Setting up a franchise is a bit easier than starting a business from scratch. Still, you can’t rest on your laurels or rely on your franchise marketing materials and strategies to carry you through year after year. You also need to enlist your own marketing efforts, especially when it comes to finding new clients to continue growing your franchise even after you’ve gotten past the “startup” point.
Finding new clients isn’t rocket science. However, it does take a little bit of work. Now that your marketing budget is bigger, it should be a little easier for you to create lead-generation strategies and client remarketing efforts that keep new clients coming in and keep current ones coming back. That is what will help you build a successful business both now and in the future.
Franchise businesses are unique because they often have rules to follow regarding marketing and outreach. They may have access to marketing materials and tactics that other businesses don’t have, and yet they still find themselves in need of a little help when it comes to client acquisition. Fortunately, you’re in the right place. Here are five tactics to consider to help build your new client list.
Cost: Free, unless you offer incentives
It’s unlikely that there will ever be a marketing tool that’s better than word-of-mouth marketing. People like seeing what others have to say and they appreciate honest reviews of businesses. Make sure that you work to get as many reviews and referrals as you can. You should be getting these for your website, as well as for your other online listings and forums. For example, Google reviews will go a long way in building your reputation and your SEO efforts.
Consider setting up a referral program where everyone involved gets some kind of reward or incentive for working with your franchise. You can even consult the clients that you already have and find out what they might like as an incentive to bring in new business. And if you find yourself dealing with a negative review, make sure that you address it immediately. You may not be able to make it go away but showing that you are trying to resolve the issue gives you serious points with your audience.
Social media is a great place to find new business. Not only that, but for today’s business owners, it’s a must-have. You can’t just create social media profiles and call it a day, either. You have to engage on these platforms. Share content, start a conversation, and get people engaged. Social media is where people spend a lot of time. It’s only natural that they want the businesses they work with to have a strong social media presence, too.
You can hire a social media marketing expert to the tune of $50-$100 per hour, which will ensure that you have the best social media efforts in place. This expert will also help you better understand social media marketing and how you can continue to use it in the future to help your business grow. However, you can also do the work yourself and save money.
This one is unique to franchises—you can always take the time to see what other franchisees are doing and how they are building their marketing success. Often, when you choose a franchise, certain rules and guidelines must be followed regarding marketing and outreach. Because of that, some owners struggle to figure out how to reach out to their audience with marketing. Fortunately, you can take the time to see what your competition is doing and use that insight for your own marketing campaigns.
Are franchisees big on social media? Are they building a network of reviews and referrals? There are so many things that could be done with marketing and when you see what others are up to, you’ll realize that there’s a lot more to add to your strategy than you might have anticipated.
Cost: $250-$5,000, varies
If you are really looking to build your customer base and you want to make sure that everything is as it should be, an SEO audit is an effective tactic that should be on your list. As part of this audit, a professional SEO expert will go through and check out all of your on-page SEO and off-page content to make sure that it is optimized for keywords, location (if relevant), and other details.
They will check your business listings, and ensure that your NAP citation (name, address, phone number) is standardized in all website pages and off-page content, including forums and directory listings. They will also ensure that all SEO best practices are being followed so that your franchise has the best chance of drawing in clients due to optimized content and a strong online presence.
Cost: $250-$2,500, varies depending on what you outsource
As a franchise owner, the benefits of outsourcing and partnering with another company are not lost on you. It’s much easier to enlist the help of others and take advantage of the resources that you have available so that you can make the most of your outreach efforts. Take the time to consider what you can outsource, including things like lead screening and intake, 24/7 phone support, and more.
When you partner with a provider that can handle these things, you will have more time to focus on your business. The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can act as your 24/7 answering service to ensure that you never miss an opportunity. Of course, that’s not all. We can also offer support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your live website chat. Plus, it all comes with a custom strategy to ensure that we’ve got every detail covered.