I often get asked, “How do I get more students?”
There are a ton of ways which I’m not going to go into today.
That would be an entire book by itself (and in fact one that I’m writing currently).
However, I do want to share with you one way I stumbled across last week to create exposure and goodwill in your community through charity. And this in my opinion is key to establishing a great community reputation and ultimately new students over the long term.
It’s simple and everyone wins. Your charity wins because they get paid. Your dojo wins because it creates a tighter group of students, families get involved and talk about it, etc. It’s also a great way to create community exposure through newspaper articles and social media.
Simply do a fundraiser, kick-a-thon, spar-a-thon, break-a-thon or a whatever-a-thon at your dojo. Have your students get involved and then give away the raised funds to charity. You can donate all of the money or part of it. You might keep 50% for dojo upgrades for example and donate the rest. Or you might simply set a goal of donating $1000 to charity. Whatever feels right for you.
(In fact a friend of mine created a wildly successful fundraiser in which he raised and donated $14,000 this year alone! How awesome is that?)
Then simply go to the charity and tell them you want to make a donation. Notice I said “go to” and not “call”. There is a reason for that.
When I walked into Animal Friends of the Valleys (the local animal shelter) last week and told them I would like to donate $700 they welcomed me with open arms. The director of development came to greet me and my daughter and asked if we would like a tour of their premises. Of course I said yes. For 40 minutes Ellen showed Olivia and I AFV’s operation. It was impressive and we learned a lot.
I asked if it would be ok if we took a photo (to show the parents involved in the fundraiser we actually donated the money). Ellen said of course and offered immediately to post it online if I would simply email it to her.
So I did and within a couple of hours we were all over AFV’s Facebook page with loads of likes and comments from local people thanking and blessing me for our contribution. Wow. That was unexpected!
My intent was never one of self-promotion. It was simply one of charity. The byproduct of this action was community exposure and the creation of goodwill and reinforcement of a great reputation for my dojo in our community. And I’ll take that every day of the week.
This is something you can do to help the local charity of your choice and simultaneously create exposure for your dojo too…