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Old 08-08-2002, 09:28 AM   #1
Genex
 
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Dojo: Warrington Seishin Kai
Location: Warrington, England
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 155
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Lightbulb Idea's anyone

Okay quick question, I would like to get more ppl to join our aikido club,(who wouldnt) we have posters that are situated around the local area, although there doesnt seem to be much local interest i've pretty much got most of my friends interested too, they really like it which is a bonus but how do i get others interested?

does anybody have any tips? or experiance in recruiting ppl?
And other then my animal magnatism are there any better approaches to recruiting women? obviously i cant date them all my wife will go crazy
pete

PS. there is a local shopping centre near by if it helps.

like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 08-08-2002, 09:33 AM   #2
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Smile

Hi Peter,

Great question, in particular as I am just starting my own club and will sift through all of this information carefully

first, do you have a website? I find at our (established) dojo, around 60% of the folks who come in do so due to the website.

second, do you have an ad in the yellow pages? that is our third most effective way of bringing folks in.

Our second most effective means has been postering in town when the students come back to town (we are in a University town) at the beginning of each semester and at the end of the school year.

Best wishes on this, and I hope everyone contributes all sorts of good information on this.
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Old 08-08-2002, 12:08 PM   #3
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
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Go to where the people are and show them what aikido is---do demonstrations.

My sensei just did two for a "Home, Health & Fitness" show. Lots of inquiries (and it was fun). I just did one for the dojo I teach at. We were having a big open house with food and demonstrations by all the arts. That was Saturday and Tuesday I had two new people in class and a lot of inquiries just after the demo.

I am also near a University town and I know that when the fall semester starts they have a big fair type thing where local businesses and groups come and give out free stuff and do demos to let the students know about them.

Check with the local shopping mall. When I was doing tai chi we offered to do a demo for a fitness fair they were having and we got a lot of feedback from that.

Go to Universities, small colleges, womens groups, kids groups (boy scouts, girl scouts, etc), any group and offer free self-defense seminars.

Go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and offer them a really good rate if they take class with their little brother or sister. We offer the local police department family rate. No matter how many officers they send the department pays only the maximum family rate ($80 I think). You could do this with other groups like the Boy/Girl Scouts or whoever.

Get out there, show the world your aikido. It's fun and you'll meet some new folks.

Just my thoughts,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 08-09-2002, 07:07 AM   #4
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
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You might consider a beginner's course. For a lower than normal fee, offer a class for brand new folks so they can see if aikido is something they would like to do.

One dojo I trained in would do this twice a year. While the drop out rate would be pretty high when the beginner course ended, there would usually be two or three people that would continue.

Good Luck,

Paul
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Old 08-09-2002, 07:22 AM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
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Promotion

1) Yellow Pages - some sort of display ad, in-column is cheapest

2) Website - number one in terms of bang for your buck! Don't just put a website on the net; make sure that you educate yourself about how search engines work and get your meta tags and text on each page using the keywords which you expect a searcher to use; there are sites on the net which explain all this; you need to have your school show up on the first page when someone does a search on either martial arts or Aikido in your city or town

3) We have a small sign / brochure holder in four Safeways and at one newstand, it costs about $40 / month per store but it definitely brings in people, especially the mother's who sign up the kids for kids class. Brochure holders are way better than a fixed sign as I can change the brochure, offer a special, etc. Way more flexoble than the YP in that regard.

4) satellite classes at the local comunity college and the Experimental College (if you have one); every Quarter you may puck up one or two who wants to keep training and will join the dojo.

5) demos - do demos when you can but don't expect immediate results; we used to query our new students and found that the average new student had seem his first Aikido around two years before they came in; gicen how folks move around it was likely to be someone elses demo that they saw

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-09-2002, 08:29 AM   #6
akiy
 
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Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Promotion

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
2) Website - number one in terms of bang for your buck! Don't just put a website on the net; make sure that you educate yourself about how search engines work and get your meta tags and text on each page using the keywords which you expect a searcher to use; there are sites on the net which explain all this; you need to have your school show up on the first page when someone does a search on either martial arts or Aikido in your city or town
And don't forget to put your dojo/website into the AikiWeb Dojo Search Engine...
Quote:
5) demos - do demos when you can but don't expect immediate results; we used to query our new students and found that the average new student had seem his first Aikido around two years before they came in; gicen how folks move around it was likely to be someone elses demo that they saw
I remember one of my first teachers saying that he once had a guy walk into his dojo after having seen a demonstration that he gave -- twenty years before...

-- Jun

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Old 08-09-2002, 08:33 AM   #7
justinm
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
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Door to door leaflet drops was the most successful for us, in the streets around the dojo. This was ok because the dojo is at the centre of a large housing developing in town where you can deliver about 1 every 10 seconds. We dedicated an afternoon to it, taking a few streets each.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 08-09-2002, 08:43 AM   #8
Genex
 
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Dojo: Warrington Seishin Kai
Location: Warrington, England
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Posts: 155
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Cool

some damn fine idea's there ppl, i think i'll have to run them by sensei,

the leaflet drop sounds interesting, as does a demo in the local shopping centre.

a website sounds good too, though i dont usualy write websites i know a man who does, besides i'm in the industry i know how to get me meta tags n search engine's goin' n stuff so i think that shouldnt be too hard, dont suppose anybody has anything on the beginings of Aikido Sei Shin Kai? prolly would help

but again lots of good idea's thank you all, and rach let me know how the dojo opening goes! Good luck!!!!

pete

~mushindo~

like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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