Maximize Your LGBTQ-Owned Business with These Digital Resources

By Sarah Jester

Entrepreneurs in all walks of life and fields of work are doing business in an increasingly virtual world. With the significant, observed shift to virtual work over the last several years, it is all the more important to have a strong grasp on digital business tools & resources in order to thrive online. Here at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTQ people, our community of LGBTQ entrepreneurs across the country stays connected digitally through a variety of resources. Here are our top tips for maximizing your business development through digital tools: 

Take advantage of LGBT business certification

NGLCC is the exclusive certifying body for LGBTQ-owned businesses. Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies are routinely sought after by NGLCC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spend with the LGBTQ business community through our internal, proprietary database. In turn, Certified LGBTBE® companies have access to hundreds of corporate representative and supplier diversity professional contacts. Click here to learn more about LGBTBE certification!

Once you become a Certified LGBTBE® supplier, you gain access to a world of exclusive digital business opportunities, including interactive online events and networking sessions. LGBTQ entrepreneurs that want to expand their networks should be prepared for events like NGLCC LGBT Sip & Pitch, a chance to virtually present your business to a panel of experts and your fellow business owners for positive, constructive feedback and new ideas. Sip & Pitch is a great way to see and be seen by representatives from NGLCC Corporate Partners and fellow LGBT-owned companies seeking your goods & services. But is your pitch game up to par? NGLCC has your back! We turned to the experts to find out just what makes a killer pitch – and how to make your company stand out at any pitch opportunity. Corporate supplier diversity representatives advise you to keep the energy levels up, fine-tune your presentation deck, and to find a unique way to capture the judges’ attention during your pitch with a powerful statement. Click HERE for more tips and tricks from our experts.

This year, LGBTQ business owners should also prepare for one-on-one digital matchmaker meetings with NGLCC Corporate Partners through the Matchmakers Program. Similar to pitches, these meetings allow for Certified LGBTBE® suppliers to virtually present their services and capabilities to corporations looking to procure services. Think of this opportunity as long term networking; entrepreneurs are constantly selling their businesses and that golden opportunity may come further down the line. Have questions about matchmaking? Need to sharpen up your matchmaking skills? Click HERE to review matchmaking advice contributed by participating LGBT-owned businesses and corporate experts.

Polish your digital landscape

Successfully doing business as an LGBTQ entrepreneur is certainly not limited to NGLCC-specific events or tools. In an increasingly virtual world, social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools entrepreneurs have at their fingertips when seeking to catch the attention of potential customers. When thinking about your digital strategy, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is if you can’t actually connect with your target audience! Marketing to customers online is everything, especially when a sizable chunk of the nation is still shopping from home. To help you polish up your digital landscape, click HERE to visit NGLCC’s handy pocket-sized guide to running your social media channels in 2022.

Join Hello Alice

Hello Alice, a long-time NGLCC partner and organizational ally, helps entrepreneurs around the world launch and grow their businesses with a variety of tools and personalized resources. It offers data insights and a personalized user experience to participants as they make their way further into the platform’s programming. Hello Alice also offers a wide variety of online communities for business owners to directly interact with each other, get their business questions answered quickly, and collaborate. This programming is accomplished through a series of content partnerships with numerous field experts and partners that can help entrepreneurs continue to build. Some of these partners include Salesforce, Bumble, Chase, and many more. 

Co-headquartered in Houston and San Francisco, and founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice believes in business for all by providing access to all owners, including LGBTQ, women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. You can sign up for free at helloalice.com! Click here to read our conversation with the co-founder of Hello Alice, Elizabeth Gore.

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As the Senior Manager of Digital Media at NGLCC, Sarah Jester (they/them/theirs) works to create dynamic digital content to connect NGLCC with its audience and NGLCC members with each other. Sarah graduated with their bachelors in Political Communication from George Washington University, and is currently obtaining their M.A. in Media & Strategic Communication.

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