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Six Strategies To Connect With Your Students

If your martial arts school is primarily for children and you know anything about martial arts marketing, you know that the retention of your current students is just as important as recruiting new ones.

Your dojo won't stay in business for long if more kids are leaving than are coming in. Many instructors don't even notice that a student has dropped out until the child hasn't attended a class for a while. A martial arts marketing plan will include several methods for keeping your students coming back.

There are strategies you can use to retain students, but the over-arching key is this: the students need to believe that their teacher cares about them, that their teacher recognizes their value as a person and not just as another student. This idea must be part of any martial arts marketing strategy.

Six of the Best Strategies to Show Your Concern for Your Students

1. Your Students are Kids First and Students Second

If you can recognize that children have higher energy levels, higher noise volumes, and lower concentration thresholds than your average adult, you will go a long way toward easing your own frustration and respecting the kid in your student. Kids can tell the difference between adults who tolerate them and adults who enjoy and value them.

2. Remember Who They Are

Remember their first name, last name, grade in school, and favorite topics, whether that is your martial arts program or Pokémon. What is important to a child may not always seem so to adults, but to the child who is learning to explore and prioritize interests, these things are very important.

3. Have a Party

Kids love parties! Letting them show their natural exuberance in a more accommodating situation shows that you respect their inclinations as children. Holiday parties, a summer barbecue, and Halloween costume contests are popular. Having special events is also a great way to make parents part of the dojo community.

4. Remember Their Birthday

Birthdays are a big deal to kids. Noting everyone's birthday on the monthly calendar and calling attention to the birthday kid in class helps reinforce the idea that you notice them as individuals.

5. Stay Personally In Contact With Your Students

Take the time to note each one, asking about school, vacation plans, or family. Let the students know that you ask their parents about them, how they are doing in school and if there are any concerns. If one of your students experiences something traumatic, check in with that child through a personal conversation or a note.

6. Make Adjustments When Needed

Note that as your students get older, and are hopefully staying with you and your dojo, you will need to adjust your interactions with them. Their concerns about the world and their future will become more serious and your contact with them will also need to become more serious. This shows the kid, who is now becoming an adolescent, that you respect their maturity and independence.