How to grow your franchise through podcasting

Entrepreneur and franchise consultant Rebecca Newenham discusses how you can harness the value of podcasts to grow your franchise network.

How to grow your franchise through podcasting

Are you looking to grow your franchise network this year? Searching for ways to raise awareness of your franchise offering? Podcasting could be a secret weapon in your armoury, helping you bring your franchise offering to life and connect with potential franchisees. But if you haven’t appeared on podcasts before, how do you know where to start?

Think about your unique selling points

Before you approach any podcasters, it’s time to do your homework. Think about what insight you can offer their audiences. What story do you have to tell? What key topics can you add value to? Be clear about why a podcaster should choose you as a guest above the other submissions they receive.

Research podcasts you would like to appear on. They are likely to be talking about similar subjects to your USPs already. Can you offer a new take on women in business? Being a young entrepreneur? Balancing work and family life? Dealing with health issues and overcoming adversity? If you’re familiar with the BBC Dragon’s Den series, you’ll know that the dragons regularly ask those pitching about their story – their journey in business so far. Reflect on your own story and what makes it interesting to others.

Prepare a good pitch

Put your USP into a clear, concise, and compelling email that will outline what a brilliant guest you could be to a podcaster. Think about what’s in it for them – along with insightful content, would you be willing to share the interview with your own audience? What channels do you have? Are you experienced in public speaking? Even if you haven’t appeared on podcasts before, think about events you may have hosted, talks you might have delivered online or print interviews you might have given. This will reassure podcasters that you are comfortable talking with others and ready to engage their audience.

Get yourself ready for the interview

Once you have secured a podcast recording (or YouTube interview, LinkedIn Live appearance, etc), ensure you are comfortable and have everything you need. Some podcast interviews can take up to an hour, so having water on hand is a must. I vividly remember being in completely the wrong environment for my first podcast, being far too hot and highly uncomfortable throughout! Think about lighting and sound, especially if it’s a live video appearance. Feeling nervous is entirely understandable, but ensuring you are comfortable in your surroundings will help you to relax during the interview.

Prepare the content as well as your surroundings. Do you need any case studies, testimonials, facts or figures to hand? There’s nothing worse than being distracted by looking for things while you are speaking. You need to appear relaxed and confident to portray the best image for yourself and your franchise. I suggest writing down the key points you want to get across. You might not know exactly what questions to expect during a live interview, but you can consider how the topic relates to you and your business and any critical thoughts you want listeners to take away.

Consider working with a voice or speaking coach if you haven’t done much public speaking before.

I have picked up some valuable tips from coaches over the years that have helped me slow down and focus on the key points I’m trying to get across. Remembering to smile is vital, even during an audio-only interview. Smiling helps you to relax and can also make the tone of your voice more engaging.

Pitching yourself out there for podcasts can be daunting. But if you’ve got a great story and areas of expertise to share, then be confident. Like many new experiences, the more podcast interviews you do, the more you will enjoy them. Despite my initial experience, I now love appearing on podcasts and talking about many subjects, from starting a business at the kitchen table to working flexibly around three children, scaling a business, the power of networking and more.

Don’t forget to share any podcast interviews on your website, social channels and other internal and external communications you have, such as newsletters. Alongside helping you spread the word to potential new franchisees, your existing franchisees should be encouraged to see you actively promoting the business.

Rebecca Newenham
Rebecca Newenham