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#335135 - 02/06/07 12:58 PM Website as a marketing tool
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
How much does having a website contribute to gaining new students and for genrally spreading information about your club/school/dojo? I have looked at pricing for these for my instructor and a lot of the good WS developers want close to a grand for what we want. As an investment, is it worth it over time for those of you who have done it?

Scottie
_________________________
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

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#335136 - 02/06/07 05:53 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: RazorFoot]
clmibb Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
We just got one up and running. In fact it's still under construction. We had one of our parents who maintains the local police department's site ask if it would be ok if he made a site for our school. We said sure and a business deal was made between him and my instructor. We haven't had any new students because of the site yet but we're willing to give it some time. I'll let you know if we get any new students because of it.

Casey
_________________________
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan


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#335137 - 02/06/07 09:48 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: RazorFoot]
olga Offline
TKOlga
TKOlga

Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 174
Loc: northern virginia
I think a website is a must for any business nowadays, including MA schools. Most of the new students in our school, we've gained through our site. Plus, a website makes your business appear more legitimate.

However, you should check with your friends and especially classmates to see if any of them could develop a site for free for the school or at least for a minimal charge. I have several friends who can make websites at different levels of complexity. I built my school's site and I maintain it for free. It is the least I can do.

Do you know what everyone does for a living in your school—I bet there are some people who know HTML or some web building software.

Good luck

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#335138 - 02/07/07 12:01 AM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: RazorFoot]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
You can do it for free and with no operating cost or maintenance. just throw it up like a business card with name, logo, telephone number and location. Then add the web address to directories like yahoo, local chamber of commerce sites, etc, etc ...eventually in a couple weeks, it will surface on google searches.

cheapest and easiest way to make/design a website: use the free blog sites...it will step you thru it's design so you can just focus on content and not silly html layout problems.


doing that free way first will help you asess a few things:
1. you can ask whoever calls or shows up how they heard of your place...then make note of it. This will tell you how many prospective students the website has generated.
2. after a while, you'll have numbers that will allow you to determine if a fancier site is worth the money. ie, will the additional students that the web site ad generates offset your cost of a professional site? I'd guess, yes. since the costs of having a site are offset by less than 1 student a year...you'd basically make back what you put in even if you only attract one extra person to join.
3. think in terms of what type of audience you want to attract. if you want kids signing up that will quit in 6 months, then put a ninja turtle graphic up on the site. lol The more serious prospective students only need the name,place,number,hours and Art. the rest they can see for themselves.

try it free first...if you attract some prospective students, that tells you it's probably worth it.

one thing of caution...a mistake alot of commercial dojos make is showing too much on the site, so people don't feel the need to come in and watch or try a class. Just like forum limitations, communication of what you are all about is best in person. A website should not try to 'let it all hang out' by giving tons of pictures and writeup of your Art...or even worse, exagurating/justifying what you do. Instead, think in terms of getting people to call and come in.

hope that advice helps.

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#335139 - 02/09/07 01:07 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: Ed_Morris]
Tezza Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 775
Loc: Kent, U.K.
A website is successful depending on how it is designed. For example if it looks very cheap and basic it will make people feel like no one has put care into it so its not worth the hastle and will look else where.
However if you spend time making it user friendly then you are sure to recieve some success.
I remember when I joined my first martial art school i recieved a flyer and the first thing i did was look at their site for pictures and information just to see the layout of the centre and also information of the clubs background. The site also had a timetable to help me gauge how the classes were laid out and whether they suited me. Good luck with it and if you want advice on it please post a link so we can help give feedback.
_________________________
Train Hard Tez WT Central

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#335140 - 02/10/07 08:33 AM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: RazorFoot]
kurttasche Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 2
Quote:

How much does having a website contribute to gaining new students and for genrally spreading information about your club/school/dojo? I have looked at pricing for these for my instructor and a lot of the good WS developers want close to a grand for what we want. As an investment, is it worth it over time for those of you who have done it?

Scottie




There's no need to pay someone to build your site for you. Really, all you should be paying for is your domain registration and web hosting

You can design your site yourself. I use Front Page for mine, which works very well.

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#335141 - 03/01/07 01:54 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: kurttasche]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Came across this website, and thought it did a good job of communicating. AFter looking at the little video spot on women training in their dojo...heck...I wanted to join.

http://www.dallaskenpo.com/

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#335142 - 08/20/07 02:26 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: harlan]
ironsifu Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 37
Loc: sacramento, CA
website is a great way to get new students, if you get more links to it, or search engine to it. my first website was made by my baby brother, who was 13 when he did it, and i build TWO schools out of that (and penny savers, and yellow pages). my website now, i get WI (web inquiry) almost every day. but of course, you almost have to be a showman when the come. i am not much of a friendly, smooth talker, i use to pay a guy to sign people up for me. now, when they come, i tell them my story, pound the punchin post, and they sign up. as a teacher you have to have a good skill when they come down to visit, theres always a cheaper school around, and you have to make your school look like its worth the money. i charge $175 a month, the two schools near me are less than $100 a month, but its how you make it worth the monty.

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#335143 - 08/20/07 03:59 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: ironsifu]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

i charge $175 a month, the two schools near me are less than $100 a month, but its how you make it worth the monty.



you are charging for the full monty, then?

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#335144 - 08/20/07 05:26 PM Re: Website as a marketing tool [Re: kurttasche]
AndrewGreen Offline
shadow-lurker

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 170
Quote:


There's no need to pay someone to build your site for you. Really, all you should be paying for is your domain registration and web hosting

You can design your site yourself. I use Front Page for mine, which works very well.




I would suggest against that. Website is a great source of recruitment, well not so much for kids, but for adults it is. A good webdesigner is the way to go, homemade sites always look homemade and rarely get any exposure.

You should have someone that understands web programming, can make you more then a static page and knows how to get search engines to pick it up.

Pages should be interactive, at a minimum you should have a registration form online.

What it really comes down to is that if you want a professional image of your school given by your website, you need a professional to develop it.
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