Author Archives: umbrella

  1. How to Run a Successful Free Trial for Your Martial Arts Studio

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    If you really want to show off your dojo and everything you have to offer, a free trial is by far the best way to go about it. You can host an open house or offer a free session – whatever works best for your schedule. No matter which type of free trial you choose, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure its success.

    #1 – Advertise Everywhere

    If you want to actually bring people through the door with your free trial offers, then you’ll need to let people know that you’re offering one. You can do this in a number of ways, but some of the best involve things like search engine optimization, blogs, Facebook posts and ads, and even flyers scattered through the community. Discover your demographic, and then put notifications where these people will be. Make sure you’re asking them to set up an appointment for their free trials so you can keep better track.

    #2 – Use It as an Opportunity to Show Off

    The entire purpose of giving people a free trial is to show them what you have to offer and interest them enough to become paid customers. Make sure that you’re putting your best face forward during your free trials. One of the absolute best ways to do this is to have your free trials come in only on one day of the week. You can ask your best teachers and students to attend that day in order to provide the newcomers with the best possible experience. Be careful that you don’t go too overboard. After all, you don’t want to give the people visiting on a trial basis the wrong impression.

    #3 – Make the Experience a Seamless One

    You’ll need to make sure that you organize everything very carefully. Gather information from the people who want to participate in the free trial, and ask them to sign any waivers you may need for legal reasons. Discover which classes these individuals are interested in and which ones they’ll actually attend. Following the free trial session, gather feedback from both the student and the instructor to discover how things went and whether that particular student will fit well with that instructor, or even whether another instructor would be better suited to help that student.

    #4 – Manage the Process Carefully

    It is up to you to manage the experience from the standpoint of both the dojo and the student. After all, it is your goal to convert people to paid members, so collecting feedback is vital. When students join as members, ask them why they chose to do so. You can focus on these things in the future. Be sure that you also ask those who chose not to join what ultimately turned them away. This gives you something to think about in the future.

    #5 – Use Systems to Streamline Your Free Trial Process

    Your prospective clients should see the times available for a Free Trial from your website.  They should be able to book in themselves.  Your system should collect the details necessary for them to attend.  Clubworx software for Martial Arts dojos provides you with a workflow for managing your Free Triallers.  It all happens automatically and provides makes your business look professional to prospective clients.  After all, systems are there to make your life easier.  Playing phone tag to book someone in for a free trial is not the best use of your time.  Call us to show you how to manage Free Trials through Clubworx.

    Get Started Offering Your Free Trials Today

    A free trial is a fantastic way to get people in the door to see what happens in your dojo on a day-to-day basis. It gives them an opportunity to actually experience what you have to offer. It’s up to you to stay organized, to manage things, and to collect the feedback that will help you and your students the most.

  2. Clubworx Product Release – Smart Forms & Waivers

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    Clubworx just released a cool new way to sign up your members.

    Introducing Smart Forms & Online Waivers. These are fully customisable, online forms that will streamline your registration process, save you lots of time usually spent on data entry and filing paper forms and help you make a great first impression with new members. Sound like something you could use? We thought so! Here’s how they work.

    Smart Forms and Waivers are VERY easy to set up

    You can fully customise each form with your own terms and conditions, waiver release notes and branding. You’ll be able to create unlimited waivers for your studio to suit different purposes. You may have insurance forms, memberships or forms that specifically for free triallers of your studio. You can create and add custom memberships or class passes to your waivers.

    New members can sign up straight from your website 

    You don’t have to limit your selling time to your opening hours. Make your sign up forms available on your website and let your new members sign up while you’re sleeping!


    Mobile Responsive

    Our waivers are of course mobile responsive so they are perfect for use on mobiles and tablet as a paper free, professional sign up process in your studio. AND you can say good-bye to paper files, clip-boards and filing cabinets. 

    Signing up families has never been this easy.

    Your members will have the option to sign up individually, or on behalf of their dependants. Clubworx takes care of creating the contacts, relating them as family members and assigning the memberships and payments for you!

    Your members will LOVE the beautiful digital signature panel so they can sign up right there, from their mobile, tablet or PC. It’s so user-friendly.


  3. 5 Tips for Managing Prospects Better at Your Martial Arts Dojo

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    Person on mats in karate class


    Moving a prospect or lead to a paid member is the job of your sales function.  There are some myths about sales, but as your own progression as a martial artist, sales and selling is a discipline.  It involves a process of persuasion and while there are some techniques and tools, ultimately, you will apply your own style to the process.

    We recently conducted a survey to find out how our clients and prospective clients manage their prospects.  The results indicated there is a lot of room for improvement.  Here’s what we found:

    • 40% never follow up,
    • Of the ones that do follow-up, 40% only follow-up once, and
    • 17% of respondents indicated that often they are too busy to deal with a prospect.

    Why should I care about sales

    If you are not committed to developing a robust sales process that evolves as you learn about what converts a prospect to a member, your business will never really evolve beyond a hobby.  You are also wasting your marketing dollars in generating an enquiry.  Let’s look at the results of a bad sales process compared to a good sales process, assuming that the marketing spend is the same and has the same effectiveness in generating a lead.

    sales process scenarios

    *Table assumes a monthly membership fee of $200.

    A robust sales process has a compounding effect.  Sure, you might think the difference between converting 2 members to 5 members per month is not that great.  Over the course of the year, it is a big deal.  Obviously, your business will be in a much stronger position if the cost to acquire a new member is paid back in their first month of membership (see scenario 2) rather than two and half months (see scenario 1).

    Ok, I understand the maths, what can I do to improve my lead to conversion rates

    The starting point for improving your sales conversion rates is to define a process you are going to follow to move your prospective clients into paying members. Too many schools have one conversation with a potential student and leave it at that.  Unfortunately, you are heading for the first scenario we described above… where you are leaving a lot of dollars on the table.

    To help you wrap your head around why a sales process is important, let’s consider the following statistics:

    • 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups (source: The Marketing Donut)
    • 63% of people requesting info today won’t purchase for 3 months (source: The Marketing Donut)
    • Companies that automate lead management see a 10% increase in revenue in 6-9 months (source: Gartner Research).

    So, if you are not purposely following up with people who enquire about your services, you are selling your business short.

    Here is an example of a sales process:

    Sales process step 1 sales process step 2

    This process can be as long as 20 steps.  One of the constant questions business owners ask when developing their sales process is, what happens to those leads that are neither a sign-up or a hard no.  We suggest adding these leads to a nurturing campaign, where they receive your newsletters or monthly updates.  The idea of nurturing leads is two-fold.  Firstly, you are educating them on the benefits of your service which assist in converting them later.  And, secondly, you are remaining top of mind for when they are ready to actually sign-up.

    Here is a checklist to get you started

    1. Do you have a documented sales process?

    Use the table above to document what happens when a prospective client contacts your business.  Put little loops in the process for leads that don’t become members straight away.  They might need more convincing so think through those things that will help them to become a member and include this in your sales process.

    2. Is your sales process supported by a script or checklist?

    How can you know what works if everyone in your organisation does things in a different way?  Scripts and checklists bring some standardisation so that if you do want to make a change, you can determine if that change has had any meaningful impact on your conversion rates.

    3. Do you have an email sequence for your sales process?

    Every step in your sales process should be moving a prospect to closer to becoming a member.  If your email is not removing a risk (e.g. offering a free trial), highlighting the benefits (e.g. of a case study) or demonstrating some form of social proof (e.g. a testimonial) you might need to rethink the value they are providing your prospective members.

    Are you tracking conversion by month?

    If you received 20 leads in January, you need to know who those 20 were and whether they are still a prospective client, a lost client or a member.  The conversion rate will be the number that became a member divided by the number who enquired.

    Do you actively seek feedback from lost leads?

    One of the best things your business can do is question those people who enquired about your services but did not become a member.  The information you gather from these people can be invaluable to improving your sales process and improving your future conversion rates.

    A bonus tip – Implement a system to manage your leads

    Sure, you can use a whiteboard.  Or, you could use a spreadsheet, but having a system that has your emails ready to be triggered as you move a lead through your process and maintain a status of where they are at regarding your sales process is invaluable.  As we mentioned above, these types of systems are proven to help you grow your revenue.  They keep you and your team accountable.  Even if you implemented some Martial Arts management software that did nothing BUT manage your leads, you will be significantly ahead of the game.

    What should I do next?

    If you use Clubworx and would like help setting up a kick-ass prospect management solution, just click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner of your app and let’s set up a time.  If you don’t use Clubworx and would like to chat a little more about how you can convert more members, please email with the subject I need to convert more leads stat and we’ll get in touch with you to start helping you grow your business.



  4. 11 Instagram Tips to Market Your Yoga Studio

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    woman doing yoga in studio

    When it comes to marketing your yoga studio, there are several ways you can go about it. You can pay for ads on Facebook, you can write a weekly blog and advertise it, or you can post meaningful photos on Instagram to help capture the public’s attention. Here are 11 awesome tips to market your yoga studio on Instagram.


    #1 – Keep Things Simple

    The worst thing you can do when it comes to marketing your yoga studio on Instagram is make things complicated. A simple photo or video with a simple description is really all you need to get your viewers’ attention. If your photos are too busy, or if they don’t stick to the general theme of the message you want to send, then they won’t fit into your strategy and they won’t help as much as they could.


    #2 – Include Real Photos of Yoga

    Although it may be tempting to purchase stock photos of beautiful people engaged in some of the most difficult yoga positions, it’s more important to be realistic when it comes to marketing your studio. Take photos from inside your own studio, or even of yourself demonstrating different positions. This way, it doesn’t seem forced or staged, and people will be more inclined to imagine themselves doing yoga.

    The Lab - Chicago


    #3 –  Share Informational Videos

    Informational videos are phenomenal for getting Instagram traffic. For example, you can describe and demonstrate some of the more difficult yoga positions that people often struggle with. You can also talk about how yoga is good for both the mind and the body. They’ll thank you for it, and they’ll stick around to see what comes next. You can gain a lot of Instagram viewership by sharing a video regularly – even if it’s just once a month – alongside your other posts.


    #4 – Ask Viewers Questions

    What position do you struggle with? What position would you like me to demonstrate? Do you think yoga should be relaxing? Asking questions like these gets a discussion moving, and it also provides you with ideas for new photos and videos down the line. Remember that Instagram is a social space that calls for engagement, and you’ll need to do your part to get people talking.


    #5 – Post Often

    Once you start promoting your yoga studio on Instagram, don’t stop. You should post a minimum of three times per week. Posting too often can clog people’s feeds or overwhelm them with notifications, but posting too infrequently can cause people to forget about your studio. It’s important to find just the right balance and stick to it. Most people find that three times per week or every other day is sufficient, but if your visitors ask for more or less, be sure to pay attention to their requests.


    #6 – Share Photos of Studio Members

    Get permission to take photos of your studio members in action and share these on Instagram. People are drawn to real people engaged in real activity – not a staged scenario. Marketing studies show that people prefer images filled with faces, so be sure to capture your smiling studio members often. In fact, consider taking a photograph of all of your current studio members and posting it to all of your social media sites – including Instagram. It’s a great way to promote a sense of camaraderie.


    #7 – Don’t Be Afraid of Long Descriptions

    Long descriptions can be very helpful in many instances, and it could even lend to SEO. Tell a story about your studio, your passions, and your drive to help others succeed. While you shouldn’t post incredibly long descriptions every other day, doing so once a week or a couple of times per month can give your viewers some insight when it comes to your drive and your passions.


    #8 – Use CTAs Wisely

    Every once in a while, urge people to stop by and check out your studio. Offer them free 15-minute sessions. Calls to action will help you generate more business, even on Instagram. They don’t have to be salesy to the point of being corny, but they should help drive a sense of urgency in consumers and give them a reason to come check out your studio sooner rather than later.


    #9 – Choose #Hashtags Appropriately

    Don’t use a completely irrelevant hashtag just because it’s trending. Find a way to link your post to a trending hashtag, and then use several variations of that hashtag. It isn’t uncommon to see companies use between seven and 15 hashtags per post, and this is perfectly acceptable as long as they are all relevant to the content you are sharing. If you’re teaching people a yoga position, though, it makes no sense to use #election2016. In fact, it may annoy people who want to search Instagram for election posts.

    yoga hashtag

    #10 – Understand Your Filters

    Instagram camera filters can help or harm your posts. Use filters wisely and in such a way that you aren’t covering up the realistic nature of your studio. For example, if you want to highlight a particular part of the body during a yoga pose, consider using black-and-white photography, but using color in the area you want to highlight. This immediately draws the eye exactly where you want it, and it helps illustrate the information that you are providing.


    #11 – Have Fun

    Above all else, when it comes to promoting your yoga studio on Instagram, have some fun with it. Choose a theme that you enjoy and share that enjoyment with others. Do you enjoy promoting a sense of nature? Choose photos that highlight the great outdoors. Are you more about meditation and Eastern practices? Choose photos that highlight these things, as well. The more fun you have with your account, the more you’ll make people smile – and that’s how your studio becomes memorable.

    Instagram is a great way to help provide people with information about your yoga studio. They can see firsthand what it looks like, they can get to know you as an individual, and they can better understand how and why yoga will benefit them.

  5. Which martial arts style are you

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    If you’ve ever been interested in martial arts, then you would also be aware that there are a lot of different varieties out there. Some are designed as sports, others for meditation, and then there are, of course, some martial arts that focus purely on self defence.

    Choosing the right martial art for you depends on what you actually want to do with it. This guide will help you determine the right type of martial art for your goals; we’ve even got a quiz at the bottom to help with the selection process.

  6. 7 Things to Think About When Buying Yoga Studio Software

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    Women in pilates gym class working out

    One of the biggest hassles of managing a yoga studio is always organization. Fortunately, there is certainly software out there that can help. Before you make a choice about your yoga studio software, ask yourself the following seven questions.

    #1 – Is There a Booking Tool?

    These days, people don’t want to have to go through a ton of hassle to book a class. If the software you choose allows them to do so in only a few clicks, you’ll be well on your way to getting more leads, more clients, and more revenue in the long run.

    #2 – Is It Mobile Friendly?

    Multiple surveys over the last couple of years suggest that more people access information via their smartphones than their computers. Making sure that your software is mobile friendly gives you access to this huge demographic, and it means that you can provide even more convenience for your clientele.

    #3 – Can You Automate Client Payments?

    When your clients can pay for their sessions through a simple and secure online tool, they are much more likely to pay you on time than if they have to mail a check or drive to your physical location. What’s more, the ability to set up recurring payments with reminders provides your clients – and yourself – with even more peace of mind.

    #4 – Can You Integrate Forms and Waivers?

    Running a yoga studio requires getting your clients to sign a lot of forms, whether those forms are for waivers, memberships, privacy, or any other manner of information. If you can integrate those forms and waivers into your software, it makes things simpler and easier for everyone involved. What’s more, you can keep a database of which clients have signed those forms and pull them up on demand.

    #5 – Does It Facilitate Recurring Memberships or “Punch Cards”?

    If you want to reward your clients for setting up recurring memberships, software is a great way to keep track of it. For example, you can set up digital “punch cards” as reminders to reward your clients for their timely payments. Once a client has paid for six months’ worth of yoga classes, you can reward that client with a free session. It’s a great way to keep clients engaged and active, too.

    #6 – Can you Contact Clients Easily?

    Things change from time to time and letting your clients know often proves to be a hassle. Going through an address book or spreadsheet and calling, emailing, or texting each client individually takes quite a bit of time, and there’s a significant margin for error, too. Software that allows instant push notifications or even mass email can save you time and save your clients hassle.

    #7 – Does It Offer Self Check-In Options?

    If you’re offering rewards and perks to clients who make it to every class, then it is important to provide them with a seamless check-in system. The software you choose should not only make checking in simple, but it should also keep records and produce reports upon request.

    As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which yoga studio software can make things better for both you and your clients. The more convenient you can make everything from communication to payment automation, the better off your business will be.

  7. How Your Fitness Business Could Benefit from Social Media and Event-Based Marketing

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    There’s a perception that marketing small fitness and lifestyle businesses can’t be done effectively.

    That’s just a myth.

    In fact, increasingly all brands – big and small – are experimenting and using innovative marketing tactics to grab people’s attentions.

    The reason for this is quite simple; in the modern world the traditional gatekeepers of the media – the television and newspaper outlets – are slowly losing control. The main goal of any marketing campaign is to get the potential customer to see a message and hopefully get influenced by it.

    Success on social media relies on “going viral,” which simply means that you’ve done something that gets people on Facebook and Twitter excited enough to share what they’ve seen with their social networks, and then the friends and followers share it on as well. The cascading effect, when done really well, can help you reach thousands, if not millions, of prospective future clients.

    So how do you “go viral?”

    It’s not a matter of throwing money at something, as even the biggest brands struggle to get social media visibility and they have large marketing budgets. No, going viral is why marketers are rapidly spending more money on experimental and event marketing than any other kind of marketing if you do this well, people are going to want to share it around.

    The simplest example of this is to simply hit the streets and meet with people, who could be your potential clients.

    Soft drink manufacturers, such as Coke or Pepsi, do this all the time – they travel around giving samples to people, and use events to encourage people to take photos and put it out on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles.

    For a fitness business, you might set up a ‘fitness challenge’, and encourage people to workout in public venues e.g. circuit training activities. In addition to the golden video and photo opportunities that you’ll get, you’ll also get a chance to meet new people and really highlight what benefits your business offers to them.

    Another increasingly popular marketing strategy is to use just out-of-the-box concepts for an event. Ikea in the UK hosted a sleepover for 100 winning contestants on Facebook. This works on a couple of levels – it involved a promotional element (people like a prize), and it generated plenty viral social media content that was used during and after the event.

    This type of event based marketing can be easily applied to a fitness business. Social media based weight loss challenges are an existing popular example. Contestants will have to showcase their progress through pictures they circulate on Instagram or Facebook and will tag your brand or business giving you free effective exposure.

    A third popular experimental marketing strategy is to tap into existing popular culture and tie it into the real world. For example, a chain of 7-Eleven stores rebranded themselves to be the ‘Kwik-E-Mart’ from the Simpsons, which worked as promotion for both the stores and the Simpsons Movie, which was being released at the time. Licensing agreements need to be considered and could be expensive.

    Experimenting when marketing your fitness business involves no hard-and-fast rules. It only involves you to think outlandishly. Once you figure out that it makes business sense and is cost efficient you can launch it. With the advent of social media, a lot of the traditional costs associated with marketing have been removed.

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