Josh: Our hero today is Adam Lodhi, founder of Dojo Launch and a lifelong martial artist himself. Dojo Launch has really strong case studies.
In this episode, Adam Lodhi unpacks his methodology for consistently and reliably growing your martial arts programs through Facebook ads, simple offers, quick inquiry responses, and high quality content. Secondly, he drives home why you should spend money to make money and grow using tools and scalable marketing channels like social ads.
Finally, Adam reveals some interesting secrets behind his effective cold emailing campaign techniques. Without further ado, Adam Lodhi. Alright, welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast. If you could, introduce yourself and your background in business and marketing for martial arts.
Aadam: Yeah, for sure. So my name is Adam Lodhi.
I’m 23 years old based out of just an hour north of Toronto in Canada. I’ve been doing marketing for over six, seven years now. The way I got into this is my parents own a martial arts school called Champs Academy. And from the age of nine, I was, I grew [00:02:00] up doing martial arts there. I got my third degree black belt in Taekwondo, got a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
And In my last year of high school, I actually started working at their martial arts school, helping them with their sales and marketing, and helped them grow a successful school. So, the way my business came to be, which is Doja Lunch, is during the pandemic happened, and as we all know, Martial arts gyms, gyms in general, were forced to shut down at least in most places.
And when that happened with my parents, I didn’t have any work to do. I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I wanted to be able to help more gyms and martial arts schools on a larger scale, not just help my parents. And that’s when DojoLaunch came to be, where I created a company to help martial arts gyms grow successfully every single month.
Josh: Excellent. So your website has a lot of really strong case studies for how you have tangibly helped many schools grow. [00:03:00] And there’s a case study, there’s a teaser that caught my eye, which is how we actually met, in an email that you sent out to me. And it was about a martial arts school where you use Facebook targeting to advertise to bring in 10 to 20 new students each month, which eventually led to an extra roughly 230, 000 a year.
In, in revenue. So how did you do this?
Aadam: Yeah. So whenever a new client comes to us, there’s a million different services we can offer, but when the service I usually recommend to people first. Facebook ads. And in my experience, running Facebook ads is still the fastest way to grow a gym, a martial arts gym, any type of gym in general.
So what I did for this specific client is before actually running ads, a lot of people, the mistake they make is they’ll use soft photos or generic graphics and put out ads. And because the ads are [00:04:00] lower quality. They attract a lower quality type of audience to their gyms or martial arts gyms. And a lot of those leads don’t end up converting.
Whereas the approach we take is we only use high quality organic content. So when we’re working with our clients, they have a training session with one of our content creators. Where they’ll go through, okay, here’s the type of photos you need to capture, videos you need to capture. Here’s the type of, and then we take that content.
We edit it for them to make it really high quality and to make it stand out in their area. Most importantly, to make it build a genuine connection with their target audience. And then once we have the content, we start putting out the Facebook ad campaigns. Targeted to people in their area. So, with this particular client, they were trying to grow their kids martial arts program.
So, we targeted parents with messaging talking about, hey, are you looking for a fun and exciting activity for your kids? Our martial arts [00:05:00] lessons will teach your kids focus, discipline, respect, you know, confidence. They’ll burn off their energy. They’ll make new friends. And then we give them an offer.
And we actually keep our offers really simple for most of our clients. It’s just One free class, come in, try it out, see if it’s a good fit, and then from there, sign up. So, basically what we did was we ran the ads, and then we actually followed up with the leads. So, how the, what the mistake most business owners make when they run ads, is they try to call and follow up with their leads themselves, but they don’t do it effectively.
There’s a study by MIT that states the chances of connecting with the lead If called in five minutes versus 30 minutes drop by over a hundred times and that when I saw that that was mind boggling for me, I was like, how many small business owners are actually able to call their leads within five minutes.
You have so many [00:06:00] things that you have to worry about every day. And it’s not realistic, but because you’re not doing that, how many potential new members are you missing out on? So my solution to this was let’s take this out of their hands and let’s call their leads and follow up with their leads for them.
So we hire local martial artists in Canada or US who are trained by our team to call and follow up with their client’s leads. And then we convert them into people who show up for class. And then we give them the training to actually convert them into new members. So, when it comes to marketing as a whole, the way that we were able to achieve such great results for Oh, it’s martial arts.
And a lot of our other clients is it’s a numbers game. Let’s say your ad spend is a thousand a month. And let’s say you’re getting a cost per lead of ten dollars. Well, that means you’re left with a hundred leads per month. Now, let’s say half those people. book a class that’s [00:07:00] 50 people booked and let’s say half of them actually show up to a class that’s 25 trials.
And if you can convert half of them at least, then that’s 12 to 13 new signups right there. So whenever I think about things, it’s a numbers game. I always start with the ad spin and then I reverse engineer. Okay, at a cost per lead of this, how many leads will we have? If we book this percentage, how many book appointments will we have?
We book, if we, this percentage show up, how many people are going to show up to class? And if we convert this percentage, how many new members are we left with? And then we reverse engineer it to say, okay, what ad spend do we need in order to hit X amount of students every month to hit their goal?
Josh: Cool. So do you have tips? I know that it’s, it’s always, it’s like a perennial issue. Learning how to do Facebook ads, making sure they’re set up right and then dialing them in. It’s the dialing in the creative part that [00:08:00] I’m really interested in. I think it’s, that is also a mystery to a lot of operators who actually do use Facebook marketing.
Do you have tips on how to do audience research for your tartan how to do targeting in your local area like more nitty gritty?
Aadam: So when it comes to running a Facebook ads campaign, my first recommendation is pick a specific program. So with martial arts schools, for example, are you trying to target your kids program, your teens program, your adults program? Are you tight? Are you targeting karate? Are you trying to target MMA fighters?
And then once you’ve defined what specific program you’re trying to market. Then you can start to define your target audience. So for example going back to the kids martial arts example Who’s the target audience? It’s parents. Kids aren’t gonna sign themselves up for martial arts. So we need to market to the parents We need to educate them about the benefits of martial arts We need to put out a [00:09:00] message and content that resonates with them and convinces them to enroll their So I always say start with the program, and then you can start looking at who is the target audience for the program.
If it’s adults, then and you’re trying to market your adults program, then put yourself in their shoes, right? Think what are they going through? Maybe they want to for martial arts, learn self defense. If it’s a gym, maybe they’re just trying to get in shape and they’re not happy with their late the way they look and they don’t feel good about themselves or maybe they’re really stressed and they just need some sort of activity to relieve the stress and join a welcoming community.
So put yourself in their shoes and then make sure you’re messaging. Reinforces that so these people know that you understand that and then when they see your ad and they’re like, oh i’m going through that I want to learn self defense. I don’t feel good about myself, but i’m trying to relieve stress. I’m so stressed out.
They resonate with your message They know that you understand where they’re coming from and [00:10:00] then from there. They feel more open to actually You know taking your offer and coming into your business
Josh: Excellent. I saw another really good case study you had on your website where you took a school from 6, 000 a month, which for in a small area is probably pretty healthy income, but you went from 6, 000 a month to 40, 000 a month in recurring revenue each month.
How did you approach this? Was this any different than the previous case study?
Aadam: So to be honest with you, it wasn’t really. It was the exact same formula. The only difference is consistency. One common mistake I see with a lot of gym owners in general is during slow times of the year. They want to pause their marketing.
Oh, it’s, it’s December. Not that many people are going to sign up. Let me just, you know, drop my marketing budget. But with this client in particular, they can stay consistent [00:11:00] for about two, two and a half years in order to hit that point. And my logic behind slower times of the year is even if you’re not going to get as many enrollments as one of your average months.
It’s better to get some enrollments than none at all and to just drop it to zero. Also, furthermore, let’s say a month like December where you know things are going to be slower. If you drop your ad spend and you stop running marketing, what happens when it’s like new year and you meet and all these people are looking for a new activity?
You’re not top of mind with the audience. So, but if you continue your marketing during a slow time, like December, even if people aren’t ready to register right away during Christmas time during, you know, the end of the month. You’re top of mind with them and now when they’re looking for a new gym or activity to enrollment to enroll in You’re gonna be top of mind and you’re gonna be their first option [00:12:00] when it comes to those busy seasons
What so what our owners need to focus on? to realistically and reliably hit these numbers. I think you kind of touched on it, but can you just clarify that for us?
Aadam: So, I would say the biggest thing overall is knowing your stats, right? I can’t tell you how many small business owners I work with who are completely blind when it comes to their marketing and where they stand, right?
And you need to be making educated. Business decisions based off of real numbers, right? So an example, let’s say you’re running ads and you’re getting 100 leads per month, but let’s say under 5% or 3% of those leads are actually converting, then you need to look at your process and say, okay, why aren’t they converting?
Is it that your leads aren’t booking? Is it that they’re not showing up? Is it that once they come to your business, they’re not closing? Or is it multiple of [00:13:00] those factors that are affecting the process? But without knowing your numbers, how are you supposed to know where the holes are so you can patch them and improve your ROI over time?
So, that, if I could give one tip, it would just be tracking all of your key stats from like your leads, cost per lead, Booked appointments, booking percentage, showed appointments, show percentage new enrollments, closing percentage, new monthly income, revenue, ROI. And just analyzing your pipeline every month, seeing where the holes are, and then being actionable and actually passionate.
Josh: Gymdesk has a really easy sort of reporting function. And when you sign in, there’s a dashboard there too. So you just get a really quick touch point on several of those metrics that you mentioned. So you just have a bird’s eye view every time you need to use the software. And if you want to go deeper in, it’s really easy to use and it looks great.
And I know that some, whatever [00:14:00] software you use, you need to be looking at those numbers, but some softwares make it easier to use than others. So you definitely need to be, need to be looking at those numbers for sure.
Aadam: Completely agree. I can’t tell you how many CRMs don’t have a lot of those.
Key stats and give people that bird’s eye view. So the fact that Gym does has that is is great, right? because now people don’t even have to spend the time trying to collect all their data put it together in one place like it’s it’s great for that and that’s another tip I would give for A lot of small business owners out there is like you need a crf like you need a software.
Because It just automates a lot of the daily tasks that you have to do so that you can spend more time doing higher leverage tasks to actually move your business forward. So using a software like Gymdesk is so important for small business owners.
Josh: Yeah, man. Thank you. Absolutely. And it’s I personally know at least two people that do not [00:15:00] use and they run, they have relatively healthy businesses and they, they use spreadsheets.
It’s like, what are you doing, man? Come on, dude. Make your life easier. Do yourself a favor. It’s not expensive. Just get, get a good CRM.
Aadam: Oh, for sure. For sure. A lot of small business owners, they have that mindset, right? Like They’re like a lot of small business owners. I feel like they have the mindset of like, how can I save?
Money in the short term and just do this task myself, but they don’t factor in what is your time worth, right? Like, why would you do a task that a software can automate or that you can pay someone like 15 bucks an hour when your time is worth 50 to 100 per hour? Like you are losing your business money doing these lower leverage tasks.
So, yeah, I completely agree with you there.
Josh: Absolutely. Can you still hear me?
Aadam: Yeah, I can
Josh: hear you. Okay, cool. I’m fritzing out because my meter over here is not telling me that there’s sounds.
Aadam: Okay, okay.
Josh: All right. [00:16:00] Technical difficulties, but that is, that is absolutely, absolutely critical. And I, I had a, I used to think that way too, because I, I, I didn’t have a lot of experience in business when I, when I used to operate a Taekwondo club.
I didn’t have much of a budget. I did have income because I had students, but I used to think of every dollar. I didn’t want to part with, I wanted to part with as few dollars as I possibly could. And that was wrong because like, between 50 and 100 bucks for a really good CRM that’s going to like, that’s going to return for you thousands of dollars.
Like what is a hundred dollars? Like, who cares? Why is that such a big, why is it like pulling teeth for some business owners to spend a hundred dollars a month on a piece of software that is going to make them much healthier financially and give them huge dividends?
Aadam: Exactly. And one way I look at it [00:17:00] too is I’m like, a lot of these same people who, Are worried about making that hundred dollar investment at a snap of their fingers.
They’ll go buy a new TV. That’s like 1, 000 It’s a new car or they’ll get it like a new, you know trip to somewhere but it’s like when you have a business Like, the number one investment is in yourself, it’s in your business, and if you truly believe in the product or service you’re putting out, why not invest back into yourself?
Like, when I first started my business, I was, I had no money in my bank account, and I went into thousands of dollars in credit card debt to get like a camera and a computer and all this sort of stuff, and of course it was scary, but I truly believed in myself and what I was going to do, and it all paid off eventually.
So, if you believe in your business, then why not What is 100, even if it’s 1, 000, 5, 000, like if you believe in what you’re doing, then eventually those you’ll, you’ll see the return on those investments.
Josh: That’s [00:18:00] exactly right. So just go buy a new TV. I was looking, I’m a content creator. I content create for my job.
And I also content create my own things outside of my job. And I’ve been creating more micro content recently for a project outside of my job. And Descript is a really good sort of AI transcription service. But it lets you create this really great micro content by editing the video through the script.
And so that’s extremely useful for putting those, those videos together. And I could, A not produce any content at all, or I could, I could sink 10 hours a week into doing it all by hand, or I could pay 300 to have it outsourced. Or, I can pay 15 a month or 20 a month to do a script and do it in 20 minutes before farming it out to my brother to do or something, you know
Josh: was [00:19:00] thinking about, I was like, man, do they really want to do like 20 a month subscription?
And then I realized, oh, I spent more than that on DoorDash yesterday. How about I just don’t. How about I cook at home today and have a descript description subscription. So yeah, that was a tangent, but I, I do, I’m speaking. I know my audience. I know these martial arts instructors, dude, you’re counting your pennies.
That’s a poor mindset, not a rich mindset. If something’s going to help you produce content in. And make your operations like anything, producing marketing content, making your operations better, billing, like anything that’s going to build your business, spend money.
Aadam: Exactly. Exactly. And the other way I look at it too is For these martial arts gym owners watching this, or even just gym owners in general, imagine you had to restart your journey tomorrow, and you were a white belt again, or you’re just starting the gym for the first time with no experience.[00:20:00]
Imagine how long it would take you to get to the point you’re at now just doing everything completely like on your own, versus going to someone who’s already a black belt or a master, or going to someone who already owns their own gym or who has already You know very fit to have them show you the ropes and cat get you there much faster without wasting time and money So it’s the same thing with trying to grow a business like sure you might be able to figure out eventually But you’re going to waste a lot of time and money.
I’m just making a lot of mistakes that Lots of other gym owners have already made that you can learn from and get to where you want to be so much faster without going through all of those roadblocks.
Josh: Absolutely. So let’s switch gears here for a second. Tell me about some of your marketing campaigns and the techniques you use.
Because I think. We, we met through an interesting cold email that I got sent and I delete hundreds of those a month. So I almost never read them, but yours got open and I read it and I even reached out back to you because it caught my [00:21:00] attention. The case to the first case study we’ve talked about was, was in that one.
So can, can you give us tips about how not so much cold? Cause I, I, I opened it up because it was cold outreach, but using I guess warm email techniques, how can local martial arts schools use that to help grow their
Aadam: schools? Yeah. So what happens over time when you run ads or you have a website is you get leaks, basically someone opting in with their name, number, and email.
And as you know, as business owners, No one has 100% conversion rate from getting a lead to converting them into a new member. So the question is, what happens with all of those excess leads over time who don’t convert? Now, a big mistake a lot of business owners make is they just treat them as dead leads and they never follow up with them again.
But what you should be doing is putting them into a nurturing campaign where you nurture [00:22:00] them with emails over time. To educate them, to provide them with free value. And to make them feel open to opting in for your service and your offer eventually. So if for, for gym owners and martial arts gym owners in general, that’s how I would take the email marketing approach.
I would use it for your inbound needs who go cold and don’t convert right away. And just have a campaign that goes out all year round that just nurtures these people. Here’s you have an email that goes out going over the benefits of martial arts for kids and then at the end of it you have a video of like a really cool like testimony of a parent talking about how martial arts change your kids lives and then you see like b roll footage of the kid when they started and the kid now and you know them getting great marks at school and all this other stuff that comes along with it if it’s for a gym maybe like you You’re sending out like a tutorials or maybe it’s like a free meal plan for [00:23:00] someone to get fit in the next 30 days or maybe it’s like tutorials on like, here’s how to not injure yourself when you’re doing a deadlift or something like that.
And when you’re just giving out a lot of this free value to your target audience. You build trust with people over time, and when you build trust, then they’ll feel more open to actually opting in for your service and for your offer.
Josh: Awesome. Do you have some quick and dirty tips for like how to craft headlines?
To get the emails opened and read.
Aadam: Use chat GPT. I’m just kidding. I would say, I would say keep it short and simple. One of my one of the brands I look up to a lot is like Apple, even Nike as well. And if you look at their, their headlines on their website, it’s always like very clean and simple.
It should be speaking right towards your, your target audience. Like, like [00:24:00] they should feel like you are speaking directly to them when they read it. One mistake a lot of people make with copy is they talk too much about themselves. Oh, I won this championship and I have this many years. No one gives a shit about that.
Like, All people care about is that you understand where they’re at in their pain points, and then you kind of paint the picture of where they could be. So, with the copy, you’re, you’re starting at where they’re currently at, and you’re showing them the route to like, here’s what we can do for you, and here’s where you can be with our services.
So, when it comes to headlines, keep it short and simple. With most websites, like, people aren’t even, or landing pages, people aren’t going to actually read a lot of the paragraphs and copy. They’re just going to skim the headlines, right? So keep the headline short simple directed to your target audience Target their pain points so they understand that you know where they’re coming from and then start to paint the picture in their heads Of where they want to be [00:25:00] ideally with your service and how it’s going to get them there Excellent.
Josh: Okay, cool, man. This is this has been an awesome, interview really good information Where can viewers find you if they want to reach out or maybe even partner with your agency?
Aadam: Yeah, so they can find this at a dojolaunch.ca even for people who might just be earlier With their businesses or not ready to make an investment yet We have a lot of free resources for you guys online if you just look up doge launch on google, you can find our youtube channel where we have tons of tutorials on Everything from how to create a facebook ads campaign from scratch to start generating you new Members or how to optimize your google or how you should be posting on social media.
I should be calling your leads On our instagram. We post a lot of that sort of content as well We have a free facebook group where we’ll do coaching calls and post lots of exclusive content in there So [00:26:00] just look up doge launch on google and then you can access all of our social media our website and our facebook
Josh: Excellent, man.
Thank you for coming on. I hope we can do this again sometime.
Aadam: Yeah. Yeah, that’d be great. I appreciate you having me