Log in

Sun, Aug. 27th, 2006, 02:20 pm

I'm not going to lie, I'm not an instructor, but my instructor and fellow students are kind of desperate right now.

We have a very small ITF TKD school in suburban NJ. My instructor has a full-time job and teaches for the love of the art, not for money. His only cares about money stem from the cost of rent at our current facility, which is a sports gym that is not doing well at all, and probably won't last much longer.

Local competition comes from a bunch of McDojos and McDojangs that have done wonderful jobs of making names for themselves. However, the most popular competitor in the area is a WTF TKD school, which hampers our ability to market, because when people hear "Taekwon-do" they think of this McDojang and don't understand the difference between our much more close-knit environment and traditional style. *

Because our student base is so small, it's often hard to pay the rent as it is, let alone in a new place, which we will probably have to get in the near future.

So basically now we need to launch and ad campaign aimed at adults who would be serious about their training. My instructor does not want lots of kids, or people who take off all three months in the summer, etc. He wants people who want to learn and who will come to class two to three times a week (we only have class three times a week).

We're not looking to charge an arm and a leg either. Our tuition fee is about $90 per month, with minimal testing fees and uniform costs. You basically pay for what you get as far as testing fees and uniforms go.

There are two local high schools and lots of corporate businesses in the area.

In talking to others, the suggestions have come up that we target those offices. I also think that taking time to visit the high schools would be a good idea, because, after all they bring in the Army and Marines every few months to torture teach the gym classes. (I'm just kidding; I just graduated and I actually enjoyed some of the military work outs, but overall, the kids hate them.) I think if we go and give them something interesting it may spark something for them. But my instructor didn't seem to keen on that.

We also have a large local street fair coming up where we will probably try to get a booth. It's too late to organize a good demo though.

But I want to know, what strategies have worked for you? And I mean anything from what you had on fliers to where you put them to where you did demos, etc. Whatever.

Please. We're desperate. We're dedicated people in too small a number to survive.\

We're having a bit of a marketing meeting on Tuesday and I want to be able to bring some real, valuable suggestions to the table.


* I don't mean to say all WTF schools are McDojangs, but holy crap, this one definitely is. This is the type of school where if you looked up McDojang, you'd see the owner's photo.

If this is not allowed, please let me know and I will delete it ASAP.

Sun, Aug. 27th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)

Build a website. Alot of people who become interested in martial arts use Google or the alternative.

Try googling for martial arts in northern NJ or Tae Kwon Do NJ

It is very easy to get a basic website up so people who do a web search may stumble across you there. It usually gives a got bang for its cost. use the website to explain why your dojo is different from other dojos.

Any demo is better then not having a demo.

I would suggest staying away from TV and print media ads: They cost a lot of money.

Are there other martial arts groups in the area that need space (preferably a different flavor, like Ju-jitsu or Aikido or Hung Gar)? Sub-let to them. They would be more then happy to have to use and you get a subsidy to the rent. Since you are the primary lease holder you get to set when your classes are and everyone else has to schedule around that.

Sun, Aug. 27th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)

Very true about the website; we have one that's in its early stages right now, but it will be finished up very soon. (I've offered to build a basic one, and perhaps I will again until we can get the professional one up.)

We're also going to build a Myspace page.

And we're working on new t-shirts.

The demo is going to be kind of hard to do at the moment because my instructor just had surgery and won't have much use of his right arm for a few weeks. And there are really only three students who would be a part of the demo. Maybe four or five if we could grab the higher ranking kids.

We have been looking for other people, and I believe my instructor has been talking to some, but it hasn't gone very well so far. That would be wonderful if we could find someone to share space with. And a school that teaches primarily grappling/groundfighting would be an excellent addition to our focus on stand-up fighting, and would benefit all the students.

Thanks for your suggestions! I'll be sure to bring these up. They are all very good and would help us a lot.

Sun, Aug. 27th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)

As I was saying about websites. A couple of examples (You'll see my bias kind of sneaking through here):

Albany Aikido or
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a href"http://www.aikidocentercity.com/">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

As I was saying about websites. A couple of examples (You'll see my bias kind of sneaking through here):

<a href=http://albanyaikido.com/">Albany Aikido</a> or <a href"http://www.aikidocentercity.com/">Aikido of Center City</a>

Include in the website:
Where you are located
Schedule of Classes
Tutition/Dues schedule
About the Instructor
Speical Events

Thu, Sep. 14th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)

that is a cool front page to the site! great vid too!