Joel will be speaking on Brand Marketing at Engage 2020 which will be taking place March 12th and 13th at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I’m a conversion copywriter and consultant to SaaS and B2B, and I also run Case Study Buddy. We specialize in helping customers capture, share, and cash in on customer success stories by taking care of all the tricky parts: helping with client buy-in, running a great interview, writing a compelling story, managing revisions, and creating polished final asset. My role there these days is mostly fueling company growth.
Before I did either of those things, I was an SEO agency-side running local and national campaigns. I loved the analytical and competitive sides of SEO, but the field ultimately wasn’t my passion. I’d always loved to write. So when I discovered conversion copywriting through Joana Wiebe and realized that I didn’t have to sell my soul to the devil to do it, I was hooked.
2) Many case studies I’ve read are absolute crap. What are your core elements for making effective case studies?
To avoid crappy case studies, you need to start with a strategy that makes sense.
The stories you tell will be the stories you attract, so start by defining your goals. Where and how are you trying to grow? Who are you trying to reach? What pain points and challenges are they facing? What results do they want to achieve?
From there SO MUCH rests on running a great interview. You need to turn the interviewee into a storyteller, not a “yes man” or a “sing-our-praises” platitude robot. That means asking questions about their experiences, not just their opinions.
In terms of the actual creation, there are a few elements you need to make it work: A headline that works as a hook to snap up peoples’ attention with meaningful context, an intro that sets the stakes and creates real tension, and solutions section that explores not only what was done but also why, and a results section that explores the impact that those shiny numbers and stats actually made for the client and the people in it.
3) What’s the best way to align your efforts with the Salespeople who frequently have their own processes and procedures for pushing people down the funnel?
Talk to salespeople. No—really. That’s it. Ask them what sorts of questions they’re getting and what kinds of resistance they are running up against. Ask them where their ammo clip is empty: what stories do they WISH they could tell? What types of roles, niches, pain points, or successes do they wish they had an anecdote for?
Salespeople need success stories, examples, and analogies like fish need water. It’s not about doing battle with existing processes and procedures, it’s about helping make their lives easier by making deals easier to close. Marketing and sales aren’t really at odds here at all: the right story deployed at the right time can do everything from capturing leads to nurturing and converting them, so it’s about making this a collaborative effort.