It's a tale as old as time.
Your team finally wraps up a long project, and your client is thrilled with the value you created for them.
You celebrate a job well done and now you're ready to tackle a new engagement.
Seems like a great scenario, right?
Except for one problem that's hiding in plain sight:
Once the last invoice is paid, there's no way to continue monetizing off of the value you just created for your client.
Instead of being utilized effectively, all of the research, insights, best practices, methodologies, templates, etc. you spent weeks crafting and delivering will most likely end up in some Teams or Sharepoint folder that never sees the light of day.
But this doesn't have to be the standard.
In this article, we'll break down how your company can leverage these assets to create recurring revenue streams so that you can continue to monetize all the value you create from project-based work, even after projects end.
- Understanding the Value of Your Organization's Knowledge
- How to Turn Your Firm's Collective Knowledge into Recurring Revenue
- The Bottom Line
Understanding the Value of Your Organization's Knowledge
If your company provides services where your employees are being paid for their time, your company's value is, in essence, the collective knowledge and expertise of your employees.
And depending on how long you've been serving clients, years, if not decades, of experience and deep expertise exist within the minds of your employees and within the archives of your Teams and Sharepoint sites.
Why, then, is it only being deployed on projects?
Your company is missing out on what is quite literally a goldmine by sitting on the insights, learnings, and deliverables that are gained from every single project, not to mention the wealth of best practices, methodologies, templates, and other knowledge that have been established from years and years of working with clients that are deployed on a daily basis.
Sure, maybe the slides that were created will be shared with analysts as templates to work off. And without a doubt, the folks who worked on the project will utilize the knowledge they gained on their next one.
But collectively, these assets are grossly underutilized. There are businesses that would love nothing more than to have access to the wealth of expertise your company has accumulated and leverage it to stay ahead of the curve in their industries.
And more importantly, they'd be willing to pay for it.
Therein lies the major opportunity: your company can repurpose and monetize the research, insights, best practices, methodologies, templates, and other knowledge gained from project-based work into recurring revenue streams.
This is exactly what consulting industry leader, McKinsey, has done by building McKinsey Solutions, a suite of asset-based solutions that reduce dependence on project-based work.
Creators and experts often say that using their best-performing content once is the equivalent of only wearing a great outfit one time.
The same analogy applies to failing to repurpose valuable knowledge-based assets - why settle for only generating revenue from projects?
How to Turn Your Firm's Collective Knowledge into Recurring Revenue
Now that we've established the value of your company's knowledge, here is a straightforward process you can use to begin leveraging it to create revenue streams:
1. Create a team that's responsible for building hubs of knowledge
First things first, you have to encourage people to take steps to create these knowledge products - or as we like to call them, hubs of knowledge.
The good thing is, building hubs is a rewarding and fun activity that brings curious people together. It can be a breath of fresh air to spend time understanding firm assets and the collective knowledge that already exists from past projects.
The thinkers in your firm will jump at the opportunity to learn more about past projects, deliverables, methodologies, and best practices to co-create hubs with each other.
Time and time again, we see people learning new things about their own firms, past projects, and their colleagues. Moreover, going through existing materials is an efficient way to gain experience and upskill for future projects.
Collaborating with SMEs within the firm is not only interesting but an opportunity to connect with individuals you may have never worked with before on a project. People that collaborate on hubs often come away with an appreciation for their team members and colleagues.
Building hubs can be casual - it isn't a high-pressure project. It's an opportunity to grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit down with other colleagues, and co-create an impactful deliverable over time. Carving out even 15 minutes here and there and getting into the habit of contributing to hubs over time is a good way to spend time.
Here are some ways various folks in an organization can get involved with the process of curating and building hubs of knowledge.
A fantastic way to utilize folks who aren't currently on a project is to have them be responsible for building and maintaining these hubs. This allows unstaffed employees to participate in productive, revenue-generating activities for your company.
Building and maintaining hubs could also be a rewarding activity for new employees to participate in during the training/onboarding process as a way to learn more about the company and gain some knowledge through osmosis. This could help to offset some of the cost of training and onboarding too, as now, part of the process would involve a revenue-generating activity.
Managing hub creation
While the majority of the process can be executed by unstaffed and new employees, as on any project, it would be wise to have higher-level employees overseeing the efforts, guiding the process along, and reviewing the hubs to ensure that they match your company's standard of quality.
2. Start building
Here are a few ways that your team can get the ball rolling:
1. Dive into old project folders and pull out relevant materials and insights, and package them into hubs
As we've already discussed, there is so much valuable information sitting in your Teams and Sharepoint (or other) folders, so a great place to start would be to sift through old folders and begin to pull out the best materials (research, insights, best practices, methodologies, templates, etc.).
Your team can then take these assets and leverage them for your hubs of knowledge.
2. Interview partners who have been at the organization for a long time and add the insights they share into hubs
Nothing beats going straight to the source. There are experts at your organization who have decades of wisdom sitting inside their heads - setting up interviews where they can share their experience is a terrific way to translate that wisdom into content that can be added to your hubs (e.g., record the interview, leverage the transcript to create new documents, etc.).
3. Interview managers on current projects and add new learnings to the hubs in real-time
A great way to ensure that your hubs have the most up-to-date information from your project-based work is to schedule monthly interviews with managers on current projects. This way, you have a system in place for easily capturing any new learnings and insights your company gains from client work.
3. Select a platform to host & charge for access to your knowledge
Last but not least, you need a place to create and host your hubs of knowledge. If you want to efficiently and successfully build products around your company's knowledge, your solution should have these key features:
- Simple Collaboration that Scales: The research, insights, methodologies, information, etc. that you're charging for access to will be coming from all across your organization, and multiple people will be helping to build and maintain the products you are going to create. So the platform you choose needs to allow for multiple people to seamlessly make contributions (e.g., edits, additions, etc.) asynchronously and in real-time.
- Flexible Permissions & Controls: You'll need to support various roles within your knowledge products. For example, contributors might need editing and/or admin access, while customers will be restricted to viewing and/or commenting access.
- Paywall Creation/Monetization: The whole purpose of this process is to, of course, bring in revenue, so the platform you choose needs to allow you to directly charge for access to the knowledge products you create within the platform itself. This will allow you to build, make updates to, and receive payouts from your knowledge products all in one place.
- Chat: Giving customers of your knowledge products the ability to leave suggestions and ask questions directly within the products themselves allows you to easily understand how to improve your products and to continue building around your customers.
Few platforms have the combination of collaboration and monetization functionality required to build these types of knowledge products.
That's why we created our own! Kahana is a collaborative platform that allows you to charge for access to collections - or Kahana hubs - of existing materials and information you've already created and curated that you can easily update and add to over time.
Short of building your own system to manage this process, which could take months, if not years, of development time, along with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment, using Kahana is efficient in that you can use it right out of the box, quickly set up hubs and paywalls, and integrate your new assets across your existing web presence.
The Bottom Line
We hope that this helps you not only realize and start thinking about how you can monetize your company's collective knowledge but also start acting on it.
Your company has a treasure trove of information and expertise that you've accumulated throughout your project-based work.
Don't let it go to waste once a project is over: make the most of your knowledge and start leveraging it to create recurring revenue streams.
See how much you can make
Feel free to leverage our free ROI calculator to see how much you could stand to gain from recurring revenue streams from knowledge assets you can build with Kahana.
Grab our free ROI calculator
See if the numbers make sense. Check different scenarios and cases of what you could stand to gain from monetizing your company's collective knowledge.
PS: Looking for more help to make this happen?
We get in the weeds and help companies leverage their knowledge assets to create recurring revenue streams so that they can continue to monetize all of the value they create from project-based work on an ongoing basis.
Our team specializes in building custom solutions, through a combination of strategic services and our proprietary software, that help companies:
- Capitalize on existing knowledge and IP to build revenue-generating assets (like this)
- Increase MRR and ARR
- Create cost-effective solutions for smaller customers, SMBs, etc.
- Leverage and engage their unstaffed resources to create profitable assets
If you're interested in learning more, we'd love to hear from you.