Martial arts schools rely on consistent enrollment numbers to ensure that their doors stay open. Without students signed up to take classes, regardless of the discipline being taught or how state-of-the-art a facility may be, it will be impossible for an owner to run a profitable business.
Unfortunately, many people who open schools may be extremely effective at teaching the finer points of martial arts and self-defense – things that potential students would find enticing. At the same time, they may be unsure of how to effectively market themselves, their programs or the school’s training facilities. It’s a common problem owners face, but thankfully, there are some simple promotional tactics that can keep enrollment levels high and revenue consistent.
Best practices for martial arts school marketing
Many owners likely know that a majority of their classes are comprised of young people who want to learn taekwondo and karate. Typically, their parents are actively involved in their training, and this is why Fitness Texter, a company offering a text messaging service for fitness businesses, suggests a number of unique marketing strategies to help boost awareness and get people signed up for martial arts classes:
- Sports team sponsorship: Being a sponsor of a youth sports league is a great way that school owners can increase membership. Children participating in sports like basketball, baseball and soccer are already active, and between seasons, many parents are looking for alternative activities.
- Targeting adults, too: Children aren’t the only ones who practice martial arts. Adults do as well. Developing adult-centric classes is a great way to bolster enrollment, particularly for parents who may be looking for a low-impact way to stay in shape and have fun. It can also be a great bonding experience between parents and their kids.
- Host a tournament: Martial arts, like any other sport, is about competition. Owners of martial arts school significantly increase awareness by partnering with other facilities to host tournaments. This is a great way to draw attention to a school and get more students enrolled.
Other innovative marketing tips
Tournaments, local sports team sponsorships and adults-only classes are all good ideas for martial arts schools to employ to increase its enrollment statistics. But there are others as well.
Allie Alberigo’s “Taking it to the Next Level” blog offered some more marketing tips that owners will find useful.
Hosting karate or taekwondo-themed birthday parties is a unique suggestion that can help raise awareness. Offering this option to students already enrolled is a great way to introduce their friends and others in their peer groups about the benefits of martial arts training.
Another would be to host an enrollment drive involving current students. Challenging them to see how many of their friends they can get signed up and offering things like a free week of classes or some other incentive can help as well. It can be even more fun if the challenge is turned into a team-centered event.
These are just a few suggestions that martial arts school owners who are struggling to bring in students can try to help alleviate this problem. Of course, it’s possible to build on many of these with unique twists relative to the discipline being taught, but they should be used as a launching point for other innovative techniques.
Running a business of any kind is a difficult prospect. However, one common theme is that the success of an organization depends on its customers. These tips can be beneficial for any owner looking to increase his or her enrollment level and ensure financial sustainability for a martial arts school.