page the higher the ranking will be. Unfortunately this doesn't always translate to customers, which is why people who try to have only a facebook page instead of a website often have low sales numbers and are rarely successful.

    You wouldn't believe how many people try to avoid the cost of a website by simply having a Facebook page. It never works out for them. I can get first page ranking for websites even if there isn't a facebook page. I did it 3 years ago so I think I still remember the formula. Oh Facebook also helps with backlinks. I'll use myself as an example. I'm starting an online martial arts /self-defense focused website. I'll have online and offline sessions available. So I show a video of me sparring using Jow ga. Along with that video I put a link that says "To see more visit my martial arts fights. Click here. ". Then that video is shared with hundreds of people. The video isn't as important as the link. So each time they share my post my link follows and with each share it builds what is called a backlink. The more backlinks you have the hire ranking you'll get.

    There are a couple of good websites that teach you how to do this and they often tell all of the things that make it work. The downside is that it's ALOT OF WORK. If I was going to hire someone then I would first read up on what makes it work. Not so that I can do it, but so i can makes sure who ever is doing it for me is doing their job. I've had clients who paid 3rd party SEO companies $5000 on the low end to get better online presence. What often happens these people will generate meaningless hits for your website and you think that you are doing well, but none of those hits are potential customers. It's just wasted money to get people to look at a website and never purchased..

    If you like I can give you the name of the website that I learned from.
     
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