Low-cost martial arts school marketing techniques

September 9, 2014

Marketing efforts for a martial arts school don't have to be costly to be effective and deliver results.

Like any business, a martial arts school must invest in marketing and promotion to get the word out about its offerings. Simply setting up a facility for students to come in and train is only a small part of what makes a school successful. Sure, students will be interested in learning the finer points of karate and taekwondo, but the truth is that they can go anywhere to learn these disciplines. There are a number of options for people to learn self-defense, so a successful owner must take the additional steps of setting his business apart from the competition.

Unfortunately, there are a number of people who open facilities and are more adept at training than being well-versed in business and what it takes to run a viable business. However, the first step in that process will almost always be uncovering the most efficient way to get students to not only come in and sign up for classes, but to keep coming back until they see their training through to the end.

This is no easy task, but one that can be done with a little marketing savvy. Once an owner has uncovered the most successful method of spreading the word and getting students in the door, these efforts can be duplicated to ensure that class sizes are full and consistent revenue is being generated at all times.

If you’re not using the Internet for marketing, you’re doing it wrong
Many owners likely don’t have a lot of money to invest in the most effective forms of advertising available. This often include television or radio ads. Other promotional strategies that also work include using the local newspaper or billboards to attract potential students. However, all of these methods are null and void when budgets are tight, particularly from low enrollment numbers and overhead expense responsibilities.

To remedy this, Martial Arts Business Daily offers a number of helpful suggestions for owners who know they need to market their schools but don’t have the financial wherewithal to invest in costly methods. Arguably, the most useful tip is to use the Internet as an advertising tool.

Today, the Internet has become one of the most effective and affordable marketing avenues. Additionally, many of those who are most likely to see and act on an Internet ad are young people who spend an inordinate amount of time searching the Web or engaged on social media.

Martial Arts Business Daily stated the strategy was found to be a successful one. Not only did it help bring students in who were curious, but it also generated a pool of leads for those who were undecided and on the fence.

The Internet has leaped beyond the realm of being a luxury to a daily necessity in the lives of many people. As more people continue to become attached to their computers, smartphones and tablets, failing to market on these channels will put a martial arts school at a substantial disadvantage to owners who are already leveraging the power of the Internet in their marketing strategies.

Trade publications and direct mail can be advantageous
In a separate article, Martial Arts Business Daily highlighted the benefits of advertising in a martial arts-specific trade publication. Many students often become interested in learning karate and taekwondo simply by scanning the magazine stand at a grocery store or bookstore. Not only does this help raise initial interest, but their curiosity can be taken up another notch if they see an advertisement for a school in their local area.

However, before embarking on this method, there are best practices that should also be followed before making a financial commitment of this kind.
The most important is to test an ad in a smaller publication. Not only does this help save money, but it can also reveal just how effective this form of advertising can be for your school. It also helps to reach out to other owners who are also using these publications to market their schools to gauge just how effective it was to getting students to come in and sign up for classes.

Another useful strategy is direct mail. This can be somewhat expensive with respect to the cost of printing up materials and the cost of postage. However, a small campaign tested in the immediate area of the school can be a great way to get the word out and spark the curiosity of those considering taking self-defense classes.

These are just a few examples that can prove beneficial for owners of martial arts schools. Some may work better than others, but they can help create a solid marketing foundation for your business. It’s important to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best and delivers quality results.