For lots of our clients, writing a case study can be a real headache.
With the need to put out relevant and valuable content, here’s a failsafe 7-step process which we shared with one of our clients recently: it will have you firing off eminently readable case studies in no time at all. You might even end up enjoying them!
Step 1. Draft your headline
One sentence summarising the BIG ACHIEVEMENT of the case study. Consider here what it is about your case study that makes it a story worth telling? Did you do something in record time? Come up with a new and brilliant solution? Halve the time it takes your clients to do something? Keep it short and simple and just focus on the one thing that makes your case study amazing.
Step 2. Write a description of your client
Set the scene here. If your client is new, big, award-winning, a household name or notable for any other reason? This will make your case study look even more impressive.
Step 3. Sum up their situation / need / problem
Remember the more severe a problem, the more impressive the solution will seem. Be polite though! Don’t forget to talk about the business reason for this project: was it growth? Modernisation? Expansion? ie why was your client embarking on this project, and how was it going to impact their business?
Step 4. Outline the challenge
Every good story - like David and Goliath - has an element of challenge in it. What made this a tricky job? Short time frame? Lots of internal stakeholders? Tight budget? Most importantly, don’t forget to talk about how you got around that problem. Not only does this highlight your adaptability and problem-solving skills, it makes your story a whole lot more interesting, too.
Step 5. Taa Daa! Give us the solution
Here you tell us what you delivered and how it fitted the bill. This seems simple on the surface but it can be really hard not to get dragged down into technical specs here: try to focus more on what benefits your product / service delivered to your client
Step 6. Talk about any results
This is where you sum up how you (or your project, product or service) made a difference to your client’s business. In many cases some facts and figures are relevant here (% increase productivity, number of new sales, even quantitative results from a customer satisfaction survey) : if you can get them, add them in: they make a huge difference.
Step 7. Finally, get a comment to close with, if you can
A quote from a happy client can really boost the credibility of your case study. (Don't forget their name and job title, as well as the name of the company they work for.) If you can’t get a client quote try getting one from a member of the team who worked on the project, talking about why they are pleased with it.
You’re done! Hopefully you have a whizz-bang case study now to show off your skills.
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