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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 390
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Website, needed? Reply with quote

We recently had a meeting and one of our instructors asked why we did not have a website and what the boards position on it was.

My question would be; in today's technologically driven society is it needed to do business? We have never had one and have done well word of mouth but this got me to thinking about a few more years down the road and how this decision would effect us.

What do you think?
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1256

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If one is hoping to increase business, the internet is certainly one of the easiest and fastest ways to advertise. Practically every imaginable type of product or service has some kind of online presence. It is not absolutely indispensable, but having a website or page certainly helps. It depends what the goal is, but the advantage over word-of-mouth is that the internet is faster and reaches more people.
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1462
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know if I'm looking for a school, the website is the first thing I look at. If you're looking to get new students who don't have a contact at your school (thus exposing them to word of mouth), definitely consider a website.

It doesn't have to be anything flashy or fancy. In fact, I actually prefer simple, basic websites that are personal to the school rather than the mass-produced websites with stock photos you see from a lot of the more commercial schools.

If you don't want to do a full on website right away-- you might try a Facebook page. It can help potential students find you and get information about you without too much effort on your part. You can also do a lot of fun things with a Facebook page to interact with your current students (and let potential students get a glimpse into your dojo community through lurking).
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Kusotare
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 541

Styles: Traditional Japanese Karate, Koryu Bujutsu (Jujutsu, Iaido and Kenjutsu)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the UK at least, I'd say it was indispensable.

It is a convenient way of gathering information on the school, but more importantly it is seen as a way of 'validating' same.

Rightly or wrongly, without a website (and probably just as importantly a social media page), in many peoples views, you don't exist, and therefore may not be trustworthy.

Ironically, you are much more likely to be seen as bona fide if you have a website - even though that could be packed full of lies and misleading information.

K.
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ashworth
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 489
Location: UK
Styles: freestyle, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I set up a website for my club (which is only a small club) and I'm glad that I did, I like the idea that we have an internet presence, it mainly just serves as an information source to current students, with news about up coming events, and about recent student's accomplishments. So when potentially students ask about the club I can tell them to check out our website, and they can have a better picture about what they are getting into and have more of an idea about what to expect.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 26698
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think not having a website of some form of social media page these days is akin to not having a spot in the Yellow Pages 30 years ago. If someone only wants 2 students, then no, its not likely a big deal. But, if one wants to have a shot at being noticed by prospective students, then it is a necessity.

Having a web presence is also important because more and more people today are checking their social media pages for updates, postponements, cancellations, etc. Its not just advertising, but communication in general with current students.

I do think it is an important tool to have today.
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 390
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I think not having a website of some form of social media page these days is akin to not having a spot in the Yellow Pages 30 years ago. If someone only wants 2 students, then no, its not likely a big deal. But, if one wants to have a shot at being noticed by prospective students, then it is a necessity.

Having a web presence is also important because more and more people today are checking their social media pages for updates, postponements, cancellations, etc. Its not just advertising, but communication in general with current students.

I do think it is an important tool to have today.


It's funny you said it that way. My Shinshii's school never had a spot in the yellow pages. His Dojo was a large building (pole barn if you will) on his property and all of his students were word of mouth. We have never had a web address. I did have my Dojo in the yellow pages but found it a hindrance due to the fact that I received a lot of parents looking for a school for their children or those just looking for an exercise program or worse an after school program.

This is the reason that not many of our instructors opted to put there info in yellow pages and I guess that philosophy bled over in terms of the internet.

However I feel that you can put a lot more information on a website than you ever could in the yellow pages for the money. We could basically let potential students know that this is not sport Karate, only 16 and older accepted, only for the serious kind of thing. I feel this would eliminate the weeding out process because those not wishing to join a hard core old school organization just wouldn't contact you at all. On the other hand this would let those wishing to learn traditional old school Karate were to go. It would give that alternative and would cut down the time it takes us to weed out the trophy hounds and the less than serious students.
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LLLEARNER
Blue Belt
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Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 344
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to say that in your situation where you intentionally limit the age group a web page or at least social media pages could be tailored to reflect this. At least start with a social media such as facebook to dip your toe in for a lower up front cost. It could also be used to communicate to your existing student body. Being upfront about age and other restrictions would help weed out the babysitting and cardio-kickboxing crowd.

If you do go the full web page route, then make sure it is well constructed. From personal experience a bad page can not only hinder your potential market, but actively turn them away. It may be worth it to investigate a web professional. I agree. Simple is best. Show class information, student requirements, contact info, and current pictures.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reason why we two have many things in common; kind of strange, but kind of reassuring that I'm the only one with these problems within a governing body entity.

I wrote an article here at KF that speaks specifically to your plight...

http://www.karateforums.com/why-my-martial-arts-school-doesn-t-have-a-website-vt47179.html

That article, as well as the discussions that followed it, might have some things of interest that might aide you. As always, I'm here to help in any way possible, and it helps me if you ask me direct questions so that I can share what we've/I've experienced in this area, should you still have any questions/concerns still.

Btw, the SKKA/Hombu STILL DOES NOT HAVE A WEBSITE for the many reasons mentioned in the article and discussions.

At the end of the day...it's all good!!



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The Pred
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 300

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Another reason why we two have many things in common; kind of strange, but kind of reassuring that I'm the only one with these problems within a governing body entity.

I wrote an article here at KF that speaks specifically to your plight...

http://www.karateforums.com/why-my-martial-arts-school-doesn-t-have-a-website-vt47179.html

That article, as well as the discussions that followed it, might have some things of interest that might aide you. As always, I'm here to help in any way possible, and it helps me if you ask me direct questions so that I can share what we've/I've experienced in this area, should you still have any questions/concerns still.

Btw, the SKKA/Hombu STILL DOES NOT HAVE A WEBSITE for the many reasons mentioned in the article and discussions.

At the end of the day...it's all good!!




So schools that are apart of the SKKA are not allowed to make a website? I mean from you have told us, your student body between all schools is a good size. Therefore, I guess a website doesn't make a difference.
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