This week I've asked Robert Borisch to give me a birds eye view on his marketing strategy.
Robert is the head sensei and owner of Tri-City Judo a well-established commercial judo school in Kennewick, Washington. I am very impressed with his highly successful business. Unlike BJJ, TKD, karate, and krav maga, in judo we tend to teach in community centers, YMCA's, and other not for profit outlets. So when I find a for profit judo model that is growing by leaps and bounds, it intrigues me. Below are Robert's raw and uncensored comments spoken like a true commercial martial arts school entrepreneur / owner.
Robert Borisch - Quality Builds Quantity
We use social media; Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Google business as our only forms of ads. Now as my IT guy have taught me hashtags (#'s) make all the difference. For example, the #1 term used in our area for search is martial arts, then BJJ, Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Judo Take downs, submissions etc. So on the those tags it will pull you up more when people search. We do Instagram and FB ads for only a week.
Our 5 & under and our no gi judo classes are huge hits. We also promote any accolades our members have in another sport to attach ourselves to their success as part of our dojo's family. We separate classes from tachiwaza standing only Monday to newaza groundwork only Wednesday and no gi Thursday. We are adding a 4th class for basic judo for juniors.
We promote any and all ranked USA kids, it's a huge weapon vs. the BJJ schools. Gotta use success to counter their bling and bs of the high-priced BJJ schools in my opinion. We also go to all BJJ tournaments, submission tournaments and judo tournaments we can and use the mantra we are the most complete dojo in the 509. The BJJ schools hate it which is good feedback for us!
We also push the theme if your standing isn't as good as your ground your half a grappler! They hate that too. We have 143 members now. 30 in 5 & under class give or take a few / 90+ in Beginner Judo class / 25+ in adult & advanced class. Now we put up posts on google once or twice a week because the more you post and post pics and videos its increases your viewings.
Now google works great with Android but yelp we do the same posting because iPhone pick it up first you need to hit both. We also just picked up 4 www accounts that we opened to snatch from other clubs and we redirected the links to us. Kinda slick, but gotta know the game. Our IT guy is good and he does our website.
We also push no contract and no testing or promotion fee's, since the BJJ schools are all about $$ and contracts and fee's. We make sure to stay below them on price. We work hard to follow all the local clubs schools and businesses and get a lot of feedback from them; we offer our walls for company banners if we can put ours in their business.
We work hard to get traction into the wrestling community and that's has been a great thing for kids for us. We let the local Sherriff's department use our club free of charge for their defensive tactics training classes as well and they promote us. We use social media every way we can as you can see. And we also we use local TV for public relations and press releases.
Robert Borisch's Judo Bio
Father of 5 kids. 2 girls.3 boys. If you want more info on them or me let me know.
I'm 51. Started judo in 1975 in Richland, WA. Moved to Buffalo, NY grew up there did judo through high school but focused on football and track. Got a football scholarship to Texas but still continued judo throughout the years. Was signed by Ford models in NYC and traveled world as model and had my gi packed in bag ready to roll. Lived in Milan, Italy and used as home base for modeling & trained judo there for many years and most European cities when traveling. Trained around USA at clubs while traveling. I settled in Easter, Washington taking a job with Department of Energy. Trained at two great local clubs here in town before opening up 10 years ago my own Dojo.
Borisch at the United States Olympic Training Center
- Asia Borisch
- Zach Borisch - Part 1 & Part 2
- Community Hero: Judo Teacher Inspires the Kids he Teaches
- Local Judo Competitors Travel to Junior Olympics