No one wants to be a show-off. But as a freelancer, you do need to brag a little bit.
One of the best ways to land a new client is to showcase your past work and success. A user story, or case study, clearly outlines what you can accomplish based on real results. Everyone can talk about how great their work is, but a user story is based on facts, not hypotheticals.
Here are three best practices for writing effective case studies that can win you more business:
Don’t Focus on Yourself
A case study should not highlight your services, it should highlight the people you work with. For example, if you are a freelance copywriter working with a software company, your case study should not focus on your writing skills and experience. It should highlight how your work affected the software company. What challenges was your client facing before working with you? What benefits did your client receive? How did you impact your client’s business?
[Tweet “Case studies aren’t about bragging; they’re about delivered results.”]
Don’t make the case study about you and your strengths; those will come out naturally. Focus on your client and the difference you made for him or her.
Incorporate Numbers Whenever Possible
When companies are looking to hire a freelancer, they aren’t interested in starting at the beginning. They want to fast-forward three months ahead and understand what the end results will look like. They want proof that you can deliver.
Showcase your success by using cold, hard numbers whenever possible. For example, going back to our freelance writer example, your case studies could include numbers like, “Increased blog traffic by 60% in six months” or “Increased social shares by 25% in three months.”
Make it Easy to Read and Digestible
Do you remember anything about the last case study you read? Probably not, because most case studies add up to 500 words of endless rambling and explanation. Adding some background about your client and his or her challenges is definitely necessary, but you don’t need to go into the whole history of the company and include five different people talking about how difficult life was before you came along.
Make your case study short and sweet. Use bullet points whenever necessary for easy skimming and incorporate visuals when appropriate. You could even think about turning your case study into small, visual snippets to share on social media.
What You Can Do
Go through all your existing case studies and pick one that you want to edit. Cut out copy, add bullet points, and create social media images, then test how this case study performs compared to your other ones. Measure traffic, shares, and conversions to find out what resonates with your audience.