Updated: Aug 22, 2019
How to Attract Franchisees to Your Brand
A major hurdle for franchisors has always been identifying who would make a great fit to represent their brand. It’s important to look for someone who has a passion for the brand and its mission to ensure the franchise is as important to them as it is to you.
There are a few tried and true tactics you can use to attract the most qualified franchisees to your brand. Here are five of our favorites.
Your current customers are a fantastic target audience for your marketing efforts. This group visits your store often and likely already has an affinity for who you are, what you offer and what you stand for. Who better to represent your franchise than a loyal customer -- a brand ambassador?
Current customers can also share their experiences and strong affinity online via a number of different platforms, whether it be social media channels or writing for various review forums. Positive reviews may attract an entirely new audience of interested individuals as they look at a personal review as a credible source. Reading a positive post or review from a customer may be what tips the scale for a potential franchisee as they see just how great your brand is.
When a potential franchisee is in the Interest phase of deciding whether or not they want to embark on this new business venture, your website is the first place they will learn more about who you are and opportunities available to them.
Not only do you want a thorough, professional website to establish credibility with your audience, but including several critical technical aspects will maximize and optimize web traffic to make the most of every click.
One of the first things a viewer should see when they visit your site is a clear call-to-action. This minimizes the risk of losing a potential lead before they are able to locate any sort of application or contact form.
In addition, your site should exist on a platform that allows for search engine optimization. Going along with SEO, it is important for your site to have relevant keyword phrases; put yourself in the shoes of a potential franchisee to think about the type of information they will be searching for, and insert those words into titles, headings, photo tags, and page titles.
Social media can be a fantastic way to augment your other marketing efforts, make a more personal connection with your followers and expand your network among potential franchisees. As a franchisor, there are several components you should emphasize in order to ensure your social media presence is a strong positive force in attracting leads.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Appoint someone within your company to be responsible for all things social media. Depending on your brand, you will decide whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or a mix of the above will be appropriate. With a single person responsible for the accounts, you will ensure messaging and tone are consistent across time and platforms. When you are considering individuals to be responsible for your social media presence, you will want to be sure they have a clear understanding of your brand mission and core beliefs.
Be engaged. Your followers will want to see consistent content that they can also interact with. Ask them to comment below to respond to a question or even offer incentive in exchange for a repost. This will assure franchisees that you are always available to chat and offer support in any way you can.
Lastly, stay positive! Avoid having any posts talk down about competitors or performance. You want your followers to enjoy viewing your page and stay focused on the great things you stand for.
Having a blog on your corporate site can be a great way to inform franchisees as well as portray your company culture. A blog gives you the ability to offer a more casual narrative to your readers and show them what it’s like to be part of your team, address common obstacles franchisees face and how to solve them as well as updates on your brand and the industry. It is also important to choose relevant keywords here as well to boost your SEO results.
Having a strong email marketing strategy has several major benefits when trying to reach an expansive audience.
Easily reach a global audience at the click of a button
Incredibly cost effective: with no need to pay print or postage charges, email marketing is quite often the most affordable marketing tactic. Email marketers might consider investing in specialist software to automate, track and evaluate their emails. Granted, there may be a small overhead for sending thousands of emails at a time, but these costs are far lower than what you would expect to pay using other marketing channels
You are certain you are reaching an already interested audience. Your contact database will likely be built off of individuals who have voluntarily signed up for your emails and updates. The benefit to this is you are likely to see higher conversion rates
Include a call-to-action! Something as simple as testimonials and a “Learn More” button will drive clicks for potential franchisees to read more about your brand and all the opportunities available
Depending on your company’s budget, you can of course pick and choose which tactics you would like to implement to achieve your overall strategy of franchisee lead growth, however, when each of these factors are combined, the speed and accuracy of the results are dramatically increased. Hopefully these tips and tricks help your brand experience growth in the number of qualified potential franchisees looking to represent your brand, but as always, be sure to thoroughly consider each candidate with whom you cross paths to be sure it’s a mutual fit!