Monday, April 9, 2007

Webpages: More than just static business ads!

In recent years, it has become more and more natural for consumers to research online. Now, people research their car purchase online, read movie and restaurant reviews and may even search for a dojang online. From personal experience, a professional and informative website highly influenced my decision to join Buckeye Tang Soo Do. This is also reflected in our current student base. Many people are referred to our website, and mention this when they join. In the last 5 years, more and more studio owners are embracing the web as an advertising medium. One needs to go no further than the WTSDA web site to see how many studios have begun making a place of their own online.

While the majority of schools still use a web page solely for advertising and recruitment, a select few focus their website to a completely different audience: their current students. Newsletters are published online in a downloadable and printer friendly manner (much like the WTSDA newsletter is now offered online) as well offering as tournament and clinic paperwork which can be downloaded, printed out and turned in, or even completed and paid online. This saves not only in printing costs, but potentially saves the instructor from being constantly bombarded with students who have lost their paperwork and need another copy, or worse: the student who forgets that they've lost their paperwork and never asks you for it. Now, the web can save you this headache by having your paperwork online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other schools offer supplemental knowledge, such as training tips, homemade videos or instructional guides and even test primers. To these instructors, the feeling is that if students are going to search the internet for martial arts information, they too should be part of that search. Professionally produced supplemental knowledge adds credibility to the instructor and the dojang, gives them experience with writing and sharing their knowledge, and may appeal to students who learn more from reading or watching. In some ways, it offers a "one-on-one" experience to a student who may normally only be part of a larger group.