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Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success story candidates?  From consumer-products companies to B2B to nonprofit organizations, many now actively solicit stories with self-service “Share Your Story” links on their Web sites. Apple created a link for this soon after the release of its wildly popular iPhone. FileMaker software includes a link to “Tell us your story.” Girl Scouts of the USA asks former members to share their experiences for its alumnae program. And Toyota Motor Sales gather owners' stories and gets usage permission through an online form. Does customer self-nomination actually work? Sometimes. I know it's worked extremely well for Toyota, which has tons of customer experiences on its site. But some B2B companies have tried the approach with hardly any submissions to speak of. Are consumers willing to submit thems... (more)

How to Tweet Your Customer Stories

Can 140 characters lead to more leads and sales? Absolutely. There are countless tales of Twitter wins these days. Several companies I follow on Twitter are Tweeting about their customer success stories. While you can't tell your whole story in that amount of space, you can pique followers' interest. Here are a few tips for Tweeting your stories: Education, Not Promotion - Think of your 140 characters as a teaser, similar to an email subject line or blog headline. Your subject line should promise the reader something, and help them understand what they will take away if they re... (more)

Three Tips for Finding Your Next Case Study Customer

Several times a week, an appeal for funds from a charity (or alma mater) arrives in my mailbox or inbox. The same organizations contact me over and over. It’s annoying, but if they don’t ask for contributions, they usually don’t get them. That’s just how it works. We have too much going through our heads. If you’re in an asking position, you have to be in the audience’s line of sight often if you hope to get a response. The same goes for the quest for case study or success story candidates and reference customers. Marketing and reference managers are constantly looking for ste... (more)

Ode to the Sound Bite in Customer Case Studies

Mark Twain is said to have called it, "a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense." Who else could so perfectly provide such a sound bite describing sound bites? If a customer story is the most powerful evidence of a customer's experience, then the customer's own quoted comments are the jewels in that crown. They sparkle and stand out above the rest of the story. Often, it's all the viewer or reader may remember, so they better be good. In Writing In a written customer case study or success story, sound bites are best highlighted as "pull quotes." They are literally pulled out of th... (more)

Help Nonprofits Sell Better with Stories

If you heard that a certain type of fox is endangered, would you be moved to act? How about if you heard that a mama fox was trying to keep herself and her litter safe as their forest disappears? Now that's different. There's a story there with actual individuals being affected. Such was the storyline for a campaign by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which told a universal tale of survival to communicate about the kit fox problem in Northern California. Information in the context of a story is dramatically more compelling than straight facts. Yet, many nonprofits fail to tell... (more)