The best way to understand these different levels of awareness is to think of them as a stairway to new students.
Unaware At the bottom, you have people who are unaware of you or the benefits of your school.
Need/Desire Aware They realize that they need the benefits of your school, but they have taken no action.
Solution Aware They understand their need/desire and are aware there are several ways for them to satisfy that need.
Your Solution Aware They have seen or heard about your school and how it compares to your competitors.
Ready to Join These people are aware of your school and ready to join if you have a good new student system.
When you think about marketing as this staircase, it helps you calibrate your marketing to what stage of the staircase the prospect is on. The goal of your marketing is to move people up the staircase and increase their level of awareness of your school.
Take them on a journey from being unaware or your school to recognizing their need/desire of a martial arts school, to realizing that there are many schools available. Then realizing that your school is the best choice and finally joining your school.
At each level of the stairway, match your messaging to speak to the people at that level and help them transition up to the next level.
One of the best ways to deliver your message at every level of this stairway to new students is to use video.
The media is blitzed all day long with people seeking exposure on their platform. One method that will jump you to the top, or at least near it, is to get out in your community and help with a local fundraising effort.
Whether it’s a need of a member’s family or a local charity, your school can contribute funds or hands-on help.
Take photos, write a paragraph or two about the event and fundraising efforts and send it in to your local media list (You do have a list right?).
Send media releases via email to your list prior to the event. Follow up with a phone call. You may even offer to take video and images to send if the reporter can’t make it.
Most of the time, the media will publish the event information, photo, school name, and charity as a part of a local news snippet. These are often used as a way for the media to share a ‘feel-good’ story or fill a slow news day.
Former Concrete Company Manager Grateful for COBRA and MATA
It’s a classic American success story. Sidney Burns of Bedford, VA, has grown from a karate crazed 8-year old to a master instructor with a well-established school and a year-old COBRA-Defense location that has rocketed out of the starting box.
Like many martial arts professionals, Master Burns started out teaching in a YMCA until 2012 when he opened Blue Ridge Martial Arts in Bedford, VA.
Sidney says that the best thing about his business is that he feels as though he hasn’t worked a day at it.
When he compares his current position to his days as General Manager of a concrete company, he can’t help but smile. But, he knows he didn’t get to where he’s at alone. Standing right beside him in full support is his wife of 29-years, Lisa and chief instructor, Lorna Coyle.
Sidney Burns and Lorna Coyle
Master Burns joined MATA in 2016 and quickly completed the MATA Certification course along with his staff. He says, “MATA is a quality, professional organization. I wanted my instructors and myself to be certified by the best. It’s just easier to follow the MATA program than to jump around chasing fads.”
He also discovered COBRA through MATA and quickly saw an opportunity to lock in the territory. According to Burns, “As with most martial arts schools, we struggled to enroll adult students. COBRA is an awesome program that fills that gap.”
His focused efforts with his COBRA school are already paying high dividends with group and high-end private classes.
Many MATA member schools teach COBRA as part of their school’s programs, but Sidney chose to open a separate location for COBRA. He said, “COBRA is so attractive to adults, that we wanted to expand to a larger town to reach more people. COBRA was surprisingly easy to implement. It gives you all the tools and support from headquarters for us to make that transition.”
As he looks back to his humble beginnings at the Y, he has learned some important lessons. He says to, “Be careful who you listen to and surround yourself with high achievers. Helping others see their potential is a tremendous honor. There is no better profession than teaching martial arts and self-defense.”
Sidney and Lisa Burns have made it a point to be a positive source of support for the community as well. From working with a suicide prevention group to sitting on the board of Bedford Christian Services, they are committed to leveraging their unique skills and talents to help make Bedford, VA a better place for all. It seems to be paying off.
Congratulations to Master Sidney Burns and the entire Blue Ridge Martial Arts team.
NOTE: If you’d like a free review of your website, just respond to this email asking for one. Be sure to include your website address and the best email to send the review to.
Last week, I talked about the three groups of prospects that are visiting your website. That really resonated with people because interest in our websites spiked.
In SEO language, these are micro-moments. Essentially, a micro-moment boils down to the reason a visitor is on your site.
He or she is: 1. Just starting to look for a school and doing research. 2. Ready to join a school but undecided which one. 3. Ready to join your school.
Your site should speak to each of these visitors in a language they are looking for.
One of the elements of ourEmpowerKickboxing.com website that visitors liked was the tone of the site. It’s easy to understand and fun.
The line that got the most response was, Everyone from Bruce Lee to Mr. Miyagi said the secret to success is to “Focus on what works and discard the rest.” Who are we to argue with those guys?
That line communicates that we are fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not intimidating.
Also, our PROPRIETARY slogan, “Martial Arts You Can Master Faster!™” tells visitors exactly what they want to see because most websites convey a message that is, “Martial Arts You Can’t Master for Decades.”
Even the old adage that, Martial Arts is a Way of Life can be a turn off to many people. Maybe I’m happy with my life and just want to learn martial arts. Maybe I’m a Christian and want my kids to be raised with that as their foundation, not obscure mystical Asian traditions.
Indoctrination into a “new life” is a huge red flag that seems more cultish than recreational.
Martial arts school websites seem to fall into three categories. 1. The wix.com type DIY site that looks like a wix.com DIY site. 2. The pre-designed site that looks more like a template than an organic representation of the people in the school. Prospects can see stock shots a mile away and it’s a turn-off. It reeks of commercialism/higher tuition. 3. The site that is a tributary history lesson on the style and the instructor. Boring.
The website that you want is one that visitors think, “Wow! This makes total sense! They’re talking to me!”
Where are you in the spectrum of your online presence?
Do you have your Google My Business claimed and optimized?
Do you have your YouTube channel optimized?
Is your school in the all-important Google 3-pack on searches?
Is your site due for an upgrade?
Remember, if you’d like a free review of your website, just respond to this email asking for one. Be sure to include your website address and the best email to send the review to.