71 – Matt Milchard: Building Martial Arts Schools At The Back Of Children Centres

Matt Milchard's core business of children centres and nurseries gives him a unique approach to running their 9 martial arts schools.



  • The importance of establishing a connection with the parents and letting them see the real value of martial arts
  • The marketing tools every martial arts school owner should invest in
  • How to build your email lists through children’s events, corporate events, festivals and outdoor events
  • How being connected with the education sector contributed to Matt’s success
  • And more

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



It's not about the price of your lessons and your offering, it's about the value to their children. If you can prove to a parent that your lessons and your teachings are of great value to their children, they'll pay whatever you ask.

GEORGE: And welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast episode. Today I'm joined with Matt Milchard, all the way from Pyramid Martial Arts. How are you doing today Matt?

MATT: Very good, thank you. Good to meet you. Pleasure to be here. So what would you like to talk about?

GEORGE: Just getting into it. So Matt is a serial entrepreneur, has multiple projects on the go and his passion honestly is martial arts which brings us here today. So let’s just start at the beginning Matt: give us a bit of a background, how did you get into martial arts – who is Matt Milchard?

Matt: Ok. Martial arts, I grew up part of my life in Jakarta in Indonesia. Your neck of the woods or closer to you than it is to me. And when I was about 10 years old, I got introduced to the local arts there and learned it. Studied it for maybe two years from when I was 10 years old. And then when my family were brought back to the UK, I was desperate to carry on learning martial arts.

So I tried lots of traditional styles, all sorts of traditional practice that I could find in the UK until one actually stuck. I found one and I stuck with it for many years. That was just freestyle sport karate, so it was kind of a blend of many different martial arts. And then when I went to university, I moved away from the club I was at and I decided that I could not find a club that I was satisfied to carry on my training, so I opened my own one. And it kind of spun out from there. That was many years ago and I'm still doing it now.

GEORGE: You recall much about growing up in Jakarta?

MATT: Yeah I learned Indonesian. It was like a second language, I went to an American international school which was fun. Very diverse in cultures and experiences and stuff like that, especially at that young age. Yeah it was great, living there was certainly a lot better than it is here in London, definitely remember that.

GEORGE: So you open up your own school, so how did this start? And I guess I'll just backtrack because you did mention you have 15 different companies, about 15 different businesses that you run.

MATT: Yeah.

GEORGE: So what came first? Did the martial arts business come first or was that…?

MATT: No, no, that was later on. My first stab at running my own martial arts centre just when I was at the university, I decided that I would run the club for the university, for the students. And that was fine and throughout the study of my degree which was actually in the building, nothing to do with martial arts or sports or leisure. And I ran the university kickboxing club for about three years.

And then went off into the big wide world and found myself a career. And then years later, I decided to open another one as a just a sort of commercial interest, rather than the university one was just to train myself and to help my friends train. So yeah, a commercial interest of the martial arts started about ten years ago.

Quite a funny story to that to be honest. I was out with some friends and my girlfriend at the time and there was my girlfriend’s best friend and my girlfriend at the time having an argument. And I stepped in to try and calm them down and the other lady’s boyfriend stepped in to calm it all down and it ended up me and him arguing because it was all a big mess.

And we both went our separate ways, but we found out later we were both experienced in martial arts and luckily, it didn't come to blows because still to this day, we joke about who would have won. But it kind of formed a bond, we shook hands afterwards and apologised and then over beer got talking about our interests and found out we were both accomplished martial artists and looking for an opportunity to open a martial arts club.

So we ended up opening one together. So what could have started off as a mischievous brawl, ended up forming a lifelong business partnership with a good friend of mine. So, yeah that's how it all started, that's how Pyramid started.

GEORGE: The reason that it actually didn't escalate was because you both were experienced in martial arts.

MATT: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, you know, yeah. That's exactly it. Both of us knew our ability and both of us don't go out looking for trouble, because that's kind of what's embedded to you for a lifetime of martial arts, as I’m sure you'll appreciate.

So, yeah, that's exactly it. We both realized that it's going to get out of control and walked away. It’s quite a fun story, we do enjoy our sort of annual awards ceremony and stuff like that,  with new members, sharing that story. Because it's a funny way to start a business to be fair.

GEORGE: That's fascinating. Meant to be, obviously.

MATT: It was, it was meant to be. And still to this day, obviously, the founder and co-founder are still very close friends. He lives miles away because he runs one of the gyms in a place called Birmingham, which is about 4-hour drive from where I live, so we don't see each other that much. However, he's running the place up there and I'm running the place down here. So it works well.

GEORGE: A bit of context about Pyramid Martial Arts. How many locations do you have, etc?

MATT: Ok, so we currently have nine locations, throughout the UK and growing. The nine that are run by us, we have a couple of franchise pilots that we’re operating right now as well, there's two of them. So yeah, there are nine so far and then two franchises. The franchise model is what we’re very much expanding upon in 2019 next year. But we just wanted to make sure the pilot model was correct.

As far as our main head office centre, it's our biggest one, our first one. We run I think 12 different disciplines from there, so we’re not a kickboxing school, or a taekwondo school, or a karate school – we are a multi-discipline school. And, I know schools like us appear around the world, but certainly, in the UK, we’re one of a kind. I still haven't come across any schools in the UK that service as many disciplines as we do.

So our unlimited membership means a young child, boy or girl, could literally come every day and learn different styles and master different styles every day, whether it's jiu-jitsu, whether it's boxing, whether it's kickboxing, whether it's taekwondo, whether it's kung fu – we do all of them here. So it's quite a diverse timetable. And I guess the reason we did that is, when I was a young lad, learning martial arts, I always wanted to try lots of different ones, but there's wasn't one place where I could go to try them all at the same time.

So in my head, even then I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a school where you could try everything. And so that's kind of what formulated our plan really. And that’s what we’re doing.

GEORGE: So that's really popular amongst the students? Is that sort of embedded in the culture, to really crossover and run the multiple styles, or do most of your students really just get fixated in the one?

MATT: There are some students that do everything, especially the fighters. We've got some pro and semi-pro fighters and obviously, it's very good for them to learn a bit of everything, so they have a bigger vocabulary, experience when they’re actually in the ring, or in the cage or whatever. However, we also pride ourselves on being a lifestyle gym, so it's not just about the fighters.

It’s about the family and experience and people who come and meet friends, it's not just about kicking and punching to us. So there are quite a few of our students that do many different styles, just because it means they meet different people. Whether they’re rolling down on the mats one evening doing jiu-jitsu, or standing up in the boxing ring, you know, having a couple of boxing bouts.

So I’m thinking a lot of them use it as a social hub as well. In fact, I know that they are. Not saying… it's the way we've done it, you know. I'm sure some people say you should stick with one style when they come in, but we chose not to, and for us, it works.

GEORGE: And I see what you're saying, but really it's a social hub, so students are really, it's more a bonding thing, from what I can picture. You know, crossing the different styles and stuff like that? Maybe for some, you know, that I’ve just got to be fixated on a style, but it's because it's like, hey, we’ve got to try this and this. Has that sort of created a non-competitive type of environment in a way? You know, that people aren't heaving to be one up the type of thing?

MATT: Yeah, no, absolutely. We've got as I'm sure many clubs, there's sort of inter-student WhatsApp groups and I sort of monitor all these groups. And all the time my friends pinging, one of the students saying, “Hey, we’re doing BJJ tonight,” “Oh, I can't make it tonight, but I'll see you at boxing tomorrow, or, “Is kung fu still on Friday night,” and these things, you know.

They tend to spend more time at my gyms than they do out with their friends it seems, certainly some of them. So it's good and we very much value the social element of it. We have lots of social events, we've put on lots of parties and award ceremonies and social outgoings and I think that’s good because we've got some very strong fighters in our camp and lots of other gyms who've tried to poach them and they may be better coaches, it's not for me to say, but for all of us, students stay with us because we've become a bit of family.

And I think a lot of that is the social inclusion or whatever the correct wording is. You know, because they want to stay with us and be with us. There are other gyms, which are very, very successful and produce very good fighters and they've tried to poach some of our fighters, but for whatever reason, the fighters are staying with us. So I think there's a lot to be said for the full inclusion and the family in the martial arts setting, definitely.

GEORGE: There's an old saying on my marketing wall that's, you know, when people sign on for the online community, they come for the content, but they'll stay for the community.

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

GEORGE: And it sounds like exactly what you're saying, people are obviously attracted for that emotional reason, or whatever they need or what they want to get out of martial arts, whether it’s fitness, or confidence for the kid, or whatever, that’s the draw card. But then, when martial arts become part of the routine, what keeps them growing is presence and family. And that's the real pain to disconnect, why would you train at the gym down the road when you've got your whole family right here.

MATT: Yeah, and that's part of our business model. And because we’re so diverse, I mean, our students start at 3 years old, which not many martial arts gyms, certainly in the UK,  they won’t touch 3 years olds, they won’t. Most gyms start about 5. But we developed a program for ages 3+ and it's been very successful, because what it means is that the whole family.

We've got something for the whole family, and we've got something for 3-year-olds, we've got something for 7-year-olds, we've got something for mom, we've got something for dad, we've got something for the cousin, you know. We do family packages to encourage whole families to join, not just individuals.

So I think on a marketing point of view, you just highlight it as a thing of value, certainly of great value to us. We sell more family packages, far more family packages than we do individual packages.

GEORGE: I've asked you a few things on marketing, can you clarify just your two models? Because you mentioned you've got the franchise model that you really want to focus on in 2019 and beyond, and then you mentioned you also had a pilot model, correct?

MATT: No, it's the pilot of the franchise. So, we run 9 gyms ourselves, they're self-managed by us, from our head office. And the franchise model, we've got two pilots, so we’re just playing with it, making sure it's right before we roll out the franchise as an official line. Ideally, we would like to have gyms in all the main towns in the UK, 100% definitely.

But on a logistics point of view, it would be very difficult to self manage, too many more. We’re quite stretched at 9 as it is. So we're looking perhaps one more to make it a magical 10, self-run, and then the rest would be franchises. And that's the plan and I think that's the way it seems to be going.

GEORGE: So your day to day life, you've got… going for 10 martial arts schools, you've got franchises that you really want to get going with. And then you've also

got all these other businesses that you run. So how… what is your day to day role, within the martial arts business?

MATT: Ok, well I have teams that run the individual clubs, you know. Chief instructors, receptionists, PTs, cleaners, you know, there is a whole team of gym managers. So myself and my partner tend to float in for weekly meetings, sit down with the whole team and discuss what we're doing right, what we’re doing wrong.

Look at promotions, look at pricing, look at the competition, look at social events and together work as a team to try and keep an eye on each one of them. As you pointed out, I run multiple businesses, so I can't be on the ground with all of them at the same time, of course not. But I do make a real effort to try and meet all the students, even the ones that I don't directly teach.

I mean, my background is freestyle sport karate and kung fu, so if I teach, I teach those lessons, maybe a bit of krav maga. But I go out of my way to get to know my BJJ students, or my taekwondo students, although I don't directly teach them, I think it's good that they always know and can approach myself and my partner as the gym owners, rather than just being a strange person that wanders in and out every once in a while. So we do make a conscious effort to do that.

As far as my day to day routine goes, I still try and teach, especially the black belts. I teach in about three of the clubs every week, I probably do about 10 hours a week at least. Ranging from the children up to the adults. I would like to do more, but physically and mentally, I can’t. Because my other day time commitments are with the other businesses, so…

GEORGE: The cool ones that I picked up there was, obviously the meetings, the weekly meetings. Really focused on making sure that you get that personal connection with students.

MATT: Students, yeah.

GEORGE: How difficult is that for you to do, have you got a process that you… is it just sort of showing up and trying to make as many connections as possible, or have you got that down to a system where you can really introduce yourself to as many students as possible?

MATT: We've got a system. I guess myself and my partner try to be at all the gradings, so they will see us at the table doing the gradings, and obviously we’re very vocal and it's seeing who we are and what we do and trying our best to, not to be that scary grandmaster that everyone has to bow down to, to more be proactive and calm them down, so look, we’re just testing you to show us how good you are and show us how much you're learning.

So I think we’re trying to befriend everyone, rather than be this distant school owner that just takes everyone's money. So that's the idea and you know, going to class, obviously, I don't want to interrupt lessons the other instructors are doing, but I'll be around and sit and watch and comment and, you know.

And all of the teams are on the regular newsletters that are always signed off by me, there are pictures of all our instructors and all our gyms. There's pictures of a lot of our students and all of our instructors on the website. So although there are many locations, we try and bring the locations together for the award ceremonies, or for the gradings to make sure all the different clubs know each other and the other instructors. I rotate my instructors as well, so one instructor might be teaching one venue one week, and then another one another week.

So it's always fresh, the experience is always fresh. It’s the same syllabus and the same teaching styles, but the lessons are always fresh because I think you can very much get stuck in a rut if you're teaching the same lessons to the same people, week after week. So I feel mixing up the instructors, it gives a fresh approach to the warm-up or to the teaching techniques etc. So I think I went off on a bit of a tangent there, so…

GEORGE: Perfect, that's what these podcast conversations are about. It’s about tangents, it's about exploring and…

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

GEORGE: Just the things that you do and you know what provides value to everyone who listens. So Matt, and before we got started, something that we touched on was your vast experience in other companies and marketing with kid centers etc. So how does this crossover into your martial arts business and how does that benefit?

MATT: OK. One of my core businesses is, as you currently said, children centers and nurseries, day nurseries for babies up to… 3,4,5-year-olds. So for instance, my biggest children centre has a 150 full-time place for children on a daily basis. So from that, obviously, I have a real insight into the marketing and what the parents are thinking and how they wish to develop their children, just because of the educational side.

So another USP for us is that in our children centres, we offer martial arts lessons. So that's the USP for the nurseries. It also works the other way, because a lot of our nursery parents will drop their young children in the nursery, but then to get to the nursery, they have to walk through the martial arts corridor, where they can see there's offers for the siblings, for the slightly older children, or themselves.

So then the mom can put her child in the nursery and then go and have a self defence lesson, while the child is in a nursery in the same location. So we've purposely made that connection, with both companies, because one absolutely facilitates and compliments the other.

So now, whenever I open a new children centre, very soon after it comes Pyramid Martial Arts in the same location, the gym would be in the same building. And again, with that, because we've built up a very big name, a reputation within the schooling community, it's very easy for us to go into local schools and do talks about martial arts, because I can ride on the fact that I'm connected with the educational syllabuses, the community, the teacher associations, because of the other business. So it certainly opens a lot of doors within the martial arts if you've got your foot in the education sector as well, absolutely.

GEORGE: I can just see it, it's like a perfect merge of…

MATT: Yeah.

GEORGE: …of obviously having the foot on the ground. I think it’s almost the most important, being able to tune into conversations and understanding what's going on, you know, for starters. And let me ask you this Matt: knowing what you discover within the children centres and conversations you have with parents – what do you pick up that you really try and implement on the martial arts side?

MATT: That’s fairly simple to answer. So with parents of young children – and I have two young children myself, so I can certainly identify with everything they're saying, it's not about the price of your lessons and your offering; it's about the value to their children. If you can prove to a parent that your lessons and your teachings are of great value to their children, they'll pay whatever you ask. That's the whole thing, getting across the value of what you're teaching.

What I mean by that is what benefits the child and what is vital that the child learns these key skills from a very early age, whether it be discipline, or respect and fitness and all these things. The sooner you can help the child learn these things, from a very early age, the more they'll develop into a more grounded and rounded individual as they go through their life challenges. And I think if we can get that message across to the parents of how we’re going about that, they'll pay whatever you want.

GEORGE: Is it possible to articulate that? Like, how do you go about demonstrating or like really communicating that value to a parent?

MATT: I think it's getting them within the conversation to buy into it and understand it. For instance, no parent that I know of would want their child to be bullied, of course, they wouldn't. No parent would want their child to grow up to be obese. Or to be disrespectful, or to get themselves into trouble, or connected with the wrong group. So you’re offering an opportunity to help them avoid that from a young age while instilling discipline and key life skills.

So to articulate it, you kind of … you have to almost get into their heads and show them the path they don't want their children to take and then show them how you can help them put their children on the path, with their help from the start. All of our lessons and teachings and syllabus includes homework, which really makes the parent interact with the child's martial arts career, but more importantly, they can see the progress on a daily basis.

For instance, our very young classes, we make our children take home a tick sheet and on that tick sheet, the parents tick and sign that they've done 15 minutes of night practicing, that they've been respectful, that they've actively held doors open, or they're making their bed or they're helping with the washing up, or all these things that the parents are actually ticking and handing in to prove that the teachings go beyond the dojo; they go home and help the children develop at home.

Because I think the parents can see that, they understand it and they support it more, because if a child, and all the young children, they might say, “I don't want to go tonight because such-and-such is on television,” or “I want to play on my Xbox,” or “It's cold outside.” Many parents that don't understand the value would say, “OK, don't worry, we’ll miss it tonight, go and watch telly.”

But most of our parents will say “Nope, you're not missing it, this is important.” Regardless – obviously, they’re paying for it, but more they see the value and they want the children to go regardless. And I think if you can get the buy-in from the parents, your student retention from my point of view will be a lot better.

GEORGE: I was… on an episode, I’ve been with a young entrepreneur, Adam Myers and he was discussing this topic of really… I mean he's only been going for 12 months and he's pushing up for 250 students. I mean, he's really on a sprint, and he was talking about his whole thing of kindness and really just placing the energy on the people that are actually paying, rather than… it’s one thing for the kid to know that they’re having an awesome class, but the parent doesn’t know that. So really make the parent see the…

MATT: The value.

GEORGE: And I really like what you said and I can guarantee you that a lot of the podcast listeners are going to implement just that whole check sheet system. I feel we’re sort of scratching the surface. There are so many questions I can ask you and so many directions we can go. Is there anything else from your experience with your other businesses that overlap into the martial arts industry?

MATT: Again, in recruitment, we do a lot of… I have children’s event companies as well and then we put a lot of parties and corporate events and festivals and this sort of thing, outdoor events. And that also gives me an opportunity to engage with parents and families, because they're all at my events. So not only can I build my email lists up, obviously; it gives me a chance to advertise on all the flyers and all the marketing material because I'm in control of it, I can put my logo wherever I want.

But again, with the parties, we usually have, we offer martial arts children's parties, for instance, where the instructors go through a training program as a children’s entertainer as well and what that does, the interesting thing that does; if we hold the children party with a martial arts flavour to it, for 25-30 children at a time, potentially you've got 25-30 new clients with you for social events, trying out your product for free, because someone else has paid for the party. And it gives you a real opportunity to show the kids what fun they can have at a martial arts lesson.

Also, the parents, sit and watch at the party how evolved the children are. So there are so many different ways you can market your product, away from the normal, standing on the street, handing out flyers. There are multiple ways you can get in the head of potential students. And again, that's how I use another one of our businesses to do that, parties and events.

Sometimes we put on sort of carnivals and street festivals, so I always offer for free a martial arts stand, or floats, where the kids are demonstrating throw stars, or nunchucks, or their routines. And other kids can see them doing it to music, so it's all fun and upbeat. Other kids can see it and think, “Ooh I want to be a part of that, that looks fun.” So yeah, I guess that's another way we can use the other businesses to promote the martial arts side.

GEORGE: Question: you mentioned something that I don't a hear a martial arts business owner say often, was, the emphasis on you building your email list.

MATT: Yeah.

GEORGE: Now, it's something I'm a big proponent of in all our, like in our partner’s program, we focus on the automation side, but then also the actual activity of using that as a broadcast and relationship building tool. And a lot of marketers obviously spread out the idea that email is a dead horse etc. What's your take? What's your take on that and how do you use email within your businesses?

MATT: Ok. Yeah, email is not as strong as it used to be, I'll admit that. I think it should be part of your armour, not all of it. We use a mixture of live chat on our websites, we use clickfunnels to guide potential clients into our email lists. We use messenger bots, so they can have live updates, or live communication, whatever time of day or night through our messenger bots.

So I think it's important to use all the technologies, sort of at your disposal. I think it's too early to write off emails completely. They're not as responsive, people they're going to dump files and some people ignore them absolutely, but I think there's still a value, especially in conjunction with clickfunnels, from my experience.

A clickfunnels I'm sure yourself have come across the funnel, but for anyone who hasn't, it's a way of channelling all your media into one place and then with that data, then you can contact potential clients. That's my understanding, I'm not techy at all, but it's my understanding of it. And it certainly works in that fashion for us.

GEORGE: So yeah, that's something we… we are a big proponent of using different funnels and, whether it's clickfunnels or tools that…

MATT: Oh, there's various, I know Clickfunnels is a brand, but yeah, I know there are various ways of doing funnelling, yeah, absolutely.

GEORGE: I like what you said, so the multiple channels, it's definitely the be-all, end-all, you should pay attention obviously to what's relevant right now, I mean, chatbots, I’d say for the most part are an uptrend. Definitely chat on websites, we use something like Intercom, where we try to funnel everything into the one location.


GEORGE: A source, where we can pick up if there's a Facebook message coming in, or if there's a track from the website, or… yeah.

MATT: Certainly when I was starting out, there would be post-it notes with someone's number on and an email and a text message and trying to collate it all… when you're starting out, it's fine, but as soon as you start growing, there's no way you can keep on top of it. And the same from our point of view for the billing. I speak to some martial artists, some of the schools come to me for some advice sometimes and I give it happily and some of them say, “So how did you keep on top with your payers?

You know, I've got all these lists of people that have paid this month and haven't paid this month,” and you drive yourself mad. There's no way! If you've got 100, 200, 500, a 1000 students, there's no way you can keep up with who's paying and who isn't, and who's missed their bill and who's forgot to pay – there's no way, it's uncontrollable. So you need technologies, as I'm sure you'll agree, you help you keep control of that as well.

So I think it moves on far from just learning to teach people to kick and punch. If you're a successful martial arts school owner, you need to embrace the technology and you need to learn it or get someone to show you how to do it. Because there's no way you can build a big, successful school without it, I don't think. Certainly not from my point of view.

GEORGE: Having you on and I'd really like to take this conversation further at some point in time, it would be fantastic. So for now, thanks again for jumping on. If people want to learn more about you and what you do, where can they find you?

MATT: The main website is www.pyramidmartialarts.com. Pyramid-like the Egyptian pyramids, so it's just pyramidmartialarts.com. Contact me directly on that, there's a way of contacting me directly. But then, there's also online, there are videos of what we do and there's access to all the different clubs, we've got an instructor’s forum. I mean, you have to get a password to get into the instructor’s forum, but all our instructors communicate and share lesson plans, which I actively encourage. Yeah, so, visit us and drop me a message, I'd be happy to talk to anyone, of course.

GEORGE: Thanks for being on and I hope to connect to you soon.

MATT: Nope, my pleasure, thank you. It's been a pleasure.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with another top, smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!


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49 – Martial Arts Websites vs ClickFunnels & Page Builders

ClickFunnels and Page Builders can be great, but is that what you really need instead of your martial arts website? Here's my take.


  • Do you need a hole or a drill (and a driller)?
  • The myth about what you need to create a sales funnel
  • Doing the ‘Richard Branson Test’ for your martial arts business
  • What a basic martial arts business sales funnel looks like
  • The difference between an internet marketing funnel and martial arts school funnel
  • The important factors that influence customers’ buying behaviour
  • And more

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


Hey, this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media, and in this video, I'm going to give you my take on websites versus ClickFunnels, or what I'm going to refer to is real martial arts websites, I'll explain why in a minute, versus ClickFunnels, Leadpages, and other page builders. I think there's a bit of confusion in the marketplace about what a funnel actually is, what part of a funnel you actually need, and for what type of business? Do you need the same type of intricate sales funnel structure for a martial arts business versus if you're selling digital products, or you got an e-commerce store or something like that?

There's a bit of confusion, and I was on a webinar yesterday where the guy I was referring to doing a comparison between a website versus a funnel, a sales funnel, and kind of saying, “Look, the website model is dead. You need sales funnel.” But I think that creates confusion because why does it need to be different? It doesn't need to be different. It's the same thing, it just means one website model was developed with an old mindset, with the sales funnel was not. It doesn't have to be different.

Do you need sales funnel? Absolutely. Does it need to be separate to your website? Definitely not. There's a bit of confusion with that, so I'm going to be as diplomatic as possible here, and want to give you my perspective on the difference between ClickFunnels, websites, martial arts websites, really crappy websites, good websites, and other types of page builders. And look, we've used them all, and I'll give full disclosure, martialartsmedia.com, my company, we develop martial arts websites, we help martial arts school owners with online lead generation. That's our focus.

We've used a bit of some page builder tools for some clients, but the majority, we build out our websites on Wordpress, because it's a platform that you own, we don't have to keep your login details, you don't have to pay a monthly fee for it. That's our preferred way but I want to give you both, all the facts, and you can make the decision for yourself because maybe a tool like ClickFunnels is for you, but maybe it's not.

The first thing I want to really look at here is to look at the old situation. Do you need a drill or hole? Well, you need the hole, right? How are you going to get the hole through a drill? Now, what type of drill you need? Maybe you need a certain type of drill? Different brand? Do you need to actually be the driller, or can you actually hire a person that's an expert at drilling the hole, and get that person into drill the hole for you?

My comparison analogy is, are you the right person for the job? Are you the person who should be doing drilling the holes in your business? Should you be building your own website? In 2017, I don't think it's necessary that you need to be touching any tech whatsoever, and a mental model is just to do the Richard Branson test. The question is, would Richard Branson be doing this in his business? I want to ask you that. Are you the right person to be doing drilling the holes, and putting up websites?

You know, my expertise is computer programming, I've adapted to marketing over the last 10 years, but I can put a website together, and I've got a web developer on staff, he's pretty busy with developing websites at the moment. Yesterday I was putting together a report for this actual video, and I'll actually show you, and because he was busy, I didn't want to bother him, so I put together a landing page myself, and for me, I thought, “Hey, this looks pretty cool doesn't it?” So I put this together, and I showed it to my developer, and five minutes later, he brings me this, which looks 10 times better, and I think the danger in a lot of these types of tools is it does what happened to me. It creates false confidence.

Now this is both on Wordpress to a different editor, but it creates false confidence that you think you are actually really good, where maybe you're not, and maybe somebody else could do it much better, do a professional job for you, and you get a better result at the end of the day. Keep that in mind. Are you the right person for the job here? Do you need to be drilling the holes in your business, or should you hire someone else to do that for you? Let's just remove the marketing hype for a minute, and let's look at the actual facts.

I'm going to draw out a sales funnel here for you, just to give you a bit of an idea, but this happened to one of our members in our Martial Arts Media Academy, where we teach martial arts school owners about lead generation, and the member said to me, well we were running through Facebook ads, and the member said to me, “Well, yeah, I'll get the ad up, but I've just got to figure this ClickFunnels thing out.” And I was asking, “Why? What are you going to need to do with ClickFunnels?” “Well, I was told I need ClickFunnels, so I bought this thing.” And I told the person, “Well, you've got a perfect landing page. We developed a landing page for you, it's professionally designed, we interviewed you for the actual copywriting to get your perfect message, to get your values, and put it down in writing into a structured sales message.”

And we'd done all this for the person, and it was ready to go. All that they needed to do was actually commit to the Facebook ads, but instead, they bought ClickFunnels and got sucked in by the tech, and started buying products that they thought they needed, which they didn't need, and that's what I've got a problem with. Not that actual tool, but that the wrong people are buying the tools thinking they need it, where they actually don't.

I want to show you this quickly, and just for, I guess, if you don't know anything about me, just for a bit of credibility for my end, I guess, but our landing pages that we've developed and I pulled this report just before I created the video. Since the last 10 to 11 months, our landing pages have generated 964 paid trial students, so in monetary value that's $30,000, but that's not really what's important.

What the real value is, is the lifetime student value, and from based on our numbers, the average that we normally find is $1,500 is a good lifetime student value. If you calculate it on that, yours might be more or less, that's $1.4 million. $1.455 million worth of students. Look, our landing pages convert. They convert, we create a custom copy from that, we design it, we put it on your website and we don't use ClickFunnels or any fancy page builder, and it gets results.

I want to break that down for you quickly, and let me just fire up my iPad here quickly, and use this as an example. Let's have a look. If we look at a sales funnel. Now, for the most part. Right now, let's do a comparison. In the internet marketing space, and this is sometimes a problem when you buy into internet marketing hype because there's a lot of internet marketing hype out that there. If you look at, let's do this and we looked at internet marketing.

A lot of the models that people follow would be, you've got your page here, and they call it a let's say like a trip wire, and the tripwire might be like a $7 product. You're trying to create this sort of value letter. We try to do the same, but I'll show you a different way in a minute. So, you've got this $7 product that you create, and then that goes to what's called a one-time offer normally. You only see it now, there, never again. You gotta buy it there, and let's say that's $47 or $97. That's the up-sell once you've bought the other one. Then, that page might take you to another one-time offer, OTO, and let's say that was $297. Excuse the handwriting. That's if you said yes, and if you said no, then you might go to a down-sell of, let's say $197. That's sort of an internet marketing model. You've got all these steps that you follow, and you want to bulk up a real funnel of all these different aspects.

Now, let's look at a martial arts school. With a martial arts school, you don't need that much right? You might, look, there can be variations of this, because for some of our clients, Facebook ads, they send them directly to the landing page. Just a straightforward sales page, as is. It could be, let's call that the rate offer. That'll be the paid trial page. People can go there directly, but you might have another page here. This could be the homepage on a website, but it's basically like a, we're going to call it a lead magnet page, or an inquiry page. It's kind of where something free is happening. This could be an online inquiry, it could be downloaded lead magnet, a lead magnet, something of value, for the purpose of getting a lead. It's basically a contact and inquiry page. Your funnel could be something like the free thing, and then people see the paid trial after, and then all that you really need after that is a thank you page.

This is a really, really important page. We don't have time to go into that into detail, but the way we do our Facebook ads is we track each of these elements so that we know how we can advertise to people based on the action that I've taken. That's going a bit off course, so I won't go into that right now, but that is the basic funnel. That is a basic funnel for a martial arts school. Free offer, paid trial offer, and the thank you page.

Do you need a funnel building tool that's $100-$300 a month for that? I don't think so, because why can't your website do the same thing? Your website can do the same thing, and you don't need 20 funnels, or 30 funnels or 40 funnels to do that. If you got one funnel that you optimize and that converts, and I'll show you the ways we go about that in a minute. Again, do you want to get your hands dirty with those types of tools? It's good to have the knowledge, but should you be the person doing it? I think you can do better things in your business, better things in running your martial arts school, in running the classes, running the schools, training your staff, running a better business, and get somebody to do this type of thing for you.

Back to the funnel. This is the basic funnel. If you optimize that one funnel, then you've got a working model. Then you can just drive traffic to that because here's the problem. The problem is this. If you have an awesome funnel, but you're not respecting the customer journey, then what's the point of people seeing your awesome funnel on a Facebook ad? Then when they actually decide to do some research on you. People do that, they go to Google, they check you out, and they land on your website, and your website sucks, and you lose the lead. They click the back button and they go to your competitor.

What does that help you? Does this mean you need to have the funnel, and then you need to have the website, and then you need to have 20 funnels, and multiple pages, multiple websites? I don't think so. If you actually know how to develop a website properly, then you know how to segment the people on that website. That means that your pages are independent. I'll go back to that in a minute because I want to answer something else, just on multiple websites, which I also believe you don't need. We'll cover that in just a minute.

Let me not jump around. Back to the customer journey. Customer journey. What we need to know about our customers is people take 6-8 interactions before they reach a point of conversion. That is the customer journey. 6-8 brand interactions, that's salesforce stat. That can be they check their mobile phone, they drove past their phone, they checked out your website, they saw your Facebook page, they saw a social media post. There's a lot of interactions that can happen before a conversion.

Conversion doesn't need to be a paid trial. It can be just a phone call, it can be just an email. This customer journey is happening, and it's happening at multiple times, different times, different devices. Those are steps that we just got to know that this is what's happening. So, why don't we base our marketing on these facts, and make sure that we got all the conversion points covered? Because I can guarantee you, if you're running 20, 30, 40 funnels, that's going to be really, really hard to optimize, and really, really hard to track people. Unless that is your full-time gig, or you got a very, very deep pocket to cater for that, it's going to take a lot of work.

Let's get back to the website. Does this mean if you're running multiple styles, that you're going to need multiple websites? Look, there's different ways of doing things, and all respect to how everybody does their way of business. The way we try and look at it from the start is leverage. How can you do the least amount of things, for the maximum amount of effort? Because look at this online world, it's crazy right? Do you ever feel that you're getting everything done that you need to get done? Why not just structure things that you work on the core basics, the core fundamentals, and you structure them right that your marketing becomes easier, and you don't have to spend all this time and all this tech, stuff, and everything. Let's get back to, I want to get back to the iPad here.

Let's take a quick look. Here's the thing and this is if you're running multiple styles within your school. If you're running multiple styles, for us, this is how we structure the website. We start off with the homepage. We got the homepage. Then the homepage is really where people land. It's really also just a landing page because people are going to land there, they are at different stages in their buying cycle, something else I will explain in a minute as well. The homepage really serves as a place to put people in the right place to have the right conversation.

What might happen is they are interested in style 1. Not a dollar sign, hang on. Style 1 might be kids' karate, for example, or they are interested in style 2, kickboxing. Or maybe they're interested in style 3, Krav Maga, or something else. These are three different conversations to be had. That's what the homepage is doing, it's acting like a chooser to send people where they need to go. These pages then do the specific copy for the specific audience having this specific conversation. It's no brochure, it's actually understanding the design concept, and knowing your market, and knowing how to segment it properly to send people to the right place.

One thing that we focus on because we do Google advertising, we make sure that all these pages have all the relevant information that you need to make a decision because we advertise them independently. We don't send people to the homepage, ever. People land there because they might be following your brand, or they heard about you. They google you, so the first page they're going to land is that homepage. That happens, but when it comes to the structure, we want to make sure that the homepage is just a chooser to send people to the right place. All these pages have a conversation that was self-targeted.

Do you need multiple web pages for this? No. How many signs do you have in front of your school? Do you have a different sign for each style or page? Do you segment your school like that? If people come for kickboxing, do you hide the kids? You know what I mean? There's always going to be this bit of overlap. You're much better off, in my opinion, and I've had this conversation multiple times in high-level mastermind groups. It's much better to have your one website, one brand, simplify things, and make sure that you're segmenting at the right place. I guess I should say this because segmentation is important.

Being specific is important, but are you doing it at the right place? Do you need to do it on a Facebook level, so that every Facebook page is different? I don't think so. Why don't you keep it under your same brand, and segment at the right place? Because this is where the conversion really is going to happen most of the time, depending on your marketing strategy of course again, is on the website. So why don't you segment people there and have those separate conversations? This can easily be done on one website. When people land on the kids' karate, they don't see the kickboxing, they see kids. They see kids' pictures. They see all that. So you can segment this according to that. I hope that helps.

The way we go about this when we’re creating a website. Look, it does take work, there's no doubt about that. We focus strongly on what's called A/B split testing. That means that one website might have a separate headline to the other one. We're fortunate enough that we develop websites, so we do this on a larger scale, and that way we can track different elements, and we do take it a step further. That is with heat maps.

Heat maps are really, really revealing, because you go based on not what people say they do, but what they actually do. You can see what people are clicking on your website, and the advantage we get from this is invaluable because we can see exactly what people are doing, what they click on, what they do not click on. This takes the A/B split testing to another level because what we gain from the one, we can use on the other. It becomes an invaluable exercise to really check our different websites for what we do for members. So, that's the one thing.

I should talk about the other side. Does this mean that all websites are created equal? Definitely not. This is the other, and this takes the conversation to a whole nother ball game. One thing we can establish, you need a sales funnel. Does it need to be on ClickFunnels or Leadpages or one of these tools? No, it doesn't. You can build that out on your website, preferably get a professional person to do it that understands sales and marketing.

Here's the problem with most web developers. Most web developers don't focus on sales and marketing, and I understand that really clearly, because I started out as a computer programmer, and tech and gadgets was my thing. It was only until I started learning about online marketing, and marketing and sales, that I really started to see how the two actually linked together. The problem is, it's two very, very different skill sets generally. A person that's focused on technology and analytics, or a person that's focused on graphics, is not necessarily focused on sales and marketing. When your development team consists of a technical person and a graphics designer, there's absolutely zero sales strategy on that website. So, you got to watch out.

What I've put together for this video is a report, and you can download that. This will help you. It's called “20 Questions to Ask Your Web Developer Before Investing in a New Martial Arts Website.” This is the top 20 questions that I've pulled together of what you should be asking a web developer. This is very, very quickly going to tell you where their mind is at, and if they're going to deliver with what it is that you need. What do you need from your website? You need leads, and you need paid trials. You need someone with that understanding. If you're watching this video on Facebook, just type 20 in the comments, and we will send that through to you. Otherwise, just check it out on martialartsmedia.com and it will be available for download in the show notes of this episode. Something else for you to consider.

We've covered your website can be your sales funnel. You need someone that actually understand the sales and marketing process to facilitate that for you. A big thing of why we focus on building things on your website, and this will be covered a bit more in the report, is having an asset. When you look at the online world, there's one place where you actually build out an asset, and that is in your domain name. So your .com, .au, .co, .uk, wherever you are located.

Your website address is your one and only asset. The problem that can happen is you own the domain name, but somebody else actually owns your website, so it's kind of like you own the house on a piece of land, but somebody else owns the land. Somebody else can just take the land away from you, and you're just stuck with the house. Or, you own the land but somebody else owns your house, so somebody can just go break the house down if they want. Something to check out for.

So, when you're building out things on the internet, and you're looking at the long term, what's going to last the longest for you? Then it's a wise move to build things out on your website. It's maybe not always the quickest, and maybe not always the easiest, but long term, it's going to benefit you, because all your prime content, and if I say content, videos and articles, that stays on your website.

A few things for you to consider. Now, look, if you're doing things yourself, and you're at the point in your business that you've got to do absolutely everything, then maybe a tool like ClickFunnels or Leadpages can help. But you got to be careful because you might get sucked into a lot of things from top marketers, that'll make you buy things. Probably won't make you, but you'll feel that you need to buy these things, and you don't really need them. It's something for you to consider.

If you are hands-on with the tech, and you feel that you're 100% clued up on all the stuff, and nobody can do a better job, then hey, commit to it, do your thing. It could be good to just sometimes test things and get an offer out quickly. But if you want more specifics, and you want to be a bit more in detail of getting a sales funnel done for you, or website done that's yours on your domain, in your structure, then reach out to a professional, whether that's us or not. Go for it.

All right, I hope that helps. I hope that clarifies a few things. If you want to download that report, go to martialartsmedia.com, or if you're watching this on Facebook, just leave a comment with the word 20, and we'll send that through to you. Thanks, and I'll speak to you soon. Cheers.


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The testimonials are never intended to make claims that our products and/or services can be used to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease. Any such claims, implicit or explicit, in any shape or form, have not been clinically tested or evaluated.

How Do We Protect Your Information and Secure Information Transmissions?

Email is not recognized as a secure medium of communication. For this reason, we request that you do not send private information to us by email. However, doing so is allowed, but at your own risk. Some of the information you may enter on our website may be transmitted securely via a secure medium known as Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. Credit Card information and other sensitive information is never transmitted via email.

may use software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, uses software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content contain on this website or any sites linked to this site.

All the materials on this site are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of merchantability, noninfringement of intellectual property or fitness for any particular purpose. In no event shall or its agents or associates be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of information, injury or death) arising out of the use of or inability to use the materials, even if has been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages.

Policy Changes

We reserve the right to amend this privacy policy at any time with or without notice. However, please be assured that if the privacy policy changes in the future, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this privacy policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this privacy policy, without your prior consent.

We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.


If you have any questions regarding this policy, or your dealings with our website, please contact us here:

Martial Arts Media™
Suite 218
5/115 Grand Boulevard
Joondalup WA

Email: team (at) martialartsmedia dot com

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