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It’s time to speak the language of your prospect when marketing in a covid-world

Written by Paul Clegg on Thursday, 08 October 2020. Posted in Sales & Marketing

Think you can pick up the same marketing tools you put down a few months ago? Think again! Covid-19 has changed franchise recruitment marketing.

It’s time to speak the language of your prospect when marketing in a covid-world

Think you can pick up the same marketing tools you put down a few months ago? Think again! Covid-19 has changed franchise recruitment marketing. 

If you’re looking to restart your recruitment marketing campaigns which worked so well for you at the beginning of the year, STOP! The world has changed, dramatically, over the last few months, and what once worked, probably won’t any more. 

The annual “Wealth Report” survey, compiled by Frank Knight, looks to understand the attitudes among their clients, as a reflection of the wider workforce. They identified a key theme for workers, is ‘Wellbeing’ – a theme which has accelerated to the forefront over the last few months. “Where people choose to live has also been affected. Green space and the ability to work from home is starting to trump an easy commute,” writes Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Frank Knight. 

How does this play out for us in the franchise industry?

Your prospective franchisees are no longer just looking for a good franchise opportunity. They are looking for the right fit for them personally, something which they can subscribe to the right ethos, which allows them to focus on their wellbeing, and helps to give them a better homelife, all round. 

If this is where your prospects are at, this is where you need to meet them, if you want them to connect with your franchise offering. So, how can you achieve this with your marketing strategies, going forward?

1. Build confidence

One of the biggest killers of interest in your franchise, is uncertainty. Because of the current situation, people are looking to invest in a stable future. Especially if they are fearing redundancy. For those who are looking for the right franchise opportunity, this stability will be found in how you and your network have performed over 2020.

There’s no sense of wellbeing to be found in uncertainty. So, use stories to shout about how well your network is doing, to share the successes of your franchisees, to talk about how you supported your franchisees through the covid lockdown. Use franchisee quotes to show, rather than tell, about how well the network is doing, in spite of much of what’s been happening. This helps to build confidence in you, and your brand.

2. Show off your pivot

I have the privilege of speaking to many people within the franchise industry – not just our clients, here at Coconut, but across the board. So, I have seen, with a sense of pride, how well franchising has adapted to the pandemic, and the need to make changes, quickly. Many brands were able to think outside the box, on behalf of their franchisees, and customers, and there are so many amazing stories across franchising which need to be celebrated. So, celebrate yours.

When you talk about how you were able to successfully pivot your franchise, not only are you showing your adaptability and sustainability as a brand, you’re helping to affirm a sense of confidence within your prospects. They want to invest in a franchise which is prepared to invest in them, through any situation. Your ability to pivot, will reassure them of this fact. 

Enlist the help of your franchisees, to show how these changes helped them to stay open, to keep running, even to grow, when so many other businesses felt the pressure of the lockdown. 

3. Embrace hybrid working

The last few months has given people time and space to re-evaluate where they are at, to establish for themselves what they want from life, and their career. The fact people are no longer interested in long commutes, and many have experienced working from home for the first time, means you need to show how you can support them to achieve this sense of balance. 

Building a business doesn’t come without hard work. But, it should allow time for playing records, redesigning the garden, cooking up a BBQ with family and friends, as well as the other goals to travel more, and work less. Show how your franchise opportunity is the right fit for your prospects, by highlighting the non-work interests, within the network. Talk about the time you used to spend sitting in rush hour, and how you can now enjoy a quiet coffee in the garden before the day starts. 

When you build a positive image of what your prospects can achieve, and invite them to place themselves in the picture, they’re more likely to embrace your opportunity. Especially one which matches their dream. 

As you can see, the recruitment landscape has changed substantially over the last six months. We have more people looking to start their own business, and are looking to the franchise industry for their future. Your recruitment strategies, from the foreseeable future, should take into account the mood of the nation, and reflect to your prosects how you can help them find a better future, which is more stable, and more rewarding. 

Do your old messages work within this new frame? I encourage you to take some time to review your strategy, and make any necessary changes. 

About the Author

Paul Clegg

Paul Clegg

Having been involved in franchising for almost 15 years, Paul Clegg, Managing Director of Coconut Creatives, has become an authority on franchise marketing recruitment. His opinion is often sought out as a recognised and trusted advisor for understanding franchising challenges. In 2011 Paul attained the bfa’s Qualified Franchise Professional title, in recognition of his professional knowledge.

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