Brucecy Marketing Group - Tom Legan - Global Pride 2020 - LGBT Entrepreneur Gay Business Owner Professional Brand Activation Customer Connection - OutBuro LGBTQ Communit

Brucecy – Bridging Sponsors With Virtual Prides

Brucecy Marketing Group - Tom Legan - LGBT Entrepreneur Gay Business Owner Professional Pride Festival Brand Activation Customer Connection - OutBuro LGBTQ Community

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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Brucecy Marketing Group’s Founder Tom Legan pictured center – JUDY movie activation at Pride event.

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.

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How to do great content marketing for LGBT business owners

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.

If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, business will be much more fun. Connect with other LGBT entrepreneurs, startups, business leaders and professionals here on OutBüro – the LGBT business, entrepreneur, and professional global community.

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Getting started – identify your target audience

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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Gay Professional Networking 101

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.

With all the issues LGBT people face on the job and in the business community, LGBT professional networking is a must to advance your career and business. You don’t have to be exclusively LGBT focused but ignoring it is just plain missing out.

1. Before you get started

Be sure your profiles set up nicely before you jump in. See our full article for 37 LinkedIn profile tips for the queer professional networker and job seeker.

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.

6a. LinkedIn

See our article on setting up a great LinkedIn profile for queer professionals to get started.

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.

I further invite them to connect with me since I’ve been on LinkedIn for around 17 years with over 24,000 1st degree connections globally. Consider all your LGBT owned small business marketing ideas with networking part of that mix.

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.

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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 result 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.

6b. OutBüro on LinkedIn

OutBüro provides two vehicles to gay professional networks. The first is our OutBüro on LinkedIn group which was the first, nearly 11 years old, moderated and still the largest LGBT professional networking group on LinkedIn with currently as of this writing 45,000 global members in all levels of career and in all industries.

6c. OutBüro site

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OutBüro was launched in April 2018 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

6d. Facebook

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.

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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.

For a few more gay professional networking tips, check out our other article titled “Career Networking as an LGBT Professional – 7 Tips”.

Closing thoughts

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.

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Marketing Ideas for Your LGBT Owned Small Business or Non-Profit Entrepreneur4 LGBTQ Workplace Equality Issues and Steps to Inclusion - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity

54 Marketing Ideas for Your LGBT Owned Small Business or Non-Profit

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.

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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.

6. Use every opportunity to push a press release. Check out our article titled, “Press Release Tips for the LGBT Entrepreneur and Non-Profits”. Did you know that as a free member of OutBüro you may use the article posting feature on your profile to self-publish your own press releases or for a small fee we can help give it a bit more extra SEO kick and share it with our network? Check out the article titled, ” LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love” for more information.

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.

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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.

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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 BrightLocal who 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.

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Press Release Tips for the LGBT Entrepreneur and Non-Profits

Join Now - OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking Diversity Recruiting Jobs Company Queer Bisexual TransgenderEvery 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.

What kind of results press releases get without spending a ton of money? Watch this video to learn:

The Basics

  • 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:

  1. Using boring headlines. Keep it short and make every word work for you.
  2. Forgetting a call to action. Direct the reader to you a specific page on your website for example.
  3. Not Including images and video that bring the press release to life – if possible use original images to reduce stock image burn out.
  4. Sounding too much like sales pitch spam
  5. Spelling and grammar errors – we love Grammarly

Getting Started

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.

Leverage Quotes

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 build 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.

https://www.outburo.com/community-registration/

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LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love

Getting coverage for business launch, new service, successes, and milestones can be difficult. Press releases are still an essential part of getting the word out about your business or organization. Using press release distribution services are great, but no certainty that your press release will see the light of day or be targeted to the LGBT professional community you seek.

OutBüro is the fastest growing LGBT professional and entrepreneur focused website with great page ranking. On OutBüro you have a platform to promote your business/organization in many ways. We’ll always remain professionally focused office friendly even if that means excluding some segments that have plenty of coverage elsewhere. Your news will not be competing with circuit party ads or Hollywood gossip.

Free Press Release Submission – Self Serve

After joining OutBüro for free, complete your personal profile. On your profile, you have the ability to submit articles to promote your business products, services and industry similar to submitting articles on LinkedIn. After your submitted article is reviewed and approved it will become part of the OutBüro main blog. Be sure to choose the category “Press Release” and other categories as pertinent. Contact us to potentially add categories. Be sure to add a great captivating featured image too.

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Press Release – Full SEO Optimization and Leverage the OutBüro Growing Online Universe

At OutBüro we know how to maximize the search engine results for your press release. We leverage full-page text and image optimization techniques targeting the LGBT professional and entrepreneur. We can do the same to expand that to your niche market if not solely LGBT focused. Not only would it appear branded on our blog, we’ve built an off-site social media distribution network that includes our own LinkedIn LGBT Professional Networking Group with 45,000 global members. Submit your press release for a small fee to cover the cost of our time in editing, SEO optimizing, image cost and image editing and our time is socially promoting your news.

Create A Group on OutBüro

You are amazing at what you do. Demonstrate it by being a leader on OutBüro. Start a business/organization, industry or topic-focused group in where you are the group administrator. Post regularly, invite your network to it and engage your audience. As your group grows and you engage you will be viewed as the leader in your field and can turn that into opportunities.

Online LGBT Business Citation

Add your LGBT company/organization or company seeking LGBT employees to the OutBüro company directory. After joining OutBüro, anyone may add a company/organization of any size and anywhere in the world for free. The free listing has limitation such as no website URL, no social media links and cannot list if they have LGBT friendly company policies. Gain the full features and demonstrate your support of the LGBT community with a full feature listing. There is a non-profit rate with full feature too.

Employee/Volunteer Engagement

After adding your company OutBüro company directory invite staff and volunteers to join OutBüro and rate/review your business/organization from their LGBT employee/volunteer perspective. Have them share what a great experience they have working for you. We have company review guidelines and moderate when necessary.

OutBuro - LGBTQ employer reviews job portal professional entrepreneur community LGBT GBLT Gay Owned Lesbian Transgender Bisexual career posting resume CV

Join Now - 28 - OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking GLBT Entrepreneurs Startup Diveristy Recruiting Jobs Company Queer Bisexual Transgender

Why LGBT Networking with OutBüro Will Advance Your Career

Originally posted on DebtFreeGuys here on Aug 21, 2018.

Why your career must include LGBT networking

Though LinkedIn is a valuable professional networking tool, not all of us feel comfortable being ‘out’ in that setting. Glassdoor offers quality insight around what it’s like to work at specific companies, but it doesn’t share experience specific to LGBT employees. That’s why you need the LGBT networking site, OutBüro.

Learn more about the LGBT networking site, OutBüro:

Meet LGBT networking leader, Dennis Velco of OutBüro

Dennis Velco is the Founder and CEO of OutBüro, an LGBT networking site for entrepreneurs and professionals. The site allows users to network, submit resumes to a searchable database, and rate companies anonymously from an LGBT perspective. It also provides a forum where companies of any size can connect with LGBT candidates through active recruiting.

Dennis joins us to discuss the impetus for OutBüro, describing the platform as a safe space for LGBT job-seekers. He offers insight around joining an employee resource group at work OR creating one of your own and addresses the common disconnect between a company’s inclusive policies and how LGBT employees are actually treated in the workplace. Listen in for Dennis’ advice around promoting diversity and inclusion year-round and learn how you can reap the benefits of joining the OutBüro community!

Join Now - OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking Diversity Recruiting Jobs Company Queer Bisexual TransgenderTopics covered about LGBT networking

The impetus for OutBüro

  • LinkedIn and Glassdoor’s ‘little gay baby’
  • Safe space for LGBT job-seekers
  • Forum for companies looking for talent

The capabilities of the OutBüro site

  • Connect with mentors, VCs and join groups
  • Communicate without limitations
  • Submit resume to the searchable database
  • Rate companies anonymously
  • Users demonstrate expertise via blogging

The value of LGBT-friendly policies

  • Impact on quality of life, job satisfaction
  • Affects long-term earning potential
  • Policy doesn’t always reflect reality

How OutBüro is different from the HRC Corporate Equality Index

  • Includes any company of any size
  • Offers feedback loop from employees

Dennis’ advice around coming out at work

  • Individual choice (may not feel safe)
  • Join employee resource group
  • Create an informal network of peers

Dennis’ take on promoting inclusion in advertising all year long

  • Visibility leads to awareness, awareness leads to equality
  • Economic value informs how marketing dollars spent

Dennis’ insight around shifting focus away from sex and politics

  • Most oppressed usually most sexually outrageous
  • The tendency to act out under ultra-conservative administration
  • Need for leaders to rally community

Connect with Dennis of OutBüro

OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Ratings Gay Professional Networking Employee Discrimination Entrepreneurs GBLT Company Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Queer Community Job Postings News Information

Resources for LGBT Networking and sites mentioned during the interview with Dennis

OutBuro - LGBT Employer Company Reviews Directory GLBT Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer Professional Community Job Portal Board 13

Company Reviews – Good for Companies and Their LGBTQ Employees

OutBüro (OutBuro.com) is filling a gap in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer working and professional community by offering a Glassdoor.com-like service. On OutBüro LGBTQ employees may review their employers on not only general employee-related areas but those specific to the employer’s LGBTQ policies, benefits, culture, work-life balance, job security, CEO performance and more.

OutBüro’s mission is to be an altruistic resource for both employer and employee by providing an open community of visibility.

 OutBuro - LGBTQ employer reviews job portal professional entrepreneur community LGBT GBLT Gay Owned Lesbian Transgender Bisexual career posting resume CV

Employer Reviews

Company Reviews include a free-form text review along with prompting for pros and cons as well as a message to the CEO. Registered members ratings are displayed anonymously. Reviews must adhere to our Community and Company Reviews Guidelines. Other members may indicate a rating as helpful as well as flag inappropriate content for community self-governance. OutBüro’s founder, Dennis Velco, built and moderates LinkedIn’s largest LGBT professional group with 47k global members now as a service of OutBüro.

OutBüro empowers every LGBTQ person to add their past employers, if not already present. We are open to all company sizes from the small local business to Fortune 100. OutBüro’s Company Reviews directory is world-wide. No matter where an LGBTQ person lives and works they can have a voice in praising their employer or offering constructive feedback to be a catalyst for change.

Companies may claim their listing to gain additional features and ensure their information is correctly represented including the required responses to the presence of the following policies and practices:

  • Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Gender Identity Non-Discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Supports LGBTQ Equality Globally (if operates in more than one country)
  • LGBT Inclusion Competency
  • Public Commitment to LGBTQ Equality
  • Requires Similar Policies for Contractors and Vendors

Add/claim your company today and invite your employee to review it. https://www.outburo.com/member/add-company-listing

OutBüro (OutBuro.com) is a start-up company providing the LGBTQ workforce, professional a voice in improving our future. Our platform provides the ability to connect and dialog with others one on one and via topically focused groups at all levels of career phase from entry level, professionals through entrepreneurs.

OutBüro’s Job Portal enables employers to attract quality LGBTQ candidates while demonstrating their commitment to the LGBTQ community. Job seekers may add their resume/CV to the growing search-able repository in an active and passive job search.

Why is this important?

Does your company have the policies listed above to protect your LGBTQ staff? If so, AWESOME. You are doing the right thing to create a welcoming and safe environment to attract and retain quality staff.

However, having policies are not good enough. They are only part of the equation. For example, Sexual Harassment Policies have been in place in the United States since the late 70’s. Today it seems nearly weekly sexual harassment case news seems to break of high profile individuals. Just think how many sexual harassment cases don’t make the local or national news. Further, think how many incidences go completely unreported to even the HR department.

We aim to be a partner with you and your company by being a place where employees can voice their praise and accolades you deserve while also being the space where opportunities to improve can be brought to your attention. Both in an anonymous manner so that employees are comfortable in being honest. As noted we have a community content policy and Compay Review guidelines. We don’t want defamatory content and to that end, anyone, including you, may flag a review, image or comment for moderation – and potential removal if justified from the system. To submit a review every person must be an authenticated person. Should a Company Review warrant an internal investigation, upon your request, we’ll contact the submitter and ask if they are comfortable in coming forward.

HRC Corporate Equality Index – You and OutBüro

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for several years has been inviting Fortune 1000 level companies and large corporate law firms to participate in the CEI to indicate if the companies have the policies and practices above in place. We applaud and grateful for their past and continued work in on this. Being a US non-profit political action committee, their CEI is US-centric, invite-only, completed by corporate top management, and largest companies focused.

It’s a wonderful resource, but not a full picture, breath, depth and accessibility OutBüro aims to fill. Remember, saying you have a Sexual Harassment policy in place has not been enough since the late 70’s.

Participating in OutBüro happens to also further support your HRC CEI score per section 4.a. Public Commitment.

Touting Your OutBüro Score

Just as many companies are rightfully proud of their HRC Corporate Equality Index Score and make public announcements about reaching their 100% score, we aim to be your grassroots measurement of your LGBTQ employee satisfaction rating. We hope and believe that as your OutBüro company record gains reviews that you’ll be touting your OutBüro score too in press releases and displaying your OutBüro score on your corporate HR and Recruiting website.

It will not only demonstrate that you have LGBTQ-friendly policies but that your current and recent past LGBTQ employees LOVE WORKING at the company. This will bolster your diversity recruiting and retention.

Premium Membership – Articles on OutBüro

With our Premium membership, you’ll have the ability to post content on OutBüro’s blog via your profile – Submit Articles. This can be company news, industry news, events, and just about anything. We’d naturally love it to be diversity/LGBTQ focused, but general info is welcomed.

Early Adopter Pricing

We are eager to work with you and build our community. We, therefore, have aggressive early adopter pricing that will remain in effect for renewals as long as you maintain uninterrupted membership. If membership laps, renewing will then be at the current rates. We value relationships and maintaining them. The cost is currently kept very low to minimize the approval process within your company. Getting started is the most important thing.

Each company needs only one OutBüro Premium member to have the ability activate the Job Portal and claim the company listing – both a la carte. You may add other company HR team members to your Job Portal management team who may be free members.

Get the full benefits of OutBüro by registering for Premium membership, then activate your Job Portal and Claim your company listing. Search for your company and if not present Add/Claim it.

Free Level

The vast majority of site users, such as your employees can register for the free account. After verifying their email address they may search for your company and rate it. Again, their rating is publicly anonymous.

Premium Membership and Company Features

Premium Membership  $66.00 annually*
Job Portal – Unlimited Job Posting and Unlimited Resume Searches
(Other packages available)
 $600 annually*
Claim Company for Reviews
Two package enhancement add-ons are optional – price above not including these.
 $349 annually*
Full benefits total $1,015 annually*

Billed to a credit card and auto-renewed. You may cancel membership at any time. Membership is valid through current membership period.

During our startup phase, we know we are underpriced compared to other LGBT Job Board sites. Additionally, we are the first and only Company Review site specific to the LGBTQ community.

* Rates may/will increase over time. Join now and lock in rates for the duration of uninterrupted membership.

Getting Started

To register, simply visit www.OutBuro.com.

Choose the Premium Membership plan. https://www.outburo.com/plans/memberships/

  1. Complete your personal profile.
  2. Activate your Job Portal and choose your package. Each new Premium level member receives 4 Job Postings and 20 resume searches as a free trial. Remember, this site just launched and we are seeking companies just like yours to partner with us to grow the community so that we all benefit.  https://www.outburo.com/premium/employer-panel/
    1. We are working on the Job Portal Employer guide – you may have multiple team members access the account as well as provide an XML data file for bulk uploads.
  3. From the main home page or the Company & Reviews page search for your company. https://www.outburo.com/company-reviews/
    1. If present, choose Claim Listing.
    2. If not present choose the Add Company button or link. Be sure to select the default Paid Add/Claim listing. https://www.outburo.com/member/add-company-listing.
      Complete the listing adding a log as your first image. See registration options to add to your package.

 

OutBuro - Largest LinkedIn Group for the LGBTQ professional business entrepreneur community glbt gay lesbian transgender bisexual queer diversity inclusion careers jobs

Celebrating 10 Years – LinkedIn’s Largest LGBTQ Entrepreneur and Professional Community Group Anniversary

March 2018 – LinkedIn’s first and largest (44,600+ members) LGBTQ entrepreneur, business, start-up, and professional community networking group turns a whopping 10 years old.  The group founder, curator, and moderator Dennis Velco recently launched OutBüro as a vehicle to expand the group for LGBTQ professions and startups to connect, engage and collaborate to a degree beyond the features and scope of a LinkedIn group.

OutBüro provides the majority of its online growing resources and services for free to gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer business owners and professionals.  It also has a premium level membership for business owners and organizations seeking to present their industry knowledge and connect with the professional LGBTQ community through its platform.

OutBuro - Join Now - Affiliate - LGBT Entrepreneurs Startup GBLT Professionals Gay Owned Company Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Community Job Postings News Information Journey

Join for Free

Join us on the main OutBüro site.  Sign up for free to enjoy the vast majority of services.

Join as Premium with 20% off – through end of March

During our celebration of reaching 10 years on LinkedIn we invite you to join OutBüro at the Premium level to unlock the sites full current features (and expanding) from now through the end of March 2018 at 20% off standard Premium level annual membership with the coupon code of “10YEARS-20”.  This does not apply to the Premium monthly membership plan.

OutBüro filling a need in the LGBTQ business community

LinkedIn has been a great platform and OutBüro will continue to nurture the group as a service of the now dedicated OutBüro platform.  Building the group on LinkedIn has been a wonderful learning process and I value what it has and can continue to provide.

The LGBTQ community is ready for a dedicated platform that allows us being fully out professionally alongside our sexual identities.  We are ready to leverage our community to create relationships that support our professional careers, our current businesses, and start-up endeavors.

Too many LGBTQ people are still professionally in the closet, especially on sites such as LinkedIn.  For most, even joining an LGBTQ group on LinkedIn is not considered an option so they are missing out on the networking potential that our LinkedIn group offers – even with LinkedIn’s limited group features.

We are striving to be a safe accepting open place on OutBüro while fostering and nurturing the strengths on the profession and business sides of our lives.  I believe OutBüro will not only strengthen the individual and LGBTQ community but the communities where we live, our employers and the community at large.

OutBüro Job Portal – For Recruiters, Diversity/Inclusion Professionals, and Jobseekers

As we grow we will be placing emphasis on expanding our Job Portal as a premier location for LGBTQ job seekers to locate employment opportunities with companies that are specifically seeking LGBTQ candidates.  We will be actively seeking companies ready to post their jobs on OutBüro and partnering with organizations who facilitate companies in moving toward an open and inclusive environment.

For companies seeking diversity and inclusion candidate applications, OutBüro currently offers the ability to network with the community members and post open jobs.  We are planning exciting new features in our job portal as our online community grows with robust applicant searching, applicant management and open job push notification to active job seekers to name a few.  Future features will also include robust job seeker abilities much as you find on major job portals.

OutBüro Provides a Focused Niche Audience to Target Your Message

As a premium site member whether you are LGBTQ or seeking to participate with the LGBTQ community, you have the option to post press releases, news and information about your company and industry.  See the following for more information:

LGBT Entrepreneurs Lead with Content – Contribute Articles to OutBüro

Build Your Business and Personal Brand in the LGBTQ Business and Professional Community

Journalist – Freelance writers

We are seeking journalists/freelance writers who would like to participate in the OutBüro community.  Any journalist/freelance writer should use the Contact form to request a conversation and potential free premium level membership so that you may post articles at no cost to you while gaining the ability to earn revenue through our affiliate program.  See the following for more information:

Build Your Business and Personal Brand in the LGBTQ Business and Professional Community

Affiliate Program Overview

We welcome and appreciate every member

OutBuro - Join Now - Affiliate - LGBT Entrepreneurs Startup GBLT Professionals Gay Owned Company Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Community Job Postings News Information Journey

OutBuro - Seeking Article Content Writers Contributors LGBT Business Entrepreneur Professional Community News Information Reviews Community

Build Your Business and Personal Brand in the LGBTQ Business and Professional Community

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.

Get Started

Access to contribute content/articles on OutBüro requires a Premium membership.

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.

OutBuro - Join Now - LGBT Entrepreneurs Startup GBLT Professionals Gay Owned Company Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Community Job Postings News Information Journey

We are seeking 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
  • Press Releases
  • 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
  • Business management
  • Finance management – business and personal
  • Finance – business funding
  • Investing
  • 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
  • Product tutorials
  • Business and community leadership stories
  • Arts and Entertainment from the business perspective
  • Politics as it relates to business and directly the LGBTQ community
  • Resource guides
  • 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

Author Guidelines

  1. 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?
  2. We only accept quality content that is relevant to our website.
  3. Your post must be expertly written and your voice should be friendly, yet informative.
  4. The post’s structure must contain subheadings, lively featured images, and be easy to navigate.
  5. Your articles should be a minimum of 800 words and cover the topic in detail.
  6. 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.
  7. If your images are not in the public domain, credit the source.
  8. Articles should include external links to other quality articles or research, when they are relevant and add value to your post.
  9. Authors should have a complete profile, so your photo will show up in the author box and on comments.

Regarding Copyright

See User Agreement.

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.

Sharing, Social Media, and Earn

We’ll do some of this, but the more you can do the better. Share your article on social media. The more readers you get, the more visitors you will get to your blog and social media platforms.  When you share it be sure to append your OutBüro Affiliate slug so that you might earn a side income as it draws new Premium members to the site.

Questions?

Use the Contact form under the Support menu.