Editor’s Note: This post was written by nDash community member Amy Hooker Kidd.
There’s no denying that a well-crafted case study is a persuasive sales tool for your organization, capable of helping turn prospects into customers. So why aren’t companies doing more of them? In many businesses, it’s because the marketing team doesn’t have the available bandwidth to tackle case studies and all the rest of their marketing tasks. In fact, according to a recent report by Content Marketing Institute, 63% of B2B marketers said that content creation was a big challenge in 2020, with more than a third (35%) indicating that their organization didn’t have a single person handling content marketing full-time.
Should your business engage freelancers to write your case studies? Yes! But some companies are reluctant to do so, believing that only their employees—who have deep product knowledge and close customer relationships—are capable of crafting compelling case studies. The reality of the situation is much different; in most cases, hiring a freelance writer to prepare your case studies leads to more timely, better quality success stories that persuade prospects and help close deals.
Let’s take a closer look at the top four reasons it makes good business sense to outsource your case study writing needs and the one thing you need to do to ensure the process goes smoothly.
The “Outsider” Factor
Your case studies show how others have used your product/service to achieve great results, so prospective clients can better understand how you can help their business. But if you’re constantly talking about, thinking about, and writing about your product, it’s easy to forget how it feels to be a newbie just learning about your product and its benefits.
Because they aren’t a part of your day-to-day business, freelance writers have the benefit of a fresh perspective. Unlike someone who lives your product every day, a freelance writer comes to your project with more of an “outsider” mindset—a point of view more similar to that of a prospective client unfamiliar with your offerings. Coming from this viewpoint, they’ll be able to explain the details of your case study in a way someone outside your organization can understand, avoiding areas of potential confusion or ambiguity.
Unlike hiring a full-time employee to help with writing tasks—and taking on the associated salary, benefits, taxes, equipment costs, etc.—hiring a freelancer for specific content tasks like case studies allows you to better forecast and control your costs. You don’t have to have a full slate of writing assignments and plans for how you will keep your full-time employee busy; with a freelancer, you can scale up or down by engaging their services only when you have the need.
Breadth of Knowledge and Expertise
Because a freelance writer has written case studies for numerous clients, s/he has a great base of knowledge for making a case study compelling and overcoming common case study challenges. A freelance writer is able to incorporate best practices from across industries in your case study, strengthening it.
Additionally, working with a freelancer on your case study means you likely have a higher-quality writer crafting the piece. In many businesses, the marketing workload means that case studies fall on the to-do lists of junior team members who don’t have the writing or business experience to most effectively capture and tell your story. Hiring a freelancer with years of writing experience means you get a better result.
A “Front-Burner” Project
Case studies are an excellent asset for your organization, serving as proof points and persuasive tools for your marketing and sales teams. But if your business is like most, your internal marketing team is swamped with various activities. Often, case studies simply fall to the back burner behind tasks that are higher priority, more pressing, or easier to accomplish.
Tasking a freelancer with writing your case studies ensures that they’ll be a priority and receive the attention they deserve. Think about it this way: As a freelancer, I have a vested interest in ensuring that you’re happy with my work, so I aim to deliver high-quality work on deadline—if I don’t, I’m risking my very livelihood.
Clear Expectations Help the Case Study Process Go Smoothly
To empower your freelancer to create a great case study, you must be clear on your expectations of their role and your areas of focus. Do you want them to interview your client directly or work from your interview notes? Is it their responsibility to follow up with the client for approval, or will you handle that internally? And is there a specific feature, benefit, challenge, or result you want the case study to focus on or highlight in an effort to support other initiatives? Ensuring that your freelancer clearly understands your expectations of them and which (if any) areas to focus on will give them the info they need to deliver a case study that meets your goals.
When you’re ready to make case studies a priority at your business, consider bringing on a freelance writer to help. Not only can a freelance writer bring a fresh perspective to your case studies, but they also allow you to control costs more effectively, letting you scale your content program without the expense or hassle of hiring employees. Additionally, freelance writers bring a wealth of experience to your case studies and have a vested interest in getting your case studies to you, well-written and on time.
By setting clear expectations and effectively communicating your needs, you’ll ensure a smooth case study process—and quality results.