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Chapter
5

Use case studies to highlight previous success

Through the business context, strategy, deliverables, and more, you’ve painted a picture of what you can do for the client. Including case studies is a powerful way to seal the deal. Clients love case studies because it puts your work in context and gives them confidence that you aren’t learning on their dime.‍

Get and write those case studies 

With each project you do, you are earning another case study to showcase. As you build your portfolio of work, you will naturally build out the case studies you can show to clients. If you’re just starting out freelancing, it is very reasonable (and encouraged) to show case studies of work you did as an employee of a company. 

If you were the content manager for a startup, include your work results as a case study. It doesn’t have to be freelance work.

Some principles for figuring out what case studies to include.

  • Go back to the business context and goals for this prospective client. Think back to your previous work and pattern to match a previous project to this current one. This will help the client see that you’ve done work like this before and produced results.

  • Similar to the proposal, include the business problem, how you solved it, and the results.

  • Include numbers that quantify the impact of your work to show that you care about the results.

  • If you have them, you can also include options to speak with past clients as references.

Example case studies

Example #1

Strategy and blitzscaling content production for [COMPANY]

In 2018, [COMPANY] faced increasing customer acquisition costs and an over-reliance on paid social channels. We built an SEO program from scratch—and it became the company’s biggest growth channel.

  • 0 to 1200 articles in 9 months

  • 0 page views/day to 6500+/day in 9 months

  • Non-branded traffic is now over 90% of overall website traffic

  • Rank top 3 for multiple competitive head terms

Example #2

Pilot strategy and experimentation for [COMPANY]‍

Operating in a competitive landscape with high CAC, [COMPANY] had to open a new growth channel to grow brand awareness. We piloted and scaled an SEO program that spans multiple categories and drives new marketing and retention efforts.‍

  • Developed a new design system for the brand to support editorial content

  • Improved average ranking for core landing pages from ~30 to ~15

  • 6 months after publishing first cohort of articles, 70% of all traffic to [COMPANY] is driven by SEO articles.

Example #3

Brand-building for [COMPANY]‍

[COMPANY] is an early-stage startup offering online education in the construction field. In order to keep the price point of their classes low, [COMPANY] needs to drive significant sales through organic channels, so the goal of this project is to create both a traffic flow and a sales pipeline that is low-cost, evergreen and will grow over time. We piloted and scaled an SEO program that is now the biggest driver of traffic to the company’s domain.‍

  • 65 articles developed in 6 months

  • 0 page views/day to 600/day in 6 months, with a low authority score for a domain

  • In striking distance for competitive head terms

Now it’s your turn

Add on to your proposal 1 or 2 case studies from your previous work. Here’s a template for reference:‍

Title: Business outcomes + company name

Summary: 1 or 2 sentences on the business context + what you did

Results: Quantifiable, specific, and impressive results

  • Metric #1

  • Metric #2

  • Metric #3

Recap

  • You can use case studies from outside your freelancing work

  • Business problem + solution + results

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