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create an online business for a specific community?

The LGBT community is way behind in my opinion. We cant relate to the rest of the world, because our art/ideas are ignored more. i want to create a website where lgbt art movies books clothing tv pilots etc can be sold and shared amongst one another. An lgbt version of etsy i guess you could say. The goal is to get the site seen on tv, as well as local lgbt celebrities promote it. Which would also push the community into a more positive light. Any ideas on this would be great. Thanks in advance! business marketing economics social-media online-advertising

What a great aspiration Tyler! Can you add a bit more about what it is you're hoping to learn from professionals? Lindsey Manning-Djabbari BACKER

Thank you Lindsey. Well honestly how much time shouldni devote to it? Also if I decide to jumo in headfirst what are some big obstacles I would come along. I myself love the idea but, I worry since its a community sharing type of site. What can I do to make people more interested in putting their sellable items online. Tyler W.

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Stephanie’s Answer


First of all, I think this is a great idea- as both a community and e-commerce site. That being said, it can be very hard to start a successful blog or e-commerce site just because of the sheer volume of traffic out there. It's hard to gain the search engine optimization (SEM) presence needed to jump to the top of search list, and gaining lots of followers and press can be difficult in the crowded digital space.

My advice is to start with an existing platform that already has traffic, like Etsy or instagram. Start selling your goods on an Etsy shop, and start fostering an Instagram (and facebook and twitter) presence with cool photography, stunts, etc. By following celebrities or community based accounts in the LGBT community (especially locally in your city or state) and tagging them in posts, you'll start to gain followers and tractions. If you can get a local influencer or blogger to wear your goods or announce the launch of your site, that will start to foster a local community, and from there you can expand via WOM to other LGBT sites, cities, etc. By sending genuine messages or emails to influencers or celebrities and offering to send them free clothing, you may get some responses, especially if they believe in your cause. In return, a blogger, influencer, journalist, or whoever will be happy to mention you or write about you, especially if it's an issue they care about. don't be afraid to be a little edgy and do something eyecatching on social media (or via Youtube video) like put a dog in your clothes or flyer your campus with your logo or some kind of intriguing graphic with just links to your URL on them. If you have passion a good cause, and work consistently to stay on brand with your message or image across mediums (on the web or in person/brick and mortar) you will start to gain critical mass and can likely get some influential celebrities or publications to help you tell your story for you (without a lot of marketing dollars needed). Best of luck!

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Amy’s Answer

I'd suggest starting with a blog and becoming an affiliate of Amazon and other sites where LGBT artists' work is sold. By blogging about the artists and then listing their products or projects, it's a win-win. You can promote through your social channels and the artists can as well.