Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Promoting Your New Martial Arts School

One of the biggest struggles for new martial arts entrepreneurs is how to get their school "on the map." In other words, how to successfully advertise their business and get people in the door. As I said in my earlier post, one of the best ways to "advertise" for your school is it's location. If you have a location on a main patch of road with a great view of the main dojo, then getting people in the door could be a lot easier than you think.

It's an old adage in real estate lingo - location, location, location. Shop early and long to find the right location. Make sure that the natural traffic patterns of your community bring people past your new school. Try to rent space that has big windows that allow for pedestrians and commuters to see you teach. And under no circumstances clutter up your windows with trophies. No one cares! No one joins a school to win trophies - they come for discipline, flexibility, control, and self defense. Loose the trophies, keep the windows clear.

Another way you could advertise for your school is through demonstrations. Try to find parades and other community events where you are your students can demonstrate the art to the public. If all goes well, you'll catch they eye of the adults, and those adults might bring their children in for a beginning lesson.

The larger point in all of this is to try to prevent your practitioners from becoming walking billboards. I know of people who have spent 14 or 15 years of their lives in a dobok with the name of their martial arts school on their back. Who sees this? It is extra cost for the uniform, and yet it provides no real value.

I would advise any martial arts entrepreneur to buy their uniforms blank. You can buy them in any color you wish, but try to avoid making your students into walking ads, in the end, they'll appreciate you for it.

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