Are you looking to grow your franchise by adding more franchisees? If so, you already know how hard it is to generate high-quality franchisee leads. Not only do you need to find someone who meets all your financial and professional qualifications, but you also need them to be a great culture fit for your organization.
Right Left Agency specializes in lead generation, and we have extensive experience in the franchise space.
Here are some tips on generating high-quality franchisee leads:
- Start With Your Customers
By tapping into your existing customer base, you’ll increase your chances of finding someone who is a good culture fit for your franchise network. After all, your customers were drawn to your concept in the first place, and they already have a good understanding of its value. This means you won’t have to spend time selling them on the value proposition of your organization — they’ve seen just how successful you are, and they won’t need much convincing since they’ve already patronized your establishment voluntarily.
When you’re ready to reach out to them for leads, here are a few ways to tap into your existing customer base:
- Send a franchise marketing email to your customer list
- At your location, display and disseminate marketing collateral promoting the franchise opportunity (including posters and fliers)
- Hold franchise informational events at your location and invite your customers
- Run targeted social media advertising to your social media followers
- Publish organic social media posts about the franchise opportunity across all your accounts
- Create Powerful Video Content (on a Robust Website)
The decision about whether to buy a franchise is not one to be taken lightly. Your prospective franchisees are looking at an expensive buy-in, a long setup process, and often a career as a location manager. You can understand that it will likely take more than a couple lines of text to get someone seriously interested in your franchise concept!
Videos are a phenomenal way to communicate all your value propositions and give prospects a feel for the franchise culture. They help inspire trust and establish a deeper connection with your audience, leaving them with memorable images they’ll associate with your opportunity.
When you decide to create videos, think about providing more than just a visual perspective on written content. Here are a few ideas for powerful franchise videos:
- “About the Franchise” video: Tell the story of your brand and give information about the franchise opportunity
- “Day in the Life of a Franchisee” video: Highlight the fun atmosphere and rewarding community that come with being part of the franchise network
- Product/service video: Communicate the immense value of what your company provides to franchisees and consumers alike
Ideally, these well-produced videos will appear on your franchise website alongside quality articles that continue to tell stories about what it’s like to be involved in your concept. Gone are the days when interested parties would be satisfied with a simple website that looks like a brochure…your franchisee prospects want to understand your business model, engage with your brand, and learn from the experiences of current franchise owners. Today’s consumers are doing their own research online, and they’ll need to be motivated by your opportunity if you want to get them on the phone or have an in-person conversation where you can close a deal.
Bonus: Your video content can double as powerful social media marketing in the ad campaigns mentioned below!
- Run Highly-Targeted Advertising
If you are like most franchises, only a small portion of the general population will truly be qualified for franchise ownership. Thus, it’s important to get very clear about the characteristics of your ideal franchisee, including their:
- Family composition
- Financial profile
- Professional experience
- Current job title
- Geographic location
Once you have determined all the above, you can start building out highly-targeted ad campaigns on Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
According to the newly-released 2018 Annual Franchise Development Report, digital media was the biggest source of high-quality leads next to referrals. LinkedIn in particular is a great source of digital lead generation for expanding franchises. Many of the professionals you want to target will already have a profile on the site, and interested parties are probably already searching for information about your franchise on LinkedIn itself.
To take advantage of this, make sure your company page is 100% up-to-date and accurate before running any targeted ad campaigns. (You can even see how other competitor franchises are optimizing their profiles, and take away some pointers!)
Don’t forget to post regular, informative updates on LinkedIn and your other company social pages to highlight any positive goings-on your franchise is involved in. Make sure to capitalize on any media mentions or stories about new locations by asking your employees to post them as well.
You should also highlight the accomplishments of your strongest franchise owners by posting their testimonials and showcasing any community awards or charitable involvement. In 2017, referrals generated around 43% of franchise sales…so this is definitely one source of great leads you shouldn’t neglect!
- Measure and Optimize
Once you start receiving leads using the methods above, it is important to consistently track lead quality. Make sure you’re inputting each lead source into your CRM so you can tie franchise sales back to the ad campaign that generated each successful lead. Use a lead quality rating system internally to score leads as they come in, so you can make real-time optimizations to your campaigns.
You might be surprised at the number of franchise sales teams who don’t track their cost per lead or cost per sale — the same AFDR mentioned above pegs this figure at around 40%. Given figures like this, it’s no wonder they point to several marketing-related actions as key differentiators in that set successful franchises apart.
For example, successful brands:
- May have a higher cost per lead, but will usually have a lower total cost to close a sale
- Employ focused, strategic growth tactics to generate and convert high-quality leads
- Use multiple marketing vehicles in recruitment efforts
- Utilize local marketing strategies, including referrals and customer targeting
Finally, don’t be afraid to alter your marketing strategy based on what you see working in your data. Your marketing strategy should change over time; in fact, at Right Left Agency, we adjust our clients’ franchise campaigns on a daily basis!
In the end, by utilizing these four strategies, you should have a collection of higher-quality leads ready to fully qualify and become part of your franchise family. If you’re not sure exactly how to implement these tips, just reach out to us — we’d be happy to offer a free consultation to give you our professional advice on how to proceed.