Case studies can boost your law firm’s authority, attract prospects’ attention, and increase the chances of getting the clients you want.
What is A Case Study?
A case study is the story of a particular client your law firm successfully assisted. Case studies offer insight to to types of law your firm practices, the cases you take on, and the clients you represent.
Case studies can be created in lots of different formats: PDFs, pages on your website, videos—the possibilities are pretty much endless! It all depends on the story you’re telling and what will resonate the most with your firm’s target audience.
What Makes Case Studies So Effective?
Because they’re so convincing to prospects looking for attorneys, case studies are well worth your time to create. Read on to learn why case studies are excellent tools for getting prospective clients to call your law firm.
Show, Don’t Tell
Case studies are far more convincing than your firm’s claims about customer service and professionalism. Why? Instead of listing the reasons why your law firm is great and expecting everyone to take your word for it, case studies allow you to demonstrate exactly how you help people like them.
By explaining the process that an actual past client went through, it’s easier for prospects to understand and anticipate what they might experience when they hire you for representation. This makes them feel more confident in both your firm’s ability and in the outcome of their case. Confidence is an important step in lead nurturing: after all, someone who’s too intimidated to pick up the phone isn’t as qualified a lead as someone who feels like they know what to expect!
Provide Social Proof
When a client endorses you in a case study, it’s a form of outside validation—which is much more believable than you saying it yourself. It’s a reason why word-of-mouth is still one of the strongest ways to advertise and why user-generated content is so valuable: consumers trust other consumers more than they trust sellers.
Stories Have Power
Stories have far more emotional resonance and staying power than general statements. In other words, framing your case study as a story is more compelling than name-dropping your alma mater and listing details about the laws you used to win a case.
When crafting your case study, explain:
- The problem the client was having. What was the specific goal they wanted to achieve?
- Why the client decided to hire your firm. Did they hear a glowing endorsement from a colleague? Maybe they were impressed by your helpful legal blog. Including these details lets you laud your firm without taking too much focus away from the client’s journey.
- The ways you helped. Be specific—no generalities about customer service and expertise here!—but never breach confidentiality.
- How the outcome benefitted the client. What is the client’s life like now that their issue is resolved? Reiterate how your firm was integral to this result.
Don’t forget to let the client’s personality shine through—it’s important for authenticity and relatability. It’s far easier to trust a genuine person than it is to take the word of a blank slate.
Reuse Them Again & Again
Your law firm’s case studies can be repurposed into several different types of content, making them great for your return on investment. Here are some examples of ways you can repurpose your case studies:
- If you interview the client for the case study, the footage you capture can be edited into a social media video.
- The details of the case study can be used to write a blog post about the subject matter.
- A case study on its own landing page can be used in a digital advertising campaign designed to increase awareness of your firm or to capture qualified leads.
- The case study can be used as a lead magnet, or gated content, that you can use to get contact information from interested prospects.
- Case studies can be shared on various social media platforms, where they can be reworked to best fit each platform.
Boost Your SEO
Because case studies describe specific situations, they are usually full of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for than shorter, more general keywords. This means that case studies can get you more clients by showing up in search rankings and sending leads with specific questions to your website. Case studies also include locational info, such as the city or area the client is from, which adds a boost to your law firm’s local SEO.
How Do I Make an Effective Law Firm Case Study?
Now that you know how case studies can benefit your law firm, it’s time to learn how to make great ones. Here are 4 tips for creating effective law firm case studies:
Tip #1: Communicate with the client.
Besides the obvious benefits of ensuring you get correct info and not publishing anything they don’t want you to, working one-on-one with the client whose case you’d like to illustrate increases the bond you have with them. This helps create a strong advocate for your law firm—one who will likely share the case study with their friends, family, and anyone else who may be in a similar situation.
If the client would prefer not to have their name or face used, you can still describe the case in terms of the challenge they faced. Be sure to use descriptive terms that prospects may search for. For example, you could describe a client as a “Little Rock small business owner” or “central Arkansas dad fighting for custody.” The key is to display a persona prospects can relate to.
Tip #2: The client is the protagonist; you are the guide.
Your law firm’s role in a case study is one of guidance. Case studies are a place where you position your firm not as the center of attention but as a guide whose expertise helped someone through a tough time.
Avoid going into detail about the lawyers who helped the client unless it’s absolutely necessary for the client’s story. The simple truth is that people reading or watching your case studies are interested in the client’s success and how you helped them get there. While your accomplishments are certainly important, they shouldn’t be the central focus of a case study.
Tip #3: Don’t use just any case—target your ideal client.
It may be tempting to publish a case study around a case you’re particularly proud of, or perhaps one that generated lots of money for the firm. However, it’s a better idea to create a case study showcasing the type of client you’d like to get in the future.
This helps your ideal client relate to the past client in the case study and demonstrates that you’re able to help people in their shoes. Relatability is important for grabbing attention, identifying with the past client’s problems, and choosing to do what they did—that is, hire your firm.
You also might consider creating case studies that…
- Emphasize your unique selling proposition
- Promote an area of law you work in that people might not be aware of
Whichever way you choose to go, always keep the customer’s journey in mind. Ask yourself this: if your ideal prospect came across your case study, would they be motivated to call you?
Tip #4: Keep it simple!
Case studies don’t need to be overly-detailed novels. Your law firm’s case studies should be easy to read and understand. No one wants to sit through pages and pages of a story that doesn’t interest them, especially if it’s loaded with legalese. The goal is to encourage prospects to hire you, not bore them so much that they look for representation somewhere else!
That’s one reason video is a good option for your case studies: people tend to prefer to watch video than to read huge blocks of text. Plus, it’s easier for prospects to relate to someone in a video than it is when reading about them. As always, keep your ideal client in mind: are they more likely to watch a video or request a PDF on your website? Plan accordingly.
Create Compelling Case Studies for Your Law Firm
Any attorney can say they help clients; case studies allow you to prove it. In a high-stress, high-stakes industry such as law, demonstrating proof of your skills is invaluable. Case studies provide concrete evidence that your firm is able to help its clients.
Furthermore, it’s easier for prospects to relate to a fellow client than it is a lawyer, and it’s more compelling to hear a story than it is to read a list. For these reasons, case studies are excellent ways to build trust and confidence that your attorneys can help.
Ready to start producing compelling case studies for your law firm? You’re in the right place. Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today.