The real answer is more dependent on your program and the life changing effect it has on your students than the latest "join now gimmick".
But I had to give him something to take home. So, I told him the first dot point below. I'm not sure he was happy, so I kept talking (and talking). In a nutshell, here is what I said:
- I don't have one good way of marketing to get 100 kids, I have 100 ways to get one kid.
- If your program is good enough, you won't need to think up marketing methods.
- Your instructors are the ticket to success. Everything else runs a distant second. Including what you teach.
- A good teacher can change the world. If you don't believe this, your instructors won't.
- Making money from your kids program is not a symbol of your success. The success of your kids in their life is.
- Kids want to have fun but they actually do understand that they need to be smart ... smarter than their parents.
- All this said, kids need to learn how to think under pressure more than they need to know how to stop an attacker.
- Teaching kids character development (or adults for that matter) can't be added in to the end of a lesson. It must be woven into the lesson. It must be a result of the problems that arise when trying to master a technique against a non-compliant partner.
- Bullying - Anti-bully programs, Bullybuster programs, etc. Confident martial arts students don't need a method to deal with a bully. They aren't picked on. The answer to bullying is to either teach martial arts or to raise self esteem so that the taunting has no effect. By the way, there is no reason why a martial arts instructor can't teach how to deal with cyber-bullying. It's actually more in our job description than it is in a teacher's.
I wonder if he left happy?
My response was the heart of what I have learnt in nearly 3 decades of teaching martial arts, raising two children, studying then becoming a school teacher and, of course, countless discussions with dojo owners and instructors.
I wonder if he realised how much I truly believe what I said.
I hope so.