View Full Version : Attracting New Students

Robert Cheshire
5th April 2004, 18:57
What have you found to be the best way to attract new students? We have a TWD school in the same city recreation center that we do that has tons of students.

I don't want to "take" away any of the students they have, but, would like to have our school grow.

Thanks in advance!

5th April 2004, 19:50
I currently have ten regular students in my 9-13 class and 9 in my 5-8 class. My classes started in January, with little or no advertising on my part, the center where I teach does some through their schedule. The majority of my students have come from word of mouth from the first ones that came. Evidently I am offering a wide number of things that the parents appreciate and are not being provided elsewhere. Four of the senior class that showed up the first class came from one community program. Three others have joined them.

1. Two classes a week - most of the community programs around me are once a week.
2. Pay as you go - No contracts or pay twelve weeks in advance even if you aren't going to be there. And my prices are cheaper than the other classes in the area. I'm not 'undercharging' in my mind, but I also have almost no overhead.
3. I teach in a traditional format - I have one new student that has taken classes for four years with another program (roughly 40 classes a year) and had not learned a single kata.
4. I'm nice, firm, but nice - Kid's don't leave the class crying, which I understand happened on a regular basis at one place.
5. Traffic - even though I'm in a controlled environment, I can attract a lot of attention, which has brought in new students, just by making noise. Classes are in a room off of the gymnasium. When the noise of the games and activities outside get too loud, we just do a kibadachi and ten punches with kia's. Echos off the walls and those that don't know what is going on come to see.
6. Organization - Both at my dojo and the national one that backs me up. I have guest instructors in about once a month (my teachers and senior classmates from where I take classes). This lets the parents see the depth of the style and adds legitimacy to what I teach.
7. Communications - I put out a monthly newsletter with milestones, upcoming events and other news of interest. I also provide a packet of information for the families when they first come in. Most of the other classes I've encountered don't provide any history or background on their style.
8. Special activities - Video night, I show 30 minutes of seminar tapes and demos from others in our style. Do the kata on the stage in the center, helps get them used to an audience and also increases traffic.
9. Incentives - I provide the style patch for the uniform at their tenth class. I also presented my sempai a beautiful fan to commemorate her 100th class (75 at the old school where I taught). They are still curious to know what they will get for their 25th class, or maybe their 50th.

Mitch Saret
6th April 2004, 00:29
Your best advertisement is your current students. There are a lot of ways, going in depth here is a little awkward...mainly because of my time. You can flier cars, offer a free month to check you out, all kinds of things. We will be demo'ing at an event at our local mall..."The Festival of the Young Child" is the event. Hopefully we'll garner some students from that. We have in the past.

Wounded Ronin
7th April 2004, 16:28
I suppose that what you do to market yourself depends on the emphasis of your schools. Flashy demos seem like a standard practice that do generate interest but flashy demos are only appropriate for certain types of schools.

If a school is combat-orientated or self-defense orientated it's very hard to get students since most people aren't into that. I've seen a totally top-notch self defense jujutsu class have only like 2 students because the techniques scared everyone off. For that kind of school, I dunno....maybe what you'd need is a celebrity endorsement from John Mullins. XD

8th April 2004, 22:45
Dear Everyone:
I haven't been on in quite awhile. I think that everyone's questions are excellent. I agree with most of them. I think that it doesn't matter if you have a flashy demo or not. A demo is a demo. It is demonstration of what you do. So you want it to appeal to people. I have done demo's that scared people off the martial arts for life. I think this is counter productive.

Marketing your school is not an easy task but it is not difficult either. I recommend you check out my website Takingittothenextlevel.com, on this site it has all you need on marketing. Please check it out. This month has the 10 marketing tips.

In spirit;
Allie Alberigo