Online Marketing for your Martial Arts Gym: The Basics


Did you ever visualize a future which your own martial arts studio was a part of? A wild, free, dashing new world where you spend the majority of your time sharing your legacy with open-mouthed, euphoric students that listen with religious reverence and hang on to your every word. Money flows to you like the water in this picture. Children point at you as you walk down the street. Women look at you the way a cat looks at a bowl of cream. Cars break to a screeching halt when you cross the road. “It’s him” - you can hear the hushed undertones - “It’s that guy from The Dragon Fist Studio. Sign me up! I don’t care what it takes.”


The reality is more often than not very prosaic. Although no dream is unreachable, the first steps are always the hardest. Clients don’t come in from the street, a large part of them doesn’t come back, and only a handful stay with you for the long haul, which means that you will need to constantly reach out to get new members in. In that respect, online marketing is probably the best and the most effective tool in the whole wide world. Never was it easier to become world-famous in a matter of hours - and all you have to do is provide good content (or pay someone good to provide good content, which means you can pretty much buy glory for a handful of dollars). 


However, like with anything else, there are only a few unequivocal winners, which means that if you want to be successful at online marketing you’ll need to know what to do. 


Learning how to make things work is not easy. Getting any project to take off is a colossal job that will likely require you to work 18-hour days for the first year, no weekends. And even after the first few years, after the business has been established, attracting new clients is hard work.  We've assembled advice that covers online marketing techniques for your martial arts studio. It has been proven to work. The rest is up to you. Go make it happen. 


Blogs 


Whenever it comes to social marketing, business owners for some mysterious reason tend to all follow the same pattern, which is not unsimilar to the way lemmings walk into the sea. 


When people read the stories of people who became successful and now earn a living running businesses, it becomes all about the money. “Let me run a social media campaign, here’s the content plan, and here’s some money for paid advertising. Get me results!” Thus business owners focus on getting as high a view count as possible, and they are ready to pay for advertising, but the fatal flaw with this concept is forgetting about adding value. 


It’s all very well paying stunning video artists to create great music videos and parting with thousands so that your advertising can be shoved into the public’s face every 5 minutes when they’re going through their news feed (which will make them angrier the more times they see your ad). 


However! No amount of money will make up for good ideas, honesty, and a caring attitude. What you want to do is to care about the people. And that means giving them something and ideally forgetting about taking their money for good. 


Create a blog. Research your audience. Ask your clients what they would like to read about. Why does Jason Statham focus so much on bodyweight exercises and not so much on lifting weights? Does that actually work for martial arts? Does Jo want to know how to work less and get paid more so he can spend more time training? Of course, he does! Write about stuff people want to know. Provide quotes from Bruce Lee and The Rock. Writing takes hardly any effort (but a lot of mastery) and pays off immensely. Get a blog. Be totally sincere. Give value. Make people happy. 

 

Sponsoring a local team 


Remember: only the good deeds will get you good stuff in return. Be cool! Find a local football team and allocate some of your budgets to buy them a few new footballs. Arrive at the scene with several boxes of juice. Offer to train footballers for free for a month for their pre-season training. Video the experience and put it out on Facebook. Give people flyers, or, even better, products with your company logo on them. 


Let people see you doing something good for the community. Change the world for the better, make connections, start rumours - and again, make people happy. Good things get viral quick. You’ll see the consequences of your actions go through the local area like ripples through water. Do stuff for free. You’ll be surprised how much effect your actions will have. 


Hiring an SMM manager 


If you’re starting to grow and there’s some money coming in, this is a great time to start thinking about hiring a pro to get your name out there. Again, spending doesn’t have to be huge. You can pay an SMM manager to come in one day a week, but those 8 hours can be really productive if they know what they’re doing. 

The know-how is definitely worth paying for. 


When your manager gets valuable clients from around the country to start asking questions about you and friends start bringing friends and friends of their friends, the inflow will really pick up. Just make sure you’re teaching your students well, hire a manager with a portfolio and good English, and treat them well so that they are genuinely interested in working with you and driving your studio's growth forward.   

We hope this advice was useful. If you put these strategies to life, stick to the rules, do some extracurricular reading, and never give up, you’ll see results soon. Let us know how it went!