How To Have A Lead Generating Karate School

lead generation for martial arts and karate schools

Secrets of Successful Martial Arts Lead Generation

Most of the questions I get from martial arts instructors revolve around generating leads for their karate or other martial arts schools. And, it’s no wonder, considering that the marketing landscape has changed so much over the last few years.

Honestly, lead generation has become easier for me over the years, but that’s because I’ve developed systems – reliable, predictable systems – for generating leads.

Lead generating karate school sales funnel

But, I understand that most of you aren’t in that boat. I know this because of the conversations I have with instructors I coach.

A Healthy Karate School Starts With Having Enough Leads…

One of the first things I ask a new coaching client about is their lead flow. Is it predictable? If not, then that’s the very first place we start in their coaching.

In this two-part article, I’m going to reveal how you can create a reliable, predictable lead flow for your school. And, if you read this article, pay attention, and follow the steps I outline, you will find out how to generate a reliable and predictable flow of leads for your school, week after week, month after month.

Let’s begin by looking at what the components of a real-life successful marketing system look like.

The Three Components of Martial Arts Lead Generation

There are three crucial components to my martial arts marketing and lead generation system (and this applies any successful marketing or lead generation system):

  • Mindset
  • Message
  • and Method

Let’s examine each of these in turn to see how each fits into our overall karate lead generation system.


The primary mistake I see martial arts school owners making when they attempt to generate leads for their programs is that they fail to get into the right marketing mindset.

In this regard, I’m speaking of nothing more than getting into the mind of their ideal customer. What I mean by this is simple – in order to successfully market a product or service, you have to first understand the needs and wants of the market you are targeting.

To do this, you need to ask the right questions of the right people. For example, if you’re trying to market your programs to adult women who want to get in shape, don’t go on a martial arts forum and ask other instructors how they get women in their programs.

I say this because the people who will respond to your questions are oftentimes just as clueless as you are. If they had all the business they could handle, they wouldn’t have time to hang out on free forums answering questions about marketing. (Trust me, I know this from doing my own market research and lurking on online martial arts forums.)

Uh-uh, that’s the wrong way to do market research. Here’s the right way to do it (using “women who want to get in shape” as your target market):

  • Instead, go to places online where people in your target market hang out (we said “women who want to get in shape” but let’s narrow it down further and say “busy moms who want to get in shape”). Don’t engage in the conversation; that’s not what you’re there for. Just listen. Take notes.
  • Then, go ask all the women you know what they want in a fitness program. What are their biggest frustrations with fitness? Their secret fears about their bodies? What keeps them up at night? Take notes.
  • Then, ask the women who are already in your classes why they chose your school, and what made them stay. Don’t talk over them, don’t coach them, just ask and listen. Take notes.

By this time, you should have already spotted some patterns in your research. Good. Now you have a good idea of how your market thinks, and what your market wants.

And, if you have done your research correctly, you have probably eliminated a lot of false assumptions that you had about your target market. Even better.

If that’s the case, then it’s time to move on to component number two, Message.


You can’t have a clear and effective marketing message without doing all the work in component number one, Mindset. Don’t assume you can craft the right message without first understanding your market.

This is what separates my copywriting from 99% of the martial arts marketing copy you’ll read. I know what makes the market tick, because I have studied them for years. (You need to do the same, but if you aren’t willing to do the research, you need to hire someone who knows what they’re doing to craft your message.)

Now, let’s talk about the art and science of crafting an effective marketing message. It’s a lot more than just describing your school and programs. Descriptions tend to be dry, dull, and uninspiring. So no, it involves much more that that.

An effective marketing message will take all the information and intelligence you collected on your target market in the Mindset component, and use it to craft a marketing message that echoes the conversation already going on in your customer’s head.

A really good marketing message will elicit an emotional response in the customer by triggering needs and wants that are already present in their consciousness. In short, it involves selling them on what they already want, instead of convincing them of what you think they need.

Wrapping Up Part I Of How To Have A Lead Generating Karate School

So, to recap there are three critical components of my martial arts school lead generation system, Mindset, Message, and Method. Mindset involves understanding your target market and uncovering their secret wants, needs, and fears.

Message is taking what you learned in component one, and using it to craft a marketing message that echoes the conversation that is already going on inside your customer’s head.

I’ll be covering the third component, Method, in part II of this article next week, so stay tuned. And, be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can be informed immediately when the second half of this article is published online.

Finally, as always I welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments about generating leads for your karate or martial arts school, let me know by commenting below.


  1. Brian on January 17, 2019 at 11:16 am

    I am re establishing in an area that I owned schools prior. I have secured a lease on a building and I basically have three students all black belts and you know they don’t pay I have a student that has web knowledge and is helping me create website and social media. To be honest I’m very nervous and I would like to help of an expert.

  2. Mike Massie on January 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Brian, I just sent you an email. Check your inbox!

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