This is a part of a series that was created to help you create case studies for your company. This series will walk through the process, necessary roles, in addition to guides for each role to help your company get started quickly.
Assuming you selected the most qualified writer and designer to work on your case study, your training should be rather brief. Remember, you are working with a freelancer to utilize their creative expertise – not so you can train them on how to become expert content creators. However, particularly when your writer and designer are working on their first assignments, it is important that you cover these discussion points to make sure that everyone is on the same page. You may or may not have covered the points in your phone interview, but it may be worthwhile to discuss your expectations once more before the project kicks into full swing.
Discussion Points with Writer:
- The writing style you are expecting (e.g., formal, casual, dramatic). If you don’t know what style would be best, ask him/her what they have in mind.
- The general structure of the write-up (for structural ideas, see Case Study Content Template, Demand Metric).
- The types of questions that he/she should ask during the interview with the customer/internal employees in the storyline:
- What was the problem you wanted to solve?
- What prompted the need to solve it?
- Did you hit any bumps along the way?
- What did you do that strays a bit from the traditional way of executing X?
- How did you (do you) quantify results? At what point did you start to see results?
- The length of the document
- The number of pull quotes (powerful quotations pulled from the main article and placed in larger print somewhere separate on the same page)
- The number of sidebars (a short piece accompanying the main story)
- Headline and sub-headline expectations
- Call to action at the end of the document
- Summary sheet requirements
- Deadlines for drafts, and number of edit rounds allowed (this should be worked into the SOW as well)
- Etiquette when reaching out to/speaking with customers
Once you and your writer are completely aligned, and you have contacted all of the individuals (internally and externally) who will be featured in the case study, create an e-mail introduction between your writer and the participants.
Sample e-mail intro to your external resources:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, and for agreeing to be featured in our upcoming case study.
As promised, here is an example of a recent case study that we released with (another customer):
Would you be available to have a 30 minute conversation with our writer (writer’s full name), at some point in the upcoming week or so? (Writer’s first name) would like to ask you a few questions about the experience of working with our team, and the results (your company) saw after you started fully utilizing our platform to (business function).
I have cc’d (writer’s first name) on this e-mail so I will let the two of you connect from here.
Thank you for your cooperation, and please let me know if you have any questions at all.
Discussion Points with Designer:
- Desired number of pages total
- Desired look (modern, edgy, classic, simple)*
- Color palate
- Vertical/Horizontal Layout
- Document Format
- Deadlines for drafts
- Number of edit rounds permitted (this should be worked into the SOW as well)
*Depending on your creative abilities, you may want to draw a sketch or outline of the document you have in mind. Scan that document and send it to your designer. Additionally, you could also send your designer examples of other documents you have seen that you would like to mimic in terms of style.
Next week, I’ll share some tips on creating case studies.