53 – [Case Study] Mike Fooks – Doubling Your Part-Time BJJ School With One Successful Campaign

Martial Arts Media Academy member Mike Fooks from Auckland is on a marketing roll! And if his new student signups stay, he's doubled his BJJ school.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How Mike Fooks has managed to balance his martial arts and corporate life
  • The benefits of online advertising services such as Facebook Ads and Google AdWords
  • How a single Facebook campaign doubled Mike’s student number
  • How the Martial Arts Media Academy program has helped Mike implement his campaign correctly
  • The one thing that Mike could have done differently before he launched his Facebook campaign
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

So already from one two-week campaign. I'm going to, if not hit my goal, I'm going to be at least halfway towards it. In effect, the only reason I've pulled back on the campaign a little bit now is because we ran out of the free uniforms, or close to it. So I've got more on order. When they head, we'll be back into it. Their goal, which I thought was, these people are audacious to try and double. I have a suspicion we're going to hit that fairly quickly.

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast! Today I'm with Mike Fooks and we're going to do a bit of a combination here. I got to know Mike through one of the online communities that I'm part of and we've built a new website for him; which you can check out at groundcontrol.net.nz.

Mike's based in Auckland and we got started with helping him with the Martial Arts Media Academy Program where we help martial arts school owners with lead generation and so forth. Besides that, Mike's got a very interesting story with things that he does in the corporate world and how that overlaps with the martial arts school. This is going to be a fun conversation! So welcome to the podcast, Mike!

MIKE: Thanks, George! Thanks for having me on!

GEORGE: Awesome! So, based in Auckland. Probably going to come and visit you September this year. So, I guess just to start things off. Who is Mike Fooks?

MIKE: Okay, so I spend my time doing a number of different things. Obviously, I'm a martial arts school owner. We run an academy called “GroundControl” where we focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. That's been going for about 11 years now under that name. Been training for a little bit longer than that before we named the school, but that's not my full-time gig. During the day I spend most of my time doing corporate training.

So, working with sales teams and leaders and various people. Primarily on face-to-face persuasive communication whether it's sales or influence in negotiation or even internal communication and conflict management. Those sorts of things and also a lot on mindset and resilience. I'm trained at university in Psychology and then went on and got qualified in neurolinguistics or NLP over a number of years. Then, based on that, my partner and I have a private practice where we do individual work with people one-on-one sort of coaching, counselling, therapeutic type stuff.

Obviously whether it is therapy or coaching just depends on how messed up they are when they walk in the door but hopefully, it's all the same by the time they walk out. And so that's another thing I spend my time doing.

Sometimes people say to me, wow, Mike, well that's a lot you've got going on but to me, it's actually really simple. When people ask me, “What do you do?” I'm a coach. You know? My job is to bring out the potential in others. And I just do that in various formats. Sometimes I do that in the boardroom, in the training room. Sometimes I do that in my coaching room. And of course, sometimes I do that on the martial arts mat.

GEORGE: That's an interesting philosophy. Yeah. It sounds like many things happening but as you mentioned, you're kind of trying to achieve the same result with the people that you work with, just through a different medium.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right. There's often a little bit of leakage between the two things. I get frustrated when I'm teaching corporates, for example, because I'm going, “Look, there are so many great examples of what I'm talking about if you just knew jiu-jitsu.” And certainly, on the jiu-jitsu mat, you know, there are concepts that I will teach corporates about communication or how to problem solve, which make it into our coaching sessions at GroundControl. There's a little bit of leakage involved.

GEORGE: So have you ever then cross-promoted if you feel. Do you cross promote between the corporate training that you do and jiu-jitsu?

MIKE: I have to be a little careful on that because the sponsors that get me involved too, you know, I’m with the sales team would probably take a dim view if they thought I was using that as a platform to cross-promote jiu-jitsu. Having said that, inevitably I tell a couple of jiu-jitsu stories or metaphors and it's not unusual for somebody to tap me on the shoulder afterwards and say, “Hey, have you got more information on that? I'd be keen to have a look.” So that certainly happens.

GEORGE: Alright, alright. Interesting. Now, how did you get started in jiu-jitsu, first and foremost?

MIKE: If we go all the way back, as a kid I did the standard dabbling in martial arts, I think a couple of lessons in judo when I was about six. And two lessons of karate when I was 13. But I got started, seriously in my martial arts career in another style, Aikido. Which I started in 1993. Had always been interested in martial arts, watched all the movies. But got intrigued by this idea of Aikido, based on a conversation I had with a friend of my brothers who was into judo and karate. And showed me a basic kind of immobilization arm lock. And then talked about how Aikido guys, that's what you do in anything like that, just immobilize, wow that sounds cool.

So I did some research and got involved in Aikido. Now, of course, 1993 was an interesting year to start in the martial arts because it was the same year of the first UFC. So I started in April and towards the end of that year, the first UFC came out and, of course, that just rocked the entire martial arts community as most of your listeners will be aware.

At the time, I was at university. And I was working in a video games parlor to earn some cash, part-time. So I would sit on the desk and just load myself up with five martial arts magazines every shift and just devour as much information as I could. And so I was kind of got a front-row seat. We didn't have access to any of the footage or anything like that in New Zealand but I started to read all of the stuff coming out about the UFC and what does it mean that it seems like the stand-up fighters aren't doing so well. Got curious about that.

And then I got onto Usenet. Onto the old newsgroups. You know, before we had online forums or anything like that let alone Facebook. And there were all of these debates that sprung up about my style is better than yours. And I started out 100 percent in the traditional martial artist camp. You know, “Well, a true Aikido master would never debase themselves by entering such a competition.” You know, that kind of thing.

Over time I noticed something really interesting. When people were having these debates about what works, what doesn't what I consistently noticed was the BJJ guys that were saying, well, where are you? Let's get together, let's find out.

And not necessarily in an overly aggressive way although there's always a little bit of that sometimes but for a lot of them it was just a “we can show you.” I'm completely confident that I know how this will go. And over time as I sat there, by now about I think a second degree black belt in Aikido I was thinking I'm not sure I've got that same level of, “I definitely know how this is going to go confidence that these people seem to have.” So I got really curious about that.

And then in 2001, after the first time, New Zealand showed MMA on TV. Sky TV over here ran a weekend where they played back-to-back Pride and King of the Cage events. Old ones. I was on a honeymoon that weekend. Overseas. So I had my new brother-in-law set up in my living room with a VCR player swapping tapes over. And so when I got back I just devoured it and found a BJJ school within a month or two after that. Which, at the time, was not easy in New Zealand. Because there really wasn't a lot going on. Certainly no black belts around. It was early days for sure.

GEORGE: What an awesome and interesting journey. So now you've got the school, and I guess, let's backtrack a bit. Before I met you and sort of what is the school up to at this point in time?

MIKE: Yeah. So we gave ourselves a name in 2006. Up until then, it had been, you know, the standard thing. A bunch of people train in my garage. Most of those, my Aikido students who I'd said, hey have a look at this. And then, hey, let's do more of this and come to the garage. Because I was training them consecutively at the time. That was something that we knew as my club. What we called it because we weren't supposed to talk about it outside of my club. And then over time that grew and grew and grew. We started to get more and more professional. My coach, John Will runs a competition every September called, “The Gathering.”

The first time I went to that, one of the things he had done for the school owners got a bunch of Australian school owners together, I think it was about five of them, to give us some tips. I remember, you know, Fari Salievski was there. And a few other people. Frank was there. And so I come over with like, 48 action items about how do we make this thing more professional. And then over time, we got more and more so by the time we hit kind of the end of 2017, I'm running a school which is muddling along alright. You know? It's a part-time school. I'd got to the point where I had realized that look, I'm only part-time in this, it is never going to be a huge money spinner for me. If I can, you know, break even and get a little bit of pocket money but keep the thing going, that's pretty cool.

So 30 students on contract, and then with the various people coming through, beginners trials and various sorts that we had. I was probably content to leave it sitting there. Except for a conversation that I had with a guy, Trent Rice. Who some people know as Bear in the jiu-jitsu community. He was over from Australia to do some work for his day job. And he said, yeah, I want to come train, can I come along? I said, sure.

So we met each other on the ferry from town back to where I live. And we had a chat and he was just in the process of looking at going full time into martial arts and he mentioned, you know, one of the online communities that he was involved with which is, you know, where we hooked up. And it started to occur to me that, hey look, I don't have a full-time brain to put on this.

But if I can start to connect with people that are thinking about this full time and have figured out what works and what doesn't, and just do what they say, maybe I can actually start to make some gains I'd kind of put away on the shelf. In terms of ambition, for a little while. So I started to get quite excited at that idea and over the last, even just last month or so since we've really started firing, it's really starting to get quite exciting.

GEORGE: Fantastic. And full credit to the community that's Paul Veldman's Martial Arts Business Community.

MIKE: Yeah, absolutely, yeah I've seen various things like that throughout my Facebook feed from time to time and I was always a bit suspicious about, you know, there's a lot of people out there making money off telling people how to make money. But don't usually make money any other way.

So the fact that Trent knew Paul personally and he logged in and he showed me some of the stuff that was going on gave me a lot of comfort that, hey this is going to be worthwhile. And, you know, the investments I've made around things like that community, the website, the Martial Arts Media Academy are paying themselves back very, very quickly and very, very easily.  

GEORGE: Cool. So let's have a look. We made some changes with, first and foremost, got you set up with a new website. I mean, I'm a fan, obviously, of all the websites that we create but I'm really a fan of the GroundControl website, just how it came out in the end. I mean, it took a while for us to really fine tune and get through the obstacles, but it really, for a jiu-jitsu website it really, it brings out a lot of color and I'm using it as an example within the BJJ community, for websites that we are developing.

So we got you set up with the right tools. And then you got started in the Martial Arts Media Academy. Before you got started, what type of lead generation were you doing on the internet?

MIKE: Yeah, not a lot to be honest. Most of our stuff came through word of mouth or, you know, maybe they'll find us in a Google search. I had dabbled in Facebook so I had done the odd promotion here and there. Start of the year, come at half price or come in and your friend trains for free or something like that. And they would bring in maybe four or five people two of which might hang around and we thought that was a pretty good job.

When I did those sort of promotions I wasn't throwing too much spend at it. Very conservative. Because I wasn't quite sure how much they'd pay off. So I dabbled but it hadn't really amounted to too much.

GEORGE: Alright. So you got started in the training. So what part has helped the most? And then we'll talk about what you're doing right now that's really working as well.

MIKE: I think, in terms of what part has helped the most, I mean it's all helping but I think just starting to feel like I can never get in my way through things. So when I had dabble before, you know you go into the ad manager on Facebook and there are all these different options, you know, what's the objective of your campaign, this that or the other, and so I was kind of like, click, click, click, click. That'll do.

So to be able to kind of sit down and have you kind of work me through some stuff live and go, oh, okay, so I want interaction and I know the reasons why I want interaction now. And actually being able to figure out how those consoles work and why I would make certain decisions when we have those sorts of choices that was a huge help. Because the ability to be walked through your first time is where you get your understanding from. People can throw theory at you all day, but when you actually start you know, I literally had you on one screen while I had the thing on the other screen going, “and now what? I'll click on that? Okay, now I'll click on that.”

And so and with the content creation as well in terms of, here's how you design your ad and this is what your copy should look like, all of that stuff made me much more focused, I think, in what I was doing.

GEORGE: I guess this is the biggest pain point for me or frustration. It makes me want to rant, and I don't really rant. But it makes me want to rant, is a theory without substance.

MIKE: Yup.

GEORGE: There's a lot of, this is, you should do this, but there's not “here's how to do it.” And a lot of the times, the people who are talking the ‘what’ are not actually doing the how. So you can buy into a concept of coaching where you kind of can be shown how to do it, you should get another guy to do it. Us.

MIKE: That's right. You know, when I think about it, as you talked just now, that's exactly how we teach martial arts. I don't show a bunch of beginners a move and then say, good luck, go and try it out, right? I show them the move and then I talk them through each individual step to make sure they're on the same path. So it kind of felt like that. That I was being given, hey here's what you should do and why, but now here's the bit where I'm going to talk you through each step and then I can play along. And before I know it I've got an ad campaign running.

GEORGE: Of course, it's one thing to be walked through, but then that's where, and the same as in martial arts, now you know how to do it, but now you apply it, and it doesn't work the way you were … actually experienced it. And then, that's I guess where the key part comes in. You know, what we really try and focus on in the academy is, alright, you've implemented, now let's correct. Let's see if we can fine-tune, let's see if we can fix things and get them working in the end.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right and that's where I think the value of those. We've got a lot of content about here's how to set up Facebook and here's how to develop content and AdWords and all these sorts of things but the coaching calls are really, really valuable as well. Because you know, you come along and go, well this is what I'm doing right now, that's what's relevant for me, and ask you questions and there's always really good content generated either it's from my own questions or other people's. So I think that's why coaching calls are really valuable. And really valuable to get on live. Rather than just watching the recording sometimes as because you come up with questions that you wouldn't have asked, you know, other people don't necessarily ask so that's really cool.

GEORGE: Awesome. You were having some good results with your campaigns in the beginning of the year, where are you at with your campaign?

MIKE: When I first signed up to Paul Veldman's group, you know, the first thing I saw him say is, you set some goals. I thought, well, yeah, I know about setting goals. I teach people about that so I better do one and so it's been, what on paper sounds fairly ambitious, even though we're starting from a small base is to double membership and it's been done relatively quickly.

So I have 30 people on contract, this takes that to 60. That would be good. So once the website was up and I started the Facebook campaign, I ran that campaign for about two weeks. No more than that. And at last count, I think we've got close to 35 paid trials. So over the next two to three weeks, we'll start to see how many of those paid trials tip over into full membership. But certainly the feedback I'm getting from the people on the trial is that they're loving it. So we should convert a reasonable amount of those.

Already from one, two-week campaign, I'm going to if not hit my goal, I'm going to be, you know, at least halfway towards it. And, in fact, the only reason I've pulled back on the campaign a little bit now is that we ran out of the free uniforms or got close to it so I've got more on order when they head we'll be back into it. That goal which I thought was, you know, these people are audacious to try and double, I have a suspicion we're going to hit that pretty quickly.

GEORGE: That's awesome. So you've gone from, so you started up with 30 students although you've got them in the trial so you've kind of doubled but not, obviously, proved down the line where things are at. Yeah.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I'm fairly confident because our retention rate from trial into full membership tends to be pretty good. Having said that, I have redesigned how that whole thing works based on the advice I've got from you and Paul and various people like this is the first we've used paid trials. Which I think there's a lot of hesitation about for people that are used to going, hey, a free week. To go to paid trial, certainly in New Zealand, I don't see a lot of that going on. But it's worked really, really well for us.

So the fact that they've got that skin in the game and I know we can give them a really good experience over four weeks. It's going to be really interesting to kind of look back in four weeks’ time or so and go, okay, what was our conversion rate? But I'm expecting it to be pretty solid.

GEORGE: That's awesome. That's really good going. Well done. That's awesome. So, and I'm thinking, though, that the fact that you've run out of uniforms, I'm like, alright, those create perfect conversations for your marketing campaigns as well. You know.

MIKE: Yeah.

GEORGE: You've sold out, here's a waiting list. We'll let you know when the next batch comes in. And then that creates a whole new urgency campaign for your next follow-up because, yeah. People missed out, now they've got to jump on board and they've only got, you know. They missed out the last time. They better jump on.

MIKE: That's a really good point. Literally, just before we came on this call, I got a message pop-up from, because we had, like, over 200 people message us with an expression of interest so I've got all those leads that I started to go back to and say, hey, are you still interested?

But one of them popped up and said, hey, is this thing still on? So I was about to go back and say yes and just, I really hope you're not a size 5. But yeah, that's a really good point. We can go, “Well, actually we've sold out but you know, over the next two weeks we might launch it again so just look out.”

GEORGE: Yeah. Waitlist. Awesome. I like that.

MIKE: Nice.

GEORGE: Good stuff. Okay. Just a couple of things. And just for, you know, as part of the case study of course, of the Martial Arts Media Academy program, who would you recommend it to? And why?

MIKE: Pretty broad. Martial arts school owners that want to grow. Because I think there's a lot of people. So my school, for example, we've tried this on adults, I notice a lot of the schools around have got real kids focus. But that hasn't made any difference to me in terms of the quality of the content, it's all completely applicable.

By the standards of some schools, we are relatively small so I know a lot of people look at the initial outlay and go, oh, that must for really big professional schools. But that's not us. In some ways, I think it's even more useful for people our size because, you know, I don't have time to really think about this stuff and figure it out so I was kind of groping in the dark a little bit. And in terms of, you know, what it costs to get on the program, you know, you make that back with a couple students pretty quickly.

So I'm really interested, as I look around the New Zealand scene, there's not a lot of people taking a sophisticated approach to this. When I look at the results that I've had, part of that may be that my competitors just aren't doing it this way. So I think anyone that really wants to grow and stay up with the game or enter the game, it's really worthwhile. You do have to put some time commitment into it. You know, the financial investment is probably the easier thing. The time investment is the really important thing. There's so much great content in there that you're going to have to go through it a few times you know, I've got notes scrawled everywhere and then go back to the recording as I'm doing a particular campaign.

So as long as people are free to put the time investment in, I struggle to think of a school that wouldn't benefit from it unless the person themselves is already pretty sophisticated in not just marketing, but specifically online marketing. But I don't see a lot of that it martial arts.

GEORGE: Yeah, thanks, Mike. And you bring up a good point on time because there's time spent and then there's time well spent. I mean, either way, you're going to have to spend the time. You're going to have to spend the time to do the marketing and I mean, you can take an hour to do an okay or really mediocre job at your marketing, get frustrated, not a way to ask for help. The biggest danger of that is reaching a level of frustration where you just, this online stuff is crap or, you know, just, I don't have time to deal with this. I'm not going to do it. And you abandon the whole thing. And your business suffers.

Or, what's worse is, you know, people get a call from a company that says, hey, we can get you on the first page of Google and they have no sense of an actual overall strategy that you need for your school and again, it could be the easy way out, because you can just pay money, but if they don't know their overall strategy, they're just catering for one touch point. Which is search? The search engines. When you've got to cover for all six to eight interactions that are going to happen before conversion.

So you've got to be covering all the steps. If you get educated, get a bit of a strategy, it's easy to spend money on getting the hands to get people to do stuff, as long as you actually know what to do and what to look out for at the end of the day.

MIKE: I think that's really right. I think, if I had decided, look, I really want to put some focus into growing the school, I'm going really spend some time over generally to do that but I want to do it myself. What probably would have happened if I would have sat down with my partner Carleen and we would have spent, maybe even as much time, maybe even more time. But we would have spent it on completely the wrong stuff.

You know, there's design, there are ads, and you have to get really finicky over how the image looks and really kind of tweak that to the nth degree. Within actual fact it was much better just to go, let's just blast out five images, three for BJJ, two for MMA, split test them, see what works. And after a couple of days, we know what the winner is. And as you had indicated, it's always the one that surprises you. You know? It's not the one I would have picked. So a lot of those sorts of things but sort of sacked a lot of our time trying to finesse stuff that could have been done a lot more simply and then that time spent put back to more things.

What I like about the academy is, as you just kind of alluded to, is the comprehensiveness of it. What I'm excited about is, we've got these results already just from one Facebook campaign. Now, we've got some professional videos that have been done which are going to land sometime this week so I'm already excited about how we're going to introduce them, let alone through email campaigns and content strategy and AdWords working properly. We've got this much growth but we've really just scratched the tip of the iceberg.

GEORGE: That's exciting. Yeah, I look forward to seeing the videos and really looking at a few things that we're trialling right now with all the new changes within Facebook and how to really get that message out. Hey, Mike, it's been great having you on, is there anything I should have asked you? That I haven't covered?

MIKE: Is there anything that you shouldn't have asked me?

GEORGE: I know, it's sort of that question that people ask when they think they haven't asked enough questions.

MIKE: The only thing I guess I would add, thinking about the most recent campaign that we've done, it comes back a little bit to the commitment thing, is it's one thing to throw up an ad, and I kind of came into both Paul's group and your group hoping for, look, you can tell me how to automate everything so I can just press go and walk away and the club will just go boom. And of course it doesn't work that way so you know, we aim for interaction which means that I was, every day, once or twice a day, sometimes three times a day, having to log in and go, oh look, there are another 30 responses here, I've got to go back and respond to each one.

Now the response was pretty easy, ones I cut and paste into a PM but just be really disciplined about that. Because it's one thing to put up a shop front and say, this is a really great shop, come and look in the window but if you're not providing something quality in terms of experience when they get there, then it's all for nought.

So, the Machado brothers had an expression in jiu-jitsu, “Swim, swim, swim, die on the beach.” You know, you don't want to have to do all that work and then just follow over the last hurdle through, not doing you're follow through and your responsiveness and those sorts of things really well.

Probably the one thing that I would have done differently if I went back, and even though I had heard warnings about this from yourself and Paul, I don't think I had got my admin geared up well enough to handle the sudden influx of people. So we've given them a pretty good experience signing in but there are just a couple little things I've seen fall through the cracks. Only one's got their membership card or they haven't all been given the beginner's manual for some reason. So, looking forward, next time my site's running campaigns I'm really going to make sure that all that stuff's locked in and ready to go. Because it kind of caught me by surprise how many people signed up so quickly.

GEORGE: Very good point on a few things. The messaging, I see a lot of people want to automate too quickly and I hear, I see in communities, people get frustrated about the mundane responses that they've got to give but there's a big lesson in those mundane responses and yeah, look, sometimes people are just ignorant but you always got to look at your marketing and your message and say, alright, why's this coming up all the time? If everybody is asking what your location is, hey then just put at the end, “Conveniently located in the suburb.” That might just cover it.

o you've got to pay attention to what people are asking and those are the objections that you can turn into better marketing next time. It's all about learning and I see people too quick to want to automate it. And I always say, you can't automate something that's not working manually. If you can't sell your membership face to face or in a text message then no chatbot or anything is going to do that magically for you.

Your conversion is going to go down. So master that first, and then you can go and add all the automation but you've got to get the conversion right first. And I mean, if the … when the offer converts, everything else works. You know? You can go and you can go tweak everything else, but getting that offer to convert first, that's the real art. And that's the real work. And if you can focus just on that, then you can get fancy. And then you can start taking your campaigns to a higher level if that's really what you want to do. And really scale it up. For the next school, opening multiple schools and so forth.

MIKE: Absolutely.

GEORGE: Awesome. Hey, Mike, it's been great chatting with you. So people can find out more about you at groundcontrol.net.nz and anywhere else people can find more info about you?

MIKE: There's a little bit about my corporate stuff on my other website which is kineticpotential.co.nz. So the stuff about the individual coaching and the corporate work I do there is on there. So, yeah, those are the two places to find me.

GEORGE: Awesome. I think we could probably do a round two and go really, really deep into some psychology stuff and things that you do in your day job and how that connects with your martial arts. And if you are interested in the Martial Arts Media Academy where you watch this you can just send us a message or you can go to martialartsmedia.academy and find out more about that. Mike, great speaking to you face to face for the first time. And I will see you in Auckland this year.

MIKE: Looking forward to it. Thanks, George.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks, Mike.

 

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47 – [Case Study] How Dave Richardson from Kung Fu Southside Grew His School by 33%

Martial Arts Media Academy founding member shares his successful growth while getting ready for the next benchmark.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The greatest impact the Martial Arts Media Academy has contributed to Dave Richardson’s martial arts school growth
  • Why you should invest in hiring a marketing expert
  • The benefits of email marketing and why you should not neglect it
  • What is ‘superhero syndrome’ and why you should avoid it
  • How you can get marketing help through the Martial Arts Media Academy
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Yeah, the other thing that was really helpful was the coaching calls, and going through the websites and what not, and how to tweak this and change that, and work together in the Academy to make the pieces fit.

George: Hey this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media, and I'm joined today with Dave Richardson. Now Dave is based in Brisbane from Kung Fu Southside, and Dave is also one of our first members of the Martial Arts Media Academy. So we're going to have just a bit of a chat about his experience and his journey. So welcome to the call, Dave.

Dave: Good day George, thank you mate for having me on your podcast.

George: Awesome, so let's just go back to the beginning, before you got started with the Martial Arts Media Academy, so what is it that made you join? Was it a problem that you were trying to solve or something? Or what sort of vision did you have in mind in the beginning?

Dave: Funnily enough, in the beginning, it just started off over a cup of coffee with a mate of mine, Jack Leung from Practical Wing Chun, he pointed out your Martial Arts Media Facebook page I think it was. I looked into it and then yeah you had the academy there and it sort of went from there, because I was really wanting to make my school go full time. At that stage it wasn't, so I was just hungry for information and help to get into an industry that I'd been a part of but only on the outskirts.

George: Okay, so give us a bit of a background, so 'cause you currently got the school, you're transitioning into full time, and you're still working a business during the day, right?

Dave: Yes, correct, correct. The school started in a shed in my backyard and we outgrew that and we ended up moving into a commercial premises, it was just traveling under its own steam. Then I realized that this is my calling, and I'd rather be teaching people Kung Fu than killing bugs in my pest control business. So the transition is still being made, but definitely now Kung Fu is taking up more and more time and generating more income.

George: Cool, so how are you juggling the two at this point in time? You've got the pest control business, right?

Dave: Yes.

George: Cool, so how's the juggle going between the transitioning between that and the Kung Fu school?

Dave: You've hit the nail on the head, juggle is the right word. Time management was one of the skills that I've really had to learn. So trying to portion time where I can focus on the school, not just the teaching side of it, but the actual building of the business side of it as well. So that's what I've done, I've set aside two days a week where my focus is on building the business side of the school.

George: Awesome, if we look at when you entered the academy and working with me, what are the sort of top two or three things that's made the biggest impact for you?

Dave: Oh George, one of the biggest things was the website because I built my own website, I'm one of these guys that'll have a crack at anything. Doesn't mean I'm good at it but I'll have a go at it, and yeah so the website that you did for me actually help with conversions. It was a lot better, rather than just a name, rank and serial number type website, to actually have a website that funneled for want of a better word, funneled people to an offer page and the offer that you presented with me as part of the academy really has made a difference as well. So that was one of them, the email sequence follow up, you have to follow up, if you don't follow through you don't get anywhere. Then also the Facebook, using Facebook and the marketing strategies there is really generating more website traffic as well as its own Facebook traffic as well.

George: Awesome and you hit the nail on the head there with, I think if you find it especially in the martial arts industry that people are go-getters so you want to do everything yourself. There's a top marketer, he calls it the superhero syndrome, you just want to take it all on and do it yourself. With a website, if you've got a little tech knowledge, it's actually an easy thing to put the tech together, you know you can hire most people to put that part together for you.

But when it comes to the actual strategy from front to back, that's where the real thinking part comes in, to really have it structured in a way that's going to convert and obviously deliver your message. Your strengths and what it is that makes your school unique, that be congruent, that when they actually walk in that there's a connection. Not they saw a stock image in a fancy place and now they walk in a place that's completely different as such.

Dave: Yes and that's true. Like you said, anybody can put a website together, hey I did it. If I can do it, then anybody can do it, but yeah the way it was structured, yeah that's an experience that I didn't have and that certainly made a difference as well.

George: Cool, and then, of course, the email now, email some people refer to as the old school way of marketing, but it's still the one item that everybody has, is an email address. I think a lot of people miss it, you know when people say emails not working, I say, “You're not doing it right.” Because that's generally the experience, it's easy to blame the platform, people say that all day about Facebook, about Google, the platform doesn't work. But it's really, again it comes down to the strategy of it.

The reason why we put a lot of focus on email is most martial arts school owners are of course time poor. So I guess that's a general thing in any business owner. So if you look at the things that you can automate in a structure, that's the one method where people are going to have some text exchange if it's not over the phone, then we want to look at leveraging your time.

Leveraging your time means, of course, putting the automation systems in place that can do a lot of the legwork for you. So when you are doing the follow up that there are some ways that you can contact everybody on mass, that still feels personal, and still building the relationship. That helps set you apart and get your time back at the end of the day.

Dave: Yeah, for sure, and you hit the nail on the head when you said strategy because you can send an email to anyone then it can be exactly the same as that website that I had, that was name, rank and serial number. I'm Joe Blogs from x, y, z martial arts school, and we cost this much, you can ring me on this number. You've just given all the people the information and there's no relationship built, so that was a big thing, was that the strategy in building the relationship through email. That strategy can carry across to your Facebook messages, anything like that, yeah so it's not about just giving information, it's about building a relationship.

George: Definitely so, it comes down to the understanding of the way of communication and that sort of trickles through. How about Facebook? Because you said it's sort of all, the different components as in a strategy is working together for you.

Dave: Yeah, like, pardon me. Running a few different strategies that are say informational, then there's competitions, then there's the offer. So just basically getting the brand out there, just standing up and say, “Hey, here we are.” You might not get an initial response from whatever you put out there, but you're getting put in front of people. That's the main thing because people might not be ready to start now.

Classic example is my mistiming of my last Facebook strategy with the daytime classes. School holidays were on, I didn't even take that into account, and all of the mums that wanted to start during the day because they have free time couldn't because they were looking after the kids. So hopefully next week, we'll have a big influx of mothers coming in for the daytime classes. Like they've all responded to us, but I was standing there by myself there the first day.

George: That's all good, I'm going to be creating a separate video about this, but I was attending a training with Dean Jackson and he was talking about identifying the five-star prospects and making peace with the fact that 85 percent of your prospects are not ready to join now. They're ready to join perhaps because they've expressed interest, but somewhere, and the time frame they apply this in the property market especially, but their strategy is that 100 percent of their prospects are going to join within the next two years.

So it takes the pressure off of sifting the 15 percent that's ready to join now, and then the 85 percent that's going to join later. The whole concept behind this is, how do you go about your marketing? Are you serving that 85 percent? Because if you're serving the 85 percent, the 15 percent will just jump on board anyway, 'cause they're ready. But if you focus all your efforts on too much strategy of I've got to get them on board now, you risk of actually turning the 85 percent off, because your marketing is so hard and in your face type of thing.

Dave: Yeah, that makes perfect sense, I'd never thought of it that way, that's for sure. Instant gratification is always good like if you put something out there and then next thing it's going off, that's great. Look I've had that happen with a couple of Facebook promotions that I've done, and it's really been great because it's helped boost numbers quickly, which is what everybody wants. They want to boost numbers but like, we have a saying in Wing Chun that you start with the first form, which is the base form, and you build your foundation there.

If you haven't got the good foundation then the rest of it isn't going to work. It might work to a degree, but it has a high chance of falling over so yeah you've got to have that foundation there first. So the way I look at it is the websites got to be good, you've got to have a good web presence and then you can start adding the quick responses. So putting out the Facebook promos and stuff like that, that's going to generate the interest, but like you say that 85 percent have to have something there for them as well.

George: Yeah, definitely, so Dave what's the biggest impact this whole journey working with me has had on the business and personally? Especially now that you're taking this role of creating more content and taking on a different position and stance within the business.

Dave: Yeah George, I'm sort of the type of person that is always keen to learn. I've got a hunger for knowledge, so it's been a great journey with you doing all of the different aspects of what we've covered in the academy. Say from how your website should be structured, the email sequences, and then how to work Facebook, I mean how many modules was that. That did my head in, it's still doing my head in. But that was only part of it, it was about knowing your target market, who am I actually trying to get through the door?

Yeah, the other thing that was really helpful were the coaching calls and going through the websites and what not, and how to tweak this, and change that. Work together in the academy to make it all fit, make the pieces fit. Because it's one thing to have all the pieces of the puzzle, but if they're scattered all over the board it doesn't make much sense. So that was a key thing to making it work, was the coaching calls and putting the puzzle together.

George: Yes, thanks, Dave, and I'm glad you mentioned that because it's especially in this internet digital age, it's really easy to get information. You can get it in groups, you can take a piece here, and you can take a piece here. You can take someone’s strategy, but if you don't have the whole strategy and you don't have someone to really help you put it together, that's where people get stuck. Because you are time poor and now you buy this course and you're reading through it, taking the information in is easy, that's the easy part, it's actually having to put it into practice. That's where the obstacles come in, and if you don't have someone that can say, “Alright but hey maybe you should just adjust this, and adjust this.” That's what's going to really make the difference.

Dave: It certainly did make a difference because I had all the modules there. Like you said, information's easily accessible and making it all fit and work, well, as a martial artist that's what your instructors there for. Then there was other things like when we met in person at the Martial Arts First, and one of the persons that we met there, Henry Calantog, just from his way of teaching made me look differently at the way I was learning. Like with yourself, and so on, and so you're picking up bits and pieces from everywhere. And the podcasts, like the podcasts that you've been doing, I've learnt so much from those guys as well. Everything, everything's been a positive experience there's no doubt about it because I was green when I started and I'm still a darker shade of green now I suppose.

George: That's all good but I mean you're moving forward, your business is growing. What are things look like for you in the next six months with your martial arts school?

Dave: Well mate before we started, what was it, I think it was around July or August when we started, I think I had between 50 and 60 students. Just last week we cracked the 90 mark, which was huge. Yeah, it's been really good so I'm hoping after next week with the daytime classes kicking off full swing that we'll be over the 100 mark and then it's onwards and upwards.

George: Awesome, so I guess we should set a goal live on the podcast then, right?

Dave: You want accountability, well that's one way to do it I suppose.

George: Let's just tell the world that we're going to have Dave Richardson back on the podcast for when he strikes 100 and how many students?

Dave: Let's make it 150, a nice realistic easy one, we'll do that easy.

George: Alright, there we go, so everybody knows 150 students, Dave Richardson will be back on the Martial Arts Media Business podcast. There we go.

Dave: Now you've put me on the spot.

George: It can't be any better than that, just putting it out there could probably get it a lot sooner than what you'd expect. Anybody that's listening to this if you know Dave, hit him up and say, “Alright we're rooting for you, we're waiting for the 150 students.” Now the pressure’s on buddy.

Dave: Thanks, George.

George: Alright awesome, just to wrap it up, who would you recommend join the Martial Arts Academy and why do you feel so?

Dave: Mate, look anybody who has a martial arts school, you can't go wrong. Anybody who has a young martial arts school, if you've got no tech savvy at all definitely get on board, you'll learn a lot. I had a very minimal technological advantage, disadvantage and I was able to now be able to implement all of the automation for the email, using Facebook, the website. So anybody who has a school, starting a school, or wants to grow their business, get proactive. Invest in yourself, invest the time in yourself, and the dividends will pay for themselves, yup.

George: Awesome and for anybody interested in checking it out, martialartsmedia.academy is where you can get more information. So just go check that out, and yeah, join us in the academy.

Dave: Yeah, look forward to it.

George: Awesome, great to have you on Dave, and I'm probably going to be speaking to you again, when is it?

Dave: In about 60 students’ time.

George: No, I just wanted a time frame. Okay, I think we've put you under enough pressure, so yeah, in about 60 students’ time. Let's keep it at that.

Dave: No game on, challenge accepted.

George: Awesome, good stuff Dave, thanks for being on the show and we'll speak to you again in 60 students.

Dave: Good on you George, thank you mate, cheers.

 

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45 – How To Protect Your Martial Arts Business Name With Domains & Social Media Handles

Getting your martial arts business name is one thing, but making sure that you have the right domain names and social media handles is another. George Fourie shares how.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why you should avoid complicated domain name and social media handles
  • The importance of having congruent domain name and social media handles
  • How extensions can cost your credibility
  • How incorrect extensions can lead your competitors to a land grab and profit off your brand name
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Hi, this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media and today, I want to talk about how to protect your martial arts business name through domain names and through social media handles. So this is a question I get often, so let me give you the idea scenario.

Now, specifically, it came up yesterday, I was talking to one of our Martial Arts Media Academy members about building them a new website. But it’s not just about the new website, it’s about building a new website with a bit of a brand name change, so there's this bit of a shuffle happening, where they need to make a name change, which obviously means they need to make a domain name change.

So here's the ideal scenario: when you look at a domain name, you want to try and get something that's really going to match your brand name. But sometimes that is going to be hard, because if your brand name is super long, 4 or 5 words, it can get a bit tricky. Now, things that can also throw domain name off is things like hyphens, and numbers, OK? Because let's say you've got numbers, 6-0 for example in your domain name: every time you mention your domain name to someone, you're going to have to say 6-0 or 60, or is it the numbers, or is it spelt out as 60? So you're always going to have that additional explanation that you're going to need to clarify what's going on with your domain name.

The other is hyphens. Now, if you go and get a hyphen in your domain name, so let’s say martialarts-yourarea, then I want to ask why do you need the dash? Is it because somebody else already has martialartsyourarea in one word, or are you just trying to split it up in words? At the end of the day, if you don’t have both, it’s not a good idea, because if somebody else has martialartsyourarea, then that means when somebody types it in, they forget the hyphen, which is going to happen, that means that they're going to your competitors website, OK? Try and avoid anything hyphened, any type of – well, that's about the only character that you can add, because that creates confusion in the mind.

Now, let's look a bit further. Let’s look at what's the ideal domain to get and what's the ideal name for your area. So in the old days of search engine optimization, where you want to rank in Google, it was very popular to get domain name your area, or you want to get the keyword to rank in the search engines. So you'd have, let's say, martialartsyourarea, for example. So the logic in that was great, in the old days, we'd search to optimize and to be at the top in Google, but it’s not really relevant today anymore. So although it can have a nice catch to it and it could be good to have a domain name like that, it’s better to just stick with your brand and build an authority website.

So put a lot of content on it that it ranks naturally and you can still rank for those keywords if you just put them together in the titles and things. And by the way, if you are interested in a SEO training, I am busy preparing a SEO, just a basic SEO training for our Academy members and I was thinking about making it available to this group. So if it’s something that you are interested in, just leave me a comment below this video where you see it and we'll put that together and possibly share it in this group as well.

Ok, so, getting back to the actual domain name, what do you need? Brand, brandable domain, something that's easy, something that’s easy to recognize, easy to remember and easy to spell, and then, what about the extension? So you've got .com, then obviously you've got your local domain, so you've got .com.au, .co.nz, and all this. So look: in the big global world of domain names, .com is still king, OK?

So .com is king, but for you as a local martial arts school, you want to get your country domain. So you want to get your .com.au, .co.uk, obviously if you're in the US, that's awesome, .com is going to do, but for the most part, you want to have your local domain name. Why? Because people want to know that you are a local business, right?

I mean, if I look at a domain name, if I look at a martial arts school and it’s just .com, it’s still got that international feel to it and it's a local business, so you want to get your .com.au. If you can get the .com, get it as well, but make sure you build your website out on your core domain name, so your local domain name.

Now, another thing that comes up: let's say somebody has martialartsyourarea and somebody else is building on yourareamartialarts. So… sorry, martialaartsyourbusinessname, so martialarts, hang on, OK: right, martialartsyourarea, that's the one domain that is available. And then somebody else has got yourareamartialarts, so just swapped around. Be careful for that as well, because again, people can get very easily confused with the two. So if it’s not a brandable name that's your name, then people can mix that up. So is it martialartsyourarea, or is it yourareamartialarts – if you don't have both, I would be hesitant to build out on a domain like that.

But to go on to domain extensions: when the .com.au, .co.uk and .coms are not available, people start going leaning towards these little tricky ones, .biz and .website and all these fancy extensions that haven't really taken off yet and people aren't really familiar with them. And believe me, people will do this: they might go type yourmartialartsbusiness.website.com, or something because people aren't that used to them right now.

For me, I'm in a different position. I'd buy up those domains for different extensions, so if I want to refer to our academy, for example, I would, I bought the domain name martialartsmedia.academy, we've got .community, .website, .group – so we use that as shorteners, but again, the whole domain name goes on the core brand.

Cool, so I hope that helps with domain names. One thing I didn't touch on is the social media handles. So, try and get them again, this is the perfect scenario, right? So if your domain name can match whatever your social media is, it just makes it easier from a branding perspective. So in my case, it’s Martial Arts Media, my Facebook I had to let go of the s, so Martial Art Media. Instagram, it’s a bit shorter, so I had to Martial Art Media as well.

So try and be congruent, because the last thing you want is, your Facebook profile says martial arts your business, and then your Instagram says martial arts 27498. Nobody's ever going to remember 27948, so just pay attention to those little things because it just helps you build a stronger brand and it positions you and protects you from what everybody else is doing. The last thing you want is, you've got the domain name and some guy sort of catches on and he's trying to be spiteful and he goes and registers your social media handle on Facebook and on Instagram and everywhere else. So the more you can do to protect your brand and your positioning on the internet, the better for you.

I hope that helps, we'll see you again soon in another video. If you've got any questions about websites, about our Martial Arts Media Academy, just leave me a comment below this video or send me a message. Thanks – I will speak to you soon. Cheers!

 

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44 – 10 Magic Words That Revive Old Martial Arts Students And Dead Leads

Martial Arts marketing doesn't need to be complicated. All you need is to ‘sell' the next step…


IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The ultimate content leverage experiment
  • Where the original 9 word email came from
  • The 10 words that can transform your martial arts marketing
  • How conversions actually work

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media and I'm doing a quick podcast experiment. I'm broadcasting this in the Martial Arts Media Group and hopefully, simultaneously it's being broadcasted on the Martial Arts Media page and also, to our YouTube channel and then also to Dropbox, which means we'll transcribe this for an actual podcast episode. So, let's see how this goes.

Now, the actual podcast, what I do want to discuss with you today is ten words that can completely transform the way you go about your business. And this concept, I shared this at the main event in Sydney, when I spoke at the main event, and it basically comes in the email format. Now, I want to give full credit where credit is due and this ten words, it's actually nine words, all right?

It's nine words and they come from a gentleman called Dean Jackson and Dean Jackson actually invented the squeeze page. Now, what we know in internet terms as a landing page, a page where you basically have a sales message or an offer or collect details, or whatever it is that you do, but one dedicated page to deliver a message.

So, Dean Jackson was the gentleman that actually invented this system and he also created what's called the nine-word email. Now, we've transformed it, the nine-word email, it's ten words now. And we call it in the Martial Arts Media Academy, we call it the “Boomerang Bullet.” And the reason we call it the Boomerang Bullet is because we expect a return and it's a bullet! It has an impact. So I'm going to share what the ten words are.

Now, as I mentioned, we use this within a campaign, so we use it as in a six part campaign. Every time we've done this for martial arts schools, for martial arts schools owners, we've had tremendous success. It's always baffled everybody when we do it, everybody tries and complicates it, but it works every single time and when you do it when you just simplify the message and you do it, you get a lot of responses.

So the way you can use it, you can use it to revive old students, you can use it to engage conversation with prospects who have not replied or have kind of just fallen off the radar, right? So if you're trying to revive old prospects, or revive old students, then these ten words can be used.

Now, the way we do it, we use this within an email sequence, so you would need some kind of an email tool, preferably to do it, if you are going to do it on a mass scale, but even if you’re using this with Facebook messages, or even in a text message, the concept of it will change the way you go about your marketing.

All right, so, you want to know what the ten words are? It's simple: you send out an email and obviously, the content is going to vary, but the way we normally do it is we keep the subject super short, so we just say, martial arts, or quick question, or something very, very short and then the ten words pretty much go:

Hey person,

Are you still interested in martial arts?

And you sign it with your name.

All right?

That's the email. No fancy banners, no company logos, no nothing, just hey person, are you still interested in martial arts? Obviously, the context can change: are you still interested in kick boxing, are you still interested in starting martial arts – you can play around with the words, but the concept is really just to keep it simple.

So, why does it work? Well, it cuts to the chase. In marketing, we always try and complicate things. We want to take people right to the end where we want to take them, so we want to tell them everything that we have, everything that we offer and when we do that, we do an information dump. Information dump, information overload. And most people look at the message they get and they look at it and think, OK, not now, I will look at it later. But the way and why this works is, conversation leads to conversion, OK? Conversation leads to conversion.

We can probably add another word in there: conversation leads to a relationship, leads to conversion. So if all that you're really after is to start the conversation that's going to lead to the conversion, then why not just focus on starting the conversation, right? It just simplifies it, because if there's no conversation, there will be no conversion. So when you use these ten words, it really just breaks it down to get the conversation started. Hey – are you still interested in martial arts? Yes, or no?

If the person is not, awesome – off the list, you don't have to contact them again. All right? Just really keep it easy. But then of course if they are, it gives you the opportunity to start the conversation and then you can go and present an offer, or whatever it is that you want to do.

So, hey, try it! If you've got a list of old students, students that aren't training anymore, prospects that have fallen off the radar – get them all together in an email autoresponder type of tool. If you need help with that type of thing and what type of tools you need, shoot me a message wherever you're watching this, or just an email george at martialartsmedia dot com and I can give you ideas of what type of tools you can use to facilitate this.

And of course, if you want information on how to use it with a larger campaign, then speak to us at the Martial Arts Media Academy, where we give you all the sequences, all the email sequences that will create a valuable campaign with this altogether, with an email campaign basically. But hey, go and try it. Keep it simple, get a message out, keep it personal, from your name, not your martial arts school and send it out, tell me how it goes and I'm sure you will thank me for the next time you see me.

That's it – thanks for watching, speak soon. Cheers!

 

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

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35 – The Biggest Mistake Martial Arts School Owners Make When Marketing Online

Struggling to string together successful marketing strategies for your martial arts school? You could be missing these 3 keys.

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and today, I want to talk about the one biggest problem that martial arts business owners have when marketing their school on the internet. Now, a few days ago, I released a business case study from a client of ours that attracted 96 paid trial students within a 14-day period, which is a quiet time and on the back end, managed to convert 70% into full paying members. Now, that is awesome, it's great results, I'm sure you would like it for your business as well, but there's one big problem with this, a few segments, a few parts that contribute to this one big problem.

Firstly, that paid trials system, that paid trial offer is only covering 1 to 2 of 5 segments out of a buying cycle. What does that mean? It means that your prospects are at different stages in a buying cycle. Some are completely cold and they're not interested in martial arts at all, and others are hot and they're ready. And the warm and hot phases are where you can present the offer in front of someone and they're ready. They have all their questions answered about martial arts, they know it's good for them, they know their child is going to get confidence, they know they're going to get self-defence skills, they know the benefits that relate to them and all that they need is the right offer to take them over the edge.

Now, that's awesome and that's awesome if you have a lot of reach. The reach as in, you have a big market to get your message out to, like you live in a big city. But what if you are in a smaller segment of the market, in a small town? How quickly are you going to burn out just putting that paid trial offer in front of someone? So you're going to need to think a lot deeper and you're going to have to think of how you can cover that cold and cooler type market and swing them to the benefits of martial arts. That comes with a content marketing strategy, which we're not going to talk about right now. So that's one part of it.

The next thing you've got to look at is pre-frame. Pre-frame meaning, what has that person seen or heard about your business before that they see the offer. If your brand is not familiar or you have a bad reputation, or people just don't know anything about you, there's a lot more steps in the process before you can actually put that good offer in front of them, before they are going to cross the line and make that buying decision. And that comes to the one biggest problem, which is having no strategy. No strategy for how you market your business online. And it's not your fault because there's not a lot of this information out there.

martial arts school marketing

And where you can find that information, it's normally not applicable to your martial arts business. And that puts you on the hunt, because now you go to Facebook groups and forums, you try and get information and you get a little bit here, and you get a little bit there and you try and piece it together, but it's not really a strategic approach from one end to the other that puts things in line, that helps you position yourself as that market leader and helps you attract the top leads and be the market leader within your area.

And so that is where I want to help you. I want to help you with a strategy, a strategy that you can use, that you can apply to marketing your business online that's going to benefit you for the long haul. So I'm not just talking about quick tricks, I'm not talking about a clever ad and a clever strategy and a clever trick, because yes, those things can help you, but if it's not congruent with a formal strategy, then that's what you're going to be always doing.

You're always going to be looking for that next quick trick, that next quick fix to help you grow your business. And it's a tiring approach. So I want to show you a strategy that you can apply for the long haul that's going to help you attract leads and help you position yourself as the market leader, as the go-to martial arts school within your area.

So if you want to jump on the web class, we're going to be doing this live, it's going to be a live interactive web class. You can go to martialartsmedia.com/workshop, or wherever the link is around this video if you're watching it.

Thanks, I hope to see you in the web class, I hope to help you grow your business – cheers!

 

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

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32 – 30 Tips For Martial Arts Business Owners From Industry Experts (Part 2)

A continuation of the 31st episode, here’s the second batch of tips from martial arts experts that are equally valuable as the first.

martial arts business tips

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How traveling can help widen your knowledge in running a martial arts club
  • The benefits of hiring top-level instructors to teach at your martial arts school
  • The importance of marketing and matching it to the right prospect at the right time
  • The advantages of having your school accredited by the government
  • Why it pays to invest on your martial arts premise and facilities
  • How to overcome tall poppy syndrome
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Commit to your passion: if you want to succeed with your martial arts business, just go all in focus on that.

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another MAM Business Podcast, episode number 32. And we are continuing from last week. Last week’s episode, which was 25 tips, 25 tips for martial arts business owners from industry experts, part 1. And this week, we're going over to part 2. So we are working our way through episodes number 15 to number 30 and we’re going to be covering tips from those. So, as always, you can find the show notes on martialartsmedia.com/32, the number 32. And that’s it. I’m going to jump straight into part 2.

26 – Get out of your comfort zone, travel, and train with people that are at a much better level than you.

Starting out with number 26, Justin Sidelle, who is one of the head coaches at Bali MMA. And if you want to go take an awesome tropical holiday combined with awesome training with top-level martial artists, Bali MMA should be on the top of your list. For me, it’s again, here in Perth, where I’m based, it’s a really quick holiday, it’s a bit of a common holiday to go to Bali, because everybody just does it and it’s cheaper to get on a plane and go to Bali for a weekend, then to drive down south a few hours. So it’s a very common holiday, but it’s a very diverse place. And you can have multiple experiences: if you’re into surfing, awesome beaches, awesome surfing, there’s great shopping, there’s great entertainment, and of course, Bali MMA.

So if you want a very diverse holiday on a tropical island, put this on the top of your list. You’ve got Justin Sidelle, who’s one of the head coaches – I believe it was started by two brothers, Anthony and Andrew Leone and you also have Tiffany Van Soest, who is an undefeated glory world kickboxing champion, Muay Thai champion and the tip of that would be, something that Justin Sidelle mentioned in the interview was, when Tiffany walks onto the floor, everybody shuts up and listens and takes note. And training with her just lifts the game and lifts the level of everybody on the mats.

So that would be the tip: go train with people that are at a much higher level than you, get out of your comfort zone, travel, and train with people that are at a much better level than you and obviously learn from that. And I know that’s something most martial artists do, but hey: go do it on a nice tropical island, why not?

27 – Give back to the community.

Number 27, something that’s a big part for Justin and their team, is to give back to the community. And they work with a couple of orphanages and do a lot of donations and do a lot of community work as well. They’re living in the tropics and they are giving back to their community.

28 – Hire top level instructors to teach at your martial arts school.

Alright, moving on to 28 was from episode 17 with Con Lazos, and the topic was recruiting externally. You know, most martial arts school owners rely on grooming students to become their instructors, to become their first black belt, but if you don’t have time for that, Con’s suggestion is, get people that already have a following, or an established top level instructors and recruit them to start teaching at your school. And one of those people that do teach at Con Lazos’ school is Richard Norton, who has featured in multiple and multiple movies and then his home ground when he is based in Australia. That was tip number 28.

29 – Groom students to be the best versions of themselves.

Number 29, groom students to be the best versions of themselves. So invest into your students to become the best person they can and that is through education, through teaching them how to be a better instructor and all the rest.

30 – When things get tough, believe in the technique.

Alright, number 30 from episode 18: Paul Schreiner. And Paul Schreiner is a head coach for Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York. The tip was, when things get tough, believe in the technique. If the technique is going to work, it’s going to work against anyone. It’s not going to fall apart, even if your opponent is bigger and stronger than you. And Paul was put onto me by Jess Fraser, who trained at Marcelo Garcia Academy and Jess obviously travels all over the world and trains with a lot of people and the one thing that stood out for her, was Paul, his coaching ability and his ability to communicate martial arts in a systematic way that’s easy to understand and grasp and learn from. And his take on jiu-jitsu, the idea that you’re working towards is perfection, this excellence perfection that isn’t attainable, but the excellence, the near perfection is something that we can experience and just try to sharpen ourselves. I really liked that, that was awesome.

31 – “Jiu-jitsu is the marriage or the union of two things: the technique and the will to win.”

All right, 31 on coaching: as a governing principle, I’m always trying to strip down, rather than elaborate whatever I’m doing. A lot of times, in the past, I was given credit I didn’t deserve as a good coach. When I’m looking back, I don’t think I was, because I was a good explainer of moves. And I think that’s almost one of the least important things about coaching now: being the teacher, being the explainer of moves. It’s more about getting your student to be able to do it and understanding how the moves connect and the art of redirecting your opponent's attack against them. And a cool quote from BJ Penn: jiu-jitsu is the marriage or the union of basically two things: the technique and the will to win. Alright, awesome.

32 – Invest in your own premises and property.

Number 32: episode number 19, with Fari Salievski. This was the second episode with Fari: use your martial arts business as an avenue to invest in other things, such as your own premises and property.

33 – If you’re not doing recurring billing, get onto that.

Number 33, the start of the recurring billing in Australia and how essential it is to your business.

Number 33, if you’re not doing recurring billing, get onto that. This episode was a lot about the start of how recurring billing started within Australia and how Fari spearheaded that movement.

34 – Keep your marketing simple, don’t hype.

Number 34: keep it simple, don’t hype. Try and minimize your debt, minimize unnecessary expense.

35 – Don’t let the tall poppy syndrome get you down.

All right, number 35, episode 20 with Kevin Blundell: big topic, hard to combat tall poppy syndrome. And I’m lining up an interview with, this is going to be a big topic because it’s funny how the world works: when you’re successful, everybody wants to drag you down and wants to insult you and criticize your technique and criticize your business and you’ve gone McDojo. Everybody would rather almost see you fail or be mediocre in a way. And a big topic was getting over that whole tall poppy syndrome. Don’t let the tall poppy syndrome get you down and move at your own pace, do what’s right for you, your students and your family.

Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System

36 – Undersell your membership but over-deliver.

Number 36: undersell your membership but over-deliver.

37 – Have your school government accredited.

Number 37: government accreditation creates credibility and a point of differentiation. That’s a strong one, especially if you’re surrounded by schools that are kind of backyard schools, and look, hey, this is not a negative if you’re starting in a back yard. It depends obviously on your goals and what you want, and maybe it’s a stepping stone for you. But if you want a point of differentiation and that’s what this podcast is about, about giving you that edge, then why don’t you go for something like that. Why don’t you get a government accreditation and have something to show that you are qualified to work with kids and manage kids within your facilities.

38 – Remove trial intros completely and replace it with paid trials.

Number 38, remove trial intros completely to simplify the onboarding process and replace it with paid trials. One thing that Kevin and his team at Kumiai Ryu do not do is free intros. They do not a free intro at all, they offer a paid trial system, normally $49 for two weeks and that is their trial. The trial is, pay and train and work on the conversion from that point.

39 –  Match your marketing message to seasons celebrations.

Number 39 was by myself and I spoke a bit about, match your marketing message to seasons celebrations, and this is something that Paul Veldman already actually covered. I want to extend on that and the tip would be, one marketing channel is not enough. And Dan Kennedy is a top copywriter that always used to say, one is the most dangerous number in business because remove one and you have nothing. Have two, and you still have something. I would say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, because if that basket goes, what have you got left? What have you got to fall on? Have multiple channels of marketing happening that you can rely on.

Yes, it’s good to focus, obviously put your focus on what’s hot, Facebook marketing. Which is hot right now, but make sure you have backups. Because they’re not always going to be running smoothly as well. You might be running a great campaign this month and it dies off a bit, so when you have multiple avenues of marketing happening, then you’re always covered for the downtime in whatever channel it is that you’re working with.

40 – Keep your marketing message clear and concise.

Number 40, keep your marketing message clear and concise. Use strict deadlines with your offers, time and date. If you say something ends tomorrow, make it 5 pm tomorrow. Be strict on your deadlines.

41 – Bigger profits equals better facilities, better equipment, and a better service.

Number 41 from episode 23, Fari Salievski: bigger profits equals better facilities, better equipment, and a better service. And I’ll recap back to episode 20, where Kevin Blundell mentioned, if you are earning one dollar, you are in business. The backend of the conversation was, a lot of people charge $5 a class, or $10 a class, or they don’t charge a premium. But at the end of the day, when you’re charging a dollar versus a $100, you are in business.

Fari Salievski

And when you are in business and you’re providing a service, now you have an obligation to deliver, because somebody is paying for this service. So why not charge a decent premium and deliver a better service with better facilities, whatever it is that you do, upgrade your equipment, provide more staff on the mats, be able to do more with the bigger profits that you are making and provide a better service, which leads to better retention.

42 – Check your statistics.

Number 42, check your numbers. Are you paying up to $1500 per phone call to retrieve lost funds through your billing company? So keep a good eye on your numbers.

43 – Own your digital assets, your own website.

Number 43, from me on episode 24: own your digital assets, your own website. If knowledge is slowing you down, grab a page builder to speed things up, so don’t let it be the stick in the wheel. If you’re struggling to get going with your marketing, just do something, get something going. But at the end of the day, you want to be building assets and as you build assets in your business with equipment and facilities and location, you want to be doing the same with your online properties.

And the best way to do that is to focus on putting content, premium content on your website. Yes, they should go on Facebook and all these social channels, but your website is yours and it’s the one things that are going to be constant. Social media channels might come and go, their popularity might come and go, but your website, as long as your business is there, you’re going to have your domain name and that’s where you should be putting primary content.

44 – Ensure your marketing message is matched to the right prospect at the right time.

Number 44, episode 25: make sure your marketing message is matched to the right prospect at the right time. Are they ready for your offer, or are they not sold on martial arts yet? So we do a lot of this in our coaching, where we talk about the different levels of the buying cycle, where a person is at. And sometimes, a person is not ready for your offer. It’s great to go directly for the offer, but depending on your market and how people feel about martial arts, or if they’re not familiar with your brand, your marketing is going to have to stretch a bit further than just that offer. You’re probably going to have to put a lot more content out, to get, to sway people on the benefits of martial arts and to point out the problem that they have that martial arts can solve.

45 – Why not run a martial arts open day for an hour only?

Number 45, number 26, Darryl Thornton: run a martial arts open day for an hour only. And this focuses on the power of having an event based marketing them. Think about you running an open day and it’s 5,6 7, 8 hours long. Your staff start off on a high energy and then their energy drops and all of a sudden, you have people rock up when their energy is low, so there no structure into how things are happening, because people are arriving at different times, and unless you have a super sequenced structure for a solid 8 hours, people are just going to arrive at the wrong time for the wrong thing. So having an event based, where it starts at a certain time, everybody gets there at the same time, it follows a structure, and then at the end, you are able to present an offer. And that is how Darryl received more than 70 sign up son the day of his open hour.

martial arts open day

46 – Travel and widen your martial arts knowledge and skills.

Number 46, travel and grow your martial arts knowledge by experience in a different country with a different culture and widen your knowledge.

47 – Incentivise your prospects or students to the next level.

Number 47, Paul Veldman for the second time on the martial arts media business podcast: incentivise your prospects or students to the next level. If they take a paid trial, what is their reward for signing up now to create urgency? In their case, what they were doing, what they do is, remove their joining fee and if they do that within a certain amount of time, within their trial period, then they will waive the joining fee and that way creates a bit of urgency.

George Fourie Paul Veldman

48 – Reward your existing students with lock in prices.

Number 48, reward your existing students with lock in prices. This is something that was taught to Paul Veldman by Ridvan, Master Ridvan Manav from Australian Martial Arts Academy in Sydney. The concept is rewarding your existing students by locking in their membership fees. So whatever that fee was that they joined at, lock it in at that price and make it known that they are being rewarded for being a member by keeping the price the same. And that way, when people want to think about maybe quitting, sometimes they’re going to stick it out over that hurdle because they’re thinking, well, I might want to come back, but if I come back, it’s going to be more, and it just keeps people a bit more committed to their martial arts journey.

49 – Value reputation over money.

Number 49: reputation first, dollars second.

50 – Make sure that your branding resonates with your target market.

Number 50, episode 28, Matt Ball: make sure that your branding resonates with your target market. And the conversation started where the branding was all focused on a fighter type image, with skulls and everything and then they had a look back and after working with Dave Kovar and his team, they had a look back and realised that it’s not really something that’s going to gel with the mums and to bring in kids and so forth. So they changed all their branding and made sure that it resonates with a family environment. So for you, depending on what type of gym and school you run, make sure that your branding resonates with the image that you are trying to project out to the public.

Martial Arts Business

51 – Don’t turn your Dojo into a McDojo.

Number 51, if you associate success with a sleazeball salesman, you will never push yourself and potentially sabotage your success when it gets in reach.  That’s a deep topic because I hear a lot of people talk about that and say, you know, we’re just starting out and we want to be successful, but I don’t want to turn into a McDojo, I don’t want to be ripping people off. And it’s this kind of attitude, that it is noble to not be successful, it’s noble to not charge for the service that you provide. And at the end of the day, martial arts changes lives. It should be a lot more expensive, if people know the benefits, it’s life changing.  

I don’t think anybody should be ashamed about charging a premium, whatever that is within reason. I mean, look, there’s probably people that do rip people off, but I think people are too quick to jump to the McDojo conclusion and at the end of the day, I think it would rob you from yourself of being successful, because now you think, well, the minute I start making money, I’m going to be a McDojo. And everybody thinks I’m going to be McDojo.

By having that association, you end up sabotaging your success. And I’ve read something interesting in a book the other day, that we do everything for status. And the first part of it was, hang on: I don’t think so, I don’t do things for status. And because you think people do things for status, as in a way to have a fancy car or look good, but the reverse side of it is, people do things for status because they also don’t want to look bad. You don’t want to look like you being the loser as well, so status goes both ways. And a lot of people do things for status, so it’s a deep topic and I’m actually going to do an interview with someone next week, hopefully, but if it’s not next week, the week after. But we’ll go deep into this topic, about the association with success.

52 – Commit to your passion.

Number 52, episode 29, Stuart Grant: commit to your passion. If you want to succeed with your martial arts business, just go all in focus on that and make that work. And importantly, make sure that you’ve got your family on board with you, your partner, your wife, your loved ones. Make sure that they know that this is what you’re going to be doing, that they know there’s going to be a few obstacles to come through to go through, but this is the journey that you’re going to take and commit to it, go all in and work towards that success, which Stuart Grant does. Just go have a look at episode 29 and go look at the video tour of Westside MMA, it will blow your mind, it’s fascinating.

martial arts success

53 – Study marketing.

Alright, 53: study marketing. Stuart actually learned the skills of Google AdWords and Facebook marketing himself and this is something that not a lot of people take on and I take my hat off to him, especially the Google AdWords side, because I think you’ve got to be quite technical minded and you’ve got to really commit to learning these skills. Study marketing and look: if you need help with that kind of stuff, whether it’s hard to do it, you need some advice about it, or you’d like it done for you, then hit us up. Go to martialartsmedia.com and get in touch with us and see if we can help you with what you want to achieve. Moving on to the last episode and the last two tips.

54 – Travel and get yourself educated.

Number 54, Matt Wickham: if you’re not getting the martial arts coaching in your town, get in a car, drive. Get on a plane, and if you have to, it doesn’t matter where you have to travel, get yourself educated. If you’re not getting the education you need where you are, it’s time to broaden your horizons, start traveling.  Go visit Bali MMA, go visit matt in Echuca. Go travel to an event and get educated.

matt wickham

55 – Travel changes your perspective.

Alright, and the last one, 55: travel changes your perspective. It probably goes hand in hand with 54 and why not invite top martial artists to your school, so that your students get the same education. So if you’re not going to travel, make a plan. See what’s already happening. If a top name is traveling close by to your area, see what deal you can do. Maybe you can save some money and get top training at your location. And as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

There we go. I hope you enjoyed the top 55 tips from martial arts business owners and experts. For show notes, go to martialartsmedia.com/32 and I look forward to being back next week, I’ve got a great interview, a few great interviews lined up, so I look forward to that. I’ll be back with you soon, have a great week, chat soon – cheers.

 

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

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

 

22 – How To Have Simplicity And Clarity In Martial Arts Marketing

Keep your martial arts marketing activities simple, clear and specific with these key tips from the tropics.


IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The art of simplicity and clarity within marketing your martial arts school
  • Why you should never rely on assumptions
  • The power of using deadlines within your offers
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

You've got to be so clear and so simple with your marketing. You know as a business owner, you tend to assume that people understand what you're trying to say and who it's for.

This is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media. And here's a bit of a different podcast for you. So I'm standing too… And if you're listening to this I suggest you head over to martialartsmedia.com and watch the video. But I'm standing on a very remote island in Indonesia.

It's the island of Nias, we came here for a couple of days to really relax. And believe me, there's not much you can do other than relax if you're looking for all your first world fixes of technology in busy shops. You're not going to find that here. There is literally nothing. And you know before we booked this place, the resort owner told us, “look, nobody really comes here this time of year.” So you've got to have it all to yourself. You are going to have the whole beach to yourself. And I thought Yeah OK. But. Probably not true.

Martial Arts MarketingBut we came here and we literally have this resort to ourselves and it's not very big but it… You could see in the background here. There are a few; there are three chalets there between all the coconut trees situated within nature. So that's the spot. And I'm just quickly going to do a swing around. We literally do have this entire beach all to ourselves. And yes it's a bit cloudy and rainy today. But nevertheless we got here in the first few days and there was the sunshine and there was nobody here. There's absolutely nobody here and it's just delightful.

So to get the message of this podcast is. We arrived at this place. And as I said we came here to relax and we've really done that and it's made me reflect just on different things that we've done over the last year and going into the new year depending on when you're watching or listening to this. Just reflecting on different things that we will be doing and how we will be helping with martial arts school owners build and grow through the means of the Internet.

And coming to this village is one message that really resonated with me is just the message of simplicity and clarity. You know my beautiful girlfriend and I took a walk down to the village. A village you can't even explain it as a village here because you walk down a road with a lot of potholes. There are only a few bikes I haven't seen a car in about five days. I haven't heard it in five days. This is pretty much what we've heard all the time and I hope you can hear my voice but just the sound of the ocean.

Walking down the street there are just remote little huts. Just little huts where people live and I'll include a few of the videos and clips on this on this page and you can have a look but it just fascinated me how happy everybody is and everybody's waving.

Martial Arts MarketingAnd because we are the only tourists, we are literally only tourists on this island; people are just amazed and fascinated by us. They’re waving and they getting all ecstatic and it's kind of weird.

But it's really kind of cool in a way as well. And just see how these people live a simplistic life. The kids are running around, they're playing in the dirt. They're having fun. Nobody's worried about charging an iPod or an iPhone or sitting on Instagram or Facebook. It just doesn't exist in this place and people didn't care for that. Their main concern is just living and being happy and having a simplistic life and living on this beautiful island where they can eat coconuts every day and just live a healthy life and have fun.

And just looking at this and see how simplified life is here, it just resonated with me how we complicate life to have fun. The way we try and have fun, the way we do all these first world type of activities. You know, we need money to go to entertainment centres or things like that. That's just not something here. People just have fun with what they have with who they are. Appreciate the people around them.

Martial Arts MarketingSo I want to tie this back into marketing, of course, which is the message of simplicity and keeping things simple. We had some huge success at the end of last year with one of our clients and it's something that we do with paid trials. And creating a clear message for the right target market and the right audience. And something I learned and gathered from that is you've got to be so clear and so simple with your marketing.

You've got to be so clear and so simple with your marketing. You know as a business owner you tend to assume that people understand what you are trying to say and who it's for. But if people don't read it, even it's the simplest thing and doesn't absorb what that message is, then they don't get the message. And it's as simple as saying who it's for. I'm not saying look this program is for kids or it's for adults. But saying this is for kids who like to do this or these adults who want a break from work or want to do something like this or want to be in a different environment after work and relieve stress.

Be specific. Specific to who it's is for and who it's not for. Then if you are creating a paid trial, make sure you put a deadline on it. Make sure that people have an urgency to  take up this offer. Doing that, you are able to create that urgency and people will take up the offer where they… if there is no reason for them to do it right now, they will procrastinate and do what they do all the time. That's just what people do. We tend to procrastinate. So that's it. If we are creating the paid trial type of offer, something that we've created very successfully for our clients, let's do something with a great deadline. Be very clear on who it's for who it's not for. And get your message out there.

Martial Arts MarketingIf you need any help with that, get in touch with us on martialartsmedia.com. I'm happy to help. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the, well I wanted to say the sunshine but, if you look at the back there these storms have been really unpredictable and they, they creep in when we least expect it. Behind me you can see there's sort of a point there which is awesome surf break. And we took a walk out there earlier but a bit too messy to surf today, but we were halfway through and the storm just hit us, which was rather fun because it's warm weather and it's just kind of soaking it up.

But there you go. That's the message. We'll be back with a normal podcast by the end of next week. Have a good week. Happy New Year. Cheers.

 

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

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17 – Growing Your Martial Arts School With External And Celebrity Instructors

No time to groom martial arts instructors to grow your martial arts school? Con Lazos hire's externally if they're a match. Martial Arts celebrity Richard Norton most definitely makes that list.

Grow Your Martial Arts School - Con Lazos and Richard Norton

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How martial arts ‘fills the gap' with education
  • The school teachers advantage to martial arts instructing
  • Having access to the knowledge of world-renowned Richard Norton
  • Trusting your gut feel when hiring instructors from outside
  • When you take your foot off the pedal and have to start from scratch
  • Grooming students to be the best version of themselves
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

The main thing here is that we teach from a total love perspective. What I mean by that is, we have to love everything about what we're doing.

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to martial arts media podcast, episode number 17. I have with me today Con Lazos, from Fusion MA. And we talk about a few interesting topics, that being going back to the whole teaching aspect again as an ex teacher, using those principles in teaching martial arts, but also something a bit counterintuitive to what most people recommend, and that is, instead of just grooming instructors from the ground up, but actually employing people from external clubs and external expertise to come and coach at Fusion MA.

And that's the blend that is really working well for him and he's got various experts on board, other than himself. One famous and well respected martial artist from Australia, Richard Norton, who, if you're not familiar with, was the fight coordinator and stunt coordinator for “Suicide squad“ and a whole bunch of other movies, so you can check that out on Google, you'll find a whole lot of information about him. And we discussed a bit working with Richard, but more so, talk about Con's vision and how he likes to impact youth and students through training martial arts.

Now, if you've listened to a few episodes, you know that I've always been asking, please leave us a positive review on iTunes and I've been sending you to the link martialartsmedia.com/itunes. But I have to apologize, because somebody brought it to my attention that it’s only halfway to leave a review when you go to that link and iTunes does not make this easy, they make it pretty confusing.

Martial Arts Media Business PodcastSo the link is correct, but it’s not the last step to leave a review. So when you go to martialartsmedia.com/itunes, you've actually got to click on another link and you'll see there's a sort of a red, fiery, I don't know what you call that, picture of me, with a logo of martial arts media. And just below that, there's a blue button that says, “View on iTunes.“ Now, you actually have to click that button “View on iTunes“ to open up iTunes and then you're able to leave a review.  So, apologies for not giving the whole swell of how to get there, but that's basically it. martialartsmedia.com/itunes, click on the “View on iTunes“ button and you can leave the review. And why do I ask for this? Because, if you're getting value out of this show, that's all that we could really ask for in return. Leave us a good review that makes the episode stand out within the iTunes directory, so it gets noticed more and it helps us get the word out about the martial arts media business podcast. So if you want to help us in that way – much appreciated.

As always, transcriptions and links mentioned in the show can be found on our website, martialartsmedia.com/17, that's the number 17 and that will take you to the page where this podcast episode is hosted. Alright, let's jump into this interview, and please welcome to the show – Con Lazos.

GEORGE: Good day everyone, today I have with me Con Lazos from Fusion MA. And a couple of things we want to talk about today, something that's really been brought to my attention that really stands out on what Con is doing, is employing talent from outside and not promoting people from within, but actually creating a martial arts school that serves a vast variety of styles, because of the way he is running his staff. And of course, I want to thank Michelle Hext for putting me in touch with Con, who I interviewed a couple of weeks back. So welcome to the show Con.

CON: Thanks a lot for the intro George and very excited to be on this call with you.

GEORGE: Cool, awesome. So I guess, starting right at the beginning: who is Con Lazos?

CON: Right. So, I'm 43 years old and I've been running Fusion martial arts fitness for a lot of years: in the Yarraville location since 2001, in the Port Melbourne location since 2008 and I've been teaching martial arts since 1991 in various different places. An ex school teacher who saw a need for proper martial arts teaching to fill in the gap about what they don't do at schools and my whole life has been basically health and wellness through the martial arts.

GEORGE: Where did you actually get going with martial arts yourself, before all the teaching and everything came about?

CON: When I was a young kid, a primary school kid, I actually use to live in Greece and I got into martial arts through watching martial art films in outdoor cinemas in my home town of Chalkida in Greece. Every summer, I think this was a plot by the martial arts club that was opposite the cinema, that just used to run those old school martial art films that are so eclectic, those kung fu films with Bruce Lee and snake kung fu and this and that. And I used to go and watch them all the time and I used to bug my parents to go and take me to the martial arts center. And my dad was an ex army boy and he was like, there's no way you're training at any of these martial arts centers, they're just not the standard to what you think it’s going to be, so you're not doing martial arts.

So I had to befriend a couple of kids that were martial artists and their dads used to run the school, so I used to go around to the house a lot and basically try and learn anything I could in my primary school years. So I got a little bit of a wing chun at the start, but didn't officially start until we moved to Australia and my first official martial arts instructor was a really good man called Ragnar Purje, through Goju. He took me in for a few years and then I just kept going on forwards from there.

GEORGE: So you went from martial arts, you decided to go into teaching – how did that transition to your martial arts instructing?

CON: Alright, when I finished year 12 at high school, just before that, I was basically state level swimmer and I was making my way up through martial arts, through Taekwondo specifically. My parents were like, you're not doing sport as a job, because you know what? You should just keep it as a bit of fun.

So I went and started applied science for a couple of years, and then I realized nah – actually, this is what I'd like to do. And then I started physical education and mathematics at the University of Ballarat, so I could become a better martial arts instructor, because I was already pitching martial arts since I was 18. So I went into this University at 21 and yeah, I did my bachelor of education, just so I could become a better instructor with what I do. Obviously, then I went and became a school teacher for a few years, but the martial arts was a real calling, and I eventually had to stop school teaching, because the martial arts then took over all my time, and the training.

GEORGE: Now, this seems to be a common theme, because I spoke to Sean Allen and Sean Allen, he was also an ex teacher, and he was being very vocal about using the whole teaching concept through martial arts and then, a few weeks back, I spoke to Jess Fraser, and her go-to coach that she was speaking about, Paul Schreiner, which also focuses a  lot on the coaching element and does a lot of studying with coaching: how do you feel this gives you that edge? Having that teacher background and applying that in your martial arts instructing?

Fusion MA - Grow Your Martial Arts SchoolCON: I think it’s a massive advantage for myself, because you've seen the other side of the coin about what they're trying to do at schools and what they're trying to achieve and how they basically are trying to make the kids to move along at a particular kind of pace. I wasn't happy with the pace that I saw here and I just thought, you know what? We can do a lot better with the kids, even twice a week coming in, to do a lot more character development for the people, through high training.

I know some people that do character development with the clubs basically, they focus a lot more on that and they don't focus as much on the training. We really focus on the training, but we're trying to bring up the best kids that are going to be really well integrated in the community. And we find that a lot of the kids thought the systems that we're doing here, that when they go to school, they might have come from nothing, but they end up being school captains, because they know how to be good leaders.

They take home all these trophies from school. I've got this young instructor here, Fred Made is winning all these major awards, for the type of kid that he is. So the school teaching element let's me marry what they do in schools now with what we're doing and we're just filling the gap. Not everyone can do everything, and we certainly don't say that we'll do everything, but we're certainly filling that gap for pushing kids to go further in life and to learn how to be successful.

GEORGE: Do you structure this with a set curriculum, or are you very more sort of in tune with the individual needs of each student?

CON: We've got a curriculum that we have. It used to be so much more filled up to what it is now, but kids have changed and adults have changed and the time they commit, and come to the classes has changed. So our curriculum is 100% reduced to what we used to teach, in regards to all the wrist locks and arm bars, because my system that we have here at Fusion martial arts in the Taekwondo system has a lot of self defense, you know?

So we've narrowed it down so it’s certainly easier to learn, but certainly the conversations that we're having with the kids about what we're expecting them to get to, to get their black belt, that's really honed in basically every single class. So it’s a looser class structure, it’s not like we don't set out ten weeks they want and tenth minute is what you do, but we do have the rough thing that we do and we're just making sure we're covering it over the ten weeks.

GEORGE: So you've got a few instructors that were with you?

CON: Mhm.

GEORGE: Just give me a bit of an overview of the setup, because I know we're going to lead into, there's a lot of external players that also help with instructing: just give me a bit of background on how that's set up.

CON: Ok, so: four or five years ago, we used to bring up everyone from internally and they trained with me, because I used to teach all the classes. It was really good before, because I actually could bring everyone out. And then eventually, some of those people, they wanted to become my instructors, so they used to take an assistant role and take more responsibility and then obviously, sometimes the people meant to move on and do something different with their lives, because they get families and so on. I've got one instructor now, his name is Jake Vella. He's been fantastic with us and I brought him right through since he was seven old, he's now 23. He runs my Port Melbourne location, he knows the way I like doing things, but now what we're doing is, we're bringing people from the outside, but we still keep building our assistant instructors and everything from the inside.

So if they now want to do their own career, they can actually go and have their own place outside of Fusion and be able to run their own centers. That's still a few years to go, but we've got a really good teenage team at the moment, that in the next 6 or 7 years time, they'll easily be able to run their own places, if that's what they want to do. I've got some really good people that have come in from externally.

I guess the most famous one that everyone around the world would know is the gentleman called Richard Norton, who is one of the first 12 non-Brazilians to get a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Basically, right up there with Chuck Norris and done all those movies, so every time professor Richard Norton is in Melbourne, Fusion MA is his home base. He comes and helps teach some of the classes out of here. Obviously, the guys really love it, but his main focus is to go around and run seminars, all around Australia, with all the different things that he does, on top of even just the Brazilian jiu jitsu. So he's a really good name. And then I've got another couple instructors here from Iran, one is Arash Mojdeh and his brother Eisa.

 

They're fantastic, they bring in that hardness from Iran that sometimes I think we've lost in Australia. I feel like all that old school training and that's what we're trying to lead with from here. So it was really good to bring Arash in from the outside, because he was an international competitor at the time and I needed someone to look after our competition team, so his main focus is to look after our competition team. And we've got national team members back on board now because of this.

GEORGE: And is that also for Taekwondo?

CON: He is a Taekwondo guy, yeah, Arash is only a Taekwondo guy. Obviously, with my guys, they want to learn all around. In time, they've learned Brazilian jiu jitsu, they've learned boxing, they've learned everything, but his forte is Taekwondo, yes. An then we've got another instructor that teaches basically Jeet Kune do, we call it modern day kung fu, Jeet Kune do. His name is Christopher Christoph, he's from Bulgaria. He runs a big security from here in Melbourne and he just loves his Jeet Kune do, so we've just introduced him into the club. Anyone that wants to do Jeet Kune do, there's that. So we've got a really good variance of people in here.

GEORGE: Having someone like Richard Norton – I know obviously he's a busy guy and he's got all these great movies going on – what was the latest one I saw…

CON: “Suicide Squad.“

GEORGE: There, that's it, “Suicide Squad.“

Richard Norton and Con Lazos

CON: He's involved with everyone, he's so popular with helping people, Scarlett Johansson, all that kind of stuff. He's right up there, he's at the top of the tree. And for him to come in and pitch at the club here, we're very thankful, I'm very thankful. I've made great friends with him, because we've got the same kind of philosophy on what martial arts should be all about. So yeah, it’s really really good.

GEORGE: Is that a big draw card? Do you find that, most people that start martial arts, they're just not familiar with who people are, but does that celebrity status help you at all to draw students?

CON: I've personally got a big issue with really promoting. I've got a bit of a backwards kind of a thing: I've worked with a lot of top end people as well, as does Richard.

If you actually come into Fusion MA, it’s very Spartan about what you see around, unless you ask, you won’t know who's who. Obviously, with Richard, he’s got the name out there, and he’s very well respected. I think it’s a very good thing for people outside of Fusion to know that he’s here. The people inside Fusion, I think guys like this, when you're used to having someone around, obviously you totally appreciate it, but you really don’t know what the gem is you have until you don't have him anymore.

He’s just gone missing for a couple of years now because of all the movies. He’s just returned to come back on the mats with us for a couple of months and the guys are absolutely appreciating it, because they missed out on him for a couple of years. So now when he’s come back on the floor, the talent just shows. It’s just a totally different kettle of fish. I guess I could exploit it and say, this is who we've trained and this is who we've got and all that kind of stuff and I think that we would get a lot of blow ins.

But for me, I'm not really interested in blow ins, I just like to have our students and what we’re doing with our students and really developing the people that we actually have. I like people to stay with us for a long time and keep on building them up. So if someone wants to come across because our professor Norton is here, or any of the instructors are here, that’s great. But we don't want you to just come here for like a month or two and then, see you later. We want to work with you and make something of you.

GEORGE: For sure. So going on those principles, let’s just start internally, and then all these external influences that have come in. So, when you sort of groom people internally to become instructors, how do you get all these philosophies across? Because, you've got experience with teaching and all this: how do you communicate this message that it can't be one step, two step, three, which I guess can be a lot harder for younger people to grasp, how to communicate effectively and spot the needs in people and so forth. How do you go about handling that?

CON: These instructors that are coming up to be internal instructors, they started with us since they were really young. So when they come up and become teenagers, they've already got the feeling of what the club is like and how the instructors are really talking to their students and so on. My main thing here is that we teach from a total love perspective. What I mean by that is, we have to love everything about what we're doing. We have to love everything about the people that we have and we want to work towards bettering the other person.

So if you're in that environment all the time, where you're coming from a place of love, even when you have to discipline someone: if you're doing it from a place of love and care, that goes into that person over time, and then, when they start teaching, we can start reminding them: remember when we did this with you? This is what it is. Remember when we did that with that kid? That's what it is. If we see that they're not doing it the way that we like, we take them aside and we do the job ourselves to show how we do the discussion, or how we go forward with that and obviously, they'll learn through us, through example.

I'm very much in the club as much as I possibly can. I've got five young kids myself, I'm still here at least four days a week, just to make sure that everything is running really well. Obviously, before I had kids, I was basically living in Fusion, so those people are really well groomed. So yes, if we always show them that we've got a sense of love and care, that gets past down very naturally to everybody. And obviously, if someone is stepping out of line, it’s myself that will step in and I will deal with that myself and I will explain to them how we go about doing that. Because sometimes – you know what martial arts is like: sometimes, people get a bit of an ego, and they want to be the hero and they want to teach a little bit harder, they want to show someone discipline, or whatever it is. I've got to always remind them that it’s not about us: it’s about our clients and about how we deal with our clients.

GEORGE: How do you deal with bringing in people externally? I've seen this conversation around in a few Facebook groups, that people are very anti bringing people in from the outside. It’s always, groom people in from the bottom-up, groom people to become instructors. So it seems like it’s a big thing that business owners fear is to bring people in externally. Now, you've got all of these strong values, and love and care and value service with your students, instructors as such: how do you convey that message to anybody like Richard Norton, or anybody that comes in externally, to be an instructor at Fusion MA?

Arash Mojdeh Fusion MACON: I guess the first thing, I've never put an ad out for an instructor. It’s always been through introduction, or it’s always been through someone. Let’s just say, I’ll give an example, which is Arash. Arash had come from overseas, he was living in Footscray up the road, he'd gone around to a lot of Taekwondo clubs and he just happened to drive past Fusion in Yarraville. And walked in and – I don't know what it is, but I've got a sixth sense about someone when someone walks in. I can tell whether they're going to be a good person or not.

I introduce myself to them, I'll have a bit of a chat. Then he opened up and said that he was a Taekwondo person. I said, how do you feel about coming in and just having a bit of a kick around. You know, I've got friends in Iran, and obviously, we hit it off from then. Because I've got a lot of friends form overseas, form international competition myself and been having my ear on the ground and so on. You sense something about someone. And then obviously, he's coming in, training. One day he goes, I really loved your club because you guys are really training well.

You're training hard, you love that kind of thing. If there's any chance that I could work here with you guys, I would love to have a chance. So then obviously, we test it out a little bit by little bit. I teamed him up with Jake Vella, who is, as I said, my student that's been with me for a long time. He went out to the Port Melbourne location, which was South Melbourne at the time. He worked alongside of my right hand man, which is Jake, for a year, until there was a position available in Yarraville for him to be able to do it. And then I just gave him what he's really good at, which is the competition team.

And we started backwards from that: OK, you're going to start the competition team. We're going to build that from nothing to something, and then I'll integrate you in my normal classes. And now, he's basically running the show here in Yarraville for the Taekwondo. And obviously, there's always conversations to be had, because it’s not only someone from outside, it’s actually someone from another country altogether, and they have different systems and so on. And we just keep on talking it through. It’s the easiest thing to do, get upset, that someone's not doing something right: the hardest thing to do is to be able to discuss it and realize that we're doing it for our students and not for ourselves.

And then, it just sort of pans out. It doesn't always pan out 100%, we've had people come in externally and they've taken it to a different level to what they thought that we're going to go for and it just didn't fit into our culture and I've lost a whole bunch of students because of this before, so I just try and get it out a little bit earlier. I think that's why the instructors are scared to lose students. I'm not scared to lose students, I'm only scared to lose students that have been treated wrong and if I'm not on the floor watching what's going on, that's my fault. And I've done that and basically, my club went down from whatever numbers I've had to a third before, because I stepped back as I had another child and I thought, you know what, I think I've got everything down packed. I think everything's going to run really well – I basically stepped off the club for six months, I'd come in 2-3 times a week. And in that time, I lost most of my students, so

I had to restart from scratch. And actually, that's when Arash came into the club, at that time. So yeah, if you don't have your finger on the pulse, you're going to lose it for sure, 100%. Because this is a personality based business. People that walk in, they've got an expectation of what they want. We obviously try to match what we are with the way that they are, and if it matches, they stick with us for a long, long time. If they come in with one set of perspectives and then they see something different, either then they join or we've done something wrong with one of our instructors. So there's lots of conversations that need to be had all the time, that's the key.

GEORGE: That's awesome. Keeping that ear close to the ground and just really paying attention. That really sticks out for me, just being on top of it before things escalate in a  direction that you can't control.

Richard Norton Benny The Jet Con LazosCON: Yeah, that's right. And you know what, a lot of people are interested in opening up a lot of clubs and good luck to them and everything. I've seen some really successful people open up multiple clubs and I think the only way it works is when the other instructor has got a major share in that club, because they feel like they're doing something good for themselves or their families and so on. However, if the culture's different between the clubs, the person that loses is the person that created the name. Obviously, this club is not called conlazos.com.au – it’s called Fusion MA, because I like to bring in the best of everybody, but the culture has to be the same.

GEORGE: Con, awesome. It’s been really great chatting to you. Where do you see this going? What's sort of your plan? Where do you want to take your journey with martial arts and your instructing and your school?

CON: This is actually something I've been working on really hard on myself over the last year. I think martial arts is a very, very difficult gig and I'll be honest with everybody: I think it's about as hard as it gets, and I'll tell you the main reason for this: we've got basically four, maximum five hours a day to make a business work from a business perspective. So you've got a building that sits there all day, where other businesses, they can make it work 24 hours a day if they really want to. Martial arts is a very hard business, but you don't have to get rich. I think you can do it, there's ways to do it. If you want to leave a bit of a legacy behind, I'm finding that this is better.

So I'm not interested in opening up more Fusion MA's around. One of my students wants to go and open up their own, it will be their club and they can have my love and support behind them, and so on. I just want these two to run really well. Jake, I totally trust in Port Melbourne, that's his people out there. If Jake left, those people would not stick around, I guess the only person that could step in would be myself, because I obviously used to go in and out a fair bit, but really, that's his club.

Yarraville, it’s always going to be here and it’s going to be bringing up instructors and so on. This is a career for a kid that wants to go to university and you know you want to see yourself through while you go and make something different of yourself. If someone wants to become an international competitor out of here – by all means, go for it. We've got all the facilities, the gym equipment, we've got the talent, we've got the knowledge, we've got the location- we've got everything like that.

That's where I see Fusion going, just making better people out of Fusion, looking out for this local community. There's a lot of great instructors, I'm not interested in going and competing with them, or try and take over territory and all that kind of stuff. I just love everyone to know who the best is in their area. We definitely want to look after all this area that's around Yarraville for what we do. And the same thing for Port Melbourne: if someone wants to go in competition with us, we just keep on doing what we do really well and our clients will be our clients for life. If they left, they weren't our clients to start with. I think that's the long game, just keep on looking after your clients.

GEORGE: Awesome. Con, it was really great chatting to you. Where can people find out more about you?

CON: They can go to fusionma.com.au. For myself personally, most people find me through Facebook. I'm always trying to calm my Facebook group, to try to keep it under 5000 people, because obviously, you need new people coming through. So that's Con Lazos, and you'll find Fusion MA attached to it. Yeah, that's the best way to go about doing it. Bit of a Google search and you'll find us straight away, we can't hide very much these days.

GEORGE: Yeah, true. All right, Con: thanks a lot for chatting to me, I hope to chat to you soon.

CON: Thank you so much George, thanks for your time.

GEORGE: Cheers, bye.

There you go  thank you very much for listening, thanks for spending your time with us here today.I hope you got something of value out of that. Thanks of course to Con Lazos from Fusion MA for sharing his journey and his perspectives and values that he brings to the martial arts industry. And for me, when I do listen to any podcast or any training, it’s nice to listen to the story and get the context out of it, but at the end of the day, I'm also looking for that transformational info that I can apply to my business. And a simple goal that I set for myself when I listen to stuff is just one thing: can I grab one item, one thing out of this conversation or training that is actionable, that I can apply to my business? And I hope you can do the same for your business, I hope there's things coming out of these podcasts that you can relate to and just make that one little shift and tweak that is profitable and builds a better business and helps you influence more people through your martial arts training.

Thanks again for listening – show notes are at martialartsmedia.com/17. If you can, please leave us that review that I've been asking for. I would much appreciate it. And martialartsmedia.com/iTunes, but click on the blue icon button that says “View on iTunes.” It takes you to iTunes and you'll be able to leave a review there, we much appreciate it.

Anyway, back next week with another awesome interview. Looking forward to that and I will chat to you then – cheers.

 

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12 – Why Martial Arts School Owners Fail At Marketing “Tactics”

Struggling with marketing your martial arts school? Maybe it's not your fault, but rather the key elements that are missing.


IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why being a ‘one trick martial artist’ leads to marketing failure
  • The missing elements that no one talks about
  • Why your newest offer is not always the answer
  • Do this one thing prior to your offer to improve your results
  • The 6 critical elements of marketing for business longevity
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and in this video, I'm going to be talking about why most martial arts school owners fail at marketing “tactics”.

Ok, so why do most martial arts school owners fail with marketing tactics? Now, I put emphasis on tactics because it's kind of like being the one trick pony martial artist. There're a few viewpoints on this, but I hope this analogy sort of gets to where I'm going with this.

Imagine you're doing martial arts and all that you do is, you've got one punch – that's all you do. Or you've just got one kick and that's all you've ever learned, you've only learned that one punch or that one kick. What happens if you break that one arm or you break that one leg or something happens? Now your whole game plan, your whole everything that you can do in martial arts is pretty much nonexistent because your one trick has been eliminated. And I see this happening a lot in marketing.

I've been doing this survey, this two-minute survey on the website to gather what pain points people are having about different aspects of marketing and with their business. And something that's been coming up a lot is people saying, let's say Facebook for example: how they started doing Facebook advertising and they're running all these ads and it's awesome and they're getting all these leads and it just dries out – what happens? What happened, it's worked once and now it doesn't work again. Well, there's a lot of things that come into play with that and you can't just be that one trick pony that only does that one thing.

Now, this is something I'm going to hammer on all the time, but go to Facebook right now: have you ever been on Facebook ready to buy or ready to join something? Have you ever gone down that track, especially for someone you're seeing for the first time, a brand that you're not familiar with – have you ever looked at it and said, wow, I just want to buy this! I don't want to look at my friends anymore, I don't want to look at funny videos, cat videos, or whatever it is that you're doing. It takes a lot for you to break that element and switch off and go, ah, I actually want to buy something. Unless it's of course super targeted and super relevant to something that you want, but for the most part of it, you're really doing interruption marketing.

It's a social platform, people are there to connect with friends and watch funny stuff and do whatever they do. They don't really care about your brand, they don't care who you are. And a lot of people don't get this, they think that everybody's just going to stop and bow down to what it is that you offer. But it's just crap, it doesn't work that way. So you've got to match people, you've got to have that message-to-market match, you've got to match people in the frame of mind that they are at and what they're doing and the way you do that is through valuable content.

Now, if you are doing advertising on Facebook and it's working right now and it stopped working, I want you to ask yourself this: have people been turning off to your brand because all that they see from you is ads? I mean, think about it: your market in a certain radius from where your club, your school is positioned, there's only so many people. You're going to very very quickly exhaust that market if you target all those people and all that you do is go offer, offer, offer, and buy it, buy it, sell, sell, join this, this offer, $20, three lessons, four lessons, free offer – whatever it is, offer, offer, offer.

Now, this brings up a whole other can of worms, because if all that you're doing is an offer, offer, offer, offer, then all that you're doing is, you're training your people to only respond to offers. So the value has become in the offer and not actually in what you do, whereas the value should really be in what it is that you teach, the principles of martial arts and what people are getting out of it.

But if you are just offer-centric, then you're always going to be depending on new offers and every month be drained, because you've got to get this next big offer up, because people only respond to offers. So what I'm getting to with all this is, it comes with a good content marketing strategy. You've got to be giving people value and you've got to be covering all bases with all these elements.

Now, I've got a free martial arts business plan that I give away, I talk about 6 elements of marketing. And the reason why that's so important is because it's not just one thing, you can't just focus on this, you can't just focus on that – you need all the elements. You need the converting website, you need to have a form of lead generation, you need a follow-up system and then you need all the social platforms and everything.

And I understand that that's got to be painful for you as a martial arts school owner,  because you've got enough on your plate: you've got to run the classes, you've got to run the school, you've got to run the staff. There's so much happening and then, unfortunately, this is only more that I participated other than training martial arts, is this digital world of all these different elements of marketing. Somebody said in a meeting to me the other day, it used to be so easy, you could just put up an ad in the newspaper.

Well, now it's not that easy, but you have the benefit of the internet. It's a lot more to know, but you can just reach so much more people in a shorter amount of time and you're able to track and measure what's working in advertising or not, which is something nonexistent really in a paper type ad or flyer. Not always, but for the most part of it, it's a very hard process.

So to embrace this whole online platform and online marketing thing for your business, you've got to find a starting point, and implement that, but you've got to be able to adapt, because if the only thing that you're doing is putting the ads in front of people's faces, they're going to turn off from it. And now you have lost complete opportunity to connect with this person because you didn't establish the value first.

You started with an offer – offer, offer, offer, no value, where you reverse that process: start with the value, give content, give people education about what it is that you're doing in your marketing and from that point, make your offer. But it's the same thing if people walk through the doors and you say: offer, this is how much – there's no relationship, there's no connection. I mean, who's really going to jump to the offer? People want the relationship first, and then they make decisions afterward.

So I hope that helps – look, depending on the time you're watching this, I've put together a survey. It will take you about two minutes, it's for school owners like yourself, it's just to establish what the different pain points are that you are having in the marketplace. And I want to put together a web class which, depending on when you're watching this, could be live already right now.

If you're not, I would love for you to take this survey, martialartsmedia.com/survey. So that's martialartsmedia.com/survey. If you can, help me out with that, much appreciated. It will take you about two minutes, you can keep it anonymous if you want, but that's going to enable me to learn about what the problems are that you're having, like this video, which has inspired this video. And I could put together a complete web class and help you with the problems that you're facing day-to-day in your martial arts school.

I hope that it helps, thanks a lot – I'll see you in the next episode. Cheers!

 

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10 – Should You Use A Facebook Profile Or Page (Or Both) For Marketing Your Martial Arts Gym?

Many Martial Arts Gym owners use a personal Facebook profile for their marketing. But what are the consequences of doing this?

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Costly consequences of having a profile for your martial arts business
  • The awkward Facebook friend request
  • What is Edgerank and how it controls who sees your post
  • Why people don't see your Facebook status updates
  • Why you can't scale a Facebook profile
  • How to segment your friend lists for different posts
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com. In this video, I'm going to be talking about should you have a Facebook profile for your martial arts business, or should you have a Business Page and what's the difference: should you have both, what should you be doing in this scenario?

quotescover-jpg-95quotescover-jpg-95Ok, so should you have a Facebook Profile for your martial arts business, or should you have a Facebook Business Page for your business? I think that kind of answers it: of course you should have a Facebook Business Page, but let's explore the options why.

Now, first and foremost, if you have your business set up in the Facebook Profile section, which is actually just for a normal person, then that is actually against the terms of service for Facebook (see section 4), and they can actually shut your account down. If you're building authority on this account and you engage with people and your members most importantly, the last thing you want is your Facebook account shut down, so you do need a Business Page, instead of the Facebook Profile. Let's also look at the obstacles this is going to cause.

If you look at a Facebook Profile, it's a lot more personal. So for me to be able to connect with you, I need to add you as a friend. And it's a bit hard to be a friend with a business as such. You can be a quotescover-jpg-18friend with a person, but to be a friend with a business – it’s a bit awkward.

So what you've got to look at from that point: if I'm a prospect and I'm trying to find out more about your business, now I've got to engage with you on a personal level, which I don't want to do yet – I just want more information about your business. That is why a “like” is so much easier, because I can just like your business and I can follow your updates and find out more information about you, whereas, if I had to add you as a friend – which we are not friends, I'm just searching for information about you, it’s so much more personal. There's just a bit of an awkwardness of actually adding someone as a friend who's not your friend and you just want to find out if this is a business that you actually want to engage with and if you want to take up training.

quotescover-jpg-42So you definitely want the Business Page. Now, the Business Page has advantages and initially, it has some disadvantages because Facebook would prioritize your posts from a profile versus a Business Page. Now this gets a bit technical, but there's a thing called EdgeRank. And EdgeRank is basically Facebook's ranking mechanism, how they decide which posts show up in your news feed. So yes, it doesn't mean that if you post something on Facebook that it’s actually going to show up: it means that Facebook still has a look and prioritizes and sees, OK, well – what should be showing up in your custom news feed?

And of course, if you had a sister that just  had a baby, or there's a wedding anniversary or your friend has a birthday or something, these are things that are going to show up in your news feed, rather than a business promo special. And this is why it’s so important to have engaging content and be telling people stories. And this is where blogging and things like that come into play. So it’s not just about putting offers up and doing specials and so forth.

But that's going a bit off topic. So essentially, yes: you want to get onto the Business Page. Now, the Business Page is going to allow you to scale, which is something you're not going to be able to do with a Facebook Profile anyway because it maxes out at 5000 friends. As a martial arts business and if you're targeting your local area, you might never need that limit or reach that limit, but nevertheless – do you want a limit on your profile and your reach and do you want to have the risk of having your account shut down as such?

So you've got to get the Business Page setup. If you already have your whole business set up on the profile, you can convert that to a page, OK? That can be done. You are going to see a drop in your reach in the beginning, but hey – you're a business, so you should be extending that reach with paid ads, and that is something that you can do with a Facebook Page, which is something that you can't do with a Facebook Profile.

So that would be the first step for you to do, is to convert it, get it over to a Business Page and start providing value to your audience from that. If you're not getting reach and you've got a promotion, if  you've got something that you want your entire audience to see, then it’s very very easy to just hit the boost button and pay $5 or $10 and just make sure that your reach gets extended to people who like your page and their friends and so forth.

OK, so: should you use both? Why not? If you have your business and you are seen as an authority in your industry and people have already added you, then post on the page first, and then go to that page and share those posts onto your personal profile.

So now you're doing both and you're reaching both benefits. And yes, if there are people who are adding you on your personal profile and they're not friends as such, then it also becomes awkward, because you don't want to be rude and you don't want to not add them because you want to connect with them. But you can actually exclude posts from them.

So if you have people who are of a business nature that are adding you onto the personal profile, then add them to a list – there's a way that you can do this and you'll see this if you update on a status, there's a little drop down box that says public, friends, and this basically says who has access to the posts that you are posting.

So if you're only posting it to friends, only your friends will see it. If you want to post in public, it means anybody on Facebook can see it. And then, if you have a segmented list, martial arts students or whatever that are, martial arts prospects, you can have that as a list, and then when you do a status update, you can actually segment to that specific list and make sure that only that audience sees your posts.

All right, I hope that helps. Plenty more tips on how you can build your martial arts business . Go to martialartsmedia.com, I'll catch you in the next video – cheers!

 

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