132 – Pros And Cons Of Hiring A Martial Arts Digital Agency

Many martial arts school owners long for a martial arts digital agency that delivers new students on demand without having to lift a finger. But Beware! This pipedream could cost you your business. Here’s the pitfalls to avoid and what to do instead. 


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Pitfalls to avoid when working with a martial arts marketing agency
  • Who owns your digital assets?
  • Local digital marketing agency: Do they have proven, irresistible martial arts offers? 
  • What media should you use when running Facebook or Google ads?
  • Why most martial arts schools don't need a marketing agency
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ Business podcast. In this episode, I'm going to be talking about digital marketing agencies for martial arts schools. Martial arts, marketing agencies, however, you want to word that.

Do you need one? Do you need to hire an agency? And if you do, what are the pitfalls to avoid? What should you be avoiding? What questions should you be asking? What should you be looking out for? All are covered in this episode.

Make sure you stick around to the end and I'll share with you how you can download an actual checklist with everything discussed, all the questions to ask, pitfalls to avoid and so forth. All right, let's jump in.

All right. So let's talk about digital marketing agencies and do you actually need to hire one? I've got to start this one with a short story, and the story actually involves how I, one time, lost a valued podcast listener by my actions and I don't regret it. I've got to share the story. I've probably shared this in a previous podcast, but I think it's relevant if you haven't heard it. It's a relevant story for what we are talking about today.

All right. A couple of years ago, a podcast listener reached out to me and said, “Hey, George, love the podcast. Got a quick question. Which channels are the best for advertising a martial arts school? Is it Facebook or is it Google? Facebook ads or Google ads?”

And I replied, “Good question. It depends on a few factors, which it does. Facebook strategy works like this. Google strategy works like this. If I was doing this myself and trying it, this is the one that I would go for, which was Facebook in this case.”

I said, “Curious, just why are you asking?” And he replied and said, “Thanks for the information, but I'm actually starting a digital marketing agency for martial arts schools and I just wanted to know which channel works best.” And that got me fired up a bit. I said, “Hang on. You're opening a marketing agency and you are asking me which platform to advertise on. How are you going to actually take people's hard-earned money and run ads for them if you've never done it yourself?”

And then his response fired me up even more. And he said, “Oh, that's okay. I'm just going to hire someone offshore to do it for me and run the agency that way.” And that made me boil over.

And I can't recall the exact reply that I messaged back, but I said, “Look, the world does not work like that and you cannot take people's hard-earned money and charge them and think some magical person offshore is just going to know what to do.” Now, there is a way to use an offshore person, and I might share this in this episode, but that's definitely not the way to go about it.

And so I wanted to start that with caution because, well, as a warning, really, if someone is not charging you a premium fee to run ads, which is quite a hard thing to do, they're probably not going to do a very good job.

Now, I must admit the industry's come a long way and I've been doing this for a long time. Facebook wasn't around when I started digital marketing. I started by hard trial and error, wasting a lot of money. It was way harder to run ads back in the day than it is now. So things have evolved. The industry has evolved and agencies have also evolved, but there are a few pet peeves and pitfalls you got to watch out for.

Pet peeves I have about agencies and pitfalls that you should watch out for, and there's this dream scenario for martial arts school I know is you could just do what you love. You could just do the teaching. You could just show up. There are always students and you just do what you love.

That is the dream scenario and you could definitely achieve that, but is an agency always the answer to do that? And I'm going to say no because I've played on both sides of the coin. This is purely from my experience. I want to give props to really good agencies that are out there and that have really evolved in the martial arts space, but I still want to approach this with a word of caution because I've seen the pitfalls and I've seen how things adapt. At the end of the day, you as the martial arts school owner are worse off.

Another just trip down in history, memory lane. So the way I got started in this industry before I started our Partners group, where we helped martial arts school on a scale worth marketing and attracting the right students, increasing sign-ups and retaining more members, we were an agency and I started my agency with this dream idea. If we could just do everything for martial arts school owners, they would be better off and I really believed that. 

And I really wanted to create something magical for school owners in that way, but as we ran it and as we had clients do this, I felt that every time things didn't go right, or worst case, we parted ways with a client, the client is always worse off. The client is always worse off running by just throwing their entire energy and faith into a marketing agency to deliver leads for them every month and month-end.

When you part ways, you're always worse off because now you're left with nothing. You've got nothing. And so again, you're looking for this magical agency to do everything for you, and that was always a big concern for me is when somebody is doing the lifeblood of your business and they are responsible for it, and they're always doing it.

What if that service is not what it is a month later, or they grow too big, and now the service starts to deteriorate and they're not on top of the strategy and they need to scale, so they need to get on more clients and they need to hire more staff. And now the person that you hired, isn't even touching your account anymore and your costs are going through the roof.

So for you to be better off, I'm going to go through a couple of things that you should be watching out for, pitfalls to avoid, and things to consider when you are hiring an agency.

By the way, if you're listening to us or wherever you're watching us, go to martialartsmedia.com/132, that's the numbers one, three, two. I'll have a checklist where you can download all these questions and that you've got just a guide for the right questions to ask if you're ever going to hire an agency.

All right, here we go. First up, let's just start with a few pitfalls. Who keeps the data? Number one, if they're going to run your ads, who keeps the data, and this goes hand in hand with, are you going to be better off? Meaning if somebody comes and they're running the ads for you, then who keeps the data? Are they hanging onto the data or will you actually get the data?

Meaning if you ever left the agency, are you going to be better off or are you going to be back to square one, back to where you were before you started with the agency and you've got no way to generate more leads? So you've learned nothing. You've gathered nothing. You've gained nothing other than, of course, the leads that you got. But when you leave the agency, you're back to square one.

And so with that, the follow-up question to ask on that, whose ad account do they run the ads from? Is it your ad account or is it an account that they have and they just run your page through that? Because if they're doing that, that means they are keeping all the data. I had a local company here that I helped out in Perth, Australia, just another nightmare story from an agency.

They had developed a website for this martial arts school and they were running the Google ads and they never handed over admin access. So they'd spend five to $10,000 on this website with combined services. Well, mainly for the website and they didn't get handed over the admin access to the website and they didn't want to hand it over when they moved. So they made it super uncomfortable for them.

So they'd paid for something that they had no ownership rights to because they had no login details to the hosting company or the website company, and I was just shocked that any company would hold a business hostage like that.

And that's the first time I'd seen that unethicalness in an industry. And I picked a big fight with them and called them for what it is because they knew what they were doing was unethical. After a long fight, they handed it over, but it really opened my eyes to realize that hang on, when agencies are trying to scale, they take shortcuts.

And so they'll take your money and they won't set up an account for you in your name. They'll run it on their account, which means they always keep the data and they hang onto all the assets. A big thing that you've got to watch out for. Which accounts are they running it from? And are you going to be better off when you leave?

All right, let's go to the next step. What type of offer are they running? Now, if you are running a niche agency that's in the martial arts space, hopefully, they've tested some offers. But if you go looking for the local agency, the problem that you're going to find with the local agency is they probably have not fine-tuned the right offer for a martial arts school.

So they don't know what strategy works and that is something that takes experience and it takes a lot of testing. And so if you are the guinea pig and you are the first guy that they're testing, they're not going to know if it's going to be a free trial, a paid trial.

They're not going to know which wording to use, which copy. They might be as experienced as they are, but they are used to running ads for corporate-type companies. And so they've got this corporate type strategy, which means the strategy they're going to use for you is going to cost you a lot, and it's going to take a long time for you to get results.

How much experience does that company actually have with martial arts schools? Are they going to get you the results that you want or are you going to have to burn through a lot of money before they get to a result? All right.

So let's talk about strategy. What strategy are they using to generate leads? And are they on top of these strategies? So here's something that's happening in the digital space right now. At the time we're recording this 2022, there's been a lot of shifts and things happening on platforms.

Facebook has still been the dominant ad platform. There are emerging platforms, more Instagram, which is under the Facebook umbrella. TikTok is doing a lot of things. So are YouTube ads. So there are a lot of things happening, but is the strategy that you are using going to work now and in the long run, or are they hanging onto an old strategy, which means it doesn't really work that much on the platform anymore.

And so you're spending way too much money to generate leads. So now you've got this massive fee for the agency and your ad costs are way higher because they are doing the wrong strategy to get you the result.

Now, maybe you don't have to touch it and that's okay, but you're burning through a lot of cash and way too much cash for something that could be actually done if it was really, really simple, because I'll go through quickly, something that we do with our martial arts school clients. We work on getting the offer right. We spend a lot of time on this.

We've helped our school-owner clients generate way more than 7,000 paid trials through our process. So it's something that we've refined and tested, so we know it works in different styles for karate, four TaeKwonDo, for jiu-jitsu. We've played around with various offers in all styles and modified it.

We know what offer works best for which style and which offer works best in a scenario. So how are you going to sign people up afterwards? Is it going to be a free trial or you're going to run a paid trial and then sign people up? What's your sales process going to be because it's all got to be congruent. Your front-end offers really got to be congruent with your sales process on the back end.

And so if an agency doesn't know that flow that works, number one, and that compliments your strengths, well, there's going to be things that break in between. That's a big thing to consider.

First up, we look at how we craft the irresistible offer? Now, you can run a bad ad with a good offer and get great results, but you can't run a great ad with a bad offer. So we know that if we craft the perfect offer for our clients, they're going to get results. And then we go through the process of how to run an ad that gets results. And how do you go by testing and refining the process so that you'll get the best results from your ads? And it's a really simple process and formula.

And then after that is, well, how do you do the follow-up? How do you follow people up and how do you use a strategy that is congruent with how the platforms work right now? Because as we speak right now on Facebook, for example, if you are sending people away from Facebook, meaning they got to click on a website link or go to a page, that's great, but Facebook doesn't want you to leave Facebook.

Your strategy to optimize for people clicking away from Facebook is way more expensive than if you had the conversation within Facebook. Got to admit, this was a hard pill for me to swallow because I'm used to being the website guy and developing landing pages.

And so it took a lot of adjusting for my mindset first up to adapt to that, but there's a simple strategy like we use our Messenger signup method where you can follow up with people within Facebook and your conversion rate is way much higher and your cost per lead is way, way less. What is the strategy that your agency's taking, and is that congruent with how things work today?

All right, let's look at another thing. Media. Okay. Media means videos or photos, for example. What are they going to use, and have they tested it? If they're going to recommend the video, well, there's a whole list of boxes to tick with the video.

Now, generally speaking, people say video is better on social media. It is, but generally speaking, not on ads. Video for the most part is not better on ads. And look, there's an exception to the rule and I'm generally speaking, generally.

If people think video is better, then everybody says, “Hey, let's go do video.” Well, can you craft a good video? And that doesn't mean a video that's got a logo circling for 10 seconds, where by that time everybody's left or it's a video that the videographer student, maybe someone that's got great intentions and they're a student with you and they created for you, but have they crafted a video that conveys a structured sales message and gets people to take action?

That is a whole different ball game. So just because you can edit on video software does not mean you can create a video that's going to drive a conversion. Completely different thing.

What media should you use and how are they going to go about that? Now, they might say, “Well, we've tested these stock images,” and that's great. Now, I've got a bit of a pet peeve with stock images because again, it's not congruent and it looks fake. People can see what is fake and what is real.

And here's the thing, they've probably seen everybody else use the same images in your area as well. Do stock images work? Again, an exception to the rule, but do you really want to portray a fake image about what it is that you offer and then people arrive at your school and there's a complete disconnect about there's no congruence with what they saw and what they're getting at your school.

What images are they going to use and what are they going to recommend? So they're probably going to say, “Look, use these stock images.” All right. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't, but in the long run, it's going to tarnish your reputation, and it's going to do damage to your brand at the end of the day.

We got a strategy we followed. We did a course with Francine Schaepper. We did The Smartphone Photography Masterclass, and in that, we cover the process of how do you take the photos? And it's not rocket science. It's the kind of thing that when you learn it, you know it and you know what to look for. 

And there's a whole bunch of things that go into that, but it's something that you got to know. And if you don't know it, then you, depending on this agency, deliver all these results for you, but what are they going to use to get the message out and is it going to be congruent with your brand?

So we teach our clients just the basics, what to look for, what type of photos should you be taking, and how many people should be in the photos. Smiling faces is always a plus and go about the testing and then roll the ad out and just do the testing. So it's really a simple process to follow if you know what to do.

And so that for me begs the question, do you actually need an agency? Now, what I'm not saying is you have to be running the ads and be hands-on all your life in marketing. But the danger is, if you give your lifeblood over to a marketing company, you have to hope that they're around today, in 3 years, in 5 years and 10 years. So you've not only got to hope that they're a good marketer, but you've got to hope that they're a good business owner and know how to run an agency.

In the agency world, there used to be this thing of there's a breakpoint at, I think, it's 20 clients, that when you've got 20 clients and 20 ad accounts to run, the agency owner typically breaks because they just got to keep employing staff and keep employing staff, unless they're just doing a cookie-cutter approach and doing the same thing for everyone. In our experience, that is not a good strategy to go by.

One of our frequent guests, Kevin Blundell, we were chatting about running ads way back. And we were looking at ad accounts from two different locations and we were running the same offer in two different locations, with the same strategy. One went through the roof and the other one crickets. And so when somebody takes a blanket approach and doesn't assess things specifically for your location, again, you're going to spend way more to get the results and probably it's going to be costly.

And then the danger is, let's say they did deliver. So let's say you got the guy and he was a great marketer. He's a great marketer. So he is a great marketer and he's getting the results, but now he hits that benchmark. Well, he's got 20 clients plus. Now, he's got a scale. And so now employs the staff member to run it, and the staff member still needs to learn the strategy and experiment. And the person that you hired gets more and more detached from the actual process and your ads start to decline and decline and decline and decline and decline.

And so here you are, and you're like, well, this isn't working anymore and you don't know what to do because you are disconnected from the strategy. You don't know the offers, you don't know what works, and you don't have access to the data.

And so you decide, all right, well, I'm going to do the next thing and look for another agency to run this, and here you go back on the train. The lifeblood of your business is always dependent on somebody else looking after it, and you just have to have the hope strategy. You hope and pray that they deliver for a long time.

And so when it comes to the way we go about it, we know that most school owners don't need an agency. Number one, you can save a lot of money doing it yourself, but the other thing is you get an insight about your business that you will not get when you work through an agency because you know what offers work, you know what people respond to, and that is something that you don't just do in your ads, but now you start duplicating that across the board with internal marketing and running flyer campaigns or internal flyers or other advertising platforms that you want to work on.

So you've got the insight and you know what people respond to because you've got a hands-on overview. Now, does that mean you've got to always be hands-on? Definitely not. But if you've got the strategy and you know how this works, then finding the hands to do that is really easy.

We've got a few school owner clients that we work with that are growing the family business and they've either got their kids that are taking over the business, or they've got other instructors that want to be hands-on in the business.

And so slowly, they're just handing over the reins to them. They keep the data, they keep the strategy and they hang onto it and everything grows within the organization, and that way everybody's hands-on, everyone knows which strategies work, which offers work, and you can get students on-demand without knowing that the livelihood of your business is dependent on X, Y, Z business and you got to hope and pray that they're going to be around in the next five, 10 years.

Anyway, there was a lot more that I wanted to cover. I have spoken about a few of these things before, but I just wanted to give you a good perspective on what to look out for, and what to watch for. Head over to martialartsmedia.com/132, numbers one, three, two, and you can download a resource, just all the questions and all these things that we've just discussed, what to ask, what to look out for, and hope that helps.

Anyway, thanks so much for watching and listening. 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.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

130 – How To Attract More Adult Martial Arts Students

If you’re struggling to attract adult martial arts students through your paid ad campaigns, try this instead.


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Do this before running adult martial arts ad campaigns
  • How to cross-promote martial arts to adults
  • Upsell to students without sleaziness
  • The perfect time to cross-promote to adults
  • Do this if your adult ad campaigns aren't working
  • 9 Conversation starters that lead to more martial arts students
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ Business Podcast. In today's episode, we're going to be talking about how to attract more adult students. How to get more adult students on the mats, and what to do if your adult ad campaigns aren't working.

This is a conversation and question that comes up often, and we are going to dive into the details, and I'm going to give you a simple, simple solution on how to do this. You're probably going to kick yourself when you hear it, but it's that simple. But in order to execute the simple strategy, we're going to have to take a bit of a broader approach and give some context about how the whole strategy works and fits together.

Make sure you hang around to the end, and I'll share with you a really cool PDF resource with nine different conversation starter strategies that can elevate this process and get you much better results. All right, let's jump in.

Not sure what this is like for you, but most successful owners that we work with, and the school owners that have got a fair amount of solid student base, don't really struggle to attract the kids. It's more a question of how do we get more adults training and how do we get more adults on the mat? Now, there is the rare case that this is in reverse. Right? Depending on what type of club you run and what type of style you have, what type of style you teach, maybe your focus is 100% adults and not so much kids. There's obviously the rare occasion.

But generally speaking, this is the case. What do you do if you want to attract new adult students? We talk about this in our Partners group often. And typically when we start working with school owners and we start looking at the online process of how we going to attract the right students, increase the signups and retain more members, it's easy to lean towards, the adults is the student base that we need, and so if we want to go run ad campaigns we want to run directly for adults.

Now this could be both good, but also not so good, because if you've never actually run ad campaigns before, running it for adults is way harder. Right? It is way harder to run ad campaigns for adults. If you haven't mastered the process yet, then it would be a bit harder. It's always better to start with what's easier, what works, which is campaigns for the kids, and then graduate yourself up to running ads for adults.

The only reason for this is just getting used to and accustomed to the system. Well, how do we pick the right ads? What is the right media, the right images? How do we split test them? How do we make sure that we pick the right one so that we reduce our cost per lead? And then how does the whole follow up work?

Now, most school owners like yourself don't really have a problem signing people up when they show up and when they're in front of you, but you've still got to get them to show up. Working that whole process of making sure that all the leads that you speak to are actually going to show up, and you can take the whole process from there.

That's probably the first pitfall to watch out for. If you want to jump straight into running ad campaigns for adults, it's totally doable, and our clients do this successfully, but there is a steeper learning curve to really master it and get it nailed down. All right, so that's the first thing.

Let's jump into the solution. Well, where do you start? Well, the good news is if you want to attract more students, and you already have a client base of kids that are training with you, then you already have the perfect pool of prospects waiting for you. Right? And that is obviously the parents. The parents are the people that are paying the fees, and hopefully you've got a fairly good relationship with them and the students are enjoying the training.

If that's the case a cross-promotion is the perfect way to get more adult students on the mats. Where do you do this? Well, there's a good time to make an offer and a great time to make the offer. Good time is to, if you haven't yet, go make the offer right now. I'll give you an idea of how you can do that. The best time to do it is getting your timing right.

I'll tell you a little story. Now, I'm not a big car guy. I love a lot of other things, surfing, drums, jiu jitsu obviously, but I'm not a big, big car guy. I'm more like A to B practical … Where we live, an SUV 4X4 type thing is essential. Not essential, but it's great to have, right, because we've got the space, we've got the beaches and so forth.

Anyway, we were in the market for a new car a couple of years ago, and most people are pretty fearful of walking into a car yard. I love being in sales and marketing situations because I feel there's always room to learn. There's always something that you're going to pick up, some little technique, or in this case, a reminder of something that you might have forgotten about.

In context of this, so anyway, we look at a car, and we purchase a car, and we sit down with the sales rep and we've just bought the car. Now, if you think back to the last time that you bought something significant, something of significance, something that you really wanted or desired, there's some level of emotional high that you feel once you've made that purchase. Right?

There's a bit of a dopamine hit. You feel good. And so, we are sitting there and obviously, we feel good, and the sales rep asked us, “You've got the car. Have you thought about tinting the windows?” I thought, no, probably not. “Are you looking at traveling locally? You might need a tow bar for a trailer or caravan.” I thought, oh yeah, we probably do. “Do you want this? Do you want that? Do you want the roof racks?” Oh yes, of course, I surf. I definitely need the roof rack.

And so goes the upsells. Right? Do you want this insurance that you probably don't need and your other insurance covers it, but this insurance sounds cooler, so do you want to get this one? You know what I mean, right? But it wasn't done in a distasteful way, because it wasn't like it was a … I think internet marketing terms, I think it's called upsell hell.

You just go through all these upsells, and it's ridiculous. But as long as the upsell is actually complimenting the purposes that you just did, it's pretty good. Right? In this case, we've just spent a big chunk of money on a car, and all these little add-ons are really just providing extra value. It feels like a no-brainer.

That begs the question. When is the best time for you to make this offer to parents? Well, it's just when the kids have signed up? One thing probably to consider is, let the sign up process go through first, focus on the one, and it's the old concept. Right? You can't focus on two things at the one time. Focus on the kids. They are there to sign up, and then transition over to the adults.

And just ask the question. Just ask, what about yourself? Have you ever trained in martial arts before? And just open up that topic of conversation. If there's ever going to be a good time to open that topic of conversation, it's going to be in the heat of that moment, right, because they've just signed up their kids. They're probably happy with what they see, what they've experienced, and the kids are happy, and you're probably going to have the kids say, “Yeah, mom. Yeah, dad, how about it?”

That's a quick, just short way of doing it. It's like thinking as well of the McDonald's concept of, would you like fries with that? It's just an add-on to the offer that makes life better for everyone. When do you make an offer? Well, when you've just made one. Now, I want to give you something that can make this a lot simpler.

Another little backstory. One of our top clients, Cheyne McMahon from Australian Karate Academy, when we started working together, he sent me a message on Facebook.

I just got a friend request, and Cheyne sent me a message and he says, “Hey, I just listened to your podcast episode number 44, and I did this thing that you said, and I've just signed up two new students.” I was, “Wow, that's awesome.” Awesome, number one, that he listened to the podcast, but more importantly, number two is he actually took action and implemented the strategy right there and then.

We got talking a little while ago, and talked about these little conversation starters. Right? Because essentially all that you are doing when trying to sell something, is you're actually just trying to start more conversations, because the conversation will lead to the conversion. Right? How do we start more conversations?

In our Partners group, we got working on, well, if that's the case, then how do we just start more successful conversations? How do we get more conversations going? We created a tool and a resource which we call Conversation Carrots. Think of a carrot. It's something that you dangle in front of someone, and it's a way to start conversations.

What we did is, we created nine variations of this. It's really simple. It's just ways to start conversations and move things along. If you have a list of prospects that maybe haven't responded to you in a while, or haven't engaged, this resource will be perfect for that. You can send out an email, and you can just start a conversation, either with directly making an offer, or starting a conversation that's going to lead to the offer.

It's called Conversation Carrots. Depending on if you're watching this video on the website, the button is below. But if you're listening to this on YouTube, or Spotify, or iTunes, or anywhere else, go to martialartsmedia.com/130. That's the number 130, for episode 130. Click on the big button, download the resource, let me know what you think. That's it.

If you've got some great value out of the show, please do me a favor and just hit the share button wherever you got it, or leave us a great review. Always welcome. Always great to hear from any of our listeners, especially if you are implementing anything that we share and get results from that. All right. Thanks so much for listening, watching.

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.
***NEW*** Now available on Spotify! 

129 – Success By Design – Foundations Required To Setup Your Next Profitable Location

Kevin Blundell shares 3 essentials from The Next Profitable Location Blueprint that’s helped them open 20+ successful martial arts locations. 


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IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What’s the population needed for a successful martial arts school, and how far should this be from your existing location? 
  • The ‘drivers science’ behind choosing your exact new location
  • What to avoid in your environment when scouting for locations
  • Accessibility and geographical location: what are their impact on your martial arts business?
  • Why should you take advantage of ‘The Next Profitable Location Blueprint'?
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hey, it's George Fourie – welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ business podcast. In this episode, I'm chatting to repeat guest, Kevin Blundell, from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System. 

Now, if you've listened to the podcast over the years, we originally spoke on Episode 20 – talking about signing up 100 new students within five weeks. Then we got together on Episode 115, talking about the strategic mindset behind 23 locations. 

And this episode is really special to me, because if you listen to Episode 115, that is where this whole new journey began. Let me give you a few insights. 

So, Episode 115 was actually a recording from our internal, private Partners event that we hosted for our Partner members. So, three times a year we get our Partner members together and it's a combination of masterminding, networking, and bringing speakers together – and just learning and growing and sharing information and networking together. 

And after the event – Kevin spoke at the event, which was the recording of Episode 115 – and after that, we started talking about this process of opening another location. Now, Kevin is one of the most humble and sincerest guys that you'll meet and won't always reveal the depth of knowledge that he has within the industry. 

But when you speak to him, you'll know that he's very methodical and everything is systemized and designed for success, step by step with absolute certainty and clarity. We started talking about how to go about opening, successful location after location; and they've rinsed and repeated this process 20 plus times, very, very successfully.

And so, I spoke to Kevin about, number one, speaking again at one of our events, but how about, we actually just look at the whole process and the blueprint, and map it out and see if it's something that we can share with other school owners. And that's why I'm really excited about this podcast, because we're just in the process of putting together The Next Profitable Location Blueprint. 

Martial Arts Location

So, depending on when you're listening to this, we are hosting a Partners Intensive Event that for the first time we opening up to the public, and if you're listening to this a bit later, the program will be ready to go and available, which is the full course – The Next Profitable Location Blueprint.

So, we chatted a bit about the first steps. If you're looking at opening the next location, what are the things that you got to look for in… Firstly, why do you need to do it in the first place? How do you go about probing the population? What have you got to look for? What is the minimum number of people that you should have in a town, if it's a rural town? What is the best structure to set up your location, and all the rest. 

So, we're going to jump right in now. Wherever you're listening to this podcast or watching, make sure you hit the subscribe button. If it's on YouTube, hit subscribe. If it's on your favorite audio channel, make sure you subscribe – that you get notified when our next episodes come out and look for the notes and the links to the show notes. Episode 129. 

So, we're at martialartsmedia.com/129 – check the show notes. There are links available to the event depending on when you're watching or listening to this, there'll still be time to jump on. Otherwise the program should be available. Have a look, and if you're looking – seriously considering opening up the next location, it might be worth checking out. Alright, but let's get into the magic. Let's jump into the show. Let's do it. 

Kevin, so in the context of opening a new location, we always ask the marketing question first. But in reference to opening a new location, what has been the best marketing campaign or promotion that you've done that's been most successful for you? 

KEVIN: We've had a number of successes, but one that comes to mind is when we open one location, we systematically went around creating rumors and whispers. So, we, you know, we joined some local Facebook groups, we spoke to local sporting groups, and we just said, “Hey, it's a new martial art school coming to town.” 

We had a few people in the geographical area, and we asked them to do, just in their day to day activities, just say, “Oh, by the way, there's a new martial arts school coming to town,” and it piqued a lot of people's interest. So, it was really good how it unfolded for us. 

GEORGE: What was the result of doing that strategy? 

KEVIN: What was really going… On our opening week we got 50 paid trials for the first week before we even commenced. During the construction phase, you know, I was present a fair bit and went to hardware store, service stations, you know, just interacting with the local community – and I always told them what was going on. 

And funny enough, a lot of those guys booked in, paid for their trial, and were there that first week. Some are still with us in that area. So, it's really good, it's really successful. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, Kevin, I wanted to bring you on, we've got – and depending on when you're listening to this – but we've got an event coming up, and we've put this program together called ‘The Next Profitable Location Blueprint'. If I think of any martial arts business owner in the world, and I think who would be the renowned expert on this topic, it would be you – just because you've done this so many times and successfully and run a multi-million-dollar organization with your multiple martial arts schools. 

So, if we're to just start from the beginning – if I'm a martial arts school owner and I'm looking to open up my next location, I want to grow my growth, where do you start? 

KEVIN: A lot of trials and tribulations to get to where we are now, but I certainly feel confident we've got it pretty accurate. Certainly, over the last number of locations we've opened, we've been very successful, as we followed the blueprint from day one. 

Probably the most important thing is once you establish your why – why you want to do it and what you want to achieve – is to find the geographical area you want to be in and one of the key things is, you know, if you're going to own both the locations, you need to be able to manage those. So, anything more than an hour's drive away, becomes a little bit untenable, but if you're, you know, 30 to 45 minutes away, it's an ideal location. That's the first thing. 

So, you just basically look at the map and, you know, if you're in a city, do you know how many suburbs away you want to be? How busy is it to travel there? If you're in a rural environment, what's the next largest town or city, and how long is it going to take to get there? You need to account that in, because that's one of the key things, if you are running both locations, you certainly need to have that measured from the start. 

Probably the next thing is, once you decide where you'd like to go, is to physically go there yourself and just have a look around, get a feel for the place, just see what happens. And there's a lot of subheadings under that of what we do, that primarily is just see. I know it sounds a bit, you know, of a sort of fly by. 

You've seen your parents' way of setting up a business, but get a vibe, it really is – get that vibe for that area. And you can get that over a couple of days, visits, you know, just by interacting with the community, having a look around, and obviously doing your research. 

GEORGE: Perfect. So, I want to talk a bit more about visiting for the vibe and so forth. But let's take just one step back – before you've even visited the town, what are you looking for? 

If you, like, draw up a map and you're looking, “Alright, well, I'm here and I'm looking at a radius of about 30 minutes to an hour from where I'm at for my next location.” What are the things that you're looking for? And what type of research are you doing to determine where you are going to set up? 

KEVIN: So, once I've gone to the place and had a look physically, just to sort of satisfy myself, that's an area. So, these two things correlate together, and that is… Then I go on and I look at the Bureau of Statistics, I look for the population in the area, I look for the medium income, I look for activities, you know – is it a sporting town or is it a retiree town? Is it a low socio-economic area or is it a, you know, wealthy area? 

Generally, somewhere in between those two is an ideal area, young families. You can plonk yourself in a very wealthy area, but people, you know, haven't got any time and then you put yourself in an area where there's a lot of folks that just haven't got the resources to participate. So, you have to weigh all those things up so you can do your research. 

Our local government area websites have a lot of information. So, we systematically go through and tick off – look at the Bureau of Statistics, your local government area websites, and you just see, you know, even news articles. I've done research on news articles as well, just to see what sort of people are in that area, and if they would fit into your martial arts school community.

GEORGE: And what about sports activities and things like that? Is there anything you look at? Are you concerned about competition or anything like that? 

Martial Arts Location

KEVIN: Look, I think if you go to an area where there's a lot of sporting activity – we've had a lot more success where there was, areas where there wasn't. So, you know, do they have a soccer competition, a touch football competition, basketball, hockey, how many teams they got, you know, and that's easy. 

Just look at the local associations, you know, for example, the Hockey Association for field hockey, you know, football, all sorts of things, swimming, whatever sporting day. Even look historically at the sporting pages for that area, you know, to see the prowess of the athletes that come out of there. 

Because if they're a sporting town, it's, you know, you do run into the thing of ‘we only can only train in the summer, because winter,' and vice versa. But once you get people involved, you know, they'll work it out, and you'll have them there training all year round. 

So, you know, you want to look at that. In part of a scenario, where, as I say, you might have a lot of retirees or people, there's not much action happening, you might have a level of success, but I just found that, you know, really looking into the area you're going to make a big difference. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. If we had to look at population density, and how big are communities, is there a set number that you think of as a minimum? Especially if you're looking at like a rural town that's close by, that there's just not enough people in the vicinity to make it work? 

KEVIN: I look at percentages. So, if you can get 1% of the population to participate… 15,000 is a good benchmark, so if you've got 15,000 people who are within 30 minutes of where you're going to set up your new martial arts school, generally you'll get 150 people there as a rule. 

Obviously, this varies from location to location, but that's been the formula I've used, probably for 30 years. We have a lot of rural locations. You know, some initially were just community services into small areas. But you know, as we went along and became more proficient at what we did, we identified around that, around that 15,000. 

So, although we do have some schools, where there's a very small population, and for 5000 or 6000, they have over 100 members. So, you know, it really depends on the community. So, that's everything – dovetails together. It's really important to make sure it all marries together when you're doing research. 

You need to be honest in your assessment, but sometimes you get a little bit, you know, look at things through rose colored glasses. So, it's really important to make sure you're honest with your analysis. 

So, let's say you visit a town and you like the vibe, and it feels good. Has there ever been a moment where emotions clouded the actual logical “business brain”, and maybe the decision making didn't go in the right way? When I wore a younger man's clothes, yes. Because I thought everyone should do martial arts, and I couldn't understand why everyone everywhere in the whole world wasn't doing martial arts; but the reality came along pretty quickly. 

So, you know, you can make a clouded judgment, but with my overall approach now, if you follow the analysis, and you follow the steps, you'll get past that and make you feel… 

For example, we looked at a number of locations, Jason, you know, other towns near where I live at the present time. And one up north was closer to the one in the south, but once we went there and did our due diligence, we found that the one that in the north just wasn't going to support a full-time center and, you know – be great for little community martial arts in a hall type place, you know, it'd be fantastic for that. 

And there's some great martial arts schools there, but they don't ever have any great numbers, because it's just not that environment. 

GEORGE: And can you recall what the distinct trigger that made you feel that that's just… What is it about the town that you felt or the research that told you that it's just not going to work there? 

KEVIN: Well, initially, the vibe just wasn't there, and there was, just the atmosphere. Then when I did my research, you know, sporting groups and socio-economic, and it started to really throw up a lot of red flags. And I just thought, before I proceed any further with this, I'm not going to make a quick decision. 

So, I sort of left it for a few weeks and came back and re-went over the material and chose the other location, which was a great success. So, I guess, you know, a vibe is not a thing, but it just comes with experience. But having the opportunity to look at statistics, income, age, population demographics, obviously… 

Then what's happening in that town – was it a, you know, highway town or was it bypassed? You know, like, there's lots of little things that, you know, added up. And it just didn't add up right, and I made the right decision, 

GEORGE: I just want to go back on the distance, because we spoke about within a half an hour's drive. And I think anybody that's in a city might think, “Woah, nobody's going to drive 30 minutes to get to martial arts in a city environment,” right? But your experience in a rural town is very different, right?

KEVIN: In some of our rural locations, we have people drive 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, as we know it, each way to class twice a week, you know, well, without fail, and have done that religiously, year in and year out. So, in the city, I find that if you're more than, say, probably about 25 to 30 minutes, that's a maximum amount of travel, but generally, it's 15 to 20 minutes. 

But you still don't want to be parked on top of, you know, in an area that you're not happy with, you need to have a good area. So, you still need to do the same due diligence. We have locations in major capital cities as well. So, we understand how that works. So, there's sort of, like, you just need to make sure what, you know, public transport – is that available? 

One of our locations in Sydney, the train station is straight across the road from where they've got the dojo, which is the martial arts school, you know, and it's a great little location. 

So, it's not a full time one, it's a community hall, but he's got such a great relationship there. He can set up, you know, he has a set up team – they set up each night – has 150 members, and he's just killing it, you know, it's just great. It's a really good, great location. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, let's talk about that – location, right? So, you've done your research, your decision-making process has evolved and you're confident that, “Alright, I've found the place, I've found the town or the suburb where I'm going to set up my location.” 

Now you start looking for an actual venue, for an actual facility where you can set up. What are the elements that you go through to assess where a good location is, or whatnot? 

Next Profitable Location

KEVIN: It really comes down to a lot of things. But the major thing I found is accessibility. As I said, in that Sydney location, we had a choice of a better venue, but it was buried. It was so far away from public transport, whereas this one is, people just step off the train and walk across the road. So, it's probably not the best venue, but it's been the greatest venue. 

So, you need to look at, you know, if people have to come off a main thoroughfare and turn more than three times, they usually just don't bother with it, you know. What I mean by that is, from going on a main thoroughfare through a city or regional area and you just turn left, right, left, there it is, it's been a little formula I've used. 

And as people know, you know, around here, being involved in setting up a martial arts school, you can spend a lot more on advertising, if you've got a place that's pretty much not known about. So, sometimes I see the rent as an investment in my marketing, and I balance that. 

So, if you've got a big signage, it's easily accessible, and it's in an area that may have other activities similar to yours, like a gym, massage therapist, you know, indoor center of some activity. When people come, it really is a factor in making the decision. You don't really want to be next to a trucking company on one side, a diesel mechanic on the other, you know, or a noisy sort of industrial area. 

Because it just might be cheaper, but you'll be punished in the long run, because people just don't want to bring their kids there. So, it really comes down to thinking like a parent bringing a child or a person who's, you know, finished their day at the office or even a tradesperson. 

You know, they try to come somewhere where it's nice, it's clean, it's easy to get to, good parking, well lit. And lighting is a key thing, especially when I try to visit other martial arts schools and, you know, you need a torch to get in through the carpark. Just little things like that, that makes a massive difference.

GEORGE: Kevin, I find it interesting that you mentioned that you favor accessibility to the actual venue itself. Now once you've found this venue, how do you then… Do you do random visits at random times of the day? Or how do you just further assess if this is, you know, before you sign on the dotted line? 

KEVIN: Yeah, I think that's really important for people setting up a new location – actually go there during the key times you'll have a timetable. So, at this point, I would have a ghost timetable, written out roughly what days and nights we'd run classes based on other locations and what works already. 

And then I go to the area, and sort of drive around and just see, because of the, you know, there's always going to be schools nearby, or businesses closing or whatever. You just need to get a feel, as a parent, you know, dropping your child off, getting there after work, you know, how hard is it to get there? You know, some locations are gridlocked at 3:30pm, so you might have to review your timetable. Nighttime is always important. 

The safety of your students as they come and go, and the parents' parking accessibility, walking distance from public transport. You know, is it a safe walk? You just want to think about all those things, and whilst you may not be able to tick every single box of that list of things I mentioned, if you can get close, it'll work much better for you. 

GEORGE: Okay, so we've covered a lot of the foundational stuff, and I want to be respectful of your time. But I do want to cover something and this is a question that always comes up a lot, you know, different business structures and how you go about it. Now, you mentioned that you select a location that's within the 30 to 60-minute range. 

But obviously, the goal is for you to open the location and not completely run it forever. So, you want to have somebody else in charge. Now I know you've got a few business structures, three that you potentially work with, but if you don't mind sharing, what is your favorite business structure for your next location to open up, and why do you prefer that? 

Next Profitable Location

KEVIN: With my experiences, I've tried many different formulas. I find under license seems to work the best for me, and that means we have someone who is growing within your organization, and then they can branch out and open the next location. Now that person would obviously be one of your instructor team, or ready to become part of your instructor team and have the financial backing to put themselves into the position. 

Sometimes we do work out a financial arrangement of, like, helping set up as part of the license agreement. They're primarily under license, so it gives a person autonomy. It gives them their own identity, still under your umbrella and infrastructure, which enables them to be very successful, because all the hard work is already done. 

GEORGE: Alright. Kevin, we've got lots more to talk about and I'll lead into that, but if you don't mind sharing, we got together a couple of months ago, and I started asking questions just about your process. And you spoke at one of our events prior – for our Partners group, the Partners Intensive – we decided to get you back on, depending on when you're listening to this, we either have the full program released or you're still in time for the event. 

But we decided to get together and my job was to extract all your knowledge and help put it together, and we've come up with the whole format, the whole blueprint, “The Next Profitable Location Blueprint.” And do you mind just sharing a little bit? Why the program and who will benefit most from that? 

KEVIN: Over the years, you know, by default, I started public speaking at seminars and events, being privileged to do it pretty much all over the world and met a lot of fantastic people along the way. And every time, you know, people would ask me, how do you do this? How do you do that? And I'd sort of give them a rough idea, and after our discussion, I thought, “Well, it'd be remiss of me not to package it up, so other people have the opportunity to, you know, get their next location up and profitable and running successfully, without having to go through all the pitfalls.” 

And my ideas aren't grandiose or, you know, unrealistic, they're all measurable and they're all obtainable. So, you know, I think it's a great opportunity for people to plug in. And, you know, have a listen, and we've been very successful, and I wish nothing but success for everybody else in the industry. 

GEORGE: I have to add that is a really modest way of putting it, from the perspective of helping. Kevin, you know, putting all this together and breaking down the modules from how to fit out all the facilities, how to maximize your space, the organic marketing approach you take, which I have to say – next level – you know, and this coming from a marketing guy! 

This is just setting up the right foundations to get your school growing and thriving before you take on any paid type marketing campaigns. Yes. So, the approach is just, I have to commend you. It's really phenomenal. 

KEVIN: Well, thank you, George, and I truly hope, you know, people do take the opportunity, because they will benefit. It's, you know, we call it The Next Profitable Location Blueprint because it really, it's about your next location, we want it to be profitable. 

And the blueprint is your map, it's clearly, you know, and we've done all the heavy lifting, and if you follow the steps, you know, I've had nothing by success so far, and you've got 40 years of mistakes, condensed and cleaned and polished and out the other side already, so, yeah, well, thank you very much. 

GEORGE: Perfect, and we'll leave all the details where you can access either the event if you're on time or the actual recorded program. It'll be on martialartsmedia.com/129, the numbers one two nine. Kevin, thanks so much for sharing so generously, and we'll speak again. 

KEVIN: Thank you very much, George. Looking forward to it.

 

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***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

128 – 5 Factors That Make An Irresistible Martial Arts Offer

An irresistible martial arts offer can be the ‘make or break’ of any promotion to attract new students. Follow these steps to turn your offers into winners.

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Being uber specific with what’s included in your irresistible martial arts offer
  • Should you give away free items with your martial arts offer?
  • Do this and you instantly increase the value of your martial arts offer
  • What’s the best price for a martial arts paid trial offer?
  • This turns any martial arts offer into a ‘no-brainer’
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ business podcast. In this episode, I'm going to be talking about irresistible martial arts offers.

So what is an irresistible martial arts offer? And do you even need a good offer? Well, of course, you do. And that's what this episode is all about. So we're going to dive into the details of what it is that you actually need to include in your offer. Does it need to be free? Does it need to be paid? What do you add? Do you add different items? How do you package it and so forth?

And I can tell you what, with all the school owners that we've worked with over the years, whenever somebody shares with us a campaign that's just not working, or they're struggling to get traction on the ads, or just a general internal promotion that's not really getting results, it's almost always due to a broken offer.

So you can run a really bad campaign with a great offer and still get great results, but you can't run a great campaign with a bad offer. So we're going to dive into the details on how you go about creating an offer, what it even is, and how you craft it so that it gives your future students the confidence to take the first step and start training with you on their martial arts journey.

Hang around to the end. I'll share with you where you can download our PDF, called The Irresistible Martial Arts Offer, and it will show you step-by-step the process that we go through to create your irresistible martial arts offer in just a few minutes.

All right, let's start with the basics. What actually is an offer? Well, an offer is, and if we go straight into referring to martial arts terms, it's a combination of how you package different free classes with potential free items. And how you package it in a way that the value exceeds the price if it's a paid trial or the actual value that's being presented for the commitment that needs to be taken to take advantage of the offer.

So that brings up the question, should your offer be free, or should it be paid? Well, it really depends, and I'm not going to dive into that, but if you do go to martialartsmedia.com/124, I did cover for a recent episode on free trials versus paid trials for martial arts and comparing the different platforms and when you should use which one. But either way, it's always important that the value exceeds the actual commitment or the financial commitment of the offer. So that's a bit of a bonus tip, I guess.

So I'm going to cover five points of what actually makes an irresistible martial arts offer. All right, let's dive in. Number one, be specific. Be specific with anything, and I think this is just copywriting in general, and this is if I say copywriting, I mean, sales copywriting, not copywriting, that's like the legal thing, normally at the bottom of a website, right, with different terms.

So when crafting good sales copy, it's important to really be specific and in a way almost dumb things down. There's a rule in copywriting, it says you've got to write for third-grade level because you don't want to leave people to look at something and have to think about what you just wrote.

So it's important to make things so specific and so simple, that even the obvious things that you think people would maybe know, that you still state the obvious, right? So you've got to state the obvious. You've got to be super specific in how you present what is included in the offer. The minute someone's got to think, you potentially just lost them because now they're trying to figure out what your offer is.

So being super specific is very important. So what should you be specific on, well numbers and what they get. So let's start with the beginning. What are you giving away? Is it a couple of classes? Is it one day? Is it one class? Is it five classes? Is it seven? Is it one month?

If I had to be technical, if I had a month trial versus a four-week trial, I'd rather have a four-week trial because four is more than one, right? It's a little play on words, but guess what, crafting an irresistible offer, a lot of the mechanics is having a well-structured play on words so that the perceived value does increase, right?

So this is partly important, it's not going to be the make or break. You can't trick someone into thinking that it's a good offer when it's not, but it's important to have a look at some of these elements. All right. So that's number one, be specific.

Number two is what are you giving away? What is included? Is there a free item included? So let's assume you are running a paid trial. And in fact, most of these elements are references to you running a paid trial. Although there's a lot of overlap that you can use if it's a free trial as well. If it's a free trial, you might not be giving away a free item, unless you've got a good backend process of where you sign people up.

So on the front end, you're running a paid trial, for example. So let's say you include a free item. Including a free item is really important, and it does increase the perceived value of your offer. And this might sound funny, but it also helps people rationalize the value in their mind because let's face it, how can anyone determine what the value of a martial arts class is if they've never actually taken a martial arts class? I mean, we'd all want to think, yep, everybody's just going to love it and they understand the value.

But if I'm looking at an ad or promotion and I've never taken a martial arts class before, then how do I know what the value is? But if there's a free T-shirt, a free uniform, or free gloves, that's something tangible I can actually visualize. And in my mind, I can rationalize the value of that item. All right. So number two, include a free item.

Number three, state the value of the item. Okay, now sometimes we break this rule and I'll cover why that is in point five, but include the value of your actual item. So I don't know an item's value unless you tell me what it is, right? So if there's a free uniform, well what is the value of that uniform? I need to know that this is a good, valuable offer. So if I'm paying, let's say 39.95 for the offer and the uniform is worth $85. Well, now I can immediately actually see that the offer is pretty valuable and it's a good deal.

All right, now I'll tell you what the rules are when we don't use this and when we do not include the value of the item, is when the value of the item is actually less than what the paid trial is worth. And I'll show you how we get around that in point five. All right. But in general, it's good to include the value of the item, right?

Number four, pricing. So again, obviously for a paid trial. For a paid trial include what the pricing is. Now, what type of numbers do you use? Well, odds typically convert better than evens when you're running ad promotions. Don't ask me why. I didn't make this up, I didn't invent this, but this has been tested by so many marketers online and typically the odd numbers convert better than even numbers. That's just a given fact. I like to start with facts and look, it's always good to prove your own tests wrong.

So if you do want to test even numbers, go for it. But rather start with a tried and true and tested first before you try and prove it wrong by going in a direction that's not really proven. All right. So what's up in numbers. Well, if you download the worksheet, the PDF that we included in this episode, we'll actually share with you the price points that we've tested the most. We do that in free items, in classes, in items, value, etc. And what we're discussing here of course is the price points. So I'll share with you how you can get that in just a minute. All right, so that's point number four.

And number five, number five is we talk about either the savings or the total value. So we use this if number three just doesn't look great.

Let's say our offer is 69.95 and we're including a free T-shirt, that's worth 20 bucks. To mention the 20 bucks included, it just doesn't give so much of a wow impact. So here's what we do instead, we talk about the total savings or the total value. So how does that work? Well, if I'm giving away four weeks' classes and I'm including, let's say just a free T-shirt. So what we'll do then is we'll calculate the value of the four weeks of classes and included with the T-shirt and now we can say in brackets, total value X. Or what we could also do is we could look at what they would save.

So what would it cost them to train those four weeks and buy the free item? And we will deduct that, and then we'll work out what the savings is, right? So that is an alternative for you to use. And that's really it.

Now, if you want to get practical and you want to get stuck and you do want to create your irresistible martial arts offer, then what you want to do is just download the PDF and we'll show you exactly what numbers we use, what type of free items, what price points, and exactly how you can go and structure your irresistible martial arts offer so that you can increase your conversions because that's what it really is about.

It's really about including a great offer in your ads so that when your potential students look at it, they can go from curious to serious, to signing up much easier and much faster. And you get much better results with your ads. All right. So where do you get this? Go to martialartsmedia.com/128, so that's the number 128, and just have a look below the video of this podcast, you'll find a link where you can download the free PDF, Your Irresistible Martial Arts Offer. And go ahead, let us know how you go with this.

And if you've got value from this video, don't forget to share it and I will see you in the next episode. Have a good one. Cheers.

 

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127 – [Case Study] How A Traditional Karate School Generated $30,000+ In 72 Hours With This Simple Campaign

Richard Fall shares how they generated $30,000+ in 72 hours for his karate school with The 72 Hour ‘Cash Boost’ Sale. 


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • How Richard and Kim generated $30,000 in just 72 hours
  • How asking for help leads to faster martial arts business growth
  • Why action takers are the money makers
  • The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people
  • How to get over the fear of charging what you're worth
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ business podcast. Today, I have two special guests with me, and in fact, this is my favorite type of episode to create. Look, we have great interviews on our show, but these ones are a bit more special for me, because this is a case study interview. And so, a case study interview is me interviewing some of our top clients and documenting the journey that they've gone through working with us, and celebrating the great result that they have achieved. 

And so today, I have Richard Fall, and Kim Comeau, from London Karate Club in Ontario, Canada. And we actually met via this podcast – I was chatting to Kim on Instagram, she was, “Hey, we actually listen to you every day!” And we got chatting, and we started working together, and it's been really such a great pleasure working with Richard and Kim, and seeing what great results they have achieved. And we're going to chat about that, because just recently, Richard and Kim went through a process that we call the '72 Hour Cash Boost Sale', which is exactly what it is. And they managed to generate $30,000 in just 72 hours. 

Now, that's the highlight, right? And hey, we got to talk about the highlights first. But it wasn't that easy to get to that point! Yep. The cash was collected in just 72 hours, but there was a lot that had to happen. Mindset, just belief in the process, belief that it can happen, and just being comfortable in creating a promotion like that without feeling like they're being sellout or cheap, or, you know, just being weird about how they operate their martial arts school. 

So, we're going to jump into the details, just how they worked through it, what they went through, the change of mindset, and really how any school owner could achieve results like that on a continuous basis, if they committed to the process. So, we'll jump into the details, and just for a bit of context, the strategy, it's something that we do in our Partners program.

Our Partners program is our flagship program that you've heard me speak about before if you've listened to us before. It's a group of school owners that we work with around the globe, we get together weekly and, you know, work through different strategies on how to attract the right students, increase signups, and retain more members. And so, the 72 Hour Cash Boost Sale is a process that you can run about four times per year, and it's just a great way to boost your cash flow. 

We'll dive into the details and I'll tell you how. So, jump right in. If you – depending on where you're listening or watching this episode, you can get the show notes on martialartsmedia.com/127. That's the numbers one-two-seven.

And you can also download our eBook, ‘The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula for Martial Art Schools'. And that's it, jump into the episode, I'm sure you're gonna enjoy it. And wherever you're listening or watching make sure that you subscribe, that you get notified when we have a new episode. Enjoy.  

So, Richard and Kim, what's been the most profitable and most successful marketing campaign and ad campaign that you've done recently, or up to date? 

RICHARD: Most important one that I've done and the most profitable one I've done was the 72 Hour Sale that you set out for us. Like, I've had goals in the past that I've made, but I've never surpassed what you had mapped out for us in the 72 Hour Sale. I think moving forward, the most important, yeah, that was the most important one that stood out in my whole running of the dojo career. 

GEORGE: That's awesome. And what was the outcome? What was the result? 

RICHARD: The outcome was around almost $31,000, which is what we did. Like, we had a goal to sell 20 memberships, and we were okay at only selling 12. Twelve was our minimum, 20 was our goal; and we did 20, right on the nose. So, we did 20 memberships right on the nose.

GEORGE: That is pretty cool, right? 31,000 in between the COVID madness and things like that. How did that impact the business? 

RICHARD: The impact on the business? We… It was to the point where COVID was kind of taking away from my business what I had made up to that point and it actually fueled the dojo to be, or the school to actually be able to carry forward into this year. So, I had no worries carrying forward into this year. 

So, it actually helped me out quite a bit, with just the money part of it. Just the money part and the worries of being able to pay the bills, being able to pay employees, and, you know, taking care of business itself. So, it took a lot off my shoulders stress-wise that way, and really gave me a good kickstart for 2022. 

GEORGE: Love it. Alright, so, before we get into all the other good stuff, welcome to the show and thanks for jumping on! So, a bit of context. I've been working with Richard and Kim for, I don't know, maybe about almost a year, maybe? 

RICHARD: Almost a year, yeah. 

GEORGE: Before we jump into everything else, firstly, you're sitting behind an awesome wall. But I've got Richard Fall and Kim Comeau from London Karate Club in Ontario, Canada. Just give us a bit of a round up. What do you do? What do you teach? And yeah, just a bit of a background; a quick, brief background about the business.

Martial Arts Business

RICHARD: I'm the owner of the London Karate Club and my teacher is Master Meitatsu Yagi out of Okinawa, Japan, and I've been training with him since 1985. And I've been training myself in karate for about 42 years. And yeah, so, we teach Meibukan Goju-Ryu, and we just teach karate, we don't teach anything else but karate. 

And, you know, we leave all the other stuff, jiu jitsu and that stuff, to the professionals that handle that stuff, and that's what we do. I follow the family religiously, and I travel to Okinawa when I can. Just over the last few years, I couldn't travel and see my teacher, but it's  – we're moving forward. We're moving forward towards seeing each other again. 

GEORGE: Awesome. And the important right-hand lady sitting next to you… Kim! 

KIM: Yeah, so, I've been training for about 20 years now, and I joined the London Karate Club about six years ago. So, I've been training under Sensei Richard Fall for six years. And I've also traveled to Okinawa and have credentials internationally, or black belt gradings and stuff. I came on board to help with the backend of the business. So, a lot of the advertising and Facebook and social media stuff.

RICHARD: She was also the first Canadian woman to win a tournament in Okinawa. 

GEORGE: Wow… and you just left that out, right?! 

KIM: And that… 

GEORGE: Of course, yeah. Any other credentials that are hidden from us, Richard, that we need to, we need to bring to light? 

RICHARD: Ranks don't really matter, but I'm a 9th Degree Black Belt. Hanshi under Dyson, say, Meitatsu Yagi in Okinawa, which makes me the highest rank in my style in Canada. So… 

GEORGE: Amazing. 

RICHARD: Allows me to do international gradings myself, and on behalf of my teacher, and we're hopefully going to soon connect Zoom classes with them, so that we can reach out to the entire world, right, with him and try to see if we can get some movement for him, you know, as well. 

GEORGE: That's cool. So, now I know you're very passionate about your karate and you're a purist at heart and can see it in the display behind you there. Do you want to just give us a quick round up – what are we looking at in the background there?

martial arts business case study

RICHARD: So, the three people behind me, the black and white picture above my head is Master Meitoku Yagi, the founder of Meibukan Goju-Ryu, who I have a third degree under, and fortunate to meet in 1990. To over Sensei Kim's head is my master, Master Dai Sensei Meitatsu Yagi, and then the guy that's just below is Ippei Sensie, his son. The kanji behind me means great well, so it means to move forward and the opportunity to make great wealth. 

GEORGE: And what else have we got?

RICHARD: Well, we got, we have the rope above my head, on the shrine there, that's from the tug of war in Okinawa. 2013, I went over and we did the festival of rope. The festival of rope is the longest tug of war in the world. They do it every October, it's kind of like an Oktoberfest, but it's to usher in good crops. They used to be to usher in good crops, and then what all would do, all the territories around the area would come together, and they would do kata in the Kokusai-dori, which is the main strip in Okinawa, and I had the fortune to be able to demonstrate my karate in with the Okinawans as well.

GEORGE: That's cool. So, you treasure that, and the history and the heritage, how do you bring that into the school and into the teaching?

RICHARD: When our students move forward, they have to actually learn history. So, as they move forward, they have to know who the master of the style is, who the creator of the style is, and what our history is. So, we go all the way from Chojun Miyagi to Meitoku Yagi. So, the founder of Goju-Ryu, Goju-Ryu is one of the major styles that make up all of karate in the world. So, Chojun Miyagi passed on, his family passed on the style to Meitoku Yagi Dai Sensei, and then passed the style onto his son. So, our lineage is a pure straight line. 

So, right straight from Chojun Miyagi, all the way to me is a straight line, there's no fragments in between at all. So, the culture is carried forward, because bringing my teacher here, he's very big on history. And I know history has a part of understanding where you come from, but it's not the end-all be-all, right? So, you can't, with me being part of, understanding history, I've always found that I'm humble. 

So, being too humble sometimes can shoot you in the foot, because you don't feel like you should charge as much for what you're doing. Because it's more spiritual to you, right? It's more inside that you feel gratification, through teaching, right? So, as I was growing up, going through, growing up as a child, I wasn't a very good teenager. I was actually getting into a lot of trouble and causing problems. And then that's when I first got introduced at around 15 and a half to karate, and karate actually saved my life. Two people that I hung around with actually committed murder and it could have easily been me. 

So, I owe karate my life. So, I kind of took that for… I've been in business for probably about 32 years now, and never really made a huge success. I'm still doing a part-time school, and still working a job during the day. I know, George, that makes you cringe. But I'm trying to get past that guy who is still afraid to step out of what he does as a job and get into something that he does for a passion.

GEORGE: Alright, so, you mentioned and I want to get back to Kim on just what part of that attracted you to training under Sensei Richard Fall. So, but on that, because you bring up a point, and this is a point that comes up a lot. I think the connection between the spiritual aspect and what martial arts mean to you personally, and then there's the business side, that's what's got to happen. 

Somehow, in most humans' brains, we make this connection, or there's past programming, that money is evil, or money's bad. Or there's somebody that's a real, you know, I don't even like the term dojo, but there's, you know, people that are just teaching real watered down, poor martial arts, and they're charging an arm and a leg and they're ripping people off. We didn't, I don't really see much of that in Australia, but you know, if you watch McDojoLife, you'll probably see, you can probably see it all, right? But I think there's a lot of danger there, right? Because you don't want to be that guy, and so now you link old programming to you know, money, how money is bad. 

And if I'm going to make money with my spiritual thing, that means so much to me and has impacted my life in such a positive way, and now I start focusing on the money, I'm going to be perceived as that guy… and I think that's a big thing that a lot of martial artists get stuck with. How do you feel you've overcome that? Because I think you, you might not be giving yourself as much credit is due, right, because you've moved a few mountains. How's your perspective changed over the last six months or so?

martial arts business case study

RICHARD: Well, I think when working with you and with Martial Arts Media and Partners, I think talking to everybody in the community kind of helped me to realize, “Hey, there's a lot of good martial artists out there that are charging what they're worth.” And like I said to you before, I have a hard time relating to people that have 400 students, 350 students. 

I used to have 250 students, and I did it all by myself and I realized that I can't do it by myself. That failure, that I went backwards, actually taught me a lot, that if I can get there, once I get there again. I just have to get it in my mind and the tools to be able to do it, right? And I think by joining the group and the Partners has kind of helped me, kind of start that machine and get those wheels moving, that see that, “Hey, you know what, it's not bad to make money at doing what you're doing, right?” And it's not bad at – teaching your craft and getting something for it, right? 

I put a lot of time and effort, and since Kim puts a lot of time and effort into making things happen, and the Facebook ads, all that stuff is something that you taught us, and like I said before, is that we're very thankful for that. And, you know, there's a point in time where money is tight. And I said, “Well, what did I do? Like I stepped into this thing, this commitment. And maybe it's the wrong thing to do at this time.” And the only thing I could cut is things that are new, and I'm grateful that I kept on going with Partners, because it's really teaching me a lot how to move forward, and how to move past that barrier of, you know, is it okay to make money? 

GEORGE: Cool. I remember there was a, I mean, we've had many conversations after but I remember, in our, the game plan call that we have as onboarding when school owners join our Partners Group… I remember this, it had an impact on me as well, because I remember talking to you, and I remember seeing something go off in your mind, that you realized, “Oh, hang on, like, I can charge what I'm worth. I'm, you know, I'm more valuable than the way that we are going.” Can you recall that moment? I recall it, it really stuck with me.

RICHARD: That was when we had a private, kind of a private, call. And you sat down and showed me the map of what I could do, and I think that moment, I realized that, “Hey, you know, I'm actually a part of this game, too.” And like I said, I did it by myself before, I can't do it by myself. 

I'm thankful for the person sitting beside me, because she does a lot, and she does a lot of stuff that I can't do, right? And not that I can't do it, I can probably learn it. It's just, it's difficult being, you know, I'm 58 years old, it's kind of hard to teach an old dog new tricks, as they say, right? That's not a Canadian term, either. That's actually a real term. 

GEORGE: I've actually heard that one before. 

RICHARD: But it's showed me, that showed me that I can make more, and since you showed me that, we are making more. Like, we got more people coming into the dojo, more than ever, with our Facebook ad. We're averaging about nine to… Well, I send it to you every week, right? Nine, and we just went up from nine, and went up from there; and, you know, we never had that traffic before. 

Growing pains is a good thing. It's scary, but it's a good thing. And we just, we're floating our boat in a little bit rocky water that we don't know, but we're navigating through it, right? And we have you to help us along the way, to navigate through that. So yeah, that moment, I do remember that moment, that moment that you had showed us the way to do it. Yes. 

GEORGE: That's cool. So, Kim, we want to hear a bit more from you there. No pressure. But I guess first, just as a quick side intro, right, what of the history and what of that attracted you to starting with Sensei Richard Fall?

Martial Arts Schools

KIM: I just moved to the city, and I was looking for a place that was… I was doing Goju-Ryu and I wanted to keep with that. It was actually a friend from way up north that told me about the London Karate Club. So, I did a class here. And I was kind of hooked, because I was doing it, I was training for about 15 years before, and it was a little different. I liked the lineage, how pure it was. It wasn't, like, branched off to different people. It was very direct. And I really liked that I could do the same style that I was doing for, like, 15 years, I can continue that, so… yeah, and then I just was hooked. I was like training every day here, and I continue to do that still to this day. So, yeah.

GEORGE: That's cool. Now, you also implement a lot of the marketing and so forth. So, how does your role work within the club? 

KIM: Okay, yeah, so I started with being more social media, like, with getting stuff out there for our club and just putting it out there on Instagram and social media. And then I was just making positive progress with it, and it just turned into a manager role here. So, I've done sales for 15 years. So, I know a lot about that, and I have a lot of stuff that I can offer and I'm able to do for Richard. I also went to school last year, when I was let go of my job, and I did coding and website design. So, that's when I started getting into redoing the whole website, and it's going really, really well. And yes, so, I'm just continuing to keep going forward. 

GEORGE: And keeping the marketing engine rotating… 

KIM: Just going, which is a consistent thing that you do like every single day. So, yeah. 

GEORGE: Love it. Ok, so, a quick couple of questions just on, I really wanted to bring the two of you on as my favorite Canadians, first and foremost. Getting a better understanding as well from just everything that you do, just the history and so forth. I want to take this opportunity as well, and just ask a couple of questions just about, you know, us working together, like what's helped you most. Although you have revealed a lot of that, just going into a couple of things, right? So, first up, like, when we started working together, you mentioned a bit about the money thing and the value in the belief, but what were the biggest problems that you were facing at that time? 

RICHARD: The biggest problems that we were facing is that, in my mindset, I didn't want to be the lowest guy, I didn't want to be the highest guy, I wanted to be the middle guy. And being the middle guy, I gave away a lot of free two-week classes, which are two-week courses, which kind of shot me in the foot, because it's, uh, they're tire kickers, right? They don't really want to pay a big amount of money. 

So, we would get maybe one, maybe one or two, one or two people from that, right? And it didn't really pan out, right? It didn't really pan out for us. So, I was kind of trying to feel my way through it, and then it really, the success I had, like I said, I've been doing this for 32 years on a part time basis. There were five Meibukan schools in London, and I'm the only one left. So, I'm very, I'm a very dug-in person. I'm a very perseverant person, right? 

So, I think, by the mindset of giving stuff away, I always gave it away, instead of selling it, right? So, moving on to meeting you, Kim and I used to listen to podcasts all the time. They kind of got me hooked. I said, “Well, let's…” I let her listen to you, and we listened to you. I even used to listen to you all the way when I went to work or home. I found it very interesting. I'm going, like, you know, I wonder if this guy is really true blue, real guy, right? 

So, I think Sensei Kim, I think Kim reached out to you. I'm going, “Holy crap, he actually listened and he actually, you know, got back to us, right?” So, that's kind of what got that ball rolling, was actually Kim calling you or sending a message to you, and yeah, then it went from there, right?

GEORGE: And what was the big goal? I mean, at that time, what was the big aim? The big goal that you wanted to achieve? 

RICHARD: I wanted 300 students, that was all. 

GEORGE: 300 students, why did you want 300 students?

Martial Arts Business

RICHARD: Because I think moving forward, I want to have a living doing this. I want to get away from my day job and do this as a living. Like, I want to have what Lindsay Guy has, I want to have what Cheyne McMahon has, I want to have what Ross has, right? I want to have that and not because of… No, good for them, I just want to have that for me. As at the end of, when it's all said and done, I can say, “I built that.” I made that happen, right? And it was always – I came close but never really made an achievement. 

So, I guess it's seeing my baby, which is the dojo here, the school, to become what I want it to be. You know, this gem that I want it to be and I want those students just, not to blow my horn, I teach a really good martial art and I want those students to move forward and them to become teachers. I want them to become senseis of their own dojo, right? And that is why I want to get to the point of becoming bigger, right? 

GEORGE: So, out of that, while working together, I mean, what's had the biggest impact? And what's helped you the most? 

RICHARD: Of growing now? I think the social media part. I think Facebook – Kim can answer that as well.

KIM: Yeah, for sure. Definitely the Facebook ads, and learning about them, and how to advertise and catch people's eyes for the ads. That's been a huge impact for us, like, I received messages, like, 30 messages a day. So, that's had a huge impact on us for sure. 100%. Like, we've had to actually make classes built around beginner classes. So, that really pushed us forward too and it started us thinking about how we can gradually bring them into our family of London Karate Club. So… 

RICHARD: So, when you had that challenge, that 72 Hour Sale, I remember saying to Kim, “There's no way we win this, there's no way.” We've got Brad who has 400 students, you got Cheyne who has 350 students… This little dojo of 100 students, there's no way we're going to be able to beat these guys, right?
So, we did give it our best. We gave it our best and hoped for the best. And I just had one more day, I had one more encore day in my pocket, and we sold four memberships on that one encore day, right? That moment showed me that I can move a mountain, right? I can make it happen, right? And it's refreshing that something can make you and bring you up and lift you up like that, right? 

And, you know, why did this little dojo, this little school, beat these guys with all these students? Right, perseverance, right? It's perseverance. It's like the Rocky movie, right? You know, the guy who doesn't think he's going to win, and all of a sudden, he's there, right? You know, now I know moving forward. And like I said, the other night, I'm looking forward to moving forward with you, and I'm excited for what's coming, right? 

GEORGE: So, just a bit more on the 72 Hour Sale, I think just for context for anyone listening. I know a lot of people run like a Black Friday sale or Christmas sale. We've got this method in the Partners group called the 72 Hour Sale, because it was created before we created anything for Black Friday sale, but it can be used as a Black Friday sale or Christmas sale or any valid reason that you really give it. 

So, you can run it four times a year, twice a year, you know, whatever. Whatever mountains you're trying to move. In our Partners Group, we put together these challenges every so often. So, we run on six week cycles, and we put together a challenge, and we just see who gets the most numbers. Who would have thought martial artists are competitive? 

Everybody tends to rally up and get stuck in, right? And, so, we ran the six-week challenge. You could tell us more, right? But like Richard, as you were saying, you thought it was not possible, because you've never done something like this, and then you ended up with the number?

RICHARD: Right. I never thought you could do that in 72 hours. I never thought in my life. I've never done – that was the best sale – and that was the best month I've ever done. Like, ever, ever! And it was, like, it opened my eyes. If you really put your mind to it and really put everything aside and just focus on that number – focus on that number – 20, 20, 20. 

And that's what I was focused on, I was focused on 20, but in the back of my mind, I would have settled for 15, right? But that last day I said to Sensei Kim, “We're not settling for 15. We're not settling for 16. We're going to get 20.” And we got 20! And well, the way we did it was that we took – it's not just selling individual memberships, we started involving families, right? 

So, we had one lady who signed up for a family of three, right? So, we took the first number as the number, and then the other ones would kind of it's a little bit smaller, right? So, we actually sold family memberships and went there. So, we made that number just by being a little bit creative, right?

GEORGE: And that number, the dollar number, was 31? 

RICHARD: Just almost 31,000. Was 30,880 odd dollars. Yeah. 

GEORGE: That's nice. Bonus, right? 

RICHARD: It was…

GEORGE: Especially if you haven't done that! Now, I think what's more important from that, and you were sort of mentioning that as well, is how does that make you feel as in what you can achieve next? Like, I mean, it's nice to grab the cash and money's great, but what impact does it have on you? 

Martial Arts

RICHARD: It shows me that I – everyday sales – if I really ramp it up and really focus on what I need to focus on, and it shows me that I can make this as a living. It shows me that if I really had to spend all my time and effort at this, that I will never have to go through that door for someone else again… because really, when we go to work, and we're not working for ourselves, working for somebody else, that door becomes a dreadful, dreadful entrance, right? The shrine that's behind me, you see the gate of training there.

I have the gi of training at the door of my dojo, and every time I pass over that, the world stays behind. This is my world, right? So, I want that door. I want to walk through that door every day. I want that door to feed me every day. Feed me that positivity every day. And then, Kim and I, we work on positivity stuff all the time, right? We try to keep ourselves positive. I said, you know, through this 72 Hour Sale, we can't be negative, we got to be positive and we got to think positive, right? 

And it just shows me that I can make a living at this, right? I can make a living at this, right? And I gotta shake off those fears, right? Like fight full contact in Japan and shoot fighting – getting punched in the face sucks. It really sucks getting punched in the face sucks, right? I did a 20 man fight in Okinawa for my 8th Dan. It sucks, bare fist, fair enough, it sucks. But that stuff's easy compared to… To me, that stuff's easy compared to shaking off the fear of going into business for yourself. But it showed me, the 72 Hour Sale showed me that I can do that – I can shake off those fears. 

GEORGE: Yeah, and hats off to you because it's not, I mean, we provide the strategy and the formula… and it's great that we've got so many smart cats in our group that we can test different strategies, and we even refined things that last few days, and how can we change the offer to make it more valuable. 

But it should be said that none of this happens if you don't have a great product – and that means you deliver great classes, teach epic classes and deliver great martial arts classes. So, nothing happens without that. Last few questions, if you had to answer this: I almost didn't join, because…? 

RICHARD: I almost didn't join, because I didn't know if I could make the commitment to afford it. To be honest with you, George, what I did was – hoping my wife doesn't listen to this – during the first part of COVID, I, well, leveraged my house to keep this place open, because nobody was here – was just me, right?

And the first part, I didn't know how to do Zoom, we didn't know how to do Zoom, right? We didn't understand it, and then – we joined – it was the Partners that helped us with Zoom, right? We joined Zoom, we joined Partners, and we had to figure Zoom out. And so, what we did is we bought a year subscription for Zoom, and now we're teaching Zoom classes when we're locked out. 

And people are coming out – people don't like it so much – but the people are coming out, right? Because it's information. It's information. And I, like, I picked up a student through Sensei Kim in the UK, and he's training now and he's enjoying it, right? So, I mean, Zoom has its place, and you know, it taught us that we can touch and get involved with a lot of different people around the world. 

GEORGE: Love it. 

RICHARD: I was afraid I wouldn't be able to commit to you. That's my biggest fear. That was my biggest fear. 

GEORGE: Now can I ask, Kim, what did he really tell you?

Martial Arts

KIM: It was, that's what it was. It was, you know, can we keep putting money into this and you know, keep going and going forward at the same time? That's what it really was. And we just decided like, “Hey, let's just do it.” And like I said, the 72 Hour Sale, I think really opened us up to what we could do. It did for me too, because it – we were just a small dojo in, you know, in Canada, London, Canada, and we blew it out of the water really. For the short time and the work that you put into it, we got a lot out of it, and it just tells me that we can do a lot more.

RICHARD: Well, the other thing is though, when you sat down and went through the four-week sale with us, the four-week program? We used that four-week program, it brought a lot of students into us. So, that was the moment that you were talking about, when you saw the, “Hey, I can do this.” When I, when my wheel started changing, was that day and that's why I stayed. And also, just the feedback I get from all the people just sitting by – I don't talk a lot in the meetings – but I'm absorbing. 

I'm absorbing what they're saying and, you know, we're very much a paper and pen dojo. We haven't gotten on to a lot of apps and sign-in apps and stuff, and we're trying to figure it out now. Like, we're trying to figure it's got to be easier, right? So, we're getting a lot from the group and the Partners group and we're very thankful to be a part of it. Like it's, it's really helped us a lot, George. You guys have really helped us a lot. And I kind of like you a little. 

GEORGE: Ah, cool. So… 

RICHARD: Just a little bit, just a little bit. Take it easy. 

GEORGE: Okay, just a little, right. Good. I was glad to say that the, you know, the South African Aussie accent wasn't, you know, anything weird. 

RICHARD: Your Canadian accent is better than your Aussie accent. 

GEORGE: I do my best, hey! But one last thing, who'd you recommend us to, and why?

Martial Arts Schools

RICHARD: I would recommend you to anyone, anyone who's looking to make gains in their schools, and to just all around, make their schools a better place, financially wise, and even with the stuff that you guys help us with, with getting classes scheduled and figuring out timewise… I would recommend it to any martial artists out there that really, really are struggling and martial arts schools all struggle, we all struggle. 

And if you want to be able to move forward in your craft that you love so much, I would recommend it to anyone, any school. Any school out there can always use the martial arts Partners, Martial Arts Media, and… nothing but good things, nothing but good things will come from it. 

GEORGE: Thanks so much, Richard and Kim. Thank you. And if that's you, and you're listening to this, and you do need some help. Best way to do that probably if you go to martialartsmedia.com/scale. We've got a little questionnaire you can just add your details there, and we'll reach out and have a chat and see if it's the right fit for you. No Canadian Club whiskey or anything was sent over as a funded endorsement. Do you guys even drink Canadian Club or is that just a thing? 

RICHARD: No, no, that's, that's so… no, no. 

GEORGE: Right, because I discovered Fosters beer when I lived in the United States, which is this big one liter can of beer. I was like, “Oh, wow, this is really cool.” And then when I ended up living in Australia was like, “Where the hell is Fosters?” Like you cannot buy Fosters. It's not a local Australian beer and nobody drinks fosters here. So, it's just an American thing or a North American Canadian thing. I don't know if you guys get it in Canada, but I think the attraction was it was just this big one liter can of beer. Yeah, right. So, Canadian Club is not a? No? 

RICHARD: No. It's not really good whiskey.  

GEORGE: Cool. Hey, Richard, Kim, thanks so much for being on. I'll speak to you soon. See you on the next call. 

RICHARD: Great. Thank you for having us, George. We really appreciate it.

KIM: Thank you. 

RICHARD: Appreciate everything you've done. 

GEORGE: Thank you. 

RICHARD: Thank you.

 

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!

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!

118 – Why We Are Launching The Martial Arts Media™ App For Martial Arts School Owners

After 8 months of development, our beta launch for The Martial Arts Media™ mobile app has begun. Here’s a brief intro why we created this for the martial arts business community.

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IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Why we created the Martial Arts Media mobile app
  • The reason why we’re moving our communities from Facebook
  • What’s included in the Martial Arts Media mobile app
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Ten years from now, I don't want my community to be on – I don't want my business to be so dependent on Facebook, because they can change direction at any given point in time, like they have so many times, and then I'm at the mercy of that. So, I really wanted to build a platform that I own, I can control. 

Hey, George here, hope you're well. So, I wanted to give you a quick update on a couple of really cool things we've created. Life update and a cool business update. 

So, first up, I've just got to keep a listen out for – I don't know if you saw my previous, one of our previous podcasts about the blinds and the solar guy? Well, there's a guy coming to measure some blinds – a different company. 

Anyway, go listen to the podcast, and you'll get the context. But a couple of things that's been going on: I've been fiercely working one-handed for the most part on a mobile app, and I'm really, really excited about you checking it out and the impact that it's going to make. 

So, first up, I say one-handed, I've just come out of surgery. If you're watching this, you can see I had my tendon come off my bone, a nice little injury. So, I'm not allowed to really, I don't have much range, right, that's what I can do with it right now. 

Fortunately, it's out of the sling and I can type again. So, getting a bit of functionality back, but it's been a lot of hard work with my right hand, and I'm left handed! 

So yeah, it's been interesting and I've been talking a lot to text, which is, I think the one big thing that's come out of it, not to go too deep into this topic on the podcast, but not being able to type and talking to text with everything that I've been doing, it's been super productive, actually. 

Martial Arts Media™ App

So, let's talk – the app. I think I hinted on this a while back. You know, COVID has done a few different things for a lot of us, right? You know, made us reshuffle, rethink, you know, think of what-ifs? How do we go about business when things are not the way it should be? 

And so, you know, I also have a lot of those moments, and one moment that I really did have is, I've been putting off doing the thing that I've always wanted to do. The vision that I've always wanted to, you know, the thing I wanted to really build for the industry, and the reason I stopped pursuing that dream is just the technicalities of doing it. 

Having a background in developing websites – and that's how I got into helping martial arts school owners – was working a lot on the technical side of things. And I think personally, for me, swapping between being a technical guy, being a marketing guy, being a coach, it's a lot of hats to juggle, really. 

Even though I just work with martial arts school owners, people say, “Hey, I just work with martial arts school owners,” but there's a lot of, you know, facets that come with that. So, I've been really trying to align just all the things I do. 

But really, that's probably why I just put it off, you know, because I knew the technical mountain that I'd have to dive into to get it done. Anyway, I stopped putting it off, and I did it! 

Martial Arts Media™ App Welcome Screen

I started building the mobile app and started late 2020. And we just, after a lot of back and forth with Apple, it's just released into the App Store. Now, depending on when you're listening to this, if it's right now, go check it out, go download it, there's a free trial. Right now, it's really just set up for members of our programs. 

Although there's a huge bonus if you do jump in, right, so we've taken all our courses, our Academy course that, you know, we've sold separately for 1000 US dollars, the previous Academy version, and Digitize Your Dojo, there's about $2,500 worth of courses in there, right now, and you can access them right away if you try out the app, they are there to watch. That's a nice little bribe, right? You just need to check the app out. 

But there's so much more to the app, just not yet. So, one of the technical things that we ran into getting the app out was just how strict Apple is, and it was a whole new venture for me. And, you know, we started with the 15.0 version, and I brought it down to the beta version and just peeled back all the features to get it in the App store to just complicate it less. So, where we're at today is that the app is now live in the App Store. 

You can go to Google Play and Apple App Store. Few people have had a few issues searching for it in the Google Play Store. So, if you do, just go to martialartsmedia.com and message us, but it is there, and it's in the Apple App Store. 

So, we got them both live. Today we just released our first update, just to see how smooth that process is, and this week, we're going to start releasing the features that we really wanted in the app. And so, what is in the app? Right now it's a place where all our courses are, in the program we've got all our courses, all our content, we are also taking all our communities over to the app. 

Martial Arts Media™ App Newsfeed

So, there are groups, kind of like Facebook, just a bit simpler. Groups, and one place really where people can learn, our members can learn, and have conversations and get help. The one thing about, although I love Facebook and its great options for business, it always has me nervous. I don't know about you and if you've had any issues with Facebook, or ad accounts, one day things work or they don't. 

Ten years from now, I don't want my community to be on – I don't want my business to be so dependent on Facebook, because they can change direction at any given point in time, like they have so many times, and then I'm at the mercy of that. So, I really wanted to build a platform that I own. I can control, and then I've got the skills to actually build all the things and everything that I wanted to put in it. 

So, the app right now is a place where you can grab all the content, have conversations and so forth, but what I'm really excited about rolling out in the app is a way to deliver coaching and combine high level coaching with technology, the right technology to prompt you to get you to do the things that's going to move you forward in business. 

That's what is really exciting me, you know, the last few years within our Academy and Partners programs, we've covered a lot, we've worked with a lot of school owners, learned a lot of things that work and a lot of things that don't and, you know, when it comes to the things that don't, I always try and refine and see how do we improve our delivery of coaching programs? 

How do we help people get to their goals faster, you know, and that's really the metric that we track, is how do we get your student numbers to go up? That's the big thing for us, and we've developed some really cool technology that's going to help keep you on track and help move you forward. 

Martial Arts Media™ App Discussions

So, exciting for our members, exciting for us to, yeah, roll out something that's, I dare say not really available anywhere else, especially not in the industry. So, this is all stuff that we've created and modified and things that we've learned and put together, and it's… 

Anyway, I don't want to ramble on about it, but I wanted to give you a good update. This won't be the last time I talk about it, for sure. 

But this will be the, I really want to invite you to check it out. Give the trial a good run. If you've got any questions, let us know and have a play with it, and if, by all means, you just, dive into the free courses that are available right now then do that, and yeah, get a result from that.

Those foundational courses, marketing courses, are, from my experience, the fastest way that you can get traction online. And we've seen it with so many members that have just gone from nothing to really creating something, those that have a substantial student base, being able to increase it. And these Academy courses are the most direct path on how you can get that. So, there's the app, go give it a try. 

Over the next couple coming weeks, we'll be doing a couple of things that we're launching and a couple of added things that are within the app, and yeah, it's exciting times. It's cool. Anyway, I really wanted to get that out to you and, so yeah, if you do manage to log into the App Store and get it, let us know, give us some feedback. 

You can just go to martialartsmedia.com/contact, and there's a little ‘Chat with us' button. Click on that, it brings up a chat window, and you can have a chat with us there. As a matter of fact, if you log into the app by the time you do, it might actually be the same chat window available where you can have a conversation with us right there. So, either way, I would love to hear from you. We'd like to hear what you think about it. And I'll give some more updates on it real soon.

Anyway, that's it for me. The blinds guy is not here yet. So, we made it. I will speak to you in 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.

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!

117 – [Case Study] How Lindsay Guy 3x’d His Martial Arts Business Coming Out Of Covid

Lindsay Guy is impacting many families while growing his karate business. The most important family being his own.

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IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Why risk takers are the actual winners
  • Why asking for help is good for you and your martial arts business
  • The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people
  • Why repetition (of what works) in marketing is a good thing
  • The elements of an effective Facebook ad campaign
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

It's important that you surround yourself with positive people, people who are all wanting to head in the same direction that you're heading. Regardless of what level of school you've got, you've got guys that come on now who have got quite large schools, that are up to capacity, that are not really interested in expanding their school, but just maintaining it. Keeping up to the levels they've got and of course, they're sharing their knowledge with some of the guys who have got smaller schools. 

GEORGE: Hey everyone, George here, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. I'm speaking to a guest where, I am speaking to actually for the second time today, because we were just on one of our Partners coaching calls. Lindsay was on that and we’re just jumping over to find out more about Lindsay Guy. How are you doing today, Lindsay? 

LINDSAY: Top of the world today, George. I feel great actually! 

GEORGE: Top of the world, thanks to our conversations, right? 

LINDSAY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You wouldn't believe how I felt prior to coming on with you. Thanks, George. 

GEORGE: Exactly. This is the type of banter, this might set the tone for the conversation, a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, a little bit of self-praise where it's not relevant, but anyway. From my side! 

Anyway, so chatting today to Lindsay Guy, and wanted to bring him on to just chat about his journey in martial arts and a whole bunch of other things that we'll reveal during the interview, but I'll give a quick roundup and then I'll hand it over to you to see if you can give us, you can fill the gaps, and tell us more about you and your background in martial arts. 

But Lindsay Guy, 6th Dan, founder of Guy's Karate School, 6th Dan Sho Da Kan karate, 2nd Dan Taekwondo, Level 5 ISKA referee and international referee, and a whole bunch of other things. So, officially, welcome to the call, Lindsay. 

So, give us a bit of a roundup – just how you got started in the business, the martial arts and how things have evolved up to now. 

LINDSAY: Well, I guess like a lot of people, I was a bullied child. I didn't enjoy my younger years, my school days, I was a bit of a, what you call a nerd. Back in the days when guys had long hair, I was a kid with short hair and glasses and big ears sticking out. So, wasn't really what you'd call a trendsetter at the time. Or maybe I was a trendsetter at the time, I just didn't know about it. 

But I remember I was sitting in my house, I was about 20 years old, sitting in my house and I came across an article in a newspaper about some guys who are going to a tournament with one of the local karate schools, and I thought I wouldn't mind trying that. So, at the end of the ad, of course, it had the details on how to contact the instructor if you're interested in studying karate. 

So, I gave this guy a call and went down to start to train with him. I remember on the first night he said, “Look, these guys are going to a tournament. So, we actually might use you as a bit of a partner, so put these gloves on. You can be a bit of a training partner for these guys.” Now, I've never punched anybody in my life. And yet, here's this guy, got those gloves on.

And I continued to go back until about, I guess it was about two months later, when he came to me and he said, “Look”, he was a Swiss German, so he had this very strong accent and everything that he said, he still says, just sounds cranky all the time. And he said to me, “Look, you're never going to learn karate. You're stupid.” He said, “You just go home. Don't come back. Don't waste my time.” And I went, “Really?” And he went, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – you're just stupid, go away.”

So, then the next night I came back and he said to me, “I told you not to come back”, and I went, “Yeah, I know, but I'm coming back.” So, years later I said to Sensei Celso, who was my instructor, I said, “Do you remember years ago when you said to me, I'm stupid, don't come back?” He said, “Yeah, I remember that.” And I said, “So, why would you say that?” He said, “I recognized some potential in you, and I just wanted to see whether you really wanted to learn karate.

So, if you came back, you proved to me that you're genuine, you wanted to learn, and if you didn't come back,” he said, “Well, you just proved that you really weren't that keen on it.” So, that's how we started off. 

GEORGE: Now that's interesting in two ways. Number one, that your actual entry point was looking at an ad for a tournament. Well, for me, at least, that's the first time I've ever heard of someone starting based on a tournament and kind of wanting to jump into the deep end. Was that a strange thing for you to just rock up and think, “Well, hey, there's a tournament happening. I want to be in a tournament, and I want to learn this thing to be in the tournament?” At 20, as well. 

LINDSAY: Well, I didn't consider it strange. And now you've just made me feel a little odd about that now, George. Up until that point, I'd never felt strange about it. But maybe there's a little lack of sleep tonight, because of that, thinking about it.

But no, I just always wanted to learn karate, because I grew up through the Bruce Lee, the, you know, the Kung Fu with David Carradine days, martial arts movies were all the go back then. You know, with guys like Richard Norton, Chuck Norris, all those guys.

And I'd always looked at that, and being a bullied child, I thought maybe this is something I can do. Maybe I can slowly, you know, get into something and finally start learning to defend myself. That's why I showed up. And of course, maybe I was stupid at the time, because I just kept coming back, you know, out of all of those students that Sensei Celso trained over those years, I'm still the only one that's still doing karate. 

GEORGE: Now, the second question on that, what do you think of that type of reverse psychology approach? And how relevant do you think that still is – to challenge someone in that way? 

LINDSAY: I don't think it's relevant at all. I would never say that to any of my students. I think it's a, you know, a stupid thing to say. Because at that time, you know, I didn't know anything about karate, I was still a little fragile. I could have just walked out of that center and went, “Ok, I won't do it then.” And of course, he could have lost the student, martial arts could have not gained a great instructor. 

GEORGE: Exactly. 

LINDSAY: Yep. 

GEORGE: Yeah, I always wonder about that type of approach, and I think there's, it works for a set personality, that you respond to that challenge, like, “You won't tell me, I'll show up.” But then, I think, for the majority, 75%, you might miss the chance of someone just kind of crumbling, especially if you have been bullied and you have been stamped on a few times… it could go the other way, right?

Karate Business

LINDSAY: Well, absolutely, it could see, we came through the old fashioned Sho Da Kan, traditional style of training, it was hard training. And yeah, lots and lots of people used to leave, our retention rate was dreadful, you know, you do a big ad, you'd have 30 people and within two weeks, there'd be only six left. It was a hard road, it wasn't a black belt in three years, and it was a black belt in 7 – 8 years. It was training without gloves, it was training without any protection, it was on old wooden floors, and you're regularly getting hit and thrown to the floor. 

So, I understand now why people didn't last, but the people that did last and go through the system, turned out to be quite good martial artists and are, you know, quite tough in themselves. It was a very mental feat, because they used to, you know, just push you quite hard.

GEORGE: And do you think a lot of that is lacking at the moment? I mean, because what I just referenced, you know, it's probably easy to say, and there will probably be someone that says, “Yeah, don't be a snowflake, kind of get over it, grow a pair”, you know, everything else that goes with it. Which, yeah, it's a fair point, and it is relevant, but I think sometimes you can completely separate someone from actually making that decision to move forward and do the thing by not approaching them properly. 

But on that, I mean, what do you feel? How much of that do you feel is missing? And if you look at students today, how do you feel that they progress? And do you feel that they achieve that same kind of grit and hard attitude from training and perseverance? 

LINDSAY: A lot depends on the personality of the student, really. You know, during our training and all instructors will tell you the same thing, they can pick the ones that they can push a bit harder. They can pick the ones that they tend to slap around a little bit more.

You know, I've got a 21 year old who's a 2nd Dan with us, and I made sure that he came out tough. I made sure that, you know, he could defend himself, and the first time they got into a situation, he perhaps wasn't, he wasn't going to panic or the first time he got hit, he wasn't going to break down and cry. He's also a big boy.

But there are those students that have come through that I've pushed a little harder and that were treated a little rougher, and I think they've come out at the other end much better martial artists. There's a difference between being a great martial artist and being someone who's tough enough to stand up for themselves. Like, I can teach lots and lots of people to do great technique, but at the end of the day, are they tough enough to be able to stand up in a self defence scenario? 

GEORGE: Perfect. So, moving on from that – so, your 20s and you know, your training. How did your journey evolve from there? 

LINDSAY: I must admit, we went to a lot of tournaments back then. It seemed to be every weekend we were at some form of tournament we're at. You know, back then there weren't a great deal of tournament circuits like there is now to participate in and back then there were only two events. It was just Kumite, it was just sparring, and then there were kata patterns, and when you went, those were the two things that you competed in, wasn't anything else.

So, when we look at today with events and tournaments, you know, there's so much for kids to do today, there's cuddling, I'm sorry, wrestling. 

GEORGE: Ooh – you've just lost half of my audience. 

LINDSAY: There's sword combat, you know, there's sumo, there's high kicks, there's extreme weapons, there's all of those sorts of things that kids can be involved in competing today. But you know, back in the old style tournament, two things: you went in your one Kumite event, your one kata event, and however you performed from there, that was all there was. 

So, I did a lot of tournament work back then, I was involved in the New South Wales Karate Federation, I was involved in the, in what we called WUKO back then, was the world organization, you know, karate union, there was KY karate union in Australia, there was a lot of those traditional associations out there that we belonged to. We competed regularly in, you know, your AKF in New South Wales Karate Federation tournaments, and that sort of thing. There were lots of state titles and Australian titles that we competed in, and then, of course, from there, even international events that we competed in overseas. 

So, over that time, I've probably done, I don't know, thousands and thousands of tournaments. But I must admit that that's been part of the reason that's kept me in and I guess over that time is the fun that I've been able to have, and the people that I've been able to meet through those tournaments. Because if I just stayed in my little town of Maitland and practiced in a little local hall, honestly I don't think I'd still be in karate. It was those tournaments, those people I met, was the excitement I had, the travel that I did, that's kept me in it, I guess. 

GEORGE: Is that due to just the motivation of, it's inspiration from other martial artists, and also just the way your training progressed in a different form? 

LINDSAY: No, I always go to tournaments, and I think I found something I was good at. You know, when you find something you're good at, and you're doing well at it, it makes you happy, it keeps you well, and it keeps you interested. So, I always thought, I had this idea that why would I stop doing something that I like doing and I'm good at to go and try and find something else that I'm good at and I like doing, when, you know, I'm already doing, you know what I liked doing and what I'm good at? 

So, I just stayed there, that was why I did it. And I still compete! You know, I competed a couple of weeks ago in Sydney at the ISKA Sydney Open, so I'm still competing in the old people's events. The ones where we come out with the walkers, you know. 

GEORGE: That's cool. I'm actually on the part of your website that I, well, the part of your bio that I did leave out – achievements. Just scanning through here. 1985, commenced training with Ken-Sei-Kan in Maitland with Celso Bauer. 1987, won North Coast Open (Kumite) at Coffs Harbor. 1988, first place over 80 kg in New South Wales for the Federation. Alright, pretty impressive. 

LINDSAY: Thank you. There's so much that could be listed there. It could be pages and pages and pages of it, but at the end of it all who really cares? Nobody, except me. 

GEORGE: Do your students care? 

LINDSAY: Most of them not. Yeah, some of them do. You know, I still compete and some of them when they see me compete there, and they were, “Wow, that's, Shihan's actually probably pretty good there, I can see that he is.” However, the people that walk in through my door, they really don't care how many stripes I've got on my belt and how many trophies I've got up on my wall. They're more concerned is, what I'm going to give to their children or themselves. 

But you know, what are we going to get out of it? Not what your achievements are. And I think too many people worry about how many certificates they got on their wall and how many trophies they got up on the shelf and how many stripes they've got on their belt. Think that's going to give them students – it doesn't work that way. 

GEORGE: And how did you come to that realization? Was it, was there a time that that was your focus, and you leaned towards that in your marketing, that is your strength, what you provide? 

LINDSAY: Absolutely. You know, I thought the more stripes I had on my belt, the more students I was going to get. You know, when I was in my 30s, I was a cocky, young bloke, and, you know, promoting trophies and self-promotion, I thought was the way that we did things.

Realistically, at the end of it all, the only person that really cared about it was me, you know, I can look back through old paper clippings and stuff now that I've got in some scrapbooks. They're great to look at, they're great for memories, but I could put it out at the dojo, and people just have a quick flick through it.

No one really cares about any of that stuff. I think that when you're looking at promoting your business, you know, whether it be online or more verbally, I think people just really need to know what they're going to get out of it. What can you do for them? 

GEORGE: Yeah, and so I think it's important for you and your confidence in the way you portray yourself, and the fact that you can back up what you say and what you provide. And I think that's probably the missing key, you know, if you can use that as a credibility statement, of positioning it in a way that's actually relevant to the students. Like, what's the benefit in it for them? 

LINDSAY: Well, it's on my website, I've put my bio on the website, Shihan Lindsay, and it's there for those people who want to go and have a look. I don't promote it, I don't tell people to go on and have a look at what I've done. But there are people out there that say, “We want to check this guy out. We want to check his credentials, we want to see what he's done.”

And some people go on there and they go, “Oh, wow, he must be a pretty good instructor because it says he's won lots of stuff”, which really doesn't mean anything, because I might not be a good instructor. I might be a self-centered Wally, who, you know, is just full of self-promotion, I might not be a good instructor at all. 

GEORGE: So, you did something slip, and you were talking about cuddling. Where did this reference come from? 

LINDSAY: Well, actually, George, I think it may come from you, to be honest with you. I think it was more or less something we started just to have a bit of banter with you, because I know you do a bit of BJJ, and I know you're quite attached to it. And any poke that we can have at, you know, other martial artists in jest, I think is, is pretty healthy. 

GEORGE: That's good! And I'm glad you mentioned that for the context, you know that we don't get hate messages for this podcast. That was all relevant banter, and… 

LINDSAY: I like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's not that I don't like it or any form of Jiu Jitsu. I think that, you know, throughout our karate teaching, we do a lot of that. It's just a different art to what we do, that's all. And have I done it? Plenty of it. Have I been involved in seminars where they do it? Of course, many times. Have I enjoyed it? Yes. That's not what I think. 

GEORGE: That's good. I thought it almost would be good to say, you know, do you feel that that is where you would evolve to? 

LINDSAY: Quick answer, no. 

GEORGE: Okay. 

LINDSAY: Why? Because it's not my interest. It's not… 

GEORGE: I just wanted to throw that in there as an evolving statement. That was the only… People come to me, and they say, “But we'd like to do some Jiu Jitsu,” and I say, “Yeah, there's a great school just around the corner. Go see the guys down there, because they're fantastic at what they do.”

So, walk me through the success of your school and how things have evolved. 

LINDSAY: Yeah, well, we did about 32 years in the school hall. And again, just the same, you know, you build up, you have 30 students and then what happens, is in a few weeks, later, you've got 15 left. It wasn't till about three years ago that I made the decision that it's probably about time that I started my own school.

See, for about a million years, I just looked around trying all these little business ideas. The same ones that lots and lots of people try, you know. I tried, you know, working on different little ideas that I came up with marketing and the way to do stuff.

And after 33 years, I realized that I already had it. It was sitting right there. That whole business that I've been looking for is that I've been playing with it for 30-odd years and did not even realize what I had. I'd liked teaching martial arts, I wasn't making any money, actually.

As most martial artists would tell you, if they got a little school in a school hall or a community hall, it probably costs you more money every year than what you actually make out of it. And it's just the way that is, and when I went through the stage then, I went, “Okay, there's a couple of things I'm looking at.

Retirement – do I want to continue to work in a job for a boss asking when I can have holidays and days off for the rest of my life?” No, I didn't want to do it. Did I want a school that I could, you know, build? That at some point in time, I could go and have holidays, the school could still continue to run and I could receive an income from that? Yes.

So, now there was only one option then, was to take the gamble, and start a school. So, the first thing was to look around for a building, get a building, I still had a full time job at this stage, and it wasn't til just before COVID, that I didn't have a full time job.

So, I quit my job on the 19th of March 2020, and then on the 21st of March 2020, the government closed us down. It was a great time to actually quit my job, I went back to the boss and he said, “Sorry, Lindsay, but I've already replaced you, we've already got a guy now doing your job, and we don't need you any longer.” Then we went through the next six months, of course, without any income, which was great. We were still doing Zoom lessons during that time, but I still made that commitment that I didn't want to go back to a job. 

So, what had happened prior to that, though, is that, you know, I'd gone to all of these martial arts marketing companies, every time I opened up my Facebook, there was somebody else promoting how good they were and what they could do for me. Admittedly, I paid quite a lot of money to a lot of those people, and really achieved no success out of it. What a lot of them do is say to you, “We'll do this for you, we'll have regular meetings, you know, we'll help you boost your school, we'll look at it.” 

And at the end of it all, once you've signed up, paid your money, you really don't hear from a lot of them ever again. You send them emails, they don't respond to them. They give you this package, it's a bunch of videos that you can watch, and if you watch all the videos, and do as we say, well, you'll do okay at it. But what I wanted was something different to that, George. 

What I wanted was someone who can hold me accountable, or someone that I could regularly speak to, and was involved in some form of group where I could speak to other martial artists that were going through the same problems as I was going through, or had already been through the problems and come out the other side with some solutions. 

So, when I saw this ad come up for this George Fourie guy, I thought, another one, another one. But exactly the same as the other guys, I contacted you exactly the same as I contacted all the other guys, because George Fourie could have been the one. He could have been the one or he might have been just another line of wasted money.

And what I did was, is that after contacting you, I felt comfortable, because I could speak to you, we could go on Zoom, we could have a chat together and you at that time said to me, “These are some other people that I'm working with, if you want to have a chat with them, feel free to contact them.” And you made me a guarantee that if I did what you asked me to do, and it didn't work, you'd refund every single cent that I was ever going to pay to you, which was to me a no loss situation.

Instead of with the other guys, it was a no win situation. So, you know, we struggled, we really didn't know where we were going or how to get there. We've made lots of mistakes, we've had a lot of students come through. We've had a lot of students that had quit, because we weren't doing things correctly, because we had no experience. And what we were trying to do is go from a 20 student school to a 200 student school with absolutely no idea how to do it, and that's when you came. 

GEORGE: That's awesome! 

LINDSAY: Yeah. 

GEORGE: That's great to hear, and I think I'll just add to that. You mentioned another one of these guys. I sometimes feel, you know, I'm sitting on Facebook and I'm like, I kind of say the same thing, right?

Because I know where the information comes from, I mean, I'm late. I have never seen so many martial arts marketing people, which I find interesting and look, everybody is obviously free to run a business and do their thing.

What I do have a gripe with is ethics. Ethics is a big, big thing for me. And when I started working in the martial arts space, Facebook wasn't even such a big thing.

I mean, my story of how I started was completely different. And I sort of worked my way into it, but it was a lot of trial and error and learning. There's a big trend in the online space, where you buy a course, you're not an expert, the expert tells you this is how you become an expert, and you model our system that works on how we sell the course.

Now, this expert becomes an expert, because they bought the course, and they go sell you their system on how that system works, and they give advice. And unfortunately, people end up spending a lot of money, and they spend money on the wrong things, or things are over promised. And I think for anybody that's listening to this in that field, you know, go out there and get some results before you over promise and lead people down the wrong path. 

LINDSAY: When I made that commitment, I made the commitment to go to a full time school with 20 students. Was a big commitment, but the belief in myself that I could do it was really high. I was encouraged by some other school owners that I knew. Yeah, just go for it.

We, I guess, paid out a lot of money out of our pocket for rent, you know, and outgoings and stuff before we built up, and quite quickly, we built up to about 70 – 80 students, which of course in that 70 – 80 students, we're still just paying rent.

So, I still wasn't making any cash out of it. Hence the reason I took my full time job. But what I found was it was extremely hard to build the business up, while I was concentrating on working all day, every day for a boss. What I'd do from there is I'd leave my place of employment, I'd go straight to the dojo, I'd teach, I'd shut up at night, I'd go home and have dinner and go to bed, and then start the next day exactly the same with my full time boss. 

So, how was I ever going to, you know, build up my business and work on increasing my student numbers if I was focusing more on somebody else's business than my own? You know, my wife was driving an old car, the guy I worked for, his wife was driving a new car. He was having great holidays, whenever he felt like it. I was having holidays whenever he told me I could. So, I decided that that wasn't for me. I wanted to be him. I wanted to be like him. 

So, that was when I made that decision to quit my job. Was it an easy decision to make? For me, it was. It was just straight down the line. I'm leaving. I'm not going to do this any longer. Where did the money come from? At that time? Well, it came from our housing mortgage.

You know, we had the withdrawal back out of the housing mortgage, and I used that money then to pay expenses, to pay bills. Were we living quite meekly? Yeah, we were. We weren't having great holidays. We weren't going out for dinner, you know, once a week. We weren't buying new cars.

What I was doing was, I was investing back into my business, because I could still see even though I had no idea where I was going, I still firmly believed in myself that we were going to make this business work. How? No idea. But it was that blind faith that kept driving me to keep doing stuff to keep looking at people, you know, like George Fourie, to keep making those telephone calls, or those, you know, internet introductions to them, because I was looking for that one person who was going to help me. 

Now, we came back from COVID, we had about 90 students when we came back from COVID. Currently, today we're pushing towards the 300 students. I promised my wife when we hit 300 students that we would buy her a new car. We're pretty close to that now, we've already ordered the new car, and it’s coming in about six weeks. 

I set a goal, and that's what we're pushing to now. So, you know, it's just those little rewards. You might think a car's not a little reward. It is a little reward. It's not a big reward. Yeah. So, you know, we've managed to do some things now and we're actually starting to live a little now.

We have a long time where we weren't living, we were surviving. But by putting all of that other lifestyle aside just for a short time, it's allowed us to build the business up to a level now where we're more comfortable financially.

We can have some holidays, we can go out, we can buy a new vehicle, and we can maybe get some new clothes and all of those things that we missed out on for so long. We can now do those simply because we missed out on them for so long. So, I've made that decision to put my business first, us second, and it was a gamble. All I had to do was do it correctly and do as some of your business advisors advised me to do, and it was going to work. 

There was no point asking successful people for help, and then once they've given me advice, not doing it. It was just pointless. And there's so many people out there, though, come to me now and people I know, have little schools, and they say, “So, you're doing pretty well, how did you manage to do it?” And I tell them, and they go, “Oh, well, we would never do that.” Okay, that's fine, because you'll never have what I have if you're not prepared to do it. It's pretty simple.

GEORGE: Awesome! 

Yeah, I love that. Firstly, well done. I actually wasn't aware of COVID until now, it's 90 to almost 300 students. That's magnificent! 

LINDSAY: Just over a year, now, George. 

GEORGE: Just over a year, triple the business, that's marvelous. You mentioned the car is a small thing – I love the fact that you could buy a car because every time you walk out and you look at the car, it cements the fact that you achieved that because of your success. So, it's actually one of the best rewards, you know, something that you can see, touch and feel every day. 

That's, like, the best reminder out there. And the other thing you mentioned, was just doing the work. Obviously, having belief in yourself, you know that you could do it – it all starts from that, like, really knowing that you can do this, and then having the guts to burn the bridges. And, really just, this is what I'm doing. I'm going to burn the bridges, create this business, it's going to provide for us, and go all in. 

LINDSAY: It's important not to lose focus, it's important not to lose focus of your goal. And you'll know – have there been times when I felt down about the business? Of course. Has there been times when I've really felt like, you know, I'm empty, and I don't know what to do next and what to fill it with? And at that period of time, I know that I've got a huge network of people that I can simply get on the phone or get on the internet to and speak to.

Now this week, for example, I had a couple of issues that I wanted some advice on or just someone to throw me some ideas. I contacted Cheyne McMahon and Brett Fenton this week, and had a chat with both of those two guys, because both of those guys are in a position that I want to be in. They've done the hard yards, they've made the mistakes. 

So, I thought what better opportunity than these two guys that I respect, that I know are in a position where I'm in too, and you know, ask them how they handled these situations? Or how would they handle these situations? And they gave me some advice, and I've made some decisions from that, which I feel is going to take us to the next step in our business.

So, it's important to get the right advice from the right people. There's plenty of people out there that are going to tell you can't do it. There's plenty of people out there who are going to tell you that, you know, we don't think it'll work. Are you sure you should be taking that risk? I think you're mad. And all those people out there. 

GEORGE: Those are the easy ones to find. You know, and that's why I think family can be the worst people to ask advice for, because they care for you and so they feel that they want to protect you. And so they give you advice to protect you, not move you forward.

But you know, on that, asking others for advice. That's what I really love about our weekly calls that we have, our Partners Power Hour sessions, because it's a session where, it's kind of a roundtable session that we have once a week, and a bunch of school owners, like today we had guys from New Zealand, Canada, and Australia on board. All different circumstances, a bit of a roundtable discussion of what's working, what's not, who's got ideas for different things, and, everyone gets to share and bounce ideas.

And the great thing about a mastermind type of event like that is everyone's actually got a valid point, no matter what level they're at, because you just need that one person to see things from a different angle, and that's what's going to move you forward. But it's kind of a place where we sort of congregate once a week and people get to ask questions, get unstuck, and you've got ideas and advice flowing freely. I always learn from it, I always get great ideas from that.

That's how we go create our next training session, because something came up in the session and we know that we can go and create a training from that, and sometimes will be someone like you, Cheyne, or Brett or one of the guys that jump on board and share what it is that they've got to share as well. 

LINDSAY: I think it's important that you surround yourself with positive people, people who are all wanting to head in the same direction that you're heading. And regardless of what level of school you've got, you've got guys that come on now who have got quite large schools, that are up to capacity, that are not really interested in expanding their school, but just maintaining it. You know, keeping up to the levels they've got and of course, they're sharing their knowledge with some of the guys who have got smaller schools. 

So, it's a fantastic environment to be around when we're involved in those conversations, because there's really no negative activity going on inside of our group chats, and that's why I join in. If there was negative activity, I'd simply go. I don't really want to dial in every Wednesday.

And you know, I think since I've been on board, which is I guess it's been just over a year now, I haven't missed one of those Wednesday sessions in a year. Why? Because I've just made it so important in my schedule that I can't miss out on those, because they're my motivators. But the amount of information, the amount of ideas I get out of those group sessions is incredible.

I get so much out of them that I take, you probably see me occasionally, I'll look across, I'll have a pen and a bit of paper, and I'll just take a quick note on something or write something down or I'll type something.  Because it's just the little things sometimes that can make a massive difference in your business.

Now, we're still doing things wrong. Yep. Of course we are. Are we trying to work on those things we're doing wrong? Yes, we are. How am I doing that? Well, I'm seeking advice from people that, you know, maybe again, in that position that we want to be into. Is our business evolving and changing? Yes, of course it is. So, as our student base grows, the programs that we put in change, the methodology that we do stuff changes, the staff, you know, management changes, the more staff that we have increases.

So, what we actually do is, we evolve with the business. If we don't evolve with the business, what happens is that at some point of time, we're not going to stagnate, we're actually going to go backwards in numbers, because we're not changing, evolving with our businesses. I think that's why some of those guys with large schools still continue to join in on our regular Wednesday meetings, because they're evolving with their business as well and have to. Even the smallest guy with a smaller school down the road could still have a great idea. You think to yourself, “Why didn't I think of that?” 

GEORGE: What you mentioned, it's a good reminder to have a check in also on the things that, you know, you came into the group with one situation. It's normally you know, people come to us normally for marketing help, but then marketing is taken care of, and then it's a whole new set of problems. And it's just remembering how to evolve with your business, and also let go of the things that you were doing that, you know, as you evolve as a school owner and the business, you've got to let go of the things that got you there to go to the next stage. 

LINDSAY: I guess that, do I want to pay, you know, money to the George Fouries of the world? No, of course I don't. 

Do I need to spend money with the George Fouries of the world? Yes, I do. Why? Because that's where I'm going to get the information to grow my business, I have to find information somewhere, and generally information isn't free. And I, you know, I've got to be prepared to invest in my business and myself. And I guess the biggest thing that you've got to look at is yourself, is that you have to grow within yourself. As, you know, older men we get to the stage where depression can set in and if we're not careful, it sneaks up on you, and have we been through that scenario? 

Well, I've been through that scenario a couple of times in my life. And it's just something that creeps up on you, and I think that the great thing that we've got at the moment is that you know I've got people outside of your group. I've got some great martial artists that I've known for a long time that I can just simply get on the phone to and call if I'm not feeling all that well today. Some of them you call and some of them go, “What's wrong mate? You don't seem your usual happy self today?” “Yeah, well, maybe I'm not.” 

But of course, at the end of, generally at the end of those conversations you come away feeling, yeah, the world isn't so bad really after all. Now, I go to my business and people think it all looks rosy. You start work at three o'clock in the afternoon or 3:30 in the afternoon, and then what happens is that you go home by eight, you've got a great job.

I can tell you if you're looking at starting a full time dojo or building a full time, you know, dojo center, martial arts center, whatever it is that you want to run. It doesn't start at 3:30 in the afternoon and finish at eight o'clock at night. It generally starts from the moment you get up in the morning, to the moment you go to bed that night. That's your business, you're working on it, until you get to a stage where you've got other people that are helping you work inside your business and doing a lot of those chores, until you get to that stage, you've got to do it yourself.

You've got to be prepared to go to bed tired, you've got to be prepared that, you know, you have to devote some of that time that you might have been spending on playing golf or surfing, and I've now just got back to the stage where I'm surfing again. I'd stopped surfing for quite an amount of time, because I really was just working on the business. Now I've got two mornings a week I can devote to surfing, which is great for me, because it also then, you know something for me that works on my mental health. I can forget about the dojo for those couple of hours. I think it's important that we all have that. 

GEORGE: What do you mean? There's nothing like time in the ocean, to forget about everything else. 

LINDSAY: Or whatever for you. It might be golf, it might be lawn bowls, it might be playing the guitar or the piano or something, and it could be anything. It's whatever it is, you have to find what does it for you, because I guarantee if you don't, you're just going to get worn out, you're going to get burnt out and then eventually going to collapse. The only thing that's going to suffer then is your family and of course, your business as well. You can't let that happen. 

GEORGE: I want to say thanks for sharing all the stuff about working together as well. I thought I'd just ask a few questions on top of that, if it's okay with you. 

LINDSAY: Absolutely. 

GEORGE: You mentioned you were looking online. Was there something that was holding you back to maybe not get in touch? 

LINDSAY: Past experience! 

GEORGE: Past experience?

Karate Business

LINDSAY: Past experience, because I jumped in, you know, boots and all with the first couple. They made some really great promises. One of the guys was on the Gold Coast, and I paid the money into his account, and I never even heard back from him. Then I made a few contacts with him that he never responded to.

Then I finally got a telephone number that I rang directly. He said, “Well, some of my guys were supposed to be handling that. You tell me they haven't?” And I said, “No, they haven't.” I was completely disillusioned. He said he'd refund my money back, which took forever to come back to me, and I still see his ads coming up all the time now. You go – how do you do that? How do you sit there and claim you've got such a great service when your track record isn't all that good. Or particularly with me.

And then I found some guys who are in the same business as what I'm in that I joined up through their advertising. And then I went to a seminar that they had on, lined up. And of course, the information came through in the forms of lots of videos, and if you watch lots and lots of our videos, you'll probably see soon. But we didn't have any regular movies, there wasn't any contact, there wasn't any, you know, somebody holding me accountable. 

Now, the thing that I like about the group that we're involved in, is that everybody makes you accountable. Everybody there, you know, replies to a Facebook message that comes out three times a week. What are you going to do? How are you going with it? And why haven't you done it at the end of the week? I'm just one of those people who need to be held accountable.

I'm not very good with time management, and I'm not very good with management in general. I'm a pretty good martial arts instructor, but as for running a business, not particularly all that good at it. Lot of martial artists out there are the same.

So, what I've done is surrounded myself inside my business. My dad ran a business for a long time, and he always said to me, “Mate, there's always a plan here. The things that you're not good at, go and just pay someone else to do them.” So, I'm doing that.

So, the things I'm not good at, I'm paying somebody else to do them, because I know if it's left up to me, it just won't get done. So, what made me hesitant with you was the fact that I'd had a bad track record with these other guys, there were more than two, and I'd paid out money. And I guess, was it wasted money? No, it wasn't wasted money, because I learned a lot of things about not spending money with people like that.

So, let's get more research. And what you did to me, George, was allow me to come on board, involved in a program without paying any money to start with. You had a program going at the time, which I think was your Digitize Your Dojo program, and you said, “I'm not going to charge you any for it, you guys all come on board, and we'll start to work on it.”

And then somewhere down the track, you offered me the opportunity to become part of the Partners group, which you remember, I didn't jump on straightaway. I still wanted to know about George Fourie a little more.  Until eventually I got to the stage where I agreed that, you know, I would come on board with your program, and I have not regretted it.

I remember that one day, getting in contact with you, and I asked you about some Facebook ads. You gave me all the guts of the Facebook ad, this is what you need to do, and you sent me some photographs on what it needs to look like. I then, about two weeks later, I think I contacted you and went, “George, it's not working, mate. It's just not working for me,” and you went, “Send me your ad, send me all your visuals, and I'll have a look at it.”

And of course, I totally changed everything you told me to do, and you came back to me – you went, “But it's not what I told you to do.” You said to me, and I think that I remember you saying something like to me, “Look, I'll tell you what, give it a go the way that I'm suggesting to start with, and if it doesn't work, then we'll go back and give your way a bit.” So, what I did was I changed my ads to virtually copy exactly the same as what you sent me, and all of a sudden, the messages started coming in. And I went, “Oh that works.” So, then I did it again and again and again, and the leads just started coming in. 

And you know from that first ad, I'm still running virtually exactly the same ad. I might change the image on it occasionally just to freshen it, but I'm just doing the same thing over and over, and over and over, and the leads are still coming in. I've signed up 10 in the last week just from running the same ad as I was running a year ago, offering the same special and it works. Until it is broken, don't change it. If it isn’t broken, don't fix it. 

GEORGE: Yeah, I think it just takes time to get to that, because if you've got the right formula, because… The first thing everybody tries and does is, “I'll just copy someone else's ad.” It could work, but what you're missing is the structure and the setup behind that. What got to that image, why is it that image, why did we get to that wording, and what is the link between the right offer and the right pricing, and the flow of going from that. That's where the tweaking, that's where it's really got to happen. 

LINDSAY: I see some of the ads that come up on my feed now from the other local guys, and I've never seen them before, perhaps I didn't look at them, or perhaps because they're seeing my ads, they're doing stuff. But I'm really glad that they're advertising, because what they're doing is they're thinking they can do it better than me.

So, they're filling their images up with text, they're, you know, making them way too busy, their ad's saying way too much. And I'm thinking, “That's great, guys, keep doing that, because you ain't getting the call.” I know you're not, because I tried it that way and the phone just doesn't ring.

So, they're going to eventually get to the stage where they go, “Oh, this is useless. I'm not continuing to pay money for this.” And then they'll stop advertising, which is fantastic for me. I see, oh, there's one that came up yesterday. And I went, “Oh my gosh”, – okay, the text is so small and there's so much on it, I can't even read it. Not even going to bother clicking. But I did, I clicked and sent him a message, said, “Yeah, man. Keep it up. Good work.” 

GEORGE: Last couple of things are, well, two things. Your favorite part about working with us? 

LINDSAY: My favorite part is the Wednesday meetings, is the group. Because I get more out of that, you know, one hour on a Wednesday, I think than any other thing that I do. The amount of questions I can ask the guys and get answered, I might get three different answers, but I can at least pick one of the things that might work for our dojo. That's the best thing, that one hour of power session that we do, because it's fabulous. Everybody's so open, nobody minds sharing anything. 

And as I said to you, two guys from that session, you know, I've already spoken to them this week about a couple of decisions that I was trying to make. They've both given me great advice, which I've taken and I'm much more settled now in myself, thinking, “I'm glad I rang them.” And without that group, I wouldn't have known who they were, I wouldn't have known who to ring, and I might have made the wrong decision. 

GEORGE: Awesome. The last one – who would you recommend the Partners group to, and why? 

LINDSAY: I would recommend the Partners group to anybody who's wanting to run a, whether it be a small part-time studio or a large martial art studio, or even go from a small part-time to a large martial art studio. Why? It's just the motivational side, it's the questions and answers that we get through the group.

And I think, you know, if I hadn't come on board with you, George, I'm not sure where I would be. I'm not sure at what level our business is, we might have still been hitting that 90 mark, and building it up, letting it fall down again, and building it up and then falling down again.

I am so fortunate to have met, you know, you guys through this group, but you can hear it. I'm at a loss for words, which normally, I'm not lost for words at all. Yeah, it's just fabulous. It totally changed our whole family's life. And I can say that with all honesty, you know, I just want to check that bank account, George, if you put that check in… 

GEORGE: Later, later. 

LINDSAY: You know, for the people out there who are looking, perhaps to come on board with George, who have been, you know, dipping their toes in the water, make a commitment to your business and yourself. Just get out there, because George said to me, and he'll remember the offer that he had, that if I don't return you your money in the first 90 days, I'll give it all back to you. I don't have to give anything back to George, I don't have to give him back any of the information he's given me, because I've already stolen it all from him. 

But at the end of that 90 days, George had made me every cent that I'd paid to him, it didn't even take 90 days, I think it was 30 days that he made that money that I paid him. So, whatever he's asking, you know, in there, jump on board and pay it. It's certainly worth it.

I'm not doing a commercial for George, I'm promoting George, because in my heart I genuinely know what he's done for us, and I think that he could do the same for other people. So, I guess it's a promotion for all those dojo owners out there who want to grow their business. So, I'm speaking about George more for your benefit than George's benefit. 

GEORGE: Love it. Lindsay, thanks so much. It means a lot. Great chatting to you. There's another story I want to chat to you about, and I'm going to hit you up about that in the near future. And for anyone that wants to connect with you, guyskarateschool.com.au, can have a look at Lindsay's website. 

If you want to get in touch with us and have a listen to what it is that we do and work out if or how we can help you, the best way to do that is just go to martialartsmedia.com/scale, and there's a little questionnaire. Tell us a bit about you, what you're stuck with. Let us know and we'll have a low key chat and work out if or how we can help you. Cool. Lindsay, any last words from you? 

LINDSAY: I could go on for hours, George, but no, look, to be really honest with you, it's later on in the afternoon. I've got to go and open up the karate school and start doing what we do best. 

GEORGE: Awesome. 

LINDSAY: Okay. 

GEORGE: Bye, Lindsay. Thanks so much, speak soon. 

LINDSAY: Thank you. 

GEORGE: Cheers!

 

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116 – When The Solar Guy, A Blinds Man And A Martial Artist Cross Paths

Sometimes, life and business lessons come from strange scenarios. Here's one between a solar guy and a blinds man that's oddly related to martial arts marketing and business.

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IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Why building rapport with your customers is crucial
  • Don't sabotage your sales with wrong assumptions turn into a blind bullet
  • How to deal with price queries and objections
  • Why you should educate customers and promote the value proposition
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Sales situations and so forth – it could be weird sometimes. Let's take it where it could be, maybe the guy just had two bad appointments, and everybody gave him a lowball and said, “Hey, I can't afford this thing.” Well, maybe that happens to you in your school, right? You maybe get, do a tour with one prospect, two prospects, and maybe they're just not the right fit, or you get the same objection.

Hey, George here, I hope you're well. So, I just had this really interesting episode happen at my house, and I knew there was a story in the lesson, or lesson in the story there somewhere. Just been mulling it over in my head, because it was a bit weird. It was a bit strange, and so I thought I would share the story and the lesson I got from it. So, it involves a solar guy (guy that sells solar systems), a blinds man (guy that sells blinds) and a martial artist (me). 

So anyway, we just moved into this new house, and we had two appointments on Saturday. One involved the solar guy to tell us about putting in the solar system and the other was a guy that's going to put up blinds at our alfresco area. Anyway, we had the meeting scheduled 90 minutes apart. And the solar guy comes in, and I don't know about you, but I'm always skeptical of any sales situation.

I always like trying to spot the intent. You know, where's this guy at? Is he just trying to make a sale? Or is he actually going to actively give me sincere information? Right?

So, I'm always trying to spot the intent, anyway. So, this guy comes in and he sits down and goes through the solar stuff. I asked all the questions, and you know, I'm just trying to get a clear understanding of what it involves. I don't have much knowledge on solar stuff. And anyway, so, got a lot of info from him, and I was happy with what he shared. 

But 20 minutes in, the door knocks and it's the blinds man, the guy that sells the blinds that walks in. And he's scheduled for an hour later, right? So, he's like 70 minutes early.

Anyway, so I stay with the solar guy, and my wife starts speaking to the blinds man. And here's where the lesson comes in, right? So, he builds no rapport, he doesn't connect, he walks out to the alfresco area, and he asks, “What is your budget?” Kind of like you maybe in your school, right? How many people just ask you, “How much is it?” You know, they don't want to know anything. Anyway, well, this is a sales guy asking that.

So, it's kind of like an interrogation, like, “What is your budget?” And well, my wife, she doesn't know what blinds cost, neither do I. And, and so she just, you know, pulled a figure out of thin air, just said, “I don't know. $1,000?”

I mean, what do you want to say to the sales guy? “Hey, I'm prepared to spend 10, 20 grand on blinds,” or are you going to go in on the lower margin, right? So anyway, she says $1,000 and he just bases everything on that $1,000 and changes his whole positioning and just anything my wife asks, he just says, “No, that's too expensive. No, that's too expensive.”

And so, first up, the appointment was scheduled so that we could learn and understand what these blinds are about and he gives us nothing. He just keeps, you know, saying that's too expensive, that. But here's what he does. He starts giving us his opinion on solar. And so he starts telling us how solar is awful and it doesn't work. It doesn't work for him in his circumstance, but he doesn't know my circumstance, right? 

So, lesson number two – he just assumes who we are and what we're about. Anyway, and this is where it gets weird is, he starts to depart, and he walks into the lounge area and he starts attacking this poor solar guy. We're standing back, and I'm like, “What's going on here?” And he's going on at the solar guy, what a ripoff it is, and how it doesn't work for this, it doesn't work for that. 

And my wife and I are standing in the alfresco area watching this debate between – the solar guy, hats off to him for really handling this situation really well. And this blinds guy just carrying on – “Do you guarantee this? Do you guarantee that? You know, for a solar system you put in 10 years ago,” and we're just standing back, watching this debate, like, that was kind of useless, you know? 

This guy's told us everything about his opinion on solar, but nothing about blinds! Anyway, it just made me think, right, like, sales situations and so forth – it could be weird sometimes. Let's take it where it could be, you know, maybe the guy just had two bad appointments, and everybody gave him a lowball and said, “Hey, I can't afford this thing.” Well, maybe that happens to you in your school, right? You maybe get, do a tour with one prospect, two prospects, and maybe they're just not the right fit, or, you know, you get the same objection. 

Then, you know, where does that come from? Is that something that you are maybe saying, and it's bringing up that objection? Or by tour number three, are you that frustrated with the previous two, that you carry over that same energy, and you handle it the same way, and now you just assume that they can't afford it either, because you had such a bad run? 

So, I think what you can really take from that, right, is if you see a few bad prospects, and they're just not a good fit, remember to just make the space right and clear your energy when you go to the next one, because they are not the previous guys. 

The other thing is, you know, when people tell you the price, why did they do that? Well, the reason we did is because we didn't know what to ask, right? So, same thing with your prospects, when your prospects walk into your school or inquire online.

They are surprised because they have no clue about martial arts, right? So, the only thing they're going to ask you is how much it is, because they don't know. So, it's your job to educate them, right?

And then number three is just don't assume – don't assume you know a situation, because our situation is completely different to him. Solar works if you are at home all day. I work from home, so yeah, I probably use most of the power. I don't know.

But in my case it works, for him it doesn't. But anyway, you can't just assume that a situation is the same as yours, and not ask people the appropriate questions to get the right information from them.

Anyway, I thought I'd share that with you. I found it interesting. I kind of repeat that story, because it just made me think, “Wow, that's, what can you learn from that? And what can you take from that?”

And I think for anyone that's dealing with customers, especially in a martial arts school, where you are talking to people all the time, it's good to just have that mental check of every conversation as a new person with a new situation that you could learn from, and do just that.

Anyway. Hope that was helpful in some way. I'll see you in the next video. 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.

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

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