How to Market Your Franchise Business
Congratulations, you are officially set-up as a Franchise! After months, maybe even years of paperwork, training and expenses, you are now ready to market your franchise business to eager entrepreneurs. So where do you begin? After all that work, deciding on the best marketing plan can feel just as overwhelming as your initial decision to become a franchise; but fret not my friends, these tips collected from our Big Sky Franchising Team have you covered! We generally break franchise marketing into 3 primary marketing “buckets”. The first one is “no cost/low cost”, the second on is paid advertising, and the third is franchise broker networks. This article will focus on bucket one, “no cost/low cost”.
Build Your Online Presence
So, there’s no way I can stress this enough. You need a website and as much online presence as possible. It doesn’t matter how long you ran your successful company on word of mouth, you’re in a different league now! You’re selling to a different customer…Entrepreneurs! You cannot depend on word of mouth alone to getting them rushing through your doors, check in hand. Find any site available that will allow you to list your company as an available franchise, many are even free! The more sites, directories, etc. you are listed on, the better chance you have an increase in inquiries. Improving your website’s presence online and in search engines makes it easier to be found through organic searches.
Social Media is Your Friend
Unfortunately for my anti-tech savvy friends, there’s just no way around this one either. You have to be active on social media. It’s FREE! Did you hear me on that? FREE! You can’t beat free as a business owner. Obviously, you can get more value out of paid ads, etc. but let’s just start with the basics. Social media gives you tools to reach your target audience and form a relational connection you normally wouldn’t be able to experience with those near and far. We can talk about ads in another post but know they are worth every penny and more when done right. There are tons of free courses online on how to use social media to your advantage. You will need to find the right channel to broadcast your franchise message, but you should consider websites like: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Upgrade Your Marketing Materials…Yesterday
You marketing materials are a reflection of you and your franchise. Do you want your reflection to say outdated or relevant? It’s time to upgrade your marketing materials. Those brochures you got made 15 years ago, the business cards thinner than college rule paper, they gotta go. If you don’t seem keen enough to invest in the way your company looks to others, others may not be keen to inquire how your company can work for others.
Leverage Your Contacts
Everyone knows someone. If you’re not the one with the rolodex bursting at the seams, I guarantee you that you know someone who is! This is where word of mouth can be your friend. Reach out to your customers, family, old college buddies, your kid’s swim coach, your PTA friends, find out who they know! You can’t be bashful when you run a business. Tell anyone and everyone willing to listen what you do and that you are now franchising. Consider offering a “Friends and Family” promotional discount or a referral fee to someone who refers a new franchisee to you.
Free press and publicity is a wonderful way to make the headlines. Contacting your local news agents including TV, radio, newspapers, etc. can be a great place to start. There are also opportunities to make a pitch at local events or even try do some sort of event to draw local attention. Hiring a publicist is certainly an option as well, but we can get more in to that as we further discuss more paid advertising and marketing options.
There are certainly more ways to generate leads for franchise sales and marketing efforts. These are just a few to get your mind working down the right path. If you would like to discuss this in greater detail and get a free consultation you can contact the Big Sky Franchise Team by clicking here.