February 18, 2013

Four Case Study Tips That Will Have Clients Finding YOU

published this at 1:58 pm

By Jennifer Escalona Dunn

You’re trying to convince a client that you have what it takes to make their business sing with your work. However, they want to see what you’ve done in the past to warrant even a conversation in the first place. It’s time to take a walk down memory lane and write up a case study or two to prove you can do what you say you can do!

This is not a task to treat lightly. The first impression you make with your case study can literally make the difference between getting hired and going home with empty pockets. With the following tips you can make sure your case studies knock their socks off every time.

1. Make it Interesting

Take a look at what you have now for your case studies. Why do you think a potential client would be interested in your work? Why would they read it? Would YOU read it?

Making the case studies interesting cannot be understated. Nobody will care about your work if the way you present it is dull and lifeless. You could have the best ideas in the world but if they come off as yawn-worthy nobody will bite. You have to give them something to hold on to. Make it a story, or visually engaging, or controversial – just don’t make it boring!

2. Not Everyone Learns the Same

You probably remember this from school, but no two people learn the same way. Some are very visual people and love graphs and pictures. Others prefer to read text with lots of examples. Some just like watching a simple video that gets the point across quickly.

If you treat your audience as one mass who only learns one way, you’re going to miss out on others who would rather view your work another way. You can have great samples set up with nothing but pictures but a reader’s eyes might skim right over that nice infographic and think your case study lacks substance.

Try to vary it up for your visitors. This can also help with point #1 as it keeps your site interesting and different.

3. Aim it at Your Clients

If you know who’s interested in your work, you have a chance to make it as focused as possible towards their interests. You don’t want to load them up on a bunch of examples they simply don’t care about.

For example, if you’re courting a restaurant, you may not want to point them to all the office supply companies you once worked with unless you have something in there that pertains to them. Otherwise, they may not understand why they should hire you instead of someone with experience in the food industry.

4. Don’t Fudge

Nobody likes a braggart, yet you have to talk yourself up on your case studies. You have to convince clients why you’re the best around and the only one who can make their project fly. It’s basically why case studies exist.

However, fudging results isn’t the way to go about it. That’s where the “braggart” label comes in. Keep it in the real world.

If you improved sales for a certain company by 25%, say that. Don’t say you “literally changed this company’s life forever” or things like that. That’s just silly, and a potential client will roll her eyes. “A 25% increase in sales” is a real number she can sink her teeth into.

Do you have case studies on your website? Leave a link to your case study portfolio in the comments!

Author’s Bio: Jennifer Escalona Dunn is the owner of Social Street Media where she writes about small business, tech and finance for sites like WePay and Outright. You can find her on Twitter @jennescalona.

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