What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Lead Solutions.Inbound Marketing

Because inbound marketing isn’t always clearly defined, some business owners resist replacing ineffective outbound marketing techniques with inbound marketing strategies.

But ignoring the success rate of inbound marketing is more than a bad business decision; it’s one that will leave your company scrambling for reach, leads, customer loyalty and brand reliability in today’s complex, ultra-competitive digital marketplace.

By the end of this article, you’ll understand why outbound marketing is worth the investment and have stellar examples of companies who are doing inbound marketing the right way.

Inbound Marketing 101: The Basics

Traditional marketing revolves around selling products or services using compelling storylines. Inbound marketing gets your customers to tell that story for you.

Inbound marketing begins with a deep understanding of your customer’s needs and problems. What are the biggest challenges they face, how do they make their buying decisions and what media channels do they rely on? Using analytics, inbound marketers then carefully evaluate how a target audience behaves, and create high quality content (blogs, white papers, videos, etc.) designed to educate, enlighten and entertain.

“Start with the soul and end with the sale. Not the other way around.” 

~ CC Chapman

The following info-graphic from our friends at Moz drives home the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing:

Interruption Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

“Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”  Jay Baer

The end game for inbound marketers is to attract customers by earning their attention. Inbound marketing teams rely on visually appealing, well-written content to help make that happen.

Rather than banging on the door, demanding entrance (outbound marketing), inbound marketers draw consumers to a brand or product by solving a problem, answering a question, or simply delighting them with beautiful, entertaining content.

Companies Using Inbound Marketing Creatively and Effectively

Right At Home uses content marketing and influencer outreach for franchise development.

Right At Home Franchise Recruitment is developing and promoting content in a unique way that melds traditional advertising, and public relations with Inbound Marketing for lead generation. The “magic” here, (I won’t use the term silver bullet since we all know those are only to kill were-wolves) lies in the content strategy & execution, buyer persona development, segmented messaging, digital foundation, data and the lead nurturing that is rolled out after the potential candidate clicks on the article and starts the buyer journey.  You can take any blog post, any secured placement or any Google Display, Social Media or PPC Ad but if these tactics have not been architect-ed around the nuances of technical execution then the tactics won’t matter and the results won’t show success.  This is best delivered by a content strategist who is trained within inbound marketing execution and has technical execution skills. This person or firm must also understand how to “read” the data and provide your with the analysis you need to understand the value and ROI that was created.

Franchise Marketing Systems utilizes a transaction based lead generation exchange to find existing small businesses and determines if they want to be a franchisor. They use big data, e-books, landing pages, extensive lead nurturing and segmented video content to connect with prospects around specific pain points and services. Again, all of these tactics and pieces of content do not “just generate leads.” A highly systematized strategy is developed and launched in a way that is completely custom to Franchise Marketing Systems, the needs of their prospects and further refined to connect with specific needs of those prospects and where they fall within the sales funnel/buyer journey.

Explore these company websites, noting how they attract their target audience using blogs, videos, white papers and free eBooks. All of the sites are digitally optimized, accessible and easy to use. Although each company uses inbound marketing differently, they have all successfully expanded their reach by listening to potential customers, understanding what they need and then providing answers.

“The ultimate content strategy is listening.” – The Sales Lion

Still Not Convinced?

Some of you are nodding your heads, ready to jump on the inbound solutions bandwagon. But a few of you are still sitting firmly on the fence. If you’re not convinced inbound marketing will help your business grow and prosper, your marketing team hasn’t done enough to explain the value of inbound marketing.

The digital age has permanently changed how consumers interact with brands and make buying decisions. Before making a purchase, customers do most of their research online, and the majority make their buying decision before ever setting foot in a store or speaking to a company representative.

It’s only after they’ve Googled your company and seen how you stack up next to the competition that they might give your sales team a shot, requesting more information or stopping by one of your stores.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for companies to speak their customer’s language, connecting with them at every opportunity on authentic, solutions based level. Brands that employ inbound techniques to teach rather than preach quickly garner a loyal following, and see their marketing dollars work.

Companies that rely on inbound marketing techniques are positioned to funnel qualified leads from the consideration/research phase to the critical point where they trust your brand and are ready to make a buying decision.

Inbound Marketing’s Core: Teach, Don’t Preach

The company who earns a customer’s loyalty with a consistent digital presence that says, “We’re interested in our customers, we know what we’re talking about and we’re committed to making your life better in every way we can” wins over the competition. Every. Single. Time.

That, in a nutshell, is the core of inbound marketing.

Sometimes making the transition from outbound to inbound marketing is as simple as putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. What helps you trust a company? What kinds of websites do you enjoy spending time on, and what types of content do you find useful?

Begin to see social media and inbound marketing as a holistic way to show your customers the integrity, mission and value of your company. Put yourself in their shoes, and focus on creating valuable, interesting, enlightening content that they will share. Turn your customers into natural brand promoters by helping them believe in your company with targeted, high quality content.

At Inbound Lead Solutions, we help entrepreneurs and businesses increase leads, sales and reach with inbound methodology. Let us help you build your online reputation as a thought leader, educator and reliable partner using the core principals of inbound marketing. Our team will be there to assist you every step of the way.

Nicole ILS LogoFounder and President of Inbound Lead Solutions, Nicole Hudson helps franchises, small businesses and national brands optimize their digital marketing strategies using a holistic approach to social media marketing. Applying integrated, analytics based digital marketing strategies, she positions companies to improve their reach, visibility and credibility quickly and cost effectively across all social media channels.A recognized thought leader, Hudson presented at the 54th Annual IFA Convention’s Digital Marketing Summit with Google, Moz, LinkedIn and Constant Contact and was twice awarded by the Franchise Update Media Group for excellence in social media strategies for franchise businesses.Hudson is also an experienced public speaker and regular trainer in lead generation, social media marketing, content marketing, local search technology and software. Her work was featured in a recent case study from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions on Franchising Search Engine Optimization and Lead Generation, and she authored The Advanced LinkedIn PR Handbook in collaboration with Bulldog Reporter (Infocom). Hudson also hosted a Master Class PR University webinar with LinkedIn, Citi Bank, Dell and JCPR. Nicole also devised social media strategies for two national television appearances on Be the Boss and Undercover Boss. Hudson is a member of the International Franchise Association, sits on the Marketing & Technology committee, FranTech Task Force and is a contributor to Franchising World Magazine.

Connect with Nicole Hudson



248 808 9922

The New Way For Franchise Brands To Connect With Boomers: Inbound Marketing

Boomer Online

By: Nicole Hudson 

Whether you are selling a car, own a business providing products or services to professionals and home owners, or even looking to award a franchise business opportunity as a growing franchise brand, the one thing you all have in common is a very powerful buyer persona you’re targeting, Boomers.

David Bernard, shares on U.S.News and World Report Money that “between 2000 and 2010, the number of people age 65 to 84 in the U.S. grew by 3.3 million. While 13 percent of Americans are currently age 65 or older, that proportion will jump to 18 percent by 2030. The current 40 million senior citizens will balloon to 89 million by 2050. These numbers and their impact are awe-inspiring and a bit frightening. Baby boomers entering retirement age will dramatically change today’s business and lifestyle landscape.”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau International Database
Boomer Growth Rates – Source: U.S. Census Bureau International Database

How do Boomers Determine Value?

Coming of Age, a consulting firm specializing in older consumers has published research that boomers have more complex ways of determining value than younger consumers. Value determination by older consumers tends to be an existentialist exercise whereby they combine soul (spiritual) values as well as mind (intellect) and body (tangible) values into the value determination process. Not only does an item purchased symbolize some aspect of the consumer’s being, the entire purchase experience can be a projection of the consumer’s whole being.For example, a person with a passionate concern for the homeless may more likely purchase a product from a company with a program benefiting the homeless. To that consumer, the product has a high Metavalues index, that is, an element of value unrelated to the product performance. Appraisal of Metavalues takes place mostly at subliminal levels of the mind because Metavalues tend to reflect deeply embedded, “background” emotional needs. Younger consumers tend to reflect more transparent motivations. After a mature consumer develops strong interest in a discretionary product purchase and determines that a brand has acceptable holistic value (basic plus Metavalues) affordability can easily become more important than price in the final decision.

How do Franchise Brands Connect with Boomers?

The most important stage of connecting with a boomer in any industry whether it is in a B2B or B2C capacity is to understand why they are making the purchase decisions and if any influencers are a part of the decision.  The easiest and most effective way to build a marketing program, supporting content, messaging  and distribution strategy is to develop buyer persona’s.

  • What is a buyer persona and why would I need one? A buyer persona is a profile of a fictional buyer, based on real-life data and characteristics that helps you to understand who a prospect is but also what keeps them up at night, how do they spend their time and how they like to buy. The best reason for developing buyer personas is that it gives you a target for all prospect/customer facing activities. When you speak the customer’s language (both figuratively and literally) and address their needs it positions your products as relevant and worthy of their attention.Baby-Boomers
  • What are the benefits and criticisms of developing buyer personas? The benefits of good buyer personas are more effective lead generation and customer retention. Knowing your customer makes all the difference in the world when it comes to creating compelling content and offers. The most common criticism of personas is that they aren’t worth the effort. This criticism is a double edged sword though as poorly developed anything (buyer personas being no exception) will not generate results. The other edge being if you want to develop personas that actually inform your lead gen, marketing or retention efforts you need to invest the time and energy in getting them right.
  • What is the most important part of developing good buyer personas? The most important thing to remember with developing buyer personas is that you need actionable insight. To simply state the obvious or connect a customer to an idea that is interesting but ultimately hard to leverage doesn’t help. For instance the fact that an owner/manager is time starved is not a terriblILS Buyer Persona WorkSheety useful piece of information. As well it may be interesting to determine your most valuable customers enjoy home renovation but if you can’t use that insight to inform your marketing activities than it is isn’t of any use. I am not suggesting you discount any information but keep in mind not everything is useful.
  • What are the most common mistakes made when developing buyer personas? The most common mistake made when developing a buyer persona is to make it up. By make it up I mean to develop a persona that is not rooted in some form of research, and validation. To this end you have to actually go out and talk to people. Not just existing customers but also some prospects and your sales and marketing folks. Once you have drafted a persona you also must validate with people in the know. A single person’s version of the buyer, no matter how informed they may be, is unlikely to give you an accurate view of your target audience.

After you have developed your buyer persons’s you’re ready to move forward on campaign creative, targeted messaging, content development and both the organic and paid distribution strategy that will connect your content with boomers.  There are many conflicting strategies on boomers consume content and engage with marketing.. Mike Volpe, the CMO of HubSpot wrote an amazing article today for Media Post that explains how Inbound Marketing and digital engagement is fast becoming a great way to connect with boomers.

Some brands are quick to assume that Boomers are immune to inbound marketing because they’re not digital natives. The reality is, this generation is becoming more and more present online; according to Google, 83% of Boomers use the internet to find information before any other medium. Sounds preBoomer Onlinetty savvy to me. With people over the age of 50 controlling 70% of disposable income in the United States, marketers should be thinking about how they can deliver a meaningful experience to Boomer buyers online.

– Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer, HubSpot

By: Mike Volpe, CMO HubSpot

Article First Published: Media Post http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/234153/the-new-way-to-connect-with-boomers-inbound-marke.html

Twenty years ago, brands treated consumers like a captive audience. A dinner interrupted by cold calls, morning radio playing more ads than music, and piles of unsolicited mail finding its way into the mailbox are pretty familiar memories for Boomers. Back then, the rules of marketing were that there were no rules; advertisers have put profit before people since the Madison Avenue days. Until recently, when brands realized that if they wanted to stick around, they’d need to ditch the old playbook.

Humans have dramatically changed the way they shop and buy since the Boomer generation was the apple of every advertiser’s eye. Consumers today have grown up with digital tools at their fingertips that give them the power to mute interruptive marketing for good. Not surprisingly, marketing is finally starting to take a different form. Now, blogs and websites have replaced brochures and storefronts, and social media is key in connecting with your buyers. We call this new way of reaching your audience inbound marketing. At its core, inbound is about pulling people in with valuable online content and creating a personalized, helpful brand experience throughout the buying process.

But there’s a problem. Some brands are quick to assume that Boomers are immune to inbound marketing because they’re not digital natives. The reality is, this generation is becoming more and more present online; according to Google, 83% of Boomers use the internet to find information before any other medium. Sounds pretty savvy to me. With people over the age of 50 controlling 70% of disposable income in the United States, marketers should be thinking about how they can deliver a meaningful experience to Boomer buyers online. Here are a few things for marketers to think about:

Mobile Matters

People joke that older generations hardly know how to text, let alone use a smartphone. Turns out, the joke’s on them; Boomers aren’t just connecting with their family and friends on mobile, but with brands. Forty-nine percent of people over the age of 45 have made a purchase on their smartphone and even more use mobile devices to gather information about a product or company. Marketers today need to prioritize optimizing their site for mobile in order to leave a valuable impression.

Get Social

Social platforms may be flooded with memes, viral videos, and Jennifer Lawrence, but that doesn’t mean Millennials are the only people online. In the past four years, the number of Boomers using social media has tripled to 43%, according to Pew Research Center. The great thing about social media marketing is that you can segment your efforts; for example, Boomers spend most of their time on Facebook compared to other networks. Focus on customizing your social media content based on where Boomers are spending time.

Don’t Forget Video

Video content is an effective inbound marketing tool today. Especially when it comes to reaching the Boomer generation. Over 50% of Boomers view and share videos online, with YouTube being the most popular platform. Posting video clips about your products, company, or just for fun is an engaging way to start a dialogue and share information. Whether you use an iPhone or a professional videographer,make sure you’re creating videos that are relevant and interesting to your 50 and over audience.

All too often marketers overlook the Boomer generation and set their sights on younger, digitally fluent buyers. This not only neglects a valuable audience, but the growth of your business. Instead, develop an inbound marketing strategy that keeps Boomers’ tech savvy in mind to connect with this generation in a meaningful way.

Video Development and Marketing

10 Ways to Optimize Your Company and Showcase Pages For Franchise Recruiting

Social Selling with LinkedIn


How does a franchise brand and specifically the franchising sales development take advantage of LinkedIn company and showcase pages to highlight the business ownership opportunity?

  1. Create a Company Page- This is a free tool that will help you craft a better corporate brand and further communicate your brand story and value propositions to your target audience. Make sure you link the company page icon to your website.
  2. Main Header Images- Take advantage of both company pages’ and showcase pages’ new expanded header image (646×220 pixels) functionality. Add a variety of images that reflect a range of business priorities, lifestyle and representations of your ideal franchise candidate, marketing campaigns or promotions.
  3. Banners- Create banners that show the vibrant nature of your business and culture. Showcase the franchise owners and employees that a candidate will engage with throughout the franchise ownership process: from investigation, to meet-the-team day to training and the business launch.
  4. Formerly Products and Services- NOW SHOWCASE PAGES Build out your brands showcase pages to highlight both the services you offer the consumer and the franchise ownership opportunity. Craft this content to be rich in the keywords and phrases that are defined in the brands development SEO strategy. There is also the opportunity to greatly increase lead conversion on the showcase pages by posting unique content that has an optimized customer journey to unique landing pages with call to actions that then become lead nurtured with a marketing automation and CRM technology. Examples include Hub Spot, Infusionsoft or another marketing automation software that aligns with your CRM, a Salesforce, FranConnect or FRM Solutions.
  5. Recommendations- Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations of your products. Develop campaigns that ask for recommendations from your customers of the services your franchise provides and ask your top validators to provide recommendations on being a franchise owner.
  6. Posting Updates and Creating Content- Here is one of the many silver bullets in this channel: content curation and promotion of uniquely development brand content. This is where you can re-purpose all of your public relations articles, both past and present, nationally and locally. Share your blog articles and re-share content from other sources that educates your audience on your brand, being a business owner and franchising. Again, the key to success here is to make sure you have optimized these posts for SEO, unique calls-to-action and landing pages. This sets the stage for conversion into the sales funnel and placement into a lead nurturing campaign as further investigation of your franchise opportunity continues.
  7. Engagement- Post status updates, share blog posts and curate content that speaks to your audience and then be there to continue the conversation when responses occur. It can’t be all about your brand. The ideal candidates that are looking to purchase a franchise are interested in very specific things- Entrepreneurship, career change, business funding and planning, SBA loans, 401K roll overs, work-life balance and franchising as a whole. These are the themes you need to incorporate into your brand and content strategy. To further build the best content strategy you need to do some qualitative and quantitative research and identify those buyer persona’s and what motivates them. Every executive always says ” We know the ideal franchise candidate.” You may be right, but we ALWAYS learn more and find those nuggets that make the content convert. You content team must have this research to better understand your brand and do the job you have asked of them.
  8. Become an Influencer- Listen up CEO’s, VP’s of Franchise Development and Franchise Recruitment Managers: You’re a subject matter expert that knows your brand and the ideal franchise candidate better than anyone. Develop both an organic and paid social media distribution and content marketing strategy with a partner that can then help you execute, distribute, promote and optmize the content not only on the LinkedIn publisher platform but under a cross channel approach with tailored messaging around each channel.
  9. Find, Nurturer and Promote You Brands Influencer’s – Your network is your net-worth in franchise recruitment. Further enhance your “influencer strategy” to include the advocates of your brand. Find a partner that can help you identify these gold mines and execute an outreach strategy that aligns with your brands and better target local markets that you NEED to close a deal in. This partner will work with your public relations firm to align your secured media strategies to support the developed strategy.
  10. Blogs, Case Studies, Video, Images, Podcasts and More – Please develop a robust, OPTIMIZED, cross-marketed line up of content that your brands promote and distribute in both a paid and organic fashion.

If you don’t know what that means, no worries, please email me ASAP and I will tell you and help you get started! As all of you know lead generation season is FAST approaching. Email me at nhudson@inboundleadsolutions.com or fill out a consultation form Here.

Inbound Lead Solutions Qualified Franchise Canidates

The Magic of Video Content and Podcast Distribution Optimized Around Social, Content and Sightly for Franchise Sales

Inbound Lead Solutions aligns their video content development and execution strategies to include Sightly for advanced lead generation. Check out this great blog post and download the white paper on how Sightly paired with great video content and a social distribution strategy can spell success in franchise development.

While your at it, check our our newly launched Podcast Series, Stream Detroit. Inbound Lead Solutions will be launching a Franchise Series in early fall. If you are interested in being a guest on the show or would like to have your own Podcast or video storytelling series with Sightly optimization for Franchise Development connect with me, we would love to help you generate leads and include you on the show.

Maid Right and PostNet Using LinkedIn for Franchise Development

Two franchisor’s using LinkedIn Company and showcase pages for both building the consumer brand and franchise recruitment is Maid Right and PostNet. Maid Right has decided to create a company page the represents the brand and the house cleaning service. They share unique blog content and information around house cleaning and time starved families. They further developed showcase pages around the franchise business opportunity and segmented those even further into the Master and Unit franchise opportunity. Each of these four pages represents a different marketing segment with different messages for the customer journey.

PostNet has also done a great job building out their LinkedIn company page that really speaks to their customer, the small business owner. Unique blog content and other company created content are weaved into both curated content from other sources, local news and public relations secured placements. PostNet also integrates into the digital mix a a robust franchise sales blog. PostNet has recently created a showcase page to further segment the content and messaging around the franchise sales opportunity for those buyer persona’s that engage uniquely looking to further investigate the franchise opportunity before going to the website and downloading the franchise kit.

In March 2013, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions released a case study profiling a franchisor in the service space on their use of LinkedIn company pages and at that time, the products and services pages for franchise recruitment. The results showed, as referenced from the case study, “after 12 months of renewed focus from the franchise development marketing team on all the brands LinkedIn company pages, the Service Brands company page increased followers by 70 percent; the Mr. Handyman page by 38 percent; the Molly Maid page by 67 percent; and the Protect Painters page by 83 percent.

”Lana Khavinson, a Senior Product Manager of Company Pages at LinkedIn remarked, “LinkedIn is committed to supporting its members as they build communities and develop brands. As advanced targeting evolves within the LinkedIn network, franchise companies have a great opportunity to recruit new employees, find experienced vendors and connect with professionals that are uniquely qualified to be franchise owners.”

Drive Franchise Development through Social Selling With LinkedIn

Social Selling LinkedIn Graph

This article first appeared in the August 2014 Issue of Franchising World Magazine, Convention Planning for Success.  I would like to say a huge thank you to publisher Stephen Caldeira, Executive Editor Alisha Harrison and Publishing Manager Laura Fenwick for the opportunity to have a by-line in this months edition. Franchise World Magazine is both an established print publication and online news source that provides insight and education on the International Franchise Associations mission and vision: The Preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for franchising worldwide that protects, enhances and promotes franchising.  ~ Nicole Hudson, Founder and President of Inbound Lead Solutions

As technology has advanced, social media has become a mainstream form of communication and education. ComScore data indicates that over 82% of the world’s online population is reached by social networking sites and 75% of B2B buyers have claimed social media would likely have an influence on a future purchase. Even the most entrenched social media recluse cannot help but see the presence of these networks all around us.

Franchise candidates are educating themselves much earlier in the decision process than in years past. No doubt in-part because information has become so accessible through the internet. SiriusDecisions reports that 70% of a buyer’s journey is completed before they speak to a sales professional. This means your brand’s digital lead generation strategy must also include online reputation management and understanding the story the internet is sharing about your brand. Your lead generation strategy must also include participation and training in social media for the brand’s franchise development teams, along with the consistent production of relevant content around the franchise opportunity.

75% of B2B buyers have claimed social media would likely have an influence on a future purchase.

With almost 300 million members, LinkedIn is the greatest source of business to business (B2B) sales intelligence that has ever been invented. The Investis IQ Audience Insight Report says 64% of all corporate website traffic that comes via social media channels is from LinkedIn. This kind of tool has never existed before.

Hubspot Social Lead Generation Graph

Awarding a franchise opportunity is a unique hybrid of a B2C and B2B sales process. Bryan Kramer, the CEO of PureMatter summed it up nicely, “There is no more B2B or B2C, it’s only H2H: Human to Human.” While many traditional aspects of the B2B process still apply within a franchise opportunity model and LinkedIn facilitates those connections, a huge personal relationship component exists. Franchise organizations are still, ultimately issuing an invitation to be a part of a greater business family when they award a franchise. One’s professional network and community is the environment in which the relationships are built that will drive both the decisions to award and invest into franchise system. The skillset development teams must master is building relationships through thought leadership and connecting with people within social platforms that are designed for professionals to enhance their networks and grow their careers.

Social Media has fostered an environment where our target buyers, prospects and customers are actually publicly providing information about themselves in real time – These behaviors can give us major clues about who they are and what stages of life they are in or at what stage of the funnel they reside. Key indicators of financial stability or personality traits can also able to be deciphered from online activity, and social media offers development professionals the ability to engage with future franchise owners directly without picking up the phone or becoming an interruption to the daily lives of prospective franchisees.

Social Selling with LinkedIn
Social Selling with LinkedIn

What is Social Selling?
Social Selling is the practice of leveraging social networks and the associated tools in the overall sales function – from lead generation, to closed deal, to account management. Social selling doesn’t replace the fundamentals. Instead, it enhances good franchise development professionals, making them more effective and efficient.

The four major components of social selling are as follows:

1. Build a Personal Brand
Franchise Candidates are making decisions about the relationships they develop with the franchise team at the same time they are evaluating the brand and franchise opportunity. The three key elements to building a personal brand are social profiles, contributions to relevant social communities, and the content you share. This is the opportunity to build trust with your network and new prospects before you even meet, letting your social persona show your understanding of franchising and being a business owner.

LinkedIn Execution:
I. Develop a full LinkedIn Profile for all executives and franchise development team members
II. Use LinkedIn’s publishing platform to post and share uniquely developed content about being a small business owner, the company or brand and the franchise opportunity. Curating content from a Company Blog, The IFA, Industry Trade Publications and business media like Entrepreneur, Fast Company and INC. are all great places to start.
III. Have a Company Page to showcase the Parent Company and Brands, in addition have Showcase Pages support the franchise development opportunity. Note: Products and Services within LinkedIn was discontinued in mid 2014 and has been replaced with Showcase Pages.

Maid Right Franchise Opportunity LinkedIn Showcase Page
Maid Right Franchise Opportunity LinkedIn Showcase Page

2. Grow a Deeper Network of Relationships
Social Selling makes it possible to grow your network into the thousands. Unlike an old- fashioned rolodex or online address book, you can now follow, communicate and engage the network continuously. Development teams growing a deep network of professionals connected through social media can identify connections with potential buyers and ask for referrals from customers, friends, and fellow employees. We ALL know the value of a referral.

Scott Thompson, Vice President of Franchise Development for Premium Franchise Brands and recent speaker with a case study on this topic at the BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local Conference explains, “Social Media and LinkedIn are key assets to our lead generation strategy. I connect with prospects and candidates on LinkedIn and always do a search online before a connection occurs. This is the first step in building a relationship with a future franchise owner.”

LinkedIn Execution:
I. Download the LinkedIn App Card Munch to take a photo of any business cards you acquire and the app will add them to your contact list and send them an invitation to link. (Update) Card Munch transfers to Evernote.
II. Join and participate within LinkedIn Groups. You can join up to 50 groups for your niche or industry. The IFA, Entrepreneur, and various other organizations dedicated to starting new careers or business ownership opportunities exist.
III. Start a blog, contribute to your company blog and offer to provide unique content to networking organizations you belong to. Make sure you share this unique content through email drip campaigns, social media channels and as a sponsored LinkedIn post on your Company Pages.

PostNet Franchise Opportunity Blog
PostNet Franchise Opportunity Blog

3. Use Sales and Lead Intelligence
The best business development organizations include call planning into their day-to-day activities. Social Media should get the same treatment. Social media channels when populated with the right content can help teams discover key decision-makers, influencers, and potentially any competitors candidates are researching. Having marketing automation software like HubSpot or Infusionsoft integrated into your CRM system like SalesForce, FranConnect or FRM is a key component to gaining insight into the buying cycle and allowing a deeper look into the behaviors of prospects. You also need to really develop a profile of your buyer persona’s and have robust email lead nurturing campaigns that integrate into your CRM system and marketing automation systems in-addition to aligning with your social media and content marketing strategy.

If you don’t have an advanced sales funnel solution architecture as mentioned above, starting with overlaying your social media and content marketing strategy with an email marketing solution like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp that utilizes a landing page generator like Unbounce is a great place to start.

Don’t forget that social media advertising, especially LinkedIn Sponsored content of your blog posts and video launched with Tru-View and advanced behavioral targeting solutions like Sightly can be a great way to develop insight into your sales prospects at the same time you are generating leads. These tactics all working together will really help get you started building your sales funnel with social media and content marketing being a top of the funnel lead acquisition tool.

Inbound Lead Solutions Qualified Franchise Canidates

LinkedIn Execution:
I. Use TeamLink, one of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s features, to identify hidden work connections in your 3rd degree network. Use these new connections as referral requests to have a warm lead.
II. Use the 3×3 analysis for all inside sales professionals and lead qualifiers: Before a call is made to a prospect, have them spend 3 minutes and find 3 things on LinkedIn to talk about with the candidate.
III. Upgrade to the premium level of LinkedIn and see more profiles with advanced search functions. This allows you to search for exact information that fits your targets.

4. Social Listening and Local Conversations
Many tools exist for sales professionals to listen in on their market in real time and manage their social properties. From free apps like Hootsuite to more advanced subscription platforms like Manalto and Rallio. Based on the size of the franchise, the business goals of the organization and how the brand develops a social strategy, each of these products provide unique solutions to the franchise space both on the consumer and franchise development side.

Based on feedback from existing franchise clients Inbound Lead Solutions began consulting with both Manalto and Rallio on the evolution of their social products to include features like LinkedIn’s Company Pages and Groups API that support Franchise Development and unique hyper-local customization for the franchisee within the consumer marketplace that can feature a specific location, franchise owner connection or an offer for redemption with unique tracking. If your brand has a Master and Unit Model these solutions can also be customized to support communication, marketing and lead generation in both consumer and franchise development. Manalto and Rallio’s unique technologies developed for franchising and multi-location companies with brands all over the world are robust solutions for supporting this niche.

Anthony Owen, the CEO of Manalto explains, “Social Media is such a powerful tool for franchise brands within all levels of the organization all over the globe. It takes a lot of moving pieces to be done right and the Manalto software creates a foundation with its unique features that will establish a control and organizational hierarchy for both the consumer and franchise development needs of the company that can help large brands scale communication and gain the control and insights they need. However, having a well-developed strategy that includes content development, integration of other social channels and trained franchise sales professionals or franchisees in social media is a key component to brand engagement and lead generation success”

Chuck Goetschel, the CEO of Rallio shares, “It all starts with content, conversation and a well developed social media and content marketing strategy that marries franchise development and the consumer verticals of the brand. I believe a challenge within the franchise space was a social management platform needed to be designed specifically to scale both content and strategy for multi-location businesses that had both corporate and individual locations. It also needed to address other departments like franchise development that need to create their own voices within the definition of a larger brands products and services. A social engagement solution that serviced  this unique business model, provided a content management and distribution solution, that also aligned with social strategy and content development, and facilitated the needed control at the corporate level while maintaining relevant social engagement at the local level would be a unique offer to the marketplace. To round out the success of a management and distribution tool I believed it needed to be built around strategic service providers that are well trained within the platform and franchising sector who can provide that content and strategy.”

Request a Free Social Media Tool Review

Social Selling begins and ends with listening. It is not about how much information your brand can push out, but about comprehending your buyers’ wants and needs and then providing solutions and guidance with unique support, content and education.

LinkedIn is a great social channel to establish your brand, and those who are a part of it, as thought leaders by growing the online presence of executives, franchisees and employees. Sharing what Simon Sinek coined, “The Why” and the personal stories of the franchise brand, employees, vendor partners and franchisees is a powerful narrative. Those stories will ultimately resonate on all levels of the organization and amplify across all areas of business. As we like to say here at Inbound Leads Solutions, what are you waiting for? Start the Conversation, but don’t forget to listen.

Nicole Hudson: Founder & President, Inbound Lead Solutions
Inbound Lead Solutions is a Marketing Technology Firm focused on integrated digital strategies in Social Media, Content Nicole ILS LogoMarketing, Blogger/Influencer Outreach, SEO and Lead Generation for franchising. Founder and President, Nicole Hudson is a certified Hub Spot inbound marketing professional and chairs the Detroit user group (HUG). Her specialization in social media, franchising and multi-unit local marketing strategies has been recognized by Franchise Update Media Group with a Star Award for social media in franchise development, a recently released LinkedIn case study on Franchising Search Engine Optimization and Lead Generation. Hudson has recently presented at the 54th Annual IFA Convention’s Digital Marketing Summit with Google, Moz, LinkedIn & Constant Contact about social media sales funnels. She published a book collaboration with Bulldog Reporter (Infocom), The Advanced LinkedIn PR Handbook and recently hosted a Master Class PR University webinar with LinkedIn, Citi Bank, Dell and JCPR. She has also developed social media strategies for two national television appearances, Be the Boss and Undercover Boss. Nicole is a member of the International Franchise Association, sits on the Marketing & Technology Committee, FranTech Task Force, and is a contributor to Franchising World Magazine, regular speaker and trainer on social media, content marketing, local search, online reputation, technology, software and lead generation.

Social Selling LinkedIn Graph
Social Selling LinkedIn Graph
Content Marketing and Social Media Strategies for Franchising
Start the Conversation with a Great Strategy Around Unique Content for Your Business Goals. Follow Us @GetInboundLeads CLICK HERE or fill out the form below and schedule a free consultation on how to create the kind of content that converts for your business.



Scott Thompson and Nicole Hudson to Speak at BIA/Kelsey’s ‘LEADING IN LOCAL: The National Impact’ Conference, May 7-9, in Atlanta




Atlanta,Georgia and Detroit, Michigan 5.5.2014—Premium Franchise Brands residential cleaning franchise brand Maid Right and Inbound Lead Solutions, a social media and content marketing firm specializing in franchising,announced today that Vice President of Franchise Development, Scott Thompson and President, Nicole Hudson  will be featured speakers at BIA/Kelsey’s LEADING INLOCAL:The National Impact conference, which takes place May7-9,in Atlanta,Georgia. This event is focused on the local marketing initiatives of national brands,franchises and multi-location businesses.Thompson and Hudson will participate on a panel titled, SuperForum: The Local Imperative for Brands, Franchisees and Multi-Locations ,scheduled at 3:30pm on day one of the conference.

Scott Thompson and Nicole Hudson will be discussing how a strong LinkedIn strategy that incorporates robust personal profiles for the executives and sales team, optimized company pages that highlight company culture, and the new showcase pages that can drill down into the franchise opportunity are key components within the sales funnel for online lead generation in franchise sales.

 “Hudson shares, the sales process has changed.  Prospects are forming opinions, building deeper connections and self-educating themselves on your brand or business opportunities long before they speak to a sales professional, walk in the door or book a reservation.” “LinkedIn paired with a strong content development strategy allows your business development team and brand to become thought leaders and educators that can provide real value and connection during the decision making process.”

Our LEADING IN LOCAL program will showcase the innovative digital strategies and best practices that are driving local revenues for national brands,franchises and multi-location businesses,”said Conference Co-chair Peter Krasilovsky, vice president,BIA/Kelsey.

About LEADING IN LOCAL:The National Impact

Brands have traditionally been top-down in their marketing solutions for franchises and multi-location outlets. But local entrepreneurs are increasingly taking it on themselves to provide local and regional digital marketing solutions – sometimes, changing the dynamics of their relationships. We’ll discuss the shift and best practices to achieve a win-win.


Gary Ritkes, President, SproutLoud Health:  Michelle Gillam, Director, Health Mart MKT, McKesson Health Care

Nicole Hudson, Principal, Inbound Lead Solutions

Cleaning Services: Scott Thompson, VP, Franchise Development, Premium Franchise Brands

Ari Kaufman, CEO, Placeable

Auto/Travel: Heather McBrien, Head of Digital Marketing, AAA of the Carolinas

Andrew Piron, VP, Business Development and Customer Success, Balihoo

Insurance: Leah Pringle, Manager, Recruiting Marketing, Aflac

Moderators: Mike Boland, Vice President; Abid Chaudhry, Senior Analyst

BIA/Kelsey’s LEADING IN LOCAL conferences are the definitive events on local digital advertising and marketing.LEADING IN LOCAL: The National Impact attracts a global audience of executive-level decision makers from across the local media and marketing landscape, including brands and agencies focused on the local market opportunity, companies engaged in local search,deals and group buying services, location-based services,local social media, traditional local media,classifieds,vertical media and ecommerce, local digital Media suppliers and sector-focused investors and financial analysts.

About Maid Right | Premium Franchise Brands


Premium Franchise Brands LLC is a franchise development company, representing Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc, and Maid Right Franchising LLC. Jan-Pro was founded in 1991 by Jacques Lapointe in Providence, Rhode Island, with a desire to offer the highest quality cleaning techniques and systems available. Currently, the Jan-Pro team is comprised of business leaders with experience from around the world, as well as seasoned cleaning industry executives. Today, the international company structure is comprised of over 10,000 Master and Unit franchisees. Jan-Pro regularly receives inquiries and accolades nationally as well as internationally. Maid Right Professional Grade Home Cleaning is a franchise, focused on strong customer retention, and is currently being initially launched domestically in America.

To learn more about Maid Right Email Scott.Thompson@premiumfranchisebrands.com

About Inbound Lead Solutions | Nicole Hudson


Inbound Lead Solutions is a Marketing Technology Firm focused on integrated digital strategies in Social Media, Content Marketing, SEO and Lead Generation for franchising. The Founder, Nicole Hudson is certified in Hub Spot inbound marketing and chairs the Detroit user group (HUG). Her specialization in social media, franchising and multi-unit local marketing strategies has been recognized by Franchise Update Media Group with a Star Award, a recently released LinkedIn case study on Franchising Search Engine Optimization and Lead Generation. She has recently been published in a book collaboration with Bulldog Reporter (Infocom), The Advanced LinkedIn PR Handbook and recently hosted a Master Class PR University webinar with LinkedIn, Citi Bank, Dell and JCPR and developed social media strategies for two national television appearances, Be the Boss and Undercover Boss. Nicole is a member of the International Franchise Association, sits on the Marketing & Technology Committee, FranTech Task Force, and is a contributor to Franchising World Magazine, Blogger with Franchisingworld.com and regular speaker on social media, content marketing, local search, technology and lead generation.

To learn more about Inbound Lead Solutions email nhudson@inboundleadsolutions.com