As some of you may be aware I just started my own dojo about 7 weeks ago. After teaching some Judo and the BJJ program with my coaches Tom and Steve Hill I decided to start my own dojo south side. This was for 2 reasons:
1 – to extend the level of high level Judo to other parts of Canberra
2 – To work closer to home (my new dojo is 2 mins from my house)
In this blog post I thought I would share the top 5 marketing mistakes made by most Judo clubs, both here in Australia and abroad. So without further ado, here they are:
Mistake #1 – Terrible, outdated, ugly looking website.
I know we get told “not to judge a book by it’s cover” but we have all purchased a book or magazine because of what is on the cover. If the cover is ugly, outdated and old, we are less likely to purchase the product – Judo dojos are no different.
If you have an ugly, outdated website from the early 2000’s then you need to invest in a new website, and fast!! People will see an old outdated website and associate that with your service. If you have old, outdated service, then keep your old outdated website. But if you are modern, up with the times and relevant to today’s Judo, then you need a new website.
A modern updated website looks good and will gather you more customers. How many times have you googled a few restaurants, cafe or even holiday destinations and booked with one company due to the professionalism of their website. I know that word of mouth and recommendations from family and friends also carry a lot of weight, but so does the quality of your website.
I heard recently of a dojo who applied to get a grant from some local businesses. One local business wrote back and said “we would love to support you and what you are doing, but we won’t support you until you updated your website. Your website looks like your are not even trying to help the community.”
This dojo updated their website, and the local business gave them a few thousand dollars towards sponsoring children etc. This would not have happened if the local business didn’t value modern businesses that support the community.
Most Judo sites in Australia, England and the US are terrible. If you don’t believe me Google it yourself. Google popular dojos in your state….once you have done this now google popular crossfit gyms in your state.
Note the difference?
Okay now Google popular BJJ dojos in your state……
Note the difference?
Now Google popular Dragon boating clubs in your state….
Not the difference?
They are professional looking sites. Now compare those sites with your dojos websites, or even other Judo clubs website??? Judo is sub par to say the least.
A few comments on website design:
On a side not. Facebook should never be a place for a dojo website. Either is a judoclub.blogspot.com, judoclub.wix.com or a judocub.jimdo.com site either.
Also please do not use a wix.com site to make your website. Google doesn’t rank flash websites very well. Although wix have some incredible looking sites (my first was a wix site) they don’t rank on google at all so you will be shooting yourself in the foot.
If you need a website I have made a ton of website using the wordpress.org platform (not wordpress.com) and am willing to make you and your dojo for a super cheap price. So please contact me through the link on the top and we can chat about me designing a modern looking website for your dojo, at the cost of 1-2 members of your club per year (which is pretty cheap).
Mistake #2: Not having a website at all
A few years ago I travelled interstate to attend a mates training session. I took the 4 hour drive to the dojo but the problem was I didn’t have the address. He was running kids classes so therefore didn’t receive my phone calls or text messages asking for the address.
I drove 4 hours and missed the training session all together…and do you know why?? His club didn’t have a website.
If you don’t have a website at all, then please GET a WEBSITE!! No website = less people through your door = less people enjoying the benefits of Judo.
If you don’t have a website for your business in this day and age, then you clearly don’t want to make money OR spread the love of Judo further than the people you have in your dojo.
Mistake #3: Out of date information
Have you ever Googled a place and found out they open at 10am. Then you make the trek down there, turn up at 10am and there is a sign on the door saying 11am??
How annoying is it??
How unprofessional is it?
Now you may stick around to 11am and get a great coffee and great service, but you will have a bad taste in your mouth. Why would I give money to a place that cannot even update their own information?
Make sure the info on your site is updated regularly, easy to read and proof read (this is my downfall to be honest, I always have spelling mistakes.)
Mistake #4: It’s more about the coaches then the benefits
Often as competitors we think that people want to learn from the best Judo fighters in the country. So we tend to have on our homepage every result we (the coach) have possibly ever won.
“1st place at 1972 ACT open”
“3rd place Munich state tournament 2010”
“2nd round of the World champs 2017”
and the list goes on.
Clearly these are made up results but the example has been made. When a new member comes to Judo they don’t really care about the coaches competitive resume. All they care about is what you can offer them. Why do you think people buy burgers from McDonalds made by 15 years olds. We do this because we don’t care who makes the burger? We are hungry and we want a burger.
Judo is the same, no one cares about your competitive resume, all they want to know is “What can judo and your dojo, offer me or my children?”
And this is what should be written on your website! Your website should be stacked with the benefits of Judo, not how good your coaches are. I am not dismissing that being a good competitor gives some credibility to your teaching (or does it) but people want to know how you and your dojo benefits them and their children.
And Judo has hundreds of benefits!
Mistake #5 Not having an optimized or mobile friendly website
Back in late December 2014 Google brought out a new thing meaning that if your site wasn’t mobile friendly (or responsive) then if searched from a mobile Google will NOT trawl your site.
this means that if I was on my iPad, iPhone or android device and Googled dojos in your area, and your website is NOT mobile friendly then google would simply skip your site or rank it lower than sites that were mobile friendly.
To find out of your site is mobile friendly use the following link and put in your businesses URL:
If it says that your site is not compatible, this means that when people are searching dojos in your areas from a mobile device, your site will be ranked lower. Now if you don’t have a site, then who cares. But if the majority of your visitors come from ‘Googling you’ then yo better get your site optimized for mobile ASAP.
So where to from here?? Easy:
1 – Get a website if you don’t have one
2 – Is the info relevant and up to date?
3 – do you list the benefits or is it all about the coaches
4 – Is it website optimized
If you want help or need a website for the price of 1 or 2 members a year (or I can give you can pay month to month) then contact me HERE and we can chat about how to get your website an updated, modern, professional looking website for cheap.
As part of my services I can:
- build you a site
- host it for you
- edit and add information
- keep your domain names up to date
- link your site to all of you social media pages
- make it mobile optimized
- update logo design
Contact me HERE to get started on a modern, mobile friendly site for your dojo.