Case Studies Tell Before-and-After Stories of Hope and Possibility … and They’re Fun to Write!
Soap scum everywhere. Mold in the grout. I couldn’t even imagine standing in this shower and feeling clean.
And yet the homeowners used this shower in their master bathroom regularly.
When I managed my family’s housecleaning business, I saw filthy living conditions like this quite a lot. And even though I’d seen the positive results we were able to achieve time and time again, I was always amazed by how great the houses looked after our employees cleaned them up.
It’s hard to even imagine without seeing for yourself. So, take a look:
Powerful, wouldn’t you agree?
Before and after pictures give instant credibility and prove you can, in fact, do what you’re claiming you can do. They evoke feelings of hope and possibility. They bring the power of possibility to life in full-blown detail.
We writers can do the same thing with our words when we tell before-and-after stories of how our clients help their customers.
We call those written before-and-after stories of hope and possibility case studies.
Case Studies Are Socially Acceptable Bragging
People might look at you funny if you go around bragging about how great you are all the time. Likewise, prospects and customers get turned off if everything in your client’s marketing is just them saying how great they are.
It’s different when your client tells stories of how they’ve helped other customers solve their problems. It’s different when your client uses case studies.
It’s different because case studies show a real-life example of how great your client’s products or services are instead of simply telling a prospect that they’re great.
These success stories put the focus on the customer and their problem. And this helps other customers and prospects relate to the message. It lets them see themselves in the story of hope and possibility.
Your client is still part of the story, of course. But they’re a supporting character, not the main character.
The main character is the customer who found success and the results they were looking for. When the case study is done well, the reader relates so much to that customer that they can see themselves getting the same results.
They can see themselves having the same “after” experience.
And that’s powerful.
There Is a High Demand for Case Studies … and Writers to Write Them
Case studies can be used to tell the success stories of the customers of just about any company in any industry or niche.
And companies don’t want to be seen as “one-hit wonders,” so they need to keep updating their library of case studies.
It’s not enough to rest on the laurels of successes from years ago. They need fresh, new, timely stories of recent customers. This is especially true right now with the pandemic.
Times are different. Case studies need to tell the new stories of customers finding their successful “afters” in today’s new world condition. We need positive stories now more than ever — which is why these “good news” stories are being used by 73% of all businesses.
So, demand is high right now for case studies … which means there’s an ongoing demand for writers skilled at crafting them. Because most companies don’t employ an in-house case study writer.
They’d much rather outsource and pay a professional writer up to $1,500-$2,000 per case study (the going rate according to AWAI’s State of the Industry Report on Copywriter Rates) than to have all the added costs of insurance, benefits, taxes, etc., that come with an employee.
This demand for case studies makes the ability to write them extremely valuable. If you have this ability, it makes YOU very valuable.
Case Studies Are Fun and Easy to Write Following a Formula
One of the best things about writing case studies is that they’re fun and easy to write … if you know the formula.
Imagine how hard it would be to calculate the square footage of your home office so you can claim the home office tax deduction if you didn’t know that the formula for the area of a rectangle is area = length x width.
It’s similarly hard for business owners and marketers to write case studies without a formula.
But when you know the formula, case studies almost write themselves.
The basic formula is this:
Customer has a Problem + Customer finds a Solution =
Customer enjoys Positive Outcome
To see some examples of case studies that follow this formula, check out AWAI’s collection of case studies.
Of course, there are nuances to the customer’s story. And there are elements like a great headline, summary points, pull-quotes, etc., that contribute to a well-written case study. But these can all be learned.
And once you’ve learned these skills, you can generally complete a case study project in 5-7 hours. That means you’d be making $170-$400 per hour … and having fun doing it.
Think about it … We’re writing about happy customers and their good news … We’re telling stories of hope and possibility!
It’s a great way to make a living.
Whether you choose to specialize and write nothing but case studies (like case study expert Casey Hibbard, who has written over 1,000 of them!), or if case studies are just part of the overall picture of how you help your clients with their content marketing, I urge you to consider adding them to your writer’s toolkit.
I always enjoy the case study projects I take on. And I bet you would, too.
Do you have any questions about getting started as a case study writer? Share with us in the comments.
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Case studies have been a Love or friend of mine WAY before I knew what they were called or that it was what I was doing.
As a founder and CEO of several businesses - doing all the promoting and encouraging. I naturally was always using soul-talk to my prospects and clients.
Then I'd ask them to let me advertise the help they got and what made them believe that they could move from fear to faith and invest in themself?
I cant wait to write these now 17 years later on purpose. What a Blessing for me - thanks for all of AWAI.