Creating Effective Case Studies
Adding case studies to your website or portfolio is a great way to help convert leads into new clients. By taking abstract skills and showcasing how they’ll come to life for a client, case studies provide a real-life example of your services.
A good case study shows clients everything you’re capable of, from your talent to your strategic thinking to the results your work can deliver. They are also a way for clients to get an idea of your process, and see how you articulate and explain your work.
While it may seem daunting to put together a case study, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips on how to make your case studies engaging, informative and impactful.
Write a compelling title
It all starts with your title. It’s the first point of contact that should help draw people into your case study and want to learn more. Try to strike a balance between describing what the project is, and making it intriguing enough for someone to want to click and get more details. Need some inspiration? Search online for case study examples in your industry or field.
Great case studies tell a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Start by setting up the problem that needed to be solved, then show how your work was able to successfully deliver results. This is where you can showcase the strategic thinking skills you bring to the table. By explaining why you did what you did, you demonstrate that you’ll be able to replicate positive results on other projects and adapt to all sorts of situations to create work that solves a wide range of problems.
Provide real numbers and results
Try to be as specific as possible and use real numbers and statistics where you can. Instead of saying that your client was able to double sales in a year, write that sales went from $5,000 to $10,000. Including real numbers helps show your value to a business, plus provides tangible proof of the results. Be as clear as possible, so clients can quickly see the value you’ll add to their business.
Let images tell the story
Use compelling imagery and short informative captions to tell the story of the project from start to finish. The imagery should clearly illustrate the final result of your services. Showing your work in real places is an easy way to make it more relevant—for instance, if you’ve designed a poster, try mocking up an image of that poster out in the world.
Use high-quality photos
Make sure you upload high-quality imagery and preview your site before you make your case study live to make sure everything displays correctly. Pixelated images or photos that are cut off won’t show off your work properly and could be a turnoff to potential clients. Everything on your site is a reflection of your business, even down to the tiniest details—so make sure the images are the highest quality possible.
Incorporate relevant search terms in your case study
As you write your case study title and descriptions, include SEO search terms that your ideal clients would use when searching for a freelancer. This will help your case study rank higher in organic searches. Plus, it helps potential clients relate to your work and connect the dots between your skills and their business.
Show your work
Sometimes you’ll post a case study where you worked with a team to deliver a final result. In cases like this, it’s important to give credit to other team members and also describe what you personally contributed to the project. By including your roles and responsibilities it demonstrates exactly what you’re capable of. Plus, the more specific you are, the more it helps to establish your credibility.
Include quotes or testimonials
If you have access to quotes or testimonials from your client, incorporate them into your case study. Whether you use quotes to help set up the story of your project, in photo captions, or in their own testimonial section, they help bring validity to your case study.
The biggest thing to remember about case studies is that you’ve already done the hard part—the actual work! So if you just take some time to prepare, collect images and think about the story you want to tell, creating case studies can be easier than you think.