At Top Rated Local®, we’re proud to announce that Kaizen International Black Belt Academy is our 2018 award winner for martial arts in Colorado.
Kaizen International Black Belt Academy (IBBA) is an academy that believes that martial arts is about more than just the forms you practice; it’s about bettering yourself and giving back to those around you. They offer a wide range of programs that teach practical martial arts, like self-defense and bully protection.
Kaizen IBBA is 100-percent focused on their students, and that focus is reflected in their many positive reviews, which has helped them earn an award-winning Rating Score™ of 98.9. Here is just one of their stand-out reviews:
“Enrolling our son in the classes at IBBA was by far the best decision we made. There are a lot of other martial art facilities in Fort Collins, and we checked out most of them. The instructors here are top notch, and you can really feel that the instructors want the children to succeed. Mr. B is absolutely amazing with all the children, as are all of the instructors that my son has had so far!” – Jeremy G
So, how has Kaizen IBBA managed to get so many glowing reviews and build such an incredible reputation? We sat down with Owner Shelly Jauch to find out.
What is your secret to such a strong online reputation?
Really, the number one thing that’s helped us build such a strong reputation is that we’re entirely student focused. We actually don’t seek out reviews, input or ratings. Instead, we seek to be the best business that we can be, and we serve our students and our families to the best of our ability. It’s really that simple.
We just purchased the school a little over a year ago, and the thing that really solidified that decision was the fact that Kaizen has always been a family-friendly environment that focuses on character development. Every day, we bring our best, and that’s where the reviews come from. Marketing 360 and Top Rated Local have made a huge difference, though. We’ve received a lot of new reviews, and I think that consolidating them so they’re easier to find was really key for us.
What makes you different? In other words, if you had one minute to sell somebody on why they should choose you, what would you say?
What really sets us apart is the personal touch we provide.
We also have three pillars that we live by.
#1. Quality martial arts is number one. We’ve built a quality program with a structured curriculum. Our students always know what they’re going to be doing, when they’ll be doing it and how it ties in as a building block to the rest of our program.
#2. Ohana is the family feel we offer; with us, everybody belongs. Instead of trying to approach students with a cookie-cutter mentality, we acknowledge that everyone’s journey is different.
#3. Character development is the last cornerstone. We have six key, character-building concepts that we teach — respect, perseverance, citizenship, integrity, self-control and responsibility.
Why do you do what you do? In other words, what is your mission and/or how do you attempt to make the world a better place?
Kaizen means “constant, never-ending improvement and growth.” We want to see ourselves grow as leaders and teachers; we have as much to learn from our students as they do from us! And, we want to see our students develop in key areas of their life based on their goals.
We love working with people in unique situations, too. Our students include single moms, kids without a father figure and even people with disabilities. We want to build confidence in our students and help them bring out their very best self despite factors that others may see as shortcomings.
Outside of building a strong online reputation, what else do you do to market and grow your business?
Apart from digital marketing, we rely most heavily on word-of-mouth referrals to market and grow our business. We always invite people to tell us if we can do something better, and if they enjoy what we do, they will tell others! In fact, 90 percent of our students are here because of a referral. Some of our referrals even come from students who don’t come to our studio anymore.
For example, the other day, we met a family who was referred by a former student of ours from eight years ago.
We’ve tried print advertising, we’ve tried flyers, and we’ve gotten absolutely no success from those whatsoever. But, we love being involved in the community, and aim to help out as much as we can. We’ve had great success through our outreach events.
What advice do you have for other businesses trying to build a strong online reputation and grow their business?
Our first piece of advice is to always focus internally. If what you’re doing inside your doors doesn’t reflect what you’re advertising, you’re set up for failure. When you have integrity, though, people will know, and the word will spread.
Second, there’s no question about it, you need an online marketing company on your side. It makes a HUGE difference when you have a focused strategy, and it’s worth the investment. When we compare our performance before partnering with Marketing 360 and after, there’s a world of difference, especially when it comes to our reputation. When you’re new, your reputation is everything. In fact, it’s the only thing you can rely on when you’re new!
Last but certainly not least, always be kind and always be compassionate.
From all of us at Top Rated Local, we’d like to congratulate Shelly and the amazing team at Kaizen IBBA for their tremendous impact on the community, for their incredible advice and for being a 2018 Top Rated Local Award Winner!