Martial Arts Teacher / School Owner Lesson, from Tom Callos
Martial Arts Teacher / School Owner Lesson:
Question: Why don't people (in my market) understand the value of what I / we do? I think my community should be lined up at my doors interested in getting on my mats --as the martial arts, as I teach it, is BIG on benefits. Are people simply not interested in what I can do for them?
Answer: Your community doesn't respond as you think they should, for some of the following reasons:
1. You haven't told them. And if you think you have, show me one well written post, or written post accompanying a photograph, or written post accompanying a video, that you've done for each 30 days you've had your doors open.
Maybe you keep your posts brief to accommodate people's short attention spans? Maybe you don't think you can write about your life's work? Or maybe you've been so busy hustling your school to anyone you can reach in any ways you think will get your foot in the door --that you've neglected to invest in the biggest phone book in the world (the Web) --in a way that provides links between the benefits you should be explaining, repetitively, and your work?
2. You're shouting your benefits to people who already know them. Being on Facebook to promote your work is just about the same as going to a party, standing up on a chair in the middle of that party, and shouting an advertisement (or worse, some inane, odd tidbit of your opinions) to the attendees, then walking away.
You want to invest your time in EVERGREEN marketing. Marketing that isn't a satisfaction of your immediate urge to pontificate or promote, but advertising that stays put, is crawled and listed by the various search engines, and that sells for you today --and 5 years from now. Oh, and advertising that makes you look like the consummate, educated, resourceful, accomplished master teacher you are --or aspire to be.
3. Your website, which for many, before they decide to come see you, is your representative in-the-world, is doing a horrible job of telling people who you are and what you do. It looks and sounds and, actually, is --like some kind of martial arts school template site. Whatever you do that is unique or valuable or amazing --sounds and looks just about like every other school in the world. It's very likely that you don't have even 10 compelling pieces of actual evidence of the "brilliance" of your work there, much less a "master's" portfolio of teaching victories and accomplishments accumulated over the many years you've been teaching "professionally."
4. You've dumbed-down your approach. Instead of practicing the art of inspiration thru action and evidence, you've decided that promoting birthday parties and using cotton candy machines to promote your work is how to get people into the right frame of mind to learn about your glorious, hard-earned, lifetime of knowledge. AND, having dumbed-down your approach, you tend to attract people who "get" the value of good entertainment for their children --and you've abandoned the work of hard-core production of results --and traded it for the immediate gratification and rush of being of value on birthdays and as a provider of sugar as introduction.
The easiest way to get a black belt is to buy one. The way to black belt that requires the least amount of time, exploration, or effort --but gets you that black belt...is to buy one from a store --or buy one from someone who caters to "people's" perceived needs, usually for the income, who will deliver said black belt once you've met the minimum requirements of attendance and reasonable effort, whether you're 9 or 12. The easiest way to get a black belt is to find an opportunist who sees the connection between your needs and theirs, and isn't beneath giving you what you think you want, to get what they want.
The only problem with a junk-food approach to promotion is that junk food attracts people that like immediate gratification --and often quickly move on to their next sugar rush. Junk marketing gets leads, it gets people to stop, look, and often consume --but these folks aren't always the kind of people who are on the quest for deep and life changing practice. And so, you, the master teacher, get used to the comings and goings of customers who don't really want the best work you do --but are happy with the sugar rush of involvement, and who soon get on to other things ------leaving you trapped in the near endless cycle of: A. provide rush and immediate gratification. B. extract return from that immediate gratification. C. Look for more of same.
This also traps a good many school owners in a cycle of dumbing down marketing to attract the easiest low-lying fruit of people's attention --which often causes the owner to become stunted in the art of deep and meaningful communication as marketing.
You get what you promote. If you promote with sugar, you get sugar. Try living on sugar for a time --and see where that gets you.