After 20+ years of building digital experiences for some of the UK’s largest financial institutions, from Schwab, RBS, HSBC, etc. to selling his agency to WPP.
Dave Wallace wanted to start a fresh chapter through NMD+; a new agency specialising in designing active customer experiences and hyper-personalisation for financial services brands.
These services required a lot of customer education because they are not as popular among financial services companies.
- Despite having enough thought leadership and knowledge to fill school curriculums for years. Finding the time and energy to produce—consistently—content that connects to potential clients didn’t come easy.
PS: In the 90s Dave helped take the Yellow Pages online in the UK through Yell.com.
- Dave didn’t have a clear roadmap for a content creation system.
- He had no marketer in his small start-up dream team (this is common among consultancies).
The obvious option for someone in Dave Wallace’s position would be to outsource content to a freelancer who’d ghostwrite it.
But when Dave started talking, his level of insight was so (ridiculously) unique it forced out a new model of creating content: The Collaborative Content Creation framework.
Here’s how it works:
- Find a topic in your niche that illuminates a problem and ties back to your service/product.
- A 30 minute to 1 hour recorded call to discuss the problem in an interview format. (Having someone else ask the questions challenges you to dig up the insights you possess but may not be top-of-mind). You can also use your webinar and podcast recordings.
- Combine your thought leadership with a writer’s research chops to carve out an article (the writer’s research adds flavour through examples, screenshots, etc.).
- The recorded video/audio is edited and chopped into snippets for social (with accompanying text posts).
Examples of this at work at the bottom.
PS: We have since moved away from doing interviews and are only working with webinar and podcast recordings..
Why it works
Most consultants thinking of outsourcing content creation leave the thought leadership to the freelancer. “So what?” you’re probably wondering. Well…here’s how this may hurt you.
- There’s a chance the output may do nothing for your business because it doesn’t shine a light on the right problem you’re solving (the fluff adds friction).
- Outsourced creators don’t have the same intimacy with your customer as you do, therefore the content may not resonate.
How can busy consultants create content capable of agitating demand?
With Collaborative Content Creation, you use your understanding of your customer as a competitive advantage to create content that can truly illuminate the problems you’re solving.
Why do you need to illuminate problems?
The psychological shepherding of potential customers from what they believe to be possible to the new reality your service creates is how content agitates new demand.
When you start creation with identifying topics that illuminate problems, you stand a better chance of moving potential clients from their current beliefs (e.g. ‘banks think banking apps should be transactional’) to the new belief your product/service creates (e.g. ‘customers can have a richer relationship with their bank through hyper-personalised experiences’—that’s the new reality Dave is selling).
(Read this page again and see if you can spot where I’m moving readers from their current beliefs about content creation to a new one). Try it in your business.
Here’s the process in action:
This was the first article we did under the Collaborative Content Creation framework. All the thought leadership is from an interview with Dave Wallace.
Our role was fact-checking, researching for practical examples, writing and shaping the story to make it engaging. Finally, all Dave had to do was spend a fraction of the time to add ideas not captured or new ones sparked while reading.
Responses from subsequent articles (Using Hyper-personalisation to Enhance Digital Banking)
If you carefully study the people engaging in these articles, you’ll notice many of them are experienced financial services players.
The only reason it resonated with them is that the insights were from Dave’s observations, not something I googled. Thus, we could push the right psychological buttons.
Yes. I’m talking to you.
You know your industry and customers better than any content creator could, instead of outsourcing thought leadership, collaborate.
If you have insightful webinars or podcasts and are curious about exploring the Collaborative Content Creation framework, contact us. Your Thought Leadership+Our Writing process=Expert-led Content
PS: Dave also got video snippets for social (with accompanying LinkedIn text posts) from the recorded interviews.
Here’s what Dave had to say about his Collaborative Content Creation experience.