Owning your own business is still a major American dream, and for many entrepreneurs, franchising offers a way to do that with less risk than going out on their own. Predictions for franchise businesses this year are looking pretty good, so now is the time to ramp up your lead generation plans in order to attract the best franchisees through targeted public relations.
But for potential franchisees, it’s daunting when there are so many franchise opportunities available. How will your franchise stand out and attract the best and most qualified leads? As a franchisor, you can hope for the best, try your hand at marketing and promotion, or hire a professional.
Many franchisors spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing with questionable results, or worse, not having a clear picture about whether their efforts were worthwhile or not. Without the professional help you need, you could be spinning your wheels, rather than signing up solid, committed new franchisees.
Franchise development-focused public relations, crafted by experienced PR professionals, can get your franchise in the public eye, promote your business through bylined articles in trade publications, procure interviews with national news outlets and more, all of which will boost your brand’s image with potential franchisees.
A PR agency that specializes in franchise public relations is the best solution for any franchise business that wants to build its business and obtain a steady stream of leads. They have the connections, insight, deep knowledge and specialized understanding of the franchise industry and what potential franchisees are looking for in a franchisor.
Franchise development PR is best left to the experts because it’s very specialized, but when done well, your franchise will benefit from the results. Without PR not much happens, but with the right PR partner, your franchise can attract the type of leads you want.
- Franchise PR can attract leads through creative press releases. Press releases are not dead, and are actually one of the best ways to create interest in your franchise business. But the trick is knowing how to write it, what keywords to use, who to send it to, and how to follow up correctly. When potential franchisees see your business in the news, or if they see articles that mention it, you have already increased your impact on new franchisee leads.
- Franchise PR enhances your franchise’s authority and perception. When a potential franchisee is deciding which franchise to invest in, they notice and are drawn to those that have the most visibility and authority. Franchise public relations professionals are adept at getting clients speaking engagements and spots on industry panels and power discussions, virtually or in-person. When potential leads see your franchise brand as a major industry player, they make a mental note to find out more.
- Franchise PR can get your business bylines in the news. Franchise PR specializes in developing your brand as a reliable and trustworthy source for news stories. Reporters and journalists appreciate working with PR agencies who know what they are doing. Editors need content for their publications and if a PR agency can provide news sources, spokespersons, and bylined articles that are done well and ready to print, the more likely your franchise brand will be in the news where franchisee leads will see you.
- Franchise PR works holistically, while developing social media messaging that creates leads. Honestly, does your franchise brand have the bandwidth to be visible on every single social platform every day with amazing posts? NO, no one does. But franchise PR creates visibility across all social channels that are important for your brand. Knowing what channels to focus on is huge, and knowing where the leads are is crucial to getting more business for your franchise brand. But if your social isn’t holistically connected and funneling leads to the right channels, you are wasting time.
- Franchise PR takes existing platforms and transforms them. Your website is an important lead generation tool, but is it getting the traffic necessary to generate the leads your franchise needs? When your PR partner gets your name in the public’s view and potential leads are funneled to your website, what happens then? Many businesses don’t have a great strategy for funneling leads. PR makes sure your SEO is on target and persuades your leads to follow the path you set.
This is why PR is so important now, especially as competition heats up and leads are comparing your franchise to all the others. Everyone researches online now, for just about everything, and franchisee leads are doing the same thing. When they google your franchise brand, will they see what you want them to? PR can help your franchise brand impress potential leads and boost your bottom line.
Heather Ripley is CEO of Ripley PR, a global public relations agency specializing in B2B and franchising. Orange Orchard, a division of Ripley PR, champions franchisors that cater to environmentally-conscious consumers. For additional information, visit www.ripleypr.com or www.orangeorchardpr.com.