Today’s episode of the Gay Business & Marketing Made Easy Podcast covers the topic of knowing, liking and trusting someone. A recent plumbing snafu in my house made me realize how important this and even further how important it is for someone within the LGBT community. My experience can help you adapt your LGBT marketing message to attract more LGBT customers. Find out about this topic and more in this monumental 50th episode of the podcast!
Links mentioned in today’s podcast.
- Gay Sales 101: How to Sell to the $830 Billion LGBT Market
- #45: Expert Interview with Amy Mayes of Amy Mayes Photography [Podcast]
- #48: How to be an ally to a community you don’t belong to [Podcast]
- My first book: But You Don’t Look Gay…
- Tutorial on how to create your ‘why’
- Visit the online store!
- The Trevor Project
- Check out Tony Ferraiolo’s inspiring website!
Listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below!
Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE: Episode #50 – Why Know, Like & Trust is Important for LGBT People
You are listening to episode number fifty of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you’ll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We’re talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We’ll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host – she’s an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N’s, T. Grace.
Welcome to Episode Number 50!
Well hello and welcome to episode number 50 of the podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and I am delighted to ring in the New Year with you. Today is the first podcast of the New Year, and it is episode number fifty, which I consider to be quite monumental. I started this podcast back in January of 2013, and now here we are in January of 2015. And I can certainly say that a lot has changed in two years for me personally and for my business and for the LGBT community and movement. And it’s really been I think a very fast moving two years that we’ve just had. So I would encourage you if you are interested to check back at some of the past episodes that I’ve done. There’s at least the fifty from this particular podcast; but then I also did a special interview series where there is another thirty interviews. All of which are available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/thepodcast. So definitely go check it out.
In today’s podcast…
Today’s podcast I want to cover four topics really, and I’m trying to bucket out some of my thoughts here and a lot of times I just kind of hit record and just run off of a pretty general outline. But today I have some really concrete thoughts that I want to share with you, and some links that I want to share, and all that kind of great stuff. So generally speaking the first thing that I want to cover is going back to something that I talk about a lot, a favorite topic of mine, about knowing your ‘why’ and being an ally to a community that you’re not part of. So I’ll get into a little bit of detail there.
I also want to talk about the recent tragic story of a transgender Ohio teen, and what this means for you as a business person, as a person, as an ally to the community or possibly somebody within the community. And it’s just a terribly tragic story and it’s certainly worth bringing up on today’s show.
Our first webinar of the new year…
The third thing that I’m going to cover briefly is what to expect from the first webinar of the new year, which is, if you are listening to this live- or not live but as it came out, it is next week on January 13th. If you are listening to this way far in the future, there’s certainly a webinar probably around the same topic that’s available in the coming weeks or months for you to attend as well.
Know, Like & Trust!
And the fourth thing I want to talk about, this is where the meat of the episode is. All the others are more- they’ll definitely be less content compared to this fourth part. And that is talking about why the Know, Like & Trust principle is so incredibly critical to your business. And the reason I’m bringing up Know, Like & Trust is for starters it’s a big portion of my first book. It’s something I’ve talked about on my blog so there’s a handful of blog posts around it. But the primary reason is that I have had a recent plumbing issue in my house, and it was a nightmare of epic proportions and the Know, Like & Trust principle came into play really, really strongly. So this is something that is on my mind quite a bit because the plumbing issue, as of yesterday, I thought was completely fixed and come to find out this morning it’s still not quite fixed. So I want to share some really interesting information for you just thinking about professional services, how LGBT falls into that, how you can help position yourself and really why getting people to Know, Like & Trust you is so important. So this is something that you’re already familiar with, but I’m certainly going to weave it in through the lens of LGBT.
What is your ‘why’?
Okay, so I will dive right into my first point for today, and that is talking about what’s your ‘why.’ And I’ve talked about what’s your ‘why’ on podcasts, on webinars, in my book, on blog posts, on everywhere. Basically everywhere; anywhere you can hear me talking about what’s your ‘why,’ I have certainly done so. And the reason I’m bringing it up today is two-fold. First is that over the holiday vacation, I had about two weeks where my family was home, so getting client phone calls or client work done was not really conducive with my schedule of having everybody home. So I tried to tackle some of the things that I’ve been wanting to do but keep pushing off because I don’t seem to be able to find the time. And what I was able to accomplish is I created an online store finally on my website. And previously you could go over to my website and there would be a link to my full online course that was called ‘How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community.’ I’ve now changed it to ‘Gay Sales 101.’ And it’s how to effectively market to the $830 billion LGBT community. It’s some title like that, but basically the ‘Gay Sales 101’ is the key. And it’s really about helping you as the professional, the business owner, the person in corporate even, reach the LGBT community still in a very authentic way, but really focused on sales. So I was able to put that course on my website in a much, much easier way for you to be able to see what it’s about and possibly purchase it. The way I had it before was- it just wasn’t set up as best as it could be. So with that being said, one of the components of that larger course is what’s your ‘why.’ And I have had more requests than I can count from people who aren’t ready to tackle the big course yet, because it scares them a little bit because it’s ten parts and then there’s a bonus course to it, so it’s really eleven parts. And I guess if you put them all in total it’s probably about eleven hours of content. So I am fully aware that that could be an overwhelming and daunting idea to jump into creating a marketing plan and creating this whole big outreach campaign and having to go through that much information; I totally get it.
Purchasing my online course…
So for awhile now, I’ve been having people ask me for three specific parts of this. The first one that I wanted to talk about is the what’s your ‘why.’ But then the second one about defining your LGBT target market. And then the third one about how to assess the potential market size in your specific area. So those are three out of the eleven that I get the most requests for. So before now I was setting up kind of- I don’t want to say side payments, because it’s not like anything’s shady, but basically somebody would reach out and say, ‘Hey I really just want to buy this one piece. Is that something I can do?’ And I’ve been making those agreements via email with people and you know, sending them an invoice, et cetera.
So I assume that if I’ve had all these requests from others, it could be very likely that you yourself listening to this might be interested in this information as well. So what I’ve done is I took the full course, which is now available, and I actually reduced the price to $797 down from $997. And I was just feeling in the mood and I wanted to put out the eleven parts of that master course as individual courses that people could buy, and they’re all $97 each. So I wanted to make sure that if you were to purchase the entire course that you would be getting some kind of discount for having done so. So that’s basically the reason for the price drop; so that way if you did buy them individually versus buying the whole, you would end up saving if you just bought it all at once.
So regardless, I’ve set up the products and if you go to www.JennTGrace.com/shop, and I’ll include that link in the show notes of today’s episode. If you go there you can see my training courses all kind of broken out into their own individual parts. You will also be able to see all of my books, which is another big thing that I was able to kind of put in there is that you can now purchase at least my first book in a PDF form, an audio book form, a Kindle version, or any other mobile e-reader type of thing, or the- I don’t know if I said printed yet, or the printed version. So those are all available and I have an exclusivity lock right now on my second book with Amazon which is up in February. So as of February you will also be able to buy all of those different additions on my site. But for now you can buy the second book in print as well.
So I guess the beauty of buying it from my website versus Amazon, is that if you put a note in the checkout box I will certainly- and let me know who you want me to make the book out to, I’m happy to do that before I pop it in the mail to you.
So if you are interested and head over there today as you’re listening to this live, you will find that there’s some missing information from the storefront; so I’m just warning you of that now. I’m in the process of putting really good descriptions about what those individual courses contain and right now I only have a couple of them in there. So if you go over there and you happen to click on one of the middle ones about LGBT terminology and there’s no description, don’t be surprised, I’m in the process of working on that right now.
Talking to Photographer Amy Mayes
But I can tell you is that the first one of what’s your ‘why’ is there, it’s all populated, and it is ready to roll. So what I wanted to talk about in relation to that, is that in episode 45 we talked to Amy Mayes who is a photographer, an ally, someone who considers herself to be an LGBT rights activist, and that episode came out- it’s just actually a couple of episodes ago. And I really enjoyed having that conversation with her because she really is- I would consider her to be kind of my core customer because she is an ally, she has her own small business, she’s in a professional service business, and she’s an ally and she’s doing things the right way. She listens to this show, so hey Amy, I’m sure you’re on the treadmill or on some sort of stair climber or something at the gym as you’re listening to this. And basically she was listening to the most- I think it was the most recent podcast- no because this is fifty. It was episode 48, so it was just a couple of- I think it was in the beginning of December. And I did a podcast, so if you’re interested again, I will have a link to that podcast on the show notes today’s, which you can go to at www.JennTGrace.com/50 for episode number fifty. So all of the stuff that I’m talking about right now, instead of you trying to write it down as you’re driving or at the gym or wherever you might be, you can just go to www.JennTGrace.com/50 and you can get all of the information there.
So basically, she was listening to episode 48 which was titled How to be an Ally to a Community You Don’t Belong To. And in this episode I was pretty transparent I think, about my personal struggle with trying to figure out how to be an ally to a community that I don’t belong to. And also using that as a way to frame the conversation about you being an ally to a community that you don’t belong to; in this case being the LGBT community. So it was a fun, fun episode to record but it was very vulnerable because I really just kind of put myself out there and just called it like it is saying that I’m having struggles right now trying to figure out how I can be the best white ally to the black community. And that’s something that I personally was struggling with, I’ve had a lot of conversations since I aired that episode and all of which I think are moving things in a positive direction. But I got a great email from Amy, talking about an ally- or being an ally and I just wanted to share that with you because I think it’s very well stated and I think it gets to the core of what an ally really is. So let me just read to you what she said.
She says, ‘Hey Jenn, happy New Year, keep up the great work. I recently listened to your December 11th podcast about race relations in the country, and I wanted to chime in as an LGBT ally. To answer some of your questions, I’m always thinking about racial and economic inequality and social and psychology behind it all. I’m a passionate human and civil rights advocate at my core. I have no tolerance for anyone being treated unjustly or the denial of anyone’s rights. Harm being caused to another person, or someone being made to feel less than quite literally makes me sick to my stomach. I agree about there being a strong comparison between being a white ally to the black community, and a straight ally to the LGBT community. It’s about equality. I apply the same ideas to any situation in which I want to affect change. If I hear something that perpetuates a stereotype, I speak up. If there’s a teaching moment, I try to seize it. I use my behavior as an example.’ And then there’s some other stuff that’s just directly to me.
Why her message was important…
So I wanted to share that with you because I feel like it just shows how each and every day we all have an individual opportunity to create some sort of change. Being an ally to any community is such an important thing, and it really takes the voices of allies to get things just kind of moving along and pointed in the right direction, and teaching moments are absolutely the key. So Amy goes out of her way to use any opportunity she can for a teaching moment, and I certainly try to do the exact same thing. So if there’s a way that somebody has taken a step in a direction where it comes across offensive, or just not sincere or not genuine, it’s a matter of being able to try to see where they’re coming from. It’s a matter of giving them the benefit of the doubt, and really just trying to get to the bottom of what they’re trying to say to you; and even if it did come across terrible or offensive or what have you, just give them an opportunity to possibly explain themselves and then you can use that as a teaching moment to maybe redirect them into the proper thing that they should have said, or why what they’re saying or doing isn’t really appropriate or is offensive. It’s just really a matter of being patient and taking the one-on-one time with people to set the record straight so that way they don’t continue to perpetuate something that they don’t even realize that they’re doing.
And it’s interesting that I was having a conversation with my wife last night, and she was telling me about somebody that she works with who made some comment about one of our children- I’m trying to think of how it was phrased. But it has something to do with how much our son- they can’t believe how much our son looks like her, or it was phrased in such a way that on the surface you could have been like, ‘What are you-‘ Like you knew that she was coming from a good place, like a place of good intention and trying to actually be complimentary but the way it came out was completely wrong. And my wife is just as much of a straight shooter as I am so she called her out and was like, ‘Do you realize like how that sounds?’ And of course she’s like, ‘No, no that’s not how I meant it at all.’ And my wife’s a teacher so in this case she was talking to somebody who I believe is a social worker. So I feel like she was saying that adds like another layer that you would assume that somebody in this type of profession would have a slightly different take on things. And we ended up having a whole big discussion about it because at the end of the day she was trying to be a friend, she was trying to make a very nice gesture and she was talking about a recent picture that I posted as my profile picture of Facebook, which is the four of us as a family. And I love the picture, and it came from a wedding that we attended over the summer and that’s what prompted the discussion.
So she easily could have taken that really offensively and gotten all bent out of shape and upset with this person; but rather than doing it that way she was able to have a teaching moment about why saying it the way she said it isn’t necessarily the most well received and how she, as the receiver of this information would have preferred to hear it, understanding that she was trying to be complimentary. And it ended up being a good dialogue for the two of them, so it’s things like that even. Like we had a whole discussion about how just in general, like if you’re talking to- even if it’s two mothers it could be two mothers, two fathers, a mother and a father, it could be any couple. And you say to one of them, ‘Oh your son looks just like your husband.’ Or, ‘Your daughter looks just like your wife,’ or whatever combination. I would imagine on some level that’s going to hurt the other parent’s feelings, especially if it’s a heterosexual couple where both of them did give birth to that child. So it’s one of those things that you’re saying it because you just- you’re trying to acknowledge the fact that the son or daughter looks exactly like one of the two parents, but you’re not really thinking about how that might hurt the feelings- even if it is not a detrimental blow, it still probably hurts their feelings on some level to hear this.
It all comes down to being an ally to community that you are not a part of…
So this is just kind of a tangent, but it all just kind of comes down to being an ally to a community that you are not a part of. So it does not matter what that community is that we’re talking about. We could be talking about a parenting community, talking about LGBT, it could be the black community; it does not matter. It’s really just a matter of at the end of the day treating your fellow peers with respect and hearing them out and using opportunities that you have to teach in the right direction if you see something that is not sitting well with you.
Leelah Alcorn: Her life, her story, and her tragic death
So talking about all of what we were just discussing here, leads very nicely into the second thing that I wanted to talk about. And this is definitely a much heavier of a topic, because it’s about a 17-year old transgender girl who committed suicide on December 28th. And if you look at the statistics for suicide among the LGB community, and you look at suicide statistics under- for the Trans community, they are all terrible, terrible numbers. However with the Trans community in particular, it’s really- it’s significantly higher. And I have some statistics that came from www.TheTrevorProject.org which is to help prevent LGBT-related suicides and I will include a link to their website as well in the show notes for today. But it talks about things like suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. And while that’s the case, LGB youth are four times more likely and questioning youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
Some startling statistics…
Nearly half of young transgender people have either seriously thought about taking their own lives, and a quarter of them have reported having some sort of suicide attempt. So when we’re talking about this particular death, it’s not that this happened, because there are transgender teens all across our country, all across the world, who are taking their own lives on a regular basis. It is such an epidemic that it is absolutely- it’s just disgusting, it’s startling, that our society does not care enough about these children who are struggling that they think that their best course of action is to take their own life. What makes this case more- what makes this case different is the fact that before she took her own life she left behind a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching suicide note. And I’m not going to read it, it is not my place to be reading it to you, but I will put a link in the show notes that you can go and read it yourself. So if you go to www.JennTGrace.com/50, again for episode number 50, you can go read that note yourself. And it’s long, and it was on I believe her Tumblr account which has now been taken down, which is a whole other can of worms that I am not going to get into. But basically she was trying to use her death as a platform to make change. And there are so many kids out there who are taking their own lives, who may or may not be leaving suicide notes behind and basically this particular young lady decided that she was going to make a change on her way out of this Earth. And she ended up throwing herself in front of a moving truck, and her parents did not support her wanting to be on hormones, she had noted that she had been identifying as a girl her whole life, and it just became to a place where she just couldn’t live with it anymore being rejected from everyone who’s supposed to be helping her was rejecting her.
So I bring all of this up to put everything in perspective for you. It is just sickening to me that we have young people who are doing this because they don’t have the support systems around them. I feel exceptionally fortunate that I have a very close friend, Tony Ferraiolo who he and I work together quite a bit. His particular business is specifically around helping transgender young and he is also in the Connecticut area, he’s in the southern part of the state, I’m in the northern part of the state. And he has groups that he has formed for basically there are art groups for the little, little kids. And are just kind of peer groups for the older kids, the teens. He has an opportunity for parents of transgender children to kind of get together and have conversations and really talk about their struggles as a family unit of how they’re embracing their transgender child but they also want to be equipped with the right information to be able to support them in the right way that they can. Not just in their family unit, but also in the world and in their towns and their cities, et cetera. So I encourage you to definitely check out www.TonyFerraiolo.com. And again, I’ll put that in the show notes today. But he also has a film called A Self Made Man, and in complete full disclosure he and I work together and I help manage his speaking engagements and I help put on film screenings across the country. So if you happen to check anything out and you send an inquiry to him, it does end up coming to me. And I do bring him up because he is doing such amazing, amazing work. And he’s working with a lot of these kids who are having these thoughts and he’s got a lot of very, very tragic stories where he is that lifeline that people reach out to right before they’re about to do something. So it’s really important work that’s being done. And for you as an ally to this community, as a business owner, as a respected professional in your area; I just want you to be aware that (A) that this is a problem, and (B) there is something that you can do about it and it goes back to what Amy was talking about before about being able to affect change in situations where it’s an opportunity to seize a moment. And if you are a true blue ally to this community, and you’re marketing to the community, you’re getting involved, you’ve got sales coming in; you have all of these great things happening because you have put yourself out there as an LGBT ally. You have an opportunity to talk to people that you know who may have a transgender son or daughter. And it’s going to be the conversation between you and that parent that could be the difference between life and death, and I don’t say this lightly, of that person’s child. Because a lot of times, and I think this kind of goes more broadly with people coming out is when someone comes out, it affects everybody, right? It affects everybody in their immediate circle; so it affects the parents, it affects siblings, everywhere. So the parents need- they need to comprehend it, they need to digest what they just heard, and they need to talk about it. But they need to talk about it from somebody who they would consider to be kind of like a third party. Like they don’t want to talk about it to- like they want to hear it from somebody that they can relate with. Somebody maybe someone else who’s had a child, so you have PFLAG. So which is the Parents, Friends and Family of Gay and Lesbians I believe is what their acronym stands for. And PFLAG allows for that environment for parents, friends and families of gay and lesbian children, adults, it does not matter to convene and talk about these things. But in that immediate first stage when somebody comes out, a lot of times I don’t think they realize that that resource is available to them. So they’re going to talk to people that they know, and people that they trust. And in that case, and in that vein, you as somebody who’s active in the community as an ally have a very powerful voice to be able to frame this for them. And while you don’t have to be an expert on transgender youth, you don’t have to be an expert on LGBT youth; you just have to be a listening ear for that person who trusts you and for you to use your opportunities and the leverage that you have built because you are involved and engaged in this local community, the local LGBT community.
As an ally, you have a far deeper reach…
I feel like there’s just so many opportunities and it doesn’t have to be something you are consciously seeking out, I just want to talk about it for you to have it in the back of your mind that as an ally, you have a far deeper reach than you probably realize. And by you being an ally to the community and just kind of standing out and willing to be counted, so to speak, that’s going to show other people who may be afraid to stand up and be counted, and stand up and be an ally to the community. But when they have a problem that affects them personally, you could be on their radar for somebody that they would feel could be a confidant to them. And I just want to talk about this because this death is just so unnecessary, all suicides in my opinion and I’m sure yours, are unnecessary. And there just has to be a change to how our society works and how our society treats young LGBT people. And as much as it’s a tragic, unfortunate nature of what this young girl did, at the end of the day I think by her doing this- because this has been very well spread public news, and I was watching I think it was the NBC nightly news, which I don’t typically watch but somehow in passing I ended up catching it on TV occasionally. And they were talking about this story, and the fact that the NBC nightly news which reaches a very broad audience and a very diverse audience of people, was talking about this story, I feel like that’s helping propel that change forward. Because her voice is being heard because of a very gut-wrenching suicide note that she left behind with the specific intention of having her voice heard.
So I truly hope that her voice ends up becoming somewhat of the Matthew Shepard of the transgender community. I’m really hoping that that is what we can elevate this to because everyone has to know this story. Because I can’t imagine that you look at your neighbor who has a 17-year old child and would ever wish that that child would commit suicide. Regardless of what their sexual orientation, or gender identity, or any other characteristic about them. Nobody would ever wish that on their neighbor’s child, or a relative’s child. So why is it okay in this case?
So I’m off my soapbox. I just had to talk about this because it is such an important thing and I want you to just be really thinking about how you as an ally can help move this movement forward. Because I- going back to the what’s your ‘why,’ for me one of- I have a lot of ‘whys’ but one of my ‘whys’ is to help change you so you can help change the culture in the society in which we live so things like this don’t happen. I want to educate as many people as I can about the community, about marketing, about communications, about being authentic. All of which I want to have a trickle down effect to the younger people that are looking up to you as a business owner, or a professional. So that’s what I have today. So again I think that the links in today’s episode are going to be really, really valuable to you so www.JennTGrace.com/50 and you can get all of the links there.
And I guess one of the things that I haven’t mentioned is that I am having all of these episodes transcribed now, so if you find that you would prefer to read instead of listen to a podcast, or maybe I was saying something in particular and you want to find that soundbite, by all means head on over to the website and it may not be- if you’re again, listening to this the day it comes out the transcription may not be there right away, but it will definitely be there within a day. So definitely I encourage you to check out all that information as well.
Brief coverage of the 2015 webinar…
So on a little bit of a lighter note, I just want to briefly cover the 2015 webinar, the first one I have of the new year which is on January 13th, and I just want to bring it up and I encourage you to sign up for it if you haven’t already. I am actually- I don’t want to say startled, but a little bit startled by the amount of RSVP’s I have already. It is insane. And I’ve been promoting it probably since the beginning of December, knowing that ’tis the season. We’re in January, we’re in the spirits of let’s do something different, let’s change our ways, let’s make resolutions, let’s do this that or the other and ultimately I have my own couple of resolutions. I’ve learned to not make a very large list of them because then it gets overwhelming. But I’m trying to make very small changes in the way that I do things. One of the very small changes that I’ve personally made, is I’ve created- I don’t even know what to call it to be honest. A gratitude journal if you will, perhaps we can call it that. But basically a while back, my business coach at told me- and this is years ago. I’m saying probably 2012 I would say she probably had this conversation with me. About how I should write down things that went well during the day. And so even in the shittiest of days, there’s got to be something that was positive out of that day. So I started doing it- I was using, it’s not an app but it’s a program called Workflowy which I love to death and I use still, and I will include a link to that in the blog post as well for this episode. But it’s really just kind of a big to-do list. There’s not much formatting to it, it’s very elementary, there’s no learning curve to it and it’s free. And I just keep a running to-do list. So I have client to-do lists, I have podcast to-do lists, it’s just a bunch of to-do’s. And for awhile I was doing what she asked, and I was putting down three things that I could think of and they were very simple things, nothing overly out of control but of course if something really great happened I wanted to acknowledge that as well. And one of the things is that I stopped doing it very soon and I’m like- because I don’t know why, but I just didn’t like doing it. So I decided in the middle of December that I was going to buy another journal, because I have a thing about having written- being able to hand write notes when I’m on the phone with people or when I’m at a meeting. As much as I love the computer I do like to still have that tactile feel of having a notebook. So I went out and I bought a journal at Staples for like $5.00 and I was trying to kill time to be honest, which is why I was in Staples, waiting for the bus. I had between a meeting and getting home to get the kids off the bus, I didn’t want to have to kill time. So actually I didn’t want to have to come into the house and then have to go back out of the house; so I just stopped at Staples. And I got a notebook, I brought it back and I’m like, ‘You know what, I will start this on January 1st.’ And then I was like, ‘You know what, I’m not starting it on January 1st, I’m going to start it today,’ and I think it was like December 13th or something like that. And I just started writing down three things that happened that were good during the day. And then I decided, you know I need more than that. I need to tie that in with my goals. So then I put my three things, and then ‘I will make X amount of dollars by X date’ and then I was doing that for awhile, so I had that version. And then I said, you know what, dollars don’t- sounds terrible but dollars to me are not- it’s not what motivates me. It’s not what makes me tick. So then I was thinking, ‘Alright, what can getting more money do that’s more important?’ So then I decided, ‘Okay now I’ll do it. I will make X amount of money by X date so that I can…’ So now I’ve been doing that since December 13th and the part of the ‘So that I can’ started probably a week or two ago. So now it’s my three things that happen during the day and then I’m going to make a certain amount of money by a certain date so that I can- and I don’t want to share, clearly it’s very personal for me to be sharing it but it really kind of ties back to my ‘why.’ Like one of them was so that I can start or donate to a foundation that can help prevent LGBT suicide. Or help educate people on the epidemic. So that’s one of them. So the more money I make, the more money I can give back. Or so that I can employ the person that I love dearly right now who’s doing a lot of work for me, so that I can employ her full time. Or so that I can allow for my wife to be able to afford to go back to school and get another degree in addition to the one masters that she already has.
Setting specific goals..
So it’s really tied back to me and my goals and what I’m trying to do as just a person in my business, et cetera. So I’m going to be talking about that in addition to how are we going- like how are you reaching the LGBT community in 2015? We need to be talking about what your goals are and based on what those goals are, how you’re going to identify the right market to tie into those goals. So saying that you want to market to the LGBT community, that is not going to work. That is way too broad. You need to be very specific; do you want to market to single lesbians, do you want to market to married gay men, do you want to market to bisexuals who are in their ’30s? It’s really, really specific that we’re going to talk about. And then we’re going to talk about why you are better than your competition, we’re going to talk a little bit about how to just begin basically. It’s a very, very big world, there is a lot of opportunity, so we’re going to talk about where it makes sense for you to start. So this is going to be a very interactive- it’s more of a workshop than anything. So on my webinars it’s very- typically it’s very much educational focused, so it’s me kind of educating. But this one in particular, I am encouraging people to come with very specific questions, and for us to go back and forth and have a dialogue and for you to walk away with- I’m not saying you’re going to have a marketing plan by the end of a free webinar, but I want you to walk away with some sort of like tactical couple of bullet points that you can say, ‘Alright this is how I’m going to step into 2015. I am going to go gangbusters, I’m going to go strong.’ So and one of the other things that I’m happy to do for anybody is make introductions. So if you are- let’s see, if you are in the travel industry, and you want to be introduced to somebody, and maybe you’re in Seattle. Make sure that you- if I know somebody who is big into travel in Seattle or an organization specifically is what I’m thinking, I want to be able to introduce you to the right people. So if I can help, I want to. There’s probably plenty of instances where I’m not going to be able to help but I can at least point you in the right directions.
We’re going to talk about measuring progress…
So we’re really just going to kind of talk about a lot of this stuff in a very broad- a broad sense, but we’re going to get very specific for you on the line. So I have a couple of worksheets that I will pass out that you can kind of do your thing with. Let’s see, we’re going to talk about measuring progress because of course there’s no sense in having a goal if you have no way to measure it. And a lot of this is really part of my first book. So my first book being, ‘But You Don’t Look Gay,’ and being the six steps to creating an LGBT marketing plan. And it’s really kind of a little bit of that, it’s not all of it and it’s slightly different but it’s very similar to that. So that book’s available on my website now which I’m so excited to say. It’s also available on Amazon, et cetera.
So everything that we do talk about in this webinar, for the most part there will be now that I was talking about it before, is that I now have the online store kind of set up. So if you are kind of getting stuck in an area where you’re trying to figure out what your LGBT target audience is, and trying to really hone in on that, I have a whole course now that you can just buy that one piece of the course for $97.00 instead of the whole big, big bad boy. Now you can just buy that one piece and it walks you through really specifically on how to actually market.
So that is my excitement, because I think this webinar is going to be really, really awesome. I’ve been doing the same webinar- it’s never identical, I always modify it just slightly, but it’s been the same kind of topic and I always have a lot of people on the webinar. But this one is certainly resonating with people because I probably have 200% increase compared to my normal, and this is- I’m still about a week out from the webinar itself. And a lot of times right in the last couple of days before webinar, even up to webinar, people are RSVP’ing left and right. So it’s going to be a really, really good webinar so I highly encourage you to attend and like I said at the top of the show, if you are listening to this and it’s past January 13th, don’t fret because I assure you that there is another version of this coming up or- coming up either tomorrow or a week or a month. But I do webinars on a regular basis and as of right now, for as long as I am in business, I will be planning on doing webinars because they’re just really awesome.
On to my plumbing woes…
So yeah, alright. That was number three. So before I get into my plumbing woes and the Know, Like & Trust piece of things, I am going to pause us for a quick commercial break from the sponsors of this podcast, and we will be right back to cover number four.
Alright, thank you to the sponsors of this podcast. And now we can hop into the final thing that I wanted to talk about today. And I don’t even know where to begin with this. This is just me somewhat rambling about how incredibly important it is to know, like and trust someone. Or, to have somebody know, like and trust you. So I have talked about this before and I have a podcast- not a podcast, a blog post titled ‘Relationship Building Requires a Strategy,’ and it’s part five of six. So it’s part of a larger series that has to do kind of actually with the content of the webinar that I was just talking about in terms of just crafting a plan. And one of the pieces of the plan is to get yourself a reputation in the community and become that person that people know, they like and they trust. It’s a very- to me, a very simple concept. It’s not always as simple to create that brand impression for people, but it takes time. And I had an incident that has just played out over the last week, and our kitchen sink backed up. And it is because my wife decided that she was going to clean out the refrigerator and shove everything she found inside the garbage disposal. So in our house, that is something that I would do stupidly, not her. So it was very- I was equal parts like, ‘Are you kidding me that this is what you’ve done and destroy the kitchen sink’ and equal parts amused because it’s so out of her character to do something so stupid. So regardless, she clogged up the sink and we couldn’t figure out- I am a little bit crafty when it comes to plumbing. I actually did the plumbing in our kitchen when we put in a double sink with the garbage disposal and all that stuff. So I did that and it was probably like six or seven- no maybe five years ago, six years ago.
So I am not an expert plumber, I know enough to get myself in trouble which is kind of the story of my life everywhere. And I pulled it all apart, I could not figure out what the problem was. So I said, ‘Alright well now we need to call a plumber.’ So my brother-in-law happens to be a contractor, so we figured, ‘Alright, know, like and trust. Let’s go to somebody that we know, like and trust first, and ask them for a referral’ because we don’t have- we couldn’t find the name of the plumber that has previously done any work for us, and knock on wood we’ve had very few problems with plumbing so we’ve only had to have someone out here like once in the last- I’ve been here for almost eight years. So we call her brother, he gives us the information. The guy comes over and he says, ‘It must be a clog and I don’t have a snake.’ So the first question is what plumber doesn’t have a snake? I thought that that was like a routine piece of equipment for every plumber to have. I don’t question it, again I don’t know enough about plumbing to know whether all plumbers should have snakes or not; but it just seemed a little bit odd to me that he wouldn’t have one.
So now we’re thinking, ‘Okay now who can we call?’ So this plumber was useless, so we call her mother- my wife’s mother because they live just a couple of towns over so we figured whoever they use we could probably get away with using. So her- we talked to her mother, her mother gives us a name. Her mother’s friend gives us a name, so now we have two more names to call and then I think a third person that her mother knew had a third person they liked too. So now we have three names, so I call all three of them and I get one of them on the phone. He comes over, he spends an hour and a half in my kitchen and he says that he snakes it three times, he’s talking about how many feet down he went, this that and the other, but he can’t fix the problem.
The tale of our first 3 plumbers…
So I’m thinking, ‘Okay, it’s a clog, how complicated is this?’ So he tells me some- and again I’m not a plumber so I don’t know details here but he starts telling me about how some vent might be frozen because it is, as I record this, single digit weather and I’m actually sitting under a heated blanket as I’m recording. Because I usually have a space heater on and it’s very loud, so recording with a space heater would not be good for your ears. But it’s freezing here right now. So he’s says to me that it’s running behind the dishwasher, it could be frozen, this that or the other. So I don’t know enough to know what I don’t know, so I call another plumber. And in the meantime, my neighbor is having plumbing issues and she and I are kibitzing about it and she says, ‘Do you want me to send my guy up?’ And I’m like, ‘You know what, it can’t hurt.’ So now I have the third plumber come in. This is all over like three days. So now the third plumber comes in and he completely contradicts every single thing that the guy who was just there had said to me. So the guy who was there for an hour and a half covered in like black something from God knows where, so tried- he was like busting a sweat in my kitchen, he was in there for awhile, hour and a half he couldn’t fix it. This other guy comes in who’s much younger, and I’m young myself in my early 30’s so I cannot judge people based on age, but he came in and he was kind of- I don’t even know how to phrase it on the podcast without being completely inappropriate, but you know what, douchy. He was kind of a douche, I’m just going to say it. So I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know you, and based on my initial impression of you you’re kind of a douche so no I don’t like you and I don’t trust you.’ So I told him to leave, and of course I didn’t tell him those things to his face but that’s exactly how I felt. It really was that Know, Like & Trust. And I don’t know if it’s because it came from my neighbor who clearly I don’t know as well as I know my mother-in-law. So he leaves, so now we’re three plumbers down. I call a company- a well-known company who I will keep nameless; I ended up calling two of them. And I call them and I say, ‘Here’s my problem, here’s what the first plumber said, here’s what the second plumber said.’ And I gave her very specific instructions- like very specific, clear, like if someone comes out it’s possible that the pipe might need to be heated because of the fact that it really could be frozen. But of course this is what the second plumber tells me. So she sends somebody out and he has no idea what he’s doing. He must be on the job for like two days, which I’m completely in favor of on-the-job training and this that or the other; but he says like, ‘Oh I don’t have a way to heat the pipes.’ And I said, ‘I was really clear with the woman I spoke to on the phone that it’s probably something with the pipes needing to be heated.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh I can’t do that, I can re-snake it for you.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve already had somebody snake it, and they said that that’s not the problem.’
The silver lining in the sixth plumber…
So this is a very long-winded way of getting to the end goal, which I ended up having- I ended up having him come over and then setting up an appointment so that was plumber number four, come over, he couldn’t help, he was going to send over plumber number five in the morning, but then I called another plumber at night to say- just to get another quote because it ended up being like a $600.00 quote to fix a clog. And I ended up talking to a guy who was also with another kind of a national brand and he was amazing. He was so awesome, he explained exactly what the problems were, he explained based on my hack job of information I was giving him. But he explained to me where in the line it was probably clogged, why the other plumber wasn’t able to get to it, what a new plumber would have to do. And this conversation happened at like 9:00 at night and he was like the plumber on call there.
Implementing Know, Like & Trust in everyday situations..
So unfortunately he says to me, ‘What you need is not something I can do because it required having a longer snake.’ And I’m like, ‘For Christ’s sake, I finally find the guy that I really felt like I trusted because he spent the time with me to tell me what I needed to hear to understand what the problem was to help make an educated decision.’ And this is not something that any of the others did. So then he gives me the name of somebody else; for Christ’s sake I get somebody else. So I’m like, now I have to call somebody else, I really finally found the person that I’m like, ‘I like this person.’ I don’t know them, but I like them and I trust them because they’re being honest with me, they’re being transparent with me. So I get another person.
So now I’m on my sixth plumber, and he comes over yesterday and yesterday I was recording this so he came over on Tuesday, and you’re hearing this on Thursday if you’re listening to it the day of. So he comes over, and he’s amazing. He’s absolutely friggin’ amazing. He comes in, he’s at my house for probably an hour and a half. He explained everything he was doing so I understood what the problem was. A couple of times I asked him something and he flat out said to me, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ And I’m like, ‘That is such a wonderful phrase to hear from somebody, is I don’t know.’ And that sounds crazy, I’m sure. Because you’re hiring in an expert to do something that you yourself cannot do, and typically one would not want to hear the phrase ‘I don’t know,’ but in this case it was like music to my ears because it was like finally I have somebody here who’s willing to say what they don’t know the answer. And it’s not that he didn’t know it at all, he just didn’t know at that exact moment. So we ended up talking and I made a really great relationship with him, and I ended up getting to use the snake which was actually really exciting. I know that’s a sad state of affairs but I did write that down in my gratitude journal that I was talking about before, was the fact that I was able to help the plumber and use the big-ass machinery. And he was here for like I said an hour and a half; he ended up charging a third of the price of the first quote, and then of course tells me that that other company, who shall remain nameless, works on commission. So of course they’re kind of want to upcharge you. And I’m not against commission based business, however when your commission-focus is on you and not your customer, that’s going to affect your business. And I feel like I have such a bad taste in my mouth now about that other company knowing that they sent out somebody who had no idea what they were doing who was trying to re-do what somebody else had done for the sake of their own pocket. It’s like, that’s not how you treat your customer. Like it’s just not ideal. So I feel like this experience- because I don’t- I feel like it’s really rare that I’m trying to find a service for something that I don’t know about. I don’t know how to phrase that in a better way. Like it’s not like I actually am going to be in the process of selling my home soon, so clearly I’m not going to try to sell it myself; that just seems insane. So I would hire a realtor to do that for me. Just like you would hire a plumber or hire an electrician. So these are all very specific types of services, and you yourself could be a plumber, a realtor, electrician, a contractor; you could have one of these types of businesses and be listening to this right now. And what I discovered in doing this is that I wanted to find somebody who I knew to be LGBT friendly. And it was near impossible for me to find that person. Because when you’re talking about something that requires- like realtors, I feel like are very easy to find those that are LGBT friendly because they’re very clear about the fact that they are. A lot of times they’ll have something on their website about it. But when we’re talking about plumbers, electricians, contractors, things like that where it requires somebody to come into your home it’s a completely different scenario. It’s- like you are now allowing a stranger to come into your home to fix whatever problem you might have, but at the end of the day if they are somebody who is completely anti-LGBT, then you don’t want that person in your home because now there’s a level of safety at risk when you have a stranger in your home who doesn’t appreciate the fact that you have a wife.
So it was actually- it wasn’t a huge factor in all of this for me because it is something that I do for a living, but thinking about other people that I know and other couples that I know, I know that this would be something that’s really, really high on their radar of, ‘How am I going to find somebody who can come fix my plumbing who’s going to come in and not see the pictures-‘ like my wife and I have wedding pictures all over this house, like they are everywhere. Like we have pictures in general of our family everywhere in this house. Like every wall has something on it with a picture. And there is no way that I am going to turn down my wedding photos so when somebody comes in they don’t see them. That just seems insane to me. However, I know it to be true that people do go to those types of lengths to hide who they are to protect their safety of somebody that they don’t know coming into their house.
Reassurance of LGBT friendliness…
So if you have a business like this, where it does require you to go into somebody’s home, really be thinking about how you can assure them of your LGBT friendliness. Or you know, not even that because then that would require- that would be based on assumptions and all kinds of stuff, so we don’t want to go down that road. But I think you should be more proactive in somehow putting on your website that you are LGBT friendly; because I guarantee, at least for me when I am typing LGBT friendly plumbers, in my city and town, or just the biggest city next to me, nothing was coming up. Nothing at all other than like if I type in LGBT realtors, tons of stuff comes up because there’s associations for it, et cetera, and I know just a ton of people who are LGBT and realtors.
But plumbing, not so easy to find. Contracting, not so easy to find. I know they exist because I network with them. So I know they’re out there, just in this case I didn’t happen to have any in my geographic area because I live in the northern part of the state and a lot of my connections are in the southern part of the state and they’re not going to drive an hour and change to do my plumbing. Although, I probably would be willing to pay a premium to have that opportunity, for somebody to travel to me that I know 100% is a trusted and safe person to be in my home, and it isn’t going to be judgmental.
Showcasing the importance of Knowing, Liking & Trusting..
So all of these plumbing woes to say Knowing, Liking & Trusting somebody is so incredibly important. And being the person that people Know, Like & Trust is so, so important. And I think I alluded to at the top of the episode that the plumbing is not even fixed. So I will give you an update the kitchen sink now drains properly, but the dishwasher does not work. And that was actually something the first plumber who didn’t have the snake, touched. So I don’t know what the hell the problem is, but the plumbing woes have not yet been fixed. But given the fact that I did talk to six different plumbers and several other companies in addition to six individuals, I know for a fact that I will call back the one who was here who spent the time with me to explain what was going on and admit to me that he didn’t know the answer right away. So he’s going to be my first call a little bit later today to ask him, ‘Hey, the dishwasher’s not working now. Can you come check it out?’ Because I now have a relationship with that person and to me, that is such a critical difference because if you’re looking at how much it takes to get a customer, versus how much it takes to keep a customer, the numbers are very, very drastic and they’re very, very different. So to me, you want to be focused on how you can keep your customers happy. Like once you have them, how can you keep them happy? And in this case with this particular person it was just a matter that he was friendly, that he was willing to explain things, and he was willing to admit that he did not know. So that to me were the three ways to get to know, like and then trust him.
So I hope that that has some value to what I’m saying to you. It’s just, as this was all happening I’m like, ‘I really need to write a blog post about this, and how important it is.’ And then I figured, you know what it’s a little bit entertaining to share all of the myriad of differences that occurred over the last few days with these plumbers so I’ll just record it instead. It’s much, much faster and more efficient to do so.
So, that was a lot of information. So yeah. Like I said it is episode number fifty, it was the first one of the New Year, it’s a monumental episode to me because episode fifty, it’s like my silver- is it silver anniversary? Golden? I don’t know which. At any rate, it’s quite exciting to be at fifty, I feel like it gives me some sort of feeling of significance now because I finally hit like a big monumental mark. So I really hope that you are enjoying the podcast, as I always do. And if you have anything that you would like to say, you want to send me an email, you want me to read something that you’ve written to me on the podcast, I’d be more than happy to. Of course as long as it’s helping others, I would love, love, love to share your information with others.
So with that being said it is the end- I mean the beginning of 2015 and we have a very big and productive year ahead of us. So I would love to stay in touch with you, so if you want to find me online, on my website, social media, you name it I am here and I’m here for you. So thank you so much for listening to this and I will talk to you in the next episode. Thanks so much, have a great day!