I’ve said for decades that no one cares what style you teach but you. There is no better proof of this than the proliferation of social media. If you are interested in enrolling more students, read this carefully.
The Review Economy
We live in a review economy. Search the web as I have and look for reviews of martial arts schools that say, “I was looking for XYZ-Style and glad I found this place. Five stars for teaching XYZ-Style!”
Real reviews reflect what the market is looking for and expecting. Real reviews read more like, “Sensei Ford has a tremendous amount of patience (more than I could ever have with a group of 6-9-year-olds!).”
That is from an actual review for a traditional school that has 45 five star reviews on Yelp. Check it out at the end of this article.
A Powerful Driver of New Students Today
If you are not focused on reviews, you are leaving one of the most powerful drivers of enrolling more students to chance. That is a dangerous path to tread.
Studies show that consumers will spend 20% more for a business that has a majority of 5 and 4-star reviews. Wouldn’t you?
How to Get Good Reviews without Penalty
Google, Bing and other search engines know that businesses will try to scam the reviews either by soliciting reviews or posting negative reviews on competitor’s sites. If you get caught, you get whacked. Google can stop ranking your site and any other Google properties your business uses.
The good news is that it’s not that hard to gain control of your reviews in a compliant process.
Bad Review Strategies
- Writing fake reviews for your school
- Paying a third party to post fake reviews, posing as a customer.
- Getting too many reviews at once. They may trip filters at the review sites that will cause the reviews to be deleted.
- Bribing 5-star reviews for a reward
Good Review Strategies
- Link to your review sites from your website with a Review Us page.
- Include listings for review sites in your printed material
- Include a Review Us in your email signature
- Here is a great tool to create professional looking review requests