How to market using LGBT Facebook Ads
Queer entrepreneurs want to reach people like themselves. LGBT Facebook Ads is how. That’s harder to do with some of Facebook’s anti-discrimination rules. But when you’re looking for queer folks to support your LGBT-owned business, you must.
Why queer entrepreneurs should target the LGBT market with LGBT Facebook Ads
The queer community has more than $1 trillion in purchasing power in the U.S. and over $3 trillion globally. Properly used, that’s mega influence over global economies and is why we encourage Queer Money® podcast listeners and Debt Free Guys readers to spend their pink dollars wisely – ideally with LGBT-owned and operated businesses.
Why queer people should spend their money with queer businesses:
But business is a 2-way street. How can LGBT-owned and operated businesses target the LGBT market in real and relevant ways?
The biggest advertising platform today is Facebook, and this is great news for small business owners with tight margins. Because, unlike with the heavy cost of advertising for the Super Bowl or even local, daytime television, business owners marketing to the LGBT community can much more easily (more targeted/less expensive) advertise on Facebook.
Flourish with Facebook Ads by Monica Louie
Our favorite Facebook Ads training course, which we’ve taken and still use today, is Flourish with Facebook Ads by Monica Louie. Monica’s a Facebook Ads consultant and online business strategist who helps motivated online entrepreneurs to increase profits by optimizing website traffic and email list conversions.
Monica’s blog was created when she and her husband erased a $120,000 debt load in just 2 years with one average income. Monica monetized her blog with a training course webinar she marketed with Facebook Ads. She quickly mastered the ads platform with a $1.26 cost per subscriber conversion and later tweaked the strategy to a $1.01 conversion rate.
Due to the overwhelming demand for Monica’s Facebook Ads services, she sold her blog in 2016 to work as a full-time Facebook Ads coach.
Get Monica’s top tips on LGBT Facebook Ads that convert on this Queer Money®:
On this Queer Money®, Monica explains Facebook’s actions to prevent further data abuse, given the controversies plaguing Facebook since the 2012 election through today. In addition, she details Facebook Ads basics, strategies to target specific communities (such as the queer community), how to budget for A/B testing and how to create results-oriented ads. Monica shares her Facebook Ads 5-step process and explains how Store Visit and Offer options can drive brick-and-mortar business foot traffic and sales.
Plus, Monica’s Facebook group assists in maximizing the algorithm to locate niche customers and grow your business’s sales! Use Coupon Code DFG50 for 50% off Monica’s Flourish with Facebook Ads course.
Target marketing the LGBT community with LGBT Facebook Ads
Below are 5 ways to target market to LGBT people on Facebook and tips to help you circumvent the challenges of Facebook’s new anti-discrimination rules.
Your queer brothers and sisters are out there in the land of Face and Book and ready to buy from you! Find and sell to them with a creative LGBT Facebook Ads strategy that rocks their box of rainbow-hued socks.
1. Use Facebook Ads Manager to create LGBT Facebook Ads
Bloggers and businesses can use Facebook Ads Manager to market to select audiences, ideally, those individuals who would glean value from the services, products or content you provide. One of the most effective ways to reach the LGBT community is to create value-added content such as an article or blog post on your business website and share it on your social media channels.
Your content lets readers know your blog and business exist to help them. Creating content that solves pain points or needs in the lives of your target audience will support sales conversions. Given your target audience is the queer community, though, not every queer person is your customer. Use Facebook Ads Manager to reach your customer avatar to optimize sales conversions.
Start by installing Facebook Pixel to your website to track visitors and help you gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.
Install the Facebook Pixel
Installing Facebook Pixel, a small snippet of code, on your website notifies Facebook of all your website visits. Monica explains how this works and how to do the installation in her Flourish with Facebook Ads course.
Use the Facebook Ads Manager Detailed Targeting Tool to filter LGBT interests
Facebook Ads Manager Detailed Targeting Tool lets you filter and market to people based on specific interests like “homosexuality”, “Pride” or “LGBT”. You can also filter for those interested in LGBT-friendly businesses or LGBT-themed businesses such as Volkswagen or Advocate.
By creating LGBT-themed ads, it will increase your chances of attracting those in the community you seek to serve.
2. Create a ‘Look-A-Like’ audience with LGBT-themed content
A cold audience is considered as those who are visiting your site for the first time. The more often someone visits your site, the “warmer” they become and more likely to convert to sales.
What’s a way to reach a substantial cold audience that may be similar to “warm” visitors to your site? Use Facebook Manager to compile a “look-a-like” audience.
A look-a-like audience is defined as an array of people who have the same virtual behaviors and characteristics as an original “warm” audience. You can easily build a look-a-like audience with Facebook Ads Manager as Facebook has specific data on characteristics of those previously visiting your site and aligns those characteristics with others who are similar. For example, individuals who have liked Advocate’s Facebook page.
By creating a look-a-like audience and serving them an LGBT-themed Facebook ad, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll engage with your ad, visit your website and convert on what you offer. Using the look-a-like audience strategy will help you optimize your Facebook Ads spend, as you’re specifically targeting your niche audience versus wasting money on a generic “spray and pray” approach.
3. Use LGBT-themed Emojis to market to LGBT people
A great way to quickly lasso the look-shiny-ball attention span of today’s social media users is to nab them with “you are my people” Emojis.
Use an LGBT-themed Emoji in the body or copy of your Facebook ad to signal to readers your content is LGBT-friendly. Then, LGBT folks will be more likely to engage with your content and purchase from your business.
Our favorite LGBT-them Emojis to market to LGBT people include:
4. Make your Facebook ad headline LGBT-inclusive
A clear and concise LGBT-inclusive headline can assist your audience in deciding to engage with your post. The more specific you are about who your business and content serve the better. That being said, one must be mindful of the delicate nature of LGBT Facebook marketing, as Facebook deletes real and perceived hate speech, which is good but challenging.
For example, it there’s any inkling you’re using “queer” or “gay” in a derogatory manner, your Facebook ad will be rejected. Don’t be frustrated if your ad isn’t approved. Simply wordsmith your title and resubmit your ad for approval.
Another helpful tip is to zero in on your article, service or product as opposed to referring to a specific array of people or audience, and refrain from using the words “your” or “you”.
Headlines that have worked well for us:
- We ❤️ Our LGBT Community 🏳️🌈
- 5 Simple Steps for LGBT People to Make More Money Today
- 5 Surprising Facts about LGBT Boomer Retirement
5. Use LGBT-inclusive images
Using LGBT-inclusive images are a must to quickly capture your reader’s almost elusive attention span!
Shutterfly and Adobe Stock are great platforms to source LGBT-themed images. Images include pictures with rainbow hues, gay and lesbian couples, rainbows, images of people who could be LGBT and trans people.
To comply with Facebook image guidelines, use images with minimal to no text, and use images with a high-resolution (aka hi-res). Be aware that if you’re wanting to add text to your images, the images with text will cost more based on Instagram’s (owned by Facebook) and Facebook’s needs.
Based on our experience, these 5 essential tips will help you amplify your efforts in marketing and selling to LGBT people and maximize the return on your business Facebook Ads spend.
Risks of Facebooks Ads data to the LGBT community
Despite all the upside of being able to serve ads to the LGBT community based on Facebook data, that same data can put millions of gay individuals at significant risk if they reside in countries where homosexuality is illegal.
A Facebook advertising study done by Ángel Cuevas Rumín at Charles III University of Madrid, Spain, and his colleagues found there are over 4.2 million people tagged with an interest in homosexuality who are living in countries when homosexuality is outlawed.
Because these people could be targeted in Facebook Ads, they are at risk of being targeted by those with nefarious intentions. This is just something to be aware of.
Understanding various types of Facebook data
1. Facebook user-submitted data
The amount of user-submitted data that Facebook collects is extremely comprehensive. It includes but is not limited to communications, content and other information when you use Facebook’s products. Data can also include details about the content you submit such as photo location or date a specific file was posted.
2. Facebook interest-based data
Facebook interest-based data is just like it sounds – data based on what people have expressed an interest in or “liked” pages related to other similar pages or topics.
There are thousands of interests that can be targeted, and they can be found in the Interests section of the ad set settings.
3. Facebook exclusion-based data
Facebook exclusion-based data allows you to implement targeting rules that will avoid showing your products to specific people in your audience.
For instance, you could create a targeting rule excluding people who made a purchase from your website within the last 25 days. In this way, you prevent showing your ad to people who are less likely to take action on your ad.
4. Facebook LGBT policy
Because of the 2012 presidential election and other reasons, Facebook updated its user and advertiser policies a few years ago. While this was mostly a good thing and while bots are capable of doing most of the supervision of Facebook’s policies, there’s still a lot left to be desired.
With the intent of creating a safe space for users and not offending various groups, Facebook may have overcorrected and overly relied on bots. As a business that helps the LGBT community with debt, we’ve struggled to get Facebook to understand that both “gay” and “debt” can be used in positive, non-accusatory ways.
5. Facebook controversy/overcorrection
We’re not the only LGBT-owned business that was affected. Unfortunately, according to a 2018 The Washington Post article, there have been numerous Facebook Ads with LBGT themes and words that were inadvertently blocked for allegedly being political in nature, per Facebook’s public database.
The rejected ads, most of which Facebook conceded to The Post were erroneous, spotlights the company’s continued challenge in regulating the huge amount of information on its platforms.
Gay entrepreneurs on Facebook
But gay entrepreneurs can flourish on Facebook with targeted ads to the LGBT community.
One of the most cost-effective tools for niche entrepreneurs and bloggers is to grow their business is with a Facebook Ads strategy.
With over 2 billion active Facebook users, it’s likely that many potential customers in the LGBT community niche are active on Facebook and are ready to open their wallets for your latest amazeballz product or service!
Facebook Ads drive business online and foot traffic to brick and mortar stores for as little as $5 per day.
For example, an “In-Store Visits” campaign within Facebook Ads Manager can help businesses connect with the right consumer in their geographic area. This is especially helpful for LGBT entrepreneurs who are stylists, real estate agents, insurance agents and financial advisors.
An ad with a specific offer that requires the Facebook user to visit the store can be extremely effective in increasing business revenue.
Curious about what Facebook Ads your competitors are currently running?
- Go to the specific Page
- Select “See more” in the Page Transparency section
- Under “Ads From This Page”, choose “Go to Ad Library”
From there, you can see all the ads the Page is running currently in your country. If no ads appear, the Page may not have any current ads running.
How to start your LGBT-owned and operated business
1. Pick your business
Given the advantages of 24/7 omnipresent tech, it’s easier than ever to start a geographic-independent (as we call it, geoliberated) business. Below are several ways to earn multiple streams of income anywhere in the world!
- Create a blog for less than $4 a month. Sign up here for BlueHost to get our negotiated discount.
- Become a social media influencer or grow your blog by learning from a trusted Instagram marketing course. Sign up for The Mother of Marketing’s Instagram Masterclass by clicking this link.
- Sell your own products or affiliate products, like some of our Credit Card Pay Off Plan students do, on Etsy and Amazon.
- Branch out as a Facebook Ads professional and teach others how to create FB Ads or to grow your own business sales. Know all there is to know by signing up here.
- Learn how to become a full-time freelance writer from our mentor here and make $60,000 a year in 2 years, as we did. Sign up here.
- Write and publish the book that you’ve been meaning to write for years with Publish Your Purpose Press, an LGBT-owned and operated publisher that helps queer authors and readers live larger. Click here to start your authorship.
- Become a virtual executive assistant, and earn $10,000 a month. Click this link to sign up for $10K VA.
- Become a published author with Make Money with eBooks. Believe it or not, there’s a boatload of dinero to be made with romance novels, especially in the gay romance and dinosaur erotica genres. Click here to learn more.
The world is your start-a-new-business now! oyster so make like Nike and “just do it” today! For selling yours or other peoples’ products on Amazon or Etsy to babysitting or dog sitting to blogging and podcasting, there’s no limit to how and where you can start your side hustle.
Want to learn more about starting full-time and side-hustle businesses? Listen in on this Queer Money® episode with the “side hustle king”, Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation.
Hear side-hustle rock star Nick Loper on Queer Money®:
2. Write a book in your niche to position yourself as the pro
Publishing a book is a tried and true tactic of establishing yourself as a thought-leader. Websites like CreateSpace, Lulu, and Smashwords make book publishing almost effortless. Get your content and catalog out there!
We’ve used Amazon’s CreateSpace and Smashwords to publish 3 ebooks, ourselves.
Listen to Jenn T. Grace, Publish Your Purpose Founder, on the Queer Money® podcast to learn more about why and how to publish your book.
Jenn T. Grace on Queer Money®:
Publishing a book isn’t a walk in the unicorn park, though it’s much easier than it seems. Even being a self-published author has street cred today. In fact, a friend of ours is making bank by writing romance novels and ebooks, of all things.
Michelle will take you through her step-by-step ebook creation process that generates her 5-extra figures yearly. Click this link to learn more.
3. Become a social media powerhouse grow your brand
It’s fair to say if your business isn’t on social media (and as this article’s about Facebook Ads) it doesn’t exist. To earn maximum income, your customers and clients will want to connect and engage with your brand on social platforms. Yep, you’ll need a social media presence. Which ones? That will be based on your target audience and the social platforms on where they “live”.
We’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. We choose to be on Facebook because, other than Scruff and Grindr, most gay men are active on Facebook. We use Twitter to connect with celebs (John Cena, Margaret Cho, and Taye Digg, etc.), national and local media, and corporations.
Because Pinterest is a major search engine, we’re on it! Despite Pinterest’s core users being mostly moms, the rate of men joining Pinterest is currently faster than women. In addition, Pinterest is investing millions of dollars to entice men to the platform. Hands down, there’s absolutely no doubt that up to 8% of those are gay men.
YouTube also gets our social media vote, as it’s the best place to showcase videos. YouTube’s becoming a platform for more and more quality, LGBTQ-themed content. We recently interviewed gay YouTube star Jacob Michael about how he started his YouTube channel, how he’s growing it and – best of all – how he’s making money from it.
Hear Jacob’s wisdom about growing a business on YouTube:
Instagram is a favorite because gay men are visual creatures, and it’s a fantastic way for us to visually connect our brand with our people.
At first, the primary catalyst for blog traffic will be driven by social media. For example, when you post a new article, you’ll announce its arrival on social media like every single one of Cher’s farewell tours. Simplify your life and use scheduling tools like Sprout Social and HooteSuite to automate social media.
With posting consistent and relevant content over time, you’ll position yourself on social media as an authority in your niche. A fabulous way to network with other businesses, bloggers, writers and journalists is via social media. Share, comment, and like what they share. Tag them in posts and reach out to them for quotes. In establishing those connections, you can entertain future business opportunities with them.
To get the most ROI from Facebook, you’ll want to create a Facebook Ads strategy. Truly mastering the land of Facebook Ads is both science and art.
On the Queer Money® podcast above, Monica shared amazing tips on optimizing Facebook Ads. Use Discount Code: DFG50 to save $50 at this link here to sign up for Flourish with Facebook Ads.
Then, earn thousands doing freelance writing in your spare time by clicking this link!
4. Write for others to generate freelance writing income
Want to get started earning money freelance writing but don’t yet have experience? Offer to write for other blogs after you’ve posted a minimum of ten blog posts on your website. Learn how to set up your blog with our super-simple, step-by-step guide.
When we first began freelance writing, we wrote for blogs with zilch readers. We emailed every LGBT magazine editor in the USA and offered free writing services. We got one bite and wrote a free article that was published in actual print. In time, we were earning $100 to $500 per article, and our earnings per article continued to grow.
Join freelancing job boards such as BloggerJobs.biz, Contently, and ProBlogger and set up IFTTT to get notifications when freelancing jobs are posted. Save time by creating pitch templates for freelancing opportunities. You’ll need to tailor each pitch though having a structured template will streamline the process.
Use a free customer relationship management tool like Capsule CRM to help you organize and follow up with the businesses and people you’re pitching to
At first, your freelance writing income will likely be free work for little known publications. By consistently pitching and building your credibility and portfolio, you’ll earn $35 here and $100 there until your freelance writing income is earning you $230,000 a year, like our friend.
5. Hire a business coach
Want to know the fastest way to grow your business? Learn from those who’ve already done it (and now help others).
There are a ton of unknowns when starting a business. You’ll have a lot of question and you’ll make a lot of mistakes. But it doesn’t have to be as painful as it sounds.
By hiring a business coach at least somewhat in your niche, you’ll chart a faster, less bumpy path to your business success. This little investment of money can yield a lot of revenue later.
Hear how to increase your income with a business coach:
6. Join the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
Finally, join your local LGBT chamber of commerce and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Why? For 2 reasons.
The first is because we’re members (see the bottom of this page) and we’d love to meet you at one of the annual NGLCC conferences someday. The second is because by joining your local and national LGBT chambers, you’ll be a part of a support system of all kinds of LGBT business owners who are great for learning, networking (and partying) with as you go through your entrepreneurial journey.
Jonathan Lovitz, the Senior Vice President of the NGLCC, joined Queer Money® to talk about the wealth of value the chambers offer for LGBT business owners of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Hear Jonathan Lovitz on Queer Money®:
Why we need more LGBT entrepreneurs
We get the same question from two, separate types of LGBT folks.
From Gen Z and Millennials, we get, “I haven’t started saving and investing, but I want to know how I can retire early (FI/RE)?” From Gen X and Boomers, “I haven’t started saving and investing, but I want to know how I can retire tomorrow.”
The quickest and most certain options for both questions is a 3-pronged approach
- invest in the stock market
- invest in real estate
- have your own small (or large) business
This creates 3 different streams of income completely separate from each other. This creates cash flow and increases assets. So, if you don’t already have some sort of business today, start one today.
Whether you’re an existing or budding business, Facebook Ads are a great tool to connect with and promote to the LGBT community.
Learn the surest path to retirement on Queer Money®:
How to target other entrepreneurs on Facebook
Below are a few ways to easily reach entrepreneurs through targeted Facebook Ads:
1. Target Facebook business page admins
Many entrepreneurs are also admins for their business Facebook pages, so it makes sense to consider targeting Facebook page admins as part of your strategy.
You’ll find the “Facebook page admins” option in the “detailed targeting” section of Facebook Ads Business Manager
2. Target entrepreneur online and print publications
In Facebook Ads Manager, you can easily search for industry-specific publications with large circulations and target people with those interests. Examples include Wired, Fortune and The Economist.
3. Target people with specific business interests
This can be easily done by searching “business” as a keyword in a Facebook ad targeting search. Interests may include: business-to-business, distribution business, small business, etc.
4. Target business by specific industries
Under Facebook’s Interest Targeting, do a search under Demographics > Work > Industries to drill down to specific industries such as architecture and engineering, business and finance, etc.
5. Target job titles
Target entrepreneur-related job titles under Demographics > Work > Job titles. For example, “Director”, “CMO”, “CFO”, “CEO”, etc.
6. Retarget your website visitors
Retarget your website visitors so they’ll see your content on the day of their visit or a couple of days post-visit.
Retargeting is a cost-friendly option to increase website traffic and for visitors to take the next step to purchase your products or services.
7. Use client data to create lookalike audiences
If you have a large “warm audience” client database, you may want to upload the data to Facebook so Facebook’s algorithm can locate more people similar to those uploaded. For example, you may have a database of 750 of your best leads and clients.
How to target gay entrepreneurs on Facebook
Targeting gay entrepreneurs on Facebook can easily be done by reaching out to the audience with a targeted Facebook Ads campaign based on information such as age, gender, location, and interests and language.
A great example of a successful “gay” campaign was done by Rakuten TARAD.com. In their research, Rakuten found that of Thailand’s 24 million Facebook users (data as of October 1st, 2013), 1.34% of them (320,000 total), identified as males interested in men.
Rakuten began with a $400 ad spend budget and targeted their ad to appear to: men interested in males, age range between 20-60 years old, and living in Thailand. Its ad featured supplements, gym equipment, and sporting goods and offered purchase discounts of up to 50%.
The promotion reached around 50% of the segment targeted, and almost 160,000 men interested in males (of the total group of 320,000 ) saw the ad – each of whom had seen the add up to 13 times.
The ad resulted in over 1,300 new Facebook likes to the company’s Facebook page, a threefold increase over baseline and a 200% increase in Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS) during the Facebook promotion.
Other resources for growing your LGBT business
1. Why you need small business insurance
Yes, you the blogger in your My Little Pony jammies – even you are at risk of being sued by a cantankerous client or threatened with copyright infringement. Because it’s so easy for clients to initiate litigation even over unfounded accusations, it’s essential that every entrepreneur have business insurance.
Securing business insurance coverage with Pogo Insurance is easy and stress-free.
Jade and Hannah Sullivan, Pogo co-founders, created a small business commercial insurance platform that does quote comparisons from highly regarded business insurance companies. Customers can easily review the quotes to determine the most relevant coverage and best pricing for their specific needs. Freelancers and entrepreneurs can get coverage in as little as an hour by completing the quick and easy online form.
Hear why even unicorns need business insurance:
2. Why you need a small business valuation
LGBTQ small business valuation is a “must do” for building generational wealth. To make sure our businesses last longer than we do, it’s essential to start with a valuation.
In many instances, the people in the queer community are challenged with not taking time to address what happens to their businesses upon retirement. A huge advantage of business valuation is that the business can be passed down to family and friends, which grows generational wealth.
Isn’t that a better solution than letting your business baby be orphaned when you cross the rainbow bridge to the other side?!
How to know what your business is worth:
3. How to get a small business loan
Make getting a small business loan easy by determining what you need the loan for and researching options on what loan type and lender that best fits. Below is a checklist to help streamline your way to a small business loan.
1. Define the loan’s purpose
You’ll need to define the loan’s purpose as the information will be needed for processing your loan application. Examples include funding a business startup, daily expenses, emergency funds and business expansion.
2. Choose what loan will work best for your business needs
Loan options include a business line of credit, term loan, SBA loan and invoice factoring.
3. Decide what type of lender is the best fit
Lender options include traditional banks, nonprofit microlenders and online lenders.
4. Determine what loan you qualify for
Your credit score will be a significant factor in determining what loan you’ll qualify for. Banks will generally offer the lowest interest rates though require a higher credit score to quality than online or microlenders.
5. Submit the relevant documents for your loan application
Typical documentation for loan applications includes business legal documents like articles of incorporation, business and personal bank statements, business and personal tax returns, and business financial statements.
Business credit cards are another great option to quickly fund your business needs. Two of our favorite biz credit cards, because of their rewards and other benefits, are:
Capital One Spark Business
Chase Business Unlimited
* If you struggle with credit card debt, don’t get these and any other credit cards. Instead, use our Debt Lasso Method to pay off your credit card debt fast.
Then, sign up for our very FREE ‘Improve or Build Your Credit Score Powered by Experian Boost‘ to raise your credit score.
Then, and only then, consider getting (or consider not getting) a business credit card.
We told Good Morning America why the Debt Lasso Method’s the best way to pay off credit card debt:
Best LGBT Facebook pages
We follow several LGBT business pages on Facebook because they share information that helps us stay up to speed on all things business-related and help us connect with other LGBT brands. Here are some of our favs.
- Professional Lesbian
- Debt Free Guys
- Out Leadership
Best LGBT Facebook groups
We’re members of several LGBT business Facebook groups because they’re great resources for networking, asking questions and sharing value (becoming a thought-leader in the LGBT business world). Here are some of our favorites.
- LGBTQ Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
- LGBTQ+ Business Owners, Professionals & Aspiring Authors
- Queer Money
- Thriving Queer Entrepreneurs
More help for LGBT small business owners (or wannabes)
- There Aren’t Enough Queer Business Leaders, And That’s A Problem
- 11 Secrets of Gay Power Couples You Don’t Know
- 10 Pros & Cons of Starting a Side Business
Michelle Beauclair is a TX-based freelance writer and crafts blog posts that engage readers and boost conversions. She’s a helicopter horse and dog mom whose favorite music artists include 2Cellos and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her clients include Debt Free Guys, Manna Pro, and Standlee Forage. View her portfolio at Beau Clair Media.