«Return to Blog List Who Actually Handles Case Study Design?

By Casey Hibbard

When it comes to customer case studies, most companies still create polished PDF versions for printing or emailing to prospects.

But who handles this part of the project?

When training new case study writers, one of the most common questions I get is, “Do I need design skills?”

In a perfect world, freelance writers could handle both writing and design – and earn the fees that come with taking care of the entire package.

But in reality, it’s a rare soul who has BOTH those talents.

Never fear, writers, there are alternatives for turning your compelling piece of writing into something pretty for your client to use in their sales and marketing:

Option 1 – Your Clients’ Designers

In many cases, your clients may already have in-house or preferred contract designers. These individuals have the color schemes, logo and preferences of your client, making it easy for them to run with new projects.

If your client wants to use his or her designer for case studies, you will simply deliver the clean, approved draft.

However, your client’s existing designer may have too full of a plate to take on more work. In that case, your client may prefer to outsource this. Turn to option #2…

Option 2 – A Design Partner

For years, I’ve partnered with a designer for all case studies where the client needs design help.

However, throughout the process, I, as the writer, typically remain the project manager who interfaces with the client and with the designer – rather than asking my client to engage with another contractor.

Upfront, I gather my client’s design preferences and logo and share that with my designer, and then deliver client feedback on designs to the designer. My designer creates a template for all case studies, and then lays out each one as it comes in.

Once the case study is flowed into the PDF, I proof it for errors.

At the end of the project, I deliver one bill to my client that includes the case study editorial and design. I charge my clients a small markup on design fees for my time in managing the project (back and forth emails, proofing, etc.).

Finding the Right Case Study Designer

To find a designer, search your LinkedIn connections for these talented individuals.

Or better yet, post on LinkedIn asking if someone can recommend a strong designer for case studies. It’s always best to start with a trusted referral.

If a personal recommendation doesn’t pan out, consider freelance job boards like Upwork, ODesk and Freelancer.com. You can refine your search based on location, and see reviews and ratings.

For the most promising prospects, check out their design samples. Look for polished design and whether the designer has experience with the look and feel that matches your clients’ other marketing collateral.

For example, business-to-business case (B2B) studies may look a bit different from business-to-consumer (B2C) case studies.

By partnering with a designer, it’s win-win for you and clients. You earn a bit more by managing the project while clients get the entire package from “one” source with one invoice.

You might also like… Do We Even Need Case Study Design Anymore?

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