No matter what kind of business you’re in, case studies present a unique opportunity for you to tell your story. They are powerful storytelling formats because they serve as an extended testimonial and, as you know, testimonials add credibility to your business. They are essentially reviews of your business from a customer who has experienced it first hand.
Since January, I’ve had the pleasure of conducting several case studies for a legal publishing company. Since writing this blog post, I’ve conducted three additional case studies for a total of seven.
What Should Case Studies Be Based On?
Case studies are often conducted by marketing and advertising companies to show how a business saw a project through to success, resulting in a positive ROI. But case studies can go way beyond what marketing, public relations, and advertising companies have done. You can also use case studies to showcase or illustrate
- Positive customer service experiences
- The upsides and downsides of a publishing enterprise
- How you solved a particular problem your company faced in a core or non-core business function
- Your competitive edge
- Tell how innovation impacted your business or market niche
- Why a particular business practice may be disruptive or innovative
- Prove the value of a business practice, niche, or new business idea
- And more!
Who Can Undertake A Case Study?
What kind of businesses or individuals should conduct case studies? Virtually any type of business can benefit from a case study. You might consider publishing a case study if
- You are meeting resistance to an idea from within or outside of your organization
- You need data to back up your claims about the value of an idea
- You want to validate your company’s position in the marketplace or draw attention to your strengths
- You want to tell your story or your customers’ stories
- You want to uncover the weaknesses of an idea before you unleash it on the public or present it to managers within your organization
- You want to test the feasibility of a new product or idea
Case studies are great tools that can teach people in your industry about new innovative practices or give you data to use in forward-thinking initiatives. With case studies, you can compare two like ideas, companies, customers, or business practices or you can delve deep into a particular topic of interest to learn from it.
How Should You Begin A Case Study?
The first thing you should do if you are interested in a case study is ask a question that you want answered. Do you want to know how much it costs to travel around the world in 80 days? A case study can help you answer that question or give you a solid basis for later comparisons.
Perhaps you want to know if your business should pursue a new venture. Conduct a case study. It will give you an opportunity to see the challenges ahead so that you can address them properly before committing yourself.
Even entrepreneurs and solo business owners can perform a case study. If you are an attorney in private practice, for instance, you might publish a case study showing how you helped a client receive a personal injury settlement or keep their children in a divorce case. An author can publish a case study showing how she turned her fiction habit into a $3,000-a-month income stream. A school district might want to show how a new remedial reading program led to an increased literacy rate among its student body.
Start with a question or hypothesis and go from there.
What To Do If You Think A Case Study Might Be In Your Future
I am actively seeking new clients for case studies. I’ll help you craft a hypothesis or a question you want to investigate and conduct the necessary interviews to extract the information you need for the case study. The case study can be presented in a question-and-answer format as many of the ones I have completed for James Publishing are or they can be written like stories in narrative format with powerful storytelling techniques. As a published fiction writer and publisher, I know how tell a powerful story.
If you are an attorney and you are interested in a case study for your law firm, fill out my form and I’ll contact you to discuss the parameters of your case study.
If you are a published author, literary agent, or indie publisher and are interested in a case study, fill out my form to express your interest in being interviewed and check the “Other” box. Be sure to let me know in the “Message” box that you want to discuss a case study. If you have another type of business and you are interested in a case study, you can use the interview form too. I look forward to working with you.