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Advisors have been using case studies for a long time, and they still play a crucial role in the prospecting cycle. But it’s only worth doing if you follow certain principles.
There are a couple of important advantages that can be gained with a well-thought-out case study, so we’ll start with what those benefits are and what you need to do to capture them.
First, a case study puts your value as an advisor into a narrative. It’s one thing to describe your services and explain your methods—it’s another to lay out what you actually did for an individual with needs similar to those of the prospective client in front of you. The prospect can see your value proposition in a different light, gaining an understanding that’s more personal than what they may have gleaned from your other promotional materials.
Second, a case study can be an effective complement to a prospecting package or presentation. Even if your core brand material is designed for a general audience, your case studies can be built around specific client types so that you can convey greater relevance and applicability.
Your options for case studies will depend on the compliance guidelines and regulations that apply to you, but if you’re able to get permission to use a client’s story (either with or without names), select someone with a particularly complex or singular set of needs. This will set you up to illustrate the depth of your abilities and the specialized nature of your expertise.
Alternatively, you may be able to use an amalgamation of various client experiences and indicate in mice type that the content is for illustrative purposes.
In either case, try to balance specificity with brevity. It might be tempting to describe the client’s entire financial picture and every step you took to address their needs, but you’re better off highlighting the areas in which you had the biggest impact and the services or strategies that are most differentiating. In the end you should have a digestible, visually pleasing piece that fits on one page.
Use that format to create a series of case studies, so that you can address a variety of client types and situations, and introduce them to your prospecting process as needed.