Casting a wider net

Even as local and national economies have struggled in recent years, Nashville's Josh Robbins decided to jump into the fray of the entertainment business head first. In a short span, he's built a reputation as a respected entrepreneur with a clear vision for the industry's future.

Robbins' company BNA Talent Group, which promotes itself as the first LGBT casting division in the region, is one of the few agencies outside of New York and California that specializes in finding LGBT people for LGBT parts in advertisements, film and TV.

Robbins opened BNA Talent Group in September 2009, and the company has since developed into one of the leading agencies in the region. He feels a responsibility to improve the business climate from the front lines.

"I view our current struggles as a nation as tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs like myself," Robbins says. "As business owners, we have the opportunity to create and re-create business models to solve our client’s problems first."

The ability to consistently form new strategies might seem like an intimidating task, but Robbins enjoys the challenge that his position presents.

"In actor and talent management, innovation is key," he says. "I love opportunities to change and develop my business model at BNA Talent Group, attempting to more effectively and efficiently represent my clients and proactively create opportunities."

Last summer Robbins was involved in Amtrak's new multimedia campaign targeted toward GLBT customers. The campaign, which included print ads in GLBT publications, was the first for this demographic. Robbins believes that the spending power of the LGBT community and its deep commitment to trusted products is a huge boost.

"I forget I carry a label of being a gay business owner sometimes because like every categorized business, we all have similar opportunities and problems to solve," he says. "LGBT individuals statistically have higher brand loyalty, so I assume that could potentially lend itself to gay business owners’ loyalty to other LGBT businesses. I still just admire successful entrepreneurs who make decisions, take risks and remain engaged—LGBT-owned or otherwise. Nashville has some incredible LGBT entrepreneurs."

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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