How to Build a Franchise Buyer Persona
A franchise buyer persona is a detailed description of your ideal franchisee. It is used in franchise marketing to generate qualified franchise leads and attract prospective franchisees – that’s it.
Focus on the word detailed description.
For example: “People who want to be their own boss” is not a good description of your prospective franchisee, and you shouldn’t be using that phrase in your marketing materials. You can be your own boss without owning a franchise. Just because everybody is using this phrase does not mean that it works for an awesome franchise marketing campaign.
You have to create your own franchise buyer persona description.
Instead of providing a bunch of theory based tips, I want to share a secret with you in this article. I will give you 2 tips you can use to create franchise buyer persona TODAY.
Tip 1: Do not assume who your ideal franchisee is; use research data to create a franchise buyer persona
What you think your ideal franchisee looks like might be far from reality. This is especially true for emerging franchises who do not yet have many franchisees in their own system.
So, where should you look to find data about franchisee profiles?
There are different tools available online that can be used to analyse different data sets, and things can get complicated very fast. You probably heard about using big data, artificial intelligence (AI), or machine learning to perform sophisticated data analytics.
The good news is that you do not need all the expensive tools or technical skills to get started.
You need to know how to use free online tools. Google and LinkedIn. That’s it.
Let’s get started with this short, practical, and fun exercise.
For example, imagine you are a pizza franchise with 5 locations open in your franchise system. Your goal is to be at 50 locations in 2 years. This is a nice and ambitious goal! All you need is to find franchise leads and make some franchise sales.
Open Google and type “top 5 pizza franchises with under 50 units”.
You will get multiple sources of information from different publications. These are your competitors, make a note of them.
Now open LinkedIn. Take the first competitor on the list and type “competitor name owner”; for example, enter the query “dominos pizza owner”. You will get hundreds of LinkedIn profiles to look at.
Open the LinkedIn profile of one of your competitor’s franchisees. You will see information about their education, previous job history, industry experience, skills, and interests.
As you will be looking at several profiles, it is a good idea to save these profiles so you can come back to them later.
One the individual’s LinkedIn profile page, click More and Save to PDF.
What you are looking at on LinkedIn is real data and not some sample information. These people are franchise owners. Some time ago they saw marketing ads, became franchise leads, franchise prospects, went through the franchise sales process, and signed franchise agreements.
If you want to take this research to the next level, find these people on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms. With little extra effort you should be able to better understand what drove these people to become a franchise owner.
Tip 2: Create your own franchise buyer persona
Now that you have a good understanding of your competitor’s franchisee profiles, you need to create a description of your ideal franchisee.
Again, you might find tools and templates to help with building buyer personas.
Save yourself some time and money. There are much faster and free ways to do it.
Imagine that you need to create a LinkedIn profile for your ideal franchisee.
You can actually go ahead and create a fake LinkedIn profile for your future ideal franchisee.
Make sure you give this person a real name. This is important. Later, you can refer to your buyer persona by name since you might have several personas created.
LinkedIn will guide you through creating a profile without skipping any important details. It should take you no more than 30 minutes to create one buyer persona profile.
Do you care about if franchisees have a college degree? How about an MBA? Are they military veterans? Retired or current college graduates? What are their interests?
When you are done creating profiles, go ahead and download them as PDF files so you can pin them to the board in your office. Share these franchise buyer personas with your franchise marketing and development teams for franchise lead generation purposes.
I just saved you a few thousand dollars spent with a marketing agency. You’re welcome :).
Successful digital marketing campaigns are built around several buyer personas with different marketing messages addressing each of them differently.
Spend a couple of hours and build several franchise buyer persona profiles.
How do I use the franchise buyer personas I created?
Now that you have created franchise buyer personas you need to put them to good use.
The goal is to build a franchise marketing strategy around the buyer personas you created to generate high quality franchise leads.
As your franchise grows, your future growth goals will change and so will your franchise buyer personas. This is good and exciting. You just need to adjust to growth and build new buyer personas. For example, you might want to attract multi-unit franchise owners or franchise area developers in your marketing campaigns.
Just repeat the same exercise we have done earlier in this article and change the search criteria.
Now, what you hopefully learned in this article is a simple approach to building a franchise buyer persona.
9 out of 10 emerging franchises do not have a buyer persona in place. Follow this article and you will be ahead of your competitors in franchise marketing.
If you have the time and budget to support extensive buyer persona creation, you can always reach out to a franchise marketing agency.
Major Money-Saving Tip
Do not spend $1 on marketing advertising campaigns without knowing what kind of results you need to get, because chances are you will get something completely opposite from what you need.