Amongst Covid-19 and other business challenges, I have been studying how a martial arts business adapts like Bruce Lee. This company is called Ekata Training Center. It is helmed by a martial arts instructor named Sifu Edward Monaghan. He is a true badass. Not only could he kick some serious butt, but he has been able to adapt to short-term and long-term challenges that could seriously hamper his business.
In this post, I want to further explore what makes this martial arts business so special. Its ability to adapt like Bruce Lee and turn challenges into opportunities can be an inspiration to us all. Much of this adaptability comes from leveraging the power of video sales and marketing to closely connect with prospects, build relationships with current clients, and build up your brand equity in your niche or sector.
Whether you are running your own startup or work for a larger company that is going through some challenging times, you can take these insights and accelerate toward your business goals. So come join me as we explore how one stellar brick and mortar business has overcome some scary obstacles and has achieved success in these extremely unusual times.
The Ups and Downs of an Outstanding Martial Arts Business
Ekata Training Center is based in Santa Clarita, which is in Southern California. The company teaches mindfulness, presence, and health to its clients. The entire program is based on Jeet Kune Do, which is Bruce Lee’s renowned school of martial arts. If you want to learn more about Jeet Kune Do, I highly recommend that you do so. You can get started by looking at its Wikipedia page.
Ultimately, Sifu Ed and his colleagues teach adults and children to live healthy, balanced lives by training both the body and the brain. Sifu Ed is a black belt and instructor in Jeet Kune Do. Along with being a co-founder of Ekata Training Center, Sifu Ed is a professor at UCLA At UCLA, he specializes in kinesthetic learning and is a mindfulness facilitator for UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center.
As Sifu Ed describes, he had a rough childhood. Part of his day-to-day experience was just being bullied as a kid. “Kids were nasty,” he said, and that nastiness made his younger years very difficult.
All of that said, Sifu Ed went through a significant evolution. Even with those initial struggles, he has focused on giving back and providing value to his community. That is his why and he is passionate about pursuing his why in all of his work.
Sifu Ed says that we could all start businesses where we sell potato chips. It would be easier to do so. That said, does it generate good karma? While we would be making a product that tastes good Sifu Ed wants to go one step further. He wants to help people live better lives. Whether his client is a child that wants to manage bullies and resolve conflict or an adult that is looking for more guidance in their life, Sifu Ed and his colleagues can help.
Navigating a Global Pandemic
Most of us know that building and growing a business is really hard. Not only do you need to deliver a great product or service, but you need to deliver top-notch customer service, execute a great sales and marketing strategy, and manage your cash flow.
Yet while business building is always difficult, it becomes especially difficult when there is a global pandemic.
Because of Ekata Training Center’s status as a licensed childcare center, it was able to remain open during the pandemic. This was certainly a positive. That being said, the nature of Sifu Ed’s business made it much more difficult to serve his clients.
Personal contact is extremely important to Sifu Ed’s business. As he said, “We are in the people business. We bring people together in a space, and all of this completely changed with the pandemic.”
Because of the extremely contagious nature of Covid-19, it was hard to get clients inside of the training center. In fact, according to Sifu Ed, 60% of the company’s clients stopped coming into the training center. The company’s childcare program (which was completely filled and had 20 people on the waiting list) went down to eight. Its general membership program decreased by two-thirds.
Everyone was at home and embracing online learning. The situation looked bleak. However, Sifu Ed and his colleagues recognized that they needed to adapt. They needed to look to martial arts to iterate, adapt, and better serve their clients — even in one of the most challenging environments in recent memory. Only one year later, Ekata Training Center developed safe on-site programs and virtual online programs to provide the most possible value to its clients. The company had zero Covid-19 cases and has been meticulous about keeping its training center clean.
How Dubb Helped Ekata Training Center Leverage the Power of Video
Ekata Training Center is a fantastic business. Sifu Ed and his colleagues do tremendous work for their clients. Through the power of video, they have been able to grow and scale their business — even during a global pandemic.
At Dubb, we love helping our clients use video to accomplish their sales and marketing goals. Along with this, we have been through the ups and downs of Covid-19. We understand that it has been a tough time for everyone.
Considering all of this, we had a great opportunity to help Ekata Training Center overcome these short-term challenges and grow its business through video. It is a great case study showing how both video and the Dubb platform can help you accomplish your sales and marketing goals.
The first thing that I like to do when understanding how I can help with businesses is to determine the makeup of the business. Not only do I want to understand what product or service the business is selling, but I also want to understand what it is that makes this business unique. What are they doing that their competitors aren’t doing? Who is the target customer?
Questions like these are really important as we mapped out the “Six Cs” of marketing. What are the Six Cs? They are the Four Cs plus Two Cs. They are constraints, client, content, core offerings, community, and conversions.
We can dive deep into all of these Cs in another blog post. The bottom line? I wanted to explore these Six Cs of marketing with Ekata Training Center so that it could both better serve its audience and adapt to the changing constraints imposed by Covid-19.
Creating a Content Calendar
A key part of our strategic planning was settling on the company’s content calendar. We needed some basic guidelines on how Sifu Ed and his team would create and distribute video content for his current customers, prospects, and audience as a whole.
Essentially, the content calendar is a schedule of the digital content that you will be releasing to your audience. Digital content can be everything from social media posts to video emails. As a video-first content creation company, we obviously think that video is the best medium to leverage, but you can technically use any medium that you’d like.
Ultimately, what Ekata Training Center needed was to get into a cadence with its video content. We needed Ekata Training Center to get into a pattern of consistently creating high-quality videos for its audience. Not only did we need to get social posts, but we needed to be on all of the relevant channels. This included TikTok, YouTube, and more. Essentially, we needed to be omnichannel so that Ekata Training Center could get its content to as many people as possible.
I also taught Sifu Ed how to livestream. I think livestreaming is an extremely important part of any video marketing strategy. Not only do you get to leverage everything that video content has to offer, but livestreaming forces you to be brief. Along with this, you have better odds of getting a larger audience for your video content. This is because social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube want you to create livestream videos. They are constantly trying to disrupt the live video industry, so you’ll likely find that your livestream gives you a larger-than-normal audience.
Now, just because you go live doesn’t mean that you need to keep that video live on your social channels. You certainly have the freedom to take that livestream video down, edit it and then repost it. When reposting it, you can include SEO terms, better editing, intro and outro clips, better calls to action, and more.
We also wanted to help Ekata Training Center leverage video emails. Video emails are an extremely powerful tool because they let you deliver high-quality videos directly to your audience. In other words, you don’t need to go through an intermediary like Facebook or LinkedIn. Instead, you can reach your audience directly in their inboxes. Because many of us check our inboxes at least once per day, video emails are an outstanding way to distribute our video content and build stronger relationships with our audiences.
Focusing on Community
We also wanted to spend a good amount of time focusing on the community around Ekata Training Center. Community is important for any business. In effect, it means that you are going beyond the initial transaction and are developing real, authentic relationships with your customers and prospects.
You are building a tribe.
A tribe connects like-minded people together. Those with common interests come together and help each other overcome problems. The entire tribe finds solutions, whether they are more conventional solutions or out-of-the-box solutions.
While it is difficult to build a tribe, you can do so through the power of video marketing. There are plenty of ways to do this. For instance, you can create a weekly video newsletter that gives your audience an inside look at your organization. You can create an active Facebook group where you and your fans exchange videos on how your product or service is creating value. You can post videos on YouTube, broadcast live videos, and even pitch the press on what you are doing. Whether you choose some (or all) of these things, you can get much closer to building a rock-solid tribe that stands with your organization through thick and thin.
Considering the above, we were extremely excited to help this martial arts business capitalize on video marketing. We set up a social strategy that incorporated each of the Six Cs. From there, we were able to help Ekata Training Center get into the cadence of sending a video email newsletter to educate its audience and expand its existing clientele.
All of the hard work paid off. In fact, Sifu Ed was able to see an instant impact from his video content work. It received 30,000 views on TikTok.
While we can never promise a certain number of views for a specific video, this example goes to show that any one video can generate significant reach for your business. Whether you are introducing a new product or service or are just shooting a quick selfie video on the Dubb mobile app, you never know what will happen when you consistently release high-quality video content.
As just one example of this, Sifu Ed and I were surprised to see that Bill Miranda, the mayor of Santa Clarita, shared Sifu Ed’s Dubb video about disciplining your kids. As Miranda later told us, “I thought the video was excellent.” He added, “I think it is so important in today’s marketing environment that we do things such as video, podcasts, and social media with virtual marketing. You are able to find your prospects and send the message directly to them in a way that will catch their attention and reach their imagination.”
I totally agree with Mayor Miranda. Video marketing is so powerful because it lets you directly connect with your audience and leverage the power of visuals. Yes, you can directly connect to your audience through something like a text message or individualized email. However, video is more engaging and lets you tell awesome stories. You can tell stories not only within the content itself, but in the way that you are using your camera. Video is a key tool that lets you show off your personality and creativity while developing better relationships with your audience.
Finally, a key reflection from our work with Sifu Ed is that anyone can embrace video marketing. You don’t need to have an extensive background in video marketing to leverage all of these benefits. Instead, what you need is a camera, an Internet connection, and the courage to create content.
It can be intimidating to get started. This is especially true if you are shy on-camera. You may not like the sound of your voice or the way that you look in your videos.
The best way to get over this, however, is to keep creating video content. It is through action, not contemplation.
Develop a content schedule and stick with it. Try experimenting with different videos. For instance, you can shoot a few videos at your desk and a few when you are away from your office. You can shoot solo videos in the beginning and then videos with a guest or two. Whatever you choose, you want to embrace consistency. No matter where you are starting from, you will discover that you will get increasingly better if you keep at it.
Adapt Like Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was special for so many reasons. Yet one of the more notable reasons centers on Lee’s famous saying. That saying can be summarized as “be water.” Water is the ultimate adaptable force, as it can trickle like a stream or can crash like a huge wave.
This martial arts business was able to follow Lee’s lessons and thrive during a global pandemic. Even though Covid-19 presented extreme challenges, Ekata Training Center built better relationships with its clients, nurtured its prospects, and grew its business.
At Dubb, we love participating in these stories. Whether you work for a small business or a much larger business, you can use Dubb to help your business grow. We are confident that we can provide immense value to your organization.
If you would like to learn more about how Dubb helps small businesses leverage the power of video, check out some of our case studies here. If you would like to access a free seven-day trial of Dubb’s premium plans, you can also click here. We look forward to working with you!