By: Jennie Mills
As the owner of a successful franchise, I know firsthand that it’s more than just hard work that will help you to achieve your business aims.
Astute marketing approaches can not only enable you to reach out to a larger audience, but can also help to ensure that that audience is full of the right kind of individuals – those for whom your services are relevant and who are more likely to convert into sales leads as a result.
So what are the main marketing methods I used in order to grow my business? I’ll explain below.
Building Your Image
No matter the industry in which you work, your image is everything. Because of this, I try to plan my business’s marketing techniques from the perspective of a potential client approaching us for the first time.
My franchise is part of a worldwide organization specializing in disaster recovery and specialist cleaning. Many of our clients have gone through a traumatic experience and have lost, or experienced the damage of, property or belongings that mean a great deal to them. They may be stressed and confused.
As a result, everything we put out into the public sphere needs to feel concise, helpful, and be sensitively worded. The branding and imagery we use needs to be clear and should never feel flippant or frivolous. It should be easy and simple for our audience to find the information they need from us.
These basic rules have helped us to project the image of a company you would trust in your time of need.
Focus on Specialisms
Before I ran my franchise, I worked as a diver. This gave me the specialist know-how to undertake very niche tasks such as clearing underwater debris.
While you may believe that occasions on which the specialist skills of your employees will be called upon might be few and far between, you shouldn’t ignore them. Failing to let people know of your full potential, even in extremely niche areas, will simply influence them to go somewhere else at a time when they would otherwise have used you.
You should take pride in your achievements and those of your staff members. The public are more likely to trust companies and individuals with accolades and positive reviews, so shout about the ones you have. This is why displaying star ratings on your Google profile is vital.
Are You Global or Local?
Business owners should think hard about their target audience. This doesn’t just mean that you should focus on age range, gender or any other basic metric of this kind – consider location too. As a franchise holder, this area was more important for me than it may be for many.
Because my franchisor has a vast number of other independently run branches, I knew that I needed to use the content of my marketing to target locally for the most part. I needed to do this because why would a potential client based in Cornwall come to me in Derbyshire for a basic service when there is a branch in their area?
Using the name of the local area regularly and naturally in your marketing copy will help to give a clear idea of where you are based. You should also complete a Google My Business listing in as much detail as possible. Within this listing, you should include an image of your shop front (if relevant), opening hours, an updated address, full details of your services and reviews or star ratings.
An important part of marketing is knowing where to promote yourself. Social media is, of course, a vital tool for getting your name known. Just make sure you streamline your profile by following the right people and only sharing content that is relevant to your work.
Think of the strengths of each platform and how they may apply to your business. Having a big presence can be useful, but only if you’re able to keep up with the regular posting required to keep your accounts active, visible, interesting and performing well. It’s better if you stick to a few suitable profiles that best reflect what you do.
To help you manage these platforms, I recommend that you put together a social media plan that includes a calendar. Decide on set times at which you’ll post, the platforms on which this will happen and the type of content you will share.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are platforms often used by members of the public to seek out professional services, therefore I’d see them as the most relevant.
However, individual franchisees are able to have their own social media platforms. Many also use Instagram, as showing appropriate “before” and “after” images of clean-ups (with permission) serves as a good way to illustrate what we do.
Your website is another vital marketing platform. Ensure that its design is simple, accessible and not too crowded, and be sure to include reviews, testimonials, clear descriptions of your services and a highly visible means of contacting you.
Use SEO, including keyword optimization, to push your brand as far up the search results as possible. A high position within those results, coupled with an expertly crafted Google My Business listing will give the impression of a well-established company that can be trusted.
So, in order to grow the client base of your company and give business a lasting boost, you should:
- Take time and care in the tailoring of your image and always consider it from your audience’s perspective
- Focus on that audience – including where they’re from
- Consider your specialisms, strengths and achievements and promote them proudly
- Choose your platforms carefully, always using them to their full potential
These approaches have helped me to grow my franchise and stand me in good stead for the future. I hope they serve the same purpose for you.
Author Bio: Jennie Mills, who is the proud owner of a Rainbow International franchise in Derbyshire, has owned her business since 2015. Diligent and passionate, she is the proud owner of a Young Female Franchisee of the Year 2019 and Rainbow International Franchisee of the Year 2018. Jennie took advantage of one of Rainbow’s franchise opportunities in fire and flood restoration and hasn’t looked back since. Rainbow International offers a number of franchises for sale in various locations.