Finding a high volume of high quality franchisees is difficult. You are competing with hundreds of other franchises to find the very best franchisees, and it is critical that you think differently to stand out from the crowd. The good news is that very few franchisors do a good job marketing their franchise online.
Our agency works with franchisors to drive franchise leads and sales – here are our tips for success:
1.) Build an incredible website: The first thing a prospective franchisee is going to do is visit your website. This will be their first impression of your brand presence. It is extremely important to the prospective franchisee because it is an indication of how effectively you will drive business to their location! Your website needs to be professionally designed and developed with a perfect user experience. Invest in this before marketing to franchisees.
2.) Invest in Social and Local: The next place a prospect will look is your third-party listings. This includes all the places your business appears online outside your website (think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Yelp, Google My Business, and More). You need to invest time and money into putting high-quality content on these channels, and getting real reviews and engagement from real customers. Again – this indicates your ability to drive business for your franchisees. It also shows that you can build a valuable customer base that loves your franchise and is vocal about it.
3.) Create Video Content: If you can get prospective franchisees to emotionally buy in to your concept – the rest is easy. Video is the most effective tool for doing this. Capture the magic of your brand in a 1-to-3 minute video that explains the business and the franchise opportunity. Use this in your advertising, on your website, and to send to prospects. Below is an example of an effective video ad we created for one of our clients. This style of video has produced amazing results on Facebook because it is fun, energetic, and has a clear call to action.
4.) Think Big: Whether you are a new franchise selling your first locations, or an experienced franchisor with hundreds of locations, you want your franchisees to believe you are an established, highly credible operation. Every interaction with prospective franchisees should be professional. They should experience your brand as consistent, structured, and BIG. Everyone on your team should be using email addresses at your website domain with beautiful email signatures – never a Gmail or Yahoo email address. You should contact prospective franchisees from a company phone line with a company voicemail – never a cell phone. You should present each prospect with a structured application process and follow it strictly. Send polished, branded materials to each prospect for them to review. Operate like a huge company at all times.
5.) Use a CRM: Even if you have only a few leads coming in, you should be entering them all into a CRM like HubSpot, Salesforce, or Pipedrive. It is very inexpensive to get this set up, and it is nearly impossible to manage even a handful of sales relationships without it. Each prospect will likely require months of communication. You need a CRM to keep track of when you should reach out to them next, what documents they have submitted, personal notes about the applicant, and more.
These are just a few tips to increase your franchise sales conversion rate and start selling more franchises through online tactics.