How To Increase Your Martial Arts Enrollments in 2010

Everyone wants more martial arts students in 2010. Here's how to get them.

Everyone wants more martial arts students in 2010. Here's how to get them.

2010 is finally here, and it’s time for martial art school owners everywhere to leave 2009 behind and focus on what’s important in the here and now… getting new students!

To help you with this, here’s a list of ten things you can do to jump-start your enrollments in 2010:

  1. Make sure your school is in tip-top shape. First impressions are everything. It won’t do any good to get a ton of people in the front door, if the front area of your school looks like a dump. Make sure everything is cleaned, mopped, dusted, and polished at least twice a day, and that all equipment is arranged in an orderly fashion.
  2. Clarify your marketing message. A clear and concise marketing message should be summed up in 17 words or less: “Get in shape, lose weight, and have a blast doing it. Try us for one month FREE!” or “You’ll see better grades and a more positive attitude from your child within 30 days – guaranteed!” Put it on everything you use to market your school.
  3. Update your website. Nothing turns a prospective student off more than when they visit a school’s website and see promotional material and specials from last month… or year. Update your website with new promotions and specials for the New Year, and continue to do this each and every month of the year.
  4. Put a lead capture form on your site. If you’re not capturing leads from your site, you’re wasting resources. Put that site to work by using a lead capture and autoresponder system. If you don’t know of one, here’s one I recommend.
  5. Get a Facebook page up for your school. This is easy, free, and will increase your visibility in your area. Make sure to search for and friend as many people from your area as possible after your page is set up.
  6. Start Twittering your school updates and specials. Once again, too easy and too free to pass up. Tweet your updates at least once a week, if not more. Make sure they’re relevant, too! No tweets about what you ate for breakfast (yes, people really are that vain).
  7. Start You Tubing video from your classes and events. 90 second videos, tops. One per week, minimum. Embed them on your site and link each one to your site as well.
  8. Focus on high-ROI tasks. For start-ups under 100 students, it’s marketing and enrollments. For schools over 100 students, it’s marketing, enrollments, and customer service. Everything else is secondary to building and retaining revenue. Everything.
  9. Partner with other businesses and community organizations in your area. Donate your time and resources to local charities, and find ways to create win-win relationships with other businesses in your area. Co-promotion will increase your enrollment when you do it properly.
  10. Become the person you would want to take martial arts lessons from. Have you gained weight, or stopped training regularly? Have you updated your skills lately? Are you motivated and excited about teaching classes and being at your school? If not, fix it. An out-of-shape and unmotivated instructor is always going to face enrollment and retention challenges. Be the instructor you’ve always secretly aspired to be – you’ll be amazed at what follows.

That’s it for the list of martial arts marketing and enrollment tips for 2010…

Be sure to post your comments below or discuss this article in the forums!

4 Responses to “Ten Things To Jump-Start Martial Arts Student Enrollments In 2010”

  • Kurt Schulenburg:

    Excellent stuff! Too many of us worry about the height of our round kick while the bulletin board has ads from your last tournament… in 2004!
    Here’s a thought – a GOOD businessman could run your karate school with only a small amount of “karate training”. Could you, with your 4th degree Black Belt, run any other business?
    It’s a business first and a school second. GREAT instructors MIGHT be able to keep the doors open (in today’s business climate) with minimal business skills but a GOOD business man with minimal MA skills can do it easily.

  • You’re welcome, Sam!

    Nice site you have there – very cool.

    I see you get to train with Ian Abernathy. I have some of his materials – good stuff.

  • Kurt, great point you make there. Just being an excellent martial artist is not enough. You need good business skills and powerful business strategies to be a success in today’s martial arts business environment. Thanks for posting your thoughts.


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