One of the biggest questions I get from writers is, where is the case study work? Where do writers look for clients who need case studies?
Nearly every organization can benefit from stories about their happy customers. From consumer to business-to-business to nonprofit, happy customers are not just an organization’s most valuable business asset, but also their most influential sales and marketing asset.
But realistically, the bulk of the work is with business-to-business and technology companies. They sell something complex, competitive and possibly expensive and need to demonstrate to skeptical audiences that what they offer works and is worth the investment.
Who needs case study writers?
B2B products and services – These organizations provide products or services to businesses. B2B entities that need to produce case studies on their happy customers can be a one-person service provider or a multinational, billion-dollar consulting firm.
In this category, I’ve been hired to develop case studies for graphic designers, web developers, air conditioner manufacturers, construction products, tree care services, insurance companies, job placement firms, industry conferences, venture investment firms, business incubators, coaches, and consultants of all types – leadership, HR, marketing, branding and more.
B2B software, hardware, IT services – The bulk of my work is here, in the tech sector. My clients have spanned a very wide range of IT products and services. It’s been an interesting ride writing about consumer data, oil and gas information services, 911 response systems, RFID printers, telecom, help desk software, brainstorming software, aircraft testing methods, et cetera.
Consumer and nonprofit – Do consumer and nonprofit organizations need case study writers? Sure. Individuals or organizations that serve consumers do need to document the successes of their customers. I’ve written for life coaches, college planning consultants and nonprofits. But also look at accountants, home remodelers, dentists, nutritionists and personal trainers as potential clients.
But realistically, consumer organizations and nonprofits are a smaller piece of the freelance pie. They’re typically doing video testimonials or shorter stories so the typical written project will pay less.
The sweet spot for freelancers is with companies that provide something that’s expensive, complex and/or competitive. This is not scientific, but my own interpretation of the freelance market for case studies.
So if the sweet spot partly lies in technical work, how technical do you need to be? I’ll take that up in December 2013 on my blog, Stories That Sell.