July 11, 2020
(updated July 11, 2020)
Published by Marita Šupe
A translator is someone who converts the written word from one language to another. The most important requirement is that they be fluent in English and at least one other language. A translator is a specialist in more than one field, from basic ones like greetings to scientific, more complicated like nuclear engineering. To be a translator from one language to another, a person has to learn all the time. There are always new things that a translator can learn. Translators have help in CAT tools and machine translating software. Although artificial intelligence translation tools have made significant advances in the past few years, they are not without error and some of those errors could be costly making your business or project look unprofessional and miss opportunities.
Machine Only Translation Blunders
For example, taking one language and doing a strictly literal translation can sometimes create near comical results is using only AI tools and/or a translator not proficient in the common everyday use of the language with all the nuances. Take for instance messages you receive on LinkedIn or in your email. You have likely received a message recently here in 2020 with an introduction of “My Dearest….” or even “My Darling”. No American or any native English speaker anywhere today starts off a business communication like that – Full Stop Period. That is unless you are trying to sound like a 1940’s romance novel. Today it frankly sound creepy and is 99.99% sure to be SPAM. It wreaks of SPAM signals that will get your site, profile and email blocked.
If your business depends on foreign markets you should, NO, you MUST use a professional human translator who is fluent in your target audience’s language. Else, you are losing opportunities by not being viewed as credible.
What kinds of projects might you use a translator for?
Print material text
Articles and Press Release text
Speech/Industry Talks translation
Client/customer templates messages such as prospecting and support
Any form of communication
What tools do professional translators use?
Most professional translators use some type of translation memory software, often called TM. The term Computer Assisted Translation is also used.
These programs compare each sentence in the text with previously translated sentences and phrases, to generate a possible translation. Then the human translator modifies this translation as needed. There are many advantages to this. Mainly, the translator does not have to retranslate stock phrases or common terminology over and over again. They also have features to check for accuracy in numbers, or that a translator has translated certain terms consistently throughout the entire document. Many Programs today also let the translator send a phrase or sentence to be translated by an outside source, for example, a TM server run by an agency, or a machine translation service such as Google Translate.
There are several companies that offer the software and they all do more or less the same thing. They each have strengths and weaknesses. Some are more expensive and have more features. Some software is better suited for people working on very large projects that cannot be accomplished by one translator in the given time. The one I use is most suited for an individual freelance translator. All of them should be used only by a translator. In fact, I believe it is much better for a translator to work without such a program, at least in the beginning, and then use the program only once they have learned the basics of translation.
Translators in some fields, such as marketing, sales catalogs, etc. don’t like to use TM. They say that it inhibits their creativity, and the result will sound too much like a translation. Another type of translation that is growing is the post-editing of machine translation. In this method, a machine translation program is used to generate a first draft. Then a human translator revises it. The machine translations are getting better, but for now, most individual translators do not like to do this work. It’s usually not as interesting and some translators find that machine produced translations have strange and annoying errors in them. Also, the client in those cases often does not pay the translator as much. But the software is getting better, and most of us will be doing something along those lines in the future.
Quote by: Steven Marzuola
What are the different types of language translators?
Three main types of translation are human translation, machine translation, and post-edited machine translation. So you can call a person or a computer translator. And if it’s the former, you can distinguish translators based on what type of translation they specialize in.
So some distinguish between literary (prose, poetry, plays) and informative (scientific, technical, newspapers, documents etc) translation, on the one hand, and between written and oral translation (or interpretation), on the other hand. So there are interpreters and translators, and translators could be grouped into literary translators, science translators, technical translators and so on (the grouping is based on what kinds of works a translator translates).
And also there are two different types of interpreting: consecutive interpreting (the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking) and simultaneous interpretation (the interpreter translates the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks). Also, you can distinguish between intralingual translation (translation within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase), interlingual translation (translation from one language to another), and intersemiotic translation (translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, for example, music or image). So you can say there are intralingual translators, interlingual translators, and intersemiotic translators.
His innovative approach is very different than most in that the bulk of his professional service fees are not the typical hourly or project-based. Rather he partners with his clients to share the risk and reward. On a client, by client basis, he structures a relationship where he earns a percentage of his client’s new growth. In this way, if his marketing is not successful his client owes nothing. If it is successful, he earns a percent of the new revenue. It is an innovative approach. Most marketing agencies pitch ideas and the client then pays for the implementation of those and hope it works. In this model, Louis’s firm is highly engaged and equally sharing the fisk and reward. His approach is not for all clients. He likes to have clients with little or very underperforming marketing and a fairly straight forward business model. He also keeps an eye on trends for emerging fields to work with businesses who are early adopters to ride a wave together. He has had to turn away prospective customers who were not a good fit. In some cases, he has offered business advice on how those prospects might adapt their business to be a better fit. Some direct cost fees get invoiced so that Louis is not financially losing any money.
3:00 Partnering with Clients pay for success in a shared return on investment (ROI) manner – Skin in the game, share in the potential up-side, putting money where their mouth is – earn a percentage based on the success of marketing campaign, cut of increase in profit margin
8:00 Does not bill/charge client if traction/results are not realized, they revisit, improve and retool
8:30 Builds trust and mutual learning teamwork. Clients then still engage for work that is paid such as brochures.
9:30 Unique agreements per client with the ability to earn more with fewer clients.
11:00 Choosing clients wisely with the potential to grow and room for improvement
12:00 For prospective clients that aren’t a good fit Loius provides advice to improve to be a future fit
12:30 Louis seeks a business that has a market potential to take-off based on many factors
20:00 This could be a business game-changer if you have financial difficulty right now, this may not be the best model unless you cover your bare base and do a blended approach of partial billing and partial upturn profit-sharing
23:00 Small clients are ideal sue to dealing with the owner. Keep things simple, straight forward, and measurable with short spurts of 2-4 weeks to assess, measure, improve, repeat.
28:00 Not click tracking. Revenue tracking.
29:00 Train client staff – partner, educate, empower, and all thrive while building trust.
36:20 Don’t allow a client to abuse your time. Ensure the client understands your time has value and has a billing rate. Don’t waste it or bill.
Could Your Business Try Pay for Performance?
In today’s world crisis how you adapt can define new opportunities or potentially going out of business. If you offer professional services, would you consider a pay for performance? FOR Louis this approach has meant he has been able to cherry-pick clients to work with, have fewer clients while earning above average for his work. He is focused on quality that drives results.
To connect with Louis find him on OutBüro here. https://www.outburo.com/profile/louiswalters/
Join me and Louis on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
July 1, 2020
(updated December 6, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with LGBT entrepreneurs, Stephen Redford and Robson Teles of AG2 Media, a digital marketing service agency in New York City (NYC) that knows how to reinvent during challenging times and thrive.
During the COVID period, it is vital to really focus on your small business online local SEO strategy. Dust off your online marketing, give it a refresh with a keen focus on being found by local clients or your ideal online target audience no matter where they are located. Case in point, AG2 Media has worked with a local business for quite some time having done their overall branding and website. Yet initially the client chose not to focus on local SEO including online business citations because their business had great foot traffic and word of mouth referral. Fast forward and we all have felt the impact of COVID on business. This client laid most of their small business stars off due to a rapid sharp downturn in business. Then AG2 Media reminded them that they could get phone orders for delivery or pickup if they focus on being found if internet searches served up their business in results in a more targeted way utilizing all the features of Google My Business and more. After getting the green light the AG2 Media team swung into action. The results were quick and profound. Within just around 30 days the client was receiving a high volume of client orders a week and most where new customers. Within a short period, the client’s business was back to pre-COVID levels and they were able to bring back their staff. Had the business owner not invested into local SEO, today they would have been officially out of business. Local SEO literally saved the business. What can it do for your business?
WE LIKE SIMPLE DESIGN; WE THINK IT HELPS KEEP YOUR MESSAGE CLEAR.
We believe design should be concept driven and engaging. Great design can shift the perception of your brand and is an investment in your company’s future. AG2 Digital will design a stylish, professional logo, website, business cards, branded social media platforms, in-house branded materials and custom icons. After we’re done, you’ll have a brand that inspires trust and confidence with consumers.
AG2 Digital creates unique logo designs that relate to your customers and makes you stand out from your competitors. We’ll take you through our logo/branding discussion process to better understand your business, culture, personality, and aesthetics.
YOUR WEBSITE ACTS AS THE ONLINE FACE OF YOUR COMPANY, ITS STOREFRONT.
The value of your web design can either increase site traffic or drive it away. If you have a poorly designed website that just doesn’t look “right” to a visitor, it is highly unlikely they will place enough trust into your business to make a purchase. A site’s design is the reflection of business behind it, and in order to create a reputable online profile, this is definitely not an area that can be ignored.
Since your website is often where customers have their first interaction with your business, it better make a good first impression. Our goal is to engage your audience while creatively telling your story through an aesthetically pleasing and functional website with clear navigation.
To connect with Stephen find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/stephen_ag2digital/
Join me and Stephen on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
Conversation Auto Transcrpit
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:06 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro where we bring you episodes featuring LGBT entrepreneurs, professionals and community leaders. Today we are joined by the two founders and principals of a AG2 Digital, a marketing and communications firm based in New York City who rah, welcome Robson and Stephen to the OutBüro voices show.
Unknown Speaker 0:42 I just Thanks for having us.
Unknown Speaker 0:45 Absolutely. And so, because I know we are on a time limit, because right now I’m on the cheap. So we’re doing this in 40 minutes to stay in line with the Skype limitation We’re going to dive right into you guys now do know that I will be switching this to the person who’s speaking. So just know don’t know how you guys are going to want to do a little hand signals. But if you find you’re going over each other just one of you kind of pause and let the other one take the lead and just bounce back and forth as you guys like okie dokie. And so what if one of you would like to give me a little bit of background on to how ag to digital got started? And then we’ll move on from there.
Unknown Speaker 1:33 Okay, well I tend to overtalk him, so I’ll go first. I got my background in hospitality, tourism marketing. I worked for 20 years in various boutique hotels here in New York City and a sales and marketing capacity. And then, like a lot of New Yorkers and like a lot of people now at a downturn of the hospitality and the Straight, like what’s happening now? I lost my job and started an art consulting and sales and marketing company. And then that helps him talk about his start.
Unknown Speaker 2:12 Well, I, I’ve always been a designer, I graduated in graphic design back on the early 90s. And right after school, I got a job at Hallmark. I worked for Hallmark for two years. And then I moved to New York, er, word for Forbes magazine Businessweek. And my last job was with new score. And as Steve was mentioning, with the downturn of the economy in 2008, my whole department was gone. And that’s when I start doing freelance and freelance turn into the digital agency that we have now. Student I have run the agents that’s pretty much good.
Unknown Speaker 2:58 Okay, so How long has a a GQ digital been around as a company?
Unknown Speaker 3:07 We started in 2015. And as we when we first began, we were a more of a old school print graphic design company. And we quickly saw that the real business was going to be in website design. So that’s, I would say three years ago, we shifted everything to web design. And then further we went into more SEO capabilities, sem SEO PPC on that we’ve been doing for about two years now.
Unknown Speaker 3:41 Okay, so
Unknown Speaker 3:43 are you guys do all or most of the work are kind of really focused on the client acquisition and then kind of subcontract out some of that work.
Unknown Speaker 3:54 Thompson does all the design work, which is amazing. We subcontract Drag out these some of the SEO work and the social media advertising.
Unknown Speaker 4:06 Okay. Kobe’s now you are in the New York City area. Therefore, I bet you guys have seen a lot of change here in the COVID. But I guess before we get to kind of that to understand the impact of COVID on your business, let’s kind of back up and talk a little bit about as you were starting your business, what are some of the ways that you guys have, you know, found your clients and you know, that the word out about your business?
Unknown Speaker 4:41 Yeah, definitely. We started the company. And I mean, I just want to back up a little bit and say that hausa and I both were never entrepreneurs to begin with. We both were raised to go to school, get a degree and get a paycheck. And that’s coming. of how we operated for most of our careers here, and I guess you would say corporate America. But when we found ourselves in a situation where we had to create our own company, we were a little bit out of fish out of water. And our first place that we started really practicing and learning about getting clients and selling for ourselves was like the LGBT networking community, specifically, our Business Builders is a breakfast meeting that we attended. We joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. And that was how we got our first clients. And that still to this day, is where we’re getting the majority of our clients is the networking that we’ve been able to do within the LGBTQ community.
Unknown Speaker 5:50 Oh, well, wonderful. And I guess I’ll kind of jump in and you know, say how, you know, there is no age limitation on being an entrepreneur, you can jump into to being an entrepreneur at any point in your, in your path, you know, from, you know, 16 years old to 76 years old. And it’s very interesting as I’m interviewing people right now, like my call earlier who I’m talking with next week, she’s she’s a young entrepreneur hasn’t even graduated from college yet working on a mobile app. And earlier today was a life coach. You know, who, from the UK? And, you know, I think it’s very poignant that life and businesses throw us curveballs. And you know, it’s no longer the day, you know, like whenever my father had basically worked for two employers his his whole life and you know, but But today, the reality is, is that companies really aren’t loyal to you. They’re only loyal to you as long as their profitability allows them to be so. And you know, for whatever reason, no fault of your own, you could be let go laid off, whatever nicety words want to be utilized. And in times like this encoded where people have been, you know, sent home and not call back. And so your story kind of really, really is one to pay close attention to because you, although it wasn’t COVID at that time, it was an economic downturn. So there’s that similarity and out of it, what I’m hearing is out of necessity. You had to kind of shake the old mindset that in the end the fallacy of you know, that corporate america Erica is going to look out for you and be your mainstay. And we had to dust that off and do it for yourself. I’m sorry,
Unknown Speaker 8:09 go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 8:10 I just wanted to add to that that they’re on. today. On we have all the facility in the world with technology, you know, you have a computer in your house and you have a printer, and right there and then you have an office full at office, you can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world. And that makes it very easy to be your own business. You’re on there. So I just want to add to that.
Unknown Speaker 8:41 And we’re perfect examples of the situation. What’s happening now with COVID is exactly what happened to us. So a lot. I know a lot of people are going to be losing their jobs. A lot of people are already starting the freelance work. We’re here to say that it can be done and ironically, that’s what we Do we help other individuals or small companies brand themselves, which, and to get online, we offer all of the things that you would need the brand, the logo, the website, the SEO capabilities, we’re you know, and ironically, our business has grown more in the past two months because of the services that we offer that we’ve experienced in years. So I don’t I don’t know.
Unknown Speaker 9:37 hatred. Okay. Well, well, so I’ll kind of back that up for you in that. You know, probably that’s stemming out of people are, especially in New York, I’ve lived in New York myself, I know, you know, heavy pedestrian cities. So you’re you’re walking around, you know, you’re taking that street. Taxi or Uber or Lyft? Yes, you do do the subways as well. We’ve never I live there, but a lot of you know, when you’re living in New York for those that aren’t aware of it, yes, it’s this huge city, but it’s also small communities. Like, whenever I lived there, you know, we had some of our favorite restaurants that we would go to you know, the ones on a regular basis were within a couple of blocks the the little place with the flowers on the corner, were just two blocks away. I always heard if I can, I always love fresh flowers in the house. And, you know, so it’s a very, although, it seems overwhelming to a lot of people like oh, my gosh, how many millions of people live there? Well, you know, if you live out in Queens, you’re not going into Chelsea for your prescription or you’re not going you know from the Upper West Side, all the way out to Brooklyn for your groceries right? You have within a certain area a certain distance, it’s more like a small town. And so, as an
Unknown Speaker 11:10 example, one of our clients now is actually a florist. And because of the downturn in the COVID, he was actually gonna have to close his business. He had laid off all of his staff. He was not sure he is going to be able to pay the rent. And he is also a member of one of our networking groups. So we met with him and we, you know, we had been talking about SEO for months years with him. So he finally agreed to do it. And his business after one month of local SEO, working with his Google My Business platform, getting him signed up with local listings. He was able to he’s his business is now where it was before. The Coronavirus
Unknown Speaker 11:58 issue. credible. He’s
Unknown Speaker 12:02 in one month, he has 13,000 new searches. And majority of that is new, new people looking at his website. In the past couple weeks, he was telling me 65 new phone calls most of those new clients. So he’s, if not, he’s thinking about having to rehire, um, and here he was thinking he had to close. Wow, what a great, what a
Unknown Speaker 12:28 great story. And you know how true because you know, when you are no matter where you are in the country or the world, I mean, taking that right there for an example in an area where possibly even those new customers were within a certain distance, right, because they looked online for a local florists. If your competitors aren’t online, if your competitors are not optimized, then you taking those extra steps to Ensure that your website is optimized, you have great content, but especially for those kinds of businesses where you’re ensuring that you are showing up in the Google Maps and getting as many what’s called business citations. A business citation is a listing on a local service. So for an example, LGBT businesses out there you can add your business to our bureau comm that is called a business citation. And that also helps your overall business website ranking, move up and it helps especially when you have your full address. When Google sees that you are on a, you know, X number of sites with a business citation listing not only are you on their record, but when they see that you are also on all these other websites. Yo you know whatever other business site listings there are, that’s going to further give power give Google says, Oh, yes, that is a business it is because I see all of these listings on all these other various websites. And so therefore, I’m going to increase now i’m also pulling that together with local content. So blogs and so forth, having a Facebook page with rankings there. So So let’s talk about since that is a recent customer, and and as I understand it, you’ve been trying to work with that person. And you’ve been cultivating that client for quite some time, correct?
Unknown Speaker 14:43 Yes. And I think maybe perhaps you can talk about the process that we went through with them on the branding process and the process that we go through and how he took him
Unknown Speaker 14:54 from the logo to now being very
Unknown Speaker 14:57 successful. Yeah. left row darlin came to us out say four or five years ago, he was one of our of our first clients. He came to watch because he was with Brenda, he was changing the pricing. It was good branding. And through that we created a new logo, we created a new website for him new content, social media platform, all the collateral material for the store as well. Or in we read it in such a way that it matched the interior of his store. He got an architect and did his store with the columns that he wanted with all the image that he wanted inside the pattern of the wood. And from that I do buy all the creative elements and in the website in the store, they are a perfect match. And then once we did that, that’s when we came with the idea of enhances business with SEO, but he wasn’t so well at the time and everything was working so perfectly. That, you know, we took a little leap to get him to do SEO. So as Steve was mentioned, just recently, he switched to SEO as well. But he has been a client of ours for for many, many years. And, you know, that’s how Frodo and cat came to us.
Unknown Speaker 16:19 I think he’s, you know, he’s obviously benefiting from the fact that internet use is up by 70% since everyone started staying at home, and data usage on your phone is up by 47%. And I was looking at this statistic, the, you know, when someone buys a product at a store, and then goes and picks it up, like you would do at Home Depot or any other store like that, that kind of purchase is 554%. So, you’ve just got to be online, and you get I think that’s the most important thing. Is that is being have a strong digital presence is the is the way you’re going to succeed now
Unknown Speaker 17:08 I couldn’t agree more and so part of the heart of the lesson though here too, for the entrepreneur is you have to be online and for the entrepreneurs out there, take a look at your current and past client base if you have some and revisit them, especially if your services will enable them to as a as a business enable them to thrive better in this environment. If you do do marketing and web service and web development and local local SEO and so forth. You are perfect you are crying. If you are if you are not going back to clients These folks have here. If you have if you’re not going back to clients who said no to you over and over again for the last several years, now is a time where they potentially will say yes. Because look at this as a case in point right here as to how valuable that is. Because they’re, you know, being in New York again, getting back to that foot traffic that florists was, was doing great had a beautiful shop and that’s what gets those people who are walking by on the street front to walk in, right. But and they had the website but they weren’t optimized. They didn’t at that point get to see the need back several years ago to invest that additional funds and taking it to the to the next level. And, and that’s okay. Because Because now look at what has been able to be to be accomplished.
Unknown Speaker 18:56 So another thing another thing that
Unknown Speaker 19:00 People in business have to think about is your presence online, it is extremely important. Because your presence online is going to give you reviews. And over 90% of people who shop online, look at reviews, if you have less than 4.0 they move away from you immediately. So you have to have a presence not only online, but you have to have you have to keep that up in order to have good reviews.
Unknown Speaker 19:33 So you know and eat anywhere at this point in your city. There’s nothing we’ve been we’ve been restaurant deprived for so long, but anyway, yeah, it’s true. I you know, when the restaurants were open, and we had our choice, you know, anything less than a 4.3 or, you know, below I just wouldn’t go. You know, Nancy Pelosi said that all roads lead to Russia, right? In my case, I make, I’m changing A little bit of all roads lead to your website and your Google reviews. And, you know, the the, you know, the Google is offering an incredible free product. Um, you know, Google My Business, it’s such a strong platform now. And just downloading photos. If you’ve got 20 or 30 photos, you’re already beating your competition. And you’re going to get much more hits. Google loves photos on your Google My Business by putting your business address in the footer of your website, so that Google can verify the website address to your Google My Business. Again, you’re going to increase your search capacity, little things like that having your hours, nine to five, Monday through Friday on your Google My Business platform, immediately increases. Little things you can do for free. goes there. They want you they want you to spend more more time on the internet. So they’re gonna try to keep you there.
Unknown Speaker 21:04 Right, and they’re trying to be relevant. They’re trying to be the most relevant search results out there. And so you know, as Steven is indicating, the more information that you provide, you’re making it easy for Google to serve up your business to its searchers. And therefore, the more the more information you have, the better. So I’m going to give you one tip, and it’s the reason why we use search. Google for LGBTQ aren’t for LGBT entrepreneur, LGBT professional, or LGBT employer ratings or LGBT reviews LGBT employer reviews, why out Bureau is either number one or on the first page. So here is a tip for you when you are uploading those images. Don’t just take a photo and go Upload. Because if you do Guess what? The image file name the dot JPG file name on that is going to be something like image 300178 dot jpg. Well, what the hell does that mean? It means nothing. So if you can google this how to search engine optimize your photos. So what I do is every single image on my website of our bureau comm every single image is keyword optimized in the file name itself. So it will say something to the effect of out Bureau, dash, LGBT entrepreneurs, corporate equality employee raise LGB, our gay, lesbian, transgender, queer online community dot jpg, right. So all of those key words are stub In the dot jpg, file name, or PNG file, you know, file name, and so forth. So when you get back to your website, there’s additional things you can do there. And that’s I will leave it to these great folks to inform you, I don’t want to take away all those secrets. However, you can Google it, it’s not that much of a secret. But just so that all of you are aware less than 1%, less than 1% of the websites that are on the internet right now. Do that. So if you just do that you are already promoting yourself up to the 1% category. Now, when you upload those images to your Google My Business Page with all of the other information, those keywords on your electronic file name of your images are also going to help Google knows exactly what your business is about, because now it’ll say New York, Chelsea Flower Shop dot jpg, not just image 3.1707. So take that tip and run with it. And when you need additional help on furthering it, make sure you you seek some professionals. You know what you don’t do your own taxes, do you? Probably not. most business owners don’t do their own finances or many other tasks. So it’s just like that when you’re looking at hiring professionals to help you stand out on the internet with your local searches and wider. It’s best to hire a professional who does this all the time.
Unknown Speaker 24:38 Because Google will change it. Once it once you think you’ve got it. It will change. There’s this new thing. Have you heard of bird I guess you’ve heard bird. I don’t even know what it stands for. But Google is now getting away from keywords. That’s why you might want to if you want to know why you’re being told to write blogs and do podcasts have videos. It’s because Google likes big chunks of information now. And so if you can write, copy and write blogs in a conversational tone that Google can understand, because now Google is moving to more voice searches, so Google can’t just look for keywords, they want a big chunk of information. And that’s why content marketing blogging is so important. ads.
Unknown Speaker 25:29 And that would those images are just one piece of the of the huge puzzle, right? But that’s one thing that again, 99% of websites don’t do. And there’s an easy way to check that. By the way, if you go to your own website, just hover over an image and right click it, you’re going to see the alt what’s called the alt, the title and the alt text. And again, google google image website image optimization and if Go to right clicking download, you’re going to see what that image is. It is named. So although Google you are right is moving away from the amount of emphasis that they put on keyword past that that image optimization is a huge gaping open opportunity where the vast majority of people don’t don’t pay attention to. So
Unknown Speaker 26:29 I’m doing this just to illustrate a service that we have for free. If anyone wants to know more details about their website and how it is running, and they go to our website, and we offer free reports on local SEO and SEO, all they have to do is type the domain of their website and they will have a report landing low exactly what you’re saying us today you have miss a special All images, if the website is running slow if they don’t have the right content, if they have broken links, all that will be on a report. And we can talk to them and help them out to clear that out so they can take the report with them and do themselves wherever they need to argue for.
Unknown Speaker 27:22 You don’t have to, in order to get that do they fill out like a contact form providing either information? No, no, no, no, they just type
Unknown Speaker 27:29 their domain and the report comes up to them. It’s pretty much that simple. Yeah. Hello. Wonderful.
Unknown Speaker 27:38 And I will point out that we are running some private packages. So everything from branding website and SEO is all on a page called ag to digital.com slash packages. So check it out. Good prices.
Unknown Speaker 27:57 Awesome. Well, thank you so much for that. So, um, you know, being entrepreneurs is a difficult journey. Right? You know, you’ve got your ups and your downs, you know,
Unknown Speaker 28:10 it is it is it is very difficult but it is very rewarding, you know, you, you help people out people come to us with a need and deliver what they want. We sit them grow, we sit our business grow, we deliver exactly what they want. We do research and our business, we come up with strategy, we do implementation, and at the end, it is it is a 360 degree circle of just enjoyment. That is Bob Santa Rosa, you’re there because in kind of work that you do, we find bumps in the road, but at the end of the day, it is extremely rewarding. And it is very rewarding to work with the gay community as well, just getting back to people who gave to us.
Unknown Speaker 28:54 Much. So and you know, I think Love as an entrepreneur, I love that the branding and the building thing, you know, getting the word out, and that’s what this is really about. You know, because if you have a business, let’s say you’re, you’re, you’re a lawyer. Well, if no one knows that you exist, if they can’t find you on, you know, there’s multiple ways in which a lawyer should be marketing themselves. But you could say, Oh, I went to law school and I’m opening my own practice. And you rent an office and you go and you sit in the office all day. Well, if you’re not doing marketing, guess what? You’re not going to get any clients. I mean, because you got to get those clients in the door somehow and mountain word of mouth will get you so far, but there has to be that constant, you know, education and awareness out there. And as you guys have pointed out, and made it very clear, you know, having an online presence because no one goes to the Yellow Pages, you know, anymore, do they? I don’t know why they make them Yeah, and part
Unknown Speaker 30:00 of our implementation is the outreach as well. Once your website is done, dusted, implemented, we go further by, you know, get in contact with all the clients have metrics finish the job and communicated that there is a new website after there are new service up. And we do that in print format. And we can do digitally as well. Whatever is the best suit for the client. Right now. We are working with a lawyer we are just in a final phase of her work. And she wanted to do the outreach by print which we are doing, as opposed to digital is she says that has a little bit more of a personal touch to get a card and to get a brochure. So we are doing that but we do.
Unknown Speaker 30:53 Yeah, and I will have another attorney we’re working on. We work with a lot of law firms and financial companies and We started with SEO legal about six months ago. And they weren’t really ranking they were ranking on the 11th page of Google for a lot of the services that they provide immigration law, Bitcoin and real estate law. They’re now on the first page of Google after six months for immigration, and the real estate. Yeah, so it definitely works. And, you know, I just want to encourage anyone out there that’s maybe going to lose their job or one thinking of going out on their own is starting off freelance or a small company. We’ve just seen so many success stories. SEO is one of those words it’s hard to explain. It’s hard to sell actually, but once you see the results, um, it’s it’s it’s such a it’s such a good feeling to see and to watch someone business grow and to be able to say, Yeah, I told you so.
Unknown Speaker 31:58 Yeah, in a good way.
Unknown Speaker 32:01 Yes, there, there’s whenever I’m working on on things for myself, it’s like, oh, I’m going after these keywords, I’m expanding my, my vocabulary on what I’m going after. And it’s like I’m going after this. And then after, you know, a set amount of time and set amount of work and then seeing the result, like, yes, yes, yes, yes. And then seeing the traffic come in, you know, because of that. And I can imagine how much how rewarding it is for you because you get to do that on a regular basis with your clients, and help them and guide them through all of the critical, critical things to take action on and thing and you begin to see those results. To me, that’s really I enjoy it for myself. And I’ve done a little bit of this work in the past for past clients, but like I needed a focus on my own business for a while, do definitely appreciate and value what you do. And again for whether you’re looking at starting a new business or you currently have a business and would would like to take your game up into the next level, you know, you don’t extract your own teeth, you go to a professional, hopefully you don’t, you don’t have to file for divorce but if you do, who do you use a professional divorce attorney. So whenever you are looking at taking your business to the next level, or launching your business, you know you have to focus in on on your online marketing that is that it is not optional. any longer. It is a absolute must have you also, it is no longer optional to focus on localization. If you do serve a local community and even if you’re national, you still want to turn get, you know, major metropolitan areas, you still need to localize, even if you’re a national company. So hire, hire folks like, ag to write here and support your local support your other LGBT businesses. And as you heard, they have some special offers here in the month of cry. We have just a few more moments here. So if I could, if you guys could share a little bit about how you guys kind of handle the stress, what do you guys do to kind of let go and relax? I personally like to go in a lot of walking, hiking. What do you guys like to do?
Unknown Speaker 34:41 I play tennis.
Unknown Speaker 34:44 I play before co but I was playing once a week or so difficult in New York. But I do play tennis. I bought a like recently to try to get a little more exercise in my office. My gym is closed. And so no more yoga classes. I’m doing yoga on YouTube, yoga with Adrian, check it out.
Unknown Speaker 35:08 Yeah. Adrian gray. How about you Rapson?
Unknown Speaker 35:12 Yeah. You know, I am privileged to live in New York City as I am the law. I love the arts. I go to the museum constantly I go to openings. I’m 30. So a lot out. And I like to travel. We were We were just in cut to hammer a one week prior to the closing of the outwards, which was, I still have a friend on Peru. She lives in Germany, and she has been there like for four months. So I love to travel as well. So in New York City, is a city that you can do so much on. So in addition to movies and all the things that the city has to offer. Right, absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 35:58 Well, well. Good to hear that you guys have some balance in your life. I know it’s can be challenging as a small business owner and working with other entrepreneurs, you have deadlines and what things done yesterday, what’s the makeup finally get get off the or get off the boat and make a decision, right? It’s like, Oh, I want this done yesterday, right? So definitely good. You guys have your your hobbies and things to focus on what balances you. So again, that is a G to digital.com. Why thank you guys so much for taking time out of the day today to chat with us and especially sharing your success story with the local florist. I think that’s very a story that is right on point for today. So I’m sure folks will be very interested in hearing that and looking at that as inspiration. So thank you. Thank you so much for joining us. Today this is Dennis belko. Without bureau voices you can find this episode and others at out bureau comm that is owed utbuo.com and that has now changed to episodes of at the top. And if you are viewing this on YouTube, please go ahead and hit that subscribe button down below. Also be sure to check it out on the different podcasting websites such as Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, I Heart Radio and about 10 others. You can take this on the go. Thank you so much. Have a great day. Bye bye.
May 22, 2020
(updated May 25, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Brucecy Marketing Group is a high-spirited and creative event management and planning firm based in northern New Jersey specializing in promoting brands at existing consumer events such as a legacy of innovation at engaging pride event attendees. Founded by Tom Legan, an out LGBT entrepreneur, with a remarkable history in television marketing leadership and a keen focus on end to end project execution. Under Legan’s leadership, Brucecy has been instrumental in bringing non-profit Pride organizations top-notch sponsors year after year. Legan understands how to make a brand stand out at Pride and how important the financial support of sponsors is in enabling Pride to happen. Not only does that support affect the Pride non-profit’s ability to put on a great event, but it also has a direct and indirect impact on the local community. We’ll discuss a little background and how Legan got involved in supporting the Pride ecosystem. We’ll also chat about some of the challenges that the COVID-19 virus forced upon the Pride festivals and opportunities it also created.
OutBüro-Q – How long has your marketing agency been involved with Pride festivals?
I started doing pride festivals through my first national marketing agency called Legan Promotions Inc. in 2003. Prior to that, I worked for Showtime Networks for six years and headed up National Promotions and Events where I had the amazing opportunity to promote all Showtime Original Series including the premiere of the groundbreaking hit series Queer As Folk in 2000. I started the LGBTQ outreach area at the network and sponsored over 100 pride events during my time there. Along with Queer As Folk, later I also promoted The L Word at pride festivals. When I left Showtime in 2003 to form Legan Promotions, Showtime became my first client! Other clients included ABC (Dancing With The Stars), TLC, Lifetime, IFC, Ovation, Macy’s, and Wolfgang Puck.
In 2011, I closed Legan Promotions as an incredible opportunity came my way from AMC Networks to be the Director of Activation, Promotions, and Licensing for their original series, many of which were favorites of mine. From 2011 to 2014, I got to promote major hit series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to general audiences – a very exciting period!
By 2014, several past TV network clients from Legan Promotions had been reaching out to see if I could help them promote at gay pride festivals again, so it was at that time I made the tough decision to leave AMC and form Brucecy Marketing Group, my current agency which is basically “Legan Promotions 2.0”. The name of the agency comes from the first names of my mom and dad – Bruce and Cecy – who always valued diversity and supported me in every way. Since then, our agency has worked with global brands like SKYY Vodka and 2(X)IST underwear and networks such as Freeform, Game Show Network, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
OutBüro-Q – What has been the traditional role of your agency with Pride festivals?
Our agency connects brands, TV networks, and movie studios directly to the LGBTQ community through a presence at Pride festivals, parades, gay film festivals, and related events to promote brand awareness, new series premieres for networks, and new movie releases for studios. We handle everything from start to finish for our clients making it all turnkey for them. This includes recommending the best Prides based on what they are promoting (the premiere of a new series or the launch of a new brand product, for example) followed by planning each activation and negotiating directly with each pride organization on the sponsorship details.
Then we manage the activation onsite for each client with our trained brand ambassadors and provide a complete summary recap after each event to the client. Through our long-standing relationships with the Pride organizations, our clients typically get exclusive added value benefits they can’t get by going direct, so many return to our agency year after year. Plus we’ve received many compliments from clients on how our agency has some of the best-personalized customer service they’ve encountered, better than with agencies ten times our size, so we’re proud of that!
HGTV was a client of ours for four consecutive years and we managed over 80 Prides for them. One of the main things they loved about our agency was how turnkey everything was for them and how easy it was to reach us anytime.
OutBüro-Q – How has that changed this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year is unprecedented in terms of how we celebrate pride and how our agency does business. As there are no plans for physical pride events until at least September, Pride organizations, especially those who normally host prides March through June, have had to get very creative to still find ways to celebrate pride. Pride festivals are a big source of revenue for many pride organizations, most of which are non-profit entities, so it was critical Prides find a way to still celebrate but also raise critical funds for their local LGBTQ communities.
In addition to Global Virtual Pride on June 27 which I’ll talk more about, several larger Prides like NYC Pride, San Francisco Pride, Denver Pride, Washington DC Capital Pride, and several others will be having their own virtual Pride festivals where everyone can still celebrate pride from the comfort of their home and brands can still sponsor these virtual events and support the community.
OutBüro-Q – What new challenges has the concept of a Virtual Global Pride brought and how have you and the team addressed and potentially capitalized upon those?
Virtual Prides, in general, have been a tough sell for our clients who are used to traditional event marketing at large Pride festivals where attendees can experience the brand activation firsthand and interact directly with brands. We’ve been bringing our clients up to speed on how virtual Prides will work and how they still can connect to the LGBTQ community in a personal and quality way.
As much as we’d love to promote movies like JUDY starring Renee Zellweger as we did at Prides last year for our client Roadside Attractions studios, where Judy Garland drag queens posed with pride attendees as they walked along a VIP red carpet area, that’s just not feasible in these times. But we can still get creative with how to connect to the community while still being far apart.
OutBüro-Q – What new opportunities, maybe unexpected, has this created?
The number of people virtual Prides has the potential to attract is far greater than physical attendance at regular pride events as anyone can watch the pride celebration online. This is exciting for our clients as they consider sponsorships. Also, with all 50 states reopening in at least some way as of this week, brands can sponsor virtual Prides to support the community but also use the opportunity to promote they are back in business. This is especially applicable to the hard-hit travel and tourism industry like cruise lines, hotels, airlines, restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and similar companies. It seems to make a lot of sense in the next few weeks for these types of brands to tell millions of loyal consumers eager to get out of their homes that they are back (and at a very low cost to do so too!)
OutBüro-Q – Has past Pride corporate and community sponsors embraced this necessary new approach? Is sponsorship steady, increased, lower?
We’re still speaking with all clients and potential clients about virtual Pride sponsorships and participation. Normally by March every year (usually earlier), we would have locked in clients for regular physical pride campaigns for the entire year especially those occurring in June as many of those Prides sell out of space and sponsorship options early. This year, everything has shifted later as Prides had to scramble to come up with another option to celebrate (virtual Prides) when the crisis hit the US in March. So we are all working fast and furiously to introduce clients to this new concept but timing is very tight. Therefore we do expect fewer clients to sponsor virtual Prides, at least those Prides occurring in June.
OutBüro-Q – Naturally, attending a Pride Festival in person has its emersion experience and loads of people watching. How will the Virtual Pride engage attendees to participate and feel a part of it
We have a lot of fun and creative ideas we’ve been discussing with clients and with the various virtual Prides. There are many ways to engage consumers from their homes as they watch Pride celebrations online so they still feel a part of this community experience. The biggest obstacle we have to deal with is time since all virtual Prides really just came together in the past few weeks. Putting together a sponsorship or campaign for clients in a matter of weeks versus months is challenging.
OutBüro-Q – Are there new technologies and/or new media partnerships being leveraged? If so, what and how will they create the vision of Global Virtual Pride?
Global Virtual Pride’s goal is to allow as many people as possible to watch the 24-hour stream all around the world, so there will be several platforms on which people will be able to view the festivities. Some countries block access to platforms we use here in the US everyday like YouTube and Facebook, so we’re working on ways to be sure everyone who wants access to Global Pride can get access.
OutBüro-Q – Will attendees need to download apps to participate – if so, what are they? Let’s get ready.
Yes, these are some of the ideas and concepts we have been discussing such as:
Participation through an app or through social media
Getting a physical object of some sort in people’s hands before they watch the stream on June 27
Asking them to submit photos or videos of what pride means to them and incorporating those into the broadcast and so many more ideas.
It will just be a matter of seeing what can be done in the short amount of time before the broadcast as we’re just five weeks away now.
OutBüro-Q – Since the date is set, can people already register to join the virtual party, and if so where and how?
Details will be forthcoming! It’s a new and exciting time for all of us, so stay tuned!
As soon as additional details are available to OutBüro we’ll update it here and likely also post a fresh new announcement article.
April 16, 2020
(updated October 12, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
We’re Looking for LGBTQ Content Authors Who Write About Business and Industry!
We are seeking people just like you to contribute content about your business or organization, business practices or specific industries targeting the LGBTQ business owner, entrepreneur startups and professional community.
Since 2007 OutBüro has built LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ professional networking group with over 44,600+ global members as of Feb 2018 who are eager to learn from and interact with your content. OutBüro has launched a dedicated independent platform to bridge the LGBTQ business, entrepreneur and professional community in a way that is like no other. The LinkedIn group is now a service of and extension of the OutBüro main site.
You’ll be the attributed author and all submitted articles will be linked to your OutBüro profile gaining you and your business social love.
Not only do we have a robust social sharing platform along with community interaction your articles may be promoted in the OutBüro on Linked group with over 44,600+ global members.
Access to contribute content/articles on OutBüro requires you to be registered and logged in to submit. Being a site member is free.
We’d love to have you be a part of this large and growing community. Join Now. Publish your article in 15 minutes from now after completing your profile.
Submit content in the following categories yet not limited to these:
Business news involving LGBTQ owned businesses – news, information and press releases
Business owner & Entrepreneur stories
Business launch, announcements and reviews
Best practices in all business areas
Job seeking and related topics – resume tips etc.
Talent management and best practices – recruiting, hiring, coaching, diversity & inclusion
Business startup process and tips
Finance management – business and personal
Finance – business funding
Marketing – local and social media
Life balance – health, dating/family and social
Entrepreneur stories – from the small one-person companies to the large
Dealing and overcoming business and personal challenges from the LGBTQ perspective
Personal and career development
How to guides
Service and product reviews – about LGBTQ owned businesses and companies seeking the LGBTQ community
Business and community leadership stories
Arts and Entertainment from the business perspective
Politics as it relates to business and directly the LGBTQ community
Legal matters – business and personal legal advice and news
We recognize that solo entrepreneurs from dog sitters to fine artists have business needs
we welcome additional content area ideas
As much as possible we’d like the content to be LGBTQ focused but realize not all business management content is required to be so. For SEO key site-centric terms should be included to overall boost the site and thus visibility of your content as able.
Start a Group
In addition to providing articles how about consider being the first to start a company/organization or topically focused group on OutBüro so that you may lead the conversations there. In addition, Group Admins on OutBüro have the ability to directly message all group members providing you great privilege if not abused.
What we are NOT seeking
Who’s hot – No shirtless or nearly nude images of any kind permitted on the site. We aim to be a Fortune 500 level office friendly site and so do not want any images that could land one of our members in the HR department for inappropriate office content or sexual harassment allegations. Keep it professional.
Social gossip columns – what “reality-star”, said what. Sorry, Housewives of Atlanta.
Dance party promotions – although content from the business perspective of starting, promoting, managing, etc is welcomed.
Fashion/music not directly related to the LGBTQ community. Just being an LGBTQ icon doesn’t qualify. Sorry, Cher.
Society news not related to the business or professional side of life – who is dating who. Sorry, Kardashian clan.
Politics not directly related to the LGBT community
First, check out our site to see if your subject has already been covered. If so can you put another perspective on it or add to the topic?
We only accept quality content that is relevant to our website.
Your post must be expertly written and your voice should be friendly, yet informative.
The post’s structure must contain subheadings, lively featured images, and be easy to navigate.
Your articles should be a minimum of 800 words and cover the topic in detail.
All submissions must be original and must be written specifically for the OutBüro audience. That means your article should not have appeared on any other website.
If your images are not in the public domain, credit the source.
Articles should include external links to other quality articles or research, when they are relevant and add value to your post.
Authors should have a complete profile, so your photo will show up in the author box and on comments.
Our most popular articles receive many comments and we’re quick to respond to our reader’s questions and suggestions. We expect no less from our Authors to engage with article comments in a timely and professional manner according to our Community Policy.
All authors receive an email when we approve a new comment. When you answer your comments you’ll get more exposure, it will improve your post’s SEO, and will help out your readers.
January 23, 2020
(updated October 12, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Now that we are well into January and so also into any renewed gym membership getting your body back into shape, it’s a good time to start planning your renewed business marketing workout strategy too. Technology and with it the world of marketing is rapidly advancing. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you can’t keep doing the same things and expecting to grow your business. Just as in the gym you have to switch up your routine on a regular basis else your muscle will grow accustomed to your routine and not deliver results. The marketing that worked for your business a few years ago may not help you succeed in the future.
Below are a few of the biggest trends to get your LGBT business marketing pumped up this year.
1 – Enhance The Customer Experience with your LGBT Business
The phrase user experience or UX is often used in relation to software and web design. It’s the idea that features must be developed and designed with the site visitor and software user in mind. Customer experience or CX includes UX but also encompasses every touchpoint that customers have with your business. There are many ways to enhance CX, such as:
When a customer/client visits your location first impressions are lasting ones. Ensuring your place of business is fresh, clean, and conveys the image you want to portray. Review the clutter and either add storage onsite or consider off-site storage to make your space more inviting. Further, consider some updated furniture, fresh paint on the walls, maybe some new artwork (thrift stores are great resources and/or reach out to local art groups if you have lots of public visitors to offer your walls as display space), new area rugs, and some potted plants can go a long way in making your space inviting while being professional.
Keep your website visually and technically current. Revisiting the company website done many years ago to bring it up to date visually and functionally. I recently met an LGBT Business owner who provides great health products so his audience base is very wide. When visiting his website it was clear at first glance that he has not invested in a very long time. It may still function but as the main marketing and sales channel, it is a very old, clunky, and unattractive website. Today potential customers will quickly click away from super outdated-looking websites. I personally recommend having a steady stream of content regularly on a company blog. Further, the site should be a continue living entity being revisited regularly at a minimum annually from a design perspective yet monthly and quarterly from a system/plugin update perspective to reduce security threats. Your website should not be a “set and forget” entity.
Ensure all staff is trained to put the customer first. Really think about how this is done, documented, implemented, and practiced. This includes a friendly attitude and providing correct information.
Asking for feedback. Customer surveys, whether on your website or handed out in your store, are important for tracking satisfaction. Use these regularly and update them with new questions, such as how people feel about new products, features, and policies. If you’d like a really awesome way to survey your clients/customers try LoudReply for free today. LoudReply leverages NPS® – the gold standard in determining how to make your customers happier while fixing problem areas.
Add a live chat solution to your company’s website like LiveChat. LiveChat is a tool for online communication between a company and its customers. It easily integrates with platforms like WordPress, Shopify, AdWords, Mailchimp or Facebook. LiveChat comes with advanced reports, that give you the overview, as well as a detailed look at your customer service activities. Basic reports show you the number of chats you get, the tickets you receive, your response time, and your customer satisfaction score. If you run several websites, you can place LiveChat on each of them with no additional charge. Using the work scheduler, you can easily manage your team’s working hours for each day of the week. With LiveChat, you are all set to go and serve your customers. Sign up now for a free 30-day trial.
Put it on your daily/weekly calendar – engage actively on social media. Most businesses have a social media presence such as a Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and for the LGBT Business community an OutBüro account. You can’t just be there, you have to create interaction. Post with regularity even if only monthly. If possible post original content created by you and your team about your business, products, services, client success, and your industry. When followers post “like” and/or make positive comments in a timely manner – within a day or two. If someone posts a negative comment post a positive comment thanking them for their feedback and the opportunity to improve while asking to communicate with them directly via direct messaging or better yet on the phone or in person.
2 – Use Location-Based Marketing in your LGBT Business
For companies where your clients/customers are within a geographic range of your physical presence geolocation or location-based marketing is a key component of differentiating your business from similar businesses outside your range. Simply put, this is the capability to target clients/customers based on their location using GPS tracking in proximity to yours. Customers/clients typically provide their consent to being location tracked by search engines and services such as Facebook and OutBüro. When prospective clients/customers are searching sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo for your services/products you rank high on the results due to the relevance of your service/products and your location. Say, someone who is in Phoenix, AZ is searching for a natural medicine practitioner and you are a natural medicine practitioner but your offices are in Tampa, FL. Likely your business is not a match for that person in Pheonix and the search engines realize this. Therefore, in this case, you need to be at the top of the search results rankings for people searching your services who also live within Tampa or a reasonable distance from Tampa. Your business location address, the phone number must be electronically and human-readable on your website. This means it must be in text form not hidden in a graphic image. Further, every social media account should have your location information and a website link. To really pump up your location-based search results you should also strongly consider a business citation strategy. Business citations are simply a listing of your business on business directory sites such as OutBüro and others. I’ve used a service call Bright Local to have business citations hand added to many sites and master directories. Give Bright Local a try with their 14-day free trial.
This enables you to send people extremely relevant messages when they’re close to your business or even that of a competitor. You might also alert people to a special sale or promotion when they’re in your store. As mobile technology gets ever more popular, location-based marketing will become increasingly powerful. OutBüro will be conducting reviews of solution offerings in this space. If you have suggestions please leave them in the comments.
Add Livestream Video – 6 Ways to engage
While video has been getting bigger on the internet for years, currently there’s a huge push toward live-streaming. Live streaming videos add an element of transparency and a sense of timeliness. Facebook Live and other services such as Twitter Live (formerly Periscope), YouTube Live, and Instagram Live are changing the way people watch videos. You can (1) interact with your audience in real-time and answer questions. Live-streaming is a powerful branding tool that helps you engage with your audience. You can (2) conduct client/customer short interviews taking viewer questions and comments real-time. You can (3) feature employees, (4) provide insights into how your product is made or how your service is performed. You can also (5) provide training. Consider using the platforms mentioned and then (6) posting it on your company website and reposting socially for longevity usage.
Use Micro-Marketing in your LGBT Business
As marketing gets more expensive and competitive, it’s increasingly important to target your audience and identify your customers’ unique needs. It’s also essential to segment your customers into appropriate categories. If you have an email list, you can separate it into several lists based on preferences and buying patterns. Use a similar approach to paid advertising. Don’t simply advertise to huge groups (macro) but to specific audiences (micro). For example, rather than having a huge sale on every item in your store (or website), focus on a specific line or type of product and target those customers who are most likely to buy these products.
Collect More Data
“Big data” has been a marketing buzzword for some time. While there are many uses for data, nothing is more useful than compiling information about your customers. The more detailed a picture you have of your target customers – the more effective and targeted your marketing can be. And if you know which individual customers are the most valuable, you can go that extra mile to encourage them to spend with your business.
Small businesses need data as much as their larger counterparts. Do your market research. Whether your business is web-based or brick and mortar, there are now more ways than ever to learn all about your customers — who they are, where they live and what they need. The best way to get information from people is to ask them for it. Not everyone will fill out your surveys but many people will, especially if you give them an incentive such as entering them into a contest.
All of these trends are likely to expand and morph in 2018 and beyond. Not every tactic, technology or approach is appropriate for every business. Pick, choose and explore what works for you, your budget, your company, and your target customer. Don’t just follow what’s popular. There may be different methods that are more appropriate for some businesses than others, so don’t implement something just because it’s popular. Explore and be open to change. You may find that one or more of these strategies is just what you need to take your business to the next level this year.
What marketing tactics and technology solutions have worked for you recently? What new tactics and strategies are you considering this year? Let us know in the comments below with a link to your OutBüro and company website / social media account.
January 16, 2020
(updated January 18, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Do you want to create brilliant content? Not sure where to start? Whether you’re writing a web page, a blog or a tweet, the right words will attract and keep customers. So let’s look at the ways you can up your content marketing game this year.
Your writing needs to speak to your LGBT business target audience
If you want to communicate with people, you need to know who you’re speaking to. You need to focus on your target audience and put them first. Try to get inside their heads and understand what makes them tick. The tone of voice and the words you choose speaks volumes. So take time to make sure everything you publish is well thought through.
Everyone is a publisher these days, whether it’s a blog post, a video or an email. So it’s never been more important to ensure that the content you create is quality. Writing well is a skill, so in this guide we’ll look at what it takes to produce great written content.
As mentioned, you need to start by knowing who you are you writing for. Different audiences will respond well to different types of writing. Try to identify one or two audiences to target, as you can’t target everyone. Ask yourself:
Who will use your product?
What information do they need?
What language would they use when talking about your product?
Who is their tribe – who do they interact with?
Try to build up a mental image of the typical customer for your product or service. Use market research to help you create a clear picture of your target audience. Next, look at the actual words and what makes for content that surprises and delights people.
Eleven tips for creating content that rocks your LGBT business marketing
Business writing isn’t easy, and it takes practice to do it well. Your writing should be informative, helpful and authoritative, with a healthy dose of personality. And of course you need to also be able to get your message across. Here are some hot tips:
Keep it real Write the way you would speak – be conversational and use the magical word ‘you’. What would you say to a customer’s face? Read your content out loud and pretend they are sitting across from you. Don’t be over-friendly or too familiar though, or you might lose some authority.
Make your content bite-sized Little snippets of information are more likely to be retained in your readers’ minds. Aim for about 20 words per sentence and chunk your content into logical paragraphs and sections. The attention span of someone reading online is not that long. So you need to ensure you get your point across quickly.
Focus on a theme Start with one or two related themes and stick to them. Focus will help you build up site authority, in the eyes of your readers and in search engine algorithms.
Make it scannable Use short, punchy bullet points when it seems natural. Consider using numbered lists too. People love these because they’re easy to read and are memorable. Make sure you use easy-to-read design. It’s important you have enough white space around your text and avoid using distracting colors.
Pitch at the right level Use language that’s suitable for your target audience. If your audience is large and diverse, use simple, familiar vocabulary and plain English. If your audience has a specific level of education you may be able to get away with more complex words.
Use meaningful headings and subheadings Memorable headlines will encourage your readers to take note of what you have to say. For example ‘Bookkeeping’ is a pretty meaningless title. But ‘Basic bookkeeping to run your business’ tells the reader more about what they will be reading about.
Build in keywords so your content can be found Know in advance which keywords to use to help with search engine optimization (SEO). Incorporate these into your writing as you go along – don’t try to add them later. Not sure what a keyword is? Read our guide on SEO writing for small business.
Test your writing in a reading app Use online readability tests such as read-able.com to see whether your writing is pitched at the right level. If it’s not, shorten the sentences, simplify the vocabulary and try again.
Don’t duplicate your content on other sites You run the risk of being penalized by Google in search rankings if you post the same content on another site.
Make it trackable Use tools and link shorteners such as bit.ly or goo.gl to help track your readers. You’ll be able to find out where they come from, where they go, which articles are popular and which are not. This will help you create good content.
Make it easy to share Use social media buttons to make it easy for readers to share your content. Target top social networks and actively try to spread the word about your business. Spend 15 minutes a day highlighting your content on social networks and let your work contacts know.
November 7, 2018
(updated October 13, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Are you seeking ways to grow and make the most of either your online or face-to-face gay professional networking for your LGBTQ owned business as an entrepreneur or grow your professional career be it a dog walker, attorney, project manager or other? Making connections face to face is always the ideal since it provides an opportunity to casually and naturally discuss your business or career in the course of a natural conversation. However, in today’s times of social media and everything internet, you’d be remiss if you don’t also take advantage of the incredible resources available to grow your business or career locally, nationally and globally online.
On Facebook, take a good look at your Facebook history. Does it need a bit of a scrubbing? In any case, I highly recommend you lock your Facebook account down so that only “friends” who are connected with you can see your postings and photos – especially if you like to post photos of nights out shirtless dancing or more.
Likewise for all other social media accounts. This is especially true if job hunting. The recruiters WILL check out your social media accounts even if not listed on your resume or LinkedIn profile. They’ll hunt it down to see what kind of postings you put out there. So lock them down, and/or keep them clean.
Wow, did you just get a “friend” invite from a smoking hot guy or gal? Be careful, that could be an account for the recruiter or prospective client to check you out behind your locked down account. Yes – it happens.
2. Define your realistic goals
What are you trying to achieve with your gay professional networking? Are you trying to land a new job, or gain new clients/customers? Networking takes time and energy. You cannot wait until you really need it to start. It has to be built over time. So many job seekers and small business owners don’t get this and set their expectations unrealistically. So when it doesn’t pay off right away they give up thinking there is no value in professional networking. Marketing 101 says it takes 12-18 or so impressions of your brand to make a memory. Social networking is similar. You must put in the efforts and follow the tips below to create a repeatable impression so that you stick in the minds and get those calls for that new job or call from potential clients/customers. Define your goals and be realistic. Magic and miracles happen because you take action and follow through with both a 3-6 month range goals and a longer term 6-12 month goals.
3. Identify your ideal contact types
You don’t target a company – you target a person. Go narrow and deep (versus wide and broad), and find out who works in your ideal department and who makes the decisions for what you are after. From online profiles to press releases. The resources to discover your ideal contacts are out there.
4. Identify your “strategic contacts”
With all the online information, there is almost no reason for a cold-call or cold-email anymore.
“Strategic Contacts” are contacts who can make important introductions to your target contacts.
5. Put yourself out there
There are a few ways to give your gay professional networking strategy a push in the more active direction, but one of the best is obviously to be face-to-face.
Sign up for conferences or events, which are typically jam-packed with valuable information. Plus, most events give you plenty of time to mingle to start to build professional relationships. Get their contact information and before you leave schedule a get-together for coffee.
Consider volunteering with local or national charities. It’s a great way to both give to your community as well as make new friends and contacts with similar interests.
Try a new organized hobby or sport. It’s a way to get out of your routine as well as also make new friends and contacts not to mention sports such as hiking or others is a great health benefit too.
6. Social media works
Social media has its limitations, but you can take advantage of what it has to offer following these tips.
I get amazed by how many people I chat with, like just this week, who are in a job search mode and when I ask if they are on LinkedIn they say NO. I hold my internal response to that and simply reply, “Well, it’s the largest online professional site and recruiters use it prolifically to find active and passive candidates. Get on it today, and once your LinkedIn profile is completed indicate that you are in the job market via its tools. It’s simple and just take a little bit of time to set up following our 37 tips for the queer professional profile on LinkedIn.
There are thousands of groups all over LinkedIn that create industry-specific communities. In addition, there are some that are topically focused while still remaining professional such as the OutBüro on LinkedIn.
Making LinkedIn work for you
Follow companies and check out who works there.
You can leverage LinkedIn’s search for the job title or keyword and then filter it by a company. Nice!!
Scroll through the search results you discover potential new contacts, job titles, positions, and companies.
LinkedIn saves your recent searches for easy access again.
Be judicious – as a free LinkedIn member, there’s a limit to the number of search results monthly that LinkedIn serves up. If you find yourself repeatedly hitting that ceiling, consider a professional level account for a few months.
After your initial contact and introduction get the conversation OFF LinkedIn into a direct email, phone, or in person as soon as possible. You’ll quickly find that messages via LinkedIn get lost in all the connection notices you are making.
OutBüro was launched with a goal to provide a unique space for LGBT professionals of all levels in career and entrepreneurs to:
Connect and network
Form industry or topically focused groups for further interaction
Find a or be a professional mentor
Gain exposure through posting articles and press releases add SEO love to your own website.
Gain exposure through company featured articles about your career, business or your employers
Provide the only LGBTQ anonymous employee rating system for their employers similar to Glassdoor.com
… and growing in content and features
In addition to connecting with real and desired “friends,” you should check out LGBT focused, industry-focused and topic-focused groups. Facebook is cluttered a bit much with images of cute kittens and what someone is having for dinner. It’s possible to professionally network yet quite a bit more work to do so.
6e. Other social media sites
You have to leverage the social media sites where your target connections and audience hang out be it Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or others.
7 Don’t be shy
Don’t be afraid to reach out and make mutually beneficial connections online. You can find common ground with almost anyone, so using this can be an icebreaker. Make sure your language is not only professional but authentic when reaching out as well.
8. Customize your connection request
When connecting online, send a customized note about why you are reaching out to this person. Did you meet them somewhere? What do you have in common or why would they want to connect with you? Use their first name in the connection message. Keep it brief.
9. Provide and offer value
Focus on giving value to your new contacts, rather than only on what you want from others. Take this rule both in person and online. Like and make thoughtful pertinent comments on other people’s conversation and postings. In person, a good listener asks questions. As they see your genuine interest in them and what they do, they’ll provide the same opportunity for you to share as well.
10. Hash it out
When sharing your own content, re-posting content from a site or commenting, consider leveraging hash tags to gain more visibility. On LinkedIn, you may also follow hash tags to discover great content and people in the topics and industries you are interested in. Engaging and interacting with your non-contacts and contacts alike strengthens those connections and builds your credibility which can lead to opportunities.
11. Professional associations
Get involved in all professional associations that you can. It’s a great way to build your industry knowledge, gain certification as well as network for career opportunities. There are many LGBT focused professional associations to compliment your general ones too.
12. Chambers of Commerce
If you’re a business owner, participating in your local chamber of commerce is a great way to make connections with complimentary business and build a referral network. Many areas also have LGBT Chambers of Commerce too. They provide not only networking opportunities but also education and other resources valuable to the entrepreneur.
If job seeking, you might consider volunteering at the chamber to gain access to all those business owners. That networking could lead to a new job.
13. Nurture your relationships
According to Forbes, 23% of more than 2,200 CFOs agreed that failing to keep in touch or only reaching out when you need something is the greatest networking mistake that professionals make.
There are lots of ways to stay in contact and on their mind. After you’ve gotten to know them a little, you might provide them skill endorsements on LinkedIn. Maybe you might pass along another contact that would be mutually valuable. If you have the opportunity you might connect a great candidate for an open position they have that’s not a fit for you. You’ll comment thoughtfully on their postings. You’ll share their press releases. A little activity can go a long way and build in building a rapport.
14. Networking vs. cruising
Okay, some might think even writing this is just a step beyond. But because I’ve seen it happen to others as well as I’ve had it happen to me, it’s worth stating. When you are in the mode of professional networking, keep it focused on just that. Trying to mix your professional networking and using it as a pick up / hook up vehicle can mean you are too focused on that guy/gal and missing potential professional opportunities.
Can you meet someone via professional networking event that you are personally attracted too? ABSOLUTELY. But, in the space of networking, keep that conversation brief, exchange numbers, and schedule to meet after the event or another day. Remember why you are there.
Also if at a venue where alcohol is being served – have a drink or two, but your always safe with water. Go out and have your fun after the business event.
Gay professional networking is not a “one-off activity”. If you follow the tips above, you can start building your network and leveraging those connections to help build your business or grow your career.
Studies show that the key to long-term career success is having a great network. Making yourself known and respected in the community, be it local or online will open up a variety of doors to opportunities.
Have an LGBTQ related news tips focused on the professional side of life? Contact us to get the word out.
October 17, 2018
(updated October 12, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Are you a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer small business owner or non-profit leader? If so, you have to market your business like any other. However, if your business also focuses on the LGBTQ community as your target customers/clients, you have even a little more work to do to reach them. No one wants to waste money and your business needs to be marketed in many ways to create brand awareness and convert passive prospects into an initial customer/client. Afterward, your continued marketing will keep those customers coming back. You likely have competitors all around you and some might have big marketing budgets. So how can you compete to stand out in your market? You have to market smarter and leverage a multi-channel marketing approach.
Start by brainstorming with your business partners, family, friends and community connections to come up with several inexpensive outside-the-box marketing ideas to get your business out front and zipping along with marketing buzz. Listen for repeated and unique ideas. They may suggest local area opportunities marketing opportunities you’ve not considered before.
To help you along your path to a great marketing plan, we’ve consolidated the below marketing ideas for your LGBT owned small business:
1. Create relevant content on your website. As Google itself has stated publicly numerous times. Your website content is KING!! Be sure to keep it focused on your business and industry. Don’t be tempted to use it as a personal interests blog with images of fluffy kittens, unless that’s your business. Publish new content regularly. The more you do it the easier it will become. Do Google search for your industry for ideas of what kinds of content ranks highly. Then read it and rewrite the content in your own words and post away. Fresh and helpful content helps to engage readers, build valuable links, attract leads and convert them to new sales/contracts.
2. Publish articles in trade or local magazines. Your average Joe and Jane believe printed published articles is more valuable than an online blog post. Since everyone searches online though keep a keen focus on #1 above. However, all marketing is good marketing – for the most part. So consider printed materials as another way to reach a wider audience. Contact the publication to introduce yourself and your company. ASK to be interviewed or if you may provide the story yourself. Make it easy as pie for them to pick up your story. Be sure to have several nice digital images of 300 dpi (dots per inch) ready featuring a great headshot of you, photos of your business and products if pertinent. You can even use the camera on your phone. When saving the digital images be sure to name it with your name, company name and a few SEO keywords. Example: “Darrel Dartson – Sit Happens – Dog Obedience Training – Atlanta GA Georgia.jpg”
3. “How-To” Content. A pool company in California had a great idea. They started blogging how to fix it and treat it informational short articles and videos on their company website. For those do-it-yourself, it is a treasure trove of just about any and every problem a homeowner can have with pool equipment and how to get the water sparkling clear again. This may seem like they are giving their knowledge away and would have fewer customers because of it. The absolute opposite happened. This demonstrated that they are not only pool installation and maintenance experts, but it demonstrated that they are kind, courteous and helpful too. After a short while, they became #1 on all internet search engines not only locally, but nationally. Their phone started ringing off the hook and their company grew hundreds of percent annually in no time. It set them vastly apart from their competition. It cost them ZERO money – just their time and willingness to share.
4. Reuse content. As your content grows, consider re-purposing it. Blog posts can be combined into an informative ebook that provides just enough information to educate and present yourself as the expert. It can be an electronic downloadable document, a single video or a series that can be played by the site visitor 365 days a year 24 hours a day. You can even implement a lead capture system on your website that requires basic contact information input in order to download or view this content.
5. Guest blog or cross-blog your content you are working so hard on. As an example when you join OutBüro for free, directly from your personal profile you have the ability to submit articles/blog posts. They become part of the OutBüro blog and gain all the SEO love we’ve worked hard to build and continue to grow weekly. Locate other blogs in your industry and contact the website owner about the potential to guest blog. They can be small or you might land a contributor role at a major website. That will only happen if you reach out and put the ball in motion. Be sure to focus on item 1 first so that the other blog owner/editor can see your great content and how it might fit with their audience to magnify your reach and exposure.
7. Sponsor a local youth or LGBT sports team. Send out a press release or feature article, get your logo on the team uniforms, host event for the team at your business location if you can, or offer free iced water at the games with an information booth if you can. This makes you a valuable community member and builds awareness.
8. Join industry and LGBT professional associations. If the organization has an accreditation, work toward achieving that. It will demonstrate you’re a pro at what you do. Some association also have lead generation programs. Check them out.
9. Join your local and LGBT chambers of commerce. They have many resources available for entrepreneurs from education to networking. Being a member lends credibility to your company, and you can find new partners or clients, or discover opportunities to teach or speak.
10. NETWORK online – Be a good online group member by liking and thoughtfully commenting on what other people post. It still gets your name out there and demonstrates that it’s not “only about you”. Also, Join local or national Facebook groups. Join the OutBüro site for free, then join groups or start a group and moderate it so that others who join it you’ll be seen as the leader and expert. Additionally, join the OutBüro on LinkedIn group with 44,000 global LGBT professionals. Via your LinkedIn group settings, you may hide that group from your LinkedIn profile if you choose while still being able to leverage it.
11. Your LinkedIn personal profile LinkedIn is WAY MORE than a site when you are looking for a job. Sure, that’s a big part, but over the years it has morphed and with Microsoft now owning it continues to morph. As a business owner, your LinkedIn personal profile SHOULD NOT be your resume. Don’t list that you worked at McDonald’s when you were 18. WHO CARES? As LGBTQ business owner your LinkedIn profile should be treated as a business marketing piece. You can list your qualifications if it supports your credibility as a professional in your industry and business. Keep it short and on marketing message with all the SEO keywords.
12. LinkedIn Articles – As you create that wonderful content for your site, you may also cross-post that content as a LinkedIn Article that gets associated with your LinkedIn profile. Be ready with your feature image, article body images if appropriate and most definitely call to action images that have the URL link to your website pages. See my LinkedIn profile as a humble example. While on it, request to connect with me. My 23,000 1st degree connections will then be your 2nd.
13. LinkedIn company page – No matter the size of your company, when adding your company to your personal profile as your current employer, if not found, LinkedIn will ask if you want to create a company listing. Yes – do it. You’ll then be the associate manager of your LinkedIn Company page. Fill in as much marketing information there as you can. In addition to adding your website blog postings as LinkedIn articles as mentioned above, add your website blog postings to LinkedIn Company page. This is as simple as while on your company website blog, copy each blog post’s URL and paste it. Do one per blog post. Why? Exposure and SEO.
We mentioned the LGBT professional and entrepreneur focused OutBüro on LinkedIn group which you should join. There are tons of other industry-based group to consider too. Explore. If needed you can always leave them. Don’t forget that you may also hide any LinkedIn group from your personal LinkedIn profile in the group settings.
14. Be a people person. When you network, follow up with all leads. Remember conversational and ask them questions to get to understand as naturally but as quickly as possible if this lead might have a need for your product/service. You don’t have all day and they don’t have to become your new Yoga partner, but you need to be genuine and not come across as desperately rushing to a sale. For first conversations, you might call with the idea to learn more about them first and foremost. If there is potential, schedule a meeting over coffee. In person, conversations are so much more productive when you have the opportunity but don’t be afraid of the phone, internet or email. They are necessary. No one likes to make cold sales calls. As you do all the other ideas here, your calls will not be cold. You would have met them or interacted with them in some way. Or from your great content they found you and your phone rings away with leads dialing in. No matter what, keep it productive yet warm and friendly.
15. Strive to separate work from personal life issues. This may seem like a huge “duh factor” but I’m constantly amazed how a business owner’s bad day (personal life) or lackluster employees can ruin an interaction experience that otherwise should be amazing. When at work, be focused on it. If you have too put your game face on. Check that bad thought/emotion until after your work day is done. It’s a great idea to have either a close friend or a professional counselor to regularly check in with and help provide guidance in personal matters. How is this about marketing? See #34 above. When you interact with potential and current clients/customers your language, tone, approach, and body language can speak volumes. Don’t lose a client/customer due to personal issues. If that happens too often you’ll be spending more money and time trying to regain them or replace them with new clients/customers. So yes – this is very appropriate for your marketing.
16. Subscribe to marketing blogs and video series. Find some that are very informative and subscribe. When those first emails come in, tag them so that when you have time you can easily find them and review them to continue to keep ideas, tips and trick rolling in from the experts. Just as your good content should be, scan the title and first paragraph to see if the article is something you want to spend time on. If not, get back to work. If so, either spend the time now or flag it to review when you’ve allocated time to self-education which should be about an hour a week. This could be over morning coffee, a cold one a night or over the weekend. Expanding your small business marketing and all small business operations knowledge doesn’t have to eat into your productive work day. But it’s so valuable to your personal and professional growth as a business owner.
17. Keep your inbox clean. If your inbox is cluttered with lots of unread, categorized, unprocessed or not deleted message you run the high risk of missing opportunities to grow your business. You’ll miss communications or reply super late and look unprofessional. If you have several inboxes as I do, have them all aggregated into a single mail reader. I use Gmail. Each is categorized so that I can quickly see it’s source. I use tags and the star to keep it organized. I also delete emails I don’t need and I unsubscribe from list often (once to twice a month) if I get no value or I cannot perceive value for my own audience from the content streaming into my inbox. My email time is over my morning coffee and near the end of my day. I don’t live glued to my inbox. Neither should you. You have other marketing activities to get accomplished.
18. Seek out or be a business/marketing mentor. You are great at what you do, but as a small business owner, you have to do EVERYTHING and do it amazingly well else your business may not survive. If you do something very well, consider being a mentor to another. Either way, you’ll both learn something and form a great business and friendly relationship to support and promote each other’s businesses. On your www.OutBuro.com profile, you may indicate if you’d like to be a mentor or mentee. See if other organizations you are a member of have Mentor/Mentee programs to be a part of.
19. Donate product or services to a local charity if they have an auction fundraiser. Be it art, disability, veterans or LGBT focus. Find the local charities that you feel passionate about and get involved. It’s a great way to network and gives back to your community. If you can afford it sponsor the event at some level that gets your information on the event material and co-market the event sharing it online and in person widely.
20. Speak at seminars and host your own workshops. You’ll get publicity from marketing the event and from the event itself. Besides, you’ll look more professional in your customers’ eyes. A natural medicine center in Central Florida I’m very familiar with uses this tactic with fantastic results. Every month they host an informational seminar at their offices. They ask every prospective client to bring a family member so they can learn what it’s all about. Further, they ask every current client to invite a family member, friends, and co-workers who might have interest. Every month they pack in 20-40 people and of those typically gain 8-12 new clients. To top that off, they take their show on the road participating in local health and fitness events, fitness centers, nursing homes, churches and more. It’s an effort that pays off nicely for them.
21. Enter business award competitions. If you win, you get a badge on your website and a lot more sales. Even if you don’t win, you can still get lots of publicity if you place high enough and broadcast your participation. Your local and LGBT chambers of commerce may have some. Also look into local publications and website. Research what it takes to get on the nomination list. If you can do it yourself, note the time window and add it to your calendar. If someone else, like a client/customer, must nominate you, don’t be bashful. Ask your best client/customer to do it and follow up. Heck, ask a few to nominate you.
22. Create your own business award competition. If there isn’t a competition in your area and/or industry if there’s no way you can compete in one, hosting your own unique competition creates buzz as other businesses scramble to win your award. They will share they will invite all their customers/client to vote for them sending them to YOUR WEBSITE. How awesome is that? Being the award creator positions you and your company as the local leader.
23. Host/participate free events. Reporters are always looking for a good story. Give them what they want and get some free publicity by hosting a free event. You’ll get more attendees if there’s food or freebies involved. This could be separate from your educational seminars. If you aren’t up for hosting an event, evaluate all the events that go on in your area where you might participate with a booth or sponsorship of the event.
24. Build a referral network. Referrals and word of mouth are the most powerful advertising, so build relationships with professionals and other businesses you would happily refer your customers to and who can send referrals your way, as well.
25. Make partnerships for co-promotion. Several related but non-competing businesses working together on a promotion can afford bigger ad space, better prizes, and other advertising expenses. For example, a carpet cleaning service that co-markets with a pet training and daycare company. Those carpets could be dirty from pets, right? Or maybe a wedding planning company and catering/cake decoration business. Think about, when a client/customer seeks out my services/products are there other non-competing business where their products/service might also be a natural potential need/desire by the target audience. Give it a try.
26. Send handwritten holiday, birthday, or thank you cards to past and current clients, valued partners, vendors in your referral network, connections who have helped you–everyone you can think of. This is a low-cost and in today’s everything digital world, it will stand out as unique and thoughtful.
27. Open as many communication channels as appropriate, including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, OutBüro, Instagram, a toll-free phone number, live chat on your website, email, and related forums and blog comments.
28. Be where your competition is and is not.Research your competitors. If you’re a roofing company you may feel like that obligatory home delivered coupon pack is your only open. NO, it is not. Quality and value are the clients you seek, not the coupon junkies – right? Do your homework and seek out all the potential places to get the word out. Take a note from many of the ideas here that your competitors are not doing. If you want to do local direct to home mail advertising, find the vehicle for that that contains none of your competitors. Get more leads as the only major player with your products/services. If printed consider the content side of that publication. Can you provide a quarter article about your industry that is not only touting your company but actually informative? Think about that pool company mentioned above. If you are helpful, informative and provide your information you’ll build the awareness that you are the go-to company in your area.
29. Be everywhere. Having a blog, YouTube channel, and podcast on iTunes in addition to social media makes you more well known and credible and helps improve your own website search engine optimization. Expand beyond your website to get more traffic and leads. This is called “off page content”.
30. Local, local, local. To be found by people on Google, Bing and Yahoo searching for your types of products/services those search engines must clearly understand WHERE YOU ARE. Note that business citations are not beneficial to businesses where everything you do is online only. It’s all about helping users/customers find LOCAL businesses near them. You should have business citations on as many business related sites as possible. Think about the last time you popped out your phone, clicked Google Maps and searched for pizza or Greek food. That Google Maps listing is a business citation. Powerful heavily used potential here.
But don’t stop at Google Maps. Google Places and Bing are absolutely free for local businesses, while Yahoo Localwork is a paid service allowing to list your business in 50 directories (Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest, etc.). Once you’re listed, start taking advantage of local search results, and don’t forget to ask your customers to leave reviews on your page. I do NOT recommend Yext. STAY AWAY or pay forever. If you stop paying for their service they literally remove all your listings everywhere it was placed by them – once you use them you are trapped or will have to start all over with another service.
So why not start with a company like BrightLocalwho I have personally used before and like. When they hand enter your information to business listing sites, that’s it. You have access to an online progress report and can click directly to your listings to see them live. Later, you may use them to update the information if it changes but if not, those listing remain active forever without ever incurring any additional fees. Sweet. Right? Think of all those backlinks and local indicator love.
31. Claim your online business listings. Search your business name. When you find a listing of it, copy and paste that URL into a spreadsheet to keep track of it. There are hundreds of websites out there that contain your business information. Claim your business online and enjoy better rankings in Google, greater visibility, and more traffic. You may add your business to the OutBüro Company directory too.
32. Setup an affiliate program. You get more sales and brand ambassadors for less. This is great if your business is online. There are online affiliate systems that are hosted off your site and depending on what you use for your website there are plugins for the major players including WordPress. Affiliate systems aren’t for your customers. It is for bloggers / online marketer to write content about your product/service on their owned websites and then drive that traffic to yours with a web token that gets passed and your affiliate system tracks the site visitor and credits the referral with a set % of the sale if a purchase if made. For local, check out the idea above about referrals with other professionals and business owners.
33. Create a customer loyalty program to encourage future purchases and referrals. It may seem a little old school if using a punch card. But do whatever you can. You may not have the budget for a cool app like Starbucks, but that works. I know, I write a lot of my articles while sitting there. 🙂
There are online customer loyalty systems. If your point of sale (POS) system does not have one built in, consider upgrading/changing your POS to a system that has one built in or that integrates with a good 3rd party customer loyalty program. Do your online research to find options.
34. Use bumper stickers and window decals – Create a monthly live video streaming contest. In addition to putting them on company vehicles and customer/clients’ cars theme the m for free to employees, partners, stakeholders and investors, charities you donate to, and other contacts to display. Pass them out like candy any and everywhere you go.
Maybe host Facebook live events in where you announce you’ll be at a certain location or area while streaming live the first person to arrive with your company sticker on their car wins something. Be creative. Do it regularly – say monthly. Make it fun and inexpensive. Think about the social media shares something like that can create.
35. Ask for testimonials and reviews. This includes online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google and others. Be sure the client/customer is happy and ask them to do it before they leave. Make recommendations on LinkedIn and ask for them too. Create a testimonials page on your website and use the best reviews in as many promotions as makes sense.
36. Answer questions on forums and answer sites such as Quora. Help out people with free advice on topics related to your products and services. Create your profile with your business info, not your personal. Add your company website URL. This will be one more SEO love juice item. Keep your comment 100% professional. Just be sure to not get sucked into spending too much time on this. Don’t get baited into political or religious questions or anti-LGBT stuff unless you are very comfortable with that being associated with your business.
37. Create customer case studies. Ask your happy customers to share their experience of using your product or service. Treat it like an interview. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, ask someone else to interview them and you and write the document. Maybe it could be a story featuring your company on OutBüro. Search case studies guides for ideas if keeping it pure to the concept. These stories add credibility to your company and help you get more customers.
38. Ask your customers for referrals. You cannot be shy. Simply ask – and you’ll receive. It might go like this, “So Jack you have mentioned a few times that you are very happy with our products/services. We are so happy to have a customer/client like you. Can you think of two to three other companies/people you know who might also like to have our products/services that we can say you suggested them to us?” Sit there with your pen and paper or tablet in hand ready to write/type. That action and asking for 2-3 will compel him to cough up those contacts for you to follow up with.
39. Post your company offers on a coupon and deal sites. People love special offers and discounts. Getting a great product at an excellent price is what everybody wants. But be very careful to not be the perceived as the cheap discount king. When stuff is priced too low it can actually make the person feel that your product/service is cheap, your service will suck and if they have any problems they’ll be lucky if you answer your phone. OCCASIONAL specials are OK. But if there’s a “Sale” sign hanging in your window 365 days a year, you know the types of customers that attracts. Enough said.
40. Offer free consultations. Free consultations are a great way to showcase your expertise and get more clients. Basically, it’s a short 30-minute or less needs assessment and sales demonstration. Keep it simple. If you don’t make the sale there, collect their contact information and put them in your customer relationship management system to follow up with them appropriately.
41. Optimize your website for mobile. Google considers it in search rankings and more and more people search the web on their phones and tablets. Sites that are not mobile ready get clicked away from super fast. Just think of your own phone internet browsing for proof.
42. Add SSL to your website. SSL is Security Socket Layer. It is an encryption that ensures all the interactions your visitor has with your website is encrypted and secure. Google is taking SSL into account when presenting searchers with results. If your competitor has SSL and you don’t, you’ll be penalized. If you have it and they don’t, you’ll crush them. We’re adding SSL to OutBüro too – if not already implemented when reading this, it’s in the works.
43. Create a giveaway. Please, be creative. You want to give away something cool your customers want and need rather than something you don’t need. I always need a good quality coffee travel mug and personally love the adult sippy cups with a lid and straw – I actually like them so much that I purchased a box of 12. I knock over water and iced tea glasses all the time. They save me from cleaning up a spill. Think of giving away a set of 6 in early spring – just in time for summer pool parties and barbecues which can lead to conversations about your company. “Cocktail please.”
44. Print your company logo on hats and T-shirts. Your loyal customers will be happy to wear them and will become free brand promoters. Yeah. Old school but folks love them. I have a friend that seems to not own a single unbranded t-shirt. Me not so much. But, if you contact me to do a story about your business to be on OutBüro’s blog and send me one of your company t-shirts, then I’ll have a connection with you and likely also wear it. Remember, this is one thing in a multi-channel marketing approach.
45. Exceed your customer expectations. Reputation is everything these days. By exceeding your customer expectations and walking that extra mile – you’ll drive more business.
46. Translate your website to multiple languages. If your business sales products/service online, then why limit yourself to English only speaking potential clients/customers? The world is a big place. Go get ‘em.
47. Celebrate your company birthday with customers and the media. Use the opportunity to deliver a special message to your clients. Create a press release to distribute and post it on OutBüro.com for free via your profile article submission or leverage our low-cost LGBT press release service to SEO optimize it, post and feature it via our social media channels to give it a bit more SEO love and distribution kick.
47. Say “Happy Birthday” to your clients. Have a discount or a special offer ready to give as a gift. It works!
48. Use voice mail and an autoresponder to let your customers know about your special offers. It’s a great way to get your message across during closed hours. It won’t cost you a penny!
49. Survey your customers for great ideas. Talking to your customers is the easiest way to understand what they need and what they value the most. Can you capture more of your client/customer if you tweaked your offering? Don’t know if you don’t ask
50. Share product samples with as many people as you can. You will attract the right customers who are right for your business.
51. Add Schema.org markup to your website key data. Google can show much more than your website URL in search results. Reviews, ratings, exact address – all of it can show up in search engine results if your website HTML is marked properly. More data in search results = more clicks and traffic.
52. Set up a pay per click (PPC) campaign. In most cases, you can get a free $50 voucher from Bing or Google. If competition is not fierce – you’ll be driving more sales soon.
53. Create infographics for your website. Do you have some data that could be represented graphically? If not start thinking of what kind of data via a survey, you could collect to then create an infographic. Think about how that information could be used in local or national media, online, in print, and on TV even. If you are a professional dog walker, could you take a survey of local dog owners about the health and happiness of dogs and owners? A local news station could give you free coverage for interesting info with a local slant. Search the internet for ideas and think about how you could make it local or spin it. But collect your own data or cite the source while creating the graphic.
54. Join Help a Reporter Out. HARO is a free way to get media coverage. Register as an expert source on HARO and whenever a journalist needs a quality source for an article – you’ll get an email twice a day listing all the article ideas reporters need expert input by. If you see one that is in your area of knowledge you reply and who knows, you could be cited or featured in a major publication.
What creative marketing ideas for LGBT small business have you implemented and worked? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Send us your news tip regarding LGBT employees. Are you aware of a LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about? Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.
October 1, 2018
(updated October 12, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Every business needs exposure and that’s no different for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer business owners, startups and non-profit organizations. You can send your press release out via a wire service and hope for the best. In addition to that approach, you should seek out every media outlet possible and create direct relationships to help get your new announcement published. One such site focusing on LGBTQ business owners and non-profits news is OutBüro – The LGBTQ Employer Reviews/Ratings, Job Portal, and Professional & Entrepreneur Networking Community. For more information on self-publishing your press release for free or being interviewed and featured by OutBüro check out the article titled “LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love”.
Benefits of a Press Releases
Organizations of all sizes use press releases to:
To attempt to gain media coverage. This would be when your company releases a new product or feature.
To improve search engine optimization. Content about your company out on the web people can find you with your company and industry keywords will make your press release shareable. The backlinks provide SEO uplift to your own site. That ensures your release will be searchable and found online and can create buzz with target audiences you want to reach expanding your own direct efforts.
To build your company brand recognition and reputation. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The more your brand is visible the more it will stick in the minds of your target audience. Maybe you are launching your business, or expanding your services. Maybe you completed a great client project or won an award. There are so many reasons to make a press release announcements.
To have a proactive voice. When things go wrong, it’s often beneficial to break the story yourself first.
It is a fairly low-cost way to market your company/organization. A well-written press release can help gain public attention through news coverage.
To build solid relationships. Journalists and influencers are always looking to make connections with companies and organizations as sources of news. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. A good press release will capture their attention and have them eager to share the story with their audience.
You need to answer why the reader should care and why this is news in the first couple of sentences.
The first line of the release should answer concisely the who is it about and who is your target audience if you can and why it is pertinent to them.
As an LGBTQ business owner, your business may focus on the LGBTQ community or not. If everyone is a potential client/customer then consider multiple press releases targeting different audiences. LGBTQ people like to patron LGBTQ owned businesses, so having LGBTQ language in your press release helps that community find and identify with your company/organization.
What it is about? What is new? Has the company/organization reached a milestone or hosting an education event? Ensure you cover where including an address, city, region county, global or online that helps Google serve up local news.
If it is an event or a promotion state when it is or the time frame of the action just as “completed a client project in June,” or “Labor Day weekend special.”
Lastly but not least cover the how. How does or did this benefit the client or community? How to get in contact with you and so forth.
Every press release should fit on an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper
Contact Information is best at the top. Include the appropriate contact name, phone number, and email address.
Pick Your Keywords – Ask yourself what are the main topics covered by your press release? Think about how the average person who may not understand your business or industry think about it. What search terms might they use?
Are Your Press Releases Getting Ignored?
If journalists or media outlet are ignoring your press releases there’s a good chance it’s because you have not answered the above basics or have it scattered throughout your press release making them hunt for it. Make it easy and follow the basics. Additionally, seek out media site such as OutBüro where you can post your press release yourself – and for free. OutBüro wants your LGBTQ owned business news and announcements that are office environment safe. Be sure to check out our article titled “LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love”.
Videos have been hot on the internet and continue to be preferred form of information consumption. With a little preparation, you can make quick and easy short videos even right from your smartphone to share on your site, around the web, and in your press releases. Videos are shared more often on social media.
Adding an extra image or even a video is worth it. According to PR Newswire research adding an extra image(s) and/or video can increase your press release visibility by 552 percent.
Common Mistakes in a Press Release
Press releases are meant to increase media outreach, improve brand awareness and share important company/organization news. None of those goals can be achieved if your press release has common marketing mistakes.
Try to avoid:
Using boring headlines. Keep it short and make every word work for you.
Forgetting a call to action. Direct the reader to you a specific page on your website for example.
Not Including images and video that bring the press release to life – if possible use original images to reduce stock image burn out.
The best length of a press release is about 300-400 words. That’s only three or four short paragraphs coupled with a few quotes. To get started, jot down a 3-4 section outline of the story and then write one or two sentences for each. Bullet points are your friend – they make your story easier to skim and make important points stand out.
Good quotes to elevate your copy. Depending on the publication, the quote might be the only portion that gets picked up, printed or cited. This means it needs to be clear, on message and essential. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your quotes stand out:
Don’t use words just for fluff. Be strategic and use buzzwords that will have a deeper meaning of what you are trying to say.
Don’t use industry jargon. Use language that sounds conversational to professionals and brands.
Each quote in the release should have a message supporting your brand and have a little WOW factor to entice the reader to learn more.
Use Data to Improve your Press Release
Having hard statistics and data to build trust between your company/organization and customers/clients.
Look for patterns in customer reviews: What are your customers saying about your company/organization and how can you use those reviews for your story?
Data gives your press release substance.
Did you know that 42 percent of all statistics are completely full of crap because people never cite sources? See what we did there? Many PRs do that as well, only they don’t mean to. Journalists read your baffling statistics and immediately search for the source. Without them, you have no credibility. Without that, you have no story… 100 percent of the time.
Go Beyond Large Wire Services
Don’t call it a day after you’ve sent out your release over the wire. Reach out to a few of the journalists or influencers, such as OutBüro, you’ve identified and built a relationship. If you can schedule a call with them to learn more about their target audience and share how your news fits their audience. Follow up with them occasionally even when you don’t have a press release to send. Be authentic and if there’s not a match, be honest. Every media outlet has their niche focus. Then ensure your press release is geared toward that media outlet and its audience. GayStarNew, Queerty, and OutBüro have some overlapping similarities yet are very different from one another.