Below are example case studies I wrote. Plus tips on how to write the headline, how to outline the story, and how I structure each section.
The outline I use follows the “Hero’s Journey” format. Hence why I call these Hero’s Journey Case Studies.
When I do these, I break each section down into 3 parts: copy, quote, and video.
The case studies I write include video clips throughout. That way people can get to the meat of the story quicker. They don’t have to sit through a 20-minute interview with 3 minutes of chit-chat. They can dive right in and cut to the important parts that resonate and inspire them.
Examples to model:
Show person is in the same situation or audience is at or worse. Introduce the amazing result they got. Example: “How a busy mother of 5 got her hyper-aggressive son to stop fighting”.
Section 1: Struggle/ “Before” picture”
Copy: Introduce her and struggle she faced. Share what she desired and what was keeping her from getting there.
Quote: Use a quote drive this point home and/or paint a picture of the struggle. Example: “Anytime the phone would ring I was terrified it was the school saying Timmy was suspended again.”
Video: Include a video clip of the person elaborating on the struggle she faced and the negative impact it had on her life.
Section 2: Seeking help.
Content: Talk about what she tried, how it didn’t work, how she came to you. Include any fear/hesitation about joining, and how she overcame that fear. Example: “I was scared to spend that much money. But knew if I did I’d be determined to make it back.”
Quote: Drive the point home and or paint a picture. Example: “Nothing I was doing had worked. But then a friend told me about her success with the program and I figured if she could do it, so could I.”
Video (optional): Include a clip of the person sharing more about their struggle before they found you. And/or what made them decide to go with you.
Section 3: Teach
Content: Teach 1-3 key lessons she learned. Ideally, you want at least one to relate directly to the struggle brought up in the first two sections.
And don’t be afraid to teach something they can actually use and implement now. That makes this more valuable, builds trust, and increases the chances they share this with friends.
For example, if in section 2 you talk about how nothing else worked because they were confusing, you talk about how she learned to get clarity. Or if her struggle is: “Timmy always hit his brother” then talk about the XYZ technique she discovered to that got Timmy to stop hitting his brother.
Quote: Drive home the lessons she learned and the impact it had. Example: “I didn’t think I was ready to reach out to affiliates. But using his system I got 52 affiliates on board for my launch. I couldn’t believe it!”
Video: Video clips detailing the lessons she learned and what it was like to use the program.
Section 4: Results
Content: This is the climax of the story. Here, you want to share the major tangible result they got. The thing that was a big win that connects to why they set out for help in the first place. And share why it mattered — how achieving that made them feel and what that win means for her/her family.
Quote: Use a quote to drive the point home. “We were having dinner and the boys started fighting over who got the last piece of pizza. Normally Timmy would start hitting but this time he simply said: “Let’s split it.” They did and we had a drama-free family dinner for the frist time in months.
Video: Show the person sharing details of their success…. ideally crying 🙂
Section 5: What life is like now + how they see their future
Content: Show how her life has gone up a level. Contrast her everyday life now to how it was when you introduced the struggle.
Quote: Drive point home with a quote. Example: “We’re looking to get Timmy onto a soccer team. I never would have thought he’d be able to get along with kids his age well enough to do sports. But now he can and we’re super excited.”
Video (optional): Them talking about their new day-to-day and the future.
Section 6 (Optional) Advice to the reader
Include copy, a quote, and/or video where the person shares advice to the reader. You may ask your case study
“What advice would you have for someone on the fence about joining?” Put their answer here.
Section 7: Call to action
Content: Have them click to download a lead magnet or go to your sales page
- If using a lead magnet, it’s a great idea to attach what you give them to what you talked about in the “teach” section. And use your Unique Mechanism here. For example, in that section, you may talk about how she used the “XYZ technique to get Timmy to stop hitting his brother Method” the lead magnet could be that exact technique.
Don’t worry too much about these but they are great additions.
- Include her goal in either section one or two. Example: “I just wanted to have a day without any violence”.
- Include real-life story moments either in the copy or in the video. For example, use video where she describes the moment the teacher said: “you need to be a better parent.”
- Bounce from positive to negative as you tell the story. Something good happens when something bad happens. This keeps it emotionally engaging.
- Stories are all about the obstacles the person had to overcome to achieve their goal. These obstacles can be external or internal or both.
- Connect the pain or struggle to the teaching and result. For example, in the struggle section, you can introduce how she felt like a failure. Then in the teaching part talk about something she used that helped. Then in the “results” section maybe a quote about how she doesn’t feel like a failure and loves her kids and herself more than ever.
- In the struggle section, create urgency. Why was it so important to get this problem solved now?
- Use quotes as subheads. In sections 1 and 2 quotes can summarize the struggle/pain or the thoughts they had going on in their head — the same one your reader has daily. Like: “why won’t my son listen?” For the later sections, still use quotes, but they can almost be used more like mini-testimonials. Like “We had the best day as a family”
- Be sure the subheads set the stage for what will be talked about in each section.