How to get more martial arts students

6 min read
Find out how you can successfully get more students attending your martial arts school.

Find out how you can successfully get more students attending your martial arts school.

If you’ve come to this article, it’s because you’re looking for tips on how to get more students for your martial arts school. While an easy suggestion is to invest in paid advertising, there are several free marketing strategies that can help you find and welcome new students.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to improve your online presence, how to use social media effectively, why you should reach out to the community, and how to keep growing your school even after you’ve reached your goal.

Martial arts students and their teachers pose for a team photo.


Photo Credit: Three Points Martial Arts

Perfect your online marketing strategy

The priority for any business owner trying to get their services noticed online is to rank well on Google so it's integral to have an online marketing strategy that reflects that. With a few simple processes, your online presence can grow steadily, ensuring that potential students find you easily.

Make sure you have a functional and attractive website

First things first, all businesses should have a website. If you’re trying to grow your school without one, you'll run into some struggles, but luckily a website isn’t hard to build and use. Your website has to include a sign-up page and an About Us page as well, but in order to get the most out of it, it needs more. You want your website to rank well on Google and appear high on search lists. While this can take some time, the better the information and value you provide on your website, the more likely it will rise faster.

Getting your website noticed by Google all comes down to your SEO (search engine optimisation). The simplest way to do this is through keywords, which are words people search for to find your website. The best tip is to incorporate them on your website in a natural way. Adding them to your pages is one way of doing this, especially in your creative content which can include photos, video snippets of classes, on-demand workouts, as well as blogs your visitors will find interesting.

If you want some assistance building your own website, there are website design agencies that specialise in creating a website for fitness businesses.

Write blogs and articles to keep your students engaged

The idea of writing blogs may seem a daunting, time-consuming task, but it really doesn't have to be. Writing articles and stories between 500 and 1,000 words once a week or even every other week will be enough to show Google your website is regularly updated, fresh, and relevant.

Your blog is also a great way to engage with both your current members and potential students. The topics you write about should be in line with your martial arts school. Create posts about best exercises to help them improve, how to stay consistent, and any trends in your discipline that might pique their interest.

Build a social media audience

Building your online social media presence and sharing content that directs back to your website makes it easy for newcomers to check your school out and see if it's the right fit for them. Creating posts on Instagram and Twitter with pertinent hashtags is a great way to get the attention of anyone following martial arts pages.

Your Instagram page is also useful for showing photos and short videos of your classes. It helps you engage with your members, and potential students can see your style as an instructor and what to expect from your classes and your martial arts school.

Facebook ads are the perfect way of targeting your key demographic. You decide who to aim your advertisements at by selecting the interest areas of Facebook users. People who follow pages such as the UFC, or competitions and events ranging from the Olympics to the upcoming International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federations World Championship can be targeted with your ads.

Keep reading to find out how building relationships with the local community can help you meet potential martial arts students

Get involved with your local community

You want to make sure both local students and businesses know about your school. Building a bond with local businesses is a beneficial way to earn new students. Asking them to advertise your martial arts school and offering a small discount to their customers helps to create trust.

You can also organise a collaborative discount with businesses to help each other, such as sports physios and sporting goods stores. This all helps you to build a rapport with other businesses in the area. Established local businesses giving you their stamp of approval makes it an even easier decision for their members to come and see what your school is all about.

Ask current members to refer their friends and family

A popular fitness trend you won't see going away any time soon is a student's desire to work out or take a class with their best friends, so why not encourage your students to bring theirs? From children to adults, this is a strategy that doesn't come off like a plot to get more customers, it's all about making your students comfortable in class and finding ways for them to have fun.

Create a coherent schedule for your new martial arts students

Make sure your class schedule is clear

Whether you run classes for kids, adults or both, the typical times in which each group will be available will vary on school and work times. Do a bit of research to figure out which times will give you the best chances at keeping your classes full.

Might we suggest early morning midday and late afternoon classes for adults, and an afternoon special for your juniors? That 15:00-17:00 time slot in your schedule will fill up with the after-schoolers, and once the kids' classes are done and they're heading home for the evening, your adult students will be finishing up at work and getting ready to come in for their classes and sessions.

Investigate local and national martial arts events

Not only are martial arts events great networking opportunities to get to know other schools and studios in your area but they are great advertising opportunities. Offering to sponsor smaller events is a great way to get your name out there.

Attending larger events is the perfect opportunity to build relationships with other teachers and other martial arts schools. You can learn a thing or two from other schools in the area and nationally and see what works well for them. 

Host a martial arts competition and offer free demonstrations

You can even host your own competition and offer free demonstrations to newcomers. Organising and hosting a martial arts competition lets people who are interested in your school come and see what you are all about.

They can get to know some of your other new members, other teachers you have brought on to your team, and of course you, so you can start to encourage them to join your school.

Reaching out to local schools to offer a free demonstration for kids and parents to see what your classes will involve gives them the perfect chance to learn more about you, your martial arts school, and what kids can get out of it.

To round up

While earning more customers for your martial arts school can be challenging, utilising these strategies can help. A combination of a great online presence, engaging with local businesses, and building your awareness within the martial arts community are great ways to get your school noticed by potential new students.

For more tips about managing a martial arts school, read about how martial arts software can help you here.

Thanks for reading!

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