This is our Anniversary post!
8 years this month we started Dojo Muscle in hopes to bring modern focused highly professional martial arts marketing solutions to the martial arts industry and it took off like gangbusters.
I've been building marketing for schools for a decade, and have been marketing for businesses for almost 16 years.
I can tell you in my experience marketing as in life is cyclical. Things come in and go out of style. And then they come back into style in different forms.
Lead generations were raffles back in the day. Then they were lead boxes. Now they are on iPads. Ads were first paid ads in newspapers, then they morphed into flyers, then into catalogs in the 60's then into TV commercials, now into FB ads and eventually into something else.
Membership sites or programs were first clubs, then they were stuff like Columbia house (Remember - get 10 cassettes for 1 cent) now they are monthly memberships like Dollar Shave Club or BarkBox. These are all forms of direct response marketing.
There are 100's of years of marketing offline that has been proven and tested. Sometimes we get too focused on the shiny new stuff and forget the basics. Online is new and it's great but there is so much more and well-tested mediums at our disposal that they get overlooked because maybe they aren't as cutting edge or sexy. However they work, time and time again, year after year. For instance Print and Digital go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Offline and Online work best for any business.
So I wanted to put together the definitive list of things that are working in 2018, 2019, 2020 and beyond.
I do not see these things stopping in the near future. They may ebb and flow but they will continue in my opinion to hold it's valued over the next 3 years and beyond.
These are the most beneficial martial arts marketing solutions you can use at your fingertips and the best part all of this is it's free or close to it.
So let's get right into it. These will definitely help you marketing your martial art school, give you the solutions to promote better, easier and faster with better results for less money. I know everyone wants that.
Video is the MAINSTAY of all marketing from now on.
It has the wonderful ability to connect to people on a human level. You will notice as you read this blog post there is a common thread that runs through it. Connect with people first, sell next.
Without it, you will be fighting an uphill battle and it will be that much harder to connect with people. NOW not all video is created equal it's important you know exactly what kinds of video to use and when making your own following certain guidelines. But no worries we got your back. :)
Some Stats you need to know:
Emotions and pain points are the most important aspects of video creation and one of the most important Martial Arts marketing solutions you can use to get real attention, connection, and engagement for pennies on the dollar! When building videos a study from OK Dork said these are the 3 top emotions that most viewers gravitate towards:
Studies also show that the videos that can do the things listed below will have a lasting effect and be a real solution to get new students and prospects.
In your videos you want to:
We love entertainment as humans. We are removed from our current reality for a short while. We laugh better, cry more, and feel more. We have been entertaining each other around campfires for thousands of years.
Teaching is always a great thing. But teaching people things you teach them in your classes is not. Instead, teach them about the pains or about the struggles people go through and the transformations they had in your program.
The world can seem dark at times. People are looking for leaders others to lead them through the darkness. Inspire people to be better, inspire people to think, inspire people to act with your videos.
Stories are THE most powerful aspect of all videos and all marketing in general. It is how we have learned and communicated for thousands of years. We learned as children through story, Disney, Aesop's fables, stories around campfires. A story is such a powerful tool it can rivet people to their seat. It allows us to learn a lesson and feel what the person has gone through without going through the hardships they suffered.
Story is THE most powerful thing you can use. Look to use it.
The good part is every day 3-5 stories are all around you at all times. Online in a supermarket, saw something on tv, sitting in traffic all are catalysts to great stories. Use a notepad and jot them down when you see them for later use.
Do more than just stand there and talk. Look unless you are an actor or a rock star this will be highly frustrating for you. It takes practice. The people who are great communicators on screen and off have practiced greatly to get there.
Some Tactical Things to know.
Use these tips above to make great videos. Check out this resource as well to walk you through how to create videos for your martial art school.
It's no surprise that Facebook is one of the best ways to connect with your audience, prospects, current students and future students online. The cost to run ads is low, and the ability to connect with practically any amount of data set you can think of it is a marketers dream. Along with that comes a lot of confusion because it is so in depth and it also changes so fast. Here are a few ways to leverage facebooks power.
Your page is the hub of your business on Facebook, its where you will put out content and where you are able to run ads, and set up Facebook pixels to track peoples behavior and movement. For a while pages had degradation in terms of organic traffic but we have seen that traffic is still alive just not as big. It's important to try to use your page to connect with people, as well as promote your own stuff. There should be a 70/30 focus on entertaining and informing overselling. Sell, just make the focus of your page Fun, Exciting, Inspiring and Educational for the people you are looking to attract. Then sell.
Organic content has been a great way for many years to build a following and an audience on Facebook. We did it and built a 15k page for Dojo Muscle. But organic traffic, unfortunately, isn't the same as it was back then. It's becoming a pay to play situation. But still good content that engages people and that stokes conversation will always do good. For our page videos work great, shared videos from other pages or groups work insanely well. Especially funny ones. You could stuff that is pure entertainment, videos that are cinematic or thought-provoking. A good system to follow is to create your own content and share others. It's important to not only use it to promote your stuff, use it to create conversation and engage with others.
Also don't only use your page to promote your stuff, use it as a party. Goto the party hang out talk and join in conversations or start them with relevant topics, join in the talks. That's it. People go overboard with the idea that they have to DO stuff. Just be YOU.
Video is at the top of the heap on social but more importantly is FB lives. Done right they have a 24-48 hour revolve time in the newsfeed. But often these lives are overused. They are a great way to get a special message out or talk to people about something specific. A few things you shouldn't do is start it and wait for people to come on. Go right into it. Get going quickly because you have a short window of drop off.
The pixel is one of the most important part of marketing on Facebook. Installing it will allow you to measure, adjust and track your campaigns. Along with the movement of traffic that comes to your website. This allows you to create audiences, and it also allows you to retarget people who have landed on your site or page.
Video ads are the most powerful ad you can run on FB. You can use videos with just about any objective. You can run brand awareness videos, or conversion videos that will track how many purchases and the cost of each purchase. You can essentially use Video ads as a way to create a mini email list on FB and IG (also known as a custom audience)
Retarget marketing is supremely powerful. It allows you to basically stalk your customer. Now that sounds scary and I guess in some ways it could be but for selling your service, it's great. When you go to a site FB has a small bit of code called the FB pixel and when that is loaded onto a page it can track when you get back to FB to show you specific ads that coincide with your recent or recent past behavior. That's huge! That means you can talk to specific people who you KNOW are already interested in your product because they have already been into your world. It lowers costs, makes your marketing more effective, and it allows you to set up sequences of videos and testimonials to speak to people in that way.
Why a list?
One of the best things I have done for my business, and you can too is building an email list. Sure social media is amazing, but social media and the web change a lot. And sometimes small changes can have a big impact on businesses. Good and bad. Something Google does could literally wipe out certain peoples business overnight. If you don't have people on an email list you don't own the right to connect with them. You only do so via a third party like Facebook and Youtube and if they decided tomorrow your account is closed, there isn't much you could do about it. This is why email lists are powerful. You actually own the right to keep that email - until or if they decide to unsubscribe.
The next part of why email lists are important is they have a 300% more chance that someone buys from you on your list than from cold thin air or just on social media. When someone gives you their email they are already investing in their information there is a level of trust to it. If you further nurture that trust with email marketing touching them through email. Writing daily or 3-4 times a week with your audience through email works really well. It converts way better than just someone coming from an ad to your site.
Email marketing is one of the biggest ways we do business. It's been that way since the start. Early on I saw the power of copywriting and emailing your audience often. It helps make you a real person. If you read my emails or my blogs you may get a sense of who I am.
This process is outstanding and a way to really connect with people who want a service like yours. I like to include a good amount of story into everything we do. It helps to humanize people and connect with like-minded individuals. It makes people trust you more. Again look to inspire, tell stories, entertain and education just like on your pages and on social media.
As you may or may not know our parent company Pixel Mobb has been working with some of the Wu-Tang Clan members. Ghostface has over 1.5 million followers worldwide.
We have been manning his email account and we have been building it to go directly to the consumer. Let me tell you when you build a CULT following, you can do things that defy logic.
In normal situations, most people have an 18-23% open interaction rate. Ghost has a 48% interaction rate!!! Ghost gets more replies to his emails than ANY other person I have ever worked with in my entire life.
It's MIND BOGGLING. This is what happens when people LOVE you and the work you provide. So many people focus on the superficial. They want people to love THEM. Music artists want people to love their work. And great artists make music to connect to people's heart and soul.
I think in the online marketing world we get too tied up with trying to sell, hitting keywords, hot spot bonding words, and silly scripts. That may or may not work. Personally, I don't want to sit through a 20-minute video of someone talking.
What gets me and what I know gets a lot of people is emotion. Make people think and feel is all you need to do to sell your products.
You have a culture in your school let the world know that culture. When you have raving fans speaking about you, they promote for you.
These are called brand ambassadors.
They are one of the most important aspects of all business. Social proof is powerful. Look to get testimonials from your students. Getting testimonials on video and editing them together will help you humanize your business and give you the ability to attract more customers.