How To Write A Case Study That Will Gain You Clients
If you're like most business owners, you spend a lot of time communicating what you do with the goal of attracting new clients. Case studies allow you to show rather than simply tell about your expertise; the success of your client speaks for you. It is a way to build trust and allow potential clients to “see themselves” in the clientele you have worked with in the past.
Forbes writer Jayson DeMers states that case studies are able to:
- Give more detailed and specific information than other content
- Directly address common client concerns
- Have a built in call-to-action
- Stay relevant for longer (Woo-hoo! Evergreen content!)
If people are looking for the same results as you've previously delivered, it’s a clear decision to contact you. Bingo!
So which clients do you choose for case studies?
This goes without saying but you need to choose clients for whom you have strong, measurable results to report. These clients likely come to mind immediately. They’re the ones where you think “damn, I sure did a great job there.”
Side note: This is a good time to look back on client work that you could have done better on and make adjustments for the future— always be improving!
Choose the past clients that elucidate the work you would like to be doing more of in the future. For example, if you’ve been killing it in the website design world but want to move further into consulting, use a consulting client instead.
Your aim is to fill the narrative with as many specifics as possible. Be sure to ask clients if they want to be featured explicitly (it could be good PR for them too) or build your narrative in a way that protects client confidentiality and trade secrets.
What should you include in a case study?
Let's take a look at this example case study and break it down.
It starts with the Client Bio. Here you give a short description of the client's business and industry, using natural keyword targeting. Be sure to include:
- Who the client was
- Who they serve and who are their target customers are
- The size of their business
- Their strengths and their mission or goal (It's important to make your clients look good too, you don't want to throw you clients under the reputation bus by implying that they were a sad sap before they met you, even if it's true!)
Next, you set up the challenge that they were having, the reason that they reached out to you. Here are some important points to address:
- Why did the client hire you? What specific problem were they having?
- How was the problem affecting them/their sales/their staff?
- What resources did they need from you that they did not have internally?
- What were the circumstances—short time frame, limited budget, high-risk, etc?
After stating the challenge, show how you fixed their problem. Here's where you share your magic, your unique perspective, the resources and skills you provided. Ask yourself:
- What did you decide the problem needed?
- How did you go 'above and beyond' what other service providers might have offered?
- What made the biggest difference in the projects success? Were there any game-changers?
- What were the most important resources you used?
- What was the clients review of your work? What did they express the most gratitude for during the course of your work?
Now for the numbers. Even if you don't think your results have something numerical to show, they often do. Say you are a wellness coach— how many hours of activity/healthy habits did you add into this clients life?
Answer the following questions with some data:
- What were the measurable results?
- How did the clients experience change?
- How many people were affected by the work?
Finally, finish with a Call-to-Action. What should this person do now that they have read about how capable you are at helping them solve their problem?
Case studies can be as long or as short as you like. I recommend to keep it short, the idea is to get potential clients to quickly understand who you work with and what kind of problems you solve. A too-long-didn't-read scenario is to be avoided. Make your case studies pretty with graphics from Canva. Ask yourself, could a client get an understanding of what I do from a quick glance or scan?
There ya have it. A few easy steps to creating high impact content piece that you can use again and again to gain more clients. Case studies can be posted on your website and social media, sent to prospective clients, or used as ad copy. Happy Wowing!