A few months ago, a client commissioned me to write for his web site. He’s a contractor whose specialty is remodeling classic Seattle homes. His web site shows before-and-after photos of transformed kitchens, updated bathrooms, and room add-ons. But no descriptions. As I flipped through images of work in progress, I made up stories in my head about each project.

I recommended writing case studies to describe a few remodels from start to finish. This would give visitors to his site an idea of how he works and the results he achieves. I interviewed his clients and wrote about how he connected with their vision, planned every detail, and delivered beautiful results.

After reading the case studies, my client sent me an email, stating humbly, “There’s something to love in every sentence! Even I want to work with me after reading this.”

There you have it. A short case study about writing case studies.

One of the basic rules of storytelling is, “show, don’t tell.” When writing about your company, you’ll engage the reader by showing how you’ve solved a problem or made a customer happy. Your believability goes up, because you’re telling real stories, not just making claims. Think how different the opening of this article would have been if, instead of a story, it read:

Meeting the needs of clients means writing case studies that describe the services they provide. My clients truly appreciate the exceptional case studies I write for them.

Case studies don’t have to be long. What they should have is a story arc. This is another storytelling concept. It goes like this: Problem. Solution. Happy customer.

For a case study about your business, describe what the customer is struggling with; they find you, and you have the solution; they express what makes them happy about what you did. Using this basic structure, you can write a variety of case studies and share them on your web site, in newsletters, and on social media.

Your case studies will only be credible if they’re true. As tempting as it might be to write a hypothetical story describing an ideal service scenario, readers will see right through it. But only use real names and identifying details if you have written permission from your client.

Choose your stories wisely. Be sure to highlight the services that make you shine. For example, if my contractor client prefers renovating kitchens and bathrooms, he wouldn’t put a case study on his web site about building a fence – regardless of how happy he made the homeowner.

Would you like to find out how case studies can add color to your marketing? Let’s talk!

Copyright Liz Behlke 2018