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“A case study is a process or record of research, in which detailed consideration is delivered about the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time.”
For case studies of your clients, the focus will be on development in a specific area which pertains to your product or service. It may be over a short period or long period of time, depending on what is appropriate for the particular case.
For example, if you’re a running coach and you have a client training for a marathon, you might focus on that specific training up to the date of the marathon. Or if you teach people how to relieve pain with meditation, you want to record the improvements over a period of time.
So you know what a case study is if you are a health professional but you can use the same things as an Internet marketer in your niche sites.
Examples of how to do that in Internet marketing can be found here. The case studies provide legitimacy. They show real people being successful using a specific method in this case joining Wealthy
Case studies bolster your credibility and encourage more sales of your product in a few ways:
They provide social proof to your potential clients. While there are some trailblazers out there, most people don’t want to be the first to do something at risk of failing. They want to see others doing it and doing it well before they take the plunge. Case studies help accomplish this.
Use Honest Case Studies
There may be short-term gains to be had by making up case studies. It may work as a short-term strategy but in the long term making up case studies is super damaging to your reputation!
Getting people to trust you is hard enough without you shooting yourself in the foot. People follow the recommendations of people they know like and trust. If you destroy that by faking a case study you’ve blown it forever.
Generally, provide so much detail that it provides your prospects with a good sense of legitimacy. It’s not the same as a vague testimonial of “I loved your product. It is signed Annie” on your website.
They go further than testimonials in that they are valuable pieces of content that showcase your knowledge, expertise, and/or the effectiveness of your product. While they are generally self-promotional in the way we are using them, they still provide useful insight to your prospects and clients alike.
How to Start Collecting a Case Study
Show how someone who is using the product you recommend is making great strides forward. In other words, show the benefits of the product you are suggesting.
If you are using a case study on a niche website, then ask the person to come on a webinar or Skype call. When you think you have someone with potential, ask them if they would be willing to participate. It’s best if they allow you to use their real name and photos, but in some sensitive cases, it might not be as likely. You may also want them to sign an agreement to participate, and that allows you to publish the findings. When approaching your client, always focus on the benefit to your client. After all, they are getting extra care and attention as you check in with them during the data collection process.
Make a schedule for check-ins with your client and take any photos, copies, or records that you need. You want to have as much proof as possible. For example, if you are helping a client lose weight, you want to have plenty of photos throughout the weight loss journey. Or if you are helping a client get out of debt, copies of their credit card statements as they reduce their debt is a good idea. Because of common sense and data protection laws remove any personal information. You don’t want your peeps getting stalked or trolled.
When you check in with the client, record your discussions. If you have an audio record, you can go back and refer to everything at a later date. After all, you never know when something they say in week one will have an even bigger impact in week 3.
Decide whether you should interview other people to complete your case study. For example, if you’re helping a parent deal with a child struggling in school, you might arrange an interview with their teacher or anyone else involved in their education.
The key is to collect as much information as possible. While you may not end up publishing everything, you have everything ready at your fingertips when you start to put together the best case study as possible.
Publishing Your Case Study
Now you’ve got a big heap of information to go through, right? While that may seem daunting, it is also very good news. You have a TON of content that you can work with.
Case studies can be used in a number of ways:
Full-length case studies can be made into downloadable reports.
Create a case studies section of your website that includes summaries and full-length case studies.
Condensed case studies can be placed on your blog for discussion with your other clients and readers.
Audio recordings can be edited, polished, and placed on iTunes and elsewhere.
Photos can be turned into photo galleries on Flickr, Pinterest, or another photo-sharing site.
And of course, photos, audio, and text can all be combined into creating an informative or inspirational video.
How you’ll put final and full case study together will depend on the type of data you have at your fingertips. The key thing to remember is your intended audience and keep in mind that, again, this isn’t an academic case study. We are trying to grab and keep the attention of our prospects and deliver information that is useful to them. So while your focus is on the client of the case study, you want to make sure you keep things succinct and relevant to your potential client too.
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