In this video, we discuss franchise marketing for franchisees and franchisors.

Good morning everybody, it’s Andrew Hoffman of My Franchise Partners sitting here this morning with my good friend and colleague Ken Wells of The Leads Hub.

The Leads Hub is a full-service digital marketing company who works closely with franchises, franchisors, franchisees, as well as independent business owners.

(Andrew) Good morning Ken!

(Ken) Good morning! Thank you for having me today.

(Andrew) Well thanks for sharing the screen with me this morning, I really appreciate it. So there’s a lot of discussion with franchises and franchisees about their marketing strategy.

Now, franchise in general is a growth strategy for a franchisor, and also for a franchisee, it’s the easiest way to get into business with the greatest level of knowledge and the expense or risk of trial and error of an independent startup.

Franchises can tap into a lot of resources. One of those great resources is “the marketing” — so I want to ask you today to share some of your knowledge with our listeners about some of the marketing collateral, things they need to know to make the best decision.

In many cases, most of us don’t know what we don’t know. It’s as simple as that.

I want to talk today at first about budgeting. Budgeting is a broad topic, but what is a fair and reasonable budget?

(Ken) Depending on obviously what method you use to get new franchise ease in or to get new clients in, obviously it’s going to depend on a budget.

Most times when people talk about getting new franchisees there’s 3 ways to do it and I’m going to talk very briefly about each one of those.

The number one is to do online advertising. So that could be Google, could be Facebook. Second is SEO. You could do that through search engine optimization. And the third one is through social media.

Those are the basic three methods that people use to get new franchisees. So let’s go back and let’s talk about pay-per-click.

In terms of how much money you should be spending because that’s really what we’re talking about here in terms of budget.

On average, generally across a variety of industries, you’re going to pay anywhere between three to ten dollars per click. There are some that will cost much more, and there are some that can cost much less than that.

Generally, when you start out, you start small. When I say you start small, I mean you put together a monthly budget, and you may start off at five hundred dollars.

That’s very low for some and it’s very high for others, that just depends on where you’re coming from.

But when you look at that over a 30-day period, that’s not really a lot of money in a single day.

Basically, what you’re going to get probably on average is you’re going to get somewhere between two to five clicks in a day.

And that’s not a lot to start off, but really what you want to do before you go crazy. But if you could say, “For every dollar that you spend, you’re going to get 10 back” you’d go to your bank, and you’d borrow as much money as you could because that’s a very good return on your investment.

When you start off, and you’re doing ads, you need to make sure that things are converting.

When you start with a small budget, that’s what it tells you, you know what, maybe you only get 3 or 4 clicks per day, but are those people converting? And by converting, I mean, are they picking up the phone? Are they filling out your on-line form?

That’s really what you want, because if you spend $3,000 on a campaign, and you found out part way through that nobody is picking up the phone or filling out the form, you’re just wasting that money.

You really want to make sure things are working the way that they should. Once they’re working, then your budget can become unlimited.

Because at that point, now you know that things are working, and when things don’t work, by the way, it’s a combination of a few things.

Now you have your ad, and if it’s okay, so I’m going to go through some of the do’s and don’ts,

You have the ad, and then you’ve got a landing page.

Now, I’m not even talking about the campaign that you set up, but your campaign set up. First of all, it has to be good. And I’ve seen so many campaigns where they’ll set up a campaign and it’ll run 24 hours a day.

They’ll have the company name as part of it and what you need to understand is, if you’re paying for every click, why would you want to advertise to somebody that already knows who you are?

The whole idea of advertising is to bring people in that don’t know who you are, to that new opportunity. As you set your campaign up, there’s a lot of things that you can do.

You don’t always have to be at the top of the page. That is a big myth? Everybody thinks their ad has to be at the very top—it doesn’t.

I’ll share something with you, but not many other people would share. And that is, that when you do ads, what you have to understand is because the mindset of most, and even the big pay-per-click companies, is you’ve got to be in the first position.

Which means, if you’re in the first position you’re paying the most amount of money. And what ends up happening is, if you start off with a typical day, everybody with a lot of money to spend has spent their money early.

By the time you get to mid-afternoon, you’ll notice there’s not as many ads there. There are not as many ads because people have already blown their budget.

If nobody is bidding at that point of the day, you can come in with a lower amount, and still get good clicks. I think you get the gist to where I’m going with that.

The other thing is that your ad needs to be very specific. And when I say very specific, I mean if you have it too broad, then what’s going to happen is somebody’s going to go “Hey, that looks kind of interesting here let me click on that”. And as soon as they do, then it costs you five bucks.

I’ll tell you a very short story. There was a hard-working hardwood flooring company, which I was working with. And they wanted to do some pay-per-click, and I said “Okay, that’s fine”.

And I put this ad together, and they said “Ken you know this ad says that it’s like really expensive and it’s going to cost you a lot of money, and it’s going to be top quality stuff,” and I said “Yes.”

I said “Oh did you want the bottom feeders, did you want the people that want the lowest-lowest price?” and they said, “Well, no.”

And I said “But if your ad says something to the effect of Only click here if you’re only interested in buying top quality stuff by professional installers, the leads that you’re going to get, you’re not going to get as many, but they’re going to be better leads.

If you want to go for the bottom feeders, like the lowest price on everything, then you can spend a lot of money, but everybody’s going to be a tire kicker. And you’re not going to get any further.

So your ad has to be specific enough, that if somebody is interested, they’ll click on it. But you also want to dissuade certain people from clicking.

At first that may sound almost counter-intuitive, but you only want people that are genuinely interested to click on your ad, because it’s costing you money for every click.

And once they do click on your ad, now it goes to the landing page. And if you have people that are clicking, but they’re not taking action, then it means you have a problem with your landing page.

The thing that will always help on a landing page is a video. Because the longer that people spend on your landing page, the greater the chances are that they’re going to take some kind of action.

A video will kind of attach an emotion, shall we say, to that person, and people buy on emotion, even though everybody will tell you they don’t, they do.

So the more that you can put in there that goes: hey, this looks really interesting! And the other thing about the video and the landing page itself is it has to be relatively short.

A landing page is a call to action, it’s not a page that tells you everything you ever want to know. It tells you enough to Intrigue them, so that they can take some action and get to the next step.

And that’s really all it is. Even in your video or even on your thing, you always have to say something like — and the next step is to pick up the phone and call us or fill in the form, whatever the case may be.

In terms of pay-per-click, that’s really the big thing. The other thing about pay-per-click, I just want to say this, and then we can move on, is that people always come to me, and they say, “Ken, I want to advertise on Facebook.”

And I said, “Are you open to some other ideas?” And they go. “No, we know for a fact that it’s going to be on Facebook.” And I’ll say, “Okay, great.”

I said, “Let me ask you a question, so what kind of franchise do you have?” And just for argument’s sake, let’s just say it was Plumbing. And if, let’s say, it was a plumbing franchise.

And I said, “So, if you were looking to buy a plumbing franchise, where would you go?” and they go like, “I go to Google,” and I say, “Well if you’re going to go to Google, then why would you advertise on Facebook?.”

It doesn’t make any sense, you always fish where the fish are, right? And it’s always those basic questions.

So a lot of times people will have a preconceived idea of we should go to this platform, or we should go to that platform, and really the big question to ask is, “Where should I go fishing?.”

(Andrew) I think on that point, people have their mind set on what their goals are, but you understand the metrics of attaining that goal.

Like how many times must we cast the line in order to catch the fish that we really want?

Education first and then the budget comes out of that, so if you get the hardwood flooring thing, it sounds almost counter intuitive initially, but when we look at it, it is quite intuitive.

There’s no point blowing a budget where we don’t want to catch the fish in the first place. And so it really makes a lot of sense, then if you do all that properly, you learn, you listen, get educated, understand it and follow a path of due diligence with the service provider.

Then now I guess you want to track your activity, and then that comes back to somebody—yourself and The Leads Hub, for example.

With the franchise or franchisee business owner, etc., not understanding what those metrics are. And I guess you can then fine-tune or tweak the process by measuring effectively.

(Ken) Correct. Right, you always want to see what keywords are attracting people to your ad.

You also want to track how many clicks you have, what does it cost you for those clicks, what’s your conversion ratio.

Depending on the industry, it’s going to be all over the map. Typically for every 20 people that come to your page, usually, about 2 to 3 will actually fill in the form or pick up the phone.

Most often, if you talk to 10 people, you may go into a more in-depth process with 2 or 3 out of those.

The key in everything is just to make sure that you’re only attracting the right people and you’re not being too general.

(Andrew) One of the things I look at with my target clientele is the customer acquisition cost.

It’s great to have 100 leads or even one thousand leads, but at the end of the day, the customer acquisition is actually the customer who actually signed the deal, not the shopper.

You know a car dealership doesn’t care how many people who went by the car dealership on a Sunday afternoon kicking tires. But they do care who walked in Monday morning and signed a deal for a car.

I actively promote a three-tiered program, gold, silver, bronze.

Business owners can fluctuate but never deviate from, or leave the program.

The Leads Hub, puts out a variety of programs on a variety of platforms. Any insight to that sort of three-tiered program approach?

(Ken) Well, most times when you have a three-tiered program. 90% of the time people are going to go for that middle program. That’s just the way marketing goes.

What I recommend is this, and we don’t tie anybody to a contract. And the reason why we don’t tell anybody a contract is that, let’s just say we had a contract and 3 months into something went horribly wrong, and we weren’t getting the leads that you want.

Am I going to hold you to that contract? No. You’re gonna go anyway because otherwise, you’re just going to spread all kinds of nasty things about me. Now, hopefully, that never happens and it hasn’t happened yet.

But you always work month by month. And what that also does is it gives you flexibility. So early on, what we like to say is “Listen, to start off probably go to the higher package.” because you want to really get things going.

Then once you start to get some leads in the door and things are going okay you can scale back one level.

And depending on whether we’re talking about pay-per-click, or we’re talking about SEO, or whatever, you can go from the top level down to the bottom level.

It really depends, but you need to make sure that things are working.

We can go with a base package, it’s going to take longer, and as long as you’re willing to work with that then that’s okay.

But generally, what ends up happening is, they do get leads, but usually, they’re not fast enough. And what they want is the million-dollar package for 10 bucks, and that’s not going to happen.

So you have to be reasonable and generally what we do is we go “Okay if you go with that package, it’s really going to take X amount of time, or you can expect to get X amount of leads, and would that work for you?”

Based on that, they’re going to say yes-no. You know, and it also gets down to how quickly they need to bring people on board.

So if they need to sell franchises today, then you go with online advertising. If they’re not panicking and they’re looking for a more long-term solution, then you go with something like SEO because it’ll produce the results.

But it takes a little bit of time to ramp up. Some companies will do a combination of both. So we’re going to run some ads, and at the same time, we’re going to do some SEO just to kind of build that up.

The advantage of SEO, over ads, is that as soon as you stop paying for ads, you stop getting leads. With SEO, once you’re ranking for certain keywords and whatnot you’ll continue to rank for a long time, even if you stop the program.

You still continue to rank for a long time, you’re not going to rank forever because it’s competitive as well and other companies are doing the same thing. But it’s very consistent?

(Andrew) The first 3 to 4 months is the most important time for your business to get launched, penetrate the community, whoever that community might be.

The grand opening is one big splash type of thing and then are the first 3 months. I like to emphasize with franchisors and franchisees that before they open there should be some degree of pre-marketing.

If they plan on opening November 1st, then start marketing in October.

And that may vary by industry, which it does. But the sales funnel starts to fill in and appointments are booked. This also creates a buzz around the business name.

The key goes in the lock on Monday morning at 9 o’clock, November the 1st, and you already have activity and awareness.

And to your point then, we would sit down with The Leads Hub to discuss where we go for the next stage. That’s the first stage to me you, and it sounds to me you kind of concur with that.

(Ken) Yes, I do. Yes, you know it’s not like in the baseball movie, build it and they will come.

Too often that happens. You really need to start off with a bang. And you need to continue that momentum all the way through.

Because what ends up happening, is once you get to that certain level and you’ve got that momentum it’ll just keep going? But the whole idea is to get there.

The thing about that is that the bad franchisors work with the franchisee at the very beginning, shakes the franchisee’s hand and says “Well good luck!”

I’ve been approached by a few companies like that. When they come to me they’re desperate — “I’ve been at this for a few months now” or “We’re not making any money, we need to get more people in the door” and “How do we do that?”

And at that point, it’s never a good time to market because you’re desperate at that point. And you’re trying to save every dollar. And you don’t realize that you have to spend money to make money.

The earlier they can get into a program, not only is it going to cost them less in the long run but they’re going to be consistent. And you don’t want to set yourself up to fail, right? So the sooner that you can get in, the better.

The other problem that I kind of run into a lot is, that the bad franchisors can handcuff the franchisee. In other words, they don’t allow them to do certain things, they need to have a little bit of freedom.

You have to stay within the context of the brand and you can’t deviate from that. The best franchisors  work with you to ensure you’re on the path to success.

(Andrew) Right, you know there’s a whole whack of stuff there. We can talk for hours. We’ll come back again and dive into this a little deeper.

As we sign off, I’m going to ask you to take a second to tell everybody about The Leads Hub, how to reach you, and then we’ll sign off and go on our merry way for the day.

(Ken) Okay thank you! So, I run a digital marketing agency called The Leads Hub. We do anything digital marketing, so whether it be SEO, pay-per-click, we do copywriting, we build websites.

We work with some entrepreneurs and we work with medium-sized businesses. The main focus of everything we do is lead generation.

We’re also very big on education.

Most people don’t understand what digital marketing is. So we go into detail to educate customers,  to us an educated customer is the best customer.

They know what they’re getting into, there are no surprises.

That’s always the best way to do it. So again anybody who’s interested in finding out more, you can go to theleadshub.com and phone number is on there, but it’s 647-405-6711, if you have any questions we’re more than happy to have a sit-down chat. So thank you!

(Andrew) All right, thanks Ken! You’re very welcome, we appreciate your time today. So for all our watchers and listeners, Ken Wells at theleadshub.com and I’m Andrew Hoffman myfranchisepartners.com, 647-991-2282. Happy entrepreneurship!