martial arts marketing lead generation

How To Maximize Your Martial Arts Marketing ROI

In my last post, I discussed the three components of every successful marketing system:

  • Mindset
  • Message
  • and Method

Having already explained Mindset and Message, today I’m going to explain Method, and how to maximize your martial arts marketing ROI.

Maximizing your return on investment for your marketing and advertising dollars is crucial to keeping your overhead low and your lead flow consistent.

And, that’s best done in the implementation stage of your marketing plan, the component I refer to as “Method.”

Method is how you get your message out to your target audience. Most business owners think that this is the hardest part, but in fact, it’s exactly the opposite.

See, many business owners think that their marketing is failing because they’re not using the right Method to market their business. This is often a false assumption, because in most cases it’s the Message that isn’t working.

So, if you failed to read my previous post on marketing Mindset and Message, go read it now. Then, do the work in discovering the proper Mindset and developing the correct Message for your market. Then, and only then, will you be ready to determine your marketing Method.

Why “Method” Is The Easiest Part of Generating Leads

Implementing your marketing Methods is the easiest and least complicated component of generating leads for your school. That’s because, once you have the right message, all the rest is just mechanical. Click here, paste this here, mail this to this list, etc.

Again, I want to emphasize that you don’t get hung up on finding the perfect, holy grail of marketing methods, because it doesn’t exist. I know some school owners who market exclusively with direct mail. I know others who get 90% of their leads from the internet. And, I know still others who get the majority of their leads from personal appearances, guest classes, and school talks.

Here’s the thing… they all work, if your message is on point. Got it? Good.

Now, let’s talk about developing a specific marketing plan for your studio.

Planning Your Marketing Methods

See that email optin form on the upper right-hand side of this site? Fill in your email address now, and download the free bonus. Now, print it out and let’s get to work planning your marketing.

Here’s what I want you to do – pick three methods to use that will be your primary methods of getting the word out on your school. For me, those three methods are:

  • Internet marketing – Website, Google Adwords, and Social Media
  • Direct marketing – Door hangers or direct mail postcards
  • Referrals – Guest pass promotions and contests

Choose wisely, because these three methods are going to be the centerpiece of your marketing plan. Now, once you have your three primary marketing methods, now it’s time to work out our other 7-10 supplementary marketing methods. You can choose from the following, or add some of your own favorites if they’re not listed here:

  • Website
  • Direct mail
  • Door hangers
  • Email marketing
  • School talks
  • Print ads
  • Signage (school, auto, yard signs, banners, etc.)
  • Pay-per-click ads (Google ads, etc.)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest (if you’re not using this site, start – especially for kickboxing and fitness, hint, hint)
  • Linkedin
  • Teaching guest classes
  • Blogging
  • Craigslist (and other free classified ads sites)
  • Guest column in local publications (offline and online)
  • Ezinearticles.com (use local keywords in your bio and author byline)
  • Business cards
  • Guest passes
  • Referral contests
  • Fliers (you might think this doesn’t work, but it does if you do it properly)
  • Public events
  • Radio ads
  • Youtube videos
  • Partner programs with other local businesses
  • Email list rental and list swapping
  • Guest blogging
  • and so on…

Here’s the gist of what we’re trying to do here – we’re trying to nail down the 20% of marketing methods that will result in 80% of our leads. That way, we can focus 80% of our time and money (yes, you have to spend money on marketing) on those methods (The Pareto Principle in action – go read Small Dojo Big Profits for more on this).

Next Step – Implementation

Alright, the next step is implementing your marketing methods over a period that is long enough to evaluate their effectiveness.

Repeat after me: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

So, you’re going to track where every lead and inquiry comes from, from here on out.  This is the only way you can see in concrete numbers which of your marketing methods are really producing for you.

How do you track your leads? First, ask every single person who calls or walks in how they heard about you. Second, use Google Analytics to track where your traffic is coming from on your website. Third, include a space for “how you heard about us” on your enrollment application and waiver, and make sure you list ALL the methods you are currently using to market with check boxes next to each one.

What Sorts Of Results Should You Expect To Get?

Now, I’m just going to tell you up front that your website should be responsible for at least 50% of your leads. If it’s not, it’s broken – hire someone to fix it for you.

As for how many leads you should be getting, that depends on your goals for growing your school. I suggest you read The Profit-Boosting Principles for more on this, paying particular attention to the chapter on the importance of retention strategies.

It also depends on how good you are at converting leads to enrollments. If your conversion rate is lousy, you are going to need to get a lot more leads than you would if you were good at closing enrollments. (And if selling memberships is your kryptonite, get the Phone-to-Enrollment Success System.)

Now, it’s time for the final step – Evaluation.

Evaluating Your Lead Generation Efforts

At the end of your first 30 days of tracking your marketing efforts, it’s time to evaluate the performance of every single marketing method you’ve been using in your school. This is simple math. Look at how many people said they heard about you from each of the marketing methods you use, and add them up by column according to each method.

First off, are your “top three” really on top (meaning they generate roughly 80% of your leads)? Or, is there another lead generation method that is showing promise?

Next, are any lead generation methods you’re using complete duds? If so, don’t throw them out just yet. If you have a dud that’s an expensive method, but one that has been proven to work for other schools, you need to get an expert to help you fix it.

And if it’s a cheap or free marketing method that does not require a significant time investment to implement, try making small changes to the way you are implementing it over the next two months (changing headlines, trying different offers, etc.)

If a marketing method is not producing after two or three months of tweaking, then it’s time to throw it out and try something else. Incidentally, if a supplemental marketing method is consistently producing even just 2 or 3 leads a month, I keep it in my mix. Only goose eggs get tossed out.

Finally, if a marketing method on your “supplemental” list is consistently outperforming one of your “top three”, then it’s time to move that one up to the top of your list, so you can start throwing more time, effort, and money at it. If the results you get from that method increase in proportion to the amount of increased resources you throw at it, then you should keep it at the top of your list.

Moreover, you should keep increasing the amount of resources you throw at a winning marketing method until you notice a diminishing return on your investment. Again, track your results religiously so you can avoid spending money needlessly.

Let’s Wrap This Up…

So, the simple wrap up is that you should have 10-12 marketing methods running at any given time. Three of those (your top performers) should be getting 80% of your time, effort, and money. And, you need to track your results in order to evaluate where your time, effort, and money should best be spent. This should be done on an ongoing, monthly basis, in order to maximize your martial arts marketing ROI.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave your feedback below.

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