Entrepreneurship is alive and well throughout the world. It must be something engrained in human nature. At least for some. They want to get into business and get into business in some way where they have a stake and control in what’s going on.
Call it the Entrepreneur Spirit. That desire to build something, take over something and control one’s destiny.
Many that are thinking about starting a business don’t consider getting into a franchise business. But often that can be a great fit. Whether it’s starting a new franchise or buying and taking over and existing one, it’s definitely an option that would fit many.
If you’re a franchisor, here are some thoughts on how to connect with these types of folks right now.
You can run traditional advertisements and that can work well to attract the right people as potential franchises. There are some great tools, like LinkedIn, for researching and reaching out cold to potential franchisees. This can be a lot of legwork, but can be an effective method.
Another one that many franchisors seem to be taking is content marketing. And it involves a variety of different strategies. You have basically three types of content – text, video and audio. That includes all the usual content platforms that you know from blogging and social media to YouTube and podcasting.
The goal of content marketing is to create something for a target audience to find. It’s estimated that a person is only in “buying mode” for something about 3% of the time. So even the perfect franchisee is only thinking about buying a franchise 3% or less of the time.
Content marketing can help you earn their attention during that 3%, but also during the other 97%.
When you’re doing content marketing a good strategy to focus on is question and answer. Look for the common questions franchisees are asking and do your best to provide the answers. You probably hear these questions in person and on the phone already when you’re interacting with them. And if they are asking on the phone there are likely many more people just like them searching for the answers online.
That’s where a blog, a YouTube channel, a podcast and social media can be very effective. You provide the content and people seek it out on these platforms.
Some questions will be about your industry. Some will be about franchising and how it works. Some will be about owning and operating a business. No question is too simple or easy and no question should be too specific or difficult either. It’s a wide spectrum.
One way to get more for your efforts with content marketing is to reuse the same content. So say you create a blog post. You can go into that post and grab about three snippets that you can post directly on Facebook or LinkedIn. Native content works best on social media versus sharing a title and a link to a blog post.
You see this also with video and podcasts. You create a longer version for a platform like YouTube or Spotify. Then you create a short snippet for Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter or Instagram or whatever.
There is still effort to do this, but you’re not creating new content from scratch for each platform. You could do that, but it requires more effort.
Networking & Referrals
You probably know this but it’s worth mentioning. One of the best ways to find new franchisees is from current franchisees. Ask them if they have colleagues or friends or whomever that would possibly be a good fit for your company.
This is basically a networking situation, but there are others like hosting events where you meet new people and talk to them. Even if the people you meet aren’t the right fit they may know someone that is. That can lead to conversations that may lead to new franchisees. So setting up events and hosting them regularly can be a great way especially right now in the current environment to find new people.
And virtual events can be great as well. Running webinars on franchising can work great right now. People are interested in learning more and obviously a virtual event eliminates the need to be somewhere in person at a specific location.
Email Drip Campaigns
One last thing to consider right now is an email drip campaign. Many of the email providers out there allow for you to capture interest on your website and create different campaigns based on what a person is interested in.
For example, say someone comes to your website and inquires and starting a franchise. You converse with them and they aren’t interested right now. You can put them into a campaign that reaches out after 3 months and then another 6 months and then another year. Just to check-in. Maybe provide updates on your company.
As you know, a person might not be ready right now, but it’s important to stay in touch because you want to be there when they are ready to make a move.
These can work well when interest is high where you can capture a lot of leads before interest wanes.
There is high interest in entrepreneurship right now. It’s a good time to be a franchisor because you can earn the interest and attention of potential franchisees. There are some traditional ways to go about doing it. But hopefully some of these other tips can be helpful as well. Because the more you’re able to stand out the more likely you are to land the right people for your team. You’re not just competing against other franchises, you’re competing against those new entrepreneurs starting their own businesses, buying existing businesses and even going back to work for other companies.