Ever since I was young I’ve been very creative. During my studies I discovered more about what type of art I want to make and what I’m good at. This resulted in the dream of pursuing a life where I am able to travel around the world, while earning a living with performing my passion: making (video) art. With this research I determined the best approach to manifest my life as a digital nomad. My research question was:
What business model allows me as an AV producer to be a successful digital nomad, to be able to financially support myself, travel around the world and continue growing creatively?
In order to answer my research question, I answered multiple sub questions.
My first step in executing this research was writing a theoretical framework to define any important concepts for my research. I looked into the term ‘digital nomad’ and defined this as someone who has made his or her work location independent, making it possible to travel while working. Then, I researched different locations that are most suitable for me to work at, at this moment. These locations are Bali (Indonesia), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Berlin (Germany). I also researched the Business Model Canvas (BMC), since this is what I’ll be using as a base for my business model. The Business Model Canvas is a very clear and simple 1-paged business model that breaks a business down into nine blocks. For each block explanations and objectives are written down in bullet points. Finally I looked into interviews, since this was one of my research methods.
My first sub question was:
What business models have previously proven to be successful for AV nomads that allowed them to remain cost-effective?
To answer this question I interviewed six people and filled in the BMC for each one of them. I found out that most of the AV nomads worked in the same way, placing high importance on costumer relations, word-to-mouth advertisement and social media. I also found out that many initially offer services for free to gain credibility and awareness.
Then, I asked:
What are the available (online) possibilities to generate revenue with, for my AV business to operate internationally?
I answered this question asking my interviewees on their experiences with this topic, and then I did extensive online research. I found out that there are many ways to earn money, but the most interesting for me right now are the direct sales of AV content, stock footage sales, and film festivals.
Thirdly, I tried to find out what the financial situations are for me as a traveling AV-freelancer in the 3 most suitable countries to work in.
To answer this sub question I also asked my interviewees for their experiences. I also found out more information on the topic by researching online. I found out that, in order to make use of tax benefits, I need to put at least 1.225 hours into my business yearly and earn a minimum of €10.000. Then, I researched my list of most suitable places and discovered that Chiang Mai is the cheapest location to live, with Bali not far behind. Berlin is by far the most expensive of the 3.
My fourth sub question was:
What are the juridical situations for me as a traveling AV-freelancer in the 3 most suitable countries to work in?
I answered this question by gathering more information on the topic online and going to a government seminar. I discovered that I cannot live abroad for more than eight months a year and stay registered at a Dutch municipality. I also have to get an international driver’s license and take copyright laws into account when making content. Finally, it is also important to travel on the right visa and take this into account while earning money abroad.
Finally, I asked:
Are there any technical restrictions and conditions for my AV-equipment that ought to be taken into consideration while performing in different climates?
This question was answered by asking the interviewees for their experiences and online research. I found out that while filming in extreme climates some precautions need to be taken. The most damaging factors for your equipment are wind, water and temperatures.
The answer to all these sub questions led to the creation of my own business model. To test this model I cross-referenced it to a list of factors that make business models successful. Using the business model, I developed multiple supporting AV products with an intended strategy. Finally I reviewed the model by writing a SWOT-analysis, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the model that I came across while creating the supporting products.