Tampa Bay, FL – The Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) has merged GenerateMoreLeads.com (GML) into its marketing services platform for martial arts schools and suppliers.
Since 2003, the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) has been the leader in providing martial arts instructors with high-level resources to plan, market, and manage their schools.
MATA is now adding an extensive and professional digital marketing agency by merging GenerateMoreLeads.com (GML) into its service offerings.
Since 2010, GML has serviced mostly mainstream small and medium-sized businesses outside of the martial arts with comprehensive online marketing plans and campaigns.
While MATA and GML have not worked together in the past, they are both owned by MATA Executive Director John Graden. He says, “MATA has always provided the strategies, tools, and tactics for martial arts schools and gyms to market on- or off-line. Essentially, we’d teach school and gym owners how to market and sell their business, but they would then have to execute on the plan. That is both time-consuming and complex.”
That is the opposite of what GML does. According to Graden, “GML actually fulfills the marketing needs for small businesses. It builds business websites and crafts the SEO campaigns, Facebook ads, Google ads, content creation and directory listings for them. So we see this as a perfect fit at the perfect time because the economy is booming. Schools and gyms are clamoring to capitalize on the opportunities unique to online marketing without the headaches of doing it yourself.”
GML’s veteran team of dedicated digital marketing experts is now available to MATA members to provide high-level search engine optimization campaigns, social media ads and content, directory listings, customized PPC campaigns, and website design solutions.
In most martial arts schools, there are predictable events that you can time your review requests with.
When a new student joins.
When a student advances in rank.
When a student or family member praises the school.
When a student wins a tournament.
When a student or family member describes defending him or herself.
During or after a special event.
It’s a good idea to train your staff to “whip out their phones” when a student or family members praise the school.
A student or parent says, “That was a great class.”
The staff member politely asks, would you mind telling our Facebook followers about it? It’ll just take a second.”
Staff member pulls out the phone and shoots a waist up clip. If the student flubs it, just say, “No problem. Ready for take 2?” Keep it light and fun.
It’s also okay to ask the student questions to answer. For instance, “What were you looking for in a martial arts school?” If you don’t like the answer, just ask for a “take 2” and coach on what you’d like to hear.
Here are some examples from our COBRA-Defense Conference in Miami in June.
While the event was happening, I was pulling instructors aside, placing them next to the COBRA banner and doing short interviews that I edited into bite-sized testimonials.
Audio is CRITICAL
Even the best testimonial is useless if you can’t hear what the person issaying. I attached a lavalier collar microphoneso that their voice would be captured above the event background noise.
Rather than stop there, I asked him, “What is the difference in value that parentssee in a COBRA-Defense class versus a martial arts class?” His answer was spot on. This is how you can lead a student down the path of saying what you want them to say in their own words. Stay curious.
Martin Lopez is another good example. He made his first statement and I followed up with questions to pull more out of him and he delivered.
Keep in mind, both Sidney and Martin are good speakers. It’s much harder to get through a bunch of “ums, ahs, and um…” zzzzzzzzz
Most people will not get it right on the first try. Here is one example of many different people that simply needed a “take 2.” Ask them to hold up 2 fingers, so it’s easier for you to find the edit spot later. Sometimes, you go on to 3 fingers, but if you get that far, it may be time for a different question or excuse them from the process.
When people get stuck, ask this, “What would you tell your friends if they were considering joining our school?”
You may want to edit out some words or change the order of the comments using one of a ton of video editors. Kapwing.com is a treasure chest of great tools and information that covers all of your post-production tasks such as:
Caption the video. Most social media video is watched in mute, so make sure your message gets delivered by captioning the video.
Transcribe the video. Take the captions and turn them into a couple of paragraphs under the video. Lot’s of people, like me, will not take the time to watch a captioned video and would prefer to read it. However, because the speaker is on the video saying nice things about your school, it still has more impact than if it was just a written review.
Title the video with the student’s name and topic. Here I used a lower thirds from iMovie.
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.
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.