There’s one proven summer martial arts marketing formula that has stood the test of time.
Yes, it has been revised and tweaked over the years by successful martial arts business owners.
It’s been a “secret that has lived in plain view” since the dawn of the savvy martial arts marketing practitioner.
Before we get to it – I will predict a few reactions to this article…
Some who read this will find the “aha moment” and fine tune this “system” they might be using already.
Successful eager newbies will take it and run. Thus keeping their martial arts business filled with new students this summer.
The sad bunch will cry that I’m not offering anything “new” here. Out of this group 99% who complain have never actually implemented this concept.
There are a bunch who have “tried” and screwed this up. Their reaction will be “this doesn’t work!”
There a select few who have worked this angle for martial arts marketing success. Their reaction will be an ear to ear grin.
At this very moment there are 1000’s of parents in your area who have solidified their summer plans. They’ve picked one of dozens of “camp options” for their kids. They know when their vaca will be. In terms of summer these parents are “all set.”
And guess what?…
Those plans do not mention anything about “checking out your great martial arts school.” Any marketing you try on these folks will land on “deaf ears.” You are no where to be found in the remote areas of their mind. Thus – they could care-less about your possible summer plight.
You have to interrupt them in some way. You have to work your way into their plans.
How do you do this?
The best time to start was last summer – the next best time to start is now.
Be warned – if you haven’t started you might be too late. But don’t let that keep you from starting.
This is about relationships and your knowledge of your area.
Are you aware of every single summer option for kids in your area? I’m talking about the public summer camp run through the school system. The other one run through the rec department. Plus the countless privately held summer camps. Make a list, check it twice. I guarantee there are a few on there this year that were not there last year.
Have you been nurturing relationships with these camp directors and owners?
Your ultimate goal is to be able to call up each camp director in mid to late April each year and just ask them which dates they want you this summer. Your long-term position is to book a spot with 50% or more of the camps in your area.
But if you start this summer with just one – you’re a winner and you will add a few extra students to your roster. Then, if you play your cards right – you’ll have many more booked for next year.
The plan is to only “Visit” each camp once (2 max!).
I find many martial arts business owners screw this up by trying to go into a camp weekly to work with the same kids. Worse – some try to get paid! (Elstupido!)
The secret is understanding and accepting you’re just a visitor. You’re just some entertainment.
You don’t want to or care to be part of the regular camp schedule. You lose your status when you become a regular weekly camp activity.
Your job is to go in once and fire those kids up while delivering value to them and the director.
Ahead of time you’ve received permission slips – with all contact info and the clear understanding that you will call, mail and email these folks (like you do to everyone you meet right?, right?, right?)
The class with the campers is 20 minutes – it’s lite on “content” and heavy on “info-tainment.”
When you’re done – you make a little “speech” to the kids (scripting is key). I can’t go into the script here. It ends with an “invite” and “special paper invitation” that the councilors will give to parents at pick up time.
There’s a special date for these campers to come to your school with mom and dad.
No strings – no obligations.
Because you’ve followed the system the kids want to come to this special class.
If you see forty kids on a Monday – you can realisticly expect half to show up at your school Tuesday.
My experience in testing has been the most come back the very same day if you can swing it. But just know – the closer the “summer camp class” and the visit to your school the better.
They get to your school…
You “wow” them. (Once again this is carefully planned – it took me years of studying successful professional speakers to nail this formula).
You don’t sell them anything.
This another mistake school owners make.
Then – they wonder why they are not invited back to the camp.
Well – duh!
All of the parents who did not like the fact they showed up at your school and you tried to sell them some bullshit $49 for a month + uniform that night went to the summer camp director and complained about you!
Grasshopper – the secret is in delaying your fleshly desires for more students today in exchange for more next week and in the future.
The key is to now bring them back for a private lesson. Get to know them.
Remove them from the group. Then you take it from there. Most will enroll on the second visit to your school.
You see 40 kids at a summer camp on Monday.
You have 20 back at your school on Tuesday.
18 march to your front desk to schedule their “next session.”
10 (or more) show up.
Conservatively six enroll right there on visit two on a regular beginner membership.
You have eight no shows to follow up on.
You have 22 “semi-warm” leads who think highly of you because you wowed their kids at camp.
You put those in your normal follow up sequences.
You harvest more students.
So what is the key here?
Your only task is to get yourself in front of these campers. Then you wash, rinse and repeat.
Enjoy enrolling more students this summer than some martial arts schools enroll all year.