Isn’t is fab when you’re reading a case study and it’s not an out and out sales pitch?

And it’s going a long way to helping you validate if this product or service is for you.

After all, if the case study clearly explains how this business has helped others, they can clearly help you too.

That’s the condensed version of why case studies are a good idea, but what about how you go about creating the blooming things so you have case studies that will help people to decide to buy from  you, or not?

I’m going to share a framework suggested by Kevin Anderson from the StoryEdge so you can create your own fab effective case studies that are more engaging and compelling and way less salesy than most case studies out there.

Here’s the framework

case study 8 part framework

How to use each part of the case study framework

  1. HERO

Are you the hero in your case study?

It can be so tempting to talk about you. What you did and the solution you provided but talking about you sounds too salesy.

Hold back talking about you for now. Your time to shine will come.

The reader of your case study wants to know how you’ve helped others and to weigh up if you’re the one for them too.

The hero is the client you helped.

Shine the case study light on them.

The hero is the human being you can help.

Your potential client is the hero so talk about them.

Introduce them to the reader.

Who are they?

Tell us about them.

2. Goal

When your client came to you, what were they struggling with? What did they want to achieve?

Why this part of the framework is important.

You want the reader of your case study to be nodding along as they read.

They’re struggling with this problem too.

They want to achieve the same goal(s) but finding it tough to do too.

It might be creating more professional looking images for their social media; they might be a parent struggling with feeding their fussy toddler or keeping their lawn in tip top shape.

Talk about what they’re struggling with. 

3. Event

What happened to make them seek help or to take action to solve their problem?

Let’s consider a parent whose mealtimes with their fussy toddler are a struggle.

Perhaps they’ve had enough of the stress and worry that mealtimes bring, or they’re worried their toddler isn’t getting enough of what’s good for them to help them grow healthily.

There’s a point when they say ‘Enough is enough! Time to see about getting this sorted.’

4. Obstacles

What’s held your hero, your potential client back from solving this problem on their own?

When you share specifically what it was it becomes much more relatable to your reader.

Remember your clients are people so you want your case study to be real and human.

Obstacles may be:

  • Not wanting to ask for help as they believe they should be able to work it out on their own
  • It could be the cost involved to resolve it
  • It could be not having the information so a lack of know how
  • They could be busy so keep putting getting it solved off

And as we’re all humans, it could be something else entirely different.

Whatever their obstacles were, be sure to share them in the case study.

5. Mentor

Ta-da! That’s you!! You’re the mentor to the hero of your story.

Is now the time to shine the spotlight brightly and squarely onto you?

It might be tempting to use this part of your case study to blow your own trumpet.

Don’t get me wrong, this is where the topic is you but use the words of your client.

Don’t be tempted to write yourself a glowing testimonial. Your reader will spot how hard you’re trying a mile off.

Let the hero, your client do the talking about how you helped them.

6. Journey

You may have noticed in this part of the framework of your case study, Kevin mentions warts ‘n’ all.

I know. Feels scary admitting that not everything went perfectly, or that there were bumps in the road.

But it’s important you keep it real and honest with your reader.

Let’s consider the parent of the toddler that’s a fussy eater.

Did the toddler suddenly love Brussel sprouts and mealtimes were immediately all peace and harmony?

Probably not and sharing this makes your case study more believable.

Share what the client struggled with.

Explain what didn’t go to plan and how they got back on track.

Did making changes take longer than expected? Explain why.

7. Change

Time to talk about their transformation.

  • How is your client different?
  • After your help what’s changed?
  • How do they feel?
  • What are they doing differently?
  • What’s improved?
  • What have they learned?

Again, ditch the temptation to take over here.

Let the client speak. Use their words.

  1. Lesson

End your case study with a lesson.

What’s the reader’s takeaway going to be from your case study?

Again, use the words of your client.

They’re the hero in this. Right.To.The.End.

Thinking back to our parent with the fussy toddler…

What would a lesson be for them?

Could it be making mealtimes fun isn’t as difficult as you think?

Perhaps getting help sooner would have save a lot of hassle, stress and heartache? Not to mention the amount of food that ended up on the floor.

Understanding more about what your toddler really needs when it comes to nutrition helps keep you, as a parent, calm when it comes to mealtimes?

Recognising that you’re putting stress on yourself is part of the problem?

What can you do with your case study once you’ve created it?

Some fab ideas for you are:

  • Pop it on your website
  • Share it on social media
  • Include it as part of your sales email series
  • Add it to your email signature

In Summary

Create a case study that shows how you’ve not only helped others but you’ve helped people like your reader.

And that’s much more engaging and compelling than you telling them how totally fantabulous and awesome you are.

And you’ll come across much less salesy too.

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