Case studies have long been recognized and an effective way to offer proof that your product or service does what you say it does.
The idea behind this tool is that a prospect can read how you helped someone just like them and come to the conclusion that you can repeat that performance.
The only problem though is that most case studies I come across don’t really do much – it’s like people know that they should have them but they really don’t know how to create them.
Here’s my advice. If you want to write a really good case study – involve your client in the creation of it. My method is to actually set-up an interview with a client, with the communicated intent of getting their help in the creation of their story. (Oh, and in case you didn’t jump to this conclusion yet, this is great way to resell them on being your client)
Sidebar – I believe fully that doing business long term means creating relationships – in any healthy relationship both parties have a responsibility to help each other get what they want. If you are not training your clients to expect to help you build your business, as you help them get what they want, you are setting yourself up for a short term relationship.
There are many ways to structure a good case study but, at the very least, I like my clients to answer these 4 things:
- What solution were you seeking when you hired us
- What did/do we provide that you value the most
- What has been the result of working with us
- What would you tell others who are considering hiring us
Now, package those answers up on a one page document and move on to about 10 more clients for the same. This tool may become your greatest marketing weapon in a world of prospects looking for an authentic marketing story to latch on to.
It should be no surprise that the actual users of your services are better prepared to offer great marketing copy for other prospective users, but few business marketers take advantage of this resource.