You’ve just finished completing a project for a client and you are ready for a case study! Rather than telling your potential customers how great you are, a case study will allow your clients to do the talking. Video case studies are a powerful marketing tool. They offer proof and reassurance to your audience that your accounting business has something valuable to offer. Video is the most powerful way for your audience to connect with this person as a human and to feel like they felt (and want the results they got).
You want your case study to attract the right kind of clients and send away the wrong ones. Remember, the client is the hero. As an accountant it is your job to lead them along the way. We’ve got strategies and specific questions to get a successful case study and great content to share with the right clients. All of this will help build credibility in your brand.
When someone shares with you the raw material of the case study (the story, their thoughts, kind words), it is moving and powerful. But often, when you put people in front of a camera to share this same story with the world, they freeze. In a natural setting with friends or family it’s easy to share stories and open up about these emotional stories. When it comes to sharing these stories in front of a camera the details and the passion behind the story disappears. You can avoid this by preparing well and helping guide your client through the story they want to tell.
Focus on telling the whole story. The goal is to stay positive while still including real examples of what did not work. Avoid acting as if everything went perfectly. Use this as an opportunity to showcase how the client contributed. Try discussing ideas the client suggested that you together decided not to use or work with, to help show your level of authority and expertise.
Using specific questions during your video will avoid vague or general statements that can lose interest. It will help them stay on track and have a goal and thoughts in mind ahead of time. A few questions you can ask your clients::
Where were you before you came to us?
What did your accounting look like? What was the hardest thing?
Where do you think you’d be now, if you hadn’t started working with us?
What feelings did you have before we started work? How were those feelings/concerns/worries affecting your business and life?
What were the turning point(s)? What made you say “We have to do this” or “we must work with them”?
When did things start feeling different?
What would you say to someone else who is in the position you used to be in? If you told them “if you do nothing else, do this”?, what would it be?
What is the difference now in how things work for you? What kind of results have you seen? (Either specific number results, or feelings and wins you have now which you didn’t have then)
Now you have specific questions to ask them, here’s what to do to prepare and follow up, to make your case study that much better.
1. Will you interview the client, or ask them to submit a video?
If your client is comfortable with video, you could send them the list of questions above and ask them to choose a few, answer them, and share the video with you. Make sure to tell them exactly what format you need, length of video, provide a deadline, and give any other details which will make their life easier. It means you’re far more likely to get a video submitted.
If your client is less comfortable with video or just doesn’t submit one, offer to interview them (either using Zoom, or live on Facebook or another platform). Come ready with the questions noted above.
2. What format do you want the video in?
Video format is important. The purpose of the case study and where you will use it, will direct the format you want. If your intent is to use this case study on a website page, you’ll want to make sure to record (or instruct the client to record) in landscape format. You will then be able to reformat for social media purposes later. If you know ahead of time it will only be used for Instagram then portrait formatting will work just fine.
Tell the client what format to use, or prepare it yourself so you have what you need if you’re doing the interviewing.
3. Come prepared! The more you prepare, the better the case study will be
If you’re doing the video as an interview, come ready with a few direct quotes (if they’ve already given you some) to guide them to start in a positive direction.
If you are not interviewing them in person, include these quotes at the beginning of your list of questions to remind them what positive things they have already said. Include a deadline for when you would like to have the video back with a specific date. Give them enough time so it’s not overwhelming, but not too much so they’ll forget.
4. Plan all your follow up
Actually getting the video might feel like the easy part when you’ve followed all these instructions…so…now what? Where does it go? What do you do with it? How do you share this to get the most impact?
- Upload the full video to either Vimeo (best for uploading videos to your website) and/or YouTube. This way you can share the link to the full video on all your social media platforms (regardless of each platform’s limitations on video length)
- Depending on the length of the video, you may be able to share the full version on your social media. For the platforms with shorter limits, you can snip a portion out (read this blog to find out how to do this yourself) or you can ask PF to help with video editing.
- Instagram = 1 minute
View this post on Instagram
- Twitter = 2 minutes (or you can include a link to the full video like in the example below!)
Loved speaking with Amy Walker, owner of @Wa1kerAgency yesterday!
Grateful for her reminder that marketing involves feelings and a journey and how it’s not for you, but for your clients.
You can watch the full interview over on our FB page! ? https://t.co/pwoPXrbnqL
— PF (@weare_pf) August 5, 2021
- LinkedIn = 10 minutes
- Facebook = 240 minutes
- Add the video to your website. You might think you’d only include your case study video on your dedicated ‘case study’ page. But this content is too powerful for you to only have it on a page that people may stumble upon or glance over. You need to sprinkle your video across your whole website. For example, on your homepage or on your services pages (making sure the case study is relevant to the particular service). Here is an example from our Accelerator page:
- Share the video in your community. This is an extremely powerful way of marketing. It shows prospects that the client’s words have really come from them and they’re excited to share the experience they have had with you. It’s a great way for prospects to connect with people you’ve helped and it will help you to build trust with them.
We are naturally drawn to faces in film and we begin to feel the same emotions they express, creating an emotional response with your audience. Adding a face to a story instantly makes it much more real. Best of all, having even one solid case study is literal proof to your prospective clients that everything you’ve been telling them in marketing is true. It’s real. It’s a lived story by a human (with a face and a voice and words to share), so what you’re saying you’ve done for others is more possible for them, too. You’ll find you get more clients of the kind you want, and they’ll sign up faster because they have the proof.
Most importantly, only share stories of the kind of clients you want more of. If you spend ages preparing a wonderful case study for a startup business, but you don’t work with startups…who else do you think is going to watch this and be intrigued by it and want to work with you? Share the stories of those who are your perfect clients (or pick your most perfect client) and people who are like them will find it appealing.
Getting your clients to tell their story on camera makes your audience that much more likely to take action. Now it’s time to get started.
For direction and guidance to start your first video case study, check out our PF Lab membership where you’ll have access to specific training sessions on case studies & video. Or if you want to take a step back and see how video fits within the whole picture of marketing, sign up for Accelerator which shows how video is a part of all your marketing, and gives you what you need to get started!