Your business is growing and your brand is on fire! Franchising can help your business expand further if it is done well and you implement the best franchise marketing strategies. But where will you find these franchise leads?
A franchise growth strategy will include reaching out to the general public. The wider the net, the more franchise leads you’ll generate – but promoting the opportunity to your customers should be a priority. It is a relatively inexpensive and proven strategy to combine with other methodologies of reaching potential franchisees.
Leverage the Power of Passion
The best franchise marketing all starts with your ideal buyer. Putting together a profile will help you know what kind of marketing you should be doing. The profile (or persona) consists of a number of factors, like location, age, interests. But chief among these is, are they interested in your business, services or products? If they are passionate about them, even better.
You don’t have to look far to find people like these.
Many franchisors miss an important lead-generating opportunity when planning their franchise growth strategies – existing customers. Your customers are valuable because they already know and love your brand and they are easy to reach.
Firstly, your brand has already proved itself to your customers. Through their first-hand interactions and experiences, they have come to believe in your product and services. Half the job of selling your franchise is done if the lead is already passionate about the brand. Who better to buy into your brand than the people who already can’t get enough of it?
(As a side note, this is also exactly the kind of drive and motivation the franchisee will need to be successful.)
Your existing customers are also powerful ambassadors. When you market the franchise opportunity to them, they will vouch for your brand when they spread the word. Happy customers can bring in new franchise prospects through word of mouth. In fact, people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.
The Advantages of Knowing Your Customer
In order to let your customers know about your franchise opportunity, you can create promotional material that will appeal to this exact target audience. You already know what your customers like; give them more of it in your marketing messages.
Equally important, you know where they are and you can put your promo material where they will definitely see it.
These are two powerful advantages that you simply do not have when you undertake a lead generation campaign aimed at a broad audience.
4 Ways to Generate Quality Franchise Leads
Here are four franchise growth strategies to promote your franchise sale to your customers that are easiest on the budget:
1. Promotional materials in your locations
Put up signage that promotes your franchise opportunity, such as a poster on the wall or – if your business is a restaurant – tent cards on the tables. “Put the branded collateral already at your disposal to use, whether it be cups, napkins or anything else relevant.”
Customers entering the premises will see the ‘Did you know we are looking for new franchise partners?’ opportunity every time they come in to do business with your brand. This can plant the idea into their heads.
Printed promo material that they take away with them will both remind them of the opportunity and reach potential franchise leads beyond your business’s walls. If you are a retail store, advertise the opportunity on your branded material, such as your shopping bags or create a brochure that can be distributed at your reception area or at the cash register area.
2. Customer email outreach
One reason to have a good loyalty program is that it gives you direct access to your customers. Customer email outreach is one of the most effective revenue drivers – it is permission-based marketing which means that the customer has given you their email and is open to receiving information about your business. This is a highly effective way of staying top-of-mind and encouraging product purchases, and it can also work in your favor as a franchise growth strategy.
Customers may know and like your brand but not realize that you are looking for franchisees. Send them an email informing them that you are expanding and looking for new owners. You could also share this in newsletters and other outreach you do to customers – link it to your franchise opportunity website for more info.
Tip: It is always wise to anticipate questions and to provide just enough information to make them interested enough to reach out to find out more. An FAQ about your franchise opportunity can help with this.
3. Facebook lead generation
Your customer list is also a valuable asset when it comes to social media marketing. Importing your customer list to Facebook means your advertising can be highly targeted, and marketing that is aimed at the right audience always yields better results than a shotgun approach. Facebook uses the information on your list to find potential leads that match your customers based on names, email addresses, physical addresses, and more found in profiles. You can target or exclude parts of the list. So, not only will ads be served to your customers, but also to people with similar interests within a specific area.
4. Advertise for free on your website
You already have free, prime real estate on your website. Give your customers a reason to visit – such as a competition. Highlight the franchise opportunity on your home page or your about page. If you have a separate franchise website, include a link to it on your brand’s main website.
One of the Most Effective Franchise Growth Strategies
Tapping into your existing customer pool is one of the simplest and most convenient methods to get quality franchise leads quickly. We can help you develop the best franchise marketing strategy to promote your opportunity to your customer based and beyond. Contact us for a free consultation.