The Backwards Approach To Internet Marketing

Dear Martial Arts School Owner,

My name is Allen Oelschlaeger and I’m the founder of Business XLerator and co-founder — along with Master Chan Lee — of the Martial Arts Marketing Network. I also have an MBA and I’m a marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin.

In my experience over the last several years, more than 95% of local business owners have these frustrations with their website:

  • Doesn’t show up in Google and gets few visitors?
  • Rarely generates any leads for new students?
  • Is not up-to-date because it’s so painful and expensive to make changes?
  • Doesn’t do anything else for your business?

It drives me crazy when business owners come to us with a website that’s an absolute disaster, with all of the problems listed above – often after spending thousands of dollars with a so-called “tech group” who supposedly knew what they were doing.

What I’ve found is that this almost universal issue is caused by a common set of problems:

  • Most business owners aren’t Internet marketing experts. They don’t understand the features and technologies that should be included in their websites — and they certainly don’t know how to write the detailed specifications required for any website development project.
  • Most website developers don’t have a clue about marketing. They focus on the wrong things (e.g. cool technology, fancy design, technical aspects) and ignore what is truly important: Visitors and Leads!
  • Most website developers are not great business people. The development and ongoing maintenance process is almost always plagued with missed deadlines, cost overruns, delays, and in some cases outright incompetence — so the final cost is almost always higher than it should have been.
  • No matter what the cost, the resulting website rarely generates enough business to justify its price.

When Master Lee and I formed the Martial Arts Marketing Network, we took a completely different approach.

The “Backwards” Approach

Most online development projects progress in a linear fashion through various stages, such as:

  • Feature Selection
  • Layout Decisions
  • Navigation Decisions
  • Graphic Design
  • Content Addition
  • Contact Form Creation
  • Customer Followup System Development
  • And On and On and On

During each of these stages, there are many headaches — back-and-forth with the developer, trade-offs made due to cost and complexity, and general confusion.

Then, often after months of work, the site is taken live — only to discover some time later that it gets few, if any, visitors. Sadly, this discovery is almost a universal experience. This was EXACTLY Master Lee’s experience with his first three websites.

At that point, one of two things happen:  the business owner either concludes the project was a big waste of time and money — or he/she decides to hire someone to do “search marketing” and even more money is spent.

Then, if the person hired knows what they are doing (a rarity – especially for local businesses), the site may get more visitors but still doesn’t generate any increased revenues. Why? — Because, as I said above,“most Internet developers DON’T HAVE A CLUE about marketing.”

They might be able to create a beautiful website with all sorts of cool features — but they don’t have ANY idea on how to get visitors and then turn those visitors into customers.

So, over time, the business owner tries to make changes. But that means going back to the web developer for every little addition or modification — a process fraught with delays, costs, and hassle.

Frankly, this costly, time-consuming and painful approach is STUPID — and completely unnecessary — but this is the way 99% of websites are developed.

When Master Lee and I formed the Martial Arts Marketing Network, we did something most Internet companies would think is crazy.

Here is what we did

1. Worked with our high-end Internet team to develop a technology infrastructure — specifically for local businesses — that provides ALL of the needed Internet features and functionality. This took us almost a year to perfect (years later we’re now on our fifth generation of this technology).

2. Hired professional writers (one was the editor of Milwaukee’s Parent Magazine) to write all of the copy we determined was needed to turn visitors into leads (multiple reports, newsletters and website copy) — and pre-sell those leads on becoming a student.

3. Worked with our local search marketing experts to optimize EVERY aspect of the system for high rankings from Google and the other search engines.

4. Hired a first-class graphic designer who only works with high-end clients (e.g. Harley Davidson, Federal Express).

5. Configured the system to allow for total self-management so that needed updates and changes (text, images, audio and video) could be made with no technical assistance. This is HUGE.

6. Grew our internal team to provide ongoing monthly services that includes search-engine marketing, technology updates, hosting — EVERYTHING that’s needed to make sure our clients are getting the maximum business-building value from the Internet.

When we were done, we had a complete and fully-integrated online system that — if you tried to develop yourself (and knew what you were doing) — would cost more than $20,000. Then, the ongoing services would be — at least — another $1,000 to $3,000 each month.

We didn’t stop there

Frankly, the system we created back in 2007 was nothing short of amazing — and the results for our clients have been fantastic.

However, we’ve had over five years to test, enhance, and optimize the system and we (Business XLerator) have partnered with several other local-business companies to develop a complete and fully integrated online system.

In fact a company you are probably aware of — GKIC, the Dan Kennedy organization (GKIC) that provides marketing coaching to small business owners — has partnered with us.

Therefore, we can honestly say that NO ONE on the planet knows more about the use of the Internet for martial-arts-school marketing than us.

And, because our investment in R&D is spread across many clients — both martial arts and many other local businesses niches — we’re always on the cutting edge of online Internet technology and search-engine marketing.

Anyway, that’s the “Backwards” approach we used to develop the Digital Enrollment Director which has turned out to be a huge forward approach for local business owners throughout the US and even in other parts of the world.

We hope to have the opportunity to apply our backwards approach to your business and help you grow your martial arts school by harnessing the full power of the Internet.

Allen Oelschlaeger

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