#007: Listener Question Extravaganza! [Podcast] Skip to the content

#007: Listener Question Extravaganza! [Podcast]

In this episode of the podcast we cover three specific listener questions about marketing to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community!

This episode answers the following 3 questions submitted by listeners and readers…

Question #1 comes from a voice mail from Lisa: “I am a factory worker by day, and an internet entrepreneur by night. I have come across something very powerful that I would love to share with the gay community but I own just a LLC. My vision is to help anyone I can in the LGBT community become successful online with the company I am currently working with. This company I work with gives 100% to its affiliates, something that has changed the game in internet marketing. My question is to you, where do I start?”

Links mentioned:

  • Are you interested in learning more about an online advertising campaign? Or are you interested in learning more about setting up a Facebook advertising campaign? Send me an e-mail if you are.

Question #2 comes from an e-mail from Linda: “In my marketing materials (web, FB, emails, display ads, whatever), is using the words: “safe, welcoming place” say the right things to the lgbt market or is gay-friendly a better use of words? If I have imagery of gay couples as a part of the visuals offered enough so that I don’t have to mention it at all?”

 Links mentioned:

Question #3 comes from a Tweet: “Would you discuss the definition of ‘gay-friendly’ vendors? What are the qualifications? Is there a test? Methinks it’s needed. Must be more than ‘cashing in on gay dollars’ or ‘marketing dept. thought it was a good idea.’ Discouraging.”

Additional Links mentioned:

  • Episode #008 will be with Heather Cox of Certify My Company. She will be sharing with us all things supplier diversity and business certification. I’ve mentioned these topics on the show before but she takes us down to a base level so you can fully understand what it means to you and your business.

As always thank you for listening to the show!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.

AUDIO TITLE: Episode #7 – Listener Questions Extravaganza

AUDIO START: [0:00:00]

Jenn T Grace:   

This is the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, episode seven.


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.

Jenn T Grace:

Well hello and welcome to the seventh episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace. And I am excited to be sharing the seventh episode with you because the topics today are all listener questions. So today is the Listener Questions Extravaganza. And I have three specific questions that I pulled out over the last couple of weeks that I’ve been getting that I will focus my efforts on today. But before we get into all of the questions that we are going to talk about today, I do want to let those new listeners here for the first time know that this is a biweekly podcast that alternates between expert interviews with some amazing leaders in the LGBT and diversity space, and me teaching you about business etiquette and marketing tips and all sorts of things that are going to help you be successful in your LGBT marketing campaigns.

Additionally you will find fresh new content on my blog each week, every Tuesday and Friday I post new content. If you are looking to check in on any of that content, you can certainly do so at my blog which is www.JennTGrace.com. And finally all of the links that you will hear on the show today can be found in the show notes which goes with this particular podcast, and that can be found at www.JennTGrace.com/007 and that is for episode number seven.

So I have a couple of additional announcements before I will get into the questions, and I do want to throw out one thing, and that is that you may hear some bird chirping in the background of this podcast, and that is because it is almost spring, we’re just a couple of days away, and I have a substantial sized nest of babies hatching just outside of my office window, and I absolutely love watching the birds build their nest during this time of year, and there’s all sorts of sticks and grass and all sorts of crazy stuff happening outside on my desk, and they are definitely making a lot of noise. You may be able to hear it, I certainly can right now, I’m just throwing it out there just in case so that way if you do hear chirping, you don’t think it’s you. It’s definitely on my end. So, anyway.

Each episode I start off with a personal Win of the Week. And this started just a couple of weeks ago, in I believe the last two episodes I’ve been sharing personal Wins of the Week, and I’ve been encouraging you to send me your wins as well. And I’m absolutely thrilled that some of you have reached out to let me know what’s happening in your business, and what’s going on of late, and it’s just really exciting to hear so many good things happening out there. So this is fantastic. But my personal win for this week is that I’ve been teasing you for a little while now on a special project that I’ve been working on for June. And this special project has involved thirty plus people in getting orchestrated and situated and I am just so close to having everything finalized so I am going to make you wait just a little bit longer before I actually announce to you what that is. And I know that you’re probably cringing right now and you just want me to tell you already, but it is going to be so fantastic that I guarantee when you finally hear about it, you’re not going to hate me.

But what I do want to tell you about today is that I, for the first time, and it’s been something on my bucket list, am announcing to you first before anybody else, that I am launching a new book. Yes, yes a book. And this book will be available in April, I’ve been working on it since- I would say probably November sometime. And I am super excited, it has been a labor of love, I’ve always wanted to write a book so I’m really excited that I’m actually finally doing it. It is so close to being complete right now, I’m just about to hand it off to my editor and she’s going to take it from there, and I’m just really excited. So you should definitely be on the lookout for that in the next coming couple of weeks. This episode is airing on March 20th of 2013, and the book will be available for online distribution by I would say the middle of April; that’s definitely what I’m shooting for. So please stay tuned for that, it’s going to be awesome. And I will definitely make sure that you, my podcast listeners, get some sort of special discount or pricing off of that book, so definitely stay tuned for the April 6th episode which is where I will reveal what that discount code is.

But thank you in advance for your interest, I’ve heard from a handful of you asking if I was ever going to put a book together, so it’s really exciting that I can actually share that that’s actually happening. So again thank you for your support and I look forward to the launch.

Okay so let’s get into the meat of this episode. This week I have three questions. One comes from a voicemail, one from an email, and one from Twitter. So it’s fantastic to see that everybody is reaching out to me in some form or another, and I’ve received a good amount of questions, and I’ve pulled these three because they are all somewhat tied together in terms of stuff that we’ve been recently talking about either on the last podcast or recent blog posts. So here I’m going to try to answer them in as much detail as I can give you in the timeframe that we have here together. So if I overlook something, or you think that I should go a little bit deeper into details, or perhaps my answers are spawning more questions, please reach out to me and we can certainly try to figure out how I can incorporate additional information or answer those different questions on another podcast.

So question number one comes from a voicemail from Lisa, which I will play for you right now.

Listener Lisa:

Hi, I hope you can help me with this. I am a factory worker by day, and an Internet entrepreneur by night. I have come across something very powerful that I would love to share with the gay community, but I own just an LLC. My vision is to help anyone I can in the LGBT community become successful online with the company I’m currently working with. This company I work with gives 100% to its affiliates. Something that has changed the game in Internet marketing. My question to you is where do I start? Thanks, bye.

Jenn T Grace:

So thank you Lisa for reaching out via voicemail, it’s pretty exciting to hear from somebody in the community who is interested in helping others in the community. And my number one advice for this question in terms of the main- the core of the question being where do I start? Is build a plan. That is the hands down, number one thing you should do before you begin any type of outreach efforts, is really just sit down and build a plan. So right now as you’re at the beginning stages of your endeavor in terms of you stumbled across this really great product, and you want to make sure that everybody in the LGBT community can benefit from such a great company. My number one recommendation, like I said, is to build a plan around it. Because when you’re building a plan, and you’re mapping out the strategies and approaches that you’re going to use, it can take a seemingly huge and daunting task and just really break it down into specific pieces that you can then execute and measure the entire way through.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘Okay, you want me to build a plan, but where do I start with that plan?’ And I have five specific questions that you should definitely ask yourself as you’re developing this plan.

And the first of those questions is who are you marketing to? And be specific with this. And I know that you are specifically saying that you want to share this information and share this powerful product with the LGBT community. And while the LGBT community is a niche, there’s definitely niches within the LGBT community niche. So just sit back, think about who it is that you’re really trying to reach. Are you trying to reach people like yourself who are in some sort of profession by day? Or are you trying to reach people who are retirees who may just be looking for additional side income? Having a really specific target, who you’re going to be marketing to, will definitely help shape how you’re going to reach out to the community, and how you are going to tailor your specific marketing campaigns to that specific audience.

The next question I would ask yourself is how are you different than other people who are a part of this same program? And from what I can gather from your voicemail is that it’s definitely part of some sort of multi-level marketing program. And I- to be perfectly honest don’t have a whole lot of experience specifically in that area, that’s not something I’ve ever really been involved in. But I would imagine that within any type of MLM, you have a lot of other people that are also involved in it. So with that being said, you are probably one of maybe a couple of hundred of other people doing exactly what you’re doing. So what is it that makes you different and makes somebody want to work with you versus say working with me if I were working with that same company. Or working with you versus somebody that may actually be working side by side with you at your factory day job? So since you’re an Internet entrepreneur by night, you definitely want to make sure that you have a specific- a unique selling proposition. Something that makes people want to work with you versus the person standing next to you. So definitely think about how you’re different, and one of those things is that you being an LGBT person yourself, you have a better understanding of LGBT people than perhaps your allied counterpart. And if that’s the case, then you can use that as your unique selling proposition. That that’s the reason why they should come do business with you.

Now you can take it a step further if you have yourself and then another LGBT person side by side, and they’re trying to figure out who they’re going to do business with. Figure out where you’re really good at. You know what is one of your core strengths, and how is that core strength going to relate in additional opportunity for you and for the person who is also coming to work with you? So definitely figure out how you’re different from your competition and make sure that you can state that very clearly and very concisely in a real short statement. So like in sixty seconds you should be able to rattle off exactly how you’re different than somebody else in your competition. Because then it gives you the opportunity to get that broad message out to the LGBT community because you’re able to articulate why working with you is a really strong and solid idea.

Question number three that you should ask yourself is where can you start your marketing efforts? And if I recall from previous interactions between the two of us, you are in the Pennsylvania area. And this could go for anybody, so even if you’re not in Pennsylvania, if you’re anywhere across this country, you need to start looking around to see what groups are in your area. So based on the voicemail from Lisa, she’s looking to share this particular product with the gay community as a whole. And my first piece of recommendation here on where can you start, would be to go seek out the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. I know, I know, you’re probably sick of me talking about the LGBT Chambers by now, but I am telling you that they are solid places to go for this type of information, and be able to broadcast this type of opportunity to a large number of people. And since I’m pretty certain Lisa you’re in Pennsylvania, definitely start with the Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. So I believe that their website is www.CPGLCC.org. I could be wrong, but I will definitely link that website up in the show notes of this episode which can be found at www.JennTGrace.com/007.

But definitely go start there, reach out to Deb McClain who is the President of that Chamber right now, or Russ Boggs who is the past President; and the two of them can definitely talk to you about what they can offer you as somebody who is in Pennsylvania, and maybe give you some tips and advice on how you can market your product in your community, in your home state. So starting with your local LGBT Chamber organization will at least give you a local head start on where you can begin your marketing. And if for some reason you are looking to market outside of Pennsylvania, maybe it’s in bordering states, or perhaps it’s nationwide; starting there will at least get you pointed in the right direction and they can certainly provide resources that can help you broadcast your program and product on a more national level.

So question number four which kind of ties in with number three, is how are you going to get involved in the community? Are you attending events? Are you advertising in program books? Are you getting on someone’s board of directors? All of these different ways of getting involved are really the way to get your name known in the LGBT community. So I would say whatever nonprofit you might be interested in, there’s definitely some sort of board of directors or a committee, or some sort of fundraising committee, or an event committee for planning some annual gala. There’s 100 different ways that you could get involved in any community organization, and the beauty of those is that you can really get to know the people in your community, the people who are connectors, the people who know others, and it can really get your foot in the right doors to start really talking about what you’re offering and making sure that people understand you have this great program and product to offer.

And then the fifth and final question is how are you going to measure your success? Are you setting goals, and are those goals SMART? And when we’re talking about SMART goals, we’re talking about a Specific goal, a Measurable goal, an Attainable goal, a Realistic goal, and a Timely goal. So you need to make sure that any goals you set meet those five core pieces of criteria. Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. And having them outlined like that really helps you with that mapping out and that planning process. Because what happens is that you’re really thinking of them in a SMART way, so you want to make sure that you’re putting something out there that you can realistically reach.

So make sure that you have all of your goals set and established, and then of course if you beat your goal by a longshot, or you missed your goal a little bit, you want to make sure that your goals are something that you can tweak and alter as you move forward. You don’t want to set a goal and make it firm and solid, and something that you’re not going to budge on. You want to make sure that there’s a little bit of give there. So if you beat your goal by a lot, then you can just revise it just a little bit, and bump it up. So your goal was to close ten new pieces of business in the month, and you closed fifteen. So bump your goal up to twenty. You know be aggressive, but also be realistic. You don’t want to have your goal to be closing 500 pieces of business when really fifteen is the feasible amount. And when you have these SMART goals established, it will definitely help you pick apart the goal and the plan so that way you can really make sure that everything you’re doing in your plan, and everything that you’re executing on can actually be tied back into that particular goal; and that’s definitely the way that you’re going to succeed in this process.

So the way I’ve answered this question today is really a holistic approach of putting together a plan and really getting involved in the community. And I made the assumption based on your voicemail that this is something that you wanted to help your local LGBT community with, but as I’ve gone through all of this, you easily could have just been saying that you wanted to help the LGBT community as a whole, outside of Pennsylvania, outside of the Unites States even, and if that were the case I would definitely recommend an entirely different strategy than what I’ve just outlined right here. I would have definitely recommended something around the lines of online marketing campaigns, or maybe a Facebook marketing campaign. So again I’ve really answered the question in detail as it relates to you being a very local business, and perhaps what I will do for the next episode is go into more details on how you could set up an online advertising campaign, perhaps I could go into detail on how to set up a Facebook campaign. And if that’s something that you think that you personally would be interested in, please reach out to me. You know you can send an email, you can send a voicemail based on my website, I have the feedback hotline that’s right there on the right hand side of the website. Or you could reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, basically any way that you can find contact information, it will get to me. So if you think that’s a good idea please reach out, because I would love to address it if there’s a need for it.

So that brings us to question number two. And this comes from an email from Linda, and it says, ‘In my marketing materials, whether they’re web, Facebook, emails, display ads, et cetera, is using the words safe and welcoming the right words to use for the LGBT market? Or is gay-friendly a better use of words? If I have imagery of gay couples as part of the visuals offered enough so that I don’t have to mention it at all?’

So this is a fantastic question from Linda, and I know that she happens to be in the photography business. And I think that your suggestion on is having imagery of gay couples as part of your visuals offered enough? And I would say absolutely. And the reason I say this is if you look at what the mainstream is doing, and what corporations are doing now, and what the trends are in LGBT marketing, the trend is really to be inclusive in what you’re doing. So before, you know previously years ago, trends were to make very LGBT-specific advertising materials. Or to find a way to call out LGBT people but almost call them out and then separate them. So it was more of a segregation versus inclusion to be really frank. And just yesterday actually I was flipping through the magazine New York Weddings, and there was a featured piece in the middle that had six couples. One was a lesbian couple, one was a gay couple, there was an African American couple, and then there were three straight couples. So it was really exciting for me to just flip open this magazine which is randomly coming to my house, I don’t even know why but somehow I got on their subscription list. It’s a very beautifully done magazine. But it was just a real great moment for me to be flipping through it and see, wow you know it’s not like there’s this LGBT section of the wedding magazine, it was just these two couples were just mixed throughout this six couple spread, and it was just great to see. And that’s really inclusion at its best.

So in some instances, in some parts of the world, in some places within the United States, still identifying that you’re a safe and welcoming place may be the right thing to do for you. I would recommend that since you’re a photographer that using some sort of LGBT imagery is enough. Because you are obviously already working with LGBT couples, so I would imagine that you already have a nice pile of imagery that you can choose from, and this makes you stand out in two ways.

The first way is the fact that you’re using LGBT couples that you’ve personally worked with. And what’s so great about this is the fact that a lot of companies who are working to market towards the LGBT community, they’ll buy stock photos. And as a photographer yourself, you probably are cringing just at the thought of using stock photography. And stock photos are great for a lot of different reasons. But when it comes to marketing to the LGBT community, if you have access to use real photos from real LGBT couples, that is going to win hands down over any stock photography that you’ll find. The problem with the stock photography is the fact that there is so little of it, and there are so many companies now that are really getting involved in marketing to the community, that they’re using the same photos. So you might be flipping through one magazine and see this really large bank that you’re familiar with, and they’re using this great lesbian couple. And then you know, five minutes later you’re looking through a newspaper and you’re looking at a fast food restaurant ad, and it’s the same lesbian couple. So you know, you want to make sure that you’re different. You want to make sure that you’re unique. So in this case, as a photographer, you already have that imagery to make yourself different and unique. And at the end of the day, the LGBT couples who are seeing your materials- and I can’t speak on behalf of the entire community, I can certainly speak on my own behalf, but if I’m flipping through your materials and I see a straight couple alongside a gay couple alongside maybe a young couple and an old couple; it just- it signifies inclusion to me. You know it’s not like you are saying that you need to stick a flag in the sand and say, “I’m a gay friendly person, I’m a gay friendly business, I want your business.” You’re just saying, “You know what? LGBT couples, they’re just a part of what I do. They’re just a part of my business. They’re treated no differently than any other client I have, they’re just people.”

A really good example that’s a recent example for being inclusive is the Amazon Kindle commercial. And if I can find the link to it on YouTube I will certainly link it in the show notes here, but it’s essentially a guy and a girl just hanging out at the beach, and one’s using an Amazon Kindle, the other one is using some sort of other tablet device. And they start talking, and you can see that they’re hitting it off. So the guy that’s not using the Amazon Kindle looks to her and says, “It’s time celebrate,” or something to that effect. And she’s like, “Oh why?” And he says that he just purchased the Kindle. So they then say, “Oh we should mark this celebration with a drink,” and the woman’s like, “Oh yeah my husband’s up at the bar getting me a drink now.” And the guy says, “Mine is too.”

And it’s really inclusive because it’s just showing that LGBT couples are no different than anyone else. A gay couple hanging out at the beach is no different than the straight couple hanging out at the beach, and I think Amazon did a really good job at this particular commercial, and again I will definitely include it in the notes if you haven’t yet seen it.

So Linda I hope that answers your question in terms of if using imagery versus saying gay-friendly is better, and I think that we have identified that using imagery is definitely better because it certainly provides a more inclusive approach to things.

So thank you Linda for submitting that question via email. And now we can shoot over to question number three which was a tweet, which I love getting tweet questions, and a lot of times I will turn them into blog posts. But this particular question I thought deserved a little more time in terms of detail than me actually writing a post would have taken.

So I am going to read this tweet exactly as it was sent to me, and it says, “Would you discuss the definition of gay-friendly vendors, what are the qualifications, is there a test? Me thinks it’s needed. Must be more than cashing in on ‘gay dollars’ or marketing department thought it was a good idea. It’s discouraging.”

And I love, love, love this question. And I have talked about the LGBT certification process, which is essentially as an LGBT business owner you have the opportunity to get certified as an LGBT business owner. And that is certainly a process that actually- there’s a lot of criteria, a lot of qualifications that goes into it. There’s definitely not a test, but you definitely have to prove you are who you say you are, your business is what you say your business is. But that’s only for a certain selection of business owners; that’s really only for LGBT business owners who are looking to market or sell their services to the government or to- the federal government, the state government, to corporations, et cetera. So that’s definitely a percentage of businesses out there. That’s definitely not what I think you’re referring to, which you’re saying gay-friendly vendors in more of a general sense.

And to be really just honest, there aren’t any real qualifications to being able to label yourself as a gay-friendly vendor. And to a certain degree, it’s a little bit discouraging because there isn’t a solid way of being able to rule out the companies that are in it for the right reasons versus the companies who are trying to cash in on the ‘gay dollars,’ as you said or because the marketing department thought it was a good idea. But along those lines, I want to give you a couple of examples of why not having those qualifications in place actually are better for the community. And I have- I probably could list off 25 examples, but I want to just give you a couple here that I think will illustrate my point.

So one of the things that you cited was the marketing department thought it was a good idea. And the marketing department thinking something is a good idea isn’t always a bad thing. So and of course I may be partial in this because I am a marketing person. But I have worked with companies that their marketing department originally thought this was a good idea. And to be perfectly honest they had absolutely no idea what they were getting themselves into. They saw the LGBT market as something that could bring business through their doors, they saw the fact that it’s an almost $800 billion opportunity, they were able to determine what piece of market share they could capture, and they said, “Let’s do this.” And what happened is when I was talking with them, it was very, very clear that their policies on the back end were just a jumbled mess They did not have any particular policies in writing that stated any type of LGBT protections. So their LGBT people, there was no Employee Resource Group for them to be involved in, and mind you we’re talking about a company that had at least 10,000 workers that I know of. And there was no Employee Resource Group for their LGBT employees. There were no domestic partner benefits, there were no LGBT spousal benefits, there were no protections against sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. There were a lot of missing pieces to say the very least.

And one of the first things I had said to this company is- mind you they were reaching out because they wanted to cash in on the ‘gay dollars’ and basically my response to them was, “Before you can actually cash in on these ‘gay dollars,’ you need to make sure that the back of your house is in order. Because you could be spending tons and tons of money on this great beautiful ad campaign that’s going to bring in the LGBT people, but at the end of the day if you are not treating your LGBT employees the way that you should be, it is going to be all for a lost cause.” This is a company that didn’t have a good reputation among LGBT people to start with, so it’s one of those scenarios where don’t go wasting your money unless you have the back of the house in shape. But my point here is if some person, just one single person, in that marketing department didn’t think that this was a good idea, that company never would have realized what a problem that they had with their LGBT employee base. So by that one marketing person saying, “Let’s go market to the LGBT community,” that kind of caused a ripple effect of okay so we’re going to market to the community but now we have to fix this policy, we have to add this policy, we have to do this for our employees, and it really came full circle, 360 degrees full circle which is absolutely amazing for me to see because it means that that one person really just made a difference in the lives of so many other LGBT people that work for that company.

So at the end of the day if we had a test or we had qualifications of what made that company gay-friendly or not gay-friendly, then they would have failed, they would have failed miserably for that matter. But that never would have given the opportunity for that company to change its ways, and to really become a company that LGBT people would want to patronize.

So I have to say that marketing departments thinking something is a good idea isn’t always a bad thing. It’s actually something that helps keep pushing the envelope a little bit further, and as I’ve said in plenty of instances in the past, really when you’re an LGBT person, your allies are really truly that. They are allies, they are the ones that can help move what you’re trying to accomplish forward. And in this particular case, that one straight ally in the marketing department who saw the dollar, saw the dollars and cents of it, really was an ally to the community because now they have really just provided so much more opportunity for so many LGBT people. And I think that we need to make sure that we’re always giving our allies that type of credit.

So another example that I want to throw out there as part of my response to this, is going back to your LGBT Chambers of Commerce; and again I know, I know I’m talking about them again. But as you- if you’ve listened to this podcast or read my blog, you understand that I have been involved with one for almost six years- about five and a half years. So I really have a true understanding of the value that they can bring to you. And one of the things is the LGBT Chamber is sort of a- it can weed out the good and the bad, and I don’t even want to put it that way but for lack of a better term. It can weed out the people who are inauthentic in wanting to market to the LGBT community. And some Chambers operate with actual processes and procedures that naturally weed out people who are not there for the right reasons, and then in other instances people find their way into the LGBT Chamber, they’re not authentic, they’re there just to cash in on the ‘gay dollars.’ And very quickly it’s realized, and it’s dealt with in some capacity. So whether that person is asked to be removed from the membership, or if they’re never accepted into the membership to begin with, there are a lot of different ways that you can really weed out the people who aren’t in it for the right reasons.

And again, going to the previous example, if somebody comes to a Chamber meeting and they’re a straight ally, and they’re looking to market to the community, that’s awesome and that’s great because the more allies that we have doing that the better. But if they’re doing it in a way where they’re saying derogatory things, or they are really just- it’s just blatantly obvious that they don’t really care but they’re playing along stereotypes, and they’re just being rude about it. Then that is going to send up a red flag to somebody somewhere, and it can be handled. And in my past experience with Chambers of Commerce, specifically the one here in Connecticut, I can think of two instances in my tenure as the Executive Director of that Chamber where I had somebody who came to me who wanted to be involved in the organization, so you know we sat down, had a meeting, I went to their business, checked things out. Their business was awesome, it was such a really unique type of business that I think the members would have benefitted from, but as I began talking with the owner, it was very, very clear and obvious that he was a bit homophobic. So in my role you never want to take an opportunity where you can change somebody’s mind or change their point of view, or provide more equality for people because with him being homophobic at the head of the company, clearly any LGBT employees he has are probably in the closet. And to me it’s one of those scenarios where I can help make a difference, I my one self can try to help the employees of this company overcome this person’s bias. However in this particular instance, it was so incredibly bad that I just had to decline him from being a part of our organization. And that’s what I’m saying when I say if you go to your LGBT Chamber of Commerce, if you start flipping through their directory, if you start looking at the people who are involved, understand that there is some sort of criteria whether it’s actually in writing or not, that has been met that really is showing that the people who are there are there for the right reasons and they’re there for more than just cashing in on the ‘gay dollars.’ Or more than the marketing department thought it was a good idea. It’s not to say that people have not gotten to that point based on those principles alone, but the reason they’re staying there is because they understand the bigger picture at this point.

I hope I made my response clear, and I do have other examples of this, and it’s one of those scenarios that these are the reasons why I continue to do what I do all the time. Because I want to make sure that we’re having these discussions, we’re trying to figure out what makes somebody gay-friendly versus a non gay-friendly company. I want to make sure that this is stuff that’s being talked about on a national, international or a global level because at the end of the day we’re all seeking equality. We’re not asking for anything more, or anything less. We just want equal access, equal opportunity, equal rights as everybody else. And it’s conversations like this that really just help keep us on our toes and moving things in the right direction.

So again I hope that answered your question and I really appreciate you reaching out to me on Twitter, and if you have any additional questions, of course please head over to my blog and find a way to send that information over.

So that wraps up question number three of this Listener Questions Extravaganza Podcast. I hope this information has been helpful for you and your business. In just a moment I will share what’s on the next podcast episode, and an additional few announcements. But before I do that I do want to play a commercial from my sponsors at the Human Performance Academy. So have a listen to this.

So thank you Michael for your sponsorship of this podcast. And for those of you who are business owners who are listening to this podcast, I really recommend checking out their website. They have a lot of freebies on it that really just focus on how to operate at your best. So working within your strengths and trying to avoid burdening yourself with things that are more of your weaknesses. So I work with them quite a bit, they really are a fantastic company, so definitely go over and check them out.

And a couple of announcements that I do want to make. First thing I want to point out is my next expert interview. So on April 3rd, the next expert interview will be with Heather Cox who is with Certify My Company. And she and I talked about all things supplier diversity, LGBT certification, the ways that you can leverage that in your business, a lot of the nitty gritty details of what supplier diversity is all about. And this is something that I bring up on a fairly regular basis on this show but I have not yet dug deep into all of the details and all of the nuances of how it all works. And since her company is specifically around helping businesses certify their company, this is the perfect podcast for you to listen to if you are looking to get certified either as an LGBT business, a minority-owned business, a woman-owned business, et cetera; we talk about all of those things. So it will definitely take you from a base level of understanding to really knowing a little bit more and how it can affect your business. So definitely stay tuned, that is on April 3rd.

So the next thing that I want to point out is the next webinar I’ve already set up is on Tuesday, April 30th. The webinar will be from 1:00 to 2:00 PM and that is Eastern Standard Time, and the webinar’s focus will be around business etiquette, how to do business with the community, how to market yourself and market your business to the community, and of course I will have a live Q & A at the end of the webinar so you can certainly ask your questions then.

And then finally I want to mention the 2013 National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce National Business and Leadership Conference, which is happening in Dallas. And it’s happening from July 30th to August 2nd, they recently posted an event on their Facebook page for this that has additional information on the event itself. And if you are an LGBT business owner and you have not yet been to this conference, it is a must go, you have to check it out. It’s an amazing time. If you are going to be there, please shoot me an email because I would love to catch up with you while we’re there. And you can find out more information on my website at www.JennTGrace.com/dallas.

So as I mentioned a couple times, you can find all of the links and this information that we’ve been talking about on the air today at www.JennTGrace.com/007 for episode number seven.

As always, thank you so much for listening to the show, I hope you enjoyed what you heard today, and I encourage you to leave me a review in iTunes if you feel so inclined, or reach out to me by any other means, send a carrier pigeon if you have to. I love talking with people, I love engaging with you, and I look forward to talking with you on the next show. Have a great day.



About Jenn T. Grace

Jenn T. Grace (she/her/hers) is an award-winning author and founder and CEO of Publish Your Purpose (PYP), the acclaimed hybrid publisher of non-fiction books. Jenn has published nearly 200 books written by thought leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs who are striving to make a difference. Jenn T. Grace’s work elevates and amplifies the voices of others—especially marginalized groups who are regularly excluded from traditional publishing.

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