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Why This Martial Arts School Got Rid of Tradition(al Marketing)


If you’re looking for MMA instruction in Memphis, you’ll probably end up at one of the city’s most beloved schools, Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu. While this beloved school has been around for more than a decade, they only recently joined Sweat Angels. Why would a 12-year old school try a new marketing approach after so many years in business? We met with owner David Ferguson to find out.

Traditional Marketing No Longer Made The Cut

David knew that traditional marketing was no longer effective, so he looked for creative ways to get the word out about his school. He made sure all of his students had Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu window decals on their vehicles and signs in their yard. He also shared fliers everywhere he went and even passed them out door-to-door near his business.

“At one time traditional advertising was effective, but it’s not now. You can’t do marketing like it was done in the past and expect good results,” explained David. "We tried to find unique, guerrilla marketing programs to get the word out about our gym. I just wish we would have found [Sweat Angels] earlier!"


Facebook Check-Ins Are Powerful, But Often Overlooked 

“Marketing is making a big shift. It’s revolutionary, and it’s all about social media,” David said." Just think... when you went in a doctor’s office ten years ago, everyone was in the waiting area reading magazines. Now no one reads the magazines. Everyone is on their phone looking at Facebook.”

So like other gym owners aware of the shift, David had used his gym’s Facebook page to promote Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu. That worked for a while, but Facebook's algorithm changes eventually choked off their visibility. That made Facebook less effective and more expensive. “I knew the perfect solution used social media, but boosting posts and running ads wasn’t good enough,” David said.

David didn't know it yet, but the solution he was looking for already existed in the form of Facebook check-ins. Since each Facebook check-in is typically seen by about 200 friends, they're the perfect way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. But like most fitness business owners, David didn't realize Facebook check-ins were so important. And he certainly didn't know how to get more of them at his MMA school.

Anatomy of a Facebook Check In

Value_of_a_Facebook_Check_In Facebook check-ins show valuable info about your business to hundreds of people.

Sweat Angels Generates More Check-Ins (and Referrals)

All of that changed when David heard about Sweat Angels at an MMA seminar. He knew it was the revolutionary solution he’d been looking for. “I was so impressed with Sweat Angels,” David said. “By giving students a reason to check in to our Facebook page each time they come to class, we could get our name out to the entire city. Genius!” 

Once David school started using Sweat Angels, the results were astounding. “We had 174 Facebook check-ins on the first day. Since each check-in is seen by about 200 people, our school’s name and business information were seen about 35,000 times in just a single day,” explained David.


With Sweat Angels, our students love checking in to our Facebook page. They can support a good cause, just by checking in. It’s fun for them, and it grows our business,” David said. “With a solution like this, why would anyone waste money on traditional advertising?”

Want more Facebook check-ins at your gym?

Sweat Angels does exactly that. Every time your members check-in at your gym, we donate to a great cause. It's the perfect incentive for your members to promote your gym by referring friends. To learn how to get started, schedule a demo with us today:

Yes, I Want More Facebook  Check-Ins At My Gym

Request A Demo

Learn how Causely can grow your business through word-of-mouth.


Sarah Werner

Sarah is a writer, marketer, and brand specialist. She has experience in both non-profit marketing and financial development as well as for-profit content marketing and social media. She holds degrees in English and Art from Asbury University. When she’s not writing content for Causely, you’ll find her outside with a book or camera enjoying the company of trees. You can also find Sarah on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn


John Rougeux

John is co-founder and CMO at Causely. When he's not trying to build the most philanthropic company in the world, he's probably hanging out with his wife and three daughters in Lexington, KY. You can also find John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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