Why your Professional Association Could Use a Case Study (“Success Story”) to Promote its Services . . . .

A case study tells the success story of a service (such as copywriting and/or editing), that describes how an organization solved a challenge by using it or them.

In many ways, it is a “before and after” story, as B2B copywriter Ed Gandia says. It could be from one to four pages in length and may resemble a newspaper or magazine’s “feature story,” with a compelling headline and a sequential series of subheadings that tell the story that the copy details.

The format will be something like “Company X has a problem with Y. They looked for a solution until they found Product Z. They bought and implemented it and since have enjoyed A, B and C Benefits.” As Casey Hibbard writes in Stories that Sell, a “traditional format” for the case study progresses from background to challenge, to solution and to results. The “feature- story format” that I referred to, above (which is closer to journalism) would begin with a strong lead sentence or opening paragraph, followed by descriptive subheads that move the piece along.

Now, as a professional association or organization, you could find that you need case studies everywhere. The fallout of the internet and content age is that there’s “so much noise” in the marketplace, that it’s almost impossible for you to get your buyer’s prospect’s attention. Case studies can do that. Storytelling is an ancient form, dating to ancient Greek and Roman Classics and the stories of the patriarchs in the Old Testament. We have transferred knowledge by stories for millennia. Stories are still at the core of who we are. They still work and we’re still moved by them. Even a business story triggers our apt attention and is easier to remember than any other shared ideas (from the company’s latest meeting, etc.).

If you run a business, as Gordon Graham recently observed in a webinar for the American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI), all your strategies can be duplicated by the competition, except the stories of success that you’ve had with your customers. They are GOLD.

How would you undergo the process of having me write a case study for you? I interview you. I interview your customer. I transcribe and think through the material, writing it into the above format. What is the cost? The going rate for copywriters is roughly $500 (one page) to $2000 (three to four pages), to $2500 (five to six pages). Famous copywriters will charge much more and newbie writers, likely less. The fees I quote (in 2013) are in fact good value, as you can repurpose a single case study into PowerPoint presentations, audio and video presentations (including online video), social media, blogs and other promotional materials that are limited only by your imagination. Case study copy is copy that “keeps on giving.”

So give some thought to what service your association provides that succeeds in the market. Think of how telling that story could enhance the growth of your organization. And feel free to give me a call! I’m always delighted to discuss projects with you.

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