Writing Great Case Studies—A B2B Staple for Ed Gandia

Jen Adams here, reporting live from AWAI's B2B Copywriting Intensive in Chicago!

Over the next five days, I'll be sharing the top tips and insights from each of the presenters at this year's Intensive. You'll get a taste of what it's like to be here and a closer look at all the opportunities available in this in-demand part of the copywriting world.

Today, I'll kick things off with our first presenter, Ed Gandia. Ed became a six-figure B2B copywriter in only 27 months — and he got his start while working a full-time sales job! After his freelance business went from zero to $163,481 in 12 months, he realized B2B copywriting could more than replace his day job … and a big part of what made it possible was his $72,000 “bread-and-butter” strategy.

Normally, when you sit down to a great meal, people warn you not to load up on the bread.

But in this case, Ed's “bread” goes a long way toward making life as a six-figure B2B copywriter possible …

Bread to Ed Gandia means case studies, a basic staple of writing for B2B clients.

Case studies tell the “before-and-after” tale of how someone used your client's product or service to solve a problem — and what results or benefits they achieved.

According to Ed, great case studies have six parts:

  • The presentation of the customer background
  • A description of the challenge
  • The customer's journey
  • The solution
  • How the solution was implemented
  • The results

Now, as Ed explained to us, if you mix these ingredients up like an amateur, you get the equivalent of a big basket of bland, boring bread. It fills you up, but you're not happy about it … and you're not all that interested in having more.

Those are case studies done wrong.

Done right, case studies are something no one can get enough of and will reach for over and over. Then they'll ask for more.

And the difference between stale, run-of-the-mill case studies and irresistible case studies comes down to how you mix it up.

Which is why Ed took us through four hands-on sessions of exactly how to get it right.

Not only did he show us his own in-depth recipe for whipping up a perfect case study, but he also walked us through each step of working with the client, doing the drafts, and presenting the final version to the client.

And, of course, one of the attendees asked about the pricing for this kind of work.

That's where the $72,000 came up …

Ed explained that using his techniques, you can do a case study in 5 to 8 hours. If you do one a week and charge a modest $1,500 for the project, you're making $6,000 a month.

Twelve months in a year … $72,000 just from case studies. No wonder Ed calls them the “bread-and-butter” of a B2B writer!

Now, it might take you a year or two to get up to a one-a-week pace, but I was impressed something so simple could be so lucrative — especially since I'd never taken case studies all that seriously as an income stream before. Just goes to show what I know … and what I'm learning … and how one good teacher can make you see foundational B2B work with new “hello, big money” eyes.

Plus, if you're intrigued by the idea of case studies and want to try Ed's plan yourself, you can read about it here. Just follow his formula and make a sample case study for a product or service. It will be great portfolio sample piece, and will give you taste of what we're doing here in Chicago.

Tomorrow, I'll be back with more success strategies for you from the B2B Intensive … including one for something that's probably in your inbox right now that could give you a full-fledged writer's life in the next 12 months.

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Published: July 22, 2013

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