«Return to Blog List How Case Studies Get Done – One Leg at a Time

horse race

Ever played a carnival horse racing game?

To get your mechanical horse to move forward toward the finish line, you have to roll a ball into little holes, hoping to consistently hit the top hole and make your horse go faster than the others.

The ball keeps coming back to you and you have to roll it as fast as possible again to keep your horse moving.

It usually takes 8-10 rolls to get to the finish line.

Likewise, customer case study projects usually take 8-10 steps to get them over the finish line.

At any given time, I’ve got case studies or success stories in every phase of the cycle, from gathering initial background to securing final customer signoff.

It feels like this horse race game – inching forward one step at a time. Sometimes the race is fast and easy, and other times long and frustrating.

What can you do to keep the horse moving?

Keep the ball moving
It’s about never sitting on the ball. When the ball comes back to you, act on the next step as soon as possible. I know it’s hard when you have so many projects in the works but try to keep it moving.

That means setting up interviews as soon as you can, in case contacts are about to travel or about to start a major project. Integrate edits or change requests and shoot the story back to reviewers. Answer questions or concerns from customers quickly.

Know roadblocks
Ask whether customers will be out of the office at any time in the near future. Sometimes you can’t change your project schedule but maybe you can.

You might be able to move a project up to avoid sending the customer a case study for review just as they’re leaving on a big vacation.

Set expectations early
When you start a project, let customers know if you’ll need it for a specific opportunity like a trade show or event and get their feedback on whether it’s doable on their end. You might remind them throughout the process about that target date.

If this specific customer can’t meet those deadlines, choose another for your upcoming opportunity and come back to the first customer at a better time for him or her.

Be persistent but also sensitive to the fact that customers have their jobs to do as well.

One step at a time, your projects get ever closer to that finish line. Keep them moving!