This is part 1 of a 2 part series.
I previously had a meeting with a small business owner in my area. We’ve known of each other for a while but we were gathering to understand more about each others business. This particular business owner has had a catering business for over 20+ years.
We began talking about her LGBT clients. She mentioned that she has done many same-sex weddings and she treats them no differently than any other wedding that she does. It was reassuring to hear her say that. At the end of the day there is no need to treat your LGBT clients differently than any other client you have, regardless of your business. The message you want to convey to everyone is that you are inclusive of everyone.
I’ve written about the difference between diversity and inclusion before – diversity being the art of intentionally separating people by commonalities. And inclusion the art of intentionally being open and accepting of everyone regardless of their commonalities. This is a really simple way of stating it but for more on this, head over and read the previous blog post here – Inclusion Based Marketing
So she asked me if is there something she can do in her marketing that continues to convey that inclusive attitude that they already possess. My answer was she just needed to make a few small tweaks – in many instances, just one small change. I advised that she include some same-sex couple imagery on her website alongside the couples that are already there. Make note here that I did not advise her to create a new LGBT specific page talking to just the LGBT audience. In this case just adding same-sex imagery to existing products and services pages will do the trick.
If I am an LGBT person shopping around for a caterer and I see that there are same-sex couples mixed in with everyone else on their website I would have an immediate sense that they are inclusive of my family even without them saying something bold like “We are gay-friendly.”
The other thing she could do and you could do is include the logo or name of the local LGBT organizations that you participate in within your geographic area. I always champion the cause for the LGBT chamber of commerce. If you belong, include their logo and put “Proud member of…” on your website. It represents a good housekeeping seal of approval to someone within the community checking out the validity of your marketing to the LGBT community. The imagery conveys exclusivity and the membership or involvement in an LGBT organization conveys engagement. Both of which are important in garnering trust with your potential LGBT client.Click here for part 2 of this post where we talk about creative ways to capture the LGBT inclusive imagery your website or marketing materials might need.
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