Martial arts is a journey that takes many, many years to master. Focusing on creating lifelong students at your martial arts school will help build your school’s legacy and its contribution to the martial arts community. Additionally, these students are the ones who will carry your teachings and hopefully pass them on to new students.
This is also great for business; having a large group of students who are committed full-timers helps create a steady stream of income, stabilizing your business and allowing you to grow. Here are some tips for utilizing martial arts marketing to create lifelong students.
Amp Up Your Children’s Program
Many martial arts schools cater primarily to younger students. Especially at the beginning of your school’s existence, this is a smart strategy, as many parents are looking to enrol their children in positive programs and lessons. Marketing the benefits of martial arts for children is a great way to boost your customer base, as is having a good website and SEO, and Google AdWords strategy, so that parents can find you.
With this age group possibly being your most popular, it makes sense to focus a lot of your marketing towards it. For instance, make sure you have images geared towards this demographic, whenever you are promoting your kids programs. At the same time, it’s important not to forget about martial arts marketing towards adults and seniors as well.
Retention Is Key
With all membership-based businesses, member/student retention is one of the biggest goals. It’s much easier to keep a current member than it is to find and maintain new customer relationships. High retention rates help to create more stability for your business; a kind of certainly that brings piece of mind, along with added respect from students and potential members that see how long people want to stay at your school.
With your young student base growing up, many will start to lose interest or find other life goals or activities to focus their attention on. You’ll have to keep this in mind, as you build out your lesson plans, as well as the general tone of your instructors’ teachings.
Intrinsic motivation is defined as “behavior that is driven by internal rewards.” In other words, your students are attending martial arts classes not because their parents are telling them to or because they will be compensated for their efforts. Rather, they are attending martial arts classes because they personally enjoy it. Instilling this form of motivation is very important for keeping your retention rates high.
A good student retention strategy based on intrinsic motivation will be a combination of a few things. First, your instructors need to provide a high level of teaching. Second, an outlet for what your students learn can further motivate them. This can be in the form of competitions, demonstrations or teaching younger students themselves. Third, trust needs to be built between instructors and students to create better bonds.
Developing a family and community-based martial arts school will also help students be more dedicated and committed. Finally, finding the right difficulty for attaining senior level belts makes a big difference. Of course, attaining a black belt should require years of dedication and commitment, but making sure students can actively feel the progress they’re making will only help keep them motivated.
Learn more about improving retention by checking out this webinar on how to do so by tracking class attendance. Preventing cancellations before they happen is key!