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Craig Duswalt: Focus on your local community


Posted: March 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Almost every major band I know of works small venues from time to time. Mostly, it does them just before large tours, as a way to warm up for the larger shows.

But sometimes bands do a small show as part of a promotion, or just to try out some new material.

Those smaller shows tend to be fun for fans, because they get to see their heroes up close. But the band usually likes it, too. It’s a chance to get “up close and personal” with the people who made them successful.

Successful entrepreneurs know the value of doing small seminars as well. I personally produce large seminars, but I also produce and speak at small, intimate seminars. It gives me the chance to preview my products and upcoming seminars. You can do the same thing.

Hotels as venues
Check out the hotels in your area for the best prices on their smaller meeting rooms. Here in Santa Clarita, I have used TPC Valencia, the Valencia Country Club, La Quinta Inn & Suites, the Hyatt Regency Valencia and the Santa Clarita Activities Center.

People I know have also used Embassy Suites and a few of the other smaller hotels around town. Take the initiative to form partnerships and relationships with a few hotel managers and owners in your area.

You can often use their facilities for a very low fee, or sometimes even for free, to hold one of my smaller preview seminars. This is a perfect way to promote your business while creating your expert and celebrity status at the same time. 

Entrepreneurs don’t miss an opportunity to practice their presentation skills, even in front of a large audience. And remember, the smaller audience deserves your best effort, just as a large seminar would. It’s in those smaller venues that rock stars perfect their craft.

The college circuit

Some bands became famous working their way up from small bars to larger bars, then on to bigger and bigger venues. But some pretty popular groups have taken a different path.

Bands like R.E.M. and the Dave Matthews Band achieved success among college students long before mainstream music fans knew who they were.

Entrepreneurs shouldn’t forget about colleges and associations as places to give their seminars.

The best part about working at college venues is you actually get paid. Besides putting on your own seminars, you can be become a keynote speaker for corporations and associations as I do.

I use the venues to motivate members of these groups to become rock stars in their own industry. It can be a lucrative business for an entrepreneur.

Most beginning speakers can charge between $500 and $2,000 for a keynote speech.  I’m blessed to be earning fees between $5,000 and $10,000 for a one-hour keynote. And I teach people how they can achieve this as well.

Speaking at colleges also allows me to tweak the business seminars to appeal to college audiences. For instance, my topic for colleges is: “Craig Duswalt’s RockStar System for College Success — How to Achieve RockStar Status in College Without Doing Drugs.”

I use much of the same material for each of my presentations, but change the focus depending on the audience I’m speaking to. Can’t you do the same thing for your business?

Craig Duswalt is a professional speaker, author, business coach and creator of the RockStar System For Success – How to Achieve RockStar Status in Your Industry. Mr. Duswalt’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. Craig helps regular business owners become RockStar Entrepreneurs at his RockStar Marketing BootCamps every March and September in Los Angeles. For more information:


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