Did you know that franchises make up 10% of all businesses in the United States, and US franchises generate annual sales of over $510 billion. For marketing agencies that cater to franchises, this presents a phenomenal opportunity.
Starting a franchise marketing agency can be a rewarding and lucrative business venture, but it requires careful planning and execution to be successful. In this blog article, we will outline the steps you need to take to start your own franchise marketing agency and help you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with it.
Map your business model
The first step in starting any business is to develop a solid business model. This should include an overview of the services you offer, the pricing and pricing model, the types of people and businesses you offer it to, how you’ll find clients, and ideally financial projections.
Choose a franchise niche
There are many different types of franchises out there, from fast food to home improvement to retail. Choose a type of franchise business that aligns with your interests and goals. If you are passionate and have a strong understanding of your niche, this will make it much easier to market your services and stand out in the crowded franchise space.
Research the overall market
Before you invest in starting a franchise marketing agency, it’s important to thoroughly research the current marketing of the industry in which you plan to operate, to help ensure you can compete. This includes studying trends and assessing the competition, as well as evaluating the demand for the products or services offered by the franchise.
Define the services you offer
How will you help your clients? What services do they want, and what problems do they need help solving? That’s where to start with your list of franchise marketing services. Examples of common franchise marketing agency services include:
- Website design and development: This can include creating a new website or updating an existing one to be more user-friendly and visually appealing.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find the franchise online.
- Social media marketing: This can include creating and managing social media accounts for the franchise, as well as developing and implementing social media campaigns to reach a wider audience.
- Email marketing: This involves sending marketing messages to a list of email subscribers, usually to promote special offers or new products.
- Content marketing: This involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
- Paid advertising: This can include placing ads in print or online publications, or running paid search or social media ads to reach a specific target audience.
- Public relations: This can involve working with the media to promote the franchise and its products or services, or managing the franchise’s reputation in the community.
- Event marketing: This can involve organizing and promoting events, such as trade shows or product launches, to promote the franchise and its products or services.
- In-store marketing: This can include developing and implementing marketing campaigns or promotions that are specific to the franchise’s physical location(s).
- Loyalty programs: These programs reward customers for their loyalty and encourage them to continue doing business with the franchise.
Build a team
As a franchise marketing agency, you will need to work closely with your clients to develop and implement marketing campaigns. To do this effectively, you will need a strong team of professionals with diverse skill sets, including marketing, branding, web design, and social media.
Establish a marketing plan
A well-thought-out marketing plan is essential to the success of any business, and it’s especially important for a franchise marketing agency. This should include tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing, as well as traditional methods like print and radio advertising.
Network and build relationships.
Networking and building relationships is crucial in the franchise industry, as it can help you find new clients and partners. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and reach out to potential clients to get your name out there and build your brand.
Get your first client
Find your first client, and serve them beautifully. Often the first client can be somewhat less formal than later clients. For those that don’t have a track record / samples / testimonials from the marketing industry, they might complete the first project for free or at a reduced price. Then you can pitch the second client (and third and beyond) using the successful result of your first project.
Stay up to date on industry trends
The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and so is the franchise industry in general, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices. This includes keeping an eye on emerging technologies, new marketing channels, and changes in consumer behavior.
How Julie started her franchise marketing agency
Sometimes it’s helpful to see things in story form. Here’s an example scenario where a marketing professional, Julie, gets started with her own franchise marketing agency. Hopefully, this helps create a clearer mental image for the overall process of starting this kind of business.
Julie has been working in the marketing industry for several years and has developed a strong understanding of what it takes to build a successful franchise business. She has always dreamed of starting her own business, and she sees an opportunity to create a franchise marketing agency that helps franchise systems grow and thrive.
To start her franchise marketing agency, Julie begins by conducting market research to identify potential clients and assess the competition. She then develops a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines the services she will offer, including traditional advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and social media marketing.
Next, Julie works on building her team, hiring experienced marketing professionals who specialize in working with franchise systems. She also begins networking with potential clients and attending industry events to promote her agency.
Once her agency is up and running, Julie begins working with her clients to develop customized marketing plans that are tailored to their specific needs and goals. She helps them build brand awareness, establish a positive brand image, and drive demand for their products or services.
As her agency grows, Julie continues to stay up to date on the latest marketing trends and techniques, and she is always looking for new ways to help her clients succeed. With her passion for marketing and her expertise in the franchise industry, she is able to build a thriving franchise marketing agency that helps franchise systems grow and thrive.
Starting a franchise business requires careful planning and attention to detail, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding and lucrative way to become an entrepreneur. By following these steps and staying dedicated to your business, you can build a successful and thriving agency that helps franchise brands grow and thrive