You probably have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a franchise candidate. Your wish list for an ideal franchisee probably includes someone who’s smart and driven, who can afford the initial investment required to get the business off the ground, who will be a good cultural fit and whose personal values align with your brand’s core values and mission. You may prefer that they have experience in your industry.
Now, you just have to find them.
Finding your brand’s ideal franchise candidate among the thousands of people who are looking for franchise opportunities every year is a bit like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. You can improve your odds considerably, however, with persona marketing.
Why Personas Matter
Creating personas of your ideal franchise owner is important for the franchisor and for the franchise candidate. Persona marketing allows your marketing team to target more precisely potential leads who are much more likely to convert. It also allows you to speak directly to those potential leads in a way that will resonate with them. So, the franchisor finds better candidates, and the candidates find franchises that will be a better fit for them.
At Curious Jane, we have found persona marketing to be highly effective for franchise development clients. We create one to three extremely detailed profiles of ideal franchise candidates for each of our fran dev clients. These profiles include basic demographics as well as granular details: How old are they? Are they married? Do they have kids? What is their net worth and household income? What kind of work experience do they have? What do they do in their free time? What media do they consume regularly?
We name our personas and then write their life stories to help us better understand not only who they are and what makes them tick, but also how they behave, where to find them and how to speak to them in a way that will resonate.
Define Your Ideal Persona
For example, one of our clients wants to target veterans. The persona we created for them, Veteran Vince, loved his time in the military because he appreciated the feeling of community and the structure. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, the outdoors, talk radio and country music. He is not interested in a desk job.
Even this abbreviated version of Veteran Vince’s profile can tell us a lot about how to successfully reach Vince. We know what words to use in ad copy to get Vince’s attention and on what platforms we should be targeting him. We know what kinds of podcasts, blogs and videos he prefers, so we will speak to him where he lives through digital ads, radio ads and more.
We add photos to our personas, too, and look for similar images to use in ads and other marketing materials. We envision Vince as a rugged guy with close-cropped hair, depicted with his family in front of a house with an American flag out front. The right images can help prospects picture themselves as owners in your franchise system.
Use Storytelling Techniques
Once you have defined your ideal persona, you should make sure you are telling the stories of current franchisees who fit that profile in blogs, articles and social media posts.
Feature stories of successful franchise owners who fit your ideal franchisee persona. Write blogs about why they chose your franchise and also address their fears or hesitations about making that leap. Post testimonials from those franchisees. These stories will help your prospects identify with your brand and encourage them to take the next step in the process.
Persona marketing is a tool that helps you grow your franchise the right way. Developing a detailed persona helps your team create more effective ads, blogs and posts, and it helps you focus your targeting and media buying. In the end, the right persona will help you find and convert more of your ideal franchisee candidates.