27 – Turning 2 Weeks 'Quiet Time' Into 96 Martial Arts Paid Trial Students (And How To Retain 90% Of Them) - Martial Arts Marketing For Martial Arts Business

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27 – Turning 2 Weeks ‘Quiet Time’ Into 96 Martial Arts Paid Trial Students (And How To Retain 90% Of Them)

Attracting 96 new martial arts paid trial students in 2 weeks is fantastic. But retaining them by providing value is another. Paul Veldman shares how.

Martial Arts Paid Trials - George Fourie and Paul Veldman

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • What the exact martial arts paid trial offer was
  • The marketing components applied to attract 96 new paid trial signups
  • Having the right incentive to retain your new student
  • The one thing almost no martial arts schools are doing to retain their students for life
  • Valuing your reputation over dollars earned
  • Why email is still a leading force for martial arts marketing
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

And what I had saw coming back in was some faces and names that I hadn't seen for years, saying, can we take up his offer?

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another episode of the martial arts media business podcast, episode number 27. I have with me for round 2 today, Shihan Paul Veldman from Kando Martial Arts in Hughesdale and also from Martial Arts Business Success and we're going to be talking about a couple of things, but we're going to start with a really, really successful campaign that Paul had in December, that we helped him with and that generated well over 90 paid trials in the end, which is now the official number, which it was 86, there were 96 results from that.

And we're going to break it down, not just the signup process: we talk a lot about generating leads because that's my specialty, but I wanted to really get a background view of what happens. You put out a great offer, you put out a great trial like that, and you've got this flood of new students that sign up, but what do you do then? How do you manage to get them into your club on a permanent basis, signing them up for a long term member? And we're going to take a look at the different steps and components that go into that, to really turn these paid trial leads into ongoing and long-term club members.

So lots of great things to talk about, and not to jump the gun yet, but if you do want to have a look at the actual page that we used that helped generate Paul more than 90 paid trials at the end of the day, then go and have a look at martialartsmedia.com/mabs – M-A-B-S. I did a short seven-minute video, it just gives you a bit of an overview of how the whole page works, different components, the up-sells, and that's going to put a lot of this interview into perspective, so whether you do that before or after the interview, just make a note of that, because that's really going to help you understand the different components, and how that can help your marketing.

All right, I want to get going. For all other show notes and links and everything mentioned in this episode, you can go to martialartsmedia.com/27,  download the transcript and everything else is on the website for you. That's it for me, I hope you enjoy this interview – you're going to learn a lot from this I can guarantee that, and welcome to the show once again Mr. Paul Veldman.

GEORGE: Good day everyone, today I'm with Paul Veldman sitting in front of me this time, round two. Welcome, Paul.

PAUL: Good morning.

GEORGE: Cool. And today we're going to touch on a few things, but I guess our highlight is going to be, last year towards the end of the year, we did a campaign. We helped Paul to get a package for a paid trial, and got really good results with it.

PAUL: We ended up with 96 results over a two-week period.

GEORGE: Two weeks, yeah.

PAUL: But the really surprising thing George, that I enjoyed, was in December, we tend to find we drop off our marketing. We know that on Facebook, the pay per clicks gets more expensive because we're competing with all the retailers for Christmas business, but we thought we’d give it a little bit of a go, mostly just hitting out a lot of old inquiries, old members. And the results were astounding, it was actually scary how good they were. So between the three clubs, we ended up with 96 paid trials.

GEORGE: All right, excellent. So there are lots of ways we can go with that, let’s just define – what I really want to cover here today is, not only the paid trial section, because we put a lot of emphasis on getting the lead in, but then there's obviously got to be the follow-up, how we're going to keep them in, how we're going retain them as a student for the long term. But for people that are not familiar with the whole paid trial system and so forth, what exactly was the offer and how did you go about that.

PAUL: A little while ago, we went to paid trials. What we found was, when we did the 2 free classes, which was quite traditional, then if you joined up, you get a uniform, we’d get a lot of tyre kickers. People would come in, there was no commitment, they'd do their free class or two, they'd stay, or they wouldn't stay. And really over two classes, it was really hard to show the value of the program. So what we moved to initially, and what we do as our current intro program is, we do $29 for a uniform and four weeks, and there's a lot of variations of that around, we found that it works really, really well for us.

It gives them time to come in, have a look at our view of the class, not just putting on a pizzazz class, trying to impress the parents. They make a commitment, and if the parents put their hand in their pocket, or a student puts their hand in the pocket, even just for a small amount, there is that I guess more committed approach to their classes, because they paid for them, and we qualify people. If they can't afford $30 or they're not prepared to pay for $30, then they're probably not the right person for us anyway.

So what we did with the Christmas special, was we left it at the $29,95, but we doubled the time, because we understood that we were closed for a couple of weeks over Christmas, kids were on holidays, parents might be committed without school activities, or like most parents, would like to have a bit of break. So we did a $29.95, plus 8 weeks of trial. Now, that extends things out a little bit more than usual, which takes a little bit more tracking, but we found I think, that we've had, out of the 96, I think we had 88 come in already and start their trials. So we're very, very happy with that part as well.27 – Turning 2 Weeks 'Quiet Time' Into 96 Martial Arts Paid Trial Students (And How To Retain 90% Of Them)

GEORGE: All right, excellent. I guess the biggest concern for anybody would be: all right, so this person has paid $29. Now they can milk the club for a full 8 weeks and potentially leave. So, how do you get around, taking someone who's coming to that paid trial system and getting them to commit for the long term?

PAUL: That's a really good question. I think what you've got to look at is the whole series or the whole process of taking someone from not doing martial arts at all to being a student. The way I like to look at it is like a chain. And I know some people, we use the term funnels, but if you look at the chain analogy, think about each step along the way as one link in the chain.

So your first link is your marketing: you've got to put your offer there, you've got to put it in front of the right people and at the right time. Hopefully, that will entice them to make the inquiry. And the inquiry might be an email or a phone call, they'll walk in and come and see a class. So the next step in the chain is, well, how are they dealt with when they walk in? What's your reception procedure like, is someone at the desk nice and friendly, is the phone answered in a timely manner?

You train your staff to smile when they answer the phone, emails are answered the same day. So there's that customer service element that is that first impression. From there, the goal of that is to get them into actually start their trial, get on the mats and then I guess you hand over the responsibility to your mat staff. They work their magic, they build value over however long the trial period is for and along the way, you're talking to the parents as well. You're talking to the parents, or talking to the adult student, touching on their goals, seeing if their fit is right for the club because it’s a two-way street.

Some students are not right for your club, just like sometimes the club is not right for the student. And then, when you get to the end of that trial period, effectively, you're making another offer. You might look at it as an upgrade almost, because if they've paid for a period of time, then what we're asking them to do is commit – did you like what we did, are you happy with how it went, can you see yourself staying? And that takes them to becoming one of your students. Then comes what I think is probably the most important part, and that's retention. That's a couple of sessions on its own, but the old adage is – and I can't remember the exact numbers, but I think along the lines of, it costs 7 times more to get a new student in than it does to retain a student.

So for us, retention is a really, really big thing. And like all clubs, we have ups and downs. January is a dangerous time for losing students, chatting to people across the board, it sounds like there have been a few hits this time around, I think we lost 19 students. That's probably a bit more than normal, but we expect to take that hit in January. And also, that's why that December intake was really good for us, because we wouldn't normally have those trials coming through.

GEORGE: Yes. OK, excellent. Now, just the details on that, because someone's come in for 8 weeks and they've only made that $29 commitment, financially. So what are you doing to speed up that process of getting them in a payment cycle that they're actually committing to the club?

PAUL: That's a good question. We offer incentives to join within the 8 weeks, which is normally a 4-week period. So we a have a $99 joining fee, and it’s not one of these fluffy ones that you brittle on your bit of paper and then never use it – we actually do use it, but we waive that if they join within the trial period. So for example, for the 8-week period, we’ll be talking to them after 4 weeks. For the 4-week period, the mat staff are doing a follow-up at 2 weeks, checking with the parents, how they're going, setting an appointment to sit down and talk about the ongoing program, discussing the options on training program, training fees and showing the benefit being the discounted rate of signing up during that trial period.

So, there's a Call to Action there, so they don't just finish their trial and they wander off into the sunset and three months later they might come back if you've been chasing them up. We've just started up a small satellite club, just a once a week club and we're running that by school terms. What we're doing for the Call to Action there is, we're giving them a discount rate if they pay on time. So, for example, the school term is ten weeks, the early bird rate, as we're calling it, is $17 a class, but if they pay after the term starts, it's $22 a class. So we're trying to make an incentive, like a reward incentive. And it's very, very important to word it that way – this is a reward for doing it early, not a punishment for doing it late.

GEORGE: Yeah, OK, cool. It sounds like there's a lot of relationship building, there's a lot of interaction, it’s really setting that foundation. You're using the paid trial almost like a relationship building type process, with the new prospects.

PAUL: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things I like about the paid trial is – and I say this to the customers who come in or the trials who come in: this is a really low-cost way for you to find out about us. Like I said, if you come in for 1 or 2 classes, I can put on all the bells and whistles, I can put my best instructors and I can run the most fun class, but if you come in for 4 weeks, you're going to get a really good cross section of what the club is about, you're going to see all the classes, you're going to see all the instructor in action.

It’s a really great way to try out a martial art, without putting your hand in your pocket too much. I’ll give you an example: I have a friend of mine who joined up at another club a while ago, outside of town. And when she spoke to me, she ended up paying something like $350 to get started. Now, she had a free class, then she had to pay a month upfront, then she had to pay the actual joining fee, then she had to buy a uniform. Now, she had two kids who wanted to train, but she ended up only putting one in because the initial cost was too much.

And that's a big hit for a parent, especially because, as you know these days, chances are, your child might turn around in six months’ time and go, I don't want to do that anymore. So for us, it’s a really low-key way to come in, try us out, get a feel for what we're about and then as we say, if you don't like us, we part company as friends. And that's why also we don't do contracts, I think these days, contracts or term of agreements are a little bit outdated because it’s such a consumerist society.

GEORGE: I think the backlash with being tied in and being punished for trying to leave and things, I don't know – I think the repercussions of that personally, can be so damaging to your brand, because if someone leaves the club and they've been punished for leaving, they're in that contract. From my side, I would see that as you're letting someone know they're really leaving for whatever reason they are, so it could be personal, or it could be that they don't like it, or maybe they just don't like training anymore. But now it’s almost like salt on the wound, and saying, all right: I'm going to keep you for this much longer. And I think that the longer you keep someone in the system, you're more open to being badmouthed and getting bad publicity.

PAUL: Absolutely. And don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against running contracts, we did that for a while. You'll tend to get fewer sign ups because people are a little bit more wary about committing, but what you do is a business. And often with income, that you feed your family with, you guarantee that. Now, my point of view is, and to be honest, my wife said to me at one stage, if you're not going to hold people to the contracts, which I never did, why bother with them? We might as well put them on month by month, and get more people in.

But like I said, I have no problem with contracts, because people going to a contract understand what they're signing up for. They're making a commitment, and really, martial arts should be a commitment. I’d love to turn around and say, give me 12 months. You've got to give me at least 12 months before you really get even a feel for martial arts, but as you said, people feel like they're being punished. They do forget they signed that agreement. They do forget that that was the deal they made with you at the start. I think, even if you do run contracts, there has to be something on more compassionate grounds. Like I said, people move, people's work situations change. There's got to be a bit of wiggle room because, at the end of the day, we're about the people. And if you lose that perspective that you're here for the student, people will sniff it out pretty quickly.

You've got some really big clubs around, that unfortunately can fall under that McDojo label because they've lost that compassionate touch with their students. I don't mind contracts or not contracts, they don't work well for me because I've never held someone to one anyway. Every time someone said, look, this has happened, we need to leave, I’d go – no problem at all. And as my wife said, well why are we bothering? Let’s just get rid of it.

GEORGE: For sure. And, by all means, anyone listening, I stand corrected – if there's something I'm missing with that point, please leave a comment below this episode and challenge my viewpoint, cause I'm looking at it purely from a consumer perspective. Our business provides services for martial arts schools, but I don't personally own the school myself. So I stand to be corrected, but I know that for any purchase situation I make, that's something that I don't want to be experiencing at the end of the day.

PAUL: Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, people will try to do what they want to do. If they have enough after a 6-month or a 12-month contract, even if they signed it, they'll want to get out of it. And as you said George, you've got to balance out how much your reputation is worth. You're not in the wrong by enforcing the contract, because they've signed it, but that person that either closes their bank account down, or you might have to chase for money, or you're billing them when they're not training, they're not out there saying good things about you. And to be honest, that damage to your reputation all is it unfair, is probably not worth the money you're getting out of them.

GEORGE: Definitely. So, let’s go back to the paid trial offer: have you ever had any backlash from students, where current students see, wow, you're putting this excellent offer together on your Facebook page, and they can get 8 weeks, or 4 weeks, or whatever the offer is, but the offer is just attractive and they're already in this agreement as such and they may be joined way before this paid trial system was in place.

27 – Turning 2 Weeks 'Quiet Time' Into 96 Martial Arts Paid Trial Students (And How To Retain 90% Of Them)

PAUL: Yeah, we had that once or twice, not much, though. We run a system here now where when students join they can lock in their fees. So the fee you pay when you join now is the fee you pay forever, we lock that in. And that was something I got off Master Ridvan (listen to the podcast with Master Ridvan’s son Hakan Manav). And I think that's a really nice way to reward loyalty from your students. Saying that, the fee we're at when we lock in, it’s a pretty comfortable fee for us, but we can also guarantee that while you're with us, while you don't change programs, we'll never change that, so once you've been with us for quite a while, you’re at a lower rate, so there's that reward.

And as I point out to them, you've had the advantage of being able to train longer. You've been here, you've been getting the benefits longer. We did have the usual administration hiccups here and there, we did have it on the last special we sent out, a couple of people go back saying, email back saying, we joined up a month ago. Well, that's fantastic, I hope you're really enjoying yourself, we'll update the database. But I think it’s like anything: if I go and buy a microwave oven, or a stereo system today, and then in three months’ time, it’s on special – that's just life. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

GEORGE: There you go. I guess you've just got to be strategic on how often you change your offer and for how long a time because if you're changing your offers week by week, you are probably going to get a lot more backlash. And I guess also, train your audience to just be open to that fluctuating special all the time almost.

PAUL: Absolutely. And like I said, our intro special is our intro special. We'll get inquiries, asking how long it goes for, and we'll say, that's it, that's our intro special always. But then we'll make it more special, occasionally. Well do the 8-week trial run and four, or we might do a 2 for 1, or we've got a really great system that you've helped us set up, where they can bump up their first trial to their second trial for only $19 more.

And that's really, really worked well. With just a tick of a box, for half the price, you get a second offer. Now, did people get that a while ago? No, they didn't, but I don't think there's much resentment there, because you get used to what you're doing, and every now and again, I have got to remind my club owners and also myself that our intro special is still a really good offer stand alone, let alone if we bump it up to a better offer.

GEORGE: All right, excellent. I’m a big fan of the “lock people in,” secure their fee if they stay a member. It’s probably one of the best retention strategies I've learned online. When you launch a membership of any kind, get your opening price, get people into that and make it known that the price has gone up and they are guaranteed that fee for as long as they stay a member.

PAUL: Yeah, and I like it too, because like I said, I think it’s a bit of a reward for loyalty. Realistically, what they're getting is, every time CPA comes around each year, they're getting this discount. So if the CPA is 2%, all their fees just dropped downward 2%. We've been running for about 18 years, I think we looked at it the other day: we've got 38 or 40 people actively training, who have been with us for 10 years or more.

And the fact that they're on these dirt cheap fees is really nice. And I remember when I first brought this in, my mentor at the time went, well that's crazy! Because what happens if they stay with you for 10 years and they're paying fees from ten years ago? And I said, I know, right? They've been with me for 10 years and they've been paying fees for 10 years! Anyone who puts up with me for 10 years deserves some sort of reward.

GEORGE: All right, so going back right to the beginning: you got the offer up and you created a decent offer, so let’s touch on all the marketing elements that went with the offer.

PAUL: Yeah, it was interesting, because anyone who knows me knows that I'm really I.T. incompetent. Which is why I really enjoy working with George. So what we did was, we did a couple of prongs. We did the email system, to offer it to all inquiries, but also all our old members. We did a Facebook boost, and then we did a referral, we pushed it pretty hard through the current students as well. And what I was kind of pleasantly surprised with was how many old members reignited.

And I’ll be honest, it was actually an accident that that part of the database was put in. I just didn't think to say don't send it, unusually our intro offer is only for new members. And what I had seen coming back in was some faces and names that I hadn't seen for years, saying, well, can we take up this offer? Well, why not? These guys have left on good terms, it would be lovely to have them come back in and what a great way for someone to start up again if they've been umming and ahhing, which is give them a uniform and a couple of months of training, just to get them back into the start of the new year.

So that sort of thing was really kind of a pleasant surprise, because like I said, I hadn't actually thought I was going to email that to ex-members. It was more along the lines of prospects who had come in, showed interest, but not converted. And we're talking from kids who had maybe been little dragons, all the way up to black belts, who said, look, we’d love to come back in and give it a try and see if it’s what we're still looking for. And it was nice to see them back on the mats.

GEORGE: Yes, especially with Facebook and social media, people really neglect I think the importance of email because email first and foremost – it’s sort of the golden age of the internet. It always started: build an email list and you've got a database of people that you own. Which, in reverse, when you have a Facebook presence, it’s awesome, but it’s still also control of Facebook and the algorithms and what. And I’ll touch on a few changes that are coming up that could potentially be quite scary for a few businesses.

So the whole email list, I think it’s really important to focus on that as a school, because you're getting all this data anyway from all your students, and having that database list of people that you can email at any given point in time, that really can push your conversions up. Also, looking that it’s another touch point. We talk about 6 to 8 interaction with your brand before a conversion happens, whatever that may be: the phone call, the message.

But if you just concentrating on that one medium and it’s just Facebook for example, it might take a lot more, whereas, that personal email that's going to land up in the inbox, it could be that they see it for the first time, because some people just don't like logging into Facebook all the time – I know that's hard to believe sometimes, but it might count as the additional touch point to drive the conversion, or it could actually be the interaction itself.

PAUL: Yeah, I'm a big believer in, you've got to have multiple streams of students. I think gone are the days where you would do a pamphlet drop, or an ad in the yellow pages, or pre-historic days where you'd get one idea and 20 students happen. I think these days unless you're really niching yourself – and there are people out there who do that, multiple streams work really, really well. And the first one for us and the most important one is referrals.

Because if you're not getting referrals from your student base, you're not doing something right. And it might not be not taking great classes, but maybe you're not letting your students know that you appreciate referrals. We have a referral reward system, which we use quite often, and I really like doing it. I love giving away free months of training to the parents when they bring someone in. We're just looking at wrapping it up to include little kids because the parents get a free month, and the kids get nothing.

So we're looking at giving something to the kids if they bring a friend in. Because these should be your raving fans. If you're doing a good job, your parents and adult students should be really appreciating what you're teaching them. They should be getting a lot out of the classes and they should be wanting to spread the word. We don't want to become evangelists, but if they should be talking to people, we have a VIP pass, that we always give out to people when they join up and we give those out to students regularly. That intro program I spoke about, gives someone a free one of those. And we say, use it for your siblings, use it for your friends. Stick your name on there. There's a space n there where they can put they name on so we know who referred them.

But for me, that's one of the first and foremost things. And to be honest, I think that you should have 3 to 4 streams minimum running. It kind of sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not. If you think about it, one of them is referrals. So if you're treating your people right and letting them know that you have a referral system in place, letting them know that you really appreciate referrals, there's a simple one. If you're in a full-time venue, the look of your venue itself is a referral. If it’s looking nice and neat and you've got nice sides, you've got the front, that should draw people’s attention to it.

And it’s a little bit like, as you said, George, people need to be touched on quite a bit. It’s like if you start looking for a certain type a car: I think I'm going to go buy a Volkswagen. Suddenly, there are Volkswagens everywhere, you've never noticed them before. One of the ships has just arrived with a lot of Volkswagens, or I'm just noticing that Volkswagen. So maybe people were umming and ahhing about doing martial arts, and they saw your ad.

Or, they saw someone else's ad, and they drive past your studio and go, oh, there's a martial arts club. And there's one, there's one. I think as martial arts club owners when we drive around, buildings fall into one or two categories: could I run a club there, or could I not run a club there? You drive past any empty building; you weigh it up. So, between your referrals, your building, regularly staying in contact with your email list – and not just to sell them thing and, I'm speaking with you who taught me this, but keep them informed. Give them these little bits of information, give them nice to have hints, give them some fitness tips, or self-defence tips, keep them engaged.

Then you've got your Facebook, which is the here and now generation, and then you might do some traditional marketing things. We've had some great success just doing occasional pamphlet drop around certain clubs for some reason. The demographic there seemed to really respond to the pamphlet drop, whereas in other clubs, we just don't. You get nothing back from it, and again, that comes back to your test and measure.

GEORGE: I actually remember, because the Facebook ad was doing really well, and I think you had about 40 sign ups, and you mentioned to me you're hoping to push those up to 60. And I remember when the email campaign kicked in, there was that jump that took it from that 60 to the 80 and up.

PAUL: Yeah, and I think that one of the biggest things on that was the Call to Action that you had put a countdown on the landing page.

GEORGE: Yes.

PAUL: And I remember, I was driving home to get my son to bring him back for training, and the emails when the sales came through would be on my phone. And all the way home, in those last 40 minutes before it closed down on my way home, the phone was just going ding, ding, ding, ding, as more and more sales were coming through, and I'm thinking –  this is crazy! This is really, really, ridiculous. And we had a couple of people ring up just after, and say, look, we missed it, can we do it? And we said yes to that, it was neither here nor there for me, a couple more. But that combination of things, the nice landing page, the offer, the Call to Action. And we did the Call to Action really simply, because of a day before we closed for Christmas, and we didn't want to deal with it after we closed.

GEORGE: Awesome. If you would like to see the page and the whole system, if you go to mam.com/mabs, m-a-b-s, you'll see there about a 7-minute video of the page and how it's laid out and how the upsell worked, which really can boost that conversion with about 30%, so do have a look at that. The link will be on this episode, but also, talking about MABS, Paul, you now also have a coaching program – would you like to share more about that?

PAUL: Yeah, I would. Michelle Hext and I – if you've met Michelle Hext, you'll know that she's an absolute gun with online programs, but also a very, very good martial artist and martial arts business owner. She was one of my business mentors, and she really helped us to niche down our program. And that was one of her specialties back then. She would run a women's only Taekwondo club, which was just going gangbusters, really, really honed her ideal clientele down.

So we partnered up a little while ago, I think the both of us, we've both got our other streams of what we do, myself with my clubs, Michelle with her online courses, and we put MABS together, which is Martial Arts Business Success – if you can say that three times quickly. It’s kind of a fun thing to do because we both are really vested in martial arts, something we've both done since we were quite young.

I love teaching and my career has gone from teaching students, to teaching instructors, to now helping business owners, and I really, really enjoy it. Because I’ve got to say, I find it kind of frustrating when I see really good instructors out there who are struggling to make a living, and it’s through no real fault of their own. But a lot of us, especially in my age and all that are stuck in this rut that ‘build it and they will come’. And it just doesn’t work, there's too much competition these days, there's too much around, too many things competing for people’s time and money.

And what MABS is all about – to say budget, I’ll say budget with price, certainly not with content. It’s a nice, easy in of grassroots, skills and packets that you can use straight away. I’ll give you an example: last two packets I've done was building a leadership team. It’s one for your team on the mats and one for your team on the desk. So how to, as a club owner, how to build up certain elements of your business and your club that are really, really important, not just for day to day running, but for expanding.

GEORGE: All right, awesome. And you can access that at www.mabs.com.au.

PAUL: Aha, yep. If you type in Martial Arts Business Success on Facebook, it’s a closed group, so just apply for the application. It’s a free group, you don't need to join MABS to join that group. We have another group of the guys who have joined up, where we go into things in a little bit more depth, but even in the free group, there's a really, really good bunch of guys and girls on there, martial arts club owners and the discussion on there is really good.

You can throw any problems up there, and suddenly you've got not just Michelle and I answering questions: you've got ten people who have goodness knows how many years of experience in the martial arts industry, who are more than happy to input their advice. And to be honest, to me, that's what martial arts is all about. We're a martial arts community, and we should be backing each other. You and I were having a conversation before we started recording about the competition in the local area.

And as I said to you, if I get on Google and look at how many people are within a 5km radius of my club, there are about 60,000 people. And really, my goal is to tap this place out at 800, so there's plenty to go around. And I think within 5 km of here, there are another four full-time clubs. So we have a bit of a joke, if you throw a stick in a certain direction, you'll probably hit a martial arts instructor – you've just got to work out which one you want to hit.

GEORGE: All right, awesome. Paul – it’s been great chatting to you, as always, and I hope to speak to you again, maybe for round three.

PAUL: Thanks, George, great to talk to you.

GEORGE: Cheers.

And there you have it – thank you, Paul Veldman. I hope you got a lot out of that interview, I certainly did. A few things that really stood out for me: one is the conversion process from paid trial to member. And if you think of it in these steps, that your paid trial is just your paid trial, that's getting them in the door, and getting them committed, now they're in a different state of mind and in a different process because they are really training.

All right, so what is the next offer? What is the next offer that you're going to give them to incentivise them to take that next step: becoming a member. And then a nice bonus incentive – and I've seen a lot of great companies do this. Most companies don't latch onto this, but why not serve your existing members and lock in their current membership rate at that fixed rate from the day that they join? It’s just a great way to reward loyalty.

Now, if you want to go see the page that we created for Paul and his team that helped him generate more than 90 paid trials over the December period, then go to martialartsmedia.com/mabs – M-A-B-S, and there's a short 7-minute video that explains how that page works and then there's also a special offer for you, if you would like us to do that exact same page and set up for you that you can start using that for your paid trial system.

27 – Turning 2 Weeks 'Quiet Time' Into 96 Martial Arts Paid Trial Students (And How To Retain 90% Of Them)

 

And that's it – thank you very much for listening. I’ll be back next week again with another awesome interview. Until then, bye for now – cheers.

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George Fourie

Hi I'm George Fourie, the founder of MartialArtsMedia.com. When I'm not doing dad duties or training on the mats (which I manage to combine when my son is willing! :), I'm helping Martial Arts Gym owners grow their business through the power of online media.

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