Writing Case Studies for a Newbie

Writing Case Studies

This caught my eye today.

“Do you want to make a REAL living as a freelance writer?”  Uh…yeah!  Of course I do. So how do I do it?

Write Case Studies

And…what’s a case study?

Time to dig in and do some research my writerly friends…and that’s exactly what I did. Turns out, I’ve written things that could be called “Case Studies” but I just never knew it.

It all began when I decided to expand on my freelance writer offerings (i.e. make more $ in return for time) and began to hear things like:

  • Don’t write for glossy magazines…write for trade journals.
  • Write for corporations and non-profits.
  • Write white papers.
  • Write case studies

I’ve been writing for a lotta years, and the one magazine I’ve written for is “glossy”…sort of (regional mostly.)

But it pays peanuts, and we aren’t getting any younger here. The idea of retiring pretty much went down the drain with the last six years of economic upheaval. No raises at my husband’s corporation this year. More work, though. I see him if I actually open my eyes at 5am.  Once in awhile he makes it home before 9pm.

So…it’s time to make this writing gig a little more profitable, so you and I, my friend…we’re going on a journey to learn how to do this Case Study Writing gig.

As this is my first post on it, I’ll just give you a couple sites that provide a little bit of good information. As this journey continues, I’ll be posting my actual experiences and sharing them with others who want to learn how to write for $ and not fame.

You with me?

Writing Case Studies

Freelance Copywriter’s Blog says, “Testimonials are great, but case studies will carry more weight. Why? Because they are perceived as being truthful; you are telling your reader a story.”

We’ve been beaten heavily around the neck and shoulders to learn how to get those testimonials…but how many of us have actually gone to the trouble of developing a written Case Study to prove to our potential clients that we’re the real deal?

I just read on the Small Business Accelerator Group on LinkedIn today that “stories are passe.” This from an incredibly lively discussion about how to reach out to potential clients through a blog without being overtly “salesy” (if there is such a word.)

Really? Stories are no longer pertinent.

This is where I really must DISAGREE with my esteemed colleagues.

Stories are what persuade, convince, attract, and sell.

What is a Case Study?

It’s a STORY! It can be a testimonial, only in great detail.

How many of you have read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People? Good book. Honestly, unless you’re a caveman or a hermit, it’s one you should review once a year just to keep the STORIES fresh in your mind.

Yup…he makes a lot of points about being/becoming successful…and he does it all by telling stories. Every single point Carnegie makes in that book is backed up with a story.

This is why Case Studies work! Medical companies use case studies to prove to other potential clients that using XYZ drug or ABC medical device is going to make their life better, easier, longer, you name it.

And they do it by telling the story of someone who has used that product to their advantage.

How Do You Become a Case Study Writer?

Can you tell a story?

Can you talk to/interview people?

Are you a halfway decent writer?

Do you make your deadlines?

If you answer yes to all these questions, you have the qualities and aptitude.

As for finding your markets…that’s going to wait for the next post on Writing Case Studies. I have a number of sites I’ve bookmarked as resources and as I go through them this week, I’ll make notes on how they helped me, how they didn’t help, and we’ll move along this journey together.

Write on!