Why Your Case Studies are Boring (and What You Can Do About It)

When you’re buying a new cell phone, do you trust the salesman? Or do you trust your buddy, who owns the exact same model?

For most of us, it’s certainly the latter. And that’s why case studies can be such powerful marketing tools.

In fact, according to a 2012 report by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of content marketers view case studies as an effective means of marketing their products and services.

That’s a 32% increase from the year before.

That said, case studies can be kind of boring sometimes. Many of them follow the same exact formulaic approach, offering a whole lot of generalities and not a lot of detail.

What’s really missing from them is the story – and everyone loves a good story (yes, even buyers). That’s why, when writing a case study for your consulting business, you need to approach it like you’re writing a story…not like you’re writing just another case study.

So what makes up a good story? There are a few common elements.

A good story first has a great opener. Then it presents some sort of conflict. In terms of characters, there are protagonists (the good guys – you and the client) and antagonists (the bad guys – threats, risks, compliance fees, legislation, etc.). And finally, there’s the resolution (the happy ending you delivered).

But writing a good story isn’t just about putting pen to paper. You have to do your homework first. And doing so typically means you have to interview your client. When you do, be sure to ask questions that elicit specific details about issues such as:

  • Key pains and frustrations your client was facing before you came along.
  • Solutions they tried that failed.
  • Specific problems that you addressed.
  • Results of addressing those problems (in quantifiable terms).
  • Why they would recommend you.

Again, it’s all about getting the details you need to write an engaging story that resonates with your audience.

For instance, you don’t want to write about how you helped a client “replace their call center telecommunication network.” You want to write about how you helped a client “stop dropping phone calls at their call center, avoiding angry customers and stressed out reps in the process.”

Need Help Writing Your Next Case Study?

Contact The Clever Consultant. We have experienced writers on staff who can take all the details from your past successful projects and transform them into compelling stories that sell your consulting services and position you as an expert.

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