How to Write Compelling Case Studies
Case Studies are Not About You or Your Existing Customers
They Are About Your Potential Customers
The whole reason you write case studies is to attract and convert potential customers, otherwise why bother?
So don’t make the mistake by writing about what a great job you did and how happy your existing customer was. That’s not the point.
Far too many case studies fail to engage potential customers because they don’t address the potential customers’ needs.
When a prospect reads a case study they are reading it for their own self interest. That is, they want to see if your previous customer had the same or similar problem to theirs, and how you fixed it, and most importantly how they might benefit.
Also far too many marketing, PR and copywriters make the same mistake when preparing a case study. Again they focus on you and your existing clients.
Know Your Audience and Win New Business
In order for a case study to be engaging it needs to focus on your potential clients and what they want. So the first step is to research and identify the types of clients you want to attract. Next identify what their problems or pain points are and how you are uniquely suited to solving them.
Then you can look at your existing clients and see what work you did for them that best matches the clients and work you are trying to attract.
Once you’ve identified that, then write the case study.
A Case Study is a Story, So Be a Storyteller
The other classic mistake many case studies make is that they are downright boring. They are written in either dry, humourless language or puffy and meaningless PR speak. Either way, there’s no personality in the writing, so there’s no connection or engagement and ultimately no sale.
People buy when emotions are triggered, not when facts are presented. Facts, while important, are only important within the context of the story.
Case studies are stories about real people (your clients) who overcame a real problem. So always remember to tell the story. Of course for that you need to know how to be a storyteller and use all of the tricks to keep the reader engaged and entertained.
Make Your Potential Client the Hero
The basic outline of a classic story was masterfully outlined by the great Joseph Campbell as follows:
- Hero suffers a loss or experiences a serious problem…
- Hero attempts to resolve issues through usual means, and fails…
- Hero goes on a journey and discovers an ally or new approach…
- Hero overcomes tremendous odds to resolve the problem…
- Hero returns triumphant and tells all about his conquest.
Notice how the above outline is very different to what most people will tell you about how to write a case study. Also notice how even the outline above is already interesting and engaging:
Who was that hero? What journey did they go on? How did they overcome tremendous odds?
Immediately we want to know more, and when that happens you have hooked your prospect.
Substitute “client” for “hero” and you have the basis for a great case study. Or better yet, just make your client the hero. Note: You are not the hero; you are the hero’s ally.
Also, while you maybe writing about an existing client, you need to write it so that your potential client can identify with them and see themselves in the “hero’s” place.
Copywriting for Heroes
If you want copywriting for case studies that makes your clients heroes, wins new business, then talk to us.
We take the time to connect with your reader instead of force-feeding them facts.
The end result is a prospect that not only trusts that you can do the job, but also a prospect who feels a closer bond to you because you’ve engaged with them on a more personal level.
You can call me on 0411 353 693
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