There is one fact of life that every entrepreneur needs to adopt – marketing is vital for success. Now, most business owners accept this easily, but people who provide educational services seem to have issues with this notion. We understand that teaching people Martial arts (or just teaching others in general) is a noble endeavor. However, you still need to turn a profit. A big part of this is understanding that marketing is not only quite necessary but also that it’s not a dirty word.
Marketing doesn’t need to be a dishonest campaign where you convince people to buy stuff they don’t need or hire services that don’t really matter. In fact, if you offer good services, marketing becomes much easier to do. So if you want to make the most out of your martial arts school, if you want to continue doing your dream job and actually make a good living off of it, we suggest you read the article below.
Get the basics down
First of all, just because you’re running a martial arts school doesn’t mean you’re not running a business. You are still providing services for money. This means most of the common issues many entrepreneurs face will present themselves to you too. For this reason, you need to get the basics down. And in case you may think this piece of advice is condescending, know that you’d be shocked at just how many people think they can get away with avoiding business marketing fundamentals just because they’re in this line of business. So, get that kind of mentality in check, if you have it.
As far as marketing is concerned, get a good website going, use it as a platform to promote yourself. Some basic SEO functionality will go a long way, as well as in general investing in advertising, like in the paper or on TV, if you can afford it. Of course, have your website set up properly. No need to get the glossiest thing you can, but do try and get something decent. You won’t really be taken seriously without one, and you need it as a platform.
Now, the other, very cheap and easy, way to promote yourself is by using social media. At the very least get a Facebook page, but Instagram can be useful as well. Namely, with a Facebook page, people will find you more easily and will make your school seem approachable. It’s also an excellent way to get as many pictures and videos there as possible. For example, put high quality, special images on your website (and save up on some bandwidth), while more casual, candid photos should be placed on your Facebook page. A video from some tournament can go a long way too.
Furthermore, with social media functionality, you can communicate and talk to people more easily. If anybody has any questions you can answer over Facebook or Twitter. Unlike a phone conversation, everybody interested can see the answer to this question. It also gives a more human face to your school, makes you more approachable.
After school programs
Another thing you should try is contacting a local school and offer after-school programs. For example, if you’re giving classes on Muay Thai for kids, then promote just how useful and fun it could be. An after-school program is perfect to connect you with the community, and the parents will surely appreciate you taking them off their hands a bit longer.
Now, if your dojo is within walking distance, then the kids can come to you (or you can pick them up yourself). If they are very young, perhaps a teacher can walk them to your place. However, that’s not an option, consider hiring a van or a bus to transport them around. Another option is teaching classes in the school gym if they allow it.
Get in touch with the community
Doing anything for the community is always sorely appreciated. If you do something like this, you’re helping out your fellow man, and getting your name out there. For example, you can sponsor academic or sports team, pay for a school trip, or maybe organize a free self-defense class for women.
Think long and hard about posting as much video content as you can. Relying on the “cool factor” of your martial art can get you a lot of students. However, you need to present this properly, you need to draw them in. So, videos from tournaments, interesting forms, practice exercises, practical tutorials, and fitness advice can get you some extra views and extra students.
Post this on your social media, but try to minimize how many videos you post on your website (since you want to cut bandwidth costs). In general, visual content is useful and popular, so think about placing infographics, educational posts and the like to draw people in.
Promoting your martial arts school does not need to bankrupt your bank account. Think of it as providing a service, as helping others help themselves, and getting your name out there. By using the power of social media, you can promote your school wonderfully. Couple that with good video content and some community and afterschool outreach, and you can expect excellent results. Stay patient, do good work, promote yourself a bit, and you will be good to go.