On today’s episode, Jeremy talks about the importance of social media today, especially on martial arts businesses.
Martial Arts Social Media – Episode 319
Social media has been part of our lives for at least a decade and we use it for communication, entertainment, and information. For that reason, it has been a great tool for martial arts businesses in selling their products and promoting their schools. It also acts as an online hub for martial artists to get information such as articles and podcasts. On this episode, Jeremy talks about the role of social media in martial arts. Listen to find out more!
You can read the transcript below or download here.
Hey what’s going on, welcome. This is a whistlekickmartialartsradio episode 319. Today, were talking about social media specifically social media as it relates to the martial arts landscape both overall as consumers and as a business. We’re gonna talk about what is different about social you from a martial arts perspective and what you can do if your school or to leverage social media for maximum impact. Maybe you’re new to my voice, my name is Jeremy Lesniak. I’m the founder of whistlekick, we make sparring gear and very shortly we will have a whole bunch of other things. Were even going to talk about a new service that we have at the end of this show. I’m also blessed to be the host for the show martial arts radio, one of my favorite parts of the week is working on these episodes, getting to talk to amazing martial artist and getting to share the things that I’ve learned as running whistlekick. Can’t wait to show it with all of you, hopefully you enjoy them. The people keep coming back and were attracting new listeners all the time, hopefully you’ll share this episode or maybe another episode, your favorite episode with someone who hasn’t discovered martial arts radio yet. It would mean the world to me. Of course you can find the show notes at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com, you can find links to everything that we do from our online hub, our digital homepage, our E store, whatever you want to call it, whistlekick.com. We keep it easy.
Let’s talk about social media. Social media whether you love it, whether you hate it is here to stay at least until something pushes it out and I don’t know when that’s going to be, I can’t imagine what that’s going to be, I don’t think any of us saw social media coming quite in this way, but it’s here. And it has a tremendous impact, in fact it’s affecting things as large as international policy, as elections, it’s a massive. Which means we have to at least be aware of it, even if you’re one of those people who personally don’t participate in social media, it’s still a good idea to know what’s happening with it. It’s part of our new cycle, it’s part of the way people interact with each other. And if you have children you are planning on having children, it has an impact on their daily lives, a massive impact. So we’ve gotta care. Of course this is a martial art show, so were going to talk about martial arts social media. There’s a lot of it out there there’s a tremendous amount of great stuff out there. Of course here at whistlekick we have our own social media accounts, we put most of our time into our Facebook and our Instagram accounts and if you want to fall those of course they are whistlekick, @whistlekick, facebook.com/whistlekick, however you want to get there but there’s a lot of other great content. Some of its original, some of it gets recycled and you’ve probably seen quite a bit of it if you are online and kind of expressing your martial arts lifestyle to the world. There are tons of great accounts out there that you can follow whether you’re talking about individuals may be celebrities like Michael Jai White who to post some great stuff or folks who are you know, maybe not celebrities but still making big moves and doing big things in the space someone like Sensei Jesse Enkamp, who’s been on the show of course. And then you got more subject oriented stuff like kick pics who which comes from Mr. Stace Sanchez but he’s known online courses kick pics and do some absolutely fantastic martial arts photography. Over the last two years we’ve seen a dramatic shift from social media being a core of text to images to now video, is kind of the King and you can see some great stuff out there. There’s instructional stuff there’s humorous stuff, there’s a lot so I would encourage you if you are not a frequent user of social media, if you think there’s nothing out there for you it’s probably because you haven’t spent the time looking at what your options are. Sure, if all you’re doing is following the people that you know personally, especially if you’re doing that across multiple accounts it’s gonna get a little boring. Specially as people post similar things sometimes even the exact same things to each account at the same time. We try to mix it up, we will recycle some stuff, we at least try not to put it out at the exact same time. So do that, look around as a martial artist you can get value, so much value, but you have to focus in on what is important to you whether it’s following celebrities or following people to put out great content or motivation, instructional, doesn’t matter. There’s a lot you can learn from 30 to 60 seconds in a video, yet you can grab that from YouTube which yeah, that’s social media but if you’re looking for something it’s more pushed to you on a regular basis something like Instagram can be absolutely wonderful. So don’t underestimate that.
Let’s talk about it from the other side and even if you’re not a school owner some kind of martial arts related business you might find this part interesting. If not, I’ll see you next time. Let’s talk about how you can use social media to reach people. It’s a marketing tool is a way that you can engage with your audience, your prospective customers or even your existing customers. Here’s a fun statistic it costs 13 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one and something like social media is a perfect example of that. If you get your students following you on social media and yes you should have a separate account for your personal life and your professional life even if you don’t use both of them, even if you only put your time to the professional account and no do not make a Facebook account called you know, Jeremy’s martial arts school because I don’t like that, you need to make a page Facebook will shut you down, it happens and then you get really sad. I need to have an account that is Jeremy Lesniak and then I have you know, then we have the whistlekick page and we have you know, like we made a separate page for Martial Journal all of those are separate pages tied into the Jeremy personal Facebook account. If you don’t know what I mean, reach out but I think I just made that clear. But you can use those pages to engage with your students. It can be as simple as hey the weather is really bad we’re not gonna have class today or don’t remember we have testing on Friday come early or you know, Hope everyone does well at the event this weekend, the tournament or something. And then on the flip side, you know after the weekend, everyone great at the tournament send in your photos post them here things like that ,you’re trying to create a conversation. For so many martial arts schools and where gonna focus on that because most of the people engaged in martial arts business that are listening to this are engaged in business as a school. You’re looking to cultivate conversation. Have you ever watch what happens after people are done training? You know, they’ll spend 5-10 sometimes 15 minutes chatting with each other before they go home and shower have dinner and spend time with their family. But social media is an opportunity for you to extend that community. To give access to it 24 hours a day, seven days a week and if you do it well you don’t need to be the one driving all of it. You’re looking to give people space kinda like your dojo, dojang whatever you call it where they can express themselves just as they would through movement in your classes that allows them to feel supported as someone who loves martial arts. Someone who is a martial artist. And there are a lot of ways you can do that. You can do that through asking questions, you can do that through logistical things that I mentioned, you know, class is canceled, class starts early whatever. You can do that through humor, you can do that through public recognition of people that are in classes, hey great job to so-and-so you know straight A’s on the report card or great job to you know this family for doing this charitable work. It can be martial arts related, It can be non-martial arts related. In fact it should be a mix because the people in your classes, they’re not only martial arts people, they do other things. And it’s important to value them as more than just dollars on a ledger and just as students walking through your door. Social media gives you an opportunity to do that without taking away from class time and it doesn’t have to take that long. Even one post a week can do a lot, if you’re doing nothing it’s better than nothing. I would say for most schools 3 to 5 posts a week on each platform that you really care about is what matters the most. For most martial arts schools if you’re looking to retain students and bring in new students, you’re looking at Facebook and you’re looking at Instagram. Now if you live in a broader area or depending on the type of people you’re trying to bring in, you might be looking at Pinterest, you might be looking at Snapchat, you might be doing stuff on YouTube, there’s so much that you can do the skies the limit and that’s where it can become overwhelming. It’s important to figure out what’s your budget in terms of time most importantly and sometimes dollars maybe you want to give your teen class the opportunity to put together a fun video maybe a demonstration maybe some kind of themed costumed mini movie and you give them a budget of $50 for props or costumes. That kind of stuff can go a long way to making the students feel valued, feel engaged and that kind of stuff gets shared all over the place. Social media as far as I’m concerned is the number one tool that martial arts school owners can use to bring new members if it’s done right. If you post things say photos or video from a class when they’re doing something fun that’s, gonna get shared. Bring in a photographer and have professional or even semiprofessional photos taken of the students and brand them with your logo they’re gonna become people’s profile photos. That’s the stuff that you don’t have to put a ton of time into but a lot of other people see it. Your best prospects to come in your school are people that know people in your school. So why not give them the opportunity to share what you are doing collectively. If you’ve been following us on social media for any length of time you know that we put on of effort into our social media and I want to give a shout out to Andrea who coordinates all that for us. Facebook and its rim are our primary account but we also do stuff on YouTube and Pinterest and twitter and I think some of you gets recycled into Google+ not that anybody uses Google+, the main platform that were not using professionally at this point is Snapchat and that’s because Snapchat just hasn’t worked its way in. Honestly? Should be using it? Yes but we are not because of time limitations. And that’s one of the things that is important, time. You’ve gotta make sure that you have a strategy for when you’re going to post, how often are you going to post, what kind of stuff are you going to post. And this is why we have rolled out a service. We had a number of schools come to us and say hey we like what you’re doing with your social media would you help us? And so that’s where we rolled out black belt social media. Blackbeltsocialmedia.com yes this is a bit of a commercial, I’m gonna do it quickly though bottom line we have black belt social media. It is our division, chapter, channel whatever you want to call it where we are helping others with their social media for their martial arts related business. Whether that you’re a martial arts school or something else. Over at the website, blackbeltsocialmedia.com I am posting topic blog posts on social media related topics several times a week, 3 to 5 times a week and that’s just sharing all the things we’ve learned. So if you’re coordinating your own social media, get over there look at it. I’m trying to help everyone, I want, I want my shorts to go right like that’s the whole focus here. But if you don’t have time, we have that as a service we’re starting it $19 a month and we can coordinate what you’re doing all original content, we can help your business grow. That’s the bottom line and I don’t want anyone to think oh, you know, I don’t want anyone think anything negative, I want you to check it out. Go look at the website. This is not some big money grab ,$19 a month you can imagine we are not making money on this it’s an attempt really to just kinda spread the word. To have schools out there see that we do more than just sell stuff we’re trying to share our knowledge, we’re trying to interact and yeah I genuinely believe, if we build that relationship with the school in social media, they’re more likely to set up a wholesale account, Byproduct from us. You know this is not rocket science. I’m not trying to hide our motivations, we’re just trying to work with martial artists with martial art schools and grow the whistlekick brand. So, check that out blackbeltsocialmedia.com or you can find the page that made on Facebook. No there is not a black belt social media page on Instagram, there will be at some point but you have to choose where you start. You can’t focus on everything just to focus on one thing at a time.
Now if you are still listening hopefully you are still listening, I would love for you to chime in on your favorite martial arts social media accounts. Let’s build a list, go ahead hit the blog, whistlekickmartialartsradio.com, comment there episode 319 and let me know what are your favorite social media accounts. Or if you don’t want to do that you can email me [email protected] and of course if you are interested in how we might interact with your prospective customers, how we might help you retain your existing students or clients, blackbeltsocialmedia.com check it out. I’m sure that we can help you improve. So, That’s all I got today I appreciate your time. Until next time. Train hard, smile and have a great day.