Having started and struggled with a Martial Arts School for years, I finally cracked the code to marketing success. Having tried most of these ideas I wanted to get down in one place all the marketing methods I have used, and some which I have yet to use to promote my Martial Arts School. So here are by top Martial Arts Marketing Ideas. Let me know if you can find any more in the comments below!
Martial Arts Marketing Ideas
1. Banner advertising
A good weather proof banner can bring you a steady stream of students for years to come. For the price of a round of drinks, banner advertising is a ‘no-brainer’. It will pay for itself many times over. Get several of these placed around your school and it’ll payoff in no time!
Get some leaflets printed out and put them out around your school. Remember to include some kind of tracking such as a discount code. That way you will know when you have picked up a student from this advertising method. Without knowing where your students come from you can spend time on methods which don’t work, and miss the ones which do. Leaflets can be posted by hand or you can pay the post office to do a mail shot around your school area.
Postcards are a great form of advertising. Put them up in post offices and shop windows. Again use a form of tracking such as a discount code and make it different for each form of advertising. Postcards can also be posted door to door around the local neighborhood or even given out to walk in prospects.
4. Business Cards
Use business cards for anyone who you get talking with who shows an interest in your school. They are also great to use for walk in prospects who inquire at your school. You can even get them done en-mass and ‘card’ an entire car park at local events.
Brochures are a little flashier than leaflets and postcards. Use brochures in your school and hand them to students to give out. Brochures are a great way to inform people about your school, your art and yourself as an instructor.
6. Google Places
Google Places lets you place a free business listing for your school. This means free students for years to come. It’s definitely worth the short time it takes to set up.
7. Bing Places
Bing Places has it’s own directory of locally based businesses. Like Google’s Places, Bing offers a free placing for local businesses. Definitely worth the small effort it takes to list your school for a lifetime of free traffic.
8. Yahoo For Business
Yahoo also does a small business listings service for free here. Hurray for Yahoo!
9. Google Adwords
Google Adwords do a pay per click advertising platform which makes it super easy and incredibly super targeted to your location. See my article Marketing For Martial Arts for more detail on placing a Google Adwords Listings.
Facebook marketing offer their own pay per click program too. Again, this can be super targeted to your target audience and to your local area too. It’s an awesome platform and well worth getting to know.
Martial Arts School Marketing Ideas
11. Retargeting With Facebook
‘Retargeting’ is an amazing form of advertising. By placing some code on your website you can track your visitors and remind them of their interest in your school. This is a great way to keep your business top of mind for people considering your school. It’s a pretty cheap way to raise your profile too as your adverts can be seen on many websites around the internet, but only to those people who have already shown an interest in your website.
12. Retargeting With Adwords
Adwords has a similar program and this is fairly simple to set up with some code on your website. Once it is done once you can simply let it run!
Martial arts marketing ideas needn’t only be online either. You can extend your marketing efforts to the off line world. Don’t forget about offline advertising.
Targeting local newspapers can be a great way to raise your profile too. Make sure your advert appears on the right hand page, where people are more likely to see it.
Local directories which are delivered around your neighborhood are a great way to get into people’s houses near where your martial arts school runs. This can be done fairly cheaply too. Ask for discounts before placing an order and make sure you track your advert with either a discount code or by sending people to a specific landing page of your website, where you can track their action.
Don’t limit your martial arts marketing ideas just to advertising your school. You can also raise your profile with local events.
15. Run Self Defense Workshops
Running small ‘one off’ self defense workshops can raise your profile locally and bring more people into your school who would not have bothered otherwise to find you.
16. Organize A Charity Training ‘Marathon’
Run a 24 hour training marathon for your favourite charity. This is a great way to raise the profile of your club. Get people to sponsor you and your students and talk to the local paper to get a mention.
17. Run Sporadic Single Day Events
A one day event such as a self defense course, woman’s self defense course or even just an extended beginners course is a great way to get paid, raise awareness for your school and find new students.
19. Do A Radio Interview/Advert
Raise your profile by getting on the radio about an event or class you might be running.
20. Write A Book
Write a book about your experience and knowledge of what you are teaching. A book automatically raises your profile and places you as an expert in your field.
21. Celebrity Endorsements
Do you have a celebrity connection of some kind? Can you bring in your most senior instructor for a seminar? Ask a local celebrity to open an event for your school. Celebrity endorsements raise your profile and let you become instant news!
22. Start A Blog
Starting a blog can be another way of finding people online who are researching your style. Writing about your Martial Art online can help raise your profile as an expert in your field. It can also help rank your website higher in the searches.
Your logo can be a great way to market your martial arts school. Put your logo on jackets, hoddies, caps and t-shirts. It’s an instant advert for your school when people see your students wearing it. Wear your gear yourself at suitable events to promote your school.
24. Field Days, Open Days and Festivals
Get in touch with your local community festivals organizer and arrange to be a part of it. A local festival say is a great time to host a workshop or demonstration.
25. Car Sticker
Get a magnetic or adhesive car banner for your bumper or the door of your car.
26. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to market your school. You first need to create a compelling offer to get people to sign up to your newsletter on your website. But once you have someone’s email, you can continue to inform them about your classes and build a relationship.
This means you can get someone to your class even months of years after they initially signed up to your website newsletter.
27. Referral Marketing
Set up a referral system in your Martial Arts School and reward your students from bringing in new members. You can reward them with free classes, some form of merchandise or even cash payments. Knowing your return on investment from a single student for potentially years to come will help you realize the value in this.
28. A Website
Of course not every martial arts school owner even has a website! Really?! A website is a must for all businesses now since so much business is found online.
29. Directory Listings and The Phone Book
Although directory listings are being outdated by the internet, it’s still an advertising method. Yell.com now has an online platform with a free listing option so make sure you get yourself on there too!
Short of hot air balloon advertising and television advertising I think that’s almost it. There must be thousands more ways to advertise your business which I haven’t included here.
Can you think of any other Martial Arts Marketing ideas? Please leave them in the comments below.