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What We Talk About

You’ve heard of the power of testimonials. But what about using client stories to market… even if you don’t have a full testimonial? 

Case studies are a special kind of story – the kind that gives you credibility, social proof, and an opportunity to show off the results you can get for those you serve. BUT you’ve got to use them the right way if you want to get the biggest result from your efforts…

And that’s what we’re talking about today.


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Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:03
It's like pretty essential that you use social proof in your marketing. And a lot of times we see this in the form of video or written testimonials, maybe on a sales page or on social media. But there is another type of social proof that isn't as often used, but is actually really, really compelling and Anfernee chance Muth is here today to talk to us about how to use case studies to sell and market. So Anthony, thanks for being here with us today.

Anfernee Chansamooth 0:35
Great to be here, Allison. And, Jennie.

Alyson Lex 0:39
Before we dive fully in I just for the for the audience, I'd love to have you explain the difference between a case study and a testimonial? What? What's the difference there?

Anfernee Chansamooth 0:52
It's a great question. And I want to get it very often. So for me, the way to explain it is with a testimonial, typically the way it's written, it's one or two sentences, it captures an expression of how the client feels about your business, your service your product. And it doesn't really paint the picture of the scenario, or the experience beyond those two sentences, right? So it's got to be short and punchy. Usually, you know, you use it on your whether it's on social media, you put it on Google reviews, wherever it wherever it's going. With a case study, you have an opportunity to present a story in a much longer format. So now you're able to actually provide context in a much better way, right. And when it comes to social proof, it's one thing to have someone else say, hey, it was amazing working with Alyson or Jennie Wright. And it's another to say, hey, it was amazing to work with XYZ company. And here's what happened right here. Here's where I started. These were the chatter challenges that are our I was experiencing, where this type of business, we, you know, operate in this type of space, we support the staff customers. And then this was our buying process, the challenges we had, who were evaluated, and then breaking down the methodology. So as the business owner or the business, you're then able to articulate here, you know, here's our five step methodology methodology, or the seven steps we took the client through in order to achieve the outcome, and then you wrap it up with the testimonial. So even though the question is which is better, or what's the difference in in the framework that we utilize, and for our clients, we actually embed within that a testimonial as part of part of the seven steps, right? So that separates the two? Does that make sense?

Jennie Wright 2:45
That does make sense, it's really helpful to hear the difference? And when is the best? Like when should we use case studies over testimonials? Or what's the right way to use them?

Anfernee Chansamooth 2:57
Wonderful question. And, Jenny, I would say with testimonials, I mentioned Google reviews. So it depends. It's also, depending on your type of business. Now, based on what we do when we operate in b2b, as you do, you know, case studies work really well. When you're trying to attract potential customers, you can use them in the you know, the attraction phase, you can post these articles or videos up and using paid ads to them, or you're just trying to attract organically, you can use it that way. When you have a sales process and your imagine you're trying to the prospect is booking a call a discovery call or some kind of consultation with you. You put in your automated email sequence, you can all that email that goes out from your booking tool, automatically, within that you can have, hey, here's here's, before you jump on a call with us, check out this case study. So now you're priming the buyer or prospective buyer, to at least have an understanding of what it is that you actually do before they jump on the call with you, which gives them informs them of the situation. And that's it. And then an uncommon one, or an uncommon use case would be after the purchase. So once the client has signed the agreement, or may they made their payment. One of the big things that they experience typically is what we experience is buyer's remorse, right? We realize, Oh my gosh, I'm investing 10,000 20,000 $100,000 into this business. Have I made the right decision? And what you can do at that point as part of your onboarding sequence is to say, hey, you know, look, we're is absolutely made the right decision. Here's three case studies or whatever it is, other clients who felt the same way you did that you're feeling right now and here's how we were able to help them out. Right. So it actually be able to help them gain regain that confidence, right that they move 14 right direction. Now with testimonials, specifically, we will use them. Like I said, within our framework, we have just a minute from the client, because we want them to express the experience in their own words. And that's why we do that. And then we can, because it's short and punchy, you can, you can pull the testimonial out, put it into your various review sites, or ask your client to put them in there, or, and you can then put them in social media, you can put it in your email sequences, wherever it is that you want to show that social proof right on a product page, specifically on a landing page to a great place to support social testimonials like that. And if you're certainly if you're running an E commerce business, then for all your product listings, and those sort of things, they're appropriate there.

Alyson Lex 5:47
So I just want to be really clear, because I think it can be confusing as the client telling the entire story from their point of view, or are we as the business owner, writing up the story and peppering in quotes, almost like an article on behalf of the client? How are we putting that together?

Anfernee Chansamooth 6:08
Yeah, so we, as the business take ownership of the development of the case study, right? So we write it, the way I'll take you through sort of our process, what we do is we, we interview the client, you know, typically a 15 minute to 20 minute conversation, like we're having here over zoom, or whatever it is, whatever you want to do that some of our some businesses prefer to have it in person with a video camera or a video, videographer in the room and they want to capture that really professional look, just depends on your brand. And obviously, that makes sense for some businesses, but not for everyone. And once you've got the interview, nice, but a video format, you can then do two things with will do multiple things. But we typically typically do an article for that. So we give it to a writer, the writer then takes that raw raw material, turns it into a long form article, once that long form usually sticks around 500 to 1000 words, unless you're in a highly technical type of business, like I've got a client who's an SEO agency, and for them, they want to really get into the weeds because their clients, typically, you know what that level of detail. But for most businesses that we've worked with, doesn't it, like I say around 500 to 800 words, usually a blog post format, or an article format. And then with a video, you can, then you've got a 15 minute or 20 minute interview, you can then trim that down, and really find the gold in that conversation or the really compelling elements of that of what the client is saying in that interview, and then bring it down to three minutes to five minutes, short and punchy. And then put that on social media, you can put on YouTube, wherever it wherever it is that your audiences. And that's the two formats that we typically work with. And then from there, there are other formats that we can repurpose into, like PDF, you know, we've we've done PDF summary versions, where it's literally three pages with visuals and diagrams and other things that tell the story help explain the story better. And that, you know, can become utilized that you know that that's typically utilized as a sometimes as the lead magnet, that's just on the website. Sometimes it's literally a document that is sent to prospective clients, like I mentioned during the buying process, or just before the discovery call, or even, you know, embedded another format that we've we've seen your help clients with is to take the article and put it into their proposal software. So they're using some kind of proposal software that wants to have had a discovery call, they sent a proposal out to a client, within that they would then select the appropriate case study and put that as one of the pages within the proposal.

Jennie Wright 9:04
That's what Allison and I do. Beautiful,

Anfernee Chansamooth 9:07
right? Yeah, yeah, I know what's really nicely and it's quite seamless. So So and that's a really good, a wonderful place to put a powerful place to put it right. Because right when they're in that buying decision, you've had the conversation. Yes, we're happy to go forward. Let's do this. Again, your case later, there's to reaffirm that they've made the right choice. So that's different places that you can utilize it and there are more but I've actually got an article which is 15 ways to share your business case studies with the people most likely to buy so we can probably include that in the link somewhere.

Jennie Wright 9:42
Absolutely. We'll make sure that those links happily we want to have that on there. So you were mentioning about the different ways that we can use testimonials where we can put them how we can leverage this. I'm curious to know how to make sure that you know Um, your clients actually will do these testimonials with you. Problem is, you know, because like, I also know I have asked for testimonials, we even have a client who went ahead and made like, who bought a piece of software that would allow you to send it to the client and ask them questions, and they would like fill in everything for a testimonial, and nobody used it. So how do you get people to give you this information when it feels like it's so hard to get them? What do you have any sort of tips there?

Anfernee Chansamooth 10:27
Yeah, I love that you brought that up, Johnny. Because I've experienced that. I've had other clients experience that as well, where they've, they've sent a link to a client and said, Hey, do you mind clicking this link and recording a video for us and telling us how amazing we are. And, and the clients, no matter how many times you follow up, they just don't do it, right. And a couple of things come up one for the client. That is, one is, maybe it's a lack of confidence, and they don't want to be on camera, right? Maybe they just don't feel they know how to tell a compelling story. And you know, they just, maybe it's just time and they're just busy. And you know, it's that time of the month, whatever it is, and they've got some campaigns going on, and they just can't do it. So there's many reasons why class might not want to do a testimonial for you or a case study. The reason why we do conduct the interview is we take it out of the client's hands. So what we actually do is say, Hey, here's a link, a booking calendar booking link that we will utilize, why don't you pick a time that you're available for 30 minutes, and we just love to have a chat with you. And have you share your, your experience working with with XYZ company. And we'd also like to understand what you're doing in your industry, because we think you're doing some really cool things, right? And so we're flipping the conversation, it's not about us, it's actually about them, right? And we're saying we want to profile you and your business in front of our audience, right. And if you if you've got to, it's up to you how you want to do that. Typically, we mentioned you know, we have a database of 2000 b2b businesses, and we have 5000 people following us on social media, whatever it might be, you might include that kind of information, if it's relevant. And your audiences is their audience. Okay, if that's, if that's a match would, you'd say stuff like that. We've also had some really creative solutions, citizens Well, or solutions, creative ways to approach this. We've had one client that basically authors, I just actually spoke to my graphic designer the other day, and she says, the way that she invites her clients is she actually sends them an email and or a loom video and says, Hey, I'm actually updating my website. And, you know, I'm building this customer success page, and I'd love to feature you on their exchange, I'm going to give you an hour of design work, you know, if you if you agree to move forward, if you agree to be profiled, right, and that's, she gets 100% signup rate on that. So it's, you know, this really depends on what motivates your client, and it's up to you, you know, to really find out right and say, you know, one, I think you keep in mind, it's about them. So one, hey, we hit the profile, you were going to talk about what you're doing as a leader in your space, right? We're going to put you in front of our audience. Okay, they're all good things for the client, right? And the second thing is, if if you have to go to down the incentive route, you can then incentivize, it's, I've got one client who is a ecommerce business. And what they do is they say, if you jump on a case study interview with us, or fill out your give us a testimonial, we're going to donate today work with a charity or online charity to nonprofit that plant trees. They're an environmental cause, right? And so every time they collect a testimonial or something like this, they're planting 1010 trees in the ground somewhere, right? And so and that helps their social mission and because their clients know that that's a social mission, or also agree, also in that resonate with that. They go Yeah, absolutely. We're happy to do that for you. So it's a windfall. So it's about finding those Win Win scenarios.

Alyson Lex 14:15
I really I know people listening can't see the video recording but as you mentioned, this whole plant a tree for every testimonial or you know interview that comes in my eyes lit up because I just really like that idea of using it as a way to give back or or pay it forward or something like that. But yes, incentive, take it out of their hands, make it all about them. And so you've put all of this effort all of this energy into getting them on this call, that's nothing to sneeze at. How do we maximize? What we get like what are there a set of questions we should be asking how can we make sure that conversation is really high value?

Anfernee Chansamooth 15:00
Wonderful question, Alison. And this is where our framework comes in. So I think it'd be a good time to actually run through sort of the set what I call the seven P's. And let's start with the context of what a case study is because I kind of we kind of covered it. But I like to explicitly call out why it's such a powerful marketing and sales asset for your business. So I'm sure you're both familiar with with Donald Miller story brand. And you might I'm not sure I've had him on a podcast previously, but he's, he talks about brand development, how do you actually tell if you're building a great brand through story, and there's a quote I've got here from Donald where he says, the customer is a hero of a brand's of a brand story, not us, right? When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as their guide, we will be recognized as a sought after character to help them along the journey. Right. And this is, this is storytelling. 101. So we think about one of my favorite movies is the Lion King. Right? And so, you know, even though the story is about Simba. And here's kind of the hero of the story. It's actually, it's the wise monkey Rafiki, who's the one that has an integral role in guiding Simba? When he gets lost? And he's like, Oh, my uncle just just killed my father and all these sort of things. Sorry, spoiler alert. And, you know, and then it's the wise old monkey, the sage, a monkey that that guides him back and says, you know, Hey, you are the king, the true king, right? And he comes back and finds his way. So that's who we are we fixture that we are our role as service providers is where we are the rific each of our clients experience. And then we do that case, that is we're positioning them, we're positioning ourselves and the client in that way. The client is actually the hero, right? Because they're out there doing serving their mission. They're doing their amazing work, whatever it is that they're doing. And we're really just there to guide them along the way and help them get there. Yeah.

Jennie Wright 17:03
Yeah, yeah, really relate to the The Lion King, you know, so

Anfernee Chansamooth 17:10
100%. So with the, let's go through the framework, essentially, as a copywriter, I'm sure this will resonate. And for those who aren't copywriters, you're basically getting a lesson in how copywriting works here. We start with the first P which is, which is a punchy headline, right. And here, we start the story off with an attention grabbing headline. And typically we want in the world of business, so you want that to have a metric driven result. And what I mean by that is, you know, I've worked with wellness coaches, I've worked with certain other industries, where their testimonials and case studies tend to be vague, in terms of, you know, that the headline might be, you know, the client had an amazing experience. But that, that doesn't really tell me, what, what happened. Did he become the king? Like, did that actually happen? Like, what what, what was the end result of this other story? So you want to, you know, if you as much as possible, get into the data and and say, Okay, well, you know, well, they generated a 10% increase in profit, or they saved 10 hours a week, or whatever it was, maybe they actually took four weeks holiday off for the first time in three years, right. And that was a win. Okay, so let's get clear about what your what it is that the client achieved. And that gives us a punchy headline, and you want that because like any any piece of copy, you want to grab someone's attention with that headline, or that email subject, or the title of the video, alright, and if that's not clear enough, or strong enough, they're not gonna bother reading the rest of it or watching the video. So I genuinely remove it to profile customer, the second P, and here's where we highlight our client. And we also, you know, we're giving them their five seconds of fame, if you want to call it that. And we're talking about what they do the industry that they're in, you know, what amazing work they've done, maybe a when they've had recently, you know, and, and also, this is an opportunity for you to highlight the category that or the the specific segment of business that they're in, right, because you, for a lot of b2b providers, they might have, you know, you might have one, or you have more than one, you might have a type of client that you work with, so what we call segments. And so, it's important here to focus your case study on one segment, per case study, you don't want to have a case study that says, we support e commerce and accountants and gym owners. And that's all in the one story. Because that dense confuses the reader, right? The reader is going what, like,

you know, so you want to say, Okay, this was an E commerce business that we supported, and this is what they do, right? So that's providing customer. The third P is the problem statement. And here we get clear on the challenges that we're presenting for the client or the customer before they sign up with us. And this is where we actually provide in that context. And here's where I typically like to expand it. If you're looking at a personal trainers Instagram account, and you see the photos of the before and after in one shot, or in one carousel, why do you think that do that, right? Because you can actually see the transformation immediately. And you can say, oh, this person, you know, became really buff in three months, or six months, or whatever time period was, or they lost X and X number lost some weight, or whatever the goal was, you can see it visually, and you get compelling. And you say, okay, I can see that whatever they're doing is working, right? In the case study, we don't have necessarily that before and after picture of the client and that way, but what we can do is show relevant data or we can show you know, if you've got screenshots, like the SEO SEO agency that I mentioned, we actually did a case study for them. And we actually said, Oh, can you grab a screenshot of the Google Analytics account? For the client, you know, before the engagement? And then after the engagement, what did that look like? And that's how they were able to present visually, the before and after? Right? So this way, we state the context of challenges, or the sort of things that the third problem statement, we went to the fourth p, which is process. And here's where we share our steps, how do we actually solve? How did what's our methodology? What's our process? What's our system for solving these type of challenges that the client had. And this is where you're showing it really demonstrating that you're the expert. This is where you build credibility, because by revealing your framework, or revealing your methodology, you know, the reader can see oh, you actually have a repeatable system. Right? And you have, that's how you're going to guide me through the experience. And that's what, what gives confidence for a prospective buyer. They feel like, oh, okay, you know what you're doing? Alright. And I can see it right here. It's painting clear. Now, a common question I get on this one is better if I don't want to give away the farm, but I don't want to give away federal secret sauce. Recipes, right? Like,

Alyson Lex 22:13
trying to get my hands on that for years. I hear. Yeah,

Anfernee Chansamooth 22:16
you can YouTube it, actually. But anyway. And so yeah, and I get that, and I and I'm not saying, you know, I would encourage you this particular IP. That's important. So you don't need to get into all the details how everything works. Just talk about under high level what what is your your steps, right? What are your steps? And it's the same as if you were on a discovery call with somebody and you explain to them and they say, Well, how do you solve my problem? Allison or Jenny? How do how do we go from here to where we want to get to? And you, you walk them through? Okay, here's what we're going to do from here, right? It's the same thing, you're just putting that now on to in a case study, right, but at a high level, you're not going to get into order, it might take you 50 steps, you get there behind the scenes, but you're not gonna show all of that, right. So that's a process, the fifth piece pay off. And this is where we actually share what was the end result? You know, and we're linking this back to the head, the punchy headline at the beginning, right, but we're going to expand on that. So we're gonna now get into the emotional benefits of the experience for the client. Okay, and, you know, we don't just end with oh, they were able to double their revenue in 24 months, right? Why does that even matter? Okay, and that's this is literally the question I asked her, the client on the interview is, okay, you got that result? Why was that important to you? How did that impact your your business? And how did that impact you on a personal level, right? And then then you get some really good, juicy stuff coming from the client that might say, you know, I had one client, I did a case study for the clients client. And it was, so my client health had helped them to automate their systems and bring on a VA and these sorts of things. And I asked the interviewee I said, you know, that's, that's amazing that you were able to do that in the last 12 months. And you know, and can you just tell me, like, how has that impacted you on a personal level, and she started and she and looked straight down the camera and said, you know, as, before I went through this process, I would spend four hours every Saturday, doing my bookkeeping. Right. And, and since we've been able to implement the VA, and she's taken over the bookkeeping from me, that's released me to actually be free on the weekend to spend time with my three year old son, and just started crying. Right.

Jennie Wright 24:44
So that's gonna be totally people are gonna really go crazy for that. Yeah,

Anfernee Chansamooth 24:48
totally. Right. Yeah, that's what it's about. And that's the mission of the business is to free people up so they can actually do what matters most. Right. And, you know, I took that and I went back to my client immediately after week Initially interview and I said, make, like, this is why you do what you do. And this is why, you know, like, keep doing it. Right. And we were all emotional and that that was so compelling. And you can see, that's what it's about. It's not about necessarily, you know, the, the logical, yes, we took me save 10 hours a week, whatever it

Jennie Wright 25:18
was, yeah, it's super powerful to connect it to that emotion. 100%. So what's that? What's number six? And what's number seven? We're getting so close. All right, we

Anfernee Chansamooth 25:27
got in there. So it's number six is praise. And this is where we capture the Client Testimonial, in their words, and the question that I asked is, you know, if you were hanging out at a cafe or the bar right now with one of your buddies, what, how would you describe the experience? Right? And so we want it in their words, and we want them to give it you know, because, you know, when a copywriter has done the work, because typically, also an expert has written the testimonial or the case study, because it's filled with jargon. And you know, I'm looking at it and I'm going, there's no way in hell like someone's going to say that to somebody like that. Right. And so you want the praise in the class words, the final P is proposing next step. And this is where in the marketing world, we call it, the call to action. And the question we're answering here is, what's the next logical step for the prospective buyer or someone reading the case study? So they've read through his amazing, compelling story, they've seen that before they've seen a transformation, they've seen the steps, they know what's going on. And they're feeling like yes, we're that type of business. We want that kind of support to write what's next. Right? So okay, do I do book a discovery call? do I sign up for you know, your training? What is it that comes next, and you conclude the study with that next step, or the video or whatever it is that you're doing? So a quick recap seven P's one punch a headline to profile customer three, problem statement, four, process, detail, the process, five, pay off, six praise, and seven, propose your next step.

Alyson Lex 26:53
That is awesome. And I think that is an incredible framework for the finished case study. It helps us get that interview, just, you know, bless you for giving so much of that information to us. How and I know you mentioned this article, how can people get more information on how to get case studies in front of their people connect with you get your help, all that good stuff?

Anfernee Chansamooth 27:18
Well, the quickest, easiest way to get there is I've created actually a page with a couple of bonuses on for for listeners here. So if you head over and includes a link to that 15 ways. So if you head over to simple creative Ford slash system, St. System to THRIVE, Senate again, simple credit Ford slash System to THRIVE one word, you'll be able to access those resources.

Jennie Wright 27:45
Okay, so we're gonna get those into the shownotes. Yeah, that's

Alyson Lex 27:47
awesome. Totally, we're totally gonna put that link into the show notes on system to And this is episode Jenny helped me what episode we are in 171, episode 171. So you will be able to I will lightly stalk you and put all your social links there to go for it.

Jennie Wright 28:09
So well, this is I mean, first of all, we're going to make sure that we have all those links everywhere, everybody can come and find you get more of this information. Because having these case studies in your business can be, I think, pretty much a game changer. We've seen people use them to their advantage. We've actually seen full webinars full sales funnels built around a case study, which I think is you know, a topic for another podcast, probably another episode that we could talk about, but I just want to take a second and just thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it. It. Were a completely different timezones completely different times of day, like you're a day ahead of us, and everything. So just thank you for making it possible to be here today.

Anfernee Chansamooth 28:47
I'm honored to have been sent from the future to come and share some insight with you today. It's been a lot of fun. Thank you both. And, yeah, it's been been awesome. Yeah, we

Jennie Wright 28:55
really appreciate it. We've had a really great time, both Alyson and I, we took a ton of notes. And so we're going to be you know, utilizing those notes. You'll see them in the system to, forward slash 171 on the show notes there so you can catch everything that Anthony said, make sure you go there and check it out. And if you're not already following this podcast, why the heck not? You got incredible interviews with amazing entrepreneurs just like today, and all the ones coming in the future. So you don't want to miss those. And then also leave us a review because we actually read those quite a lot. And we giggle over what people say and then we also plan episodes around it. So leave us a review. Let us know what you think. Thank you so much for being your buddy. We'll talk to y'all soon. Take care



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