The term “case study” gets tossed around a lot. In fact, some people call them by another name altogether like "success story or "client profile."
Sure, a case study can mean different things to different people but regardless of what you call it, it can be incredibly effective at driving sales if it passes this smell test:
When you Include all three elements, you level-up your case study and make it kick-ass!
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When you frame your case study as a story, you guide the reader from the story’s beginning through its middle and to its end. You also take the reader from some sort of conflict to resolution and make it easy to follow and understand.
Stories are very powerful in gaining empathy and buy-in from your reader. That’s because humans have used stories as a primary way to communicate for thousands of years. We know how to tell and react to stories.
What’s more, when you watch, listen to or read a story, your brain releases chemicals that make it almost as if you were experiencing the story yourself:
Ask yourself this question:
Who would you rather hear from regarding a product or service - the company that provides that product or service or a satisfied customer?
If you are like most people, you answered the satisfied customer.
That’s why case studies must include input from your customer if you want them to be effective. This makes them more about them than you.
They are the hero; not you.
Through their words and perspectives, they help tell the story.
It also provides social proof, which is always nice to have.
The readers of your case study want to know what challenge your customer needed to overcome, why they sought help from you to do it, and what results they are now enjoying.
That’s it. The answer to those three questions is all you need to write an effective case study.
The first question - what challenge your customer needed to overcome - provides context for the reader and helps them relate to your customer. Perhaps they’re experiencing that challenge, too?
The second question - why did they seek help from you - frames you as the expert. But you’re not saying that - they are!
And finally, the third question - what results are they now enjoying - highlights what you actually did, and the results you helped achieve.
Your customers have their own story that involve you. Help them tell it by creating a kick-ass case study.
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