This past year has been a year of creation for me. I wrote and published my first book, “But You Don’t Look Gay…” And I’ve spent the last half of 2013 creating online products to help you master your communications and marketing skills when working with the LGBT community. I had a fabulous conversation last week which brought to the forefront something I am not doing well and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to change that and educate you in the process.
In a splendid conversation with a BETA tester of my new product “Defining Your LGBT Target Market” she began to explain to me that she doesn’t think I drive home the point of how important being authentic in your LGBT marketing outreach is. She used the phrase “you must be comfortable working with the LGBT community for any efforts to be successful.” She is 100% right.
Many of my blog posts talk about why assuming is never a good idea and here I have been, making assumptions that I’ve said this enough, when she is absolutely correct, I don’t emphasis it nearly enough in my day to day blog posts. So now here I am reinforcing this point and will be making a more concerted effort to do so in everything I do going forward. In September I wrote a post titled “Marketing to the LGBT Community is not for everyone,” this 3 part series will elaborate on some of those thoughts.
From a high level overview, my education process usually has 3 parts -
- Educate you on why the LGBT market is something you should be paying attention to and how it can impact your business
- Help you build a solid foundation of communications skills to avoid making a fool of yourself and alienating the audience in which you are trying to reach
- Help you build a marketing outreach plan to reach the LGBT community in the most authentic and transparent way possible
The glaring omission is the significant importance of being authentic and transparent. I just barely scratch that surface in part 3 when really it should be the very first step someone should be thoughtful of when deciding whether working with the LGBT community is right for them.
It is interesting that on my blog I’ve blatantly overlooked really going into deep detail on knowing and understanding your why, when it is actually the very first lesson of my complete training program “How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community.” I even have authentic in the name of the course because it is that important.
The very first questions I ask any potential customer of mine is “What’s your why? Why do you want to market to the LGBT community?” Based on their answer I can determine if working with the LGBT community is right for them. I’ve heard responses range from “My daughter is gay and I want to support her in my business” to “I have a lot of LGBT employees and I want to make their work environment a place where they don’t have to worry about who they are.” Those are both good why’s that we can craft a story around to help show the LGBT community the true authentic and genuine people that they are. When the why’s are simple, it makes my life much easier.
I am going to give you a week to think about what your why is. Why are you interesting in working with the LGBT community? What makes this something important to you? You can even download this worksheet that asks you to list 5-10 reasons why you are interested in marketing to the LGBT community, as it stands currently in your business today. Download the worksheet here.
Then next week I will share with you a case study of how having a poor why is a dead end road when trying to capture LGBT market share, as well as begin to explain how to take your why and turn it into part of your company story that resonates with the community.