Top 5 Questions to Develop a Rock Solid Unique Selling Proposition for your Martial Art School

Ask These 5 Questions to Create a USP that Cuts Through the Clutter!

With so much competition out there, you need to have a targeted statement that helps you stand out and helps prospects understand who you are, what you do and what’s in it for them. It’s called a Unique Selling Proposition.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself to help make sure you’re going the right direction.

  1. What are your biggest benefits? List out everything that can be a perceived benefit to your target.
  2. What do your competitors offer? List out everything that could be perceived a benefit. Then compare against your list.
  3. What do you offer that no one else is promoting? Is there gap you can fill?
  4. Is it unique? Does anyone else claim the same thing (or similar)?
  5. Does it solve your target markets problems?

You can also listen to your students and see what they tell you over and over as to why they chose you. If there is one thing that keeps coming up, start there first. If you don’t know why, just ask them (a topic of another post coming soon). Then step through questions 4 and 5 above to see if it’s a good candidate.

Follow that process and find the one thing that makes your stand out. Then put that key statement into your website, business card, sign, windows, brochure, or anywhere you market your martial arts school. Use it on everything.

Remember, a good USP makes all the difference in communicating the how you’re different and makes it easy for people to get an idea of who you are an what you do.

What additional questions would you add to this list? Can it be improved upon?

How to Get Testimonials that Influence Prospective New Martial Arts Students to Join

One the most common marketing recommendations you’ll read about is how you should add testimonials to everything you do to establish credibility. I couldn’t agree more. However, getting testimonials has always been a challenge for many martial arts school owners.

You can either wait for them to come to you or you can ask for them. That said, many people think they have to wait to for people to send them and that if they ask for them that it somehow cheapens things.

On this, I couldn’t disagree more.

Read on to learn about six questions you can ask to get higher quality testimonials.

If you don’t ask, the reality is that you will likely wait a long time before they come in. And, what’s more, is that you don’t always great testimonials that help influence prospective new students when you leave it up to your students to write them on their own accord.

Sure I appreciate and use testimonials I get from those who send them without me asking, but I don’t sit around and wait for them to come to me. I like to be a little more proactive.

Here is how I structure my request for testimonials. I simply ask them six very targeted open ended questions in the form of a questionnaire.

Six Questions To Get Better Testimonials

  1. What are your reasons for taking the martial art?
  2. What convinced you that this was the right place for you?
  3. In what ways has training in the martial arts affected your life?
  4. What do you like most about training here?
  5. How would you describe your training at our studio to your friends?
  6. Is there anything else you would like to add?

As you can see from my questions, I am asking questions that get them to open up about why why they joined, what they like about my martial arts school, how training with me has helped them in their every day life, and more. They are all open ended questions and get people to give you great insight into things you wouldn’t have likely gotten any other way.

Don’t be afraid to ask, oftentimes, you get a better testimonial because you guide things by asking the right questions. Ask for them. It works.

How do you go about getting testimonials for your martial arts school? Share your ideas in the form of a comment below!

Is Your Martial Arts Style Getting in the Way of Your Success?

I can’t tell you how often I drive by a martial arts school and all I see on their sign is “Insert Style Here.”

I’ve been in the martial arts nearly 20 years and I have no idea what some of the names mean or what kind of style it is.

If someone who reads Black Belt magazine basically every month, researches martial arts online every week, and has been in the arts for nearly 20 years doesn’t know what your style is or what it means, how confused do you think your prospects are?

Think about it this way…

If you drove by a sign that was written in Japanese, and assuming you didn’t know that language, would you be able to read it? That’s basically what you sign looks like if you’re placing too much emphasis on your style with your businesses identity.

Consider your audience before coming up with a name for your business. If your target audience doesn’t know how to pronounce it or what it means, it could mean it’s getting in the way of growing your studio.

Remember, just because your style means a lot to you, doesn’t mean it means anything to your prospective new student at the point they are evaluating what martial arts school to join. In time, that may change, but first, you have to get them in the door.

Are you guilty of letting your style get in the way of your success?

How to Present Your Martial Arts Schedule

One of the most important pages every martial arts school’s website should have is a page posting your class schedule.

If you offer a robust schedule, I recommend that you create a single page that has a simple grid that spells out your schedule by day, time, and program. Make this so easy an 5th grader could understand it. If you you only teach one or two days, you might just want to include your schedule on the frequently asked questions page.

If you have  have decided to post your class schedule you’ll want to make sure it’s something that doesn’t lead to confusion. Keep your calendar simple and informative. Don’t try and clutter it with tons of details.

Remember, the purpose of your calendar is so your prospects can see the variety of options you offer should they decide to join you martial arts school. By making it easy to follow and read, you are displaying a sense of professionalism and order about your business. If someone can’t follow your schedule and creates confusion, it could just as easily turn them away.

If you don’t have many class options available because you only teach certain days and times, it may be wiser not to publish it.

Here are some samples to help get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Inosanto Academy
  2. One World Self-Defense
  3. Lynxx Academy
  4. Tristar Martial Arts
  5. Gracie Academy
  6. Kovar’s Satori Academy of Martial Arts
  7. Combat Systems
  8. All Star Martial Arts and Fitness

Do you have a killer martial arts class schedule on your website? Share a link in the comments below!

Make Your Martial Arts School More Successful in 2020

Welcome Martial Arts School Owners!

If you are scratching your head about how to get more sign ups in the New Year so you can increase your martial arts school’s profitability, here are some solid marketing ideas to help you hit the ground running for 2020.

Here are twelve things you can start working on today to help make your martial arts school more successful in 2009:

  1. Buy a domain name, get some hosting, and start a blog as your website.
  2. Be sure you have the top 8 pages every martial arts school website should have.
  3. Work on search engine optimization to make your website more easily found.
  4. Start using Google analytics to track and measure the statistics on your website.
  5. Fix the top 10 common mistakes on your martial arts school’s website
  6. Develop a marketing calendar and get ahead of your marketing.
  7. Submit your martial arts school to local online directory websites.
  8. Try marketing your martial arts school on CraigList.
  9. Build a plan to get more referrals.
  10. Make it easy to compare your martial arts school against your competition.
  11. Possibly join a martial arts marketing association.
  12. Break through by doing what other karate schools aren’t doing.

Remember, marketing your martial arts school isn’t easy. Hopefully this list makes it a little easier to get started.

Another thing I recommend is checking out the Small Dojo, Big Profits program. It’s a great system that provides a business model for how to maximize revenue for your martial art school.

What are you going to do differently to make your 2020 better than 2019?

Read this Blog Post Now to Learn About Making an Effective Call to Action!

Use A Call to Action To Prompt Your Visitors to Respond

So you’ve got this great website and you’re wondering why people aren’t ever doing anything once they get there. The simple answer is that you might be missing one key element that could make all the difference.It’s called a “call to action.”

A call to action isn’t simply providing your phone number or your domain name. A call to action asks your prospect to take some sort of action. It can be to pick up the phone… send an email… fill out a form.. print out a PDF brochure … basically any action you deem most valuable to your martial arts prospecting process.

Crack open any yellow pages and you’ll see thousands of ads that just list a phone number. However, most don’t say anything like “pick up the phone and call us today!” You’ll also so see some that just list a domain name. You’ll also notice they almost never include “Visit MyKarateSchool.com to learn about our free trial program!”

KEY CONCEPT: If you don’t ask people to take action, they won’t. In sales, you’re taught to always ask for the sale. Why would your website be any different?

On every page on your martial arts school website, you should be asking people to either pick up the phone, send you an email or fill out a form. This can be done in the header, side bar, or at the end of each page. I recommend doing it once at the top of your page and once at the bottom using the same exact call to action.
Call to Action Pointers:

Use as many of these in your call to action as you can to help build their effectiveness:

  1. Keep it simple. State one and only one thing you want them to do.
  2. Be specific. Tell them what action you want them to take.
  3. Tell them how to respond. Give them the info they need to immediately act.
  4. Ask them to do it now. Do you really want them to wait? Ask them to respond while they’re still on your website.
  5. Make it all about them. Tell them what they’ll get if they respond.

Sample Calls to Action:

  • Call us now at xxx-xxx-xxxx to learn more about our award winning karate program for kids!
  • Want to learn more? Request a free, no obligation brochure today! (with link to sign up page)
  • Ready to get started? Sign up now for our free, no obligation two hour trial program! (with link to sign up page)
  • Email us now at rates@yourstudionamehere.com to learn just how affordable our family friendly karate programs can be!
  • Call Mr. Jackson at xxx-xxx-xxxx now to reserve your two free trial lessons!

Calls to action can help dramatically improve your response rates from all your marketing materials. Take a look at your martial arts school’s website and see if at any point if you ask your visitors to do anything. If not, print this out and start crafting your very own call to action!

So what are some examples of calls to action you currently use at your studio?

How to Build a Marketing Calendar for Your Martial Arts School

Some martial arts school owners plan their marketing efforts each and every month in advance while others just do a yellow page ad waiting for the phone to ring.

If the later sounds a little too familiar, it’s time to get more proactive with your marketing efforts. It’s time to develop a marketing calendar!

Develop Your Marketing Calendar

With the new year is coming up fast, hopefully you are starting to consider your marketing calendar for 2021. Planning your marketing efforts in advance is one of the greatest things you can do for your business.

Planning in advance helps you keep focused so you can begin to project when you will get new students into your martial arts school. This helps you to create reasons for people to start training which can be a great recruitment tool.

I usually break out my calendar sometime in November to start looking for natural holidays, events, or dates that make sense in the New Year. Getting out a head of this has always paid off.

Marketing Calendar Ideas

Not sure where to start? Start out by tapping into these annual events.

January

  • Super Bowl
  • New Years Eve
  • New Year’s Resolutions

February

  • Mardi Gras
  • President’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day

March

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter
  • March Madness
  • First Day of Spring

April

  • April Fool’s Day
  • Tax Day
  • Earth Day

May

  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Mother’s Day
  • Memorial Day

June

  • Father’s Day
  • Graduation
  • 1st Day of Summer

July

  • Independence Day
  • Dog Days of Summer

August

  • Back to School
  • End of Summer

September

  • Labor Day
  • First Day of Fall

October

  • Columbus Day
  • Halloween

November

  • Election Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday

December

  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah

You can also build promotions around anniversaries, grand openings, new locations, and other events that make sense.

With so many promotion opportunities available there really is no excuse why you can’t build your own marketing calendar.

Now that you have a lot more opportunities to run a promotion, does that mean that you should do them all?

Frequency of Promotions

Here are some common approaches to consider:

  1. One promotion a month
  2. One promotion a quarter
  3. One every six months
  4. One time a year (should be a big promotion)
  5. Run one promotion for an entire year
  6. Run multiple promotions across different mediums at the same time

For some martial arts schools, this process can be overwhelming. How many promotions should you do? How many promotions is one too many? Questions like this can take hold and stop you dead in your tracks. Perhaps consider starting small and work your way up to a more robust marketing calendar.

I do have one caution for those considering running monthly promotions, there is a flip side to this approach.

When your martial arts school offers a ton of frequent promotions with irresistible offers, you can start to become the bargain hunters choice (assuming you’re offering discounts) which means you may run into problems renewing these people for higher fees or if when trying to upsell.

It can also mean that people will just wait to join when they can get the best deal; sometimes holding out for months waiting for the best offer. Meanwhile, your bills continue to pile up, you still have to pay for the promotion, and your classes aren’t as full as they could be.

Remember, bargain hunters who come in on discounts usually want to renew at a discount.

On the other side, there are plenty of large retailers who only do one or two sales a year because they don’t want to become the bargain of the week. These retailers make their sales more exclusive which means bigger sales all year round; especially when they do offer a sale.

Whichever approach you take, there are things that will make your planning a little easier.

Tips for Building an Effective Marketing Calendar

  1. Plan ahead
    Don’t wait until the night before to get going. Start planning at least 3 months in advance.
  2. Put it in writing
    If it’s not written down, it probably won’t get done.
  3. Develop a realistic budget
    Make sure you have some money set aside for each promotion. Get multiple estimates (if necessary). Negotiate everything you possibly can.
  4. Set realistic goals
    Start keeping track of your cost per acquisition so you can begin to forecast better in the future. How much did it cost you to get each student?
  5. Execute your plan
    Now is the time where all your planning culminates into action.
  6. Track results
    After each promotion be sure to do a cost benefit analysis so you know whether it truly paid off or not.

How do you plan your marketing calendar each year? What works and what doesn’t?