It’s a common affliction among martial arts school owners to complain that the biggest school in town is a belt factory McDojo and that the reason someone else is better known is because of his or her tournament record or that they teach a style that is more popular. None of this is true and to even use these excuses is a cop out for underperformance.
If you really want to become well known in your area, you can’t hide in your school and complain that no one has discovered you. You have to get out and go to work. The good news is that odds are no one else in your town will do what I am going to describe, so you can quickly become the martial arts celebrity in your town, if you are willing to follow these steps.
You are one of the most unique business people in your community. Few people work in a business with the exotic allure and appeal of the martial arts. This is a huge advantage, but only if you take advantage of it.
The essence of marketing is communication. Your ability to communicate in an effective, emotional and consistent manner will determine much of your success. Rather than risk hard earned dollars in paid advertising, I suggest your invest the time and effort into developing one or more 20-minute presentations on various aspects of the martial arts as you teach it and then get in front of as many audiences as you can each week.
The martial arts offers so many benefits that you can tailor a presentation to virtually any group. Self defense alone can be Self Defense for Children; Self Defense for Seniors; Self Defense for Executives; Self Defense for Teachers; Martial Arts Fitness; Martial Arts Attitudes of Success: How Martial Arts Builds Strong Families; the list goes on and on.
I used to teach a Disciplines of Success seminar for sales people. I was paid $500 for the first seminar. The company loved it, doubled my pay and booked six more.
However, this is not about earning money as a speaker, though you can in time. This is about getting your name in the community by learning to write and speak and then getting in front of as many audiences as you can. Your pay will be in new students. Every community has clubs, organizations and events that are actively seeking speakers just like you. Rotary Clubs, Kwianis Clubs, The Optimist Clubs, Schools, Churches, Boy Scouts, Apartment Committees, Awards Dinners and other similar venues not only offer captive audiences but often the organizers and attendees are some of the movers and shakers in your community. Not only can they bring you students but they will help you build your name and reputation once they hear you and believe in what you do.
We have 32 mini-speeches in Teaching that will help stimulate your thinking for what you want to present. But, the point is to simply start booking these presentations today. If you want to become well known in your town, you have to make the effort to get your name out there. Take full advantage of the unique opportunity you have as a black belt expert to get in front of audiences and spread the good word about your school and what you teach.