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An On-Ramp to Writing Better Case Studies


Have you ever tried to drive in an unfamiliar place - especially at night - and just couldn't get your bearings? Even if you have a map or trusty smart phone, you can still get lost in new territory.

Pull over, stop and take the time to study the map more thoroughly.

Just as in driving, writing for a new client and brand-new subject matter can be equally disorienting. How do you make sure you're headed in the right direction?

Pull over, stop and take the time to study your new client's subject matter thoroughly.

To deliver effective case studies, you have to understand the subject matter. If you know your client’s solutions well, you’ll be a more valuable asset:

  • Reduce edit rounds with your client, saving them time
  • Create stories that get better results
  • Boost the chances that clients will call you again

Here’s the step-by-step on how to study a new client’s products and services:

1. Ask your client which solutions will be featured in the case studies.

2. Study any relevant product datasheets, brochures, press releases, white papers, existing case studies, demos, videos and any other materials. If they don't exist or aren't current, interview people at your client's company.

3. Go back to your client contacts with any questions. Don't be afraid to ask these questions! Your client contacts probably had the same questions when they began working for the company.

4. As you study, look for answers to questions such as…

  • What product names and industry terms does the company use?
  • Do product names have trademarks or registered marks to include?
  • What do the products, services or solutions do?
  • Who uses them?
  • What problems do they solve?
  • What are the main business benefits that users can expect?

5. Create a cheat sheet with answers to these questions that you can refer back to. If you don't write for a client for a month or two, you may need to refresh your memory.

6. Look up terms and acronyms you don’t know in search engines or www.Wikipedia.org.

7. Also as you go, start a draft of your customer interview questions for these solutions, if an interview questionnaire doesn't already exist.

Each time you write about a new product, service or solution, you're again in new territory. Always take time out to get to know your surroundings so you confidently go in the right direction!


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More Stories By Casey Hibbard

Casey Hibbard is the founder and president of Compelling Cases, Inc. and author of "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset." She has helped dozens of companies create and manage nearly 500 customer case studies and success stories over the past decade. Casey is featured in numerous books, articles, and teleclasses. She consults with organizations one-on-one and conducts online customer-story classes.