How to find your next master franchisee with LinkedIn | Global Franchise
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Saturday 26th November, 2022

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How to find your next master franchisee with LinkedIn


How to find your next master franchisee with LinkedIn

That investor you’ve been endlessly searching for may be just one click away – here’s how to spot, assess and sign them up

That investor you’ve been endlessly searching for may be just one click away – here’s how to spot, assess and sign them up.

Master franchises are very different than your typical franchisee. Although they share many of the same traits, they can’t just be lumped together with the same marketing strategies.

The roles and responsibilities for a master franchisee do include many of the same functions as a regular franchisee, yet there is so much more required. Your master franchisee will be the representation of your brand in newly charted territories. You are embarking on a quest to new frontiers.

Your master franchisee will be the captain of the ship that is your brand; finding the right individual is not a task that should be taken lightly.

As a franchise consultant for over 20 years, Marisa Allen of The Franchise Concierge considers planning to be key: “Before you plan to find a master franchisee you have to know your goals. What are you hoping to accomplish? Who is best suited to do so on your behalf? You can’t sell it if you don’t know it.”

What are your goals?

You’ve identified areas that are prime for expansion and know your brand would flourish. Now, what are your specific goals? What will the master franchise fee be? And the all-in cost? How will territories be segmented? What training and support will you provide to help them achieve your goals?

The very first step you must take is to determine your goals and expectations. Let’s also not forget your franchise disclosure document. Your master will need it, and it should be fine-tuned for the countries you plan to expand to.

Who is your ideal master franchisee?

Whether your franchise is emerging or established, you must be identifying based on the needs of the location you’re expanding to. It’s essential to review who your ideal master franchisee is for each unique area.

Begin by identifying the top-level traits required by any franchisee to be successful. Your master franchisee needs to understand your brand inherently to build it.

Next, you need to understand the professional background that is best suited for this role. They will likely require a senior level of business experience, as well as some level of familiarity with your industry.

Finally, your master franchisee must have a keen awareness of their location. From nuances in communication and language to cultural differences, they are the representation of your brand and must understand how to translate its USPs. You are entrusting this individual to spread your brand where it is otherwise unknown. Ensuring you find the right master franchisee to take on this great responsibility is crucial.

“It can be challenging to find everything you need in one person – the proverbial unicorn – when searching for the right master or multi-unit franchisee,” explains Mike Courain of Franchise Growth Strategies, “You may find an investor that has the capital to put into the project but lacks the desire, ability or manpower to build the business themselves. Or you may find a great operator with the skill set and experience you are looking for, who lacks the necessary financial resources. If the concept is good and you have the right people to grow the business, it is not that difficult to find the needed capital. To find that ideal person to operate the franchise professional matchmaking is ideal. LinkedIn is a great resource when searching for the right operator for a master or multi-unit franchise.”

Leveraging LinkedIn

Once you have done your due diligence and research to identify your ideal master franchisee candidate, you are ready to get into the fun part. LinkedIn provides a wealth of opportunity at your fingertips. Whether paid or organic, after you have identified your ideal master franchisee, you can find them on LinkedIn. The more defined and refined your ideal candidate becomes, the easier it will be and the better pool you will have to select from.

There are multiple ways to target your ideal master franchisee. Before we get into specifics, let’s cover some basics. Like every social media platform, the keyword is ‘social’. You cannot expect results by acting like a robot: engage with people as you would in person. First impressions exist online, and the cliche that ‘you only get one chance’ is just that for a reason. It’s all about connections, as they say.

Paid ads

LinkedIn Ads are both expensive and effective – they’re not for the faint of heart or budget. The cost per lead (CPL) tends to be much higher on LinkedIn than with other social platforms. However, it remains the best social media platform for this purpose. In the grand scheme, it’s more about the cost per deal/acquisition (CPD/CPA) than CPL.

Targeting is crucial because before deals are made your team is looking at the CPL. Properly identifying your goals and the ideal candidate will ensure the lowest CPL possible and winning CPD/CPAs.

Beyond targeting individuals, there are many existing groups that likely include your ideal masters. Using your targets, find pages and groups that are like-minded to target your ads.

Premium services

This is where things can get really interesting, if you have truly identified your ideal master franchisee candidate and your ultimate goals. For an additional fee, LinkedIn provides a host of capabilities. Manual effort is required, yet is worth it. Remember, you’re trying to catch a unicorn, not just any pony.

If you’ve done your homework, this will be easy. You know what you’re looking for and what to say. Remember, be personal. You’re selling not only a business, but an entire portion of your business, and a dream.

Organic targeting

For those on a shoestring marketing budget, don’t be deterred. The same strategies work, it just takes a bit more ‘manual labour’. This is where your homework pays off. Beyond any paid services, the intention of social media platforms like LinkedIn is to connect people. With a lack of a budget, you need to put in digital legwork.

Groups are a good place to start the conversation. Remember, it’s not about pitching, it’s about building a relationship to find the right master franchisee for your brand. Your ideal candidate will understand the vision of your franchise brand, but this may not happen immediately, so be patient.


Tamara Smith is CEO and senior marketing strategist at Just Franchise Marketing.

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