Sep
04
2017

Case Studies and the Building Blocks of Your Brand Story

A perennially engaging way to tell clients and prospects about you and your business venture is to spin a good story, ideally one that contains a compelling case study that spotlights your problem-solving ability, creativity and expertise. Everyone enjoys and remembers a good story; they usually feel connected in a positive way to people who tell them well. Expert storytellers have the ability to captivate an audience and gain their trust.

You may never become a TED Talk-worthy storyteller, but it’s still possible for you to devise a more than adequate brand narrative that effectively illustrates what you do; describes your typical clients; and gives an overview of the positive solutions that you create for clients. Your ability to tell the story will improve every time.

Consider storytelling to be an element of your leadership development process; the most highly respected and popular leaders are excellent communicators and good stories are often included. Those leaders are persuasive. They are likable. They generate trust and respect and there is great confidence in their abilities. As you brainstorm the elements of your brand story, try organizing your thoughts around the following:

1. Who you are and what you do

Share a sliver of your personal details, to help your audience understand who you are and what matters to you. Don’t be afraid to break out of the expected corporate mode (while maintaining your comfort level boundaries). Segue into the services that you provide and/or products that you sell. Be succinct, clear and thought-provoking as you describe the needs or problems that you and your team address and resolve.

There may be no distinguishing factors to your work philosophy, but do mention your commitment to excellence and exceeding expectations. Inserting a paragraph about your volunteer work could be helpful. Whether your volunteer work is with those who are trying to improve their professional skills or in some aspect of the arts, that knowledge gives prospects and clients a good sense of your values and portrays you as a community-oriented, well-rounded professional.

2. For whom you work

Name the usual customers that you work with: Fortune 1000 life sciences companies, small not-for-profit arts organizations, or whatever in between.

3. How you do it

Insert a case study into your brand narrative. The challenge is how to describe what you do without betraying client confidentiality, your proprietary secret sauce, or overloading your audience with confusing details. On which projects did you and your team deliver the goods that made a difference? Write it down, edit well, rehearse out loud and perfect the telling.

4. Outcomes, proof of success

Potential clients must feel confident that you and your team will meet, if not exceed, their expectations. Sharing an example of a compelling client success story paints a picture of you in action and at your best. Start with a description of the challenge or difficulty that these clients faced when they came to you and if time allows, note what the client’s team did to address the problem before you were contacted and note briefly how that remedy was ineffective.

Next, in simple and concise language (and preserving client confidentiality), explain selected highlights of what you did to achieve the desired results and why you chose that particular course of action. Conclude with an overview of the key benefits that the client has received now that they’ve worked with you.

Tell case study stories that encourage prospective clients to identify with the challenges or problems that you resolved, so that they will be inclined to feel that hiring you is a smart move, one that will make them look good in the eyes of their superiors, colleagues and staff.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

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