More students. I have been in the martial arts school building business for 40 plus years as a school owner, business coach, speaker and writer. I can say with total confidence that all school owners would love to have more students. For some school owners more students could mean more income, security, more impact or developing a future for high ranking students and staff.
It’s not rocket science. Attract more prospects. Enroll a larger percentage of trials. Keep more.
In the 90’s, many schools discovered the power of adding on new prospects. When setting an appointment, the school would ask a simple question: “Many of our new members find it more fun to train with a friend or family member. Is there anyone you would like to invite to take your first class with?” Results were good. 10 - 15 percent of new prospects brought someone with them which resulted in a few new members. The thinking soon expanded to ask for an additional referral after the enrollment. The script was something like this: “When a new student enrolls they usually are excited and tell a friend. Who are you going to tell?” The program director would then offer a free VIP guest pass to invite that person.
Another way to add a new member is via a prize wheel at a promotional booth. You have set up a table or booth at a town, as people come over you offer them a free class or mini program. Or maybe you have a prize wheel and the prospect spins the wheel and wins a free lesson. You now have a new prospect trying a lesson. What about a Facebook ad? A new prospect replies and schedules a trial.
Great techniques for ADDING on new members. Today marketing is much more sophisticated and instead of ADDING we MULTIPLY.
Multiplying creates more numbers of prospects faster.
Here’s an example. You have a nice kid’s market and a small adult market. Many schools try to offer an additional program for adults. Not a bad idea. You teach a progressive/ traditional program for kids. The emphasis of your kid’s program is life skills. You then think ‘I need something for adults and maybe add in a realistic combat adult program’. Sounds good - but is it? When I was coming up as a school owner, I was mentored by Nick Cokinos, the founder of EFC. When I would talk to him about my school and programs, he would say, “Keep your mind on the bread and butter.” In other words, “the main thing is to keep the main thing, the MAIN thing.” When you have 100 students, you have approximately 600 adults that know about you, trust you and are very low hanging fruit for new members. These are the 200 parents and 400 grandparents of your current students. Paul Garcia is a very successful school owner with about 650 students. He has about the same amount of kid students as adults. He teaches motivation, inspiration and life skills to both age groups. That’s the MAIN thing. The curriculum for the kids is more traditional and the adults more reality based, but that is just the subject matter. You see we all teach people. We think we teach martial arts, but we teach people. Martial arts just happens to be the subject. Now how does this equate into MULTIPLYING instead of addition? Easy - we don’t ask for a single referral, we embrace the family and show the two parents and four grandparents how our martial arts program can benefit them. You can do this with Very Involved Parent classes, though graduations, educating them on the fitness, self-defense, motivation and self-development. Create the vision of a school for personal development and share that vision consistency with everything you do. Bam! You now have families training with a purpose.
Multiply your results from a promotional booth. Instead of having a prospect will a FREE class have them win a FREE party. On the prize wheel include prizes like: free pizza party, free dodgeball party and a free Break a Board party. The party includes bringing 6 friends. Now you have just multiplied the number of prospects by 6. Now there’s more. The parties are 60 minutes and at the end of the party the guests get to spin the wheel. Results again are multiplied. And the best thing is that every new member has two parents and 4 grandparents. This party give away works great at birthday parties. Have all the guest spin the wheel with the prizes ranging from free classes to parties. A single birthday party with 10 guests can easily multiply to 50 prospects! Zach Siokos does this marketing at BGr8 Martial Arts in South Carolina. His school schedules several pizza parties and dodgeball parties at the same time every weekend. Of course it is imperative that you get all guests information so you can add them to your prospect data base. Software companies like RainMaker also have automation flows to funnel these projects into new students.
This past weekend I noticed a school owner in St. Louis, Charles Jarnigan, run a contest on Facebook. He took advantage of multiplying by creating a contest to win a martial arts birthday party. The rules included leaving a comment and sharing the contest. He was creating a way for prospects to actually multiply his impact by sharing the information with all their friends. Now instead of his message reaching hundreds he multiplied it to be thousands.
Here’s a quick couple of ideas to get your 100 students to reach a multiple of 100.
- Invitations to Buddy Days - Instead of having then invite a buddy, give them Buddy Bash invitations to hand out to their entire class. So simple and you multiply the potential results by 30.
- White Belt Buddy Bash - At the end do the party prize wheel. Now all of the quests get to invite 6 kids to their party.
- Have kids invite friends to graduation. Give out raffle tickets and the winners get a free party.
Next month I will go over the details of a party. If you have questions please message me on Facebook or email Greg@GregSilva.com