About Mike Massie
There’s a lot of “I” statements on this page, but I figure you want to know something about me or you wouldn’t be here. So please, bear with me…
My Martial Arts Background
I am a long time martial arts instructor, a life-long martial arts practitioner, and I’ve been teaching martial arts professionally for much of my adult life.
I have multiple black belts in several styles, yadda, yadda, yadda. Not to downplay my accomplishments or the instructors who awarded those ranks to me – but that has nothing at all to do with being a successful school owner.
My Martial Arts Business Experience
I’ve started three successful schools from scratch. The first school was started without any credit, loans, or financing of any kind. I built that school to 200 active students, and went from zero students to teaching full-time in my own location in just under two years. I even weathered the dot-com fallout of 2001, when we lost 1/3 of our students in just three months!
We bounced back rapidly though, and I sold that school in 2004, right before I wrote the Small Dojo Big Profits business manual. I based much of that book on the business system I had developed while starting, growing, and running that school.
My second school was started with zero students in a town of under 10,000 people… right before the gas crisis of 2006, which preceded the mortgage fallout and the current Great Recession. Despite being located in a small town that had been hit hard by the mortgage crisis (it was one of the fastest growing areas in the state before the real estate bubble burst), I built that school up to 100 students before I sold it in early 2009.
The third studio was a strictly adult-client school that I started in 2011. It was strictly for fun, and I only worked in the school for 8-10 hours a week, while still making a tidy profit.
And, in case you’re interested I also studied business and marketing at St. Edward’s University for three years while completing my undergrad. Many of the profs are McComb’s School of Business professors who also teach at SEU – education there was top-notch.
So, what’s all that have to do with martial arts school marketing?
What I’ve learned about marketing had everything to do with my success as a school owner.
There are a lot of people who can start a successful school when they have adequate financing and a big marketing budget… but there aren’t many instructors who can do it with nothing more than pocket lint and a dream. It takes creativity, resourcefulness, the ability to work efficiently, and a very diverse skill-set to do what I did in my first school.
And that was long before the time when you could market inexpensively and effectively on the internet… which is where my experience starting and growing my second school comes in.
Putting My Online Marketing Chops To The Test…
Think about it… here I am, with no students and a lease on a commercial space, in a town where I don’t know anyone and looking at the front end of the worst recession in decades. I have no marketing budget, my business plan is shot due to the economy, and I have to fill my school fast. What would you do?
After six years of providing business coaching to hundreds of martial arts instructors, I can tell you with a certainty that most instructors would give up or fail. Not because they wanted to, but because most instructors aren’t good marketers. That’s not meant to insult anyone, but just to point out that there is a real lack of decent business marketing information in our industry.
Well, I was NOT going to fail. So, I got to work…
What I learned about marketing online while growing my second school saved my hide – and my school.
The End Result
I know how to market martial art schools.
And, this stuff works. School owners that I have personally coached and worked with have gone from zero students to having very busy part-time and full-time schools… no matter the economy.
So What Now?
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