Martial Marketing: The Flier

Running a martial arts school can take up a lot of time. It is not always easy but the rewards of operating your own school are tremendous. One of the hardest things is trying to generate growth. Gaining new clientele can be difficult for anyone that owns their own business. You have to find ways to reach your target audience that will motivate them to stop in, or to take the time to check out your product. You have to demonstrate how your business provides for their needs and better serves them than a competitor would. These things are also true of martial arts schools.

The most effective means of exploring new customers is to determine what your target market and demographic are and then to effectively advertise to them so that they are aware of your products or services. With some careful thought and consideration determining your target demographic is often easier than trying to find ways to effectively market to them. A martial arts school for instance may have a wide range of ages and lifestyles that it may appeal too, and the clients have many reasons for wanting to invest time in the martial arts, but ultimately the types of programs offered by the school will tend to determine what types of people will be interested in your curriculum. So that just leaves how to let them know you are there.

For many new businesses the biggest set back to a marketing campaign is funding. Having enough money to come up with a creative marketing campaign, then design the materials, and then make them available to the potential clients can cost a significant amount. Martial arts schools generally will have a significant advantage in this area provided that they leverage it. Many students of a school love what the school has done for them. Their loyalty and respect for the school motivate them to want to help the school in any way they can. Capitalizing on this can provide a highly motivated and very creative group of individuals. Since you are marketing to people much like themselves they can help decide what methods may be most effective. You may have among your students creative writers, artists and computer savvy individuals that are willing to work together to help share their love of the school with others. Their input and effort can drastically help reduce the cost of starting at least a simple marketing campaign.

For the price, fliers tend to be one of the most effective marketing tools. Your faculty, staff and students can help with the design, production and distribution of fliers. This volunteer effort means that you generally only have to pay for the cost of actually printing the fliers. Costs can vary depending on complexity and color options, but most of the time the cost is very limited. You can also maximize your value by putting more fliers on a page. Often making a smaller flier is more effective in several ways. One you may fit more on a single page to reduce printing costs, and often having a smaller handout to give to people with concise information is more likely to be read. If your fliers are too verbose and bulky people are less likely to hang on to it, and while they may give it a quick glance, with so much information it is too hard to pick out useful information and so the whole flier is often ignored.

When I recently designed a flier for the Nine Dragon Academy, I wanted to design something that was eye catching and informative, while still being easily assimilated in just a few moments.

Nine Dragon Academy Flier

Nine Dragon Academy Flier

The flier above is in a deep bold color that quickly draws attention. The dragon logo is centered to draw the eyes down through the flier and on to the information. The information provided is succinct and to the point. It lists the website, address, phone number and email address so that people who are interested have easy methods of contacting the school for further information. It also lists the major programs that we offer.  The rest of the flier adds some artistic touches so that it is not too boring, but they are subdued so as not to detract from the important information.  The flier displayed is at full size.  It is a quarter-page flier.  This size is large enough to hand out or post, is concise and still maximizes the number you can fit on a page for printing.

We will begin our marketing campaign of distributing these fliers soon.  It it will often take multiple times of handing them out before people will begin to take notice and act on the interest that these fliers will generate.  Once the fliers are made you must next exercise patience and perseverance.  You may have to canvas several areas and do so multiple times over a period of several months before you begin seeing substantial results. Through the continued effort of your volunteer force you will see a return on this type of advertising.  Often with such a low overhead the addition of one new client will recover the cost of production and distribution within their first month.

There are many ways to market a martial arts school.  Promotions, introductory offers and demonstrations are just a few of the options out there.  Flier distribution is still a popular means of spreading the word about your organization and what it can offer to potential clients.  The reason for this is that it is very cost effective to produce, easy to distribute, informative and has the potential for a high return on your investment of time and money.  If you have never considered distributing fliers as an option, or if it has been a while since your last distribution, you may want to consider starting a new flier campaign to showcase some of the new programs that your school has to offer or just to remind the public that you school is still alive and well and has much to offer potential students.

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