Lately, I’ve been writing lots of case studies. Which I enjoy. They appeal to my sense of narrative. But I’ve realised how hard they are for clients to write themselves.
Proximity. That’s the challenge. Day-to-day, knowing our jobs inside-out is great for us. It creates confidence and security. But when we’re asked to shout about a part of our job that went well, all that knowledge gets in the way.
The problem is, we know so much about what we did – every email, every Google search – and we have so many small successes along the way that it’s hard to leave anything out. It’s all important, right? Well yes, just not all of the time.
So if I could give one piece of advice when writing a case study for your organisation it would be this:
Write about just one thing you want your reading audience to take away. Stick to it. Don’t get distracted!
This will be exceptionally painful. You will be forced to leave out so many amazing achievements that you want to share with the world. You will want to demonstrate how much blood, sweat and tears you invested to get to this point. You will want to prove the breadth of your expertise. And you will want to write lots of impressive words. So many words…
The real demonstration of your expertise is knowing what to leave out. If you can turn your brilliance into a warm, human, succinct story then you’re much more likely to make a memorable connection. This is what makes great public impact.
And if that sounds like a tough ask, find yourself a good, independent editor. They may be cruel, but their tight focus will illuminate your outstanding accomplishments.
RESEARCH QUESTION: What other tips do you have for great business writing?