The Rise of Business Models

Helen Macdonald presenting at TEDx Melbourne

Do you have a business model? And, how would you know if it was the right one?

I’ve been talking with people about business models lately because I’m preparing a presentation for National Speakers on the topic of ‘Business Models for Speakers.’ From this, I’m noticing the same question popping up:

Are business models new?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

The ‘no’ part is easy. Every business has a business model – always have, always will. A business model is simply the way that you create, capture and deliver value to your customers.

The ‘yes’ part is more interesting. The reason they’ve become such a hot topic of conversation, investigation and innovation is due to the Internet and digital media.

[Tweet “Are you doing things the usual way or the new way? #businessmodels #speakers”]

The Usual Way

For a long time, there was pretty much only one way to do things within most industries. For example:

  • If you were a speaker you presented in front of live audiences
  • If you sold books you did it in a retail store
  • If you authored books they were created by a book publisher

Image: Helen Macdonald presenting at TEDx Melbourne

The New Way

Whilst business models are not new, the opportunity to create new business models for doing things in many different ways is why they have become such a talking point.

For instance, a speaker can still present in front of live audiences. Plus they can now present:

  • Live using webinar technology which allows you to share your screen of slides and talk to a live audience
  • Skype or perhaps which allows you to have live video conversations
  • YouTube which allows you to record any presentation and share it to allow your audience to watch it whenever they choose

You can see even with these simple examples for a professional speaker that the Internet and digital media has introduced a new level of innovation: business model design.

Business Model Implications

These fresh choices provide opportunities for different ways to present (sic) your offer to your clients and audiences. And, they require some deep thinking because they are like different animals with very different qualities. The virtual ones let you speak internationally without leaving home. And, the live ones place a greater demand on the audience to meet at a certain location at a certain time. Plus, in your fees you must allocate time and expense to travel to the live venue. And, whilst a live presentation requires your audience to be on time, the pre-recorded options means you can virtually present all day and everyday.

QUESTION: Did you design your business or simply accept the standard way of doing things? Are you doing it the usual way or a new way?

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