Do you use case studies in your business?

You’ve probably heard it said that stories sell.  It should be emblazoned all over your workspace.

Stories DO sell.  They are part of what’s called your “social proof” which is the evidence you can show your clients to prove that your statements are true.  What seems to worry most business owners is finding their story.

“I don’t have a story.  I’m just like everyone else.”

Well, there’s the first problem.  You’re not like everyone else and neither is your business.  What you do for people and the way in which you do it will be different because YOU are different.  But I won’t go harping on about that.

Have you ever thought about using a case study as a story?

I’ve been writing case studies for one particular client who is building up a library of them.  Isn’t that a great idea?  If a case study isn’t social proof, I don’t know what is!

A case study gives you the opportunity to show off your business and what it can do for your clients.  Because it is written as a case study, rather than just a write up, it has more credibility.  It’s your client talking, not you, and their words mean a lot to someone who is reading it and finds themselves in a similar situation.  Straight away they identify with the client and you’ve connected emotionally.

So how do you write a case study?

Well, there are three key things you have to include.

  1. A description of the client’s problem, need or situation.
  2. A description of the services or products you provided to solve their problem.
  3. A description of the results.

How you write it is up to you but I recommend keeping it quite informal unless your business demands otherwise.  Keep it chatty and write in simple language.  Don’t bore the pants off your readers!

When you have a great success and make your client happy, turn the story into a case study.  Interview the client.  Ask their permission if you want to use their name or the name of their business, and then write it up.  You can add the case study to your website or newsletter, turn it into an article or use it in a press release.  Once you’ve got it written, it is there forever to show potential clients how good you really are.

If you want to read some examples of simple but effective case studies, pop over to Living Fundraisers and check out their success stories.

Next time someone asks you for your story, remember that it doesn’t have to be about you; it can be about the difference you made in someone else’s life.  There’s more than one way to get your point across, isn’t there?