If you’d like to get a better feel for how to move prospects down the path of discovering and joining your school, read this short post.
At the bottom, I have a link to a new prototype website for Empower Kickboxing™ that illustrates that you can’t assume that a visitor knows anything about martial arts.
The site is not complete yet, but you can see that it is speaking to someone in the early stages of their journey.
What percentage of your website or Facebook page visitors do you think are:
- Just starting to look for a school?
- Ready to join a school but undecided?
- Ready to join your school?
Before you design any marketing for new students, decide which group you are targeting.
People just starting to look for a school are faced with a number of choices.
How are you helping them to understand and navigate the complex world of martial arts where many styles are hard to pronounce, much less get excited about in 2019?
A two-week trial doesn’t make your school attractive. Everyone has something similar. How can stand out by helping people understand how to choose a school without talking down to them.
Most school websites and FB ads lead with a price offer or an insider headline that only 1 in 1,000 visitors would understand. Example, “We teach Nihon Goshin.”
Virtually every website uses the same stock images and same stock headlines, so how does a visitor make sense of a world that, by design, is foreign to them?
Here are the headlines from the top 8 martial arts schools in a Google search where I live in Tampa Bay. I did a private window search for “martial arts schools near me.”
- Welcome to our dojo where we teach Nihon Goshin Aikido
- Gulf Coast FCS Kali
- Traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, & MMA Training
- About Iron Dragon MMA
- About the Academy
- A Complete Fitness and Martial Arts School
- Confidence Building Martial Arts Classes in Palm Harbor, FL
- Our Mission: To Train Relentlessly. The Learn the Perseverance of a Warrior
What makes your school different from these guys?
When you see the new Empower Kickboxing website prototype, notice that we don’t say, “Watch out for schools that have contracts!” Or, “We’re the only accredited school from the Kukkiwon.” Or, “Master Graden’s lineage goes right to Bruce Lee!”
No one cares. I didn’t find out about the Kukkiwon until I was a 4th-degree black belt in tae kwon do. I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.
What we do say is that martial arts is complex and here is how we’ve made it easier for you to understand and learn.
If you’d like MATA’s help in crafting a more clear message for your prospects, just comment below and reply to this email.
Click here to check out the new Empower Kickboxing™ website.
Why don’t your students write reviews for Your Martial Arts School?
(a) never think about it
(b) forget to do it
(c) don’t know where or how to do it.
Most of us have no idea how to send a link to students to post a review on your Google My Business (GMB) page.
I will show you how to direct students to review you on Google with one click. In fact, when they click through, if you set it up right, it will DEFAULT to a 5-star review (contact us for help if you need it.)
Okay now, just like Bruce Lee said, “You must focus….”
You must focus your reviews on two sites. Google and Facebook. Why? Google loves Google. They do not love Yelp or Manta etc…
You are much better off sending 100 students to review you on Google and Facebook rather than send them out into 10 different sites and watering down the results.
75 5-star reviews on Google is easy to see on one single page.
75 5-star reviews spread across ten different sites is not something anyone will ever see or be impressed by.
The flip side is that Facebook is Google’s worse nightmare. Yelp is not.
Facebook is where your ideal decision makers spend a ton of time each day. Yelp is not. That’s why you have to include Facebook in your review strategy.
I promised a way for you to send your students a direct link to review you and here it is.
Again, if you need help setting this up, just let us know.
Click Play and Listen in the Background
When a school owner comes to me for coaching, there is usually a predictable series of events that created enough pain for them to come to me for direct help.
One of the most common is that the owner doesn’t really understand what the school is selling. Sure, there is lip service about life skills and self-defense, but who doesn’t say that today? (Most schools do a poor job with each, but, that’s a different subject.)
The three questions that challenge them are:
1. Why should anyone choose your school over the other schools down the street?
2. Why should anyone choose your school regardless of the price?
3. What value are you offering for your tuition?
Graden Family Values (Scary, I know)
Presuming you watch television like us, do you use an antenna, cable, satellite, or Internet streaming? Our family uses a combination of DirectTV and Internet streaming (Netflix and AppleTV).
Even though we pay $120 a month in association fees that includes cable, we opt to spend about the same on top of that to have the options that cable doesn’t offer.
The value of having the variety, picture quality, and recording options is worth more to us than the $120. When is the last time you saw DirectTV, Apple, and Netflix offering discounts in a sale? Almost never.
They know that their value is in the options and entertainment they bring to homes. They do not place their value on price. I’ve been a Mac-head since 1991, so believe me when I tell you that Apple is always the most expensive.
Both Schools Lose
Every day I see martial arts schools post ads on Facebook. 99.99% of t lead he ads lead with price.
50% off! Hurry!
Of course, there are times that a school might run a special. But, if those specials run year-round, they ain’t that special. They become more like year-round pleading.
The message from the school is, “The best reason to join our school is our low price!” That’s a terrible message to attach to your school. If you and the school across the street both pitch price as the main value, then the school who can go the lowest wins. Truthfully, both schools lose.
The Misplaced Values
While you may place your school’s value on price, I assure you that most parents place their value on trust, safety, and the physical and emotional development of their child.
Instead of shouting about low prices, focus on improving those benefits and the experience you school will provide your students and their families.
Someone Has to Be the Most Expensive
There will always be the lowest, medium, and highest priced school in any area. I always positioned myself as the highest priced. Someone has to be, why not me? Why not you?
Rather than low prices, I focus on a high-quality experience for my students and their families. I placed the value on the “experience” not the “price.”
My staff was highly trained (and beaten regularly). They were well rehearsed and professional. From public speaking skills, sales, classroom management to how specifically to teach each technique in our curriculum, it was clear as soon as you walked in my school, we were the best.
Tons of schools talk about Black Belt Excellence, but their actual message to the market is, “We don’t really believe that we are good enough to sell on our merits. So we’re offering black belt excellence at a rock bottom prices.”
Don’t be that school.