Aug 28


Storytelling is a great skill to have when marketing your martial arts school.  Even if you got a marketing degree, chances are there was no storytelling lecture at the time. After all, you opened a martial arts school because of your love for the martial arts… Nobody ever mentioned having to become a marketing ninja was going to be part of your journey!  The learning curve can sometimes feel like going for a root canal, but have no fear, you can do this!

You CAN tell a great story!

You can tell your story and you can tell it in a powerful way. If you understand what your story is missing, then you can create the message that has new students clicking on your offers and wanting more.

Think about what you love about a story, the pieces that have you glued to the Audible, or the movie screen. Alternately, have you ever lost interest and stopped listening? Can you remember why? What was it that had you bored, disinterested, or just feeling “meh” about it?

The good news is that there is a proven marketing framework called The Hero’s Journey that can help you craft a message that will resonate with your prospects and help you deliver a concise marketing message (Hint: YOU are NOT the Hero!!!)

The Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey is a framework that countless books, songs, movies and beyond have used for centuries to tell a story.   It states there are 7 phases to each story:
1) A Main Character
2) Who Has a Problem
3) Finds A Guide
4) The Guide gives the Main Character a Plan
5) The Guide Calls Main Character (The Hero) to action
This results in:
6) Success
7) Failure

Most businesses place themselves as the hero of their story, (“We are the best martial arts school in our city!” or how many times have you read “City’s Premiere Martial Arts Facility”), but savvy marketers know that if you want to have a marketing message that speaks to your customers, you must realize this fundamental concept: You, the business, are NOT the Hero of your story…  You are the GUIDE!  Your CUSTOMER is the hero!  You simply have a plan to help them overcome their obstacle.   If you can approach every video, every ad copy, every angle of your marketing with this concept front and centre (like we have at then you will be able to speak to your customers in a way that will make them want to join you by taking you up on your challenge following your plan… rather than have a battle of the heroes!  When two heroes meet, one of them will say “who is this guy! I’m the hero!” and walk away. That would be your customer, when you fail to explain how you can help them, but rather boast about being the best thing they have ever seen!

What’s missing from your message that your prospects absolutely need before they will click?

Here are 5 important things you need to add to your story:

  1. You. If you don’t tell your story you’re missing a huge piece of what students want. Know why? Because your story is or could be their story. Denying people the chance to get to really know you denies them an opportunity to say “me too,” to connect with your message and to understand why they want to do business with you.
    1. Actionable Ideas: 
      • Introduce yourself, your business or life partner, and your martial arts school (Awareness)
      • How I started my martial arts journey, and how it changed my life (empathy, relate to their struggle)
      • Why I opened a martial arts in our community, and what our mission is (place yourself as the Guide)
  2. Emotion. How do you want your prospects to feel when they hear about your Martial Arts School? Inspired to learn more? Purchase a trial?  Well in that case,  get them excited and motivated enough to act! If you’re not putting some of that emotion into your message your audience will be bored and move on. So think about how you want them to feel and then feel it inside yourself when you create your copy, your message, or your video.
    1. Actionable Ideas:
      • Think about your end result before you even start telling your story, especially on social media. in other words, start backwards, think of the result you want to achieve from your content, and call them to action.
  3. Personal information. Many people believe that you shouldn’t get personal but just like emotion, the more personal, the more universal. When you are letting people in on some piece of your life as a black belt that you think is boring to other people, chances are it’s anything but. People are curious. And they want to feel like they’re not alone. Share something personal about yourself. Be a little vulnerable. The authenticity goes a long way.
      • Lead with empathy, relating to your prospect’s struggle, and then let them in on how you also have experienced the same, and how you overcame the obstacle. Then introduce your martial arts classes as the solution.  i.e.:
        Empathy: “I understand how difficult (overcoming this obstacle) can be.
        Get Personal: “When I also (faced this problem), I also felt (similar struggle).”
        Become The Guide With a Solution: However, (Overcoming this obstacle) does not have to be a challenge you face alone
  4. Be Customer-Centric. Many times a story is all about you and not enough about what’s in it for the prospective student. Remember that the best story telling connects with the audience in a way they see themselves, especially as their future, awesome selves. Make sure to tie your story into that future vision and make it about what they can achieve: Overcoming their obstacles through the martial arts services you provide! You want them looking at you and saying,“This person has a blueprint that will help me achieve success.”
      • Do not be the hero or main character of the story you are telling.  Your prospects are the main character of ANY story you tell about your business! Your role is to guide them to success.
  5. A call to action. Don’t forget to tell your leads exactly what you want them to do after you finish telling them your awesome story. Get your prospects to take action by CALLING THEM TO ACTION! You’d be surprised how many businesses fail to tell their prospects what the next step they want them to take is.  Don’t be one of them! They may be sitting there, totally in love with your story and wanting more, but if you forget to let them know just how to get more, they will go about their day without a click. You want them to click. Be brave and tell them what, where and how.

Storytelling is a skill so remember to practice

The more you practice the more comfortable you’ll get and the more comfortable you get the better your story will be. Think about a few of your best stories right now. What got you into what you’re doing? How did that story begin? What lessons did you learn along the way? What’s your best tip for someone based on what you’ve learned. When you deliver the answers in the form of a good story, we’ll be ready to hear more.

At Website Dojo, we have gone through great lengths to write all the content on our websites with a customer centric message, very similar to what is described in this blog. Is your website written with a Customer Centric message that makes your prospects say “YES. This school has the solution to my problems!”? Is there an easy to follow FLOW that walks them through the next step you want them to take and has them handing you over their most private info like Phone Numbers and Emails? Click the HERE to see how Website Dojo UK can help YOU overcome your lead generation obstacles by providing you a website that is averaging 10% conversion rates for over 500 martial arts schools all over the world!



About the Author

I’m the founder of Printing Dojo and Website Dojo. We have designed hundreds of martial arts websites and I am sharing my digital marketing knowledge on this blog.