How to make money from Jiu Jitsu in 2024

How to make money from Jiu Jitsu in 2024

Posted by Surya Sharma on


I used to think there was no money in jiu-jitsu! Too many times we have heard this, but as someone able to leave their day job, (even though I was fired!) I have managed to become one of the lucky few able to build a profession out of the sport I love.

That said, I thought it might be worth talking about our 4 key learnings to make money from Jiu Jitsu in 2024 to hopefully inspire some folk!

The old way

'I'm just going to train super hard and become a BJJ world champion, watch the sponsorship cash roll in, open a jiu jitsu gym and kick back and relax.' Granted this is a valid approach and works for some, but just like Jiu Jitsu competition, the world of business and real estate has massively changed post-pandemic, becoming super tough and competitive.

So, even if this is your strategy, the chances are training hard and winning worlds won't cut it anymore. Have no fear, there are still more ways than ever to make some loot from our love of aggressive cuddling. 

Building an audience

"Who cares? Who Cares Brotha?" Who Cares". The answer is no one! For us, the first step was building an bjj audience. We started our IG page with 0 inventory, 0 money in the bank, and 0 followers. It takes time to build a following and get the Zuck algorithm gods to work in your favor. So, before we even had a single bjj rash guard to push, we started editing and posting up Jiu Jitsu highlight reels. This built a small following and some favor with his lord and savior Zuck, so by the time we had a rash guard to push, we already had some eyeballs watching. News flash, this costs $0 and my jiu-jitsu was god awful. No cash or world titles are needed.

Find a way to stand out

OK OK, I get it, social media runs the world! But it is nothing but sh!t soup. Standing out in the sh!t soup is different for everyone, but there's an endless list of ways to find a niche within the jiu jitsu niche. The good thing is, we found Jiu Jitsu is already a super-engaging niche. People will literally drop their panties for a Tshirt that just says 'Jiu JItsu' in ordinary white text. So imagine how much more traction you'll get if you show a little personality. 

I mean just look at Craig Jones! The guy is literally cleaning up, mainly due to his infectiously inappropriate sense of humor. Another good example of this is to cross niche is @joshuasettlage His page does an excellent job of combining his deep understanding of strength and conditioning, helping Jiu-Jitsu athletes improve their game through better conditioning.


How to make money from Jiu Jitsu in 2024

Monetization is now easier than ever! Boomers had the housing boom, and millennials and Gen z have seen the entrepreneurial boom. You can get a website from Shopify for less than a cup of coffee, get a free IG or TikTok shop, and start advertising with Facebook for as little as a few bucks a day. 

One important thing we realized pretty quickly when trying to get some cash flow going was to make sure your product matches the audience. For example, I wonder how well Craig Jones merchandise would do if he created super serious and minimal designs. Probably still better than us lol, but I am sure have of the success comes from the fact the merch matches the humor. 

Last but probably THE most important piece for long-term success. Once you have some cash flow and an audience, you absolutely MUST move your following off the platform and into a medium you own. If you are dependent on the likes, follows, and views, you are a Facebook employee! 

By this, we mean email or SMS lists. One of our main struggles right now is every time Lord Zuck makes an algorithm update our ads, freak out all of our cash goes down the drain. The key takeaway is whether you are selling a course, or have a gym or apparel line. You should be working towards owning your audience in the long run.

To sum up 

Jiu Jitsu has become a super competitive arena, but it is a growing niche. If you look at Google's trends, we see the interest is stable and shows no signs of declining anytime soon. So, if you can find a way to use some of these tools to carve out a small section of this audience, you could well be one of the lucky few to earn a living from the sport we are all so passionate about!

I hope you found this reading helpful and whatever stage of your career you are in; you can get after it!

Big Ossss,

Marc @ Nation

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