3 Reasons You Should Not Market Your Martial Arts School

Jon Evans

July 23, 2024

I talk to a lot of martial arts school owners on a monthly basis and most of them think that I am going to pitch them on all the reasons why they should spend money on advertising their schools. After all, I do run a very successful Martial Arts Marketing Agency. Most school owners are surprised to hear me talk them out of spending money on marketing.

Advertising for martial arts schools has changed so much over the last decade.

We used to be able to go out into the community and "get our name out there" by marching in parades, setting up booths at community events, and sponsoring anti-bullying events in public schools...

And because of movies like The Karate Kid™ and guys like Bruce Lee, we were able to enroll enough students through those channels to fill up the mats with happy new white belts who wanted to be like their heroes.

But that's all changed now. Today it's all digital, and I'm sure you've seen the decline in your numbers as well, and I'm here to tell you that it's not your fault. Times have changed.

We can't keep doing the same old thing that we used to because it has stopped working.

Now, don't let that discourage you because there are some schools who are absolutely crushing it and enrolling paying students like crazy, but before you hear about them, here are three reasons why you should NOT market your martial arts school:

You Don't Have a Solid Offer

You probably have a great curriculum, an awesome legacy program, and provide a lot of real world value to your students. The issue is usually not in WHAT you offer, but in HOW you offer it to potential new students.

So, if you haven't found an offer that stops people in their tracks and makes them think "I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by accepting this offer" then you should NOT spend any money on advertising your school.

You Don't Know How to Follow Up Properly

Even if you worked out an amazing offer and started raking in a bunch of leads (names, emails, phone numbers of potentially interested students), if you don't have a method of follow up that helps you to avoid...

A) burning yourself out

B) bothering most people

...the leads will never turn into paying students. At least not enough to make spending money worth it. You have to be relentless but friendly. You have to find that perfect balance of follow up that allows you to squeeze the highest ROI without burning out your list.

So, if you're not 100% confident that you know the "sweet spot" for the number of times you will or can follow up with a lead, then you should NOT spend any money on ads.

You Don't Have a Proven & Repeatable Process for Enrolling Paying Students

This is a huge issue for many school owners I talk to. If I ask "What's your process for enrolling students?" most have no process at all. It usually goes like this:

Well, we don't really have a process, I mean, if someone comes in, we do a class and we try to get to know the student and then we show them around and then talk about the different programs we offer and talk about prices.

That's it. And frankly, that might work sometimes with warm leads (like referrals, friends of students, and even website leads) but that will never work enough with colder leads like Facebook ads.

Finally, if you do not have a predictable, rinse and repeat process for enrolling paying students then you most definitely should NOT spend money on ads.

The good news is that I've already figured all of this out, and I've compiled all of it into a case study webinar for school owners just like you who are willing to put in the time to grow their martial arts businesses and take them to the next level.

Here's the link to access the case study for free:

Jon Evans

Jon Evans is not your typical "guru" and didn't start off in the martial arts industry. His background is in marketing and sales and by chance was blessed to discover the martial arts industry while his son was training to be a blackbelt, first helping the school his son attended to double in size in less than 6 months, and then moving on to help hundreds of schools across the world to get students.

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