Why not start an institute or center?
My wife and I took a few vacation days this week to improve our tennis game at Nick Bolletieri’s IMG Academy (www.imgacademies.com). We had a great time, and an idea about marketing web — and any professional services — came to mind.
Nick has created IPI, the International Performance Institute. It shows athletes the best practices in getting fit, flexible, and agile. He brings together great trainers, great equipment, and cutting edge techniques. As a result, professional athletes (and hackers like me) stop by to learn.
Any professional can start a similar institute in their field. Why not start an institute or center for excellence in Web Design, Web Marketing, Web Development, or a specific programming language/platform? They exist already in various forms of course, often started by the creators of such languages. But you can start on a small scale and create your own.
How would the business model work? That’s up to you. You could do it as a free service for clients, sharing best practices with them. You could charge a membership fee and make it exclusive. And you could charge people to access materials and reports on a one-time basis.
What content would you provide? Any of the following:
– Case studies of web sites that you compile (or pay someone to compile)
– Web assessments
– Technology audits
– Tele-seminars about good web design and marketing
– Buyer’s guides (a la marketingsherpa.com)
– Advisory circles bringing together industry experts and clients to discuss trends in the Web and prepare strategies
The sky is the limit.
But when you follow this strategy, you become the go-to expert, not just another vendor. You develop a brand and a name for yourself. People come to you.