Have you been pining for a real-life Easy Button, putting you on the fast-track to wowing your leads? Thus, pushing them to snag up your product or service in a heartbeat?
Yeah, we feel you. It can be exhausting trying to earn their trust and propel them to become a customer. But, what if we told you there’s a way to make it easier on you? No Easy Button. Just a hot ticket, high ROI piece of content called a case study.
To be clear, this isn’t your plain Jane testimonial. Instead, it tells a story that pulls in your readers. One where you solved a problem for a client—who was once in your lead’s shoes—and brought some serious value to the table, helping them achieve success.
And, the best part? Once you write it, your happy client does the selling for you—all by laying out the cold hard facts, with emotional undertones of course, for your prospective clients and serving up some third party endorsement gold.
Sound intriguing? I thought so, which is why I’m here today—to share with you the simple steps to write mind-blowing case studies that unlock new leads and win you conversions.
Remember, however, these aren’t created to be self-serving or salesy by any means. They’re intended to build relationships with your people, and grow their level of confidence in your product or service. Yet, you can pair them with your more sales-oriented communications—think sales letters, video sales letters, and email sequences—to illustrate your ability to deliver.
But, is the task of actually crafting those promotional pieces sucking up the majority of your time? We get it. If that’s the case, you don’t need to agonize over it any longer.
That’s because, if you stick around until the very end of this article, we’ll reward you with a tool you’ve been searching for to help tackle your content writing for good. So, hold tight!
How to Create Amazing Case Studies that Unlock New Leads
1. Cast your leading clients.
Writing a case study goes so much deeper than eenie, meenie, miney, mo-ing someone out of your client lineup. And, to prove it, here’s the process you should go through to vet your case study stars, giving you the best bang for your buck when it comes to writing these prosperous pieces of content:
- First, consider your relationship with them. Is it solid? After all, you wouldn’t want to feature someone you hardly have a strong working relationship with. Because, chances are, if a lead comes across a case study, they might want to reach out to your client prior to getting in touch with you. So, of course you’d want them to spill all the good beans about their experience working with you.
- Ensure they’re a big-time fan of your product or service. It’s a given they should absolutely love what your product or service does for them. And, it’s an added bonus if they praise you on social media, brag about you at industry meet-ups… you catch my drift.
- And, they should have a solid understanding of your product or service. Okay, it’s great and all they love you and what you offer. But, can they clearly articulate what you did or what your product did to get them out of the rut they were in?
- Evaluate the results you generated for them. To get right to it—are they remarkable? If you’re going to feature a client and their experience in a case study, you better have champion results you want to shout from the rooftop. Reason being, these numbers will illustrate what your future clients can achieve thanks to your help.
- Compare them to your ideal target audience. Are they someone your people can relate to? And, would you like to work with more clients like them? Because, unfortunately, the sole focus of your case studies shouldn’t be talking up your game and capabilities. They need to be able to truly connect with your leads and help them envision being in your client’s shoes, achieving those same results. All while being someone you would work with again on a project you want to do more of.
- Lastly, verify they have a strong brand identity. While this isn’t a huge must-have, the cast members for your case studies should have a concrete web presence and, overall, an established business. Consider it a way to speed up the trust-building phase for you and your leads.
While you can start this process from scratch, if you simply look among the list of people who’ve given you a testimonial, you’ll find this process to be so much easier.
2. Get their approval & ask them the right questions.
Before you go any further, shoot an email to those you’ve identified as ideal for your case studies and get their approval. Also, outline your expectations and a timeline, as well as what you’ll need from them (permission to use photos, brand name, etc.).
Upon confirming their willingness to have their experience with you transformed into a case study for your website, marketing materials; you name it, it’s full steam ahead!
So, the obvious next step is to reflect on your client notes. Then, pull the necessary information needed to make this a prized piece of content (more on that in a second).
And, if you failed to make note of every little tweak, change, and communication, that’s okay. You can reach out to them to ask the right questions to obtain all the critical information you’re missing.
Whether you’re pulling tidbits of info from your client files or interviewing your case study cast members, here’s a brief list to help get you started in the right direction:
- Questions about the problem:
- What challenge/issue/problem were you experiencing before working with us?
- Did you have a previous solution that could no longer meet your company’s needs?
- Questions about the search for a solution:
- Share the steps you took to resolve this problem—how you searched for a solution and how you found us.
- Tell me about the solutions you considered, but rejected.
- Questions about your product or service:
- Why did you choose our product or service over our competitors?
- How did you implement our product or service?
- Did you encounter any challenges putting our solution to work, and how did you conquer them?
- Questions about the results/benefits:
- What benefits have you experienced from working with us?
- What specific results have you seen from putting our solution into action? How much have you increased metrics X, Y, and Z?
- What business processes does our product or service enhance? Does it save you a good chunk of time, money, etc.?
Obviously, this is a critical step in the process to being able to produce case studies that actually pump up your leads and get them to convert.
3. Get ready to tell an incredible story, start to finish.
Again, having those questions from the previous step answered only makes this part of the process that much easier for you. So, go ahead and pull those little nuggets and get ready to revolutionize them because we’re about to tell a good (short) story.
Yes, a story. What? You thought case studies were dry, humorless, cut-to-the-chase, act-like-bulleted-lists-of-product-features documents that just sit on your website? Heck no. That’s why so many people write them all wrong.
But, you can turn that around as you have most of the essential elements that make up a strong case study narrative in your back pocket.
- The main character: your client—the happy customer.
- The villain: the problem/struggle they were battling.
- The protagonist: your product or service—what saved the day.
- The plot: the actual story around which the entire case study is based upon—their journey through it all (ex. The steps they took to solve the problem, how they found you, etc.).
- And, the resolution: how the client used your product or service to resolve the problem/struggle they were battling.
With this in mind, a case study really is a hero’s journey, as defined by American scholar Joseph Campbell. Although it describes the typical adventure for a fictional hero, the same writing principles can be applied to make your case studies stick in the minds and hearts of your leads.
4. Lay it all out (in an easy-to-digest format).
So, you’ve collected all the goods necessary to craft a case study that converts. Now, it’s time to turn it into something easy to digest. And, yes, this step can be a bit overwhelming. But, we’re here to help you get a handle on it with a format & flow checklist, allowing you to produce a solid piece of content.
- A headline that stops them in their tracks. Keep it concise and focus it on the most climactic achievement. A great example would be: “How [Client Name] Went from Zero to 15,000 Subscribers in Just 6 Months.”
- Executive summary. Wrap your entire case study story up into 2-4 sentences. This gives the reader a good summary of what they can expect to learn.
- Introduction of main character. Pull together a brief bio of your client and their business. Extract it from their LinkedIn bio to speed up the process.
- Introduction of villain (aka the challenge(s)). A 2-3 sentence paragraph explaining the villain of the story—the challenges the client faced prior to using your product or service—will help pull the reader in and get them to quickly relate to the experience.
- Discovery showcase. This is the perfect moment—in a 2-3 sentence summary—to mention how the client found you and why they chose you over any other company out there.
- Introduction of protagonist (aka your product or service). Keep in mind, you’re the supporting character in this story. Not the main character. But, showcase how exactly your product or service helped the client overcome their struggles in 2-3 sentences.
- Results showcase. In 2-3 sentences—or bullet points—highlight the results achieved from putting your product or service into action.
- & Visuals and/or supporting quotes. Choose one to two golden nuggets from your client to share the experience in their own words. Also, toss in a few images that relate to the overall story you’re telling.
Here’s a prime example of a case study done right—one that follows the above checklist down to a T.
Plus, don’t forget to follow these simple tips throughout the writing and “design” process:
- Avoid fluff and boring corporate jargon—ugh, there’s nothing we hate more. Including buzzwords you only hear in your conference room is a great way to deplete your chances of winning new business.
- You can never go wrong with some text decorations and so much more—italicize and bold key words and phrases, toss in subheads, drizzle in pull quotes, and even include bulleted lists to make it that much easier to process.
Just remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all format when it comes to tackling these pieces of content. They can be text-heavy or, on the other hand, image-heavy. It really varies based on the experience you had with your client, and the service or product they used.
5. Release it into the world.
Phew. You put in some serious hard work! And, we don’t want you to let it all go to waste. Again, these are golden nuggets of content. What good are they if no one can consume them?
Thus, we’ve made it easier for you to promote your mind-blowing case studies thanks to a short list we put together (yes, another one!). This might look familiar to you if you follow a general content publishing workflow.
– Create a page on your website to put them on display. Just as you have a page for your products or services, it’s a no brainer that you should have a page to put your case studies on display. Check out how Sauce Labs does this in the image below:
Each case study features a client logo, compelling headline, and brief summary to motivate the reader to click to learn more.
– Extract key stats and quotes to use for social media posts. And share a link for fans and followers to read the full story.
– Pair them with your sales collateral. This means you’ll need to get them designed in a particular brand style. That way, you can take them to industry events, supply them at prospective client meetings; you name it. When you do, you’ll be able to truly showcase the value of your product alongside its features and benefits.
Okay, so tell me again why I should jump on the case study bandwagon?
I’d be happy to! At the beginning of this post, I mentioned a few benefits that come with jumping on the case study bandwagon. But, let’s recap:
- Builds trust with potential customers. When people are on the fence about using your product or service, case studies show them you’ve helped people who were once in their shoes. Thus, making building trust with them a much more painless process.
- Connects you to your audience. Similar to building trust, when you share case studies that highlight common problems/villains your target audience is up against, you let them know you’re aware of what they’re going through. And, that your solution can truly allow them to overcome their biggest challenges.
- Establishes authority. Using real data and results, you’re able to position yourself as someone who really knows his or her stuff.
- Reveals exactly what it is you do. Sometimes, it can be difficult for someone to understand what exactly it is your product or service can do for them. So, case studies are a great way to clear the air and allow prospects to see themselves achieving similar success.
- Creates a tempting lead magnet. Who knew?! You can actually tease some of the results from a specific case study on an opt-in page, forcing the reader to input their contact information in order to read the full story. It’s a great way to build your list and get some solid leads who are interested in what you can offer them.
But, what if crafting all that sales collateral to go with my case studies is sucking up my time?
Well, I’m here to help you put an end to spending gobs of time copywriting and feeling frustrated because you just can’t. Get. it. Done.
How? I’m glad you asked. With ScriptDoll, your new software companion. It’s a sales copy engine dedicated to assisting you with composing persuasive sales content in minutes. Once you create your product portfolio and answer a handful of painless questions, ScriptDoll drops those answers into thoughtfully crafted content scripts that sell—sales letters, email sequences, you name it.
Here’s why ScriptDoll is so beneficial to entrepreneurs like you:
- Frees up your time to put focus towards more productive tasks—simply complete your product portfolio, answer a handful of painless questions regarding your product details, features and benefits, and more, and ScriptDoll turns your answers into engaging sales copy in a matter of minutes.
- Keeps your content fresh with an ever-growing, extensive library of templates—new templates are added on a monthly basis, from sales letters to email sequences, video sales scripts, native ads, and much more. You’ll avoid putting your audience into a zombie state-of-mind, steering clear of sharing the same thing over and over again.
- Saves you some serious moola by keeping your copywriting in-house—there’s no need to drop loads of money on outsourcing your writing tasks to copywriters. And, you can also avoid investing hours of your time trying to improve your skills in a copywriting course. That’s because ScriptDoll crafts its effective templates thanks to its connections with champion copywriters around the world!
- Decreases your workload to almost nothing with pre-made product profiles—are you a puppy trainer, dentist, plastic surgeon or graphic designer? You’re in luck! Your product profile has already been completed for you. There are many more waiting to be used within the software engine, making it that much easier to push out content that converts.
Now, get to writing to put your work on display!
It’s obvious you’re a rockstar at what it is you do. But, it’s definitely difficult to unlock trust between you and your leads. Nothing a good short story-esque case study can’t fix, am I right?
Therefore, it’s time to show off your hard work by following the steps shared here today to craft case studies that get you the new business you’ve been craving. Plus, you’re finally looped in on a tool that can help save you time crafting all that sales collateral to go with those new golden ticket content pieces of yours.
Entrepreneurs like you are raving about ScriptDoll—relieving them from the struggles of writer’s block to create alluring content with little to no effort.
We hope you’ll join them and look forward to you getting the results you’ve been searching for. They’re ready and waiting for you.
Have questions on case study copywriting? We’ve got answers. Just drop us a line in the comments section below—we’d love to hear from you.