Back to School Marketing: 5-Ways to Get into Local Public Schools

Back to School Marketing: 5-Ways to Get into Local Public Schools

June/July is the time to begin back to school marketing for martial arts schools. One of the major challenges we hear constantly from martial arts instructors is that the schools in their area prohibit any company from marketing to their students. Here are five proven methods to get your martial arts school into the public schools.

Here are five creative ways to get into schools. Our plan is to bypass the principal and connect directly with the teachers and related groups like the PTA.

  1. Host an anti-bully seminar at your martial arts school as a fundraiser for local schools that your students attend. Charge $20 – $50 per attendee with all funds going to local schools. Let the attendee choose what school to give the funds to. You can even let the attendee fill out their check to the school    
  2. Create a special PTA fundraiser. Offer a six-week program of two classes a week with a uniform for a cost of $60. $40 goes to the PTA and $20 to cover the uniform expense
  3. Offer a free self-defense seminar for teachers. Or, charge $49 or so for the class, but make it free for teachers.
  4. Find classes that you can teach for a day. For instance, a class on Eastern Humanities might let you make a presentation about the Asian origins of the martial arts. A Public Speaking class might let you present a segment on teaching. A Small Business class might like for you to come in to discuss owning a small business. A Psychology class might let you talk about self-confidence. Of course, PE teachers and Sports Coaches might let you run their class through some martial arts based warm ups and drills.
  5. Extend a 10-20% discount to all teachers and promote it in the school newsletters.

In every case, market to teachers through your current student base, Facebook and Linkedin groups. Most schools have FB pages that you can request to list your event on. Be sure also to send out emails and press releases to your local media outlets.

How have you been successful getting into schools? Please comment and share.

How to Partner Your Martial Arts School with Public Schools

“I can’t get into the schools around here…” If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard that a thousand times. I’ve also seen owners build great relationships with their local public and private schools.

In virtually every case, the reason the owner was able to partner with the school was that he or she simply approached the principle and said, “I’ve been in this community for XX years and have been teaching martial arts, self-defense and life-skills for XX years as well. What can I do to help you to help these kids?” That’s it.

I’m prompted to send this because I had a nice conversation with MATA member Aaron Wayne-Duke in Galesburg, IL. ( Last month, he approached a local alternative school for 12-18 year olds that are dropout risks. Some have parents who incarcerated and all of them need caring leadership and discipline.

Aaron approached the principle with pretty much the same script outline above. Not only did they jump on the offer, they carved out $900 for a six-week contract and are already placing him in the budget for next fall. Did I mention he teaches just one class a week? Did I mention he doesn’t have a Masters in Education? He’s a veteran black belt just like you.

You will never succeed sitting behind your desk and checking Facebook. You have to get out and shake some hands. Make it your goal to get in front of an audience for a speech or demo at least once a month. Set appointments to meet principles and administration of the local school. Approach a real estate office with a safety seminar idea. Promote and teach a self-defense class for teachers.

You advertise that you teach confidence. Now is the time to tap into that confidence and make this year a year of action.