So, you want to do business with franchise companies…

First, and foremost, please understand that many, many business professionals approach the franchise industry each and every day attempting to sell them everything from insurance to office equipment to financial services. It’s an uphill battle that can be extremely rewarding if the trek is carefully and diligently navigated. That being said, the best approach is directly at the franchise organizations. By going direct, you create the opportunity of gaining the parent company’s endorsement and ultimately, accessibility to the entire franchise base. If you attempt to market to individual franchisees initially, you will spin your wheels and burn out faster than you could ever imagine.

In dealing with franchisors, I recommend a subtle, subliminal approach. You will need to become a resource for them to consider introducing you to their franchisees. That’s your biggest challenge. To conquer it I recommend contacting as many franchise publications and blogs as you can, and submit articles and posts. Of course, end them with your contact info, etc. This positions you as an expert in your field and as a resource for the industry.

You can also achieve expert status by being proactive on LinkedIn. Join as many franchise groups as you can. Keep in mind that direct selling is frowned upon in social networking forums. However, by responding to and posting discussions, you can establish your niche. By doing so, the sales intent will be subtle and subliminal, and effective. In time, I recommend you develop a webinar and invite the franchise community to attend. This is a great way to develop a target list.

Consider developing powerpoint presentations to attach to your LinkedIn profile that people can view at their leisure. Maybe a video on You Tube and post on various blogs and social networks. Improve your Facebook presence. Explore groups you’re interested in targeting and consider forming your own group and establish a business page as well. Check Twitter and integrate your messages there as well. Be sure to cross-promote wherever possible.

Basically, I’ve just outlined for you a marketing strategy that is integrated with social technology. It’s cost-effective and it works. Though, I must remind you to be patient as results take time as you “earn” the right to do business with your target audience. But when the orders start coming in, momentum can build very quickly. It can also be plenty of fun and you will meet many exciting and interesting people along the way.

This post was originally posted on this site January 2010

Bookmark and Share

Are Your B2B Social Media Efforts Making You Blue?

As many franchise executives continue to express doubt and frustration as a result of their unsuccessful efforts to utilize social media effectively for B2B purposes, the ideal social network is right under their noses, and one where most of them already have a presence. I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Now, I’ll be the first to agree that Linkedin could be improved in many areas, but from the standpoint of achieving B2B objectives with social media, I believe LinkedIn is the place to be.

To that end, below please find several articles about how and why LinkediIn should be your go-to social network when your objectives are purely B2B based.

4 Proven Ways For Generating Business Leads On LinkedIn
from Lead Views

Considering LinkedIn is so popular and so effective when it comes to B2B lead generation, at LeadFormix we tried to research and find out, what kind of activities within LinkedIn help with lead generation. The research is based on visitor data collected across websites of 289 B2B clients of LeadFormix. All of them have some kind of presence on LinkedIn, it could be an employee profile or company profile or some group activity. In this post I will not discuss the report, but how B2B marketers can use the findings of this report to improve their lead generation efforts on LinkedIn. READ MORE

LinkedIn’s Mario Sundar on getting the most out of your network
from SmartBlog on Social Media

Mario Sundar is LinkedIn’s first social media expert. Having been with the company since 2007, you could argue that no one is more knowledgeable than Sundar about LinkedIn, and the ways that it can be used by busy professionals. I recently asked Sundar a few questions in hopes of gleaning some of his knowledge. READ MORE

5 LinkedIn Business Goals
from Heidi Cohen

LinkedIn isn’t top of mind when marketers discuss social media marketing. Yet unlike other forms of social media marketing, LinkedIn can help achieve business goals effectively in a business environment that doesn’t require expensive content marketing and advertising to get noticed. READ MORE

Which Social Network is Right For B2B Marketing?
from Digital B2B Marketing

When you consider what social networks can become key marketing channels for your business, there isn’t one right answer. Take a quick look at the very different sharing patterns of the three sites below. READ MORE

Bookmark and Share