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Ep 240 Transcript

00:02

Alright ladies, welcome to this episode of The joyful scaling Podcast. Today we’re talking about case studies because we want to grow and scale your business with them. And I’m joined by Dana Owens, who is an amazing copywriter. And she specializes exclusively in writing case studies. Specifically, she helps service based business owners across all industries share their clients success stories, so they can differentiate themselves in the market, attract their ideal and best clients and close more sales. Let’s welcome Dana to the show. Hello,

 

00:35

thank you for having me.

 

00:37

Absolutely data. I love your work. Dana and I met through a networking group that we’re both a part of, and she does she does case studies a little bit differently. And I want to talk about that. But let’s dive in just making sure everybody’s on the same playing field here. Why don’t we start with defining what a case study is, and in the context of that, if you can tell our ladies a little bit about your background that might be well, as were

 

01:03

sure, um, well, I’ll start with the background. So I’ve been a copywriter for 20 years, and I’ve been writing many different types of coffee. But through all of that experience, I started to realize that what businesses really needed in order to differentiate themselves and really get the kinds that they wanted, was they needed to start talking more about the results, less about what they do, and more about what they’ve done. And so I started to find and research different ways to help them do that. And I, I discovered case studies. And what really drew me to them. And what is exciting about case studies for me is that they, they tend to have a boring connotation. A lot of times people look at case studies or think about case studies, and they think about these really corporate 80, technical, overly jargony documents that are really dry and hard to read. But I started to realize that case studies can pretty much be anything that you want them to be. And so the approach that I’ve taken with case studies have been very fun. But let’s just define what a case study is. So a case study is really just the story of your work with a client or a customer. And in the way that I have approached case studies, it’s really a way to tell the full story of your work with someone. So you have the space to really dig into the pain points that your clients experienced, the process that you used, to help them achieve the amazing results that they had. So really, a case study is just a story of the journey of your work with a client or customer.

 

02:42

And that’s so good. And it is, as you said, detailed. I was just speaking with someone, one of your clients, because she’s also in our networking group. And one thing that she said is that you were masterful, because you interview, you know, the clients of your clients, that she said that you you were masterful in the questioning of them, because you pulled out some quotes and some ideas that my woman I was talking to your client hadn’t even realized that, you know, it’s just a beautiful point. So let’s speak to that for just a moment. Yeah, the process.

 

03:15

Yeah, so the process. My approach is different. Because a lot of times when when companies are trying to use case studies in their businesses, and case studies, kind of, in the last, maybe three to five years has become a buzzword, and you’ll see more and more as you go on. But as business owners websites, that there are, there’s sometimes a case studies tab. And so it seems to be like the thing to do. Well, a lot of the times most of the time, sadly, when you click on those that case studies tab, you see case studies, they’re the stories are written from the company’s point of view about how they helped a client. But the approach that I like to take is I like to tell the entire story from the client’s point of view. And so that’s why a part of my my process is to interview the client. And I’ll spend about 30 to 45 minutes with the client and getting their their story and their perspective on what in their words, what were their pain points? What did that mean for them in their life or their business at that time? How did they resonate with the business owners process? And what did they find were the truly most beneficial pieces of it. And then we talk all from their perspective about the range of results and transformation that they experienced. And that could be, you know, very tangible statistics driven things like let’s say they were working with a business coach, and the business coach helped them increase their monthly revenue by you know, 30k a month. Well, that’s obviously a variable, very tangible thing. But there’s so much more to the story that includes intangible results, like the mindset shifts and the increases in confidence and just the way that you feel as a business owner, so many different things and so When you really interview the client, and you hear all of that, from their perspective, it makes for so much more of an engaging piece that resonates with the person reading it, who then hopefully becomes the business owners client as well, because they’re able to have that connection point.

 

05:19

Yeah, love that because they can then the client that would be client that is reading the case study, just because you’re focused on the clients perspective, I think they can more easily see themselves in the picture. Yeah, and that’s

 

05:33

the whole point of a really well done compelling case study is, and it’s really just the whole point in sales period, like you want your prospects to see themselves in your solution. You don’t, you don’t want them to only be able to take how you explain your business and what you think that your business offers them. You want them to be able to connect with someone who is in their exact same spot, ideally, and, and see themselves through that journey. And then also imagine themselves having the same results that your case study is showcasing. So when someone is able to make that connection, it’s not just a connection visually, like, oh, I can visualize myself having the same results. It’s like an emotional connection to and so when you have that kind of emotional connection, you really tap into that hope and that aspiration like this, oh my gosh, my problem, I can see that it can be solved. And it makes them want to take action, because they’re so clearly a solution that they have been able to validate is a really good risk to take.

 

06:42

Okay, I’m going to ask a kind of strange question. But in my mind, High Level Mastermind that I’m a part of. So many of my colleagues, my peers are in businesses, like for example, leadership, coaching, or even career coaching. So their clients don’t want to be revealed, because for whatever reason, they may or may not want that out there. So I assume case studies could also be for my peers in that regard. And it would just be, you know, anonymous. Yeah.

 

07:15

Yeah, that’s a very common way to do it. I will push back though a little bit, because I get that question all the time about Well, none of my clients find me named, and much less have their picture included. Because usually, when I’m branding, a case study, I like to include a headshot of the person that we’re featuring, just helps to, you know, help to even further personalize it. But it’s such a common question that people say, Well, none of my clients want to be named. And whilst in many instances, that is true, you sign, you know, NDAs, or you’re just, someone has explicitly said, like, I don’t want anyone knowing that we’re working together, I also have found more often than not, you are surprised by the there are one or two people that are okay with it. Obviously, if they’re not legally bound, like they, and they’re they, they’ve had an amazing experience, a lot of times, especially the more and more we go, with people being more open to the services that they receive, and the help that they receive to get to the place that they are in their business, they actually want to talk about that journey more openly. And so it’s not always a open and shut case that you won’t, that you won’t find anyone to be named. But if you really can’t, there are always very compelling ways to still tell the case study, or to have a case study that’s engaging, but isn’t specific about the name, all of the story components still exist, I just had one client who wanted to, to, to the client didn’t want to be named, but she was okay using another name, or, I mean, I’ve done plenty of case studies where we just use you know, more of an a generic title, like someone is a, you know, expert in their field, or, you know, just something that’s more generic, but still, all the components of the story still stand. So it still is very compelling.

 

09:04

That’s interesting. And then another another one of my peers is a relationship coach, a very expensive relationship coach, and I’m thinking if I paid you like, $20,000, to find the love of my life, and you found him, I’d be like, Okay, great. Put my face out there. I don’t care. Now, maybe people are different. So what is the difference then, between a testimonial and a case study? I just want to make sure this is really like Uber clear in every Whap

 

09:30

Well, it’s it’s definitely it needs some focus for clarity because a lot of times testimonials and case studies people just think of them interchangeably. And testimonials are awesome. Like I will never ever say that someone does not need testimonials. They’re amazing and you should get as many testimonials as you possibly can. But testimonials serve one purpose. They’re typically used on your website or in marketing materials where you don’t have a lot of space and so the testimonial is really Like a soundbite, typically you have like a paragraph, maybe you know, two to three sentences with a headshot to show a testimonial. And so it can’t ever really go into depth to the to get the full story of your work with someone it can, you can pull out the highlights, it can talk about like key results, it might do a really brief breeze through this was my pain point, this is my result. And and that definitely is valuable and serves its purpose. But it can never go into as much depth as it takes to truly connect with someone emotionally over specific pain points and the specific journey of how you helped to solve someone’s problem. And that is something that a case study it a case study is really your only marketing tool that you have, where you have the space to tell the full story, because you can’t do it in a testimonial, you can’t do it on your website, because well, I mean, if you have a really solid, effective website, your copy is very clear and concise. You don’t go on and on. And there’s really no other marketing tool that you have social media same thing you have to be as you know, as in and out as you can. But a case study is one thing that is designed to give you that space to tell the full story. So it is I will always suggest that people have plentiful testimonials. But they also have a few very strategically made case studies. Because there are people who they love the social proof of a testimonial, but they’re not sold by it. A case study allows you that space to really sell someone and I don’t like that word, but to give them to give them the opportunity to see why yes, they need your product or service.

 

11:54

Got it. Okay, so this is so good. So when you’re talking about space for the testimonial, and for those ladies that have never seen one picture, you know, this is a branded marketing asset. Yeah, like it is. It is beautiful. It is on brand it speaks to you. It’s like you know, just like, and if you listen to the podcast, you know, I’m I’m all over brand, I mean brand you want someone to think of you, or certainly go on your website and get a feeling, you know, just as Dana just mentioned, and to know Oh, yeah, that’s Judy. Oh, yeah, that’s Dana. So as far as length of, you know, these case studies, what is your perspective on that?

 

12:31

Okay, well, I do two different two different length types, because there definitely are two different types of business owner and how they like their case studies. And also, there’s two different types of prospects and what what you think your prospect will resonate with the most, my absolute favorite case study to do, and the one that I found has been the most effective is what I call a full story, case study. And so that typically what it is designed and branded, and that includes images or infographics and, you know, a different stylization of the text and the formatting, that typically comes out to be about four or five pages. And what I really like to think of the full story pic case studies are, they’re like, very in depth and engaging magazine pieces. Like if you imagine looking through a really upscale magazine, and you just get sucked into the feature story. That is what a full story case study looks like and reads like. So there’s the four to five pager. And then there’s also what I’ve started doing is a fully designed and branded one page case study. Obviously, it’s not as much space is not even here to tell the full story. But the way that I write them and format them, you’re getting as in depth of a story as you can at a one pager glance. So that is great for people who are in industries where they just feel like their prospects are super tight on time. Or they feel like they have a service or a product that doesn’t need a huge explanation. So if you know that your your service is pretty clear cut, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of explaining, you can definitely have a very effective one page case study. And yeah, it works great, too. But the the best the best approach, in my opinion, is to have let’s say you’re creating a case study about a particular signature service that you have, I have one full story case study that takes an ideal client of yours, and it shows the whole story and all of the pain points, the process and the results. And then if you want to supplement with a couple, one page case studies that maybe talk about different different types of clients that you’ve worked with. That’s a great approach. So one full page case for case study and then a couple one one pagers that supplement.

 

14:55

Yeah, and and I know that these case studies is Especially that in depth one would be a beautiful opt in. Yes. Exactly. A great call to action at the end of a an amazing, you know, testimonial type post on LinkedIn, for example. Yeah,

 

15:11

exactly. Totally. Yep. And there’s so many different ways you can use them. But yes, that’s one amazing way.

 

15:16

We let’s, let’s talk, let’s, let’s dive down that road. How else can we use these two? So I want people to understand that every business could and I think should use case studies in their marketing and in their sales. So let’s talk about ways of using it.

 

15:31

Yes. So there are lots of different ways to use case studies based on your particular business. But there are just some common ones that everyone can benefit one from there, the number one way is obviously to get these things on your website. So and I know I mentioned before, that a lot of businesses have started having case studies tabs. And yes, that is a great thing to do. You have a case studies tab in your navigation menu, you click on the page. And ideally, you see a beautiful collection of case studies, that makes you look like an absolute Rockstar in your field. But another great way to use them is to put them as a feature on your homepage, I actually just finished having a case study created from my own business. So that’s kind of meta case study for my case studies. But I just today got that as a feature on my homepage, it looks so amazing. And then it links out to a separate web page that has the design case study on it. So not only is that living on my website as a big feature piece, but it’s also going to get all of the STL from that. So that is the best way one, keep it on your homepage. But also you can incorporate pieces of your case studies, especially if you have a full story case study, you have loads of juicy quotes, sections of pages that you can pull out and repurpose again and again. Might have a rescue dog. I don’t know if you can hear this. I do hear a little bit I thought it was no worries. Okay, buddy, okay. Anyways, what people don’t think to do with these case studies is to pull out portions of them and use them on their sales pages, use them on their product pages. If you have a service, let’s say you had a case study created about one service that you really want to promote, you know, in 2022, we’ll pull out portions of that case study and have that on that particular product page. One thing that is you really ever thought about to do with your case studies is a lot of times you’ll have a case study that will speak specifically to your approach or specific specifically to your personality, or some differentiating factors about you, as a business owner, pull those into your about page. You could even include the full link to the full full case study on your about page. That is one thing that most people don’t do. And it would be a great way to differentiate yourself. And just jazz up your about page because we’ve all seen really boring about pages. This is why I love that idea. Yeah, the another thing that everyone should be doing is including their a link to their case studies in the bottom of their email signature. So you are constantly emailing people all day. Sometimes they’re perfect clients of yours. Sometimes they’re just you know, the plumber, I don’t know it can be anybody. It’s just such good real estate you’re already saving who you are, you know that you have a business, probably linking to your LinkedIn or your website, include a link right there in your email signature that says would you like to see the results that my work has achieved for my clients and link out, it can take them to your website, it can take them to a designed pdf of the case study. But you’re not only giving anyone a chance to read about your work and how it works. You’re also just subliminally when someone sees the link that you have case studies to show to show about your work and how it works. Instantly, you become more credible in people’s minds, because think about how many times you get an email from someone who has a link to their case studies in their email signature. Almost never. I’ve never seen it. Yeah, so it’s definitely something. It’s just such a good thing to do. It’s like why not be pumping out the stories as much as you can. And even if you are emailing your plumber, your plumber might read it. And he might not be your ideal client, but his wife might be or his sister or the some lady he meets, you know, later that week. And so the beauty of it is stories stick and they stick in anyone’s minds. And so you never know when that story is going to surface and someone who might not be an ideal client but they direct you to somebody who is

 

19:57

so so good. What’s good This is so chock full, and I love these kinds of episodes, so many golden nuggets. So ladies, if you were taking notes, you’re gonna want to listen back to this and take notes this time. Alright, so how can anybody get started using case studies? Or if they already have them to make them more effective? And I think what we just talked about was the making them more effective, I think, yeah, but, um, but if there’s anything else you can feel free to elaborate, but what if somebody hasn’t used it? How can they get started? Okay,

 

20:29

so the first thing to do, if you’ve never thought about using case studies before in your business, and you are quite sure about where to start, and you’re not quite sure, if you want to hire someone, a professional like me to do them for you, a great thing to do is just start to think about the stories that you have going on, or that have occurred in your business. Every single business, no matter what you do, even if you’d like I just did a case study for a woman who is a STEM education researcher and evaluator. She is the most heavily technical and data driven person I probably have ever talked to. But at the end of the day, she is just a human being helping other human beings do something. And so she hired me because her business is so overly technical, that she really wants to personify her business and help people see the human element of what she does. But every single business has that same thing going on. So in any business, there are stories to tell. So number one, think about the stories that are coming out of your business. And try to identify just one or two that you think would be really beneficial for people to hear about. So that could be like, you can just start to think about what kind of feedback are you getting from your clients, like, it could literally be a random message on facebook messenger or a DM from LinkedIn, or just someone sends you an email and says, Oh, my gosh, like that session that we had last week, I can’t stop thinking about that one tip that you gave me. And it has transformed me in this one way. Those are all the seeds of stories that are happening in your business. And so just start to identify what stories are going on. And can I dig a little deeper and find out more, all of those things are case studies just waiting to be made. So that’s the first way to get started. The second way is to start being proactive about how you allow those stories to unfold. So a lot of times business owners well, they have their service, they have their process, super streamlined. But they haven’t thought enough upfront about how they are going to track results to make sure that they’ve got a case study at the end of the engagement ready to make. So if you feel like oh, like I, I guess I’ve got some stories going on. But I’m not really sure, make sure you’ve got them set the foundation for great stories to happen by picking one or two metrics. The minute you sign a client, pick one or two metrics to track throughout your client engagement. And gather that data, save all that communication between you and your client. And then see what stories unfold from them. And then obviously, once you see the stories unfold, which they will make sure that you do something with them. So those are basically the two biggest ways one, look for the stories and two, if you don’t feel like their media enough, set up your clients client engagements proactively so that you’re not just stumbling into good data, like we got lucky with that you’re setting it up to to acquire good data right from the start.

 

23:51

Wow. So good. So good. Let me just dig a little bit deeper on something and I don’t want to go too deep. I don’t want to give away your best secrets and whatever. But But what if someone you know, wants just tips on how to draw out that story? You know, because that example that you did about someone saying, hey, you know, I really love this week’s training. I learned so much. You know, when you go to them sometimes I know from working with my clients, they’re like, I don’t know, I don’t I feel like I don’t want to go too deep because I don’t want to get too personal. And I’m like, No, the the personal part is the part you want to pull out. Like that’s how it not just gets the result, in my case, make more money in the business. But what did that do for the rest of your life? So tips on that,

 

24:37

about how to draw out I think I think that the biggest challenge that people have is thinking that it’s going to be difficult to draw that out. Most of the time and this happens in I mean in for me too. This is crazy because I write case studies for a living, but it there’s just some fear or it feels on comfortable to ask people about how they’ve been affected by your work, because I don’t know, like your deepest fears that they haven’t, or that they’re just kind of saying things to be nice to you. So the biggest hurdle is just getting up the guts to ask. But I have found 99.9% of the time that when you ask someone sincerely, you know, can we talk about, like the impact that my work has had on you, and maybe, maybe talk about, like how it’s really impacted your life, your business, when you know that someone has had a good experience, and the only reason you’re reaching out to them, it’s because you know, they’ve had a good experience, they are usually very willing to talk and usually very willing to give you so much more insight than you ever dreamed that that they would. So I would say just to be really specific, just just say that you would like to learn more about the story that of your work together, ask about some of the results that they’ve seen and say they don’t have to be like, earth shattering Lee humongous results, like what are some of the tiny shifts that you felt that you felt that that might be seem small to you, but has actually had a long lasting impact? In your business in your life? Even if long lasting? Is been? It’s been a month? Like it doesn’t have to be three years ago? And then once they give you some of those results, or some of those shifts and say, what does that really meant for your life? What have you been able to do, because of those shifts that you’ve you’ve experienced, and that really makes people pause. And you’ll be surprised at the juicy information that you get out of that just for having the guts of asking the question, and giving people the time and space to really process it and reflect on it. Because often, we’re on to the next on to the next on to the next if people don’t really have an opportunity to just sit and reflect on, gosh, I went through that program of yours. And it really has helped me thank you so much. I’ve been so busy building my business to the next level because of our work together that I’ve never really had the chance to stop and think, wow, like that was the beginning of all of these changes, you know, and it originated with you. But unless you give people the time space to do that, they often don’t take it.

 

27:16

So true. And as you mentioned there the ripple effect, you know, because of this transformation with you. It’s impacted my marriage, my family life. Exactly. Oh, wow. That’s so good. Well, Dana, unfortunately, it’s time to wrap up. But I understand you have an amazing free something for our listeners,

 

27:36

I do I I did not want to go too deeply into all of the different ways to use case studies in your business, because that is a beautiful guide that I would love to gift to you. It’s called the five ways to use case studies in your sales and marketing. And it will take you through in depth, the five easiest ways to get started using them with examples. I think it’s super valuable. And once you take a look at this, there’s no reason that you cannot find at least one that makes it just a slam dunk to start using them. They’re so patient is so powerful. Everyone should be using them and this guide will help you do it.

 

28:17

Yeah, thank you for that. It’s gonna be amazing. We’ll drop the link in the show notes and the ROI. Whether you do it yourself or whether you let a professional like Dana, do it the ROI, you’re gonna see it’s well well worth it. Okay, so where is the best place for our listeners to find you online?

 

28:35

Sure. Well, my website my my case study Business copywriting business is called The Next Level copy. And my website is next level copy.com. Or you can find me on LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn a lot. And you can just search my name Dana Owens, or it’s my link, my tag on LinkedIn is next level of copy.

 

28:55

Awesome. All right. Dana, thank you so much for joining us this episode. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. All right. You’re welcome. And ladies, listen, if you have enjoyed this episode, and I’m certain that you have, and if you have not yet left a rating and a review, would you please do that? Take just a moment now and do that it would help to spread the word. And don’t forget to share this episode out if it’s helped you. And if you have feedback, questions, comments, head on over to the podcast page of my website, Judy Weber co slash podcast again, Judy Weber co slash podcast and scroll down, you will see you can leave a voice note. And I want to start you know, rolling those out on these episodes. So I want to feature you on the show. So make sure you do that. Thanks so much for listening and we will see you next time.

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