When days feel grey, you can help improve a prospect’s mood. Paul Clegg discusses how to inspire them to envision a brighter future, through your content.
Having the space to think and reflect is a good use of time. Many of you, will have booked out some time for you to just think about what you hope to achieve with your franchise and network, over this coming year. There’s nothing like a change of pace and scenery to help the mind wander about what hopes lie deep within, so we can pin them down to real goals.
So, how can we help our prospects see beyond their current situations and prospects, beyond the media hype of doom and gloom, to rediscover their own sense of purpose for this year? Short of putting on some kind of franchise retreat discovery weekend – which isn’t a bad shout, in fairness, but who has time?! – the answer lies in what we portray.
Have you ever stopped what you’re doing to go through what you’re producing, to see it from an external perspective? What do your target audience see? And, do your followers still connect with what you’re posting, or has engagement dropped off? This will be because your content isn’t hitting the right spot, when it comes to what your audience wants.
Time to beat the “January blues”
For those of us without a birthday in January, there isn’t always much to look forward to after all the hype of December. So, many of us have to hang on to whatever it takes to get us through to brighter days. This is where you, as a brilliant brand within franchising, can really come to the fore! It’s time to shine a spotlight on the light within your network!
How? Communicating positivity! Share the good news stories and joyful images from within your network, to highlight what someone can achieve when they belong to your brand. And this is the crux of the primate-matter: Most of us have an innate desire to “belong”.
Recreate the narrative online
Combat the January negativity which the media seems bent on throwing at us, by creating your own world which celebrates the small rainbows in each rainy day. It doesn’t mean you have to post every day, though most channels will encourage you to do so, in order to maintain your presence. Nor does it mean you have to always use what’s happening today. You can look back on some of the highlights of last year – especially if it’s in relation to something which happens on an annual basis – like your franchise conference.
And, if you’re not doing so already, you will need to start thinking about how you’re going to make use of the anticipated big trend for 2023 to do so: short-form videos. According to various reports published over the last couple of months, short-form videos and Reels were amongst the most liked and viewed posts of 2022. Already, they’re pushing out to wider audiences videos which are around 5-7 seconds, which inspire a media-wide trend!
Bet your bottom dollar you’ll be finding ways to do this for your brand, sometime tomorrow!
Do more than talk a good talk
Not every day is rosy; sometimes we have to stick up our chin, and grin through the grey moments. This is when we need to speak authentically and inspire our audiences to see the future is... not orange per se, but definitely won’t be grey forever!
How do we do this? By sharing the stories within your network. Because **newsflash** you, my dear franchisor, don’t need to produce all the content all the time! And… breathe!!
Here are some recent examples from within the world of franchising:
- In the autumn of 2020, InXpress took on their 100th franchisee, affectionally known as, Mr 100. He’s done so well in the business, they’ve reconnected with him, in January to share his 18 month success-story – including winning their “Rookie of the Year” and “Best Customer Retention” awards. Thus revealing to prospects what they can achieve, in under two years, by following their franchise model.
- By December 2022, The Wheel Specialist had a franchisee who consistently broke his own sales records, for six months of the year. By shouting about his success they’re showing how the media’s negativity, hasn’t held back franchisees from enjoying their businesses.
- And, Razzamataz held their annual conference mid-January. My LinkedIn was filled with posts and photos, not just from Denise and her network, but from those she’d invited to speak to her franchisees – Pip Wilkins, Ryan Armitage (from Tezlom) & Kay-Lou Haskins, amongst others! The photos were not the official, polished, professional ones – but they showcased the fun and collectiveness of the brand. I almost wanted to join them this year!
You don’t need to SAY these things. Showing what’s happening within your network, amongst your real-people franchisees, enables your prospects to dream about what they can do. And you don’t need to look slick doing it. Don’t be afraid to let your phone’s camera do the talking for you, sometimes!
This is because, according to PR Week (and so many others!), “Consumers need to be able to trust the content they engage with, so expect 2023 to show increased demand for integrity and authenticity that brands and social media channels will have to adapt to”.
What do you think?
If you want to reflect on how your content may be perceived, and how you can improve it, but don’t have the time, why not let us do it for you? Book a Coconut Strategy Day and we’ll happily review your content with you.
The sun will come out tomorrow – we’re only a couple of days away!
NB: This article originally appeared on Elite Franchise website in January 2023, for Coconut's monthly editorial, written by me for Paul Clegg.