Non-McDojo martial arts schools often don’t do much in the way to market themselves because they’re often run with a low budget. There are, however, a number of easy, yet inexpensive ways to market a dojo, even if you don’t want to spend much money.
1. Create a Google Places Listing. This is an easy way to make your martial arts website easier to find on Google. It is a free listing service on Google for local businesses. You can enter information about your school, add photos and videos, run promotions, and even have students do reviews. It only takes about 30 minutes to do, with minimal technical skills. Create a Google Places listing now.
2. Create and Run a Facebook Page. Facebook is of the most popular social media websites. Creating a community page for your dojo helps you communicate with students, both current and prospective. You can create and promote events, advertise sales/promotions, get feedback from your students, and a lot more. Create a Facebook Page now.
3. Add Your Website to Directories. One of the ways to get your website to rank higher on search engines is to have relevant websites linking to it. You can submit your site to martial arts school directories like MartialArtsClubDirectory.com or MartialArtsListings.com. You can also submit your site to regular business directories like Hot Frog, or ones that are specific to your area like OttawaWeb.com, for example. Relevant links help search engines determine your site’s importance on the Web. The more links you have from well-travelled sites, the better.
4. Participate on Martial Arts Forums. When you participate on forums, like PlanetJitsu.com for example, you often have the option to leave a link to your website in your signature file. This is one more way to get inbound links to help boost search engine rank. It can also be a good tool for learning and sharing information.
5. Write a Martial Arts Blog. This can be quite time-consuming, especially if you’re not a writer, but it’s a great way to add content to your website or if it’s not attached to your website, to simply establish your credibility as a martial artist. It helps people understand what you have to offer, as well as your philosophy as a trainer and martial artist. If you’re going to do it though, you should post on it at least once a week, if not more. The more you write, and the better quality your posts, the more of a following you’ll get on the Web. This also can help establish your reputation outside of the direct location where you practice. I’ve been writing on my martial arts blog, Jiu-jitsu Sensei, for years. It’s the reason why I got picked out to become an author for Tuttle Publishing.
I hope this helps anyone out there who runs a dojo or is thinking about running one. I wish you every success!