• elainekeep

Quick tips for writing great case studies

Updated: May 20

Quick tips for case study writing

1. Working with your natural rhythms of creativity

Are you more creative in the afternoon, between 2pm – 4pm? Perhaps you are an early bird, or you have a second wind at around 7pm – 10pm?

Using this knowledge, try and tackle research tasks for the first part of the day, and create a rough ‘skeleton structure’. You may find it helpful to keep an ‘Inspiration file’ on your laptop to add in great emails and other content you receive just to create some sparks of inspiration.

You might have days where you write more easily, or perhaps you would do well to write in the evening and have a ‘review session’ in the morning where you can trim off anything surplus to requirements.

Try and get into a rhythm of a day or time where you write, and a day and time to edit, using the Notes app in your phone to add ideas when they come.

2. Keeping it trim

Having a word count keeps things tight and controlled. For visual items like case studies, you may want to use Canva (a free tool) to see how your words look when dropped into a visual environment. You can get a good ‘birds eye view’ of how they will appear on 1 – 2 sides of A4 when images or graphs are also vying for space.

3. Check the level of understanding

It can be easy for jargon and knowledge of a sector to creep in. Try and read your case study back as if you were reading it to someone who is a level 1 – 2 of understanding of your industry or service – they have heard of it, but are otherwise unaware of what you do. This will change

‘We created an integration into Xero for one dashboard’

Into something that explains the benefits a little more and simplifies and softens.

‘Client X had already been using the online accountancy software, Xero, to track their finances. In order to keep all this historical data and make a seamless transition, we connected our system with theirs behind the scenes. The client then had one place to see all their activity, including x and y and z ‘

4. Sanity checking

It’s always a great idea to write as you would talk, so we suggest using to read back any text written. Shut your eyes and listen – you will pick up repetitions and errors you would otherwise have not spotted.

Also look out for the ‘who cares’ test – a simple question to keep asking before you write anything. What value is this adding, are they learning something new? Don’t forget your call to action.

5. Make it realistic

Testimonials only show the golden view of life – everyone is very happy! A testimonial or a case study can come to life when you speak to the prospect and address real concerns that they may have before using you, whatever that is.

Instead of

“Software X is amazing. We are so glad we bought it. Our leads are up 56%...”

“We had worked with a few software companies in the past, and when we saw ACME inc, we were of the thinking that we didn’t need any more tools. We didn’t believe it could actually provide leads and we debated adding another team member instead. I’m happy to say I was wrong. Leads are up 56% and we haven’t added human capital in two years. The software is doing it all for us. ”

You can coax this out with the right questions at the first stage of asking for a case study by asking them about other competitors they looked at, the concerns they had and considerations they had to make before using you.

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