While many BJJ academies are full and packed, there are many who struggle and have a low student count and retention rate. Why are some academies so successful while others fail miserably? Obviously famous practitioners get a lot of students, but there are also pretty normal guys who manage to build incredible schools. As a student I have watched many academies succeed and fail, and I believe I have found some of the top predictors of success and failure in martial arts and especially BJJ. Here are the top ways to grow and maintain your student count in Jiu-Jitsu.
Get Known– This will cover all types of advertising. You should have an active social media page on most major platforms, promote within your community and engage your target audience well. Getting your name out there is hard and most people simply let their academy sit in the shadows and be little known.
Referral Program– The easiest way to get new students is to have your current students bring them in. Start a program where you reward your students either financially or with some other medium for bringing their friends in.
Be Respectful – Let’s face it, no one want to train under an *******.. Be respectful to all your students especially the white belts.
Don’t Pressure– Don’t pressure people to sign up! This seems counter intuitive, but it can make you seem desperate and cause people to look elsewhere. Give the student a week or so to try out a few classes and see if he likes it.
Have A Nice/clean Academy– Your academy is your home and if it looks like trash most people will assume that the training is also. Think of it as if you are going to buy a car, would you want the car that looks like it really needs a wash or the one that was freshly cleaned and buffed?
Have Multiple Programs– This refers to competition VS self-defense. You should be teaching both otherwise you will miss out on some opportunities. Some students come to learn the sport while others want to learn how to stop a punch and defend themselves.
Have A Competition Team– This one is a little more optional, but is a real service to the students interested in competing. Having a team that has extra training and more dedication can make students who have already trained in their past more likely to sign up.