A few weeks ago, I reviewed an article by Jacqueline Zote that discussed three lesser-known types of marketing content that can successfully promote a small business. Case studies were one of the three on Zote’s list.
Case studies are more than simple testimonials. They are stories that let you showcase both your own business and the client you helped. By telling readers about the “problem” that xyz client was facing and how your product or service offered the solution to that problem (along with the desired results), you can build credibility that will translate to trust with other customers.
The key is to make a case study’s story relatable. In a recent article, Brian Hilliard defines a “problem story” as a story that will make a difference for your customers: “A problem story is simply your way of letting prospective [sic] clients know that you understand their pain and the overall problem that’s driving their situation.” Sharing clients’ success stories is one way to demonstrate that your product or service can solve a universal problem. Your own personal experiences, however, may be even more influential is showing prospective clients that “you’ve been there.”
In service industries, we often get into the habit of touting our expertise. What, though, if we acknowledged our weaknesses? For example, I may consider myself quite the grammar geek, but ask me about HTML coding and I’m an amateur at best (and that’s pushing it). On the flip side, a client of mine may have no problem developing a web-based program, but he or she may fumble over how to write a clear, concise blog post that describes the program’s features.
We are all human; we all have strengths and weaknesses. By acknowledging that I totally get that not everyone is a pro at writing, I can talk about my editing and content creation services in a way that shows potential clients how I can provide a solution to something that doesn’t come easily to them (just as they can do likewise with their strengths). Sometimes, meeting our clients where they are at is what makes clients trust us the most.
What kinds of problem stories do you connect with? What makes those stories relevant and relatable, and how do they change the way you view a business?