[Webinar] Back to School with Chris Millares

Webinar Overview

Is your martial arts studio prepared for the busiest time of year, back to school? We're pumped and we want to help you stand out from your competitors to get students registered for September. How can your school prepare for the chaos? Chris Millares, Chief Development Officer of Amerikick is going to help you get ready and create the best back to school plan, guaranteed to boost your registration numbers.

In this webinar Chris will guide you through:

  • Leveraged priced points for back to school success
  • The importance and impact a phone call can have on leads
  • Differentiating yourself from other schools
  • Social media tricks (aside from Facebook)
  • Creating hashtags (#) for your school


About the Speaker

Chris Millares
Chris Millares has been involved in the martial arts for over 25 years. Chris' impact on the Amerikick organization started as a student, instructor then progressed throughout the years. Currently, he serves as an executive team member as Amerikick expands it's franchise model. His knowledge of the martial arts business combined with marketing, networking, development and a solid tech savvy has made him an integral part of Amerikick's expansion.



Video Transcript

Keith: Hello everyone and welcome to the webinar. My name is Keith McGregor. I'm the manager of the Customer Success Team for ChampionsWay and PerfectMind. I just want to remind everybody to follow us on Facebook and Twitter - facebook.com/championswayfans and @championsway. I have the opportunity to present with Chris Millares at our training day in Philadelphia, so you're in for a treat.

A little bit about Chris. He's been involved in martial arts for over 25 years. His impact on AmeriKick organization has been tremendous. His knowledge of the martial arts business combined with marketing, networking, developing and technology, has made him an integral part of AmeriKick expansion --excuse me. So I'd like to welcome now Chris Millares.

Chris: Thank you, Keith, for the awesome introduction. I hope everybody is well today. Yes my name is Chris M with AmeriKick Martial Arts and I'm really excited and pumped about this webinar, and getting ready for that time of the year that we all love, that Back to School time. Title of this webinar is "Taking the BS out of "Back to School"", and I just want to take you through a few key points.

As we all know, our martial arts business can make us feel absolutely crazy. As we describe it, the martial arts business is about a million things going on at the same time. I'll remind you they're all common sense ideas that we have to handle and tackle every day, but how many people have ever gone to their school, been selling, been marketing, been promoting, following up the leads, following up the prospects, and then your head instructor calls out, right. And these all are challenges that we have day in and day out, and we have to deal with them. Now when it comes to Back to School, we want our staff to be on point. We want them to be absolutely sharp, absolutely ready to rock and roll.

Alright, couple takeaways from this webinar, what we want you to get, number 1: Leveraged price points for Back to School success. So have your notepads ready, take some notes and share with your staff. And let's keep in mind too that a lot of time as school owners and managers, we get it, we're operating on Level 10. We're motivated, we're excited, we're ready to make a difference, an impact, we're task oriented, but our staff needs that little kick in the butt to get them back in the gear, okay.
Now we're next: Everybody is saying the same thing, so how do we turn that into a positive thing for our schools?
Social media - keep it simple, keep it easy.
Next - hashtag campaigns step-by-step and the impact of building excitement over the phone. Let's be honest, we're absolutely flooded with technology these days. It is rare to teach a martial arts class, looking at your [area at the pro shop and not see at least three to five people on their iPads, their cellphones or iPhones and so on, right. But at the end of the day, there's nothing more powerful than picking up that phone, if you can't be face to face, and communicating excitement about your programs. So we're going to be getting to that a little bit.

Okay, first step - price points. Our philosophy is we want to make this as easy as possible. We want it to be seamless. Let's take a step back and take a look at our martial arts program. Somebody who has no idea about the martial arts walks into the school for the first day, and they look at the floor and they see three Jedis dressed up in the gear, with a head bands and their belt on and yelling and punching and saying, you know better horse stands, better reverse punch, better front kick, jump a little bit higher, you know. That can be intimidating for somebody who hasn't seen martial arts in action and been in the school. So we want to make it as easy and friendly as possible for people to sign up at our program. And we recommend a membership funnel to start with a "no brainer" which is our $19.99 for three classes. We want to be as no pressures as possible, and we want to build the value from day 1.

'Mr. Smith, we're really excited about our program, and we hope you love it as much as we do. Just to get you started and to earn your trust, we have the $19.99 special for three classes. This is going to give John an opportunity to train in the martial arts, to experience our program. And at the end of those three classes, we hope that you absolutely love it like we do.' It's such an easy barrier to entry and this could be an amazing promotion, whether you're sending out emails, on your Facebook, you're announcing in classes to your students, 'Moms and Dads, we're doing a special Back to School promotion, let all your friends know. It's only $19.99 for three classes. Your friends can train, they can come in check out our program, and hopefully have a great time.' You're constantly building value. We're going to leverage solutions to community issues, and this is really important right. The $19.99 is just a barrier to entry, but then when people come in to your school and they take advantage, they find a lot more, a lot more than they may have originally been looking for. For example, maybe their child's being bullied which is always a big issue.

04:55

'Mrs. Smith, we know that that's a huge issue right now. One of the things that our program addresses is helping kids to feel more confident, help them feel more focused. If they can stand with their shoulders a little bit taller, they can look people in the eye a little bit better, then they have a better shot to dealing with bullying than slashing their shoulders, so on and so forth. And we really feel that's what our program brings out in children.' So make it easy. When you're doing your staff meeting, talking to your staff, your barrier to entry should be very, very easy, right.

Okay next, let's take a look what are families looking for. That is so important. If we can answer that at our staff meeting ahead of time, and understand what the solutions are in advance, wa have a better chance at building our program and getting people involved at our school. Martial arts program builds confidence, focus and discipline. That's fantastic, right? When everybody in your area is saying exactly the same thing - confidence, focus and discipline - the question then becomes how do you do that better than your competitor? In some cases it's just the effects. Somebody walks through the front door of your school and they see classes running on, and they're absolutely blown away by how excited your instructor is, how discipline the children are, how attentive the parents are, and just the overall vibe they get. That maybe what separates you and makes you different, right. Before a student has the chance to walk into your school, let's think about it on the technology at. How are they seeing your school and how are they seeing your program in action before they even step on the mat, and we would argue that. Things like social media, things like email, things like putting your instructor videos which we'll get into a little bit later on your Facebook page and emailing out, is the solution. It's not better than saying it face to face, like watching a concert on YouTube isn't the exact same thing as being in the front row and watching the band play alive. But if they can get a glimpse of the value that your program creates in comparison to your competitor, you have better chance of building your programs, especially this Back to School. Really quick, I just want to double check and make sure that everyone can hear me. Just thought that Keith was having some audio cutoff.

Okay we're back on, sorry about that everyone. So getting back, if you miss that just to go like the people are going to make a decision about you, and if you can get that message out on your social media networks, be it YouTube, Facebook, whatever the case maybe, you have a significant advantage. So to reiterate, you can watch the greatest band on earth, your favorite musician on YouTube, but it's a completely different experience when it's live and you're right in front, back seat passes, the whole deal. But if you don't have that opportunity, things like YouTube videos provide that solution for us. So whatever your unique selling proposition is, whatever makes you different or makes you better, you're the one to plug that into your marketing strategy. At your staff meeting you're going to send in your advertising, artwork and scripts around that decision, which is really helpful.

Now really quick point too when we're on the topic of Facebook. Here's a cool idea that you can implement right away. Let's assume you have two staff members at your school, and they have Facebook pages and you allow them to use that, depending on what your rules are, your parameters. You're going to ask each of your staff members to reach out to five people every day on their Facebook page and this is exactly what they're going to say, 'Hello, this is Andrew, we're touching base from XYZ Martial Arts. I wanted to reach out and get your advice. My goal is to inspire, motivate more people at our school. I didn't know if you know anybody who might be interested in free martial arts lessons. Let me know.' That's a great way to take five, six, and get five, six new people every single day for all your staff members, really whole staff.

Alright next. What we're going to do is we're going to take a look at social media and keeping it simple. Now simple being the keyword. Simple things done really well are the things that usually work. When you start to overcomplicate it and look too deeply and spend six hours trying to, which is well more than that, but 12 hours days on in trying to figure out Google's algorithm, or what the next Penguin update's going to be, you're going to be in trouble. So at social media, keep it simple and let's do three ideas to keep your media simple.

Number 1: target your audience. Let's take a realistic view of this.

10:00

Facebook understands that businesses are jumping on and attempting to promote their business, they know this, this is a given, they're smart, they're brilliant, right. They know that we're trying to leverage Facebook to reach a new audience. So putting up a post saying we're having a $19.99 special includes three lessons and uniform, everybody sign up, you might get one way, right. So targeting your audience boils down to figuring out who is purchasing your product, who may be interested in the martial arts, who may be interested in building confidence, focus? Targeting that on your fan pages, expanding your boost based on those targets. So that's what targeting your audience is all about. Now listen if you're on this webinar, you're absolutely savvy because you're working with one of the leaders in the martial arts industry. In my opinion the leader, you're working with PerfectMind who's absolutely brilliant at marketing, and at the end of the day getting your student in your school, right. So you understand targeting your audience, but as a side note this is something you should be covering in your staff meetings and really planning out what you're spending on targeted Facebook boost, post, ads, things of that nature.

Next - babies and cats, you're probably wondering what's that all about, right. Well if you take a picture of a baby, and I do this with my daughter sometimes, and I put her on Facebook, and I get like 30, 40, 50 likes. But then I'll put something on like great martial arts class today, had a ton of positive enthusiasm, excitement, and it got one or two likes, by people that maybe attending the class. So we understand just based on that small little case study where people are kind of looking or responding to on Facebook. It's an instant gratification I think when people scroll in the newsfeed, it's what pictures are catchy, what's going to catch their attention and get them to like or stop for that second.

Next you want to build value, earn trust, then sell. Now let me say this everyone, I don't believe in that phrase when someone says 'oh he can sell anything' - no. No you can't, you can't sell anything. Mind you there are people that are more skilled, they're building excitement and enthusiasm about something, because that's what selling is, isn't it. It's a transfer of excitement from A to B, and the better you do that, the more likely you are to succeed in the marketplace. So I don't think there's one person that can sell anything. What we want to focus on is our targeted audience and how do we earn trust and build value within that audience. We're going to do that with a video, we're going to do that with articles, we're going to do that with highlighting the students that made an impact on your own life. I have a student, her name's Alexa. She's battling a very rare eye disorders. She may very well go blind. And she comes in every single week and we do private lessons. I told her parents that it was my mission, my goal, to help her get the black belt. No matter what we're going to do the black belt. That is a type of student that made a huge impact in my life and that is who I'm going to promote on Facebook.

So what I want you to do is I want you, based on these bullet point right here, let's make a list of five students who have had a tremendous impact on us. It's almost like the ultimate reversal. Over taking a look at our classes, who are the students that are inspiring the instructor, and we're going to promote them and build them up on our fan pages and on our profile pages, which is really awesome and such a powerful thing.

Facebook groups - I'm not going to say too much about this, other than if you add people to your Facebook groups and then you put a post, it's going to run directly through their newsfeed, they're going to have a look on their phone, so it's powerful. So if you're going to build a big enough group and start pumping any content and value, you have a significant audience to work with.

And last, you're the Back to School expert in your area. That's going back to what makes you different and what separates you from the competitors in your environment. Well I don't know, want to believe that at our schools, we're going to be the Back to School experts, meaning that we found out, we know, we have the system, we have the best way to communicate better grades, better attendance, better study habits, better focus among our students in the context of martial arts and our competitors. And that's such a huge value. So let's think about all these points, and mind everybody, I read an amazing book recently by Todd Henry, it's called Accidental Creative, and he wrote another one it's called Die Empty. Crazy titles but he had something amazing to say. He talked about mapping, mashing and making, and every staff meeting that you run, should revolve around those three things. So let's take these points, sit down with our staff and let's make some magic happen.

Okay next, let's talk about hashtag campaigns. Really quick, really simple, something that you can integrate right away. Now I mean everybody probably knows what a hashtag is but it's a general thought, general idea that people gravitate towards.

15:02

When that whole Tim Tebow thing went down when he was in Denver, now he's in Philadelphia, but there was a hashtag #freetebow so on and so forth. You type in a hashtag, you get recent interesting things about a martial arts school, a program, so on and so forth. So what we're going to do is create a hashtag campaign and we're going to do the "#name of your martial arts school" and we're going to make it Back to School. So on our case will be #amerikickbacktoschool. And in among that hashtag, and we're going to announce it in our classes, 'Moms and Dads, we're really excited, we're really motivated to announce our hashtag campaign #amerikickbacktoschool.' We're going to use this for moms and dads as a way to help motivate kids, give ideas to parents to swap ideas, to create the best Back to School experience that we can. That's how we're going to announce and promote it. We're going to send out a mass email to everybody in PerfectMind. We're going to promote through our social media outlets, and we're going to offer like I said healthy combination of advice and special offers.

When you're jumping on to these hashtags and you're giving advice to people, you're giving them quality things like study habits - five ways to build confidence in your child at home, five ways to build leadership skills in your child that would only take five minutes a day. We're going to build this ideas, we're going to create a network, and remember life is not this magic pill that we take, or this magic bullet, and all of the sudden we're going to have 50, 60 signups just walk through our front door. Everything is a growth, everything is an evolution. So we can grow something like a hashtag campaign, it's just going to be one more component to feed our school with those quality members and quality families. So sit down, brainstorm your hashtag campaigns, offer them at your school, attract attention for quality articles, quality content out there, and then what you're going to do is integrate to with some special offers, which we talked about, an easy barrier entry to bring new people on the floor, new people in your classes.

Okay next, let's talk about this. We're going to elevate our phone in. Going back to this whole idea, you may be great at it, you may be the absolute best on the phone, you may be fantastic, but your staff may be very poor. Let me throw a side note out here too. I've heard recently the whole idea like, and it drives me absolutely crazy, and I hope someone listen to this it drives you crazy too, and then maybe we can talk about it, brainstorm about it, but the whole idea "work less, make more", "work two hours a day, and watch your school succeed", "work 30 minutes and you can be a millionaire" - it drives me absolutely insane. It's like, are we trying to take the whole work factor out of things? It's almost like we'd expect to walk around the corner and see a bag of money's sitting there. No, it doesn't work like that. The greatest leaders, innovators, and most exciting people in my life that I've read about and I've listened to, and the people that are smarter than me, you know the Farid Dordars of the world, the Dennis /, are people that are constantly building. They are in a state of building. I know we've been mentioning a lot about staff meetings and things along those lines, but let's talk about this - how's your staff building week in, week out? That's a great question to ask your staff members - how are you building this week? How are you building personally, how are you building intellectually, and how are you helping the school built to the next level? With that being said, let's make way into your phone game.

Like I said, you may be great at it, your staff might not. Number 1: role play. Sometimes it gives you a tough thing, it could be really tough for you because it's almost like acting, you ask them to be an actor. But sitting there and just getting your staff comfortable with how they're going to answer the phone, how they're going to respond, how they're to book appointments, is a tremendous skill and a tremendous value. You say maybe there's some people you don't want on the phone in your staff, and that's cool, that's fantastic. But what happens when you're running a belt graduation and there's 30, 40 kids on the floor, your staff member who's not particularly trained is in the office covering the front desk and they have to answer the phone and take that which potentially be $2,000 phone call, how are they going to deal with it? So this is really important. Couple things to remember when you're teaching your staff about the phone game is number 1: what's exciting and what's new. For example 'hi, this is Chris at XYZ Martial Arts. How may I help you?' - that's if you're answering the phone. If it's an outgoing call, 'the reason for my call today, I want to let you know we have something exciting and new for Back to School. We're integrating our Bully Strangers, Dangerous Strangers program, and we want to invite you out for a free class, check out other program, it's Back to School, new ideas, new habits, and you can check out the program for free.' So it's always about what's exciting and what's new.

20:00

Now here's a thing too. The things that people want is not like an infinite amount of things that people are looking for. I mean in our industry, what is it? It's confidence, focus, leadership, self-discipline, something structured, they want to defend themselves, bullying. So write off four or five things but it's not like infinite. If you can have the answers to what people want scripted ahead of time, and then encourage your staff, make your staff, force your staff, however you look at it, motivate your staff, to learn that script, they're going to be better equipped ti handle walk ins, the phone and just selling in general which is really important.

Next here's a thing too. The things that people want is not like an infinite amount of things that people are looking for. I mean in our industry, what is it? It's confidence, focus, leadership, self-discipline, something structured, they want to defend themselves, bullying. So write off four or five things but it's not like infinite. If you can have the answers to what people want scripted ahead of time, and then encourage your staff, make your staff, force your staff, however you look at it, motivate your staff, to learn that script, they're going to be better equipped ti handle walk ins, the phone and just selling in general which is really important.

Next - facilitating referrals. 'Just wanted to give you a call to check in. I notice that John's been involved in the program for about three weeks now. He's doing a fantastic job. How do you feel about out school?' - that's going to generate the answer. After that, 'oh great, I'm so excited that he's glad and that he's excited in the program. Let me ask, do you know anybody who might be interested in free martial arts to experience, to see benefits as John?' If the answer is yes, great, you have an opportunity for the referral. If not, that's great as well because you have an opportunity to connect with an existing student and get some quality feedback.

Lead calls. 'It's back to school. They might be interested now.' Before the summer or summer time I should say, people on vacation, they're away. I read an article once, the dogged days of summer, people go. But come fall time, all those leads that you may have had in the beginning of the summer are now coming back to school and they might be interested in a martial arts program. 'Mrs. Smith, just wanted to call, it's back to school time. I know we didn't touch base since before the summer, but I thought you might be interested that we're integrating our Bully Strangers, Dangerous Strangers program and also our Back to School kickoff. Give us a call back, we can give you some more information.'

Last point on this - it's a contact sport. I got this from somebody recently - how do you know or feel when you're being annoying on the phone? Well I just think it boils down to the person. I mean in life you must be real, there's annoying people, there's people who are gold, there's people you can listen to all day, right. So as long as you're not calling somebody in the way of span every couple of seconds. I mean if there's a system, if there's a formula - call week 1, call two weeks from now, final call after that. If there's a system then you're good to go, as long as you're communicating value, giving somebody something new, then you're good to go. At the end of the day it's a contact sport. The more people you contact, the better you're going to do, that's what the phone, that's what the internet, that's what the media, that's what emails.

And that is it everybody. So thanks so much for listening. I guess right now I'm going to turn it over to my good friend Keith. Thank you, Keith.

Keith: Okay, just want to make sure, can everybody hear me? Can you type 'yes' in the chat box? Perfect.

Chris, that was amazing information. Thank you so much. Like I said I had the chance to present with Chris in Philadelphia and he was an amazing speaker. I was really eager to get him do a webinar for us. I do want to offer our special here for Mr. Marketer, our Back to School special. So we're offering 50% off the setup fee. So weaving $300 off the setup fee for the first 25 people. I'm going to post the link in the chat box, if you are interested in this. So our Back to School special in terms of Mr. Marketer, we're going to have ready to use pages with customizable elements, Back to School promotional landing pages with the option for lead capture or by online directly. Four scheduled emails to target leads and former students. These emails offer can be customized as well. Four Back to School Facebook posts and at your request the Mr. Marketer team will include links to direct traffic to the landing pages. A Facebook Back to School banner, Back to School flyers, Back to School postcard, Back to School bring a friend postcard, these are all easy customizable, printable and mail ready. So again full instructions will be sent to all Mr. Marketer clients, and the link is there. So for the first 25 people who are interested, you can get the 50% off the setup fee.

So again thank you so much, Chris, we are going to take some questions now. I'm going to read out some questions.