20 Ways to Promote your Martial Arts School
Advertising and promotions have changed quite a bit in the last decade and will be evolving going forward, as well. With a dojo, you have many ideas to advertise to get new students. Whether it’s guerrilla marketing or a more traditional form of marketing, you’ll have to make sure your martial arts marketing is done in a way that will work with this modern generation.
Here are 20 ideas to promote your martial arts school, in no particular order. Some are quick and easy, while some are a bit grander—but each of them are a great way to help boost your dojo’s exposure:
1) Write Articles For Publicity
If anyone on your team is a great writer, try to compose something for a martial arts magazine, blog, or newspaper. Editors are always looking for great content written by experts in their fields. Make sure that the content you can provide them with makes sense for their publication and their target demographic. And, of course, make sure it is relevant to students or other martial arts industry professionals who may be searching for those topics.
2) Holiday Cards
Send these to your students for multiple reasons. First, the attention to care will be appreciated by your students. Second, many people put their Christmas cards on display at their homes or offices. If you can find one that’s attention grabbing, other people may just take notice of your dojo. This is a great, organic way to improve marketing of your martial arts school while building relationships with students! Learn more holiday marketing ideas your martial arts school should try.
3) Charity Events
This is inherently good, even if no promotions come from it. That being said, a well-designed charity event can do both. Charity events are definitely a part of a comprehensive martial arts school marketing strategy that creates and sustains a long-term positive relationship with your community.
There are a ton of different contests you can run. From in-school contests, to potential student contests, the world is your oyster. Try something amongst your current students, to start. Referral campaigns that have a prize for the students who bring the most friends to class is a classic example. Use contests to meet new students and drive retention with current ones.
5) Social Media Campaigns
Speaking of contests, what better way to spread said contest than through social media? Social media can be a great way for martial arts pros to increase their following and, if done well, it’s a great marketing base to have at all times. Upload short videos, graphics, and anything else that would otherwise catch your interest on your social media feed!
6) Hire Social Media Pros
Martial arts marketing doesn't have to be complicated. If you have the budget for it, finding a great social media team to take over your promotions or train your own staff to do it in-house can be an incredibly high return on investment. Look for people who know what they’re doing: who make it a breeze to boost your online presence and to maximize your martial arts school marketing. Need marketing ideas? Check out our list here.
7) Be a Speaker
Most martial arts masters have earned the title through many years of trials and tribulations. If your city has forums for public speaking, get on top of them. Whether it’s a TEDx , or even a coffee shop meet up, it’s a great way to get your school noticed, while speaking about the great benefits of martial arts for you health and mind.
Find a relevant team, school, or group to sponsor. You’ll have to do a cost-benefit analysis, but this can make your dojo look really good in your community and boost your presence. You can couple this with your philanthropic efforts, by sponsoring kids overseas or helping less fortunate students get to martial artists competitions.
9) Business Cards
Business cards are just about as traditional as can be but here’s a guerrilla tactic: insert them into martial arts books at your local library. A quirky, odd, yet effective form of martial arts school marketing might just give you the leg up. Plus, if you use unique designs and eye-catching colours, students or their parents are sure to remember you.
10) Be Aware of your Calendar
Halfway through each month, take a look at the following month’s events and happenings. Being proactive with your events will keep maximizing your martial arts school marketing potential.
You don't have to work just with other businesses in the martial arts industry to make a splash. Team up with a local business to cross-promote each other, effectively combining your followings. Make sure you think about businesses that are complimentary with yours and make sense. Cross-promotion is one of many great martial arts marketing ideas — and a wonderful opportunity to start exploring video content.
Finding a business to trade with can be extremely rewarding. For example, you can trade a week’s worth of your classes for various products and services other companies offer. If your quality is high enough, you should be able to convert people into full-time students.
This is another form of martial arts school marketing that is very guerrilla driven. Putting your stickers up on random parts of the city (without defacing or vandalizing anything)can be an effective way of boosting your community’s awareness, especially if they’re creative.
A blog can be somewhat time consuming but, with enough quality content, you can create a website that is a hub for martial arts people to look up tips, tricks, and thoughts on martial arts practice. With enough traffic, this can become a very good source of promotional awareness, along with boosting your SEO value.
15) After-School Program
This is a parent’s dream. If you have an after-school program, news should spread quick with your students’ friends’ parents, as it give them a safe place to go and be productive after school. This is a no-brainer if you have many young students. Plus, programs such as these are a fantastic way to introduce yourself to new students in a low-risk environment.
16) Guest Days
Have one day in each month where a student can bring a guest, whether they are familiar with martial arts or not. This creates an easy referral system where the potential student can experience your dojo along with someone they trust. An easy way to multiply the number of students you already have.
17) Guest Instructors
Having a guest instructor come in to teach can be an incredible way to get your students and your community excited, while also keeping things fresh. If your guest instructor has a following, you’ll be able to piggyback on their fan base to get your dojo out there. If you’ve made friends with other school owners around the country, there is also the option of guest appearances, while one of you is traveling. This can create lasting relationships with schools you aren’t competing with.
18) Host a Tournament
Not every dojo can pull this off but, if you can, do it. It’s an incredible martial arts school marketing strategy that will get your name out there quickly. If done well, you will turn a profit while getting an incredible amount of press.
This is a tried and true method of martial arts marketing and with good reason. You can get a lot of people very excited with a really great demonstration, which should help attract a lot of attention. Make sure you’re ready to convert passersby into potential students, by offering a tour, discount or free trial.
20) Birthday Parties
We’ve covered this in the past but it’s still worth the mention. Birthday parties help spread awareness of your dojo like wildfire and gives you a nice boost in revenue; use it to your advantage for a great way to also garner more visibility in the community. Need more martial arts marketing ideas? Check out our article on ways to successfully promote your next event.
Once you get started on promoting your martial arts school, you will soon need a member management platform that scales with your school as it grows. PerfectMind is a web-based platform that automates booking, registration, and lead nurturing, leaving you more time for one-on-one time with your students.