Case studies are an essential component of law firm marketing. There are few better ways to demonstrate your experience and make potential clients buy in to the results you can obtain for them. A well-written case study is relevant to almost any audience across your client personas. For those just getting to know your firm, they provide a brief, relevant overview of what your service offers; they give those further down the funnel the final push with a story they can relate to; and they delight your existing clients by exhibiting their success.
Case studies aren’t always easy to create though – they take time and many people struggle with how to create a compelling case study. Thus, we’ve compiled 10 tips to help lawyers write winning case studies.
What is a Case Study?
Simply put, a case study is a self-contained story about how a real client overcame their problem with the help of your law firm. A well-written case study reads like a journey with a beginning, middle, and end. The highlight is the protagonist (the client) achieving their goals and overcoming their challenges.
An impactful law firm case study accomplishes a few main goals:
- They build trust through social proof.
- They tell a complete story – showcasing the original problem, the strategy devised to solve the problem, and the journey to success.
- They demonstrate to future clients that you know how to achieve targeted results.
- They are effective marketing across several platforms and channels, including search and SEO, email, and your website.
A case study is not an in-depth white paper, a document that gives away your “secret sauce”, or an advertisement. Case studies are not press releases or vehicles to talk about your own services. At the heart of the case study is the client journey (not your own).
10 Tips for Your Best Law Firm Case Studies
Without further ado, here are 10 simple tips to make your case studies a powerful asset in soliciting new business.
1. Get permission from your client first.
You’d be surprised how often businesses leap to publicize their client successes without asking them first. Don’t do this! It’s a quick way to lose trust.
2. Be realistic about the goals for your case study.
Don’t be disheartened if a case study doesn’t perform as strongly as your best content. They’re not supposed to. Law firm case studies are designed for audiences that are already strongly considering your services, which is a smaller but more qualified audience.
3. Identify a compelling or unique narrative for your case study. Tell a story.
People enjoy reading a story. Just as any good story has a beginning, middle, and end, so too do the best case studies. Follow the classic narrative arc, a literary term for the path a story follows (i.e. rising action, climax, and resolution).
4. Identify your law firm as the supporting character (not the protagonist) in the case study story.
You want your reader to visualize themselves as the protagonist of the case study. For this reason, your law firm should always be positioned as a helping hand that helped the real hero of the story – your client – overcome their obstacle.
5. Write about a case your ideal client can relate to.
The main goal is for your target client to relate to and identify with the problems encountered by your case study’s protagonist. What is your ideal client’s most commonly experienced obstacle?
6. Simplify your case study.
Rely on succinct sentences and short paragraphs, and cut anything inessential. Your case study should speed readers along, not confuse them with legal jargon.
7. Make sure formatting is easy to read.
Utilize content formatting elements such as headings, images, bulleted lists, and bold and italicized text. These formatting elements will make your case study easier to read and provide SEO value for the page.
8. Include quotes and testimonials from the client about results.
Quoting your clients in their own words will make the case study even more relatable.
9. Test varying formats to appeal to different types of learners.
Your case studies don’t necessarily need to be written. Test out different formats. Podcast, video, or infographic for example.
10. Make them easy to find on your website.
Your case studies should be easy to find right from your homepage. Make them accessible in the drop down menu, for example. We also suggest linking your case studies right from your practice area pages.
For one thing, if you’re not currently creating case studies, it’s time to start! They can offer value above and beyond what many content forms can, and can reach your audience at any point in their decision-making process. If you already create case studies for your law firm, follow these 10 tips as a checklist for each one you create. If you do, you’ll be sure to create more interesting and engaging case studies that help bring in new clients.
Do you need help writing an impactful case study? We’ve got the largest cadre of legal writers and journalists in the industry, helping to take your idea and write the content as if you had the time to write it yourself. Let our experienced content professionals help you tell your story. Contact us today for a consultation.