13th May 2015 — By Dan Hawkins

Case studies will get more customers than a portfolio on your website

One well thought out case study could do all the work (and then some!) of a gallery full of pictures!

Photos and images on the internet are great, especially if they are showing potential customers what you can do for them or sell them.They can be attractive and they can speak volumes to your customers about your business. But way too often people throw a load of photos of their great work or products on to their website in one of those (ugly) lightbox galleries and don’t bother to explain it to their customers.

They put a load of photos up so people must be queueing out the door for this stuff right? Wrong! These businesses aren’t getting the amount of business they might actually deserve and are missing out on money.

Don’t make the same mistake. Let me tell you why you should forget about endless galleries and write one or two simple but great case studies.

Architects and other designers fall in to this trap a lot. They want their work to take centre-stage as it rightly should, it’s a huge selling point. But, they forget to tie their projects together in to a cohesive story. People love stories. And customers love it when you tell them one about your business and how it could help them.

Putting together a case study is super easy because you’ve done the hard work already - you’ve sold your service or product to someone and they liked it! That’s much more interesting to read than clicking through endless unexplained photos.

I’ve written a template for you to download and write a case study for your website that will get you more customers.

So what is the difference between a case study and a portfolio? In a case study you talk in detail about one customer or project and how your business helped them solve a problem. Unlike a portfolio where you bombard the visitor with images about lots of different products, customers or projects.

Case studies are easy to create because you are just recounting something you have already done but they are more powerful than a portfolio because you help a potential customer visualise themselves in the shoes of your already happy customer. You tell the customer’s story of having a problem to solve, using your business to solve the problem and then receiving the benefits of the solved problem.

A successful case study uses a mixture of images and text that are weaved in to this story of pain to pleasure (ok I know that sounds a bit weird). Your customers have aspirations, so show them how you can fulfil them.

If you take a look at my web design portfolio you’ll realise that each project is set out as a case study describing the needs of the clients and how I fulfilled them. When new clients come to me, we nearly always end up chatting about one of the projects on there because it strikes a chord with them and they see how I could so a similar thing for them.

If you replace your website portfolio with case studies you will see that people hang around on your website for much longer as the content is more intriguing and you should get more people buying your products or enquiring about your services (as long as your website has well designed calls to action in the case studies!).

Using case studies on your website rather than a portfolio is a great way to make a successful marketing website and potentially make it in less time. It gives your customers a much better insight in to to how you can make their lives better and it doesn't bore them!

Here’s the template for writing great case studies which you can use to start writing content for your website that will make you money.

I’m Dan Hawkins and I write about how people can make their websites start working for their business. When I’m not writing, I also make websites for businesses and cool people.

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This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

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