How To Write A Case Study In 3 Easy Steps

The Fairy Tale Formula
Fairy tales
never start with happily ever after. When writing a case study on a service
your business provided to a client, you may be tempted to start with your
business as the knight in shining armour who came to the rescue. That would be
like reading the last pages of a new story — it just wouldn’t make sense.

Think of a case
study as a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. So rather than
starting with great success you achieved, but it’s much better to start with
the ‘before’ picture and to position your client as an active hero of the story
right from the start.

1. What dragons
had to be slayed?
Start your case
study with the challenges the client faced. Did they want to lower their
operational cost? Launch a new product? Did they have to ward of competitors in
their kingdom? 
Remember: Every
hero needs a strong goal at the start of a story. What was your client’s business
2. The middle is
always about adventure
This is where
you tell of how you worked together with the client to find a solution to a
problem or helped them achieve their goal. What service did you deliver? Why
did they choose your company? How did this adventure play out?
Remember: Don’t
think of your client as the princess locked in the tower. That will make them
look weak and they won’t agree to the case study. Rather show your company as
part of their brave army — ready to take on the world.
3. Returning with
the prize
The final
section of your case study should focus on how the hero — your client —
triumphed. Focus on the real business value they
achieved, and not on the success your company achieved. Write about how they’ve
become much better at their business and achieved the prize they so strenuously
Remember:  Tell your best story. You want people reading
the case study on your website to think ‘These people really help their clients
achieve their goals’ – not ‘Oh, boy, this company likes to boast about its

Make it a

A case study is
really just a business fairy tale that came true — so make sure you tell it as
a story, and back it up with the right facts. Remember you can turn the story
into a movie too — a case study can be turned into a video, animation, or
Just as kids
like a short bedtime story before turning it, your readers want something short
and punchy they can read or watched on a train or over a cup of coffee. Keep it short.

If you want to learn how to write for business, join us for  The Plain Language Programme.

 by Anthony Ehlers

If you enjoyed this post, read:


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write – Write to communicate

This article has 2 comments

  1. JazzFeathers

    Never thought about it, but this is such a fantastic advice!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Amanda Patterson

    I think this post is so helpful. Thank you, Anthony.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *