FightingArts Estore
Pressure Points
From a medical professional, straight facts on where and how to hit that can save your life.
Stretching
Limber or not, anyone can add height and speed to their kicks with this method.
Calligraphy
For yourself or as a gift, calligraphy is special, unique and lasting.
Karate Uniforms
Look your best. Max snap. low cost & superior crafted: “Peak Performance Gold” 16 oz uniforms.

MOTOBU
Classic book translation. Hard to find. Not in stores.
Who's Online
0 registered (), 41 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
TomRosenberg, jessylin, play, Keith_G, LeroyCFischer
22937 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
jwwmantis 2
Zombie Zero 1
harlan 1
Beefcake 1
LeroyCFischer 1
December
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
New Topics
Freeing Hand-Wing Chun's last movements
by futsaowingchun
Yesterday at 09:40 PM
2015 Master Yang Jwing-Ming Seminar
by jwwmantis
12/05/14 10:36 PM
unrecognized kata
by William_Bent
11/19/14 07:05 PM
I gained a lot of month in the last few months
by simonajones111
11/19/14 04:54 AM
Where Are They Now?
by Dobbersky
05/30/13 08:08 AM
The Beginners Guide To Stretching
by
12/27/06 11:43 AM
Your true goal
by
03/03/06 07:16 AM
Recent Posts
Freeing Hand-Wing Chun's last movements
by futsaowingchun
Yesterday at 09:40 PM
Your true goal
by Beefcake
12/11/14 02:44 AM
The Beginners Guide To Stretching
by LeroyCFischer
12/04/14 02:07 AM
unrecognized kata
by William_Bent
11/19/14 07:05 PM
I gained a lot of month in the last few months
by simonajones111
11/19/14 04:54 AM
Forum Stats
22937 Members
36 Forums
35591 Topics
432526 Posts

Max Online: 424 @ 09/24/13 10:38 PM
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#423573 - 11/17/09 03:03 AM New school, what have I missed?
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
hello folks, i just started a martial arts school. Im renting from a part time school, so my overhead is super low, after I build a student base i'll be paying a percentage rather than a flat rate.

Now the fun part, building that base. Here is where I stand so far, Flyers being handed out to all local businesses. Website being made as we speak. Face book page, check. My other plans include self defense clinics at local rec centers/gyms as a draw.

My question is for other school / club owners, what methods have worked best for you? Are yellow page ads worth it? Filler articles for local papers? Val Pak Coupons? Email, direct mail marketing? referral rewards programs? Please help out, I'd like to get moving.

The school is open for 4 classes a week, adults only. 17 years experience in tkd, jkd, kickboxing, mma, jui jits. Household incomes in surrounding towns is 33 -40k. Charging $80 a month until I have a good base. Local schools are charging 120 - 160 per month(they are open full time) No membership fee. I have 5 students from my "basement days" and 2 new guys. What have you found to be wasted marketing dollars, and what worked well? Are my prices out of line? did i miss anything? i look forward to hearing from you all and sharing my growth with you.

mark
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

Top
#423578 - 11/17/09 09:19 AM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: integrityma]
bo-ken Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
How long have you been open? I would wait a little while before dumping more money into advertising. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool.

Put flyers up at local restaurants because local people always go to local restaurants. Also, put on your flyer first week or two free that always encourages people to try something.

Don't forget to tell people that you offer a lower price for the amount of instruction that is given.

Top
#423590 - 11/18/09 01:26 AM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: bo-ken]
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
Thank you, we've been open for two months, just started distributing flyers, all of my students are from referals, except my two new guys, which were a walk in and a flyer response.
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

Top
#423782 - 11/27/09 02:11 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: integrityma]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
The two marketing approaches that have worked the best at our school have been the "bring a friend to class" nights, and putting flyers on cars in the parking lot at the mall.

Top
#423837 - 12/01/09 01:39 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: tkd_high_green]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Forget yellow pages, you'll be throwing your money away. What worked well for me as a teacher of trad Chinese martial arts was leaving flyers in Chinese takeaways. They were usually ok for me to leave them on the counter for people to read while they queued for their food.

Top
#423839 - 12/01/09 03:50 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: integrityma]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
First, I see where you're coming from, I've been there. One thing you don't want to do is undersell yourself. I realize that you're trying to get a small base of students quickly. But, once you do have a few, don't undercut yourself. Unfortunately the average joe looking for a Krotty school has no idea what's good and what's plain dumb. But, they will see that yours costs half as much as the McDojo on the corner. Bad thing is, alot of people tend to see that as, "well that one costs alot more, so they must be better." My advice, do some nice intro programs where they can get 6 weeks of classes and a uniform for a reasonable, but not rediculously small, price. Then keep your standard rates at least competetively close to the others near by. Which you don't seem too far off right now. That's if you need this to be financially viable as well as have good instruction. That's what I've learned as a relative truth in most markets.

Direct mailers for any product tend to net you around a 1% return. That's if you're mailing to a correctly targetted area and demographic. I've found it was just not worth it, for ME. Hours and hours of stuffing enveloped and sending out to a bought mailing list in a targeted area. Nearly zero response al around with the couple who did come in flaking out. I wouldn't bother. But that's me.

Newspapers? Not really. If you can find a way to get them to do a special interest piece on you then go for it. But, I wouldn't pay for newspaper ads.

We've had decent responses in the past to getting into the local coupon paks. Just don't spend a ton on it and don't give the store away with the deal you offer.

As for web pages... They're cool. If you have a student base it's nice for them to be able to go there and check the class schedule and events coming up, etc. But, nobody will show up at you doorstep becuase they stumbled accross your web page. The chances of having someone looking for your style, knowing the right keywords to find it, and the huge unlikelyhood of that 1 in a million being from your area are slim. Wasted money/time from a marketing standpoint. Email marketing gives the same issues.

For me, the one single thing that always netted the most signups was the yellow page ad. But, since you're subletting in someone elses place leaves you a bit handicapped.(and I'l come back to this) Can you paint a big window art on the front? Do you have your own phone ext? You see where I'm going. When I was doing this sort of scenario it was very hard and very slow going.

So, now that I've beat you to death with the bad ideas, here's some that can work. Since you're subletting, best probably to stick to the flyers on local makets parking lots, malls, laundry mat if they have a Bulletin Board, see if the local gyms will let you leave flyers there or post one on their bulletin board. Keep them with you and make sure have one to give to any and everyone you meet. Get yourself a t-shirt made with your logo and what have you, even phone number on it if you want. Where it everywhere. Main thing is YOU have to sell it. You need to always be excited, motivated, charismatic, and energetic...even if you have to fake it. You don't have to hard sell or anything, but always have that UP attitude and it will rub off. If you're down people will pick up on it.

I told you that for every successful school I've been a part of, the yellow page ad was always the best return for the money. When times were down even, we'd cut out everything but the yellow page ad. Even if you have to do a really small 1x1" ad or the standard listing. Why? Your average person looking for a martial arts school doesn't go the library and study up on Chinese/Japanese/Phillipino arts. They open their local yellow pages, turn to the martial arts' section and start making phone calls. Then if their bright they might go and try them out, but most go by their first impression on the phone combined with the proximity to their home/work and go there. But, save this one for when you get to the point you have at least a small base of constant income to afford this kind of thing. Don't go crazy. When you do, even if you're stil subletting, you can always use your cell phone number so they don't call and end up signing up with the other guy becuase you were'nt there to answer the phone.


Whew! Main thing is train hard, be honest, have fun, and be positive. Be the best you can and people will see it and want to have what you have. You're selling YOU far more than selling your particular art or mix of arts as the case may be.
_________________________
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

Top
#423845 - 12/01/09 05:49 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: JMWcorwin]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
I'm not sure that's true any more. Yellow pages is dying out in favour of the interweb. I tried yellow pages a couple of years ago and had only one person come from it despite it being a quarter page ad. Almost all my new students now come from seeing my website. Having been around for a while it is ranking well on the search engines and so is easy to find and full of useful content.
Get a website and advertise that all over the web. You don't need to spend a lot - there are loads of free directories etc.

Top
#423848 - 12/01/09 07:53 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: puffadder]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
Could be. This was just my experience. But it was a few years back. But the yellow pages or the like online are basically the same thing. It's just a matter of having someone saavy enough to have your listing actually show up on the searches.

And yes, I forgot that there are quite a few online MA directories that will list you for free. But still, I was speaking mostly of the people who don't know anything about MA, or what to look for, or what the name's of those places would be. Internet or hard copy...there are still a good percentage of people who picked MA school X becuase that's the one they pass on the way to work/school/the store, etc. Or, likewise, the one they google and find is the closest.

Just my experience with it. But things may be differnt outside the LA area. And with MMA becoming so popular there may be more people in general who do have some basic knowledge in what it is they're looking for. Also depends if this is an MMA gym or a TMA school or an Olympic style TKD school, etc. Mommy has to find someplace to drop off the little ones for an hour or two so she doesn't strangle them while getting dinner ready. Most MA schools that I've seen that actually are profitable get most of the $$ from the little ones. I didn't bring that up here before as he's talking about a 17 and up club.

When I get home I think I'll try searching for schools in my area just by searching online. It may be much easier now.
_________________________
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

Top
#423872 - 12/03/09 05:51 AM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: JMWcorwin]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Set up a listing on google maps. If people don't have a clue what they are looking for, they'll probably just find the closet school to their house anyway. Since you are renting, make sure that the owners location is listed and then post a review.

Laura

Top
#423960 - 12/08/09 10:48 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: tkd_high_green]
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
thank you all. so far, so good, flyers, little poster in the window, my 'landlord' requested i make up flyers that he can hand out(so strange, thought for sure he'd snatch all my prospectives) facebook page ready, webpage up and coming. thank you all so much for your insite, keep ya posted when the yellow pages goes thru, and ill show u the site once its live.
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

Top
#424658 - 01/31/10 11:03 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: tkd_high_green]
ShoNuff_sensei Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 11
Loc: NC, USA
Flyers on cars is annoying and most people trash them in disgust that you touched their vehicle. It is free but the lazy way out of advertising. Get sponsors in the area, don't sell out, talk to everyone.
_________________________
"When in doubt, work out!"
"Do, or do not; there is no try."

Top
#425053 - 02/15/10 08:25 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: integrityma]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Mark:

Ancient thread, fair questions none the less.

In your place I'd double quick "lite a fire" under whoever is making your website. Its what people will search for when you are not open, whether they are interested in one way or another.

Do you have links to a larger organization or martial groups? That's pretty inexpensive, if not free. I've not needed to spend marketing dollars but I teach solely from community based facilities and programs. No real overhead there save gas and mileage. Facebook, Twitter, the internet social networks seem a very good idea to market yourself very easily. Take some thought how to do so precisely beforehand but <shrug> seems a decent method.

If you have an ULTRA local small town paper, that might be worth exploring too. A huge metro paper not likely I would not think. But your physical location, and your students will be the best marketing you can create. How well do phone books work... well ask some teens, or young people if they even know what one actually is? Worse if they've ever used one before....

Depends on what you're interested in spending, or not. Tend not to think print saturation is the best bang for the money. But I've never spent any (to date) for marketing aside from decent heavy bond, and raised engraving business cards.

There are the typical marketing games to play. Crass commercialism or actualy true benefit is a judgement call. A school donation to a particlar group. A seminar the proceeds of which go to funding for the local Kids Juvenile Diabetes Summer Camp? There are lots of groups who would love any help... some can help you get a PR article in the local paper.

Given when you originally posted was ~a while back~ relatively speaking, how are things going?

Jeff

Top
#425316 - 02/20/10 05:24 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: Ronin1966]
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
Thank you guys so much for all the input.
http://www.imawarrior.net is now up and running, as well as face book and twitter sites. aside from spending alot on advertising that illicited just one phone call, all of my leads were word of mouth, or internet based. got zero from direct mailing. school is doing well, lots of new friends, just shy of being self sufficient. you guys were a great help, nice to hear from the voices of experience instead of marketing 'gurus' who know best what would work best for a school they never heard of. thank you again, ill keep updating here whenever possible.
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

Top
#431514 - 02/12/11 02:32 PM Re: New school, what have I missed? [Re: integrityma]
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
Just wanted to drop in and give an update, the new school is doing well. I appreciate all the support and help i have recieved here. We have been open for just over a year, with no store front, no paid advertising, and lots of elbow grease. Of all the strategies tried, word of mouth, website, and directories were the biggest success. Only one person ever caught the flyer and came by. The website was responsible for about 80 percent of incoming students. Thanks to the support of my instructors and friends and my team we have built a strong running school ready to push forward. thank you guys.
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  Cord, MattJ, Reiki, tkd_high_green 




Action Ads
1.5 Million Plus Page Views
Monthly
Only $89
Details

Self Defense
Offering stun guns, pepper spray, tasers and other self defense products not available in stores.

Pepper Spray
Online distributor of self defense supplies like videos, stun guns, Tasers and more.

Spy Cameras
Surveillance, Hidden Cameras, Nanny Cams, Digital Recorders, Spy Equipment, Pocket DVR's and more

Stun Gun
Wholesale Directlhy to the Public! Stun gun and Taser Guns and personal protection products. Keep your loved ones at home safe!

 

Unbreakable Unbrella

krav maga