What makes a great case study?

It’s one thing to have a portfolio, it’s another thing to have an effective one that contains case studies to help covert those shoppers into buyers.

I was speaking with some Feast members, and then again over the weekend when I was emailing my cousin’s friend who was looking for a job. They asked me about what goes into a great case study. In all the conversations we dove pretty deep into what makes a great case study with examples, workshopped some, and even outlined some initial ones.

The one thing that all these conversations had throughout was to keep in mind that it is all about the reader.

Write so your ideal customer can relate to the case study

If you have an ideal client in mind, then your case studies should only be about those types of clients.

The reason for this is that you want the reader to identify with you and trust that you can solve their problem.

The goal of a good case study is:

  • Show that you understand the industry
  • Show that you know the problems of that industry
  • You can solve those problems with specific results

Writing the case studies specifically to your ideal client will highlight all these.

Write a beginning, middle, and end

A great case study will tell a story. A great story has 3 parts, the beginning, middle, and end.

You want to share why the client came to you in the first place. Who they are and what their goals is the start of that story.

The middle part of the story is all about highlighting their problems and building the solution to reach the goals.

The end are the specific set of results of the project. Including real numbers is almost critical. It’s not always easy to get, but these numbers help in the first impressions of your case study when someone is glancing through.

Include before and after pictures, charts, graphs, points within a timeline of certain milestones.

All these help in crafting your case study.

Make the case study easy to follow and followup

Remember that it’s easy to write in long paragraphs but these will be read online and most people just scan things online.

Break up the case study with your photos and pull quotes from the client.

You can appeal to the masses if you have video or audio in a podcast form as well. But you’ll want to make sure that the client is comfortable in these mediums before making the attempt.

After you show the end results, make it super simple for the reader to contact you. Give a specific call to action that’s related to what they just read.

Don’t assume that they’ll go searching for how to contact you. Make the decision for them.

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