You’ve started a business that:
a) has become quite successful
b) is one that can be duplicated relatively easily
Visions of creating a franchise business out of your small company soon dance in your head!
So you start building the different parts of your franchise program – which often is the easiest and most enjoyable part of creating a franchise as well as the most costly. That complete, you start to market your franchise opportunity to potential franchisees.
As a digital marketing agency that specializes in franchise development marketing, we’ve seen a few important mistakes new franchisors make as they move to market their opportunity to people who want to open their own business with the help of a franchise.
Unfortunately, the industry as a whole is 20 years behind the times when it comes to marketing, especially digital marketing, and its resistance to change is well known. Instead of using the highly effective marketing tools and strategies available today, the franchise industry instead digs it head in the sand and commits to working ever harder at what has worked in the past.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of five of the most common mistakes we’ve seen franchise companies make in their marketing efforts. Take a look below.
- Only having a franchise “tab” on their business’ main website.
We’re sure you’ve seen them. A company that wants to attract potential franchise, but places just a “Franchise” button on the menu bar. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but if you click on the franchise button at the linked example, you’ll see that the button provides just the minimum of information to potential franchisees, forcing them to contact the franchise company immediately if they want more information.
Instead, a better digital marketing strategy is to have a completely different website for marketing. Yes, have a “Franchise” button on your main website, but have that button go to another full website, one that provides a lot of meaty information that answers your potential franchisees’ many questions and concerns. This type of information-based marketing is known as inbound marketing and its ROI is little short of phenomenal.
- A sole reliance on franchise brokers.
Using franchise brokers definitely can be a smart thing to do to market your opportunity to potential franchisees: you may enjoy an accelerated growth of 25 percent or more using a broker.
Yet relying on brokers alone to bring you prospects shouldn’t be the end all of your marketing efforts. After all, your broker’s main focus isn’t selling your franchise; it’s selling his clients’ franchises, of which yours is one of several.
- Asking your sales team to educate and inform prospects, from start to finish.
It’s always been true and it’s even more so now in our digital age: prospects don’t want to be sold to. They want information, lots of information, and they want to get it when they want it and in the form they want it.
This pretty much always has been the case, ever since mankind has traded or sold things: the buyer wants info. “How will this help me solve my problem?” “What are its benefits?” “Why is it better than that one?” “What can I expect going forward?”
The digital age has turned the tables on the seller and buyer: the buyer now can research and find out information on his own, without any sales professional’s help. Buyers don’t want to talk to a salesperson until they’ve already performed this research.
It’s your job, then, to provide them this information. Inbound digital marketing does just that.
4. Grouping your franchise marketing with your current consumer marketing.
Someone looking to buy a cup of yogurt has very different needs, questions and concerns than someone who wants to open a yogurt shop. If you’re marketing to both with the same messages, in the same place, in the same form, with the same information, you’re going to alienate both types of prospects.
5. Not hiring a professional digital marketing agency to hone your brand.
A digital agency, especially one that focuses on franchise development marketing, can help you craft a sound brand and build comprehensive marketing strategies to make sure prospective franchisees find you and get the information they need about your opportunity. Finding the time to do this critical work yourself is difficult at you build your franchise. Instead, partner with Ingenex Digital Marketing to help your grow your franchise now and in the future. Contact us today.