Every coach, consultant, and service provider should be creating case studies. Case studies are one of the best ways to show potential clients what you can do for them. Think of the last big investment you made and remind yourself how powerful those written testimonials, client videos, and case studies were to you in the moment. So powerful, right?!
Despite that, many business owners hesitate to create case studies. They worry about their results not being good enough or wonder how exactly to even create an effective case study.
Table of Contents
- So, what is a case study?
- Case Studies Show Tangible Results
- More Powerful than Testimonials
- How to Create Effective Case Studies
- How to Use Case Studies to Grow Your Business
So, what is a case study?
A case study is a document that tells the story of how you helped one of your clients achieve success. It could be someone who came to you for help with their business, or it could be a personal growth case study.
The goal of a case study is to show potential clients what they can expect if they work with you. You’re essentially saying to them, “Hey, this is how I helped Client A get XYZ results, so I can help you, too!”
Case studies are so effective because they are a combination of storytelling and evidence, and if you’ve been around here long enough you know how I feel about storytelling and marketing. Beyond just showing what you can do, case studies are a way to show potential clients that you’re an expert in your field and that you can help them achieve their goals.
Let’s dig into those concepts a bit more.
Case Studies Show Tangible Results
One of the reasons why case studies are so powerful is that they show the tangible results of working with you. Even more than that, they show the breakdown of how you helped your client get those results.
For example, if you helped a client increase their web traffic by 200%, your case study might show how you did it. You could talk about the tactics you used, the tools you recommended, and even the results of any split tests or experiments you ran. Because I work in marketing where we’re often developing creatives for marketing content or ads, I’ve even added mockups of graphics we’ve made for clients.
Case studies are powerful because they help potential clients see that working with you drives very specific results and how. It’s a chance for you to show a behind the scenes look at your process and why working with you will be a unique experience.
More Powerful than Testimonials
How someone feels about you is important, but their experience working with you is just as important. Testimonials only show one side of the story, but case studies instill more confidence in potential clients because they show more than the feelings. They’re written evidence of what you’ve done. Beyond someone’s opinion, they’re a factual representation of what happened when you worked with a client.
When it comes to conversion rates, case studies have been shown to convert at a rate that is nearly double that of more traditional forms of marketing collateral like brochures (20% vs 11.45%).
In fact, my case studies page views spike in a big way any time I do a big marketing push, run ads to a sales page, or send out a proposal.
This is likely because case studies are so specific and show such tangible results. They’re not just someone saying they liked working with you, but instead showing exactly what you did and what was achieved.
How to Create Effective Case Studies
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some tips that will help you create an effective case study. I like to start with the “keep it simple” model. You don’t have to download a fancy slideshow template or invest in any fancy softwares. Don’t overthink it. You can even use yourself as your own case study!
Step 1: Compile the information.
This includes the results you achieved, your process, what tactics or tools you used, and any other relevant information.
I find that grabbing screenshots wherever I can is also really helpful. I often pull these from marketing reports I’ve compiled for my clients or from analytics dashboards at the conclusion of a project.
Step 2: Create and customize the document.
Using your preferred tech, create your case study document and start with three essential sections: one for the problem, one where you outline the goal, and one where you break down how you solved the problem and what results you achieved for the client.
Write it up in a way that tells a story. Start with a brief introduction of who the client is and what their goals were. Then walks through your process step-by-step.
Step 3: Make your case studies visually appealing.
Visuals matter, and not just in a superficial way. The way something looks is crucial to how we take in and process that information. What colors are used, the fonts chosen, how much white space is on a document, and what words or areas are highlighted. All of it helps our brains prioritize and take in that information.
As you’re creating this case study document, remember to keep it on brand and stay nice and clean and simple. When you’re done, download it as an image or .pdf document to prevent it from being edited.
How to Use Case Studies to Grow Your Business
Once your case study is created, you want to maximize the time and effort that went into creating it. You want your case studies to help you actually grow your business. But how?
The most important thing is to get case studies in front of the right people. When you’re reaching out to potential clients or sending proposals, make sure you include case studies that are relevant to their needs.
If you’re running ads, send people to a case study page on your website instead of to your home page, a mistake I joke is like sending someone down a dark path and hoping they find something that’ll help them.
And don’t forget about social media! Use case studies as blog posts and share them across your channels with a call-to-action driving traffic back to your website.
You can also compile a few of your best case studies into an e-book or resource guide and offer it as a free download on your website in exchange for an email address.
Over the years, I’ve created very simple one-page case studies and more intensive multi-page presentations, but the focus has always been on the client, the goal, and how we achieved it.
And that focus is why they have been (and remain) a highly effective part of my marketing strategy… and why I recommend you use them, too!