Martial arts schools - get ready to heat up!
Here are 10 Tried and Proven Hacks for a Spectacular Summer!
1. Have a Vacation List by your front counter and follow up with e-mails to all your students. Have them give you dates they will be our of town for summer. You want to make sure that you know when a student is returning so you can contact them right away. You goal is to get them back ASAP so a little break doesn’t turn into a lost student.
2. It’s important for retention and progress that students don’t miss too much time and then are not qualified for testing in September. Make it easy for students to make up classes or arrange private classes. Summer is a great time to add on private classes with high school age instructors having more time to put in to teaching.
3. Schedule social events in July and August. Anticipation for events helps keep students active and families involved. Ideas include a day at a local professional sports game, beach picnic, celebrity guest instructor, softball games at a park, etc. Social events develop the culture of your school. People love to belong to a fun, strong and supportive group.
4. Offer a summer program for parents of kids looking for an activity. Kids get bored about 2 weeks into summer vacation. Promote a summer program for 6 - 8 weeks. Market on Facebook, doorhangers in nearby neighborhoods, rack cards, school banners/clings.
5. Give kids a “fun reason” to look forward to classes. Samples of class add ons that make kids want to come to class include having a week of crazy hair, crazy socks, free ice cream, superhero theme, kicking beach balls, water fights, completion and winning medals (candy on a ribbon)
6. Consider morning classes for kids. Mornings are cooler and easy for parents compared to afternoon classes where you have to pull the kids away from play time, the swimming pool or playdates.
7. Plan a School's Out Party. One thing about summer is that kids don’t see friends at school, however they still have their Martial Arts friends. During your school's out party tell parents and friends about all your plans for a fun summer. Present an offer for a summer program.
8. Plan a Summer Safety Day for the community. Invite everyone. You can teach stranger safety since kids will be out and about more. Adventures of the Steal Proof Masters has a great presentation. Teach water safety, what to do if some comes to your house and you are alone, sun burn precautions, bee stings, what to do if in trouble etc. Hand out stuff with your logo like, beach balls, frisbees, sun protector, sun glasses, etc. Use the opportunity to sign up summer students and or campers.
9. Be ready for Back To School soon after school is out. Back to school marketing begins the second week of July. Earlier if you are in a place like Arizona where school starts back the beginning of August. You need to plan your back to school buddy bash, ads, window banners, meet the teacher, after school enrollments and more.
10. Hand out tickets in class for attendance in summer. The prize should be special and the drawing at the end of summer. For example in Arizona, it gets real hot and kids are less likely to want to attend class. We placed a large thermometer out side the front window. For every degree above 100 kids also got a ticket. All of a sudden kids were okay coming when it was 115 degrees because they go 15 extra tickets for the end of summer drawing of a $100 Visa Gift card for Back to School.
VIP Contests may be considered old-school yet are still a great way to get leads. I like doing them twice a year: Summer and then in November for appreciation around Thanksgiving. Basically you allow students to give out VIP Passes worth a FREE Month of classes. Students get tickets for a drawing at the June Graduation for a super prize. They get 3 tickets by providing you a name, phone # and e-mail address for someone they give a VIP Pass to. They receive 5 for every friend they bring to a PNO or buddy class. They get 10 tickets if their buddy takes an intro and 25 if their buddy enrolls.
Prizes should be something everyone wants. I once bought a Mortal Kombat stand up video game. I then brought Chris Casamassa (Scorpion in the movie) in for a seminar. Kids brought friends to the seminar, he autographed the arcade game and we got tons of leads. Other prizes that have worked well include a trip to Disney, go cart, drone, high end remote controlled cars and Nintendo Switch. We once gave away a "Trick" bicycle. For an event I hired an trick rider who set up ramps and jumps in the parking lot. I had students bring friends and everyone brought bikes. We then did obstacle courses and gave away prizes. We ended with a professional trick show. This event was great. We even had the police department come and register bikes just in case anyone had one stolen.
The success is in proportion to your ability to create excitement, fun and student participation. Easy.
Getting 50 - 200 leads leading up to June graduation will give you the ability to enroll many new students this summer. I will do a live class next week to fill in details, answer questions and show you how to convert VIP to regular students.
I helped Get Students develop Tear Off VIP Passes. Your students tear off the information portion and give it to you. They give the large portion to the recipient of the VIP pass. Very professional and a super easy tool for your students to earn tickets.