How To Get The Best From a Freelance B2B Case Study Writer
Video 05: After The Writing is Done
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An edited transcript of the conversation is provided below.
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Click this link to see the video list: Freelance b2b case study writer video series
Video 05: Edited Transcript
In this section, we’re talking about what happens after the actual writing process is done.
Well, now we know why your marketing person shouldn’t be writing case studies – there’s so much involved they’d be doing them all day, and only that!
What additional services do experienced freelancers provide beyond the writing process?
This is something that would normally be agreed upfront, before hiring the writer and it boils down to, do you want the case study writer just to provide the draft, the first (or) second draft; or do you want them to handle not only the draft and the edits but also getting the customer feedback for what needs to be changed, and the final sign off?
Because I’m finding this sign off task can be a big deal.
Not all customers, certainly not all customers’ legal departments, are keen on releasing information that they might consider competitive or proprietary.
So, sometimes you need to be clear: is the writer experienced in talking to the customer contact, including their legal people, in something like a project manager role?
If yes, then you might consider asking the writer to do that as well.
But if you get a sense that they’re ‘just’ a writer, and they don’t or they can’t handle some of the project management tasks, then make it very clear up front what you want them to do.
Right, Mark, and many writers will charge an additional fee for that project management portion of the job but, again, being very clear on what you need will help you, definitely.
Yes, Pamela, I’m finding that’s often actually the longest part of a case study project.
One of the reasons is because, and I’m sure hiring managers know this, their end customers are often too busy.
There’s so much going on that the case study project, while it might be a big thing to the writer obviously, and to the hiring manager; to the end customer it’s just another task.
Yes. You have to sometimes see it with that perspective because although the customer wants to get the case study done and for their company to receive a good write up, it may not be their highest priority.
And that’s just a reality a good writer has to face.
And that’s also where the project management role comes in; how to handle people who are really busy and maybe don’t want to deal with your writer’s request.
Nonetheless, the writer should be comfortable at respectfully trying to get them to give you some piece of information that allows you to move on to the next part of the sign off.
OK. So, Pamela, the next question in the ‘after the writing section’ is;
“How does the writer help you turn a case study into multiple pieces of content?”
Well, the case study writer has gathered much more information than they are actually including in the case study.
And there are so many different ways that you can make use of that.
You can do articles on the web site and in print magazines;
You can do press releases and blogs;
You can make use of social media and tweet (out) different points.
In addition, you can also use them for sales brochures; you can use them in PowerPoint presentations to be shared online.
You really want to make the most of this extra content because you’ve got a terrific story to tell about your success with customers, so you want to find as many different ways as possible to get that information out there.
This is what is meant by ‘repurposing content’.
I think this is also important these days because hiring managers want to extract the maximum value from freelance writers, especially when the economy is struggling in many countries.
Concerning additional ways to promote the case study, how would you suggest that a company does that using social media?
Well, (for) business-to-business, I follow YouTube and I’m starting to get into it more, but I don’t notice it taking off in a big way yet for b2b IT networking.
Most of the famous internetworking equipment vendors are already on there and they’re testing all sorts of things e.g. video demonstrations, humorous skits, and even turning the case study into a video interview.
Another way to make use of social media is to share the case study as a presentation on a site like slideshare.net.
You could also make a screencast recording of each slide on your computer’s desktop and record an instructional audio soundtrack to go with it. Then upload this to YouTube.
By the way, you can also upload an edited captions file to YouTube which can be useful for SEO purposes when Google spiders your YouTube content (Google owns YouTube.)
Another thing you could do is optimize the case study content for smartphone users because these are becoming popular for business people.
Of course, few are not going to read b2b articles of more than two or three hundred words using a smartphone. With that in mind, you can extract additional value from a two or three page case study by making it suitable for mobile users.
You can also distribute case study content via podcasting it on iTunes.
Many vendors are doing this because they know people are mobile and they’re not always able to read, or it’s not safe to read; but they could listen to something.
It’s not that difficult to turn a well-written case study into a series of podcasts.
People will appreciate the options you give because it allow them to ‘consume’ your content in the way that they want to.
B2B marketers are finding out that some people love podcasts; some people love articles; some people love YouTubes. You’ve therefore got to be found in the places where your target audiences also happen to be.
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