Case studies are a fantastic way to show off what you do. They tell your website visitors a lot about you and they’re a great way to show examples of your work. Portfolio pieces can be tricky to write, though. Writing about your own work is hard! And so is finding the time…
What’s the point in having case studies on your website?
Well, depending on how you present them, they can tell your website visitors (think potential customers!) lots of helpful, valuable things about you.
- They show the type of clients you work with.
- They show how you approach a project.
- They show how happy your customer was with the results.
- They show the range of your work.
- They show examples of your work.
- They show that you know that potential clients will want to check out your work before hiring you…
How to write a simple business case study
There are plenty of ways to get complicated with case studies, but I’m not here to tell you how to write an in-depth piece for your online portfolio. That’s a whole other blog post.
In many cases, a simple structure works best (and it’s certainly better than nothing).
And the easiest way to write it? Treat it like a fairytale.
OK, I know. But humour me.
Think of your case study as a story. And what more basic story structure is there than a classic fairytale? It’s easy to remember, and we all know how they go.
And how does every good fairytale start? I think you’ll find it’s “once upon a time…”.
Now, I’m not suggesting you use those actual words, but think of them as your reminder to set the scene (you need that just as much in your case study as in a fairytale). First up, tell us who your client is and what they do (unless they’re such a blindingly famous brand that it’s obvious – in which case HI FIVE to you!).
Next, every good fairytale introduces some jeopardy – a problem that needs to be solved by our hero (in this case, YOU).
So, tell us why the client came to you? What was the problem they needed help with? How was it holding them back or causing them problems? Show us the mountain your work needed to overcome.
And so, on to the bit that I see missed out much too often. Pay attention!
Tell us what you did to solve that problem. Ride in on your white charger and save the day! Tell us HOW you did it.
You don’t need to get into miniscule detail (unless you know your readers will be interested), but tell us how you approached it and the skills you used. And as well as your technical know-how, show off your fantastic customer service (if you kept your customer in the loop all the way along, mention it – that’s important!).
And finally, every fairy story has a happy ending. I’m assuming your case studies are going to have happy endings too, where you solved your client’s headaches, generated them leads, made them money, increased their happiness and changed their lives. Or something like that.
Show us the finished product. Tell us all the wonderful things the client said about you. Share stats that illustrate the difference you made, if you can!
So, there you have it. A few simple steps to a business case study that works.
If you found this useful, you might also like these…
- The rest of the How To series
- How to get the most from your testimonials
- Tips for improving your website