The way I see buskers in a modern city like Birmingham is like “defibrillators of the street”. Street performers are those people who set the rhythm in which bakers, doctors, lawyers and garbage collectors are going to work every day.
No matter if your jeans cost £10, £30 or £100 we all walk the same streets and we all hum the same tunes after we had passed by them, the tunes of the street musician who remain unnoticed, and we don’t even ask ourselves the question: Who is he?
My enterprise idea is to create a VIDEO BLOG dedicated to the street art of Birmingham. The vlog will contain various video interviews presenting individual street artists. Having in mind that the project will be realized online each video will be not longer than 3-5 minutes. The video interviews will tell the intimate stories of the street performers and will also promote their busking, presenting Birmingham as a vibrant and attractive city to live in and travel to.
The video stories will be “attached” to a virtual online map of Birmingham showing the places where the buskers perform.
The Target Market for my Enterprise
The target market for my video blog are all the citizens of Birmingham, who want to know more about the cultural life in their city and of course the artists of Birmingham themselves, who want to gain more popularity through the social media and all the artists from the whole world who are just searching for inspiration.
Other potential clients for my video blog are the tourists coming to Birmingham. In this context I am challenged by the fact that Birmingham was recognized as the most boring and unromantic city in Europe according to the recent polls. I find this very motivating, because I could contribute to the creating of a positive image of Birmingham and promoting it as a vibrant and attractive city.
After I gain enough content in my vlog and make a significant number of contacts I intend to present my idea to the marketing service of Birmingham City Council.
Initiating the Project
My first step was to provide myself with a permission to film in Birmingham city centre in order to prevent the risk of being stopped filming by the appropriate agents. I have assessed the potential risks and I also issued insurance in case that someone gets injured during filming.
Filming Permission: bcu-international-students-in-bham-bham-lifestyle-permission-letter-1.pdf
The next step is to contact the Birmingham Conservatoire where according to my research I could find many students who busk. I decided that if I start interviewing students it will be a good beginning of my project, because it is less risky than interviewing completely unknown buskers and it is as much beneficial to me as it is to them, because they are just starting their careers and are trying to promote their work.
After arranging my first interviews with them I will have the basic amount of content that I need to set up my video blog. I have chosen WordPress as the main platform for my project, but I will also create a Facebook page, Youtube Channel and a Twitter account for the distribution purposes.
What makes me even more motivated to realize my enterprise idea is the fact that I couldn’t find on the web any other project similar to mine. There are a few buskers blogging about their own performances and some websites providing information about the art of busking, but no video blog dedicated to the buskers in one city.
My marketing research consisted not only of researching in the internet, but also making a survey and introducing my enterprise idea to my target group in order to get some feedback from them.
I set up 5 polls in my blog and distributed them using Facebook and Twitter. For 2 days 24 people voted in my survey. 94% of them said that they would be interested in listening to the story of a street performer and 80% of the people asked think that promoting the street performers as part of Birmingham’s unique culture could attract more tourists to the city.
Some of the people who I spoke with after they voted in my polls told me that they would not go to a concert, in which only buskers perform because they have never been to such a concert and could not even imagine this kind of event. I found out that this is a completely new idea that has never been put into practice in Birmingham before and that I could contribute thanks to my experience as a reporter for the Bulgarian National Television.
While working in Sofia I have covered a very successful busker festival that drew a lot of attention. I found out that buskers are very good in performing on the stage, because they know how to interact with their audience and how to entertain the public by involving it in the performance.
Anyway I think the best marketing research was when I shared my idea with different people, mainly citizens of Birmingham. Many of them gave me new ideas and some useful information.
The feedback from people helped me decide who my target audience is. I realized that the project could be more successful if I include the advertising element of Birmingham, because the city needs to advertise its cultural side, because it is more popular as an industrial city.
“Birmingham Busks” in a Longer Term
After I have gained some popularity to the buskers and to Birmingham as cultural city I could organize a festival about the art of busking. The festival will attract tourists to the city and it will promote the buskers as artists, who deserve to be shown.
In much longer term I foresee even a tradition of an annual festival, that could attract the buskers from everywhere in Birmingham.
What Comes Next?
The next step is to go out and start filming and set up the blog until the end of this month. According to my plan I will do that on the 15th of March.
I will try to make one interview each week. If you want to be the first one telling your story for “Birmingham Busks” feel free to contact me or comment in my blog. I am also welcoming everyone who wants to give feedback to my enterprise.