Case studies sell

By Shae Lalor

I'm in the midst of writing a big bunch of case studies. I'm crafting profiles of real-life experiences.

Case studies have always been a pleasure to write. Over the years, I've explored how people with disability overcame adversity to get back to work. I've written about people who found hope and freedom via targeted government programs. I've explored the impact of funding or resources on schools and businesses.

The purpose of most of the case studies I write is to explain the ins and outs of programs in a way that gives them meaning. Sure, you can explain a government program in a fact sheet, but that doesn't always answer: 'What's in it for me?'

For business and government, my view is that a quality case study is the very best way to tell your story. Why? Because you're not the one telling it. When a third party is using your service or product, and they are getting good results, their experience is what sells.

Similarly, if their experience involves learnings or challenges they had to overcome, their case study can help others. It's a handy way to share results or showcase engagement.

Yet not all written case studies are effective. So these are the factors that I have found turn a case study into something really valuable for business.

  • It has to be genuine. A real person has told their story. This gives the story authenticity. The story can then be professionally written, but it is based on a genuine experience.
  • It needs a focus. The best case studies are focused on one theme or topic. This makes them easier to digest for the reader.
  • It has two voices. The person at the heart of the case study has their own voice. This is supported by the writer's voice that guides the reader through the experience.
  • It is brief. Don't inundate the reader with information. Extra facts or details about the business or program can be covered elsewhere (websites, brochures, fact sheets).
  • It is approved. The subject of the case study gets to read the draft. They must approve it as an accurate reflection of their experience. Similarly, the program or business owner also needs to check that it aligns with broader key messages and terminology.

Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe best part about writing case studies? You gain insights into the behind-the-scenes workings of everyday people who are doing their bit to make a difference in their workplace, community or life. Pretty cool, huh?

 

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Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net