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5 Reasons to Market Your Martial Arts School using EDDM (InfoGraphic)

Posted: April 2nd, 2015

EDDM Infographic

Promoting Your Martial Arts School During Easter Celebrations

Posted: March 12th, 2015


Promoting Your Martial Arts School During Easter Celebrations.

  • Locate the largest Easter Egg hunt in your community.  It is not uncommon for 2000-3000 children to gather in your city’s Easter Egg Hunt, contact your Local City or Community Center to find out info, or locate a Easter Egg Hunt in your area by clicking here ;
  • Offer to donate enough eggs to cover ⅓ of the children in attendance;
  • You can order your eggs from outlets like ; 1000 eggs cost $139 and come with a toy or candy, we recommend using toys as some places will be wary of accepting candy;
  • Insert your school’s offer in the eggs, such as 2 Free Weeks of Martial Arts;
  • If you are using a mobile text marketing campaign (as you should) include a line such as “text EGG to your [short code] to get a Free Uniform”;
  • Offer to co sponsor and promote the event using Printing Dojo Easter Ad Cards, and request to be allowed to have a table or booth at the event.  Display a Roll Up or Vinyl Banner with your school logo and offer, and have your promotional materials on a table.  Do not  forget to advertise your adult program, we suggest doing a 4×9 rack card with your Summer Program on one side, and your adult program on the other side.  3000 children = 3000-6000 parents.

Other Ways to extend your reach in your community during Easter:

  • Donate your stuffed eggs to local banks to give out at their drive-thru windows;
  • Reach out to local churches and donate eggs to their egg hunts;
  • Have a staff member or student dress in a Easter Bunny outfit and pay a visit to your local day cares, no need to ask prior permission, just show up and delight the kids, you will not be turned away!

Organizing your own Egg Hunt at your Dojo:

  • Ask parents to donate 5 eggs each to have a nice variety of prizes for the kids;
  • Encourage your students to bring friends and family members;
  • Take advantage of this event to promote your summer programs;

Here are some other Easter related links to give you even more ideas:
15 Unique Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

Redefining the Easter Egg Hunt

30 Creative Tips for Egg Hunts and Filling Easter Eggs & Baskets

If you have any questions regarding this or any other promotions, you can reach me directly at

Wishing you Success in this and all your other marketing efforts!

Robby Beard

Robby Beard

Pasqua-Paques-Easter 6

Luck of the Irish: Pot of Gold Referral Contest

Posted: February 17th, 2015

Hi there,

Robby Beard here with the first in a series of marketing newsletters we are going to be sending out giving all martial arts school owners some great ideas to generate new students.

First of all we want to thank everyone that ordered Dojo’s Valentine’s ad cards;  this year we received more orders than ever, which is a testament to how great of a promotion this is to advertise our schools.  If you have ever attended one of my seminars you might have heard me mention that at all times I have 7 promotions running at my school simultaneously, and this is very important in my opinion, because as great as any one singular promotion can be, it is very unlikely that it alone can keep your schools doors open.  By running multiple promotions at the same time common sense will tell us that we are increasing our odds for positive conversion of our promotions into leads and sign-ups.  One thing I always stress with my consulting clients is to to never judge the results of our marketing efforts by a single promotion. It is very common for example at my USA Karate schools to receive calls from our halloween promotions months after, and that really goes for all our promotions, but what IS important is that at all times we are working on promoting our schools and generating more monthly signups then cancellations.  We are always pleased when we have these big successful promotions, but we are also aware that most martial arts schools are not aware that really every month has potential for marketing, and today I want to share with you a promotion that has been very effective for me in the past which we are calling:

Luck of the Irish:  Lucky Pot of Gold Referral Contest

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday usually associated with green beer and street parties, but did you know it can be a great opportunity to signup new students?  I have created a referral contest that is very easy to execute, and is also a ton of fun for our students. I run a referral contest a month, I really find it one of the most effective ways to get new members is by making my existing ones advertise my schools, and rewarding their efforts with prizes and bonuses.  The result is a healthy competition between my students over who can refer the most students, which is a priceless form of advertising.

What you will need:

  1. Shamrock Paper Cut Outs
  2. Printing Dojo “Luck of the Irish Tear-Off Cards”
  3. A poster to post in your school advertising the contest
  4. A substantial prize for the winner of the contest, and some smaller ones for each referral returned from the Tear Off Card
  5. A wall :)

Printing Dojo’s Tear off cards for those of you who haven’t used them in the past, are basically 8.5” x 3.5” rack cards with a perforation to rip off a 3.5”x2” business card: One part is a 2 sided advertisement for your Martial Arts program with a special offer,  while the business card size tear off has fields on the back to fill out your prospects information. Here is the graphic we are using this year, it is fully customizable for your needs:
Tear8_5x3_5-stpatty-a  Tear8_5x3_5-stpatty-b

For the Luck of the Irish contest, what I do is give each one of my students 30 tearoffs;  They take them to school, church, to their friends and family, and when they have a friend interested in potentially joining our martial arts school, they fill out the prospect’s name, contact information on the back of the business card; tear it off, give their friend the flyer with the special offer, and bring us back to the school the business card with the prospect’s information.

For each lead they bring in, my student gets to write his/her name on a shamrock paper cut out, and tape it on a space on one of our mirrors i have reserved for the contest.   Whoever has the most Shamrock clovers with their name on it at the end of the contest is the winner!  I find my students especially the younger ones love to see their names on the wall.

I also do some additional bonus prizes:

-I post some Shamrock Clovers with a $ sign written on the front;  Behind it I will write out a prize such as:  “Free T- Shirt from Pro Shop”, or “10% off any item from Pro Shop”;  Every time one of the leads generated actually joins, my student gets to pick off a prize Shamrock from the wall.

-I also put a couple of Shamrocks with 3 dollar signs on them, and these have really good prizes on them behind them, such as $50 Gift Certificate to Best Buy.  The student gets to pick this off the wall when 3 of his friends join my school.

For my contest winner prize, I usually try to giveaway something substantial enough that my students will want to really work hard and bring back as many leads as possible.  For this contest we are giving away a Nintendo Wii U, but of course what you giveaway is up to you and what your budget allows.  A Nintendo Wii U is $299.  This prize will pay itself back after 2 months of a new signup, to me that is perfectly reasonable and my students literally flip out at the prospect of winning it!


-You can get the Shamrock Cut Outs at your local Dollar Store or Party Outlet;

-The Tear Off Cards are available at

-When you order the tear off cards a digital poster file will be provided to you

St Patrick’s Day is Tuesday March 17, we are announcing our winners Friday March 20.  The Tear off cards take 7 days to produce, and you want to make sure you have a couple of weeks to get them out so don’t hesitate and get everything ordered and lined up asap to get the most out of this great promotion!

2) Click the Facebook icon under the title of this article
3) When you place your order let us know you shared this post and we will apply discount to invoice, and Like YOUR page!

Feel free to write us back and ask any questions or share with me the results of your promotion, and happy marketing!  If you have any questions on any of the topics discussed, or if you are ready to take your own school to the next level, drop me an email to



Interview with Robby Beard

Posted: August 4th, 2014

Robby, tell us a little bit about your progression from Martial Artist to School Owner.

I opened up USA Karate in 1996.  Prior to that I was a martial artist since the 80’s and trained at a school with an instructor that became my mentor.  I progressed from a student to an instructor position, and ran his school for 5 years prior to opening up my own school.  I was lucky that my instructor was not only a great martial artist, but was also very business savvy so I learned a lot during the time I was running his dojo.  I began attending seminars and worked with different people that were more ahead of the game then I was as far as running a business and marketing a martial arts school, and that also contributed to my confidence level to push me to open my own martial arts school.

When I opened my school I thought I knew everything there was to know because I had been running a school for 5 years.  So when I opened USA Karate, I just sat back and did what I always did in the past.  I quickly learned that getting a brand new school off the ground was an entirely different beast.  For starters, when you start a school from zero, you have absolutely no momentum.  One of the things about having a big established school, one that has 200-300 students is that you can have momentum.  Even currently with my current situation having 6 locations, my main location always outperforms all the rest of them, and we are all doing the same marketing, because the main one has momentum.

Anyway I opened up my school in 1996 and I suffered, and im drowning and nothing is happening.   We built the school up to about a 100 students, but at the time with my rent, utilities and all the other bills that go along with it I was really seeing no profit.  At the time I was training a lot of police officers and they convinced me to become a police officer.  I started that about a year and half after I opened my school , I went to the Police Academy and became a full time police officer.  I was trying to be a full time police officer and running a karate school at the same time, and I was overworked and miserable, and I was  not making money doing either.  I had to make a decision and quit one of the two.  Having been in the martial arts industry for as long as I had been, I was constantly confronted with people telling me “I can t believe you quit the business”, “ I can t believe your school wasn’t successful”.   This was a chapter of my life I was not ready to close yet, so I decided to give it one last shot and fully dedicate myself to the Karate school . So i decided to give it another shot under the guidance of a Consultant.

What was your experience like working with a Coach?

This time I made a decision that ended up being fundamental to my success:  I decided to work with a mentor, a coach / consultant, and to completely follow his instructions.

no matter how stupid it sounded, or different from the way I was used to doing things.  So that’s what I did, got a consultant, got a coach. And off we went.

Within 12 months things were already progressing along ina  positive way  I had quit the police department, bought a new car.  A year later my school grew from a 130 students to 180, eventually to 200, to 250, and grew all the way to 600 members, and that’s when I started to expand and go into multiple locations.

Anyway what I learned is  1) that what marketing worked then no longer works now.  2) You have to have a coach.  Everybody, I dotn care if you are Michael Jordan or tiger woods, the best MMA fighter in the world , everybody has and needs a coach.  So we take this concept of new marketing ideas and new strategies making sure that our team of consultants and coaches and everyone who is involved is moving in the same direction.

Any words of advice to school owners thinking of expandign to multiple locations?

Now when having multiple locations , the key to that after you get your marketing and your sales strategies down, is definitely staff development, learning how to hire the right staff, how to pay your staff, how to motivate your staff. There is so much that goes along with the ability to have a great a staff.  With our industry most people that open martial arts schools most of them that do that, they get their black belt and think “Hey I want to share my knowledge” and then they open up a school and have a hard time switching From martial arts instructor to OWNER.  Once I learned to switch from an instructor to an owner, that’s when I really saw big progress.  What is the job of an OWNER, its to hire staff, is to plan and make sure that the business is moving in the right direction financially and any other goals you set forth. And that’s kind of what happened, we opened up another location, opened up another 2. Really the only reason I open up any locations to this day is to give my staff somewhere to grow. That is the only reason I recommend anyone opening a second location is for staff development. If you don’t have someone that is trained up and ready to run it, do NOT open a second location.  Don’t get into a situation where you have 2-3 schools and now you have to personally run 2-3 locations.

Most people get in a situation where they say “hey I have one school , im making $5000 a month.  If I open another school, ill make $10,000!”. That is just NOT how it works.  Somebody will get sick, you are sick, something happens, the quality is not there… it just does not work.  There are other factors like where are you opening in conjunction with your present location.  Most people think “im going to cover the city” and they open a location on the North, West, South side of the city and they think “I have the city covered” thinking that’s the way to do it.  Well its really part of your marketing plan and how its setup.  Each location “feeds” the other location and depending on where you are but you want your locations to be no more then 5-10 miles away from your other locations and demographics.  If your locations are spread out and you need to take one ad out, then it means you need to take an ad city wide which can get really expensive, and you really would need to have school all over the city.  Using my method, an ad will overlap into your second school area so you can cover two areas for the price of one if you do it right.

How do you advertise your schools?

-At any point I have an average of 10 different promotions going on.  Your marketing has to be a 360 operation. You have your ad cards, your VIP contests, your doorhangers, your flyers.  You need to have 10 things going on!  Lead boxes, referrals.  The methods you use are something youll discuss with your consultant but its important you have a heavy print marketing campaign in place.

And is that how you found Printing Dojo ?

It’s interesting, that is exacty how I got  involved with Printing Dojo.  Nowadays seems like there is a printing company on every corner, but back then there were very few places to get printing for martial arts, and in order to be able to get the materials you had to be a part of that association.  So unless you were a member of a particular association, you had no access to the materials, which to be perfectly honest were always of very inferior quality.  I was in need to order a marketing piece I had seen on a website and was told I could not get it due to the fact that it was reserved to that associations members.  I had two options:  give up on the marketing piece altogether, or find a graphic designer with enough skills to produce the design.  Then I’d have to find somewhere to print it , I called my local Kinkos and the price of design and printing just seemed like maybe the whole thing was not worth the hassle.  After all, I had a martial arts school to run, I couldn’t spend my week researching graphic designers.

The timing really rather incredible, but I received within 24 hours of this a postcard in the mail advertising pricing that was literally half of the printed piece I was told I could not buy.  And the graphic design quality of this card, well compared to the marketing materials I had been using, looked like it came from the future.  Within minutes of getting receiving the card, I was on the phone calling this company to find out if they could create this promo piece for me.  I explained that I needed a flyer for a martial arts company, and started chatting with guy that answered the phone.  He told me his name was Indro, and I learned that he had been in the design and printing business since the mid 90’s, but the part that really seemed unreal was that he told me he was creating a website for printing products specifically targeted at martial arts schools. Turns out I was not the only martial arts school looking for work he produced, and he was developing a website to be able to direct his martial arts clients to directly.

Within a few months, we had tweaked his concepts to reflect my marketing strategies, I invited him to come exhibit at the Maia Supershow and we developed Printing Dojo to truly be the FIRST of ITS KIND Martial arts specific printing company.  But to me the cool part of this story is that Printing Dojo came out of a necessity , not just an idea for a business.  Indro was trying to streamline his design production realizing that martial artists are not marketing guys and needed direction for their promotional materials, and me, well I needed flyers, lots of them!

Nowadays, we are seeing a couple of other printers popping up seeing the potential to make money on an ever growing industry, and it seems we have “inspired” a few companies with Printing Dojo to slap some designs online with very (very!) similar design concepts and ordering forms.  But what to this day sets us apart, is that our products are TESTED in our own schools at USA Karate.  By the time a promotional item hits our website, we have already used it for a few months in our own school and the reason we can brag about the product’s value, is because we know first hand.

So the products on Printing Dojo and the website system are exactly what you use to promote it USA Karate?

I am a school owner, and the fact I use these products is because I KNOW they work.  The reason we do websites with Website Dojo, is not because we are bored of Printing;  Its because my website is a huge source of leads and students for me! And before we ever marketed any websites, we already had a tested product that we knew was revolutionary.  This is what I think really sets us apart.

So to recap, in order to fully make your school grow, you need to do lots of careful planning, and make sure that all aspects of your marketing are in place.  You probably want to avoid designing your own materials, or learning how to design websites, and spend more time on the mat, in your Dojo doing what needs to be done to run your school.  Your school MUST project an image of successs, so its very important that all your marketing materials and online presence are of superior quality.

If you have any questions on any of the topics discussed, or if you are ready to take your own school to the next level, drop me an email to

4 Ways to Use Plastic Membership Cards to Increase Revenue

Posted: April 30th, 2014

The benefits of practicing Martial Arts on a regular basis are numerous. Chief among them are learning discipline and self-defense while strengthening both your body and mind at the same time. Plus, Martial Arts are just plain old fun to learn.

These are only a few of the reasons why there has been such an explosion in interest in Martial Arts, among the young and old alike, as of late. And naturally this explosion in popularity has led to a rise in the number of Martial Arts schools and dojos currently offering classes.

This is both good news and bad news for owners of Martial Arts schools. On one hand, greater interest means a greater chance of increasing your revenue and watching your business grow. On the other hand, more competition from other schools means that you really have to set yourself apart to attract students.

One of the most effective ways to set your Martial Arts school apart from the rest is by using plastic membership cards. The best membership card programs, sometimes known as customer loyalty programs, accomplish several things at once. They benefit you and your business as well as your students.

Here are four of the absolute best ways to use plastic membership cards to expand your Martial Arts business and watch your monthly revenue grow!

1. Attract New Students

One of the most difficult aspects of marketing, for any business, is attracting new customers. Once you have an interested base group of students locked in, marketing is made much easier. But new Martial Arts schools won’t have many loyal students at first and already established Martial Arts schools want to see their student base grow even more.

Enter plastic membership cards. Your customer loyalty program should be focused on attracting new students to your business. How successful you are at this will depend on several factors.

  • Value of Program/Rewards – Martial Arts school memberships are most often used to give return students lower rates. A monthly, quarterly, or yearly membership usually requires a lump sum payment upfront but nets students a lower overall rate on admission throughout the course of their practice. Membership cards can also be used to give students lower rates on each visit, sometimes helping earn them rewards (such as a free lesson) the more they use their cards. The better value your membership card provides customers, the more effective your membership program will be.
  • Quality of Card – High-quality membership cards are used more often than low-quality cards. High-quality membership cards are attractive, vibrant, and durable. The point here is attracting new customers and to do that you need attractive promotional materials. Not some cheap looking junk. As always, is the obvious choice for the highest-quality plastic membership cards for Martial Arts schools.
  • Interpretation of Data – When you are investing your money in marketing your Martial Arts school, you want to be sure you get as much as possible from your efforts. Part of this is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting marketing data. By analyzing which customers signed up for your Martial Arts membership program and which most frequently use it, you can tailor future marketing efforts to target your most likely customer demographic.
  1. Retain Existing Students A Martial Arts plastic membership card will allow your dojo to better retain existing students. The same value of programs/rewards that entice new students to try your school will prompt old students to return.

A plastic membership card and membership program provides a practical reason for students to continue taking lessons at your Martial Arts school. It gives them a reason not to choose another school over yours. 

  1. Increase Student Satisfaction

 Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of membership cards for owners of Martial Arts school and dojos is that they allow you to build close, long-term relationships with students and increase their overall satisfaction with your service.

Think about it for a second – who doesn’t like great rates? By offering a membership program with excellent rates and value, you are making students happy. And happy students are much more likely to continue taking lessons from you than students that are disgruntled about your rates and services.

By increasing student satisfaction, you are also building relationships with students. The more time you spend with repeat students, the more likely they will come to see you as their sole Martial Arts instructor.

Furthermore, students that are highly pleased with your Martial Arts school become a special form of marketing in and of themselves. Those that are satisfied with your offerings are much more likely to tell friends and acquaintances good things about your Martial Arts business, hopefully driving even more traffic your way. Word of mouth advertising is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. It just takes some initial marketing – such as a membership program – to kickstart it and ignite a fire of referrals.

  1. Increase Student Spending
    Finding new students and retaining old students is only half of the battle. The most effective Martial Arts marketing programs also encourage students to spend more. There are many ways that plastic membership cards promote this. One is that the great rates offered through a membership program encourage students to take more lessons from you. Even if they are receiving each lesson at a slightly discounted rate, the additional lessons will add up to increased revenue, especially in the long term.

Launch a Creative and Polished Membership Program  As you can see, there are several benefits of using plastic membership cards for your Martial Arts school. They will drive traffic to your school by attracting new members, retaining current members, increasing member satisfaction, and increasing their overall spending. Naturally, all of these things benefit your business in one major way: they all greatly increase revenue.

But setting up a membership program is a waste of time if you don’t do it right. And as always, the obvious choice for Martial Arts printing is, the original provider of creative marketing materials for Martial Arts schools. The Printing Dojo gives you several different plastic membership cards to choose from and customize so that your membership marketing campaign gets off to a great start. Don’t waste your time – choose The Printing Dojo from the get-go, the number one source of Martial Arts marketing materials online.

3 Martial Arts Promotional Products That Actually Work!

Posted: April 30th, 2014

A major part of building up your Martial Arts school into a thriving business is investing in great promotional products. Having a handful of solid promotional products in your arsenal is key to implanting an effective marketing campaign. But the sheer number of promotional products you can choose from can be overwhelming. You obviously can’t select them all (unless your school is doing really well). And nearly everyone you talk to will give you different advice on which are the best.

Here at, we know exactly what we are talking about when it comes to marketing that is specifically tailored to Martial Arts schools and dojos. We were the first company to ever specialize in creating marketing materials solely for Martial Arts schools. And while other businesses have popped up that do the same thing, there can only be one original. There can only be one Printing Dojo.

And with that, here are three promotional products that will actually work for your Martial Arts school. Each product has been tried and tested over the years and can be easily found and customized on our website.

Direct Mailers

It is hard to argue about the effectiveness of direct mailers. Simply put, they have been shown time and time again to be one of the absolute best ways to advertise any business. Better yet, not only do they spread the word about your business – they actually cause customers to act. And that translates into increased revenue for you. Including direct mail as part of your marketing campaign is so successful because it actually gets your Martial Arts school’s name in front of potential students. When a student checks their mailbox, they will see your school’s name right in front of their eyes. When you include an offer of great value (say a limited time discount at your school), you further encourage them to act.

The easiest way to find a direct mailer for your Martial Arts school is to head on over to In addition to making the process easier (The Printing Dojo can actually design, print, and mail your mailer – all you have to do is give your approval of the design work), we also produce the highest-quality mailers around.

We’ve been in this business for a long time and we know what it takes to create an eye-catching direct mailer that will get your Martial Arts school the attention it deserves.

Flyers and Brochures

Another Martial Arts promotional tool that actually works are flyers and brochures. Although they are slightly different from each other, they are similar enough that we decided to include them as a single product.

Brochures and flyers are a great marketing tool because they build brand awareness. Unlike direct mail, they do not go directly to an individual person. Instead, they are placed somewhere that many different people can see them or pick them up. This has both its advantages and disadvantages.


Flyers are advantageous because a single one will get in front of many people at once. Because more people see them, more people are informed about your school. Brochures are the same way. More people see them. Additionally, they can contain much more specific information on your school than a mailer can.


The disadvantages of both come from the fact that they have to be created to engage a wider group of people. You have little idea who will see a flyer or a brochure so you can’t tailor them to a specific demographic. Luckily, the advantages of using flyers and brochures as promotional products greatly outweigh the disadvantages, especially when you use them alongside direct mail.


Once again, the obvious choice for flyers and brochures for your Martial Arts school is Our experience and expertise allow us to create the most professional looking flyers and brochures possible. Our expert designers will hand-create unique and original artwork for you that ships in as little as 24 hours.


Business Cards


Business cards are surprisingly underused in today’s day and age. Many owners of Martial Arts schools pass them over when designing a marketing campaign.


Though business cards might seem outdated, they most assuredly are not. When designed by an expert printing company (hint, hint, The Printing Dojo), your business cards will accomplish several things at once.


First of all, they look professional. Handing out business cards when you meet new people will create a positive impression in their minds. It will make them more likely to attend your school or tell others about it. Simply put, business cards create an air of professionalism that no owner of a Martial Arts school should go without. Just because you don’t have a desk job, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your position with respect. If you don’t, why should anyone else?


At the same time as a business card makes you look professional, it will also set you apart from other Martial Arts schools. As mentioned above, few other owners likely have business cards of their own. When a potential student sees that you do, you just might stick in their head as the school they wish to attend. Anything you can do to stick in a potential customer’s head is a good thing.


Finally, a business card is incredibly helpful for networking. Direct mail and brochures/flyers are great for marketing but sometimes you are caught off guard in front of a potential student. By giving them a business card, you will increase the chances that they will look further into your Martial Arts school. Whether you’re at a party, at the bus stop, or even in line at the local coffee shop, you never know when you’re going to meet someone with an interest in Martial Arts training.


And guess where the best place to get business cards for your Martial Arts school is? That’s right – once again, it’s the world’s leader in creative marketing materials for Martial Arts Schools,


Invest in Martial Arts Promotional Products


If you own a Martial Arts school, then you better have a solid marketing campaign set up. Marketing is a surefire way to attract new students, retain current ones, and make more money in the long run.


Martial Arts are more popular now than ever before. There are more Martial Arts schools around than ever before. You have to do something to set your school apart from the rest. And that something is to market your service with the best promotional products available.


Invest in Martial Arts promotional products from The Printing Dojo for a head start on marketing.