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Thread: School Promotion

  1. #1
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    Default School Promotion

    Allie,

    What types of advertising have you found to be most beneficial? From all I have been able to determine the top 3 (and the only ones that really work with any reliability) are:

    1) Word of mouth/referrals. I know of some schools that rely soley on this and do very well. I do however feel you need to reach a certain point before this becomes reliable.

    2) Yellow pages.

    3) Web site.

    Number 2 and 3 could very well be switched around as more and more people use the web as opposed to the yellow pages.

    From my experience most other print advertising (flyers, etc) are primarily wastes of resources and time.

    So...what methods do you use currently? What methods did you use during your initial building phase to get where you are now?

    Thanks in advance!
    Michael Stinson

    Phoenix Quest Center
    www.phoenixquestcenter.com

  2. #2
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    Dear Mike;

    On other areas of the dojo posts I said that there really is no one source that is the greatest. Many areas work well.

    I think the key to good marketing is a host of different ones together. Then you have all areas covered.

    I don't advertise in the Yellow pages. To me it is very expensive and the return is not that great. I can get 10 times the amount of coverage with immediate response in local papers for half the price.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Allie


    I don't advertise in the Yellow pages. To me it is very expensive and the return is not that great. I can get 10 times the amount of coverage with immediate response in local papers for half the price.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com
    Thanks for the response. I will really have to watch our yellow pages results for this year as it is definitely expensive (and I don't even have a very large Ad). So far though a majority of our students have found us through this media.
    Michael Stinson

    Phoenix Quest Center
    www.phoenixquestcenter.com

  4. #4
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    You cant beat the yellow pages for promotion. Thats the first place most people look when they want to start taking martial arts.

    "All of us must understand quite clearly that even the best system is only as effective as the person who represents it. It is not styles that confront each other in a fight, but people."
    James david DeLamar

  5. #5
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    okay here's the question. How many calls have you received from the yellow pages. How many from the other sources of advertising. Can you give me an idea. Just curious.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com

  6. #6
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    James,

    If a school owner only thinks of finding only students who are looking for a school, you will never have a lot of students. A lot of times, a door hanger or flyer will trigger a response to attend the classes even if they were not looking for it before.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Allie
    okay here's the question. How many calls have you received from the yellow pages. How many from the other sources of advertising. Can you give me an idea. Just curious.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com
    Allie,

    Unfortunately I do not have a good answer for you. Our primary source of advertising currently is yellow and web pages. We have done a small amount of flyering (door to door variety, student placement at their work/schools, and selected local businesses) but so far have only had a handful of those come back.

    We are still a new school and do not yet have an advertising budget much beyond paying the cutthroats at the phone company
    Michael Stinson

    Phoenix Quest Center
    www.phoenixquestcenter.com

  8. #8
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    Dear Mike;

    The first step is to start keeping stats on who is coming from where. Do you know how many students joined your school last year, how many quit and how many remain from year to year. This is important it could tell you a great deal about your school and what is going on with the students.

    There is a saying to plug the holes in the bucket. The more people that come in the front door the more that go out the back door. Plug the holes first.

    In spirit;
    Allie

  9. #9
    suiram Guest

    Default

    Just one tip I hope you will find helpful here.

    I'm not sure if this is easy to do with the US phone system, but in Norway you pay something like 1 USD per extra phone number on the same line.

    So, if you're looking to determine how effective a particular kind of advertising is, you can give different phone numbers with the different pieces of advertising. That way, you can tell where they got the number from. Pretty cheap, too.

  10. #10
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    The easiest way to track where they come from is to ask people where they got your number.

    As Allie pointed out, finding where they are coming from and where they are going are the biggest factors. If you sign up 2 a week but loose 3 not a good thing.

    Since you get a majority of your students from the areas surrounding your schools it would make sense that local papers and flyers (more locally based promotions) would give you the best "bang for your buck" as someone is more apt to go somewhere local as opposed to a metropolitan phone book which may cover a much larger area.

    Also for the "word of mouth" don't forget school promotions such as "bring a friend to class" or "host a birthday party" or "free trial coupons" that encourage people to stop by to check you out or will bring into your school (like the birthday party).
    Daniel Barrens
    www.IpponSupplies.com

  11. #11
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    When I served as president of our dojo, we examined the statistics related to the yellow pages advertisements (how they found out about our school was a question asked on the intake form). This stat. has been followed for about six years now.

    The advertisement easily paid for itself for most of those years. A major trend has developed over the last three years. The dojo website became a more important advertisement tool. In the last year, it has become the number one tool, which resulted in us dropping our advertisement (we still have free straight listing). We are also in the process of re-designing our website so as to become a more effective tool with advertising our dojo.

    Marc Abrams
    Shin Budo Kai Aikido, New York City
    Dr. Marc Abrams
    www.aasbk.com

  12. #12
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    Default Dojo Promotion.

    I am teaching at a well known "Community Center" which is about as well run as any voulinteer org ie, badly !
    Our budjet is miniscule, what are some good ways to get our name out in the community at little cost to us ?
    Any tips would be treasured !

    Gregory (Gavriel) Poretz

  13. #13
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    Just my few cents....

    I definitely agree with Marc that the Yellow Pages are a good way to advertise your school. I have been a student of the martial arts for about 12 years now. I have moved around several times and each time I relocate the first thing I do is look at the Yellow Pages to see what martial arts are available. For me it is a quick reference of the martial arts scene for a particular area. A second route for me is word-of-mouth referrals although if you are new in an area you don't always have this luxury. I have also found word-of-mouth referrals very unreliable as I feel that many students are not aware that they belong to a mcdojo. I have also helped other sensei's by posting flyers at University campuses which was a complete waste of time and energy.

    Matt Reeves

  14. #14
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    Default .

    Just an idea, but what about Advertising on the radio?
    Mallory Baker

    Aikido 2000-05
    shotokan 04-05
    judo 07-??

  15. #15
    dave501 Guest

    Default

    I've also moved around a lot and the yellowpages was always my first resource. I'd then go to the place, rather then call. I don't think anyone ever asked me where I heard about them, so they don't know how effective the yellow page ad was. Websites have been pretty useless for finding local schools for me.

    One guy told me that the best advertising he had was on the back cover of the recycler (a local popular publication for classified ads for buying and selling things - not personal ads, although in a mag of that type might work great).

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