Launching Wealth Horizon – a story and content to disrupt the status quo
Chris Williams, Founder, Wealth Horizon. Fintech start up, Bristol.
Project dates: 2014-2015
A Valuable Content Customer Story
Chris Williams wanted to build a digital business that would change the nature of the financial advice world, making simple investments accessible to everyone in the UK. But what was the right way to launch it and attract customers? How would he build trust when people had been so badly burned in the past? And what team should he pull together to help him make it happen?
Chris Williams had a big and important idea. Having spent years in the financial advice industry, running firms and as president of the IFP, he knew the value of sound financial advice and smart investment. But changes in the industry had made good advice harder to come by leaving too many firms chasing ‘high net worth’ individuals whilst the rest of the population went unserved.
By marrying up digital and advice Chris wanted to close the advice gap. A new firm and service was born – Wealth Horizon – because everyone deserves access to sound financial advice. Wealth Horizon is a total game changer – a brand new online advice and investment solution, backed at every step by financial advisers to give people in the UK the simplified, cost effective and supported service they so badly needed.
Collaborative, outsourced digital marketing team
Wealth Horizon is a digital business first and foremost. This is a marketing led, direct-to-consumer proposition and a credible, respected, engaging online presence is absolutely critical to success.
Chris had done his homework and recognised the importance of great content married with a strong message and visual brand, web and UX. Wealth Horizon’s marketing lead Sarah Jezard had done great work on market analysis and had a clear idea of the direction the message needed to take. They were a small team, with a limited budget. They wanted to make the most of expert help to design and create the digital assets needed for launch.
The usual approach might be to engage a full-service marketing agency to handle the project. Chris had found this approach unsatisfactory before. Digital projects demand specialists, not generalists, and he wanted to pull a team together with deep expertise.
As the new business was based in Bristol, a hub of digital talent, he decided to pull a team of specialists together from the city to make it happen. He picked a team of specialists who could put egos aside and work together. It’s an approach that worked well. With lots of trust, mutual respect and collaboration it never felt like an outsourced collective but a tight-knit project.
- 3Sixty for web design (UI/UX) and web development & marketing automation
- Mytton Williams for brand design and creation of key brand assets
- Valuable Content (that’s us) for content strategy, content creation and coaching
- Lizzie Everard for content design (blog illustrations and e-book design)
- London-based MRM for PR, MRM digital for SEO & online advertising completed the outsourced team.
“Partnering with 3Sixty, Mytton Williams and Valuable Content ensured delivery of a great brand, content strategy and website. They’re a great team and I’m delighted with the results.” Chris Williams, Founder, Wealth Horizon.
Content marketing support for launch and beyond
Chris hired Valuable Content as his strategic content partners. Our role included helping Chris research and write Wealth Horizon’s message and story, content strategy and full content creation for launch (our Content Lab service). For the first year after launch we provided ongoing content writing, strategy support and coaching to get them up and running for the first year after launch. Here’s how the content marketing process unfolded for Wealth Horizon
- Message and story definition. We interviewed Chris and the team – pulling out key messages from Sarah’s market research. We then conducted customer research – going out to a selection of potential clients. Message definition and story writing + content wireframe for the new site.
- Content marketing strategy, working with 3Sixty and Mytton Williams to develop the brand message and detailed website content plan.
- Content development – onsite copywriting, writing ebooks, printed guides, blogs, newsletters for launch to serve each step of the sales process, for Wealth Horizon’s automated marketing program.
- Ongoing content development and social media advice, plus coaching and support for Wealth Horizon’s growing marketing team.
The project started in January 2014, with soft launch late Spring 2014 and full launch September 2014.
For Chris and the team the collaboration launched a business they were proud of. Wealth Horizon disrupted the financial industry, delivering simple online financial advice and helping close the advice gap in the UK. The website won several awards, including the Gold Award in the ‘Ten Best Adviser Websites 2015’ com/no2c6ex, with 13,000 hits in the first six months, and a pipeline of customers. This digital business is now viewed as a model for a new simpler way of dealing with finance – heralded as best practice in the industry, both in the UK and abroad.
Advice for other start ups
1. Message and content first <– start here
What Chris wanted first was help with the story. How could he frame the message to make it clear and compelling? Real research and customer interviews are invaluable here, along with creative thinking and story writing.
2. Have the confidence to share the personal story behind the business
The other key component in pulling together a compelling message was Chris’ personal story. Why did he feel so strongly that this new investment advice service was needed?
3. Tell a simple story well
A strength of the site is the way the simple language and design work hand in hand to tell a story.
4. Collaborative development of brand, content and web
Mytton Williams developed the work we’d done on the message to create the visual brand. 3Sixty picked up the visual brand, message and website wire-framing and translated it into the website design. We wrote the web copy to fit the pages as they were developed.
5. Use as many channels to get the word out
Your content is at the heart of your digital marketing universe, but to make a big impact for a new start up you need to take that content out widely.
6. Build your list
If you want to develop a one-to-one relationship with a potential customer, you need permission to talk to them directly.
“When it comes to digital marketing there are loads of commentators that talk a good game, but Sonja and Sharon help you make it happen.
They have enabled me, coached me and given me the confidence to share Wealth Horizon’s story widely. It’s engaging customers and industry commentators alike, and bringing our new business great results.”