124 – Free Trials Vs Paid Trials For Martial Arts: Which Works Better Between Facebook & Google?

Even if you’re biased like I am between free or paid martial arts trials, this might make you reconsider where one might be more useful than the other.


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What’s the purpose of a trial class anyways? 
  • Why what happens before the actual enquiry matters
  • When to use a free trial and a paid trial offer?
  • Intent-based vs Interruption-based marketing
  • What differences to consider when marketing on Facebook and Google 
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, George Fourie here. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ business podcast. In this episode, I'm going to be talking about a martial arts marketing age-old dilemma: free trials versus paid trials, which one should you be using in your social media, in your Facebook ads, your Google ads, your promotions, and so forth. 

So, I'm going to break it down, and the answer is actually not as straightforward as you might think, especially if you're getting good results with free trials or paid trials, and you are kind of biased towards the other. So, there's actually a place for both. So, I'm going to break down where you could potentially use the paid trial, the free trials, and a bit of the science and the logic behind why you should be using it, at which area in your marketing. 

Stick around to the end, I'll share with you how to, where you can download our free resource, ‘The Ultimate Facebook™ guide for Martial Arts Schools', that will help you create your next winning ad. Alright, let's jump in. 

So, before we dive into details of free versus paid trials, I think it's important to just discuss why a trial in the first place? I mean, we're not in the business of free and paid trials, right? We're in the business of signing up students; and if a student stays with us for one year to two years to three years, I mean, that's really where things are at, right? 

So, why not just go for the marriage proposal straight-up, instead of the drink at the bar? Well, it's really just that, right? We kind of need to start with the drink at the bar. So, what is the drink at the bar? Well, we can use a different analogy for that. But you get what I'm saying, right? So, free trial, paid trial, which is going to work best? Well, it's going to depend on what happens before the trial. 

So, how are they actually entering into your world? And where are the inquiries coming from? So, let's take the first example. Let's say somebody walks into your school, they walk into your school, and the conversation goes, “Hey, I'm, you know, been walking past the school and had a look at your website and had a look at- I've seen your posts on social media, and I wouldn't mind giving it a try and seeing if it will work for me.” 

So, what do you do in that situation? Well, you could present your paid trial, if that's something that you do. But what if a person like that is not keen to pay something just yet? And they just want to try it out? And maybe it's not the money at all, it's just, they just want to give it a go.

They're just not sure, right? What would you do in that scenario? Is it- should you be enforcing a paid trial? You could… or why not just give away a free trial and let them try it out, right? 

Because whether they, I mean, the hard work is done – they've actually walked through the door. From there, you know, how they get to being a member, is really up to you and your sales process, and we'll talk a bit more about that as well. In a sense of that, that's where a free trial could work great, right? Somebody walked in, and they just wanted to give it a try. 

Let's look at another angle where free trials can work great, and to do that, let's do a quick comparison on two core platforms, two core advertising or promotional channels, one being social media, and one being Google. So, let's take Facebook versus Google, for example. Alright, so starting with Google, when people go to Google, Google is intent-based marketing. Facebook is interruption-based.

So, let's talk about the big G first. So, Google: intent-based, so, somebody goes to Google, they are actively searching for a solution or trying to solve a problem. And so, depending on where they are in the buying cycle, is going to depend where they're at, with what their search terms are going to be. So, if they've gone through all the cycles, they might be typing in something like, “martial arts school near me”. 

But if they're not there yet, then they might be typing in something like, “is martial arts the right thing for my child?” or if they know a little bit about different martial arts schools and martial arts styles, they might be typing in, like, “taekwondo versus Jiu jitsu”, or, “Jiu jitsu versus karate”, etc. So, depending on where they're at in the buying cycle, would really depend on where they're at and what type of search term they are typing in. But nevertheless, this person has got intent. 

And by the way, if you want to know more about how these different cycles work, these different stages, I recorded a podcast quite a while ago, called ‘The Five Stages of the Martial Arts Students Signup Cycle'. It's podcast episode #41 – if you go to martialartsmedia.com/41, I'll dive into the details of that, Alright, back to free trials. So, free trials, and searching Google. So, your prospect is searching Google and they find your website. 

Now, they've got some intent, right? Because they've been searching, educating themselves about martial arts and they're kind of ready to potentially take the first step – or not. So, they get your website and they're presented with two options. Now, if they know you, like you, and trust you at this point, or your website does a good job of doing that, they might be ready to take on the paid trial. But maybe they're not, right? 

So, this is where a website could really, it's good to have a few options. And having an option to have a free trial or inquiry, and the paid trial are all good, right? So, this is where a free trial could also be good, because your prospect is just not ready to take out their credit card just yet, although they are very interested. So, that takes care of Google. 

Now, let's move over to Facebook. If we look at mass growth, and student signups, what we've experienced mostly with most of our clients, is it's still the premium channel to attract new students. So, let's look at Facebook. The difference between Facebook and Google, is Facebook is more interruption-based.

So, you can target really well and define exactly who you want to, which demographic you want your ads to be shown to. But you still have to interrupt someone out of their mindless scrolling, right? 

So, they're scrolling or they’re just checking the phone for a couple of minutes, your ads have got to grab attention – got to grab attention. And if you want to know how exactly to do that ad structure, I'll share with you the download resource that you can grab on the podcast page, that will go through that resource. 

But firstly, you have to grab attention, and attention, interest, and desire, right? So, to create desire, you need to create an irresistible offer – an irresistible offer that's got to communicate value. Now, here's where you can struggle with a free trial. If you've just interrupted someone, and they look at your ad, and they look at the option of a free martial arts class, it doesn't really, it's hard to paint the value around it, right? Again, could be case by case, could be different, right? But we're just talking in general. 

In general, how this platform works, it's going to be hard to establish value with a free class. And because you interrupted someone, you could be getting inquiries from people that maybe aren't that interested. And so, you're also going to potentially attract the wrong crowd by having the free trial on Facebook. So, in our experience, and I say in our experience, because we work with a lot of school owners, and we've helped martial arts school owners generate more than 7000 paid trials through this formula. 

It's important to have a well-structured, well-worded paid trial with a Facebook ad, and we find that works way better on Facebook. Now, how do we structure the paid trial? Well, that's important as well. It's not just paying for a few classes, but it's packaged with a combination of classes. Classes plus a physical item, and then demonstrating what the value is. And that last point is really key.

So, what do I mean by that? Well, it's not just, you know, buy five classes for 50 bucks, or, you know, whatever the number is, and I'm just making that number up. I've actually never used that offer, so don't… well, try it – if it works, let me know. But it's important to package it with something physical. Why the physical really helps, because if I'm paying, let's say, 39.95 for two weeks, and I get a free training t-shirt or free uniform, that's something physical that I can picture in my mind. 

And so, if I'm looking at an offer, and I can see that I'm going to pay 39.95 for a two-week trial, I'm going to get this free uniform that's valued at 75, 85, 95 dollars, or I'm saving this much. Now, if you look at this as a package, and it's like, “Ah, cool,” that makes sense – that demonstrates value. I can understand that, because I can understand a physical item better than I can imagining what a martial arts class would be like.

The silly thing is, in your mind, you might be, you know, a prospect might be rationalizing, “Well, you know, if I can try this, and at least I can keep the free item, if I don't like it.” Not sure what you're going to do with a Gi if, or a uniform, if you're not going to train, but hey, nevertheless, that's cool. 

So, just to wrap it up, where do you use a free trial? Where do you use a paid trial? Depends on the platform, where you're going to use it. Make sure that you've got both on your website, so that if somebody finds you, that they can access both – whichever one suits them at the time in their buying cycle. And if you're going to use Facebook ads, then the best bet is to use the paid trial and potentially get the most results from that. 

And if you want to know how to do that, then on this page, depending on where you are watching or listening to this episode, martialartsmedia.com/124. So, the number 124, martialartsmedia.com/124. Scroll down to the big red button that says, ‘Download the Ultimate Facebook™ Ad Formula for Martial Arts Schools.' That will help you, take you through the exact process that we use with all our clients to create winning Facebook ad campaigns that help you attract new students all year long

Thanks so much for watching. Thanks so much for listening. Wherever you are accessing this episode, please make sure you subscribe, that you get notified when our next episode comes out. And please do me a favor, if you got great value from this episode, please share this with a martial arts school owner or instructor friend that you know would get some great value from listening to or watching this.

Thanks again. See you in the next episode, speak soon.

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Download the Martial Arts Media™ Mobile App.

It's our new private community app exclusive for martial arts school owners, with top courses, online events, and free resources to help grow your business.  Click here to download for iPhone or Android (any other device).

2. Join the Martial Arts Media™ Academy Membership and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month to get to 100+ students. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, get started with our 7-day risk-free trial – Click Here

3. Work With Me and My Team Privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, fill out the form and apply HERE … tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details – Click Here

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

123 – 3 Key Steps To Master For Your Next Martial Arts Facebook Ad Campaign

If you believe that things like the iOS updates have impacted your martial arts ads, chances are you’re going about this the wrong way. Here’s a foolproof strategy to adapt for your next successful campaign.


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What is The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula For Martial Arts Schools?
  • Spending too much money on ads? This number might tell a different story
  • Creating an irresistible martial arts offer
  • How to use the AIDA formula for martial arts Facebook ads
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

If you don't get the leads, you don't get the trials, you don't get the signups. So if we get this right with Facebook, first up, we can get the ads to flow easily. So it becomes a bit of a timing thing. The right offer at the right time in front of the right people.

Hey, this is George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. And in this episode, I'm going to be talking about three key steps that you need to master your next Facebook ad campaign. And I'm going to kick off with a bold statement. And the bold statement is, most martial arts school owners are going about this dead wrong. Why do I know this?

Well, first up, we look and we speak to a lot of school owners and look at a lot of ad accounts, but I can tell you that we don't even have to look at the ad accounts when we hear things like, the iOS, the latest iOS update has completely crushed our results. Or, our website is not bringing in leads anymore. Or, we used to have this strategy of running this ad and this retargeting ad, and this doesn't work anymore. Or, everything used to work, and now our ad costs have gone through the roof, and it's not working anymore. 

All those things are really a key sign that it's not about Facebook itself, but it's actually about the strategy. So in this episode, I'm going to break down the entire strategy, how to go about it, what to avoid, what to optimize, what to look for and outline a winning ad strategy that you can use. Winning to the point that we've refined it over the last four, five, six years. And we've seen more than 7,000 paid trials go through the system.

So I'm going to share this with you today. Make sure that you hit subscribe wherever you are watching this video, or if you're listening to it, head over to your favorite podcast listening tool thingy, and make sure you subscribe. And also if you hang around to the end, I will share with you where you can get our latest e-book, which is a breakdown of much of what we're discussing here today, which is called The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula for Martial Arts Schools.

All right, let's jump in. 

martial arts ads

Let's jump into three key steps to master your next Facebook ad campaign. So just for a little bit of context, this presentation and these slides that I'm going through right now comes from our Partners group. Our Partners program is our flagship program where we help school owners attract the right students, increase signups, and retain more members.

And if you look at it from a model standpoint, this is pretty much what we work on on a month to month basis. And what we're talking about right now, Facebook, Facebook advertising, falls in the top group there, which is called activate ads. All right. Activate ads under Attract. All right. So let's jump in. 

So first up, what's the big problem that we're trying to solve here with Facebook ads? And the big problems that we run into? Well, first up, I'm sure you know advertising is hard. No matter who says what, it's hard. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, right? It can be very inconsistent.

And so sometimes it's hard and sometimes you think, well, hang on, I'm actually, I'm on top of this. And then somebody pulls the rug underneath your feet and it just stops working and it could be hard to diagnose and figure out, all right, well, what's actually going on here?

Why is this working and why not? Which can cause a lot of frustration, but more… The biggest impact of course that you get is you struggle to get the leads, and if you don't get the leads, you don't get the trials, you don't get the signups.

So if we get this right with Facebook, first up, we can get the ads to flow easily. So it becomes a bit of a timing thing, right? The right offer at the right time in front of the right people. 

And if we know how to adapt our four-step formula that works in between those timeframes, in between those segments, then we're off to a good start. If we could do that, ads will keep on working. Most importantly, we know what to measure and improve. You want to be building up a big library of winning ad campaigns. And this is how it really becomes easier.

Some of our best clients that always used to ask all the questions in the group about Facebook ads now almost ask nothing because, hey, they've just got it mastered. And they've built up this library of winning ad campaigns. And best of all, you get it right, obviously you get the leads and you get the signups. So I'm going to jump into three key concepts, three key concepts to win at your next ad campaign.

So first up, know your numbers. Now I'm sure you've heard this thrown around a lot, right? Yeah, you got to know your numbers, and yeah, we all know we got to know our numbers, but what numbers are we really looking for? So first up we want to know what is a student actually worth?

Because here's the metric that everyone focuses on that's the wrong metric. And that metric is cost per lead. Cost per lead. How much did it cost? What is the cost per click?

Now, yep, it's important to try and reduce that, but it's not really the number that matters, right? Because if you were in real estate, for example, and you were paying per lead, that most martial arts schools are paying, you would be winning. So, yep, we want to try and reduce that cost. But what really matters is, what is the return on investment? 

And I'll give a real simple example. I mean, if you had to walk into the casino, and you found a slot machine, and every time you put $1 into that slot machine, it gave $2 back. How many dollars are you going to put into that slot machine? All of them, right? So that's the winning formula.

Now, I mean, if you had to put $5 in and you got $10 out, well, how many dollars are you going to put in? All the $5 that you can get together. So you're not going to go back and say, oh, well, hang on.

I really preferred to put a dollar into the slot machine. No, you don't care because you're getting $10 back. So what I'm really trying to reference to is what is that number? What is the lifetime student value, or at least, what is a student worth for you over the next year? 

Because if you know that every student that signs up is worth $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, then the cost per click starts getting a little more irrelevant. Now, obviously you need to be concerned about that because I mean, if we're spending $1,000 to get a new student and a student's only worth $1,500, well, we're going to burn through cash flow quite fast, right?

And something I learned from Mike Rhodes way long ago was to look at what is a student worth? What is a customer worth over the first three months? And then, grabbing a name, another tip from another gentleman I've learned a lot from, Dean Jackson, stating how much would you spend with a smile on your face to acquire a customer? 

So if you look at, let's say, all right, well, what is the student worth over the next three months? And then, how much of that am I going to spend with a smile on my face to acquire a new customer, a new student in our case, then what is that number? So if you're comfortable with that number, now we know, all right, well, I'm comfortable spending $50, $100, $150 to acquire a new student, and I will do that all day long. And that's the metric that you've got to dial in. All right, let's move on. 

Number two, your irresistible offer. What is an irresistible offer? Well, I've got a picture here of a fidget spinner. It's probably not an ideal irresistible offer. Well, it was for a while, right? Because everybody wanted a fidget spinner.

But what is an irresistible offer? Well, you want to think of your offer, in the case with martial arts, is how do students get started with you? And what is a way that they can get started with you that's completely risk free for them, and it's enticing enough for them to take the first step.

So here's what the offer is not. The offer is not trying to sell the membership, especially not on Facebook, right? Not with this type of marketing. And I can dive deeper into how Facebook works as an interruption, but for now, we've just got to focus on the fact that we want to put an enticing offer in front of people that gets them to take the first step. 

Now, the first step is not signing up for a 12-month membership, right? The first step is them seeing an offer, seeing something that's irresistible enough for them to go ahead and take the first step and put their hand up and say, all right, I'm keen to do this. Okay. I'm keen to do this and let's go ahead and try this out, right?

And I say try this out, I mean, we want people to start, but we want people to feel comfortable about taking that first step without the risk being on them. And risk might be, well, sign up for a 12-month membership to get started. I know nobody does that, but hey, you want to make it easy for them.

So let's talk about offers. So what is better? Should we run a free trial or a paid trial? Now in our experience there's room for both, but when it comes to Facebook, paid trial typically works better. And I'll explain why.

If we had to compare Facebook and Google, when somebody comes through Google, there's some intent. Meaning they go to Google, they look for it, they search, and they've got some intent to actually… They're interested, right? They already have the interest.

On Facebook, we can target really well, but we have to interrupt. So we got to interrupt people from scrolling. People are sitting on their phones and they're looking through, and we got to put something in front of people that appears of great value. So, yep, we can grab their attention and get them interested, but we've got to build desire with a specific ad offer. And that's where a good irresistible offer comes into play. 

So you need a good, irresistible offer, and you need to establish some value. Now it's very hard to establish value with something that's free. Because what is a free trial?

What does that mean? What's the catch? Why is it free?

But if you package something with a uniform or a physical item, like gloves, t-shirt, belt, et cetera, and they're paying X instead of XX, now they can see the value and it's much easier to make a decision. All right. So work on your offer and work on your paid trials. 

Now, these are examples. You might already be using a paid trial, but what could… And if your paid trial is not working, then you got to dig a bit deeper, and it could be actually in the way that it's worded.

So there's certain things that you've got to avoid and certain things you can say or not, and there's certain numbers that will work better than the others. But too much detail to get into right now, but pay attention to the way you deliver your paid trial. All right, let's move on. 

And number three is, follow the formula. Follow the formula. So what is the ad formula to work with when creating ads? For us, we keep it super simple. We use the age-old AIDA formula. A I D A. If you've heard of it, great. Maybe you'll get some context if you haven't heard of it. A is for attention. I is for interest. D is for desire. A is for action. So I'm going to break down exactly how we go about this, right?

So A for attention is grabbing attention. So you want to call the people out that you are trying to have a conversation with, and that could be simply calling them out. San Diego moms, men of Sydney.

So it's just telling the people who we are talking to, that we are trying to talk to them. The next thing that will also, and this probably counts for more than anything, is the type of media that you use. So the type of image. Now, should you use images? Should you use videos? 

Well, in our case, I'd rather use an image. It's just much easier and you've got to be really good at video to really make video work. And side note, all respect to all videographers, but most people that think they're really good at video are not because they create a good video, but they don't have the sales knowledge and marketing knowledge to package it in the right way, to grab the attention and build up the desire. That's attention.

Interest is creating a cool headline. How do you grab interest? Well, in our case, what we do is we create a benefit driven headline.

So how do we craft a benefit? Something that, what is the thing that they're going to get? Now, what you want to avoid here is not talk about what it is, but you want to talk about what they get.

Two different things, right? What it is, is they get martial arts classes. What they get is the result that they get from martial arts classes. 

So this is where we want to talk about more of the end result, the benefit, the desire that they're going to get from this. Let's talk about desire. How do we go about desire? Because we've managed to craft the offers in such an irresistible way, we tend to find that in the desire section, we just insert our irresistible offer right there.

And if we've grabbed their attention and built up their interest with a powerful, benefit driven headline, then that's normally enough for them to say, all right, I want to try this out. And this is where we insert our irresistible offer. And then last but not least is the call to action.

So what do they need to do to get this? And this is where most school owners fall flat. Reason why: they will send the person to a website.

The worst thing you can possibly do is just send them to your homepage website. Because imagine you've just spoken about this awesome offer and everything, and now they click on a link and when they click on it, it's nothing relevant to what was just spoken about. 

So they're lost, and immediately they leave, right? And they bounce and away they go. The other is to send them to a landing page.

Now this is where everybody feels and thinks that they have to have the best landing page. Well, got news for you. If you're struggling with Facebook right now, Facebook doesn't want you to leave Facebook.

So actually sending people to a landing page could be really, really hard to do. So unless you're super experienced and you're testing it and your landing page was specifically created for that specific offer, I would not recommend going about this.

I would do one of two things. One would be to create a lead ad, which is internal with Facebook. Or number two is send people directly to Messenger. And by doing this people stay on Facebook, they stay in the framework, and now you can follow up in that way. 

And if you do something like in our Partners group, we have The Messenger Signup Method. It takes your prospects from being curious to serious, and then we sign them up. Then that's something that can really work for you. And it's really scalable, as well.

All right. And that's it. Those are the three key steps.

So quickly as a recap, number one, know your numbers. What are the key numbers you got to pay attention to? Well, first up, what is your student worth over the next 12 months or for the lifetime?

Your lifetime student value, and how much are you comfortable spending that? What are you comfortable spending with a smile on your face to acquire your student? So paying attention to that rather than what are you paying per click. 

Number two is your irresistible martial arts offer. So what type of offer are you using? If you are generating your ads from Facebook, highly recommend you look at a paid trial offer and then make sure that your paid trial offer is worded the right way, worded using the right numbers and making sure that when somebody looks at the offer, that it automatically screams of value.

And what I mean by that is, they look at it, and it's a no brainer for them to not go ahead with it. And then number three, follow the formula. So the formula being AIDA, which is the formula we follow. A for attention, I for interest, D for desire, and A for action. All right. And that's it. 

Now, if you do want a copy of our latest e-book, The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula for Martial Arts Schools, then head over to the podcast episode on martialartsmedia.com, and you'll find it at martialartsmedia.com/123.

We're just lucky that this episode is number 123, right? So martialartsmedia.com/ the numbers 123, not the words written out, just the numbers, 123. And there'll be a button there, all the show notes will be there, plus a transcript. And you'll be able to download The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula for Martial Arts Schools. 

And if you need some help with your Facebook ads and you want to learn more, how we can help you, or maybe you need someone, you just need a second set of eyes to have a look at your ad account and your ads, then reach out to us. Best way to do that is go to martialartsmedia.com/scale. So S-C-A-L-E. martialartsmedia.com/scale.

There's a little questionnaire, a couple of steps with a few questions for us to better understand where you're at with your business, what you need help with. And then that will go through to another screen where we can book any time to chat and go from there. 

All right, thanks so much. I hope this episode was helpful. And if you're struggling with ads, I just want to confirm this, do take this formula seriously because we work with this formula. Obviously, there's layers and details on it, but this formula, it's not our formula.

It's a proven formula. We've just refined it for martial arts schools. And like I've said, we've seen more than 7,000 paid trials go through the system for schools of all sizes. Schools that are just starting out, pushing a hundred students, schools that have got multiple thousands of students, and the formula just works.

If you need any help, let us know. And otherwise, thanks a lot for listening, thanks a lot for watching, and I'll see you in the next episode. Cheers.

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Download the Martial Arts Media™ Mobile App.

It's our new private community app exclusive for martial arts school owners, with top courses, online events, and free resources to help grow your business.  Click here to download for iPhone or Android (any other device).

2. Join the Martial Arts Media™ Academy Membership and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month to get to 100+ students. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, get started with our 7-day risk-free trial – Click Here

3. Work With Me and My Team Privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, fill out the form and apply HERE … tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details – Click Here

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

Now also available on Spotify!

93 – Strategies From a High Performance Salon Coach To Pivot Your Martial Arts Business

Jason Everett, a high-performance salon coach, shares 3 main pillars to take advantage of with your martial arts business during uncertain times.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • The 3 key strategies to implement before you pivot your martial arts business
  • Why you should double down on coaching
  • The hidden opportunity all martial arts school owners have right now
  • How to use your Facebook community to strengthen relationships with your students and instructors
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Now the question is, if you're being tested right now, how do you show up to be tested? Are you going to double down? Are you going to get more coaching education, understand more about your business and get lit up and on fire for what you're doing? Or are you going to be like, “Well, I guess we'll just shut this thing down and I'm going to go on vacation for a few weeks and come back.”

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. The first live Martial Arts Media Business Podcast, and… 

JASON: Wow man, that's exciting. First live. 

GEORGE: First live, and I've got a really awesome guest here today. Now, Jason Everett is not a martial artist, but- 

JASON: I'm not. I'm not afraid of some martial arts though, let's be clear. I think it's amazing. I'm just not very good at any of them. 

GEORGE: Here's why I'm bringing Jason on. So, first up he brings good energy. Good energy, a wealth of knowledge and he's in a completely opposite industry, but facing challenges way more than any martial arts school owner is right now. 

JASON: Probably true, probably true. 

GEORGE: And so let me just hand it over to Jason. If you could just give us a quick couple of minutes, who you are, what you do and we'll go from there. 

JASON: Yeah. Well first of all man, thanks for doing this and what you do for martial arts studio owners is extraordinary. I mean I know you do some incredible work for them and I would just say to you guys as a community, now more than ever you need what George is doing. And I say that because I just have seen inside our own group and because I run a group of salon owners. 

So basically what I do is I work inside the salon, spa, beauty industry, barber shops all over the world to help them to increase the amount of take home income that they have, to grow their staff, to grow in locations and to really start creating wealth in their lives for salons. And the reason why I do that is that only 7% of salons actually make a profit, 20% of them are breaking even and the rest of them actually go backwards to go to work every single day. 

So if you run a martial arts studio or a dojo or whatever you would call your place that you operate, is that if you could imagine trying to run your business and knowing that only 7% make money, that's pretty crazy, right? So salon owners very often, like for you guys in the martial arts industry, they love what they do but they're not always the best business owners. Right?

And I know that's very true and the reason why I say that… so I work with these salon owners all over the world. I've worked a lot in the corporate space with the salon and spa industry and I've done tons of work there, but I want you to know my background is actually… I come from being a dance instructor.

I was a ballroom dance instructor over 20 plus years ago and I've worked in outside sales, I've worked in advertising and marketing and all these different arenas. And the reason why I say that is because martial arts, dance instructors, even a hairdresser, all those things, those are very hands-on professions, right? 

So if you think about the massage industry, you physically touch people. You guys might… I was going to say I'm going to make a karate joke about chopping them, but you know what I'm saying? The idea is that you guys are a hands-on industry. Gyms, dojos, all these places are very hands on and so when they say, “Hey, social distancing. Please do me a favor and don't ever touch anybody again,” or at least for 30, 60, 90 days or into the future, this whole idea of ‘don't touch your people’ becomes a very big challenge, especially for our clients.

We have salon owners all over the world, and by the way if you can relate to any of this, do me a favor and comment in the comment section below and say relate, because I want to know if you guys are connecting with this and it's helping you. But this idea is as soon as in the US and probably 90% of our clients have now completely shut down, they can't run any sort of business.

And like George and I were talking before, you guys, if you really want to, you could run martial arts classes online right now and it's really hard for a salon owner to say, “Okay, take out that really crappy pair of scissors in your drawer and take your hair, hold it up and let's go to town.” That's not going to happen, but you guys have a unique opportunity right now to pivot and to change some of your business model, even though it's going to be probably like a baby deer trying to walk on ice for the very first time, you at least have the opportunity to still maintain your income. 

I was just on the phone and hope it's okay for me to tell you this. I was just on the phone, literally about five minutes before this with a friend of mine who still owns a dance studio. The guy, one of my good friends, he's been my best friend for over 25 years, he owns a dance studio and I was watching him in his living room teach classes.

He had his phone up and he had his iPhone and he had the lights up and his wife is walking around showing me he's teaching lessons on Zoom and I was like, “You go man, that's awesome.” He's still teaching private lessons in his house and walking around and dancing and showing people what to do. 

So I guess background, but the other thing I would just say is would you guys please do me a favor and not get discouraged? Because when we look at what's happening right now, I just believe it's a test for you to decide, do you have really the chops that you need to have as a business owner to make it in a really tough time, or are you going to be one of those people who throws in the towel quits and says, “Forget it, I'm out of here. I guess I better go get a job doing what I've always loved, being a garbage man.”

Which is probably not any of you, but I'm just saying that's the choice you get to make here and the universe hands you this choice and it's asking you to step up and I love George, you're doing so much to serve these people and really help them and grow the community because the community needs to be tighter than it's ever been before. 

GEORGE: Jason, so you're talking about having chops. I'd love to know what are you doing to inspire your clients because there is not really plan B. So what do you actually- 

JASON: There's not really a plan B. There's one little plan B. The only little plan B that's going on right now is a lot of our clients very quickly pivoted and they're doing what's called root rescue, which they're giving… They're doing hair dye, because a lot of people come in and get the hair dyed or blow dried and all the other services, so they're actually still selling retail products because people still are on video calls.

You've got to make your hair look good. People still have their roots growing out, they have all these other services, so we do have some clients who are able to go in and do some very basic Amazon style. Sell some products and half come out of their business. But we're talking to people about literally laying off their entire workforce except for some key employees and making it through. 

So, here's what we're doing from a strategy standpoint. There are three main pillars that we're talking about with all of our salon owners. Number one, you need to be able to stabilize what the heck is going on. You need to be able to stabilize your team, stabilize your business, decide what can I stop paying for? What can't I stop paying for?

And we were really clear is that we said, “Look, you've got to stop paying for things that you don't need right now and double down on the things that you do need.” In fact, I have doubled all of my coaching sessions with every single one of my coaches in the group that we're in. 

I just upgraded them now going to the board room group, which costs me twice as much money to do what I'm doing. And I'm doubling down on the amount of mental health and strategy that I'm getting as a professional. I'm asking my clients to do the same thing, but I'm telling my clients, because they're not closing, I'm like, “Look, I'm going to go…” We normally provide inside any given month for our clients, we do two webinars a week and we do a destination training once every four months.

I was like, ah that ain't going to cut it, so I literally started doing every morning at 6:00 AM, we're doing mindset calls. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I do a mindset call at 6:00 AM. I have called in every personal favor that I have with every one of the highest profile, coolest friends that I have, to come in and jump on that call. And we've actually been doing that for over two weeks now. We're in our second week of doing that and it's actually second week plus. 

So we're doubling down and I'm like, “Look, we're running a call every day, plus we're running our Monday call and we're running our Wednesday call.” And our group is on fire because they're talking every day and people are sharing, here's what I'm doing, here's what I'm doing, here's what I'm doing.

And so if you're not engaged in the Facebook community that I'm sure George has, make sure that you're sharing what the best ever practices are because that thing that you might not think a big idea, what's happening in our group right now, is people are sharing an idea and then it's snowballing.

So one gal said, “Hey I'm doing this root rescue thing,” and this other gal said, “I'm using baby food containers to fill up hair color,” and then this other gal said, “I got on TV,” and this other guy… So they're one upping each other on all these cool things that they're doing and the whole group is elevating in spirits and in ideals and all those things. 

And in addition to doing all of that, I'm literally doing daily lives. Anybody who calls to ask, I'm doing a live with them. I'm also bringing them on my shows and doing everything I can to make sure that every single day people are encouraged, because in a world where everyone is discouraged, there needs to be more encouragement. I'm just on that path, trying to be as encouraging as possible because hell yeah, it's hard, but this is where business owners are made or broken. 

I don't know about you guys, but you guys are martial arts guys, right? You know you got to break people down sometimes to build them back up. This is just the world breaking you down. It's just saying, do you have what it takes? Are you that business owner that's going to rise to the occasion and do something extraordinary, or are you going to remain an ordinary business owner? 

Because ordinary business owners, ordinary martial artists… you know, I'm like a loser martial artist. I've had a couple of sessions. My dad used to be big into Tai Chi and we used to do all kinds of stuff and I've done some karate, but I'm just like a baby junior cub scout, right?

I've had some exposure. I can't imagine that every single one of the owners that is in your program is not an absolute consummate professional, expert, award-winning champion tournament winning expert.

So now the question is, if you're being tested right now, how do you show up to be tested? Are you going to double down? Are you going to get more coaching and education and understand more about your business and get lit up and on fire for what you're doing? Or are you going to be like, “Well I guess we'll just shut this thing down and I'm going to go on vacation for a few weeks and come back.” 

So, I was in my list and then I just started ranting, sorry. So I went into… The first thing we're doing is we're teaching how to stabilize, stabilize is number one, right? Stabilize what's happening in your business. Number two, you've got to get organized. You've got to organize what are you going to do between now and when you can open?

And by the way, that might be 30, 60 or 90 days. I'm hoping it's more towards the 30 or less, but let's assume it's 90. Even if it's 90 freaking days, you can survive 90 days. You got this. I'm not even worried about you. 

So we talk about how you get bridge financing? How do you borrow what you can from the bank? And hopefully you'll get some given by the government, we'll see. But borrow what you can, survive on what you can. Go down to your bare minimal staff.

And then third, I just want to say this, because this is the part that I'm the most excited about and it changes my mindset every time I think about it. The other side of this is going to be the greatest transfer of wealth in our entire lives. 

I don't think people get this, is that right now all of the crappy martial arts owners are going to go back and get jobs as garbage men, we already talked about that. But the martial arts studio owners that pivot to online quickly, they call up every one of their students and say, “Look, we have trained you for battle every single day of your entire life, it's time to battle with us. Here's what we're going to do.

And even though the battle's not a physical battle, it's a mental battle. Here's what we're doing to keep you sharp until you can come back into class with us.” That's just totally a different positioning, right?

You've got your kids at home? You need to be more prepared. You've got your wife on you every single minute of every single day? Even more prepared. It is more time for you to get that discipline dialed into your brain. So get up early, stay up late, do whatever we've got to do and your job is to be that bright spot, the keeper of the light for every single one of your clients. And if you become that keeper of the light for them, every single one of them will remember what you did for them when they were struggling. 

You won't keep everybody, but you will keep a lot. And the ones that you keep focused will stay addicted to you, and that is where you've got to capitalize. I said the third thing, right? Stabilize, organize, capitalize. That is where they will become addicted to you and they will be able to grow. They will be able to flourish and you will come back even stronger and even better. You'll just have better looking muscles when you come out of this thing. So anyway, I know I'm just going off here, but I hope it's helpful George. You've got to let me know if I'm on the right track.

GEORGE: Yeah man, it's totally awesome and what you're saying is just being collective in a group where you've got this energy. I've been talking to our Partners group the last couple of days and every time we map out this plan, it's just evolving because there's no script for it. 

JASON: There's no script for any of us, bro. That's the good news. Nobody's got the damn script. There's nobody who has the advantage right now, and I think I've said this the other day on another show. Super, super important. What I know is that if you and I were going to go into a martial art show showdown, because you have a martial arts background, right? 

GEORGE: Yeah. 

JASON: Yeah. I don't have a salon owner background, just so you know. But you have a martial arts background. If you and I were going to step into an arena and we were going to have a physical battle, I know you would kick my ass. I have no doubts in my mind. You know enough to hurt me very badly, I have no doubt, right?

But here's the thing, the cool thing is you're going through something you've never been through before. I'm going through something I've never been through before. Everybody else out there is going through something else they've never been through before. And here's why I'm not scared for a second. Okay? Is that when everything is equal, I know I will outwork everyone. 

GEORGE: Nice. 

JASON: That's it. I just know I will outwork you. I will outperform you. I will out-knowledge you. I will outperform everything because I've been practicing for the most random crap ever in life. I've been smacked in the face. I've been fired before. I've been in all these other scenarios that I've had no money in my bank account. I know how to build back from zero.

And I've said before, if somebody took away my entire business, could I build it back? My answer was hell yes. So it's not some one taking it away, it's some random thing that may or may not take away. 

But if I had to rebuild it all again… let's say my whole life got reset in 90 days, I'll just rebuild it again and I'd rebuild it a hell of a lot faster than the first time I built it. You know what I mean? If I've got to move in with my parents, then I move in with my parents. It's never going to happen, but I'm just saying if I had to, I'll do whatever it takes, man. My job is to provide for my family, provide for the people who rely on me, and I'll do whatever it takes to make sure I make it out right on the other side. 

GEORGE: I just want to repeat what you just said, because if any school owner, if you're thinking you had competition, you don't have it right now. The playing field has just gone level and nobody is… Yeah, someone might have a few more resources than you, but the playing field is equal and if you can rise up and step it up, you're going to come out of this a lot better than you were a couple of months ago. 

JASON: Yeah. And by the way you guys, do me a favor if you're on this live or if you're watching later, type in what is the thing you're connecting with the most right now. What's the piece that's firing you up? Because my assumption is that when I get on the phone and I talk to anybody, I'm going to fire some people up and I always want to be in that spot, right?

I want to get something inside your core to get pissed off so that you do something. Is it like, “Damn, why is this guy more fired up than I am?” Or like, “Why is he saying that I'm going to be the loser who gets wiped out on the other side of this?” Because what would you say in a martial arts environment? Step into a ring, an arena, an octagon, what are we talking about here? What would you say? Step into a what? 

GEORGE: Step on the mat. Step on the ring. Step in the octagon. 

JASON: Step on the mat, step in the ring. 

GEORGE: Yup. 

JASON: Here's what I would say. If you step on the mat or step in the ring, you know that your mindset either takes you out or lifts you up before you step on that mat. The problem is everybody's standing on the mat with the wrong damn mindset right now.

Oh no, this unknown thing that we have no control over is going to take us out, and it's like, just because it's an unknown and it's like this is an opponent I've never faced before. No shit, so is everybody else. Everybody else hasn't dealt with it either. 

And I don't know about you man, but I just have always felt in my entire life, every day I… and it sounds cheesy, but every day is a gift. You've heard that before, right? But I really do believe this, is that I really thought that every single day I could walk out the door and get hit by a bus, take me out.

I just believed that that could happen at any point in time, so here's what I know, is if my gift is to be able to breathe life into other people by helping them understand that they are way more capable than anything they've ever thought possible, right? Everybody's had that taste of like, “Oh, I could be better at this.” Everybody's had that taste, and every time you do something, you get better and you get better and you get better. 

So we all have this gift to be able to improve and get better. Since we were little children, we've all improved, gotten better, and gotten better and gotten better, and we've done this acceleration. So there's room for every single person to get better. And what I know is that my gift is helping people realize that they're capable of way more than they are right now.

And if I didn't get hit by a bus this morning and I'm still freaking here, I got more to do. So if I have one conversation in my life, right? If I have a conversation with you and it prevents you from… I'm talking to you one day, we're casually walking down the street and you go to step out in front of a bus and I grab your shoulder and pull you back and I saved your life. 

Whether it's literally mentally or physically or whatever, and I'm on my purpose for what I should be done to do, and I get taken up that day in whatever capacity I get taken up in, then dude I lived the best life I could possibly live, but every day that I get to wake up and breathe, it's another opportunity for me to help one more person.

Maybe there's only one person that watches this whole show and they're like, “Holy crap, that changed everything for me.” Dude, that's why I did it. I'm 100%. 

But I'm hoping it's going to be more like 20 or 40 or 100 or 5,000 or whoever the hell wants to listen because you deserve to know that you're capable of way more and every single one of you is, I'm sure more of a bad ass physically, mentally and emotionally than I am. I'm sure.

I have no doubt in my mind because of how disciplined you are. Discipline for me is one of the hardest things, but don't let your discipline down right now in this moment. This is when you should be… This is when your discipline is getting tested. This is the ultimate test for your discipline that you guys apply every single day. 

GEORGE: Love your energy. Anything else? I want to be respectful of your time as well. I know you're a busy guy. 

JASON: Yeah, we've got a lot going on. But dude, yeah… I mean, what do you think would be the most helpful thing that I could share? Or in your mind, what question do you think…? If you had to pretend that you knew every single mind of every single one of your school owners and businesses that you work with, what do you think they really need to know right now? What do you think their question is? 

GEORGE: I would say reconfirmation of where the opportunity lies here. I've been begging martial arts school owners to do videos for years, and all of a sudden everyone's doing it. 

JASON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

GEORGE: So that's perfect. Where do you think this shift is going? And if you had to focus on one thing right now, where would you place all your energy? 

JASON: I said this to my salon owners. I said there's a really good book out there called Who Moved My Cheese, okay? And if you haven't read that book, it's a good book that you should read and just be aware of.

And basically what it talks about is you put these mice in this maze and there's a piece of cheese at the end of this maze that they go find. And they let the mice go for however long they go, a couple of weeks and they get really conditioned to that's where the cheese is. 

And then the experimenters or the scientists grab the cheese, move it to another place in the maze and the responses of some of those mice is that some of the mice go right back to the cheese over and over, or right back to where they think the cheese will be, over and over and over again.

And at some point those mice… I don't know if mice pout, but the mice just sit there and they go, “I'm waiting for the cheese. It's supposed to be here. There's no more cheese.” And they either run back to the beginning or back to there and they just go, “Well there's no more cheese anymore.” And they give up. 

Then there's the mice that just forget all together and could care less. They just say, “You know what? I'm not going to run the maze anymore because there's no more cheese. It's totally been removed from my world and I'm done.” And then there's the mice that go, “Well, there's got to be cheese somewhere else in this maze.” And they start searching for new paths. Your job right now is to search for the new path to get the cheese. 

martial arts corona virusI want you to hear this. People have more money than they've ever had before. I eat out almost every single day and I've eaten out twice in the last week. So do you think I have more money or less money right now? More.

I usually fly three times a month to different cities. Well guess what I didn't do? I didn't fly. So guess how much more money I have? I have more money now than I've ever had before because all my expenses have been reduced to basically zero. Don't get me wrong, I have a bit of an online shopping habit that's now getting a little bigger, but my point is that most people believe it or not, even though you're thinking, but Jason, my clients have been laid off. Some of them, yes, but not all of them. Not all of them. 

I've heard unemployment in the US might go up to 30%. That's the crazy number they think it may go to. That means 70% of people are still employed, so don't let that idea that ‘all of my clients are gone’ is going to do it.

What I'm saying about this cheese analogy and all this other stuff that I just want you to get, is that, yeah, you know what? Maybe temporarily you're going to need to go to an online dojo, but I just want to let you know it's going to change.

We're not going to stay locked in our houses from now until the end of time. I mean, it's not going to happen. I can't foresee that happening. We're going to go through it. We're going to get through whatever that is.

And again, put a 30, 60, 90-day plan in place, weather that storm and hopefully your business is strong enough to weather that storm. If not, schedule an emergency session with George and the team and go how the hell do I plan this out because I don't know how I'm going to do it? 

And by the way, that's why you need a frigging coach on your side to help you, so you're not trying to put together your own crazy ass plan, right? Get some real advice on this. This is probably a test for you to say, “Look, how good are you at technology?” Do you suck at it?

Because what I've told people is what used to be a nicety, like, “Oh it'd be nice if we had online classes. It'd be nice if I had a website that people could buy classes on. It'd be nice if I could do it online. It'd be nice if we do all these things.” Well look, all those niceties have become necessities. Okay? 

And so all of these things like for me, I've got high-end camera gear and audio gear and all this other stuff because I do classes like this and there's a lot of things that I've had to do over the years to kind of adapt and overcome because of how I wanted to run my business and I just shared a video. I shared… Three years ago, I ran a company called The Video Rock Star Academy teaching people, and the whole video was how do you future proof your business?

And it made sure no matter what happens, you can stay on top of the curve. And I said you better know about video marketing. Three years ago I said that. Guess what the number one thing is I'm teaching right now George? 

GEORGE: Video marketing.

JASON: Video freaking marketing. How to do video? How do you show up on camera? What do you need to do? Because people are going, “I don't even know. How do I turn my phone on and make it work? And Facebook and like…” I'm not meaning to insult anybody, but you're five years behind the rest of the learning curve so get with it, get on track, pivot and understand that pivot's not forever. Maybe you're independently wealthy enough that you can just survive for 90 days without worrying about it. 

But you know what? This is a perfect opportunity for you to teach everyone on your staff how to use video, how to use technology, and how to do it. And it's your job as the leader of your school, of your dojo, of whatever it is that you have. It's your job to step up and be that leader because your staff needs you more than they ever have.

And all those things that you teach them, you've got to exude. It's got to seep out of your pores man, because you guys talk about leadership and discipline and all that other stuff. It's your turn to be the leaders and to be disciplined and do all those things.

Anyway man, I hope this has been helpful. I hope it was powerful, man. 

GEORGE: Totally. Jason, ever so grateful. Thank you so much for jumping on. 

JASON: Yeah, man. 

GEORGE: We'll give virtual fist pumps. 

JASON: I've got digital knuckles brother, that's how that works for me. Digital knuckles, that's how this happens. 

GEORGE: That's cool. Hey Jason. 

JASON: Thanks so much for having me on man. 

GEORGE: Thanks so much. Is there anything we can do for you just to say thanks? Give you a thumbs up somewhere? 

JASON: Dude. Here's what I would say, if any of you guys want to stock any of the stuff that I do, you can find me online. Just go onto Facebook. You can find me at facebook.com/… If you want to find me personally, because my salon owner stuff may not apply to you, but just go online. You can find it at, it's Mr. Jason Everett. Very fancy, Mr. Jason Everett, or just search Jason Everett.

I'm connected with George on here, but what I would just say is, here's the one thing any of you guys could do for me. If you go on my page and you track down anything and you see it, here's my request. If you see something and it ever speaks to you, share it for me. 

The best thing you can ever give me as a gift is not your money. It's your ability to reach one more person. If you help me reach one more person with what I do, even if it's a salon owner piece of content and you're like, “You know what, but it was really inspiring,” just share it on your page because you know what? I know every single one of you, most of you, have hair on your head and you probably go to the salon or a barber shop or something like that and I would love to be introduced to more people.

So if you could help me fulfill my mission to meet more people and to help serve more, that would be what I would ask man, come track me down and you can find me at jasoneverett.com on any of the socials. Just track me down, connect, share some of my stuff. I would be eternally grateful. 

GEORGE: Awesome. Jason, thanks so much for taking your time to share your message with us. Super helpful, love your energy. 

JASON: My pleasure man. 

GEORGE: I'll speak to you soon. 

JASON: George, keep doing what you do, brother. Keep up the good fight and keep disciplined. All right dude, talk to you soon. 

GEORGE: Thank you. Cheers. 

JASON: Bye.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and 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!

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

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86 – Using Facebook Messenger Bots For Martial Arts Schools

How martial arts school Messenger bots can help educate your future students when you're not present.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How martial arts school messenger bots help with relationships
  • The power of speed replies
  • Getting conversations started without you
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. So what a bot actually does for you is it gives you the opportunity to reply instantly and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial. 

Hey George here. I hope you're well. I'm on my usual walk with the girl. So exciting stuff, in about 90 minutes from now I am meeting with our messenger bot developer. So we're busy mapping out a messenger bot for our Partner members. And so, quick couple of things about bots. I don't know if that's something that you're familiar with or not, but it's basically if you think of email automation in a way, where you have a sequence of follow up messages, well a messenger bot does the same thing. It just does it a bit more instant and looks real in a way, but obviously is an automated way of following people up. 

So there are pluses and minuses to it. I always feel that to have an optimal sales process nothing's ever going to beat face-to-face or person-to-person live contact, provided of course you've got some cool selling skills and so forth, and you know how to present your offers in the right way. But then a big benefit about having a bot is the instant reply feature. When you look at email marketing, email can sit for a day or even longer, and it's okay to take a bit longer to reply. But with messaging people expect a bit more of an urgent reply. The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. 

So what a bot actually does for you is gives you the opportunity to reply instantly, and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial while you're busy and while you're on the mats and before you actually get to them and be able to speak to them one-on-one through the chat, or get on the phone, or however you want to do it. 

So there are two ways to do it. One is to start the conversation, which is my favourite. I prefer to use it as a conversation starter and not to be the actual conversation. And I think a lot, especially of the bot developers, get really crazy about it. They get all technical and create these long sequences and so forth. But at the end of the day, for me, the way I look at it is I just want to be able to speak to someone, start a conversation, and provide them with useful information before I could have the real conversation, and the one-to-one chat. 

That's pretty much what it's all about, for us at least. You can get really fancy with it and have all these long fancy sequences, but for me and for our members, we've got different ways of following up with chat on a one-to-one basis. So the bots really going to facilitate in helping start that conversation, and just give a bit of breathing space, or a bit of time for someone to actually soak up some videos, read up some information, and ultimately if they're ready, sign up for the paid trial. 

So anyway, that's me. I've got to jump to the meeting fairly soon. Just wrapping up the last couple of questions and things that we're going to work on and how are we're going to format the whole bot. So, exciting stuff. We'll let you know more about it once we have it up. 

If that's something that does interest you and you'd like to have a messenger bot built out for you and for your school that you can plug and play, and just swap out a couple of words and be good to go, then yeah, just hit me up with a message wherever you're watching this. Just reach out to my profile, send me a message and we'll have a chat, and see if we could help. Cool. Have an awesome day. I'm going to head back, speak soon. Cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and 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!


Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

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73 – Is This Why Your Martial Arts School’s Growth Is Stuck?

Sometimes in martial arts business, it's not what we do but what we DON’T do.

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How to set your focus on things that matter in your martials arts business
  • Why you should commit to your own game plan and not someone else's
  • How to steer away from distractions and reach your business goal
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

So what are those key activities? Because if you're just jumping from this to that, then you are committing to someone else's game plan and not your own.

Hey, this is George. I'm super-fired up about getting this message and video out to you but everything seems to be going wrong. I tried to film it last week. It came up in conversation again yesterday, and I thought, “I've got to get this message out.” I went outside; the wind was blowing, I thought, “mic might not sound good.” And then a bird craps on me. So I thought, “Come on. Should I be sharing this or should I not?”

Well, I think it's super important, and if you're stuck in your martial arts business or any business for that matter, I think we all deal with this. I could be preaching to the choir, but my gut says no.

Right, so I speak to a lot of martial arts school owners, and I'll give this a bit of context. Last week I spoke to my friend Cat Zohar in the States, and we were talking about the same topic. Yesterday it came up in a conversation, one of our first clients, Dave Richardson in Brisbane, we spoke about this as well. The topic was focus.

When speaking to a lot of school owners, there are some people that just go out and make it happen and run with things, and then others that keep on getting stuck. And then when we look at the ones that are getting stuck, is they're dabbling in low-level tasks and work, never sinking their teeth into the activities and tasks that really matter.

Here's the thing. Facebook groups, I'm sure there's a lot of value in Facebook groups. And the Facebook group is just a thing, you know what I mean? It's just the term for the community, but I mean, there are groups that there's truly a lot of value and we use it in our community, obviously, for our coaching groups, but there's also a lot of distraction in free groups, because there are marketers that are trying to pull you into whatever it is that they are selling.

A wise mentor always used to tell me, “Don't always look at what people are selling. Look at what they are doing.” Side note, when it's different, your radar should be going up and thinking, “Right. Is this really legit or is this really where I should be paying my attention to?”

So here's the thing that happens, is there's all this activity in Facebook groups and there's the latest hack of this and the latest hack of that, and things kind of go viral in a way. Everybody just jumps on, shares the email addresses and wants to be a part of this new hack thing. Now I want to ask you, and if you have ever jumped on anything that was being promoted, how many of those things have really, really planned out and has been a really great success? Or did it actually just take you away from the plan?

Because here's the thing with online marketing. There's always distraction, there's always something that's better, easier, and what really pisses me off about it is it taps into the psyche of, “This is going to be easy.” It's, “Here's the quick hack. You don't really have to work hard. Here's the quick hack to get it done.”

That kind of thinking is not good for you, because here's what happens, if you dabble in this, you dabble in that, you dabble in this, you dabble in that, and you're doing all these majoring in minor things all the time, but then the things that really, really matter, you don't get your teeth stuck into.

So what are those key activities? Because if you're just jumping from this to that, then you are committing to someone else's game plan and not your own.

One thing we do in our Partners program, the first thing we do is we have a game plan session because we want to know … We've got a lot of content and a lot of training programs that we can share, but it’s not applicable all to you at that point in time, so we got to know what it is your goals are and where you want to go and what are the key things that are going to move you to where you need to be?

If you don't have a game plan, then you're just jumping onto someone else's game plan for them to sell their products.

I'm not saying all products are bad or all products are distraction, but if you're not following your own course in a direction of getting you to the goal that you are trying to get to, with student numbers and revenue, etc., then everything is just going to pull you away, and once the going gets tough, the little hack is just going to look so much easier and you're going to jump ship and go for that.

Time can go by pretty quickly, months, years, and you can still be at the same place and you've done all this stuff and why? I've done all these courses, I've bought this, I've bought that, I've tried this, I've tried that. The problem is you are following 20 or 30 plans, except for the one plan that's going to move you forward.

So look. I hope that helps. If you don't have a plan, then reach out to us. I'm not saying that what we've got is going to work for you, but, I mean, we work with a lot of school owners and really helped them move the needle and move forward.

So if you need help with a game plan that's going to work for you, then send me a message. Let's have a chat. You can see if what he has is a fit for you and if not, just make sure you follow someone's plan but don't follow 20 plans. Follow one plan to help get you forward. If you need help with it, reach out. Otherwise, good luck focusing and I'll speak to you soon. Cheers.

Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other 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. 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 Community and an easy way to access it is if you just go to the domain name martialartsmedia.group. So martialartsmedia.group. G-r-o-u-p. There's not dot or anything. Martialartsmedia.group. Then we'll take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks. I'll speak to you on the next episode. Cheers. 

 

Here are 4 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. *NEW** – Premium Martial Arts Websites with Easy Pay Plans.

If your website is not delivering new leads consistently, doesn't represent your true value or you simply need to make a change. Click here for details and a demo.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

3. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

4. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

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.

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • 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.

 

TRANSCRIPTION

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.

MATT: Oh, OK.

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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70 – How To Scale Your Martial Arts Business Through The Mathematics Of Kindness

Adam Meyers from Story Martial Arts shares his sprint from 0-250 students in 12 months.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How checking the population and demographics has helped Adam grow his school.
  • Building a connection with parents for improving customer retention.
  • Being humble enough to admit that you're not always the best person to do every single job in your martial arts business.
  • The importance of having a business mentor and attending business seminars.
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

I mean, any big school owner and what we get into now being a big school is that they realize that even if you're teaching good classes, the parents might not see that they’re good classes, because there are 30 kids running around. Even though you're a good instructor, it might not look like you're a good instructor to them and at the end of the day, they're paying the bills.

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. I have another fantastic guest with me today and someone I actually met… I believe it was in Sydney, we met at The Main Event, maybe about a year or so ago?

ADAM: Yeah, a year ago, yeah.

GEORGE: Yeah. All right, so Adam Meyers, welcome to the call. I’ll give you a quick introduction. Adam has a diverse martial arts experience. Began training in kickboxing, age of 15, eventually moving on to taekwondo, where he quickly found success on the domestic competition circuit.

He's an 18-time State Champion in sparring, he's also the 2015 and 2017 Australian National Champion, member of Australian taekwondo team and a number one ranked heavyweight in the country. Besides the martial arts achievements, Adam's also a really successful school owner and within a short time span of 12 months, he managed to hit 250 students, I believe Adam?

ADAM: Yeah, in just over 12 months, yeah.

GEORGE: Fantastic. So a lot of knowledge, and especially for anyone that's starting out, and even if you're not starting out, if you've been going for a long time and trying to hit those big numbers. This is going to be a valuable interview, just to hear how Adam went on that journey. Welcome to the call Adam.

ADAM: Thanks so much George, really appreciate you having me on the show. I'm an avid listener and a big fan.

GEORGE: Perfect. So you better listen to this one then.

ADAM: Hahaha! I’ll download it straight away.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. So I gave a bit of an intro, but just expand a little – who is Adam?

ADAM: Yeah, so, I've been training martial arts a little bit over 10 years. Taekwondo for 10 in this coming February, it will be 10 years in February. I've trained at a lot of different martial arts schools, a lot of different taekwondo schools especially, throughout my sparring career. I've been on the national team since 2014, kind of going overseas and fighting in opens and at the Oceana championship, so I went to the world university games, where I came 9th.

Came 5th in the Asian Games last year. I just have kind of a wide array of international experience with taekwondo and I guess what a lot of people didn't know, as I was fighting and travelling all over the world for taekwondo is, I've actually been coaching since 2011. So I know that doesn't seem, maybe it doesn't seem long to some of the older guys that are listening to the podcast, but as I was training full time, I was also pretty much teaching full time, 25 hours +, helping run a couple of seminars, a couple of really big taekwondo schools here in Melbourne.

So yeah, my taekwondo experience has been really wide ranging, I guess with different mentors and different coaches that I've had. I guess that's probably the key to the success I've had in my business, is that I've kind of seen what works over here and seen what works over there and kind of pooled all that together into my business, Story Martial Arts.

GEORGE: All right, so if you can elaborate on that: so you were training for how long before you started the coaching side?

ADAM: So I was training… I think I had my black belt for about 6 or 7 months when I started coaching kids’ classes, beginners, intermediate, that kind of stuff. So I was training for about 3 years, I think before I started coaching. Yeah and by training I mean I was doing 6-7 classes a week of training and preparing for competitions. We would have state team training at Box Hill, here at Melbourne as well also. We kind of had the club training and then state team training on the weekends. So yeah, I was doing a lot of hours, a lot of hours in the car too.

GEORGE: Hahaha! All right, cool. So there's an old saying about, the quicker you start teaching what you know, the quicker you learn, because the quicker you sort of articulate everything that's been taught to you. Do you feel that helped you a lot, being able to coach from an earlier age?

ADAM: Yeah, definitely. It definitely helped with my martial arts skills, because I wasn't the most naturally technical person. I was never the most athletic in high school, I didn't really play a lot of… I played a lot of sports, but I wasn't really kind of the super star, I wasn't like, “Let’s have Adam on our team,” that kind of thing. I was always in the middle of the pack. I just realized that, I guess due to my parents, I'm just the hardest worker in the room, in most rooms that I'm in and that's probably what I attribute to my success in coaching and in competing as well.

GEORGE: OK, so what was the big drive that just, starting with the martial arts side: what was the big drive that really got you in the whole wanting to compete and really getting that taste for, all right, I've been your 18-time champion – what was that drive to take you to that point?

ADAM: In 2009 when I started competing, so I was like a yellow belt right at the bottom, beginner level, in the juniors, under 17 division. I watched a little of UFC, I watched the Ultimate Fighter, the reality show they have. And I saw a lot of these guys were black belts in a couple of different martial arts. They’d have black belts is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or a black belt in judo, big division national wrestler, black belts in taekwondo, karate etc. The list goes on. So I was, I really admired the athlete Edson Silva, who was the UFC middleweight champion at the time. He is a black belt in taekwondo, in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

So that was initially my plan, was to just get the three black belts. I thought, if I got three black belts like him, I'm going to be the champ of the world, that's how it works, right? I was 16, it's as simple as that to become a champion. So what I did was, it was just a complete fluke. I was already doing kickboxing a little bit, training 2-3 times a week, just fitness and enjoying myself and kind of watching rocky movies and stuff like that, which wasn't really serious. It was just kind of training for training’s sake.

A complete fluke in a shopping centre one day, there was a taekwondo booth, signing people up to a trial offer. I think it was like $25 for two weeks, or whatever it was at the time 10 years ago. And I was like, you know what, hey, taekwondo, that was one of his black belts. That's the way to go, we’ll start here. And again, 10 years ago, there wasn't a lot of MMA schools, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools around. So when I was kind of coming into my desire to be a martial artist and to be a competitor, there wasn't really a lot of taekwondo and karate around.

So I would have to travel to the city, or pretty far away. I didn't have my license, I mean, I was in high school. So it wasn't really feasible to ask my dad, who works 6AM until 4 to drive me all over the city to go to jiu-jitsu classes, when there's only two clubs really around. You know, St Kilda and things like that. It was just a bit too difficult. Hall’s taekwondo opened up a centre in Sunshine, where I'm originally from, in the western suburbs of Melbourne. And it was just a perfect match.

I went in, I've been doing kickboxing like a said for a little bit, so I just got right to it and started training a couple of times a week. Within I think 5 weeks, I got my yellow belt, it was kind of halfway though the term. Three weeks later, we had the Victorian Championships, I just had the one match and I won by knockout. I knocked my opponent out in my first ever match and I probably, maybe thought a bit silly, but I was just like, you know what? Let’s go to the Olympics, let's do it.

I'm obviously the best in the country already! I’m a yellow belt, it's time to do it. So I just realized, I'm starting late, I'm 17 years old. A lot of these guys had black belts and were on the national team by the time, they’ve been training since they've been 5, they’ve been black belts for 10 years already and I was just a yellow belt. So how am I going to beat these guys in Olympic trials or London or Rio, or anything like that. Kind of looking ahead and I just thought, well you know what? If they're training 5 times a week, I will train 7! And if they train 8 times a week, I will train 9.

And eventually over time, that bridge is going to gap, I'm going to bridge that gap. So that was kind of my initial plan, it was just keep fighting, keep training as hard as I possibly could, like I said earlier: just being the hardest worker in the room, you have a lot of guys in my club who were at a higher belt rank than me, there weren’t a lot of black belts, because it was a fairly new centre, so there weren't heaps of black belts to train with. So what I did was just make sure I turn up every day, did 2-3 hours of classes and got after it.

GEORGE: Great. So, simple plan, right? You just get your 10,000 hours first.

ADAM: Yeah. Yeah, I'm just going to get my 10,000 hours fast and they can get theirs. That was my initial plan really.

GEORGE: Ok, great Adam. So let's jump into your school, Story Martial Arts. A questions I actually wanted to ask you the first time: why the name, Story Martial Arts?

ADAM: Oh, that's a good question and not the first time that I've heard that question either George, it's not an easy name to kind of assign to a martial arts school. There's two reasons: the first is that my university degree is actually in writing, so I did literature and composition at Uni. I've written two novels and two collections of poetry, which most people don't know about either. Because I've been so busy posting all about kicking people in the face for the last 10 years. The second one is that my Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach and very good friend Ninos from the Australia Elite team always tells us to get our first page.

So that was kind of like his coaching method, if you start the match the way that you want to start it, you write your first page, it's likely that you'll be able to write the rest of the story of the match too. And I just thought, first page martial arts is a bit of a mouthful, so let's go with story, because it was kind of the end of the coaching line and I've been writing stories for a long time as well. So that's how I decided on the name.

GEORGE: That's pretty cool. So your coach, was he referring to story sort of really having a clear game plan with just that first couple of minutes type of thing?

ADAM: Yeah, so if you for example, if you want to pull guard, get in there and pull guard. If you want to get a takedown, get in there and get that takedown. If you want to get a certain grip, or play a certain game, you have to take control of the match. I think that really applies to jiu-jitsu, but I think it really applies to all areas of martial arts, especially in taekwondo. You know, if I want to establish a certain distance, or a certain style of play or a certain pace, I think every competitive martial artist will agree that if you start the match right and the way that you want to play, then the rest of the match is a lot easier to control.

GEORGE: Definitely. All right, fantastic. All right, so we have Story Martial Arts and let's break this down, right? Because, I mean 12 months is a real sprint to 250 students for a lot of people. I mean, I've spoken to people that have been going for years and they're at 70-80 students. To be fair though, a lot of those school owners, that's their sweet spot, right? It's their hobby business, they're happy with that.

But then, I've been speaking to a lot of people that… I mean, if they were really honest with themselves, this is what, I mean, who doesn't want that lifestyle, right? They want that successful school, they want their life to be martial arts. And you've done this in a very short sprint. So let's go back to the beginning, it's only 12 months ago – how did you get started with it all?

ADAM: So, I started with my business partner, who was my business partner at the time, Lee, we opened up a center just kind of near our houses. We knew there were a lot of kids around, there were a lot of primary schools and kindergartens, so we kind of already lived in an area where there was a bigger population density. We looked at the census, which I think a lot of people maybe don't do so well. We looked at census and see how many people live in the area, within 8km of the centre.

How many children under 14, so what percentage of those people are children under 14, which – this is all free information on the census website, you can search every suburb. And one of those, what's the populations density in the surrounding suburbs, you know, people who will travel 10-15 minutes to get to class, that kind of thing. So we settled on that location, we were kind of looking at 3-4 locations, but we kind of settled on that due to convenience, so it was near our houses and it was pretty easy to get to for us, after work, because I had a day job at the time as well, just like everyone else. What we did straight away was establish a policy that I think is really, really, important.

It's a question I ask myself when I decide anything in my business, is, will this work at 500? So, will this policy work at 500 students? For example, we have a grading checklist, so sign up on the checklist. If I have two pages of checklist, imagine going through 40 pages of checklist, trying to make sure everyone's paid for grading. So that's not going to work on 500. If I have one instructor and I don't have a leadership team, it's not going to work on 500.

If I have a certain amount of mat space and I don't want to open on Tuesdays, because I like having dinner with my wife, or my girlfriend, whatever it is, it's not going to work on 500. So that policy at the start really laid the foundation, in building that size. Because from the start, we were behaving and acting as if we already had 500 students.

GEORGE: All right. I love that! Firstly, just for American listeners and anyone not based in Australia: the census website is basically a data website. Is that the best way to explain it? It's the…

ADAM: Yeah, it's a website that has the profile of each area. So you'll have for example a suburb, this is how many people live here, this is how many people are male and female, how many kids arrive, etc. The average weekly income, which is also…

GEORGE: The population, yeah.

ADAM: Yeah.

GEORGE: All right.

ADAM: So, yeah.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. So yeah, just wanted to clarify that. So really just the population and data of a local area. So what I really like about this is it's really a very clear beginning with the end in mind. We run a program called the Partners program and one of the first things we do is we try and map out a game plan and with that, one of the questions we always ask is, what's your goal at that student number? And then, what's going to break?

Like, when you've got that, how does life really look? I mean, it's always good to say, yes a I want that amount of students, I want this, but then you really got to peel things back, because what does life look like…, what's going to break, who are you going to need, can things ošperate the way they do. And the first thing that normally breaks is the school owner, right?

ADAM: The first camel to break is the school owner, because like a lot of people in the martial arts business, they think they can do everything. Their black belt in karate or a black belt in taekwondo, or whatever you're an expert in, is not a black belt in marketing. You know, it's not a black belt in sales, it's not a black belt in web design, it's not black belt in any of these things.

I think that's the greatest thing to overcome is, you spend so many years of your life earning this ranking, and earning this respect from your community and from your students and from the parents, that you kind of… I feel like a lot of martial arts business owners don't want to give that respect up, or give that responsibility to someone else, you know? Take control of your lifestyle.

Now, for me personally, I've spent a lot of money learning how to do Facebook ads, not just from the obvious sources, but I was in Benson Mastermind for 6 months and spent nearly $20,000 learning how to do Facebook ads, because that's something that I'm really good at. But if I did it for 6 months and wasn't getting any results, you'd better believe I would have hired someone else to do it, because you need to be humble enough to admit that you're not always the best person to do every single job.

GEORGE: Yeah, it's such a valuable skill and the way I find it is, you know, I personally think everybody should understand and know their own marketing. You know, we come from a done-for-you background, where we used to do everything for school owners, but I really feel that for and it's an old top marketer, Dan Kennedy, top copywriter. You know, he always had this philosophy of, there's two things in your business that you don't hand over: one is the checkbook – the old term, we don't have those anymore. Some youngsters will be asking what is that.

So the checkbook and the marketing. And I'm not saying that you should do everything, but if you have the strategy, finding the hands is a lot easier. But you know, the reverse side a lot of school owners are trying to do is find the cheapest resource to do it all for them and if that cheap resource had the strategy, they would not be cheap. Right? So it's good to always have, get the top knowledge from the top person and then finding the hands within your own organisation is much easier.

ADAM: Yeah, I agree. I think another place that a lot of martial arts business owners go wrong is that they might say, well, it's easy for you to say hire a marketing agency, you've got 250 students. But really, I didn't have it at the start. I put $500 on a Facebook ad when I didn't have $500 in my bank account, in the business account. That's just the truth.

Because in my experience, I knew with my knowledge that I will be able to get the paid trials, that it would create the income that would cover that ad spent. I think a lot of martial arts business owners don't charge enough for their services, that's for sure. Someone told me once they were charging like $50 a term, or unlimited classes, but I could have 500 students. Well, on that price, I probably only need like 90.

GEORGE: Yeah. You know, we – and I'm storming you on this topic, because this is probably the most important part of it all. I did a video yesterday about the toughest martial arts stretch in business. It's that discomfort of actually doing the discomfort, you just mentioned something that really, it's something that I had to go through, you know? You're saying that you spent $500 on ads and you knew there wasn't $500 in the account.

I remember 10 years ago when I started doing Google ads and I was on my last cents and I was like, this is it. I'm actually just going to leave this, until I made a sale. $37 was the best sale I ever made, someone in America bought an ebook. That was… the fact that somebody bought an offer that converted – and that's the hardest part, right? Having your offer, a valuable offer that people respond to and they actually buy, that's one of the hardest things. But then, to get to that point, you're going to have to take an uncomfortable step, there's no doubt about it, right?

ADAM: Yeah. I think the uncomfortable step George is especially when people have day jobs. They say that's an easy way. It's an easy excuse, I have a day job, I work till 3 o'clock, I go straight to the club, teach classes till 7-8 o'clock, whenever it is. To be honest, if you didn't want to have a day job and teach classes, maybe this isn't the business for you. Maybe that's my youth speaking, I’m not sure, but I went into it fully knowing that I was going to work 14 hours for as long as it took, until I could get a full time centre, until I could train my staff. Until I could have a little bit more freedom, like I do now. For example. I have time to talk to you today, because I don't have a day job.

GEORGE: There you go. And I guess just to be clear right? I mean, if that's the life you want – perfect. But it's really easy to believe our own bs, right? To really believe our own excuses and justify a reason. Because that's always the first thing I pick up in a conversation: I don't have this, because of this. But it's really a choice, because I mean, it's the story that – sorry, excuse the pun.

ADAM: Hahaha!

GEORGE: But the story you tell yourself to justify the reason why you're not there. But that's where you've got to really challenge yourself and really challenge yourself to say, all right, well, is that really true? I mean if this is thing that I really want, then hey – do the uncomfortable thing. Whether that's spending money on the ads, or quitting your job, or whatever that is, but do that thing that's holding you back.

ADAM: Yeah, I’ll add contrast to my athletic career. In competition, I was gearing up for the 2016 Rio Olympic games. I got onto what's called Olympic shadow team. So it was essentially, it's the team that you kind of get put into and then they select the Olympis athletes out of that team. Now, I didn't end up going to the Olympics, I was just on the shadow, that was the end of the journey for me, in terms of Rio.

On the way up though, it was, I saw it after the games – my mistake: after the games, it was you know, it's not like oh, they didn't pick my weight class. Or I didn't get to go to as many competitions, or it was based on your ranking points and I didn't have the money at the time to go to all the events. Well, I also went to holiday with my girlfriend at the time. I also went out with my friends on weekends, spent $30-$40.

On a cheap night out as well. So it was… you kind of have to be OK with saying, you know, it's my fault. I didn't go to the Olympics and I 100% take the responsibility for that. If I go and start blaming Australian taekwondo, or start blaming the Olympic committee, soon it will be my whole life hating people when really I caused the situation. I think the martial arts business is the same, because I could've stayed on 50 students and only worked the classes, gone home, had dinner, gone to sleep.

But I went home, I wrote more messages, created more flyers, created more social media content, entered all the direct debits in – I was doing everything, until 10:30-11:00 o'clock at night, for at least the first 9 months, because I had a day job at a special ed school, where I was at from 8 till 3:30. And before any of that would start, I was at the gym training for competitions. So I think, if anything went wrong, even though I was working 12-15 hour days, I still said you know what? That parent didn't know about the grading, or this person didn't get the email, because we entered their email address wrong in the system – that's my fault.

Because I didn't train the receptionist to double check, right? I didn't train my instructor to remind every single parent every class, instead of every second class. No matter what happens in your business, eventually it all leads back to you, the owner. The CEO essentially, it’s all on you. So I think that's an easy escape when you have a day job, I definitely don't think excuses good enough.

GEORGE: Yeah. That's awesome. Ok, cool, so we start with the end in mind, right? So you're building up your systems, 500 students, does this work with 500 students. So what's the next step? You get to, you've gone from 0, you've gone to the easiest few to track,right? The first 50, or the first 100 students?

ADAM: Yeah, the first 3 months we got 60 sign ups, the first 3 months. We were at a community centre, so the rent is like a $100 a week, so 60 is plenty. We started looking at a full time centre. We found a full time centre quite quickly, permits take a little while as they do, but we get in there for. So we spent one term in a part time location, wasn't going to work with 60 students three nights a week. Open up a full time, 5 nights a week. Fitted it out, etc.

Now, you go from that local point, I think 50-60, past our next breaking point, which was 100, that's an obvious goal, to get to a 100 students. The thing was, finding people who knew more than me. So I'm a big proponent and anyone can ask me at anytime any questions they like on Facebook: if you are not in MABS, you are losing your mind. Paul Veldman and Rod have such an excellent program. I did the work, but I base a lot of my success on coaching from people like Paul and Rod.

I also spent the money and went to The Main Event two months after opening my business. It wasn’t, oh, that will be good to do next year when we have more cash – how are we going to get the cash? I'm going to The Main Event to learn from all these guys. To learn from guys like you. I've been in the business a grand total of 8 weeks, so yeah, I actually presented at that main event on coaching. Not on business, but on coaching.

GEORGE: I actually didn't realize that when I met you, that was your, that you had just actually started your martial arts school.

ADAM: Yeah, it was hard in the round table I think, because it's kind of hard to listen to someone who's had a total of two months on business, but I had more students than most of these guys I think.

GEORGE: Well there you go. Again, the discomfort. The discomfort of, you know, you're in a situation and, I mean, you're being true to what you know, it's not like you're deceiving anyone, but you're pushing yourself that extra step. And that's just so important, in everything that we…… it seems to be the topic we sort of hammer on every year.

ADAM: What I was going to say was, after The Main Event I actually, I remember something that Paul was saying, Paul Veldman was saying about taking action. So I didn't want to be one of those school owners who fills their notepad full of notes, or fills their computer full of notes, goes home and says, geez, it was fun catching up with everyone. Business as usual. That's ridiculous, right? What a waste of time and money! I just went right to it. Every single note in my main event notebook has been actioned. Every single one. I did the 7-word email that you talked about when I had only 20 people to send it to. And I still got three of them back.

So every single thing that happened at The Main Event, I implemented straight away. Every coaching call that I had with Paul, everything that someone would ask in the group at the time, every question that someone asked, I wrote a note and implemented it in my business, that day. And not, oh, I’m going to do this next week when I have more time, or,  geez, on Sunday I'm going out with the family, I’ll do it another time. You got to get stuff done.

GEORGE: So going from the part time school, you made sure that you had some cash in the bank, so you made sure there was some directive that's coming in and that was the first step to get you to the full time location. And then pushing through that 100 students and past, how did things look from there?

ADAM: So yeah, when we were at the full time centre, we had I think 55, there was a couple of kids… even if you move 3-4 blocks down the road, a couple of kids don't really want to drive the extra distance, that's OK. So we came in at 50-55. We knew we needed 70 to pay the bills.

So we actually moved into the full time centre, without enough students to pay the bills for the full time centre. So as soon as we moved in, we were about a month away from closing down the business entirely and stuck with a three year lease. So what I did was, we ran a big media open day, talked to all the business coaches, all my other friends who have martial arts business, all my former coaches. What do you do at an open day… I mean, I used to work at these open days when I was a trainer at schools as well, so ran the open day, got 25 on the day. Hit 75, bills are covered – beauty. Then we immediately went into term 1, so we went through referral, we did a bring a friend week, nerf gun nights, all that kind of stuff.

And this is stuff that everyone who listens to the podcast have heard before, but I think they probably should do it more frequently. So we were doing nerf gun nights once a term, open day, we would do family day in term 4, which was kind of an open day on a smaller scale, you know? You would get 10-15 sign ups for a very small advertising budget in term 4 and we hit a 100  just after September. So it took us a little bit less than 9 months to get a 100 students.

GEORGE: Ok, cool. Were just breaking up a little bit there. Ok, so 9 months, you were at 100 students, right?

ADAM: Yeah.

GEORGE: Ok, cool. So lots of events, open days, nerf gun wars and really involving the community within the school at that time.

ADAM: Yeah, and I think a really important point to make on the rapid growth after that point was, we really started realizing we were on to something special and that was probably my first mistake in the business, was, we got to a 100 so quickly, 200 was going to be so easy. But we just got to a 100 in less than 9 months, 200 is going to be a cinch. We hadn't even ever had a term one back to school special, because we opened later.

So we never even got that big kind of initial boost most martial arts business owners hope and pray for the entire year. So we were kind of looking forward to term one and $6000-$7000 ready to spend on Facebook ads, we had only $1000-$2000 in the bank at the time, we were still only just scraping by, we had to hire another instructor. Because of the rapid growth of the club, so we had another instructor on the mats and we were really looking forward to that term one boost.

We get to term one, come back 91 students on the books in January, I know it was specifically 91. I was like, you know what? This is going to be the last time that I ever have less than a 100 students. It's going to be the last time ever that I have less than a 100. So we put a big amount, I think we spent $14,000 in 2 months, and we got 135 paid trials in one location. So we had a huge amount of kids, we ran the open day again, so a campaign ride up to 200 straight away.

So the biggest mistake we made was not adhering to our own rule, which is, does this work at 500. And the systems that we had been in place at the time were working and we thought they were going to work at 500, but all of a sudden 130 brand new white belts in the door in the first kind of six weeks of the term wasn't a very good idea. So we probably should have been less aggressive with our marketing, even though it's kind of hard to give up money and students and enrolments. We should have set a limit, where 60-70 trials – we stop selling trials, because we ended up losing I think like 60-70 of those kids anyway.

So out of a 135, I think we only kept like 50. So we ended up under 140 students, whereas if we had better systems and maybe more things in place for retention of new white belts, not just retention of the whole club, but white belt retention specifically, we would have done a better job at keeping a larger number of those 135 trials that we got in that month.

GEORGE: Ok, and so that's a good point there, you know, it's always good to say, if only I got an extra 100 students or something, but again, how does the system fall apart on that? How does it impact your existing students and of course your new students. So if you had to, let's say, depending on when you're listening to this, but let's say the new year, you run another campaign and you get another influx of 135 students – how will you structure this differently? What would you have in place to make sure to have a smooth onboarding?

ADAM: To be honest, I’m going to try and stop it before it got to that point, because in the business now, there's a lot of color belts obviously, there's kids going through the advanced levels now that we’ve been open for a little bit and I really think that I would stop at 70-80 trials and then just stop the ads right there. And you know, those kids are going to join eventually, those extra 50-60 kids that I haven't sold the trials to, but if I could get 80 and keep 65-70 of them, it's a lot better and also, I haven't spent a lot of money on ads for kids that are going to have a negative experience in my centre, just because it's so jam packed with white belts.

Everyone knows, you have to give those white belts extra special attention, it's very hard to give extra special attention to 22 white belts in a new class. It's just impossible, in a 30-40 minute class. It's not possible. I mean, any big school owner and what we get into now, being a big school is that they realize that even if you're teaching good classes, the parents might not see that they’re classes, because there's 30 kids running around. Even though you're a good instructor, it might not look like you're a good instructor to them and at the end of the day, they're paying the bills.

So I think that's what we’re really trying to curb, is making sure that the parents know that I’m teaching good classes. I'm obviously teaching good classes, we have this many students, we’re taping a lot of them. My recent boost for this, we had 97% sign up from trials, no word of a lie. So anyone who's listening I can send a screenshot. So all those kids that are staying in, obviously we’re running a good program. But the challenge now becoming a bigger school is, can you run a good program at 500?

So back to that initial rule again – is this going to work, even though it's worked up until now, is it going to work with 500? And the way that I'm teaching the classes now, I'm making the mat chats a bit more vocal. I'm making the kids laugh and go and give their parents a high five and that kind of thing. Come back into the class, go tell your mom that you just had a good time, that kind of stuff. So we’re really working now on making the parents part of the experience.

I've listened to a really good podcast about Airbnb launching their experiences platform, where instead of renting a house, you can rent an experience. So you can go horseback riding in Utah, or do a samurai show in Tokyo and those kinds of things, so I think the challenge for us now is what's the Story Martial Arts experience look like? For a student, everyone knows what it looks, they're learning martial arts, they're building their character, they’re building up their skills.

But what does the Story Martial Arts experience feel like for a parent watching a class? For a parent who's at the end of the day deciding what happens to the child, the child might be getting better at taekwondo or getting better at karate, that's the truth. They might be getting better at their martial art. They might be having a lot of fun. But does the parent think they’re getting better? Does the parent think that they’re having fun? Does the parent see the value in paying whatever it is you charge a week, because if you believe it and the kid believes it, it doesn't matter. Because the most important missing link in that chain is the parent who decides.

GEORGE: That is… that was pure gold, that was awesome. Adam, before we wrap it up, I do want to ask you just, how do things look now and what's going to be your prime focus from 250 through to that 500 student mark that you've been, that's been on the goal?

ADAM: Like I said earlier, the prime focus is working at a big business scale now where we’re at. It's moving from a medium size martial arts school to a very large martial arts school. And what I’m doing is listening to a lot of podcasts and reading a lot of books about people who own gym franchises, so Anytime Fitness has 500,000 members nationwide, so imagine the retention they have to put on a gym. Obviously, there's no martial arts school anywhere near that, so what my sign up experience was, I've been kind of going around the gyms and trying to sign up, I would literally spend an hours of my day going to gyms, asking about membership plans and seeing how they treat me as a potential client.

And I've been taking the best parts and leaving out the worst, preparing for that big influx in January. Like we said at the top of the show, I think I’m opening a pilates business as well, so not really the topic of this podcast, but pilates and martial arts running together under the Story group company, how will we give that experience to the customer? How are we going to improve their life through this signup process? Not through what were teaching on the mats, because that's obvious, everyone knows that. It doesn't need to be repeated a 1000 times: good classes, make sure you’re good at martial arts, invest in the staff training – everyone knows that.

But how pleasurable is that signup process? How do they go away thinking, geez, I can't believe I got away with that value. How can we even offer more and more value, not on the mat when they come in, because everyone is already working on that. But what we’re not working on in an industry I believe is giving out those gift bags and offering free sausages to the community, going around, giving out things like at shopping centre's and things like that. Things that big gyms do, because they work. Martial arts businesses, I think, miss out on the signup experience a lot. So I guess that's my focus, is making sure the parents and the students enjoy the classes, obviously they have to enjoy the classes to stay, but also enjoy the process of purchasing a trial, how easy is it to buy it. Come into the class, how welcoming is my staff, that kind of thing.

GEORGE: Fantastic, I love it. Adam, we should have done this sooner, thanks for being on the show, it was really great.

ADAM: No worries.

GEORGE: And I think a lot of people are going to get a lot of value out of this, just, I mean, the beginning of the story and it's all value, but I think really focus on what you said in these last few minutes of the experience – that's true gold and it's something I haven't really heard a lot of people talk about, yet, I’d really take that on board. If anybody wants to get a hold of you, you mentioned as well, you’re bringing out an ebook, can you just tell me something about that?

ADAM: Yeah, so the ebook is called ”Offering value – how to scale your business through the mathematics of kindness.” So it's really about the journey from 0 to 250, the last 12-18 months now and how are we planning on offering even more value, not taking more monetary value, but offering even more value to our customers and really building an experience inside of our martial arts business.

We’re also going to go over a lot things about irresistible offers, so how have we been able to attract all the leads and more importantly, how we have been able to sign up a staggering rate of those trials that have come up. I don't think we’ve ever had below 80% except for that one time where there was a big rush. So yeah, the book is called offering value. It's going to come out at the end of January, just in time for the back to school marketing. It's going to be on Amazon, there's no courses at the end no paid groups, it's just me, offering value to the martial arts business industry.

GEORGE: Fantastic. And I will link to that in the show notes, depending on when you're listening to this, that will be available. And Adam, thanks again.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other 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 – thing 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 community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialartsmedia.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!

 

Here are 4 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. *NEW** – Premium Martial Arts Websites with Easy Pay Plans.

If your website is not delivering new leads consistently, doesn't represent your true value or you simply need to make a change. Click here for details and a demo.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

3. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

4. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

69 – The Most Uncomfortable ‘Stretch’ In Martial Arts (Business)

Just like that uncomfortable hamstring stretch, there's a stretch in your martial arts business that's potentially holding you back.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The uncomfortable step that's potentially holding you back
  • A Partner members success story
  • Playing a bigger game
  • The one thing to do before hiring a martial arts business coach
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

I've questioned myself on doing it, but I’ll tell you what: it was the best thing I've done for my business, just automatically playing at a high field and associating myself with people of a higher calibre.

Hi, George here, I hope you're well. I want to talk about the most uncomfortable stretch in martial arts business. So I'm going to make this quick: I stepped out from the side of the lake, there are frogs going in the background, I could feel a few mosquitoes going at me, so I'm going to make this quick. And hey – it’s Australia, so who knows what's in the bush, right?

So the most uncomfortable stretch in the martial arts business. So a couple of days ago, I was on a call with one of our Partners members. And he said to me openly: when he decided to go ahead with our program, he was in regret and he felt really uncomfortable, and he thought, oh, I've just wasted a lot of money. And then he felt better when he saw the calibre of the people that were in the program, he felt a bit better.

But then I got the best message a couple of days ago. And he just did a sale for 72 hours, which is a module that was a part of our program and then got some help from within the community. And he managed to generate just over $20,000. And that's the program paid for, you know, way beyond. And you look at that as in a stretch.

Now, why the analogy of the martial arts business stretch? Well, when you stretch in martial arts, it’s not comfortable, right? I mean, you're stretching for the purpose of having to hopefully do a technique or do something in a more comfortable way, which is why the stretch, but the stretch is always very uncomfortable. And the same within martial arts, right?

Within business, I see so many school owners that are splashing around in the shallow water, trying to create tidal waves, right? It doesn’t really happen. And what I mean by that is not willing to really go ahead and invest in their business. Really frowning upon, oh well, I can't spend a couple of hundred bucks there, or this there. But then always staying at the same plateau.

And you know, a lot of the school owners that I speak to five years ago are still doing that same thing, right? So there's a bit of a mindset shift that's got to happen for you to go to the next level. There's going to be discomfort, right?

I know for me, just in my business this year, I took a big step and I've been investing in coaching for quite a while to improve myself and my skills and my business. But this investment for me was a big one. It was $20,000, which for me was a significant amount of money on coaching. For you, it might be nothing, for other people it might be a large sum as well. And that caused a lot of discomfort. It was like, can I do this? Why am I doing this?

I mean, I can't afford to spend this amount of money on coaching. And I've really questioned myself on doing it. But I’ll tell you what, it was the best thing I've done for my business. Just automatically playing at a high field and associating myself with people of a higher calibre, immediately pushed myself to raise the bar.

Now, I'm not saying you've got to go and spend $20,000 on coaching. If you do, please make sure that you actually met the people, their expertise. But what I'm saying is, if you want to go that extra mile and you want to take your business to that higher level that you actually want, then there's going to be some discomfort.

And you're going to have to make peace with that. And by doing that, that's where the real growth comes, right? So just like in martial arts, I mean it’s probably common knowledge for you anyway, right? Make that stretch, do that thing that's uncomfortable, like you would do in martial arts and do it in your business.

Hope that helps, I'm going to get away from the frogs and the mozzies (mosquito’s)  – I’ll speak to you soon. Cheers!

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other 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 – 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 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 in the next episode – cheers.

 

Here are 4 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. *NEW** – Premium Martial Arts Websites with Easy Pay Plans.

If your website is not delivering new leads consistently, doesn't represent your true value or you simply need to make a change. Click here for details and a demo.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

3. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

4. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

68 – Create Better Martial Arts Videos (Without The Editing, Gear And Gadgets)

Ask yourself this one question to get better results with your next martial arts video.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The difference between martial arts videos for friends vs prospects.
  • How to get on target and be relevant.
  • Why it’s not about the tech and gadgets.

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

If you're creating video content, then who are you actually creating it for? Because is it for your martial arts friends or is it for your prospects?

Hey, this is George. Hope you're doing well, I've got a little princess visiting me for this video, going for a quick morning walk. She's been up early.

So hey, I was on a phone call with one of our new Partners members yesterday. And we were talking about social media content. And we were basically talking about creating different videos and things like that. And we came to a bit of a realization. So, and it's a very simple realization, but it’s one that's easily neglected, right?

So as martial artists, if we start doing videos, the first thing that's always the easiest to do is to start looking at moves and thing like that. You know, what type of different techniques, kicking, punching, etc.

But here's the question I want you to ask yourself: if you're creating video content, then who are you actually creating it for, right? Because, is it for your martial arts friends or is it for your prospects? OK?

So, I mean, the way we like to go about it: every month, we cover a different topic in our Partners program. So we’re either talking about attracting the students, how do we increase sign-ups or how to retain your members.

So there's definitely a place, obviously for doing those martial arts techniques and so forth and it looks awesome, right? But I guess what I want you to think about is, is it really connecting with the type of person you are trying to attract in your school? Is that the person that's really going to want to train? Is that what's going to get them over the edge is seeing a fancy technique, or submission or whatever it is, is that what's going to push them over the edge? Is that what’s going to remove their fear and actually make them take action?

So think about that the next time you create a form of video. This is something we are doing next month in our Partners program, we're looking at simplifying social media – I've just got to remove the fly. Perth and flies, I’ll tell you what. Yeah – so next month, we’re covering the topic of simplifying social media and in that, we’re mapping out the next 12 months of social media content and we’re using different formulas for videos, for content and how you should be positioning it.

So a good place to start, if you want to get one good takeaway from this video, then think about talking about the problems. You can start with problems, what type of problems are you trying to solve. And you can always change the context of what it is that you're doing – oh, here comes the sun! So if you are creating a video with moves, then at least frame it to the right person. And explain to them how and why that is being used.

Cool, I hope that's helpful, we can head back. Hopefully not get attacked by the magpies. Cool, have an awesome day, speak soon – cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other 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 download and worksheets – the thing 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 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 in the next episode – cheers.

 

Here are 4 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. *NEW** – Premium Martial Arts Websites with Easy Pay Plans.

If your website is not delivering new leads consistently, doesn't represent your true value or you simply need to make a change. Click here for details and a demo.

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67 – And Still… The No.1 Martial Arts Marketing Mistake

How to avoid the biggest marketing mistake that martial arts school owners make when advertising online.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Matching your message for the right platform.
  • If this one thing doesn’t work, your ads won’t work.
  • The ‘kitchen sink’.
  • The real reason why you need to simplify your sales funnel.
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

The first thing that you really, really need to get down to is, how do you structure the offer, how do you get an offer to convert? Because if the offer converts, everything else is going to work.

Hey, this is George. And I quickly want to talk about how to avoid the one biggest marketing mistake that comes up quite often when I speak to martial arts school owners.

So just a bit of context: I'm in New Zealand right now, just on a bit of a family vacation. And we've got this awesome view and the weather’s been up and down, but today it's just such a perfect day on the lake here in Hamilton, so I just wanted to get that on video.

So here's what happens, right? So we've got a program in the Martial Arts Media Academy, where we help school owners with all areas of marketing. When it comes to emailing, Facebook, Google, etc. And where the problem came, was trying to mix too many of the same strategies.

So, here's what happened: one of our members had been trying to get their Facebook ad to really work. And we've got an email structure that sends out… basically, we structure emails that go out to your prospects. They're structured over about two weeks and it basically helps build a relationship with your prospects while you're not there.

And so when doing email, you follow certain…there's certain things you can do, right? There's a certain way you can speak, there's a certain way that you can format your message. And the first message that goes out, we call it ““the kitchen sink,”” because it's everything in the kitchen sink, right? It's telling the prospect everything they need to know about you.

And so where the confusion came in, was trying to actually use this strategy, because our member got such good results with this one email, he decided it would be a good idea to put that on a Facebook ad. But the problem was that the email, it sends people to… it's in a whole different position, right?

The person is already a lead, they're already a prospect, the relationship has already started, and now they get this email that sends them to YouTube, that sends them to everything that they can learn and know about them and then martial arts school, right?

So when you use this on a Facebook ad, of course, that's kind of suicidal, because you're sending people to all these different locations. And by sending them to all these different locations, you’ve got no way to ever know if it works, or not. And my exact answer was, let’s say this ad works – awesome. You get a good result. That would be great, but let’s say you run it again and it doesn't work?

Then there's no way for you to know why, because there were just too many variables, right? People went to YouTube, people went here, people went here, people went here… so that creates a lot of confusion and……not a confusion so much, but there's no way for you to actually scale and improve that type of ad.

So here's what the biggest mistake is: the biggest mistake is trying to do too many things too soon and sending people to too many directions too soon. So when you create an ad and-  it's a very common thing, but just have people do the one, simplest thing that's going to start the conversation with them. How can you make it easy for them to raise their hand and do something?

And sometimes that's just a comment, sometimes that's sending a message. Because here's the thing, right: if you’’ve never run a Facebook ad and you’’ve never gotten anybody to respond, so you never got a conversion on your Facebook ad, then nothing else is going to work, right?

So the first thing that you really, really need to get down to is, how do you structure the offer, how do you get an offer to convert? Because if the offer converts, everything else is going to work. So if the person is going to respond to your offer, then you can start looking at, OK: how do I make this landing page better? How do I make this message better? But on the frontend, you’’ve got to get the offer to convert.

I hope that helps. If it helps in some way, then leave me a comment below, or yeah – I’ll see you in the next video. Cheers!

 

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

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