I thought this anecdote about how the Web has worked for me might be interesting to you, because this year I am starting to fully reap the benefits of the opportunities that the Web offers freelance thinkers and entrepreneurs like myself.
4 years after launching this blog I can now earn a living from the work generated from this site (i.e. workshops, conference talks and advice). More interestingly is, however, that my approach to fostering business model innovation is starting to be used throughout the globe. This might have been less surprising had I written a book with Harvard Business School Press or had I been professor at a business school like Wharton. Yet, neither is the case. The popularity of my work has mainly come from my web activities...
Now I'm not writing all this to brag. After all, the reach of my work is still absolutely small-scale and I still have a long way to go to get anywhere near the impact levels of thinkers like Henry Chesbrough, John Hagel or even gurus like Gary Hamel or C.K. Prahalad. I'm writing this to show that business concepts that stick with users can now reach a global audience without going through the traditional channels like top publishing houses and Ivy League Business Schools.
Here are the ingredients that made the Web work for me:
- I write 1-2 posts per week (a bit less at the moment), which is the equivalent of about 2-8 hours time investment
- Almost all I think, write and do is available for free on my blog. E.g. most of the slides I present at conferences are available on my blog (with a little time lag).
- I pay attention to getting my blog well referenced in Google. Try googling the expression "business model innovation".
- I got my work and thinking referenced on Wikipedia.
- I posted a video recording of my first well paid speaking engagement online. This led to new speaking engagements because people could see me in front of an audience.
The results are the following:
- My blog now has 20'000+ pageviews/month (growing steadily)
- 780+ blog feed subscribers (RSS) follow my postings
- I am starting to get high profile conference invitations (alongside gurus like Henry Chesbrough and Michael Porter)
- My business model canvas is being applied in places I would have never dreamed of
Paradoxically, I am now writing a book to reach the next level of impact. However, intuitively I know that the book can only succeed if it embraces the Web in new and innovative ways. It will be quite a challenge to reach the world without the marketing might of renowned publishing house...
Your recommendations and insights are highly welcome...