Concert Promotion, New Business, Kids, Conferences, Exhaustion and BIG DREAMS

First and foremost I would like to apologize for being fairly absent around here lately.  Between the site build, some client work, a conference and two rambunctious little boys I have been neglecting my writing, and that is bad, as I tell my clients all the time.  I don’t have a good excuse, just exhausted and busy.

I was asked some advice on Twitter recently regarding a fairly specific situation.  The person was not able to bring me on as a consultant at the time, but since talking to her I have been thinking about the scenario quite a bit.  So, I thought I would share some insights into what I would do if I were in her situation.  With her permission, some of our email correspondence is below.  Think about a big dream you have and see what insight you can glean from her experience.  

…For obvious reasons, [my small town] doesn’t allow for many bands to tour [in] the area. I am…a fan and devoted show goer when it comes to music…I’m willing to go to nearly any lengths to be present at shows, [though] i find that the general population of [people] my age don’t share the same drive that i do.

However, in recent months, there has been minor shifts to the music scene in my area. Most notably a sometimes venue, that’s all ages and cheap for the bands that are coming through, run by the university’s student body located on campus here in [town].  I was overjoyed at this development. But it seems that others were not as overjoyed as I.

Attendance is poor at best. I don’t want this place to go down in flames. I am not a student at the university so i can’t join the group. I’ve only briefly spoken with the guys who run the group, and i was kinda told to piss off. [This] isn’t a town that i have roots in, so I’m running into social road blocks. And since I’m kinda going at this on my own, i don’t know where to start.

Though i have been thinking of starting my own mini promoter job. But i don’t know how to go about that either…

So here is what I would do, if I was in that situation.  

1. I would start a local music blog. Talk about all the local bands, venues, live music at the local bar, really try to be the authoritative source on music in my region.  I would probably put a little cash into making sure it is awesome.

2.  I would leverage social networks both online and in real life, to get to know everyone who is involved in putting on live music events in my area. The bands, the promoters, the venue owners and booking agents, all the players.  I would use those connections to get more content for my blog and to plan more events. Interviews, insider tips, etc.  Also, by helping get the word out on a massive scale about their shows, I doubt I would run into any more attitude from the University kids.

3.  I would use Twitter Search, Facebook Events, Networks and Ads, Myspace Events, Locations, and Ads, as well as other tools (Backtype alerts, Google alerts, etc.) to find and connect with people in the area, who attend the schools, who already go to the shows, who like the bands, who like similar bands, who are in bands, etc and let them know about my blog.  

4.  As I continued to become the authority on the local music scene, I would then evaluate whether it was time to launch a full scale concert promotions and production company. If I was successful at the first three steps here, it would be a walk in the part to turn the connections and authority I had already gained into a thriving small business. 

So there you have it. That is how I would go about starting a brand new concert promotions business in a small town with no support.  

How would you start a new business in your space today? What tools would you use? What connections could you leverage?  What is stopping you?