How to use case studies in your business

By Jessica Albon

Case study on my work for The Money Pit radio showIf you’ve gotten big results for your clients, a case study is a powerful way to talk about those results. With specific takeaways, a persuasive story structure, and compelling characters, they demonstrate your expertise and help you get clients without a single “close” technique needed.

But what I like most about case studies (besides the way they do the selling for you, bringing ready-to-sign-up clients straight to your door) is how useful they are. See, I like content that you can use in lots of different ways and as content-chameleons go, case studies are among the best.

Take case studies when you speak

If you’ve got a speaking engagement coming up, print out your best case study and hand it out. (You can even leverage this case study to get more subscribers–tell people in exchange for their email address you’ll send them even more useful case studies.)

People tend to keep these printed case studies and I’ve even had clients get clients *years* after handing a printed case study to someone with no additional contact.

Include a case study in your newsletter

Case studies make great newsletter content because they’re interesting. They paint a picture of your client struggling with something your readers struggle with (or they wouldn’t be on your list) and how they overcame it.

In about 500 words, case studies have all the elements of a great story: an obstacle, a character, and a dramatic change. This means, when done well, they’re both entertaining and educational–my favorite kind of newsletter content!

Send pdf case studies prior to your initial consultation

If you offer an initial consultation to people considering hiring you, you probably send along a questionnaire for people to fill out first. When you send that questionnaire, send along your most related case study or two.

This helps your prospect come to the call knowing exactly how you can help because we all relate to stories in a much different way than we do a list of “services offered.” You’ll find your prospects are much more engaged when you speak with them, and they’re much readier to give you a definite answer about working together.

Mail case studies as a print campaign

Direct mail still works (and works well!) when done properly. And of the different things you can send out, a series of case studies will get you results like you wouldn’t believe.

For best results, send case studies about 2 weeks apart, and send at least 5. Obviously, your list matters! But, honestly, when it comes to sending case studies, your list doesn’t matter as much as it does when you’re sending a letter. (Proof from my own experience: I sent a series of email marketing case studies to a randomly selected list of 100 North Carolina companies, two people who contacted me casually mentioned they’d never used email marketing and had no intention of doing it, but couldn’t resist my content.)

Take case studies to a trade show

Now I’m not saying case studies can take the place of that free candy you’re giving away ;-), but a great case study or two will absolutely bring you more calls after the trade show.

I had a client who took several case studies along, and took the time to ask everyone who stopped by the booth what their biggest problem with (client’s industry) was and then handed that person the exact case study that related to their problem. He presented it casually, saying, “This is a story about a client of ours who dealt with that same thing and how they handled it, it might be helpful. Would you like to read it?”

Worked like a charm, every time!

As you can see, there are lots of ways to use great case studies once you have them. And, each will bring you more qualified prospects and more new clients, all without you needing to do a lot of selling.

Nothing’s quite so convincing as someone else’s story of how they faced exactly the thing you’re facing right now and that’s what case studies do–they show us someone who was in our shoes and is now where we want to be. They’re inspiring and they make us want to take action because suddenly we believe what we want is possible.

To make this especially easy (and effective!) for you, let me write the case studies for you. Keep reading for details.


You Need Case Studies

When it comes to writing that brings you clients, nothing beats case studies. (Seriously, the best written home page in the world is no match for a great case study.)

While I believe most people can do a lot of their own writing, case studies are one piece that’s best left to the professionals. That’s because it can be hard for you to be objective–you’ll have a tendency to either downplay your role in the project or to get hyper “We’re the Greatest!!!1!1!” if you know what I mean.

I’d like to write some powerful case studies for you. Here’s how I do it:

  1. I ask you a few key questions about the project.
  2. I interview your client by email or over the phone (their choice).
  3. I craft a compelling, story-based case study that helps your potential clients see precisely what you did and why that mattered.

Then, as with all of my writing, it’ll be delivered to you for your feedback and then professionally proofread and sent to you, ready to be used.

May I write case studies for you? They come in packages of 3 with a discount if you’d like 9 or more and make fantastic marketing tools for even the most reluctant marketer.

Get details by emailing Jessica.