I often hear from franchisee businesses who want to blog, but as franchisees they don’t have the same options as single location businesses.
Franchisors may have strict restrictions on what franchisees can put out there, and for good reason.
If an individual franchisee goes “rogue” and does something that negatively affects the brand, that will impact the entire company and all of the other franchises. As Nicole Norris, President of The AGENCY*, explains,
“Franchisees pay for the right to use the brand of the company, and the goodwill and reputation that brand has built up. It is the franchisor’s job to manage the brand and the franchisee’s job to manage their business.”
In a blog post about what franchising really means, Nicole writes:
“Franchising can be summarized as an agreement with a company (Franchisor) that owns a trademark and provides a license to another company (Franchisee), to use for the selling of products and services under a proprietary system of commerce. It is a business model that is governed by law in the province of Ontario through The Arthur Wishart (Franchise Disclosure) Act and has a national voice through The Canadian Franchise Association.”
As a franchisee, you may not be permitted to associate your name with the franchisor’s name or trade-marks when you post anything online, but there are still some blogging techniques you may be able to use.
- Show your expertise – Seek out opportunities for public speaking at local networking groups, schools or at seminars you host or co-host with related businesses. You could speak about some aspect of your business, or about business in general. You can also write “how to” or top 10 articles and submit them as editorial columns to local publications such as SNAP Barrie.
- Support your community – A blog is great forum for supporting community causes. So why not borrow a blog? The Barrie Chamber sells space in its blog, and some Chamber members use it to post details about a cause they support.
- Gain wider exposure – Business blogger Glain Roberts-McCabe notes that by participating actively on social media, people in her network say she always seems to be showing up on their screens – and because she posts relevant, helpful information, that’s a good thing! You can build your network, credibility and community just by being you and posting from a personal perspective.
- Keep your website fresh – Take any and all opportunities to update your website (or your local page of the franchise website) with news about local events or campaigns, staffing changes, new products or services, and community news including charity causes. Be sure to remove or replace outdated information immediately so your website doesn’t look like a ghost town.
Ideally, your franchisor will launch a blog you can submit posts to, so you’ll be able to put all of my blogging tips to good use. (In a future post, I’ll explore the many benefits of blogging for franchisors). Until then, try infusing a little blogging technique in your business and see what happens.
Whichever of these options you decide to try, please first consult your franchisor and franchise agreement to ensure you are complying with their requirements.
*The AGENCY is a boutique branding and marketing consultancy that helps franchisors and retailers build brand equity and helps businesses get their brands ready to franchise. I’ll be attending The AGENCY’s upcoming Franchise This Brand! seminar on April 22, 2013, and I’ll share my notes in another blog post.
Thanks also to Joseph Adler of Hoffer Adler LLP for sharing his franchising expertise as I wrote this post.
Cheri Carroll says
Great article — should be helpful to a whole lot of franchise groups because this is always an area of contention.
Linda Dessau says
Thanks, Cheri! It was a real team effort.