Dec. 3, 2020

Sell More Using Customer Success Stories with Joel Klettke

Sell More Using Customer Success Stories with Joel Klettke

Case studies are a killer way to show off how you've changed the lives of your customers. But many businesses don't write them in a way that's useful to the prospective customer. Conversion Copywriter & Founder of Case Study Buddy Joel Klettke joins Katelyn Bourgoin.

Case studies are a killer way to show off how you've changed the lives of your customers. But many businesses don't write them in a way that's useful to the prospective customer. Conversion Copywriter & Founder of Case Study Buddy Joel Klettke joins Katelyn Bourgoin to explain: 

  • How To Get New Customers To Take Action Through Conversion Copywriting
  • The Formula For Deal-Closing Case Studies
  • How To Use Customer Concerns As A Lense To Look At Your Marketing
  • And So Much More

Joel Klettke is the founder of Case Study Buddy, a done-for-you service for high converting case studies and testimonials. 


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Joel Klettke: [00:00:00] about  10% of great copywriting is actually writing.

[00:00:04] And the other 90% is doing the work to really understand that customer and understand them  in a way that goes beyond this cardboard cutout list of traits.  


[00:02:26]Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:02:26] Joel is a conversion copywriter and what he says and his Twitter bio that I love, he says, pray for your competitors. Cause once you hire me, they're going to need it. So Joel, tell us a little bit about conversion copywriting and like why you're so good at it.

[00:02:42]Joel Klettke: [00:02:42] So conversion copywriting is essentially. Direct responses sort of digital stuff. and, and this is sort of moniker as well chosen. Cause a lot of the people at the top of this industry are women, which I think is. Pretty neat and pretty special. And it just so happens. A lot of them are Canadian as well, but conversion copywriting is all about driving action.

[00:03:04]it's taking the principles of direct response copywriting and taking essentially, let's say you have a sales page or a landing page somewhere where you want someone to sign up. Or you want someone to download something or you want someone to pick up the phone and call you or place an order or buying it.

[00:03:20] Now, my job is not getting more people to that page necessarily. It's getting more of the people who are coming there to take action, to do the thing that you want them to do. It's not this sort of thing. Dark black art, or pulling the wool over people's eyes. It's not this sort of used salesmen. Kind of mentality used car salesman.

[00:03:39] I should say mentality where you're selling them a lemon or you're just telling them anything to get them to act. What it really is about at its core is understanding how an audience makes decisions and more than just this cardboard cutout of a persona, but getting into what motivates them and what really drives the right kind of person to make the right decision.

[00:04:02] For the right product for them or service or solutions. So I get to do a whole lot of talking to customers and customer research. I get to translate that into this sort of mix of creative writing and, and with a scientific sort of framework and approach. The big goal at the end of the day is just to get more people to take action, benefit them, or bring them closer to realizing real value in some way.

[00:04:26] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:04:26] Awesome. Okay. So yeah, if I'm looking at conversion rate optimization versus like typical copywriting, how are these different what's different. 

[00:04:35] Joel Klettke: [00:04:35] So I think the issue of names is one that even people in the field trip over all the time, cause people will say, well, anytime I'm writing something, I'm trying to accomplish something or drive some kind of action.

[00:04:46] Like maybe the action is I want them to feel educated, but it's, it's not really about that. I think copywriting on the whole, like, especially when we look at it in the traditional. Sort of ad agency side of things. They're sort of like creative and brand copywriting where, you know, you're trying to create awareness or leave a lasting impression.

[00:05:07]but specific to the conversion side is you've got a very specific goal. You've got a very specific say door. You want someone to open and go through and you want them to do it now. You want them to take action now. So where a copywriter might work on an overall ad campaign or. Work on, you know, a billboard or we've all seen maybe mad men and they work on these broader kind of slogans and, you know, brand taglines and that sort of thing.

[00:05:33] My job overlaps with sort of branding and positioning and messaging, but it takes all of that. And laser focus, is it on driving an appropriate action at an appropriate step in that buyer journey? 

[00:05:46] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:05:46] , you talked a little bit about how you go about doing that. You mentioned, you know, doing customer research and interviews, which listeners know that I'm a massive nerd for.

[00:05:54] So can you walk us through your process a little bit? Like if somebody is getting started and they're trying to think of what, like how they can improve their own copy. 

[00:06:03]Joel Klettke: [00:06:03] To start off. We have to rethink the way most people think about writing and the way most people by default kind of think about writing is sitting down behind a keyboard with that blank, cursor blinking and kind of trying to capture lightning in a bottle or be really clever.

[00:06:19] And as Joanna Wiebe puts it, the queen D of the conversion copywriting world Canadian,  she says, and it's accurate about  10% of great copywriting is actually writing.

[00:06:31] And the other 90% is doing the work to really understand that customer and understand them  in a way that goes beyond this cardboard cutout list of traits. You know, demographic and, and that sort of thing. We're less interested in the demographics of a person and more or interested in what motivates them.

[00:06:50] (ASIDE: Define demographics vs. Psychographics) 


[00:06:50]Joel's Process For Collecting Customer Info

[00:06:50] So when I sit down to work on a project, there's always at least two phases and sometimes three, the first phase is research and analysis and what practice, cool things are we doing in that phase while we want to go get both. Qualitative information and quantitative information. And the two really have to play nice together, which I'll get into in a moment.

[00:07:11] So on the qualitative side of things, we're doing things like running customer surveys. And when we run these customer surveys, we're not asking them about their opinions or wouldn't it be nice if we develop this thing and so on and so forth, we're asking them about their journey, their experience of buying from you, right.

[00:07:28] What it looked like before they came to you, what the experience of your product or solution was like, what surprised them? What did they like? What caught them off guard? How did it feel to have that resolved and then the after? So not only what results have they achieved or what's been made possible for them?

[00:07:45] But why that matters the impact of that resolved. So we're digging into those things to kind of get this look at. Okay. What is the journey they went through? What was the trigger that sent them looking in the first place? How did it feel? Not to have the solution? what was the big goal when they went looking for a solution and then moving kind of on down all the way to the end.

[00:08:06] So things like surveys help us do that at scale, but then we get on the phone and we have. Customer interviews. And we validate the things that we've learned in surveys work and digging into their story, their experience, the jobs that they hire, this product or solution to do for them. And we get into that in addition, on the qualitative side that we don't just want to listen to what people say, we need to watch what they actually do.

[00:08:30] They do. So a lot of my time gets spent watching recorded user sessions. So watching how people engage with information on a site or a landing page, Where do they stop? What do they pay attention to? Where do they land and where do they go next? What gaps might be present there? So we start watching, okay.

[00:08:50] Once we've determined, this is kind of what the journey looks like and the anxiety's hesitation, pain points that drive it. How do people interact with the information as it's there today? I'll also look at things like. Customer chat logs or just, I should say chat logs on the whole. So if you interact with customers through sales emails, or chat logs, if there's this place of interaction with a prospect before they become a lead, I'll dig in there and look at things like what questions are coming up.

[00:09:19] All the time, what frustrations are being surfaced as part of that journey gaps are leads, basically putting up their hands and saying, Hey, yeah, I don't know this, or I can't find this information or I'm, I want this comparison to be more obvious for me. So looking at the ways people engage with information tied together with what their expectations are, how much they know.

[00:09:41] What they want. That's how we start to sort of build up this profile, a deeper profile of who these people are and how we sell to them. And then on the quantitative end, we're doing things like looking at Google analytics and looking at where are they landing. And again, what are the most common paths and how did they navigate those?

[00:09:58] And then in the qualitative information, we're also doing things like looking for. Not just the language they use to describe these things, because we want to mirror that language and use that in the way that we communicate, but also for themes. And we're looking for trends and we're looking for how do we put some numbers to this qualitative information so that we get a real sense of people's priorities because people want a lot of things or they need a lot of things, but some of those things are inherently more important to them than others when they're making a decision.



[00:10:29] So it's this combination of. Surveys interviews, chat logs with analytical tools and recorded user sessions, reviews, and testimonials out in the wild, this big kind of gamut of different sources. We can go to, to understand how people think and feel and make decisions, what they buy and why they buy it.


[00:10:50]Start From Scratch or Build on Existing Assets?


[00:10:50]Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:12:20] . So you have just laid out an incredible system. And if anybody's listening, I hope you were taking notes because he's giving you. And so once you've got that, once you have this, like, you know, incredible asset of understanding, the types of language that people are using, you've done your research.

[00:12:36] You've looked at the data, let's say you're looking at somebody's landing page. 

[00:12:41] Joel Klettke: [00:12:41] Are 

[00:12:42] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:12:42] you. Taking what's there and improving it. Are you starting from scratch or does it depend? 

[00:12:48] Joel Klettke: [00:12:48] It really, it really depends. And it depends on a few different things.   it's nice to come into a situation where you can just tweak or change things.

[00:12:57] We're a pages most of the way there, but I try to approach every project as kind of a blank slate. It's not that we assume everything is broken. I think it's very dangerous to just do what a lot of companies do when they go through a redesign or they launch a campaign, which is. Completely disregard all the lessons they've learned from past campaigns are just, well, we don't like our website.

[00:13:17] None of it's working well. Some of it is you don't want to kill that part. So part of what happens in that research and analysis phase is you get some clarity surrounding what messages or what. Hierarchies you're using today are actually working and you want to preserve those things. So I go into campaigns with the mindset of being open, to learning anything and everything.

[00:13:42] And once I have started to pin down some trends and themes and identify buying triggers and pain points and anxieties, now I've kind of got a baseline to evaluate. What's there against so I can look and say, okay, based on what we know about the customer, for example, a real example from my work with HubSpot is.

[00:14:02] The primary message that we were pushing when we were working on, their CRM platform prior to the whole research phase was well it's free. And this was a new offering for HubSpot. They were trying to get as many users as possible. So they really pushing hard on the it's free. It's free, it's free and it wasn't attractive element.

[00:14:19] But when we actually talked to the people. Who were signing up or who were interested in it, it turns out that free was just one component and it actually mattered much more in terms of, will this be adopted? Will my staff actually use it? Is it intuitive? And will it save me time and help me close more deals?

[00:14:39] We're able to adjust the messaging from just. Emphasizing free at all, turns to bring in some of these other messages and these other alleviations of pain that audiences were really looking for. Another example that might make this really tangible is I was working with a company out of the UK and they provide a service that helps facilitate a divorce online.

[00:15:00] And one of the things that they saw and we identified in their analytics as a bit of a mystery was. Okay. In the real world, we know women initiate divorce far more often than men. So why do we have this landslide of conversions in favor of men? Why are most of the buyers, men and not women here? And we didn't have a good answer.

[00:15:21] So. We took that sort of as a, let's try to learn about this. And a couple of things sort of poked out once we started to dig. So we signed logs. For example, we isolated conversations that were obviously women and, and conversations that were obviously men. And we saw some trends. We saw women were far more likely to.

[00:15:42]be caring for the dependence. Well, it turns out bringing this back to your question. When we look back at the landing page, we weren't really answering the question of, Hey, is this suitable? If I have a bunch of dependence, is that an issue you can handle? We also learned that women were far more likely to be fearful of their spouse.

[00:15:59] They needed to know, do I ever have to sit across the table from this person? While again, when we use that as our barometer and going, this is the information they need and took it back to the page, right?

[00:16:10] We weren't adequately answering that question or really answering it at all. So by making some very simple changes, introducing some different ideas and addressing some different pain points, they saw six figure lifts, you know, in yearly revenue for what equated to is essentially 15 minutes of changes after you know, a good solid week of research.

[00:16:30] So. It's important not to throw everything out, not to assume everything is broken, but once you start learning about customers, once you pinpoint these things, use them as sort of a different lens to look through and say, okay, if I'm a person with these concerns, if I'm someone trying to find answers to these questions, if I'm someone who cares deeply about this, does this headline speak to me?

[00:16:52] Right? Is this page organized in a way that I can find that information very quickly?  

[00:16:57] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:16:57] what I love about this Joel, is that I can imagine that, you know, that team behind the, the product  they're not sitting in a boardroom, able to come up with those insights on their own, and you can hop on a call with them and offer that insight.

[00:17:08] Like that's the kind of thing that you have to get by talking to customers. Otherwise you're probably just assuming, right. 

[00:17:14] Joel Klettke: [00:17:14] Yeah. I mean, there, there were lots of assumptions that had been made even though wound up to be damaging. So one of the assumptions is, well, surely if we make things more convenient, more people will buy.

[00:17:26] So on the strength of that assumption, they have built out this whole calculator for something called crown fees. So. When you get a divorce, these are the fees that you cannot avoid. You have to pay to the government or what have you. So they're like, well, people want to know what they're spending. So let's put that this crown fee calculator and we'll make things easy for them.

[00:17:45] Well, when we looked at the analytics and compare that to some of what we saw in chat logs, the minute that people started to fixate on what they had to spend, the minute you made it easy for them to start evaluating what would be flying out of their pocket, especially financially vulnerable women. The less likely they were to buy completely missed in that whole order deal was the fact that they had alleviation program that could actually help people who were financially vulnerable afford those crown fees.

[00:18:14] So tiny back again, it's not about burying information or being deceptive. It would have been morally and ethically wrong. Not to mention, you know, some sort of hidden fee if there was no solution to it. So that would not have been the right answer. Even if conversions had gone off, I wouldn't have felt good about that, but what I did, yeah.

[00:18:30] Feel good about is killing the calculator and instead placing the emphasis on the financial assistance programs. I can feel good about letting them know, Hey. These are the fees. This is typically what you will spend, but let's not fix it on a calculator. Let's instead talk about the fact that there's some very real help for you to get this done so we can make a lot of assumptions about what, what people want, and what's going to be valuable to them, but we don't know until we ask them and then watch how they behave when that's present.

[00:19:00] So, 

[00:19:00]Getting Into Case Study Writing

[00:19:00] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:19:00] so true. And so anybody who's listening to this right now, I'm sure that they, I understand why people, when you get hired, why their competitors should be worried. But right now I know that you're not doing a lot of copywriting projects personally, and that's because you're actually working on something else.

[00:19:16] And so can you share with our listeners, how did you get into the case study writing business? Like what's the story there? 

[00:19:24] Joel Klettke: [00:19:24] Yeah. So I still do copywriting projects, but fewer of them, for sure. I like to kind of really sink my teeth in with one company. But yeah, it just so happened that I was coming off a project with a company, some, some years ago.

[00:19:36] And my connection, there was someone who sat on their board. And he advised a whole bunch of different software startups. And so the project that I had worked on was web copy. It went really well. And he came back to me and said, that was great. We loved working with you. I advise this little startup called board and they need a case study done.

[00:19:54] Is that something you do? And I thought, well, if you're the one asking, absolutely it is sure I can figure it out. So I thought, okay. Yeah. I'll, you know, I'll give that a try. And, and so I said, sure, sure. That's something I'm willing to take on. And. Through the process of putting that case study together, just, it was a series of kind of light bulb moments.

[00:20:15] The first thing that I realized is, Whoa. This is way harder than even I expected as a writer. There are so many moving pieces to a customer success story that have to go right for that asset to work. You need a great interview. You need buy in, in the first place from the customer to be featured. You need proper release to be able to tell that story.

[00:20:37] You need to tell that story in a way that's not narcissistic and boring that you actually want to read. So in doing that, I went, okay, this asset's pretty tough. But everyone needs it. Every software company, every B2B business needs these social proof facets. They all rely on them. Sales teams need this stuff.

[00:20:58] Like oxygen marketing wants to have these stories. They can tout in their ads on their site and their sales pages. And so it was kind of that intersection of conversion and the content writing where I went. Okay. Alright. There's an opportunity here, I think. And so in realizing that I thought, well, surely.

[00:21:15] Someone's put up their hand and said, this is we do. And we're really, really good at it. Optimize the process. And I searched the web and I left surprised and, and kind of disappointed nobody had, there was Casey Hibbard. So she is essentially if there's a queen bee of case studies, I guess she would probably be at, she was the known specialist, I guess, but there was no kind of.

[00:21:40] Boutique engineers. Like this is all we do. It was either this add on service to this myriad of other services, which I knew if you're not focusing on these, you can't possibly have a really airtight process for it. And then just the odd freelancer here or there who couldn't possibly own the whole market.

[00:21:56] So I kind of thought, well, why not me? I'll build the company that can own this process and whack all the moles involved in doing these really well. And. So I, I started kind of writing them myself more and more sort of floating the opportunity out to friends. And then in time the team grew and, you know, the opportunities grew and now I'm really proud of where we've gotten to and who we get to do these four on the processes that we've built to make them possible.Why Are Case Studies So Persuasive?

[00:22:21] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:22:21] Well, I've heard just nothing about raves, about people that are from people who've worked with you. So thinking about this from the customer's perspective, you said that, you know, sales teams, they need these assets, marketers want these assets. They're just this linchpin in terms of taking prospects and getting them over the finish line from the customer's perspective.

[00:22:38] Why do you think case studies are so persuasive? 

[00:22:42] Joel Klettke: [00:22:42] I think there's a few different reasons. I think number one, when they're done well, they're undeniable social proof. So as we see even things like GPT three rolling out and, you know, the fake reviews and all this sort of fake news, when a case study has done really well.

[00:23:01] It's undeniable proof because it revolves around a story of someone like you that you can verify actually exists. That's a company like yours, but someone like you with a problem, you have made the decision, your debating and got the result you want. That's what's persuasive about it. It's undeniable proof that the company can do what they promise when they're done well, when they're written well, when they have the details, when you let the customer drive the story, and it's a customer success story, not a you success stories.

[00:23:31] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:23:31] Okay. So I'm going to stop you there you say, when they're done well, tell me, like, what is the difference between a great case study and just an average one. 

[00:23:40] Joel Klettke: [00:23:40] Yeah. I think, you know, the, the tragedy of most case studies is that most of them are ugly narcissistic boring and shallow people don't put a lot of thought into them.   the assumption people make about case studies is it's all about the result.

[00:23:56] You know, just tell them the metric and, and show, show off, you know, the, the big, sexy number. And that's it. Well, what you get when you do that? Most case studies unfortunately revolve around the company and not their customer. It's like a big look at us. And then there's not a lot of. Meet there. It's absent of how did this happen and why did you take the path that you took?

[00:24:21] Why did you use the strategy that you used and did you pivot at some point? And what did that look like? And when the customer voice is absent, I think this, if there's one core thing I had to pin it on is. Great customer success stories are human stories. First business stories. Second. So in the absence of the customer voice, when it's all metrics and bullet points and process, you know, we did this and then this, and then there's what you miss is all of that stuff that.

[00:24:49] Influences how people make decisions. What was the pain? How did it feel to have, that pain and what were the stakes of not solving that pain? How did they arrive at the conclusion to choose you? What worried them initially? Why were they skeptical of your solution? You should talk, talk about those things in studies, because then when you reach that grand conclusion, that big sexy number.

[00:25:12] And arguably more important, what that number means possible for them that impact, or maybe there's no number and that's perfectly okay too. But when you reached that big conclusion, it's meaningful because there's an actual human relatable journey and not just a set of tasks completed and results achieved.


[00:25:30] (ASIDE: talk about using empathy to make the cotent more relatable for the reader) 


[00:25:30]Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:25:30] I'm hearing words like feelings and storytelling and emotions. And I know sometimes especially people who are B to B, they think that that doesn't really have a place in between,  tell us, , how are the stories and the feelings , how important are the emotional pieces?

[00:25:47]Joel Klettke: [00:25:47] it'd be wrong. You say that now, you know, we would delve into like the realm of poetry. Like we're not out there to like jerk tears, right? Like I think that it's not that we want to have this like cinematic quality, like the music swells. We're not going for that, but at the same time, Frustration is a pretty universal feeling.

[00:26:07]fear is a pretty universal feeling. the, the sort of need to keep up or overcome, you know, fight off a giant, those are stories that we can relate to. And so bringing in how it felt to face a challenge or how it felt to finally have that solution in place or how elated someone is. At the solution and I'm not talking just to somebody that says this was great.

[00:26:34] I loved working with them. I'm talking about specific, being able to say things like I no longer have. I have to chase executives around the office to give them their paychecks. And it's put hours back in my day and years back in my life, like quotes like that. That's sort of the, the level of emotion.

[00:26:51] That we're going for. It's not that it's a sob story or we're writing poetry, but we want, you know, people make decisions, businesses don't make decisions. Businesses are made up of people who make decisions. Those people have to evaluate options. They have to get buy in from their bosses. They have, do embrace the risk of making that decision.

[00:27:11] They have to deal with the followup positive or negative. And so when you address those pieces, when you can bring those human elements, Into the story. It's like a little reassuring tap on the shoulder that like, Hey. This is a real person who made a real decision. Who's again, a person like you with the problem, you have the feelings you're experiencing, the challenge that you're facing, who made the decision, your debating with all the fear and trepidation and work that went into doing it and got the result you want and feels like you want to feel at the end of it.

[00:27:45] I think it's a critical component. To weave in. It doesn't have to be the core focus of how they felt, but it should be there because it helps round everything else out and make it unique and bring light if into that story, as opposed to just, again, this lists of tasks and outcomes and so on. I 

[00:28:03] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:28:03] really love this, that how, what you're talking about, how important it is is that these be relatable, that there be, you know, that you, as a, as a, a reader, should be able to see yourself and potentially the same journey that you're going on with your company and the struggles you're having, and be able to equate that as you're reading.

[00:28:18] And so I, that makes me wonder, like how many cases should the average company have? Do they need a couple of different ones? , what's best practice. 

[00:28:28] Joel Klettke: [00:28:28] Yeah, I think there's this common misconception that like one great story is enough and don't get me wrong. Like one story is better than no stories.

[00:28:36] And one story can open up a ton of doors for you. But this is where I think sales kind of gets it a little more than marketing. Cause marketing just loves having like a drum to bang, like just something to. You know, a big, loud thing. They can deploy the Mark, be like, who, here we go. You know, like, and I say that as someone who like works in marketing, right?

[00:28:54] Like we love having the big banner story, but sales on the frontline every day, they're coming up against. A myriad of pain points or hesitation they're selling into a number of different roles or industries. They, they would love to have a story. Three of, you know, let's say that you serve, I don't know, you serve.

[00:29:18] A few different markets. They would love to have, I have a case study for each one of those markets. If I'm selling to a CTO versus, you know, a CMO, well, the, the, even if the product or the solution is the same, the consideration factors might be different. So I would probably love to have a story about, you know, a CTO singing our praises and another one where the CMO has, has great things to say.

[00:29:42] So really you should have as many. Customer success stories as there are pain points, anxieties, hesitations, and desired outcomes in your space. And you can interpret those through the lens of roles and industries and niches. So this is why when you see companies that have like 50 plus studies, like, Whoa, why don't you guys just call it at three?

[00:30:03] That's why each one of those stories is ammunition in the clip. To target a different situation. Oh, someone's worried about costs. Here's a study that addresses costs. Oh, someone's worried about the it and security side of this thing. Great. Here's a story about how we accounted for that. Being able to respond to a question or a concern or a hesitation with a story.

[00:30:26] This is. Super power. When you have something like, you know what we've been there before, and this company, they asked us the same thing, take a look at this as a much more compelling pitch than well, here's a spec sheet. And so. Yeah. Like it's almost bottomless, but more than one is probably the way to think about it.



[00:30:48] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:30:48] All right. So folks, if you have none, you know that you have to get that first one, but after that first one, that sounds like no, what the common objections are, because that's what it's like. Am I hearing you correctly where it's like, these are really good tools for helping people to overcome those objections?

[00:31:01], is that what I should be thinking about when, when I'm thinking about how to craft the right story? It's about what are the objections. 

[00:31:09] Joel Klettke: [00:31:09] That among other things. I mean, objections is certainly, it's the obvious point I'm concerned about cost or I'm worried about implementation or these different things.

[00:31:18] Having a positive story to counter that fear is fantastic, but case studies can also be used, for example, in upselling, like let's say I'm already a happy customer and I'm debating, Oh, should I, should I pull the trigger and go to that premium plan, having a story about someone who pulled the trigger and went to the premium plan.

[00:31:35] So huge asset. It helps a lot. So it's not just objections. I think objections is like a very natural starting, but you can start to think of it through the lens of roles and industries and niches and desired outcomes. So, you know, for example, like with Belinda Weaver, she is a. Copywriter, she runs a coaching and she sort of helps copywriters build their businesses.

[00:32:01] Well, one of the, the things that she now has having worked with case study by a, she has a case study for people whose focuses on the finance, right? They're like, I want to hit six figures. She's got a case study for that. She's got another case that it would be like, I want to find balance. You know, I'm a, I'm a mom of two kids and I don't have infinite hours to chase dollars.

[00:32:20] I just want to build something that serves me. Well, she's got. A case study for that, you know? And, and so when you think about it, you can start with objections, but it spirals off into desired outcomes and the roles of the people that you're selling into the niches. You want to grow into the different features of your products.

[00:32:37] Suite. There are lots of different ways to kind of carve this onion. So going in with a strategy and doing some thinking about, okay, what do we wish we had a story for. Objections might be where you start, but inevitably when you start paying attention, it just kind of balloons and continues to grow. 


[00:32:54]How To Actually Use Case Studies To Your Advantage

[00:32:54]Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:32:54] it sounds like, , this one asset can do so many things. So like, let me ask you, like, if you've got a couple of good case studies, what are some different ways that organizations can actually use it? 

[00:33:04] Joel Klettke: [00:33:04] Yeah. I love this question because right now, not only are most case studies sort of boring and narcissistic and ugly.

[00:33:11] They're also dramatically underused. So companies kind of shove them on a resources section of the site. And forget about them, which is like a massive tragedy because customer success stories are, I honestly believe one of the few assets that can be deployed effectively across the entire funnel and they can be repurposed so many ways.

[00:33:31] So what do I mean by that? You can use customer success stories and cold outreach. There's few things more powerful than being able to reach out and say, Hey. you've never heard of me before, but we've helped companies just like yours. And I know they're just, like you've said, I've done my homework, but yeah.

[00:33:45] We've helped companies just like yours achieve the results that you're looking for. Here's a tangible example. So it can work in cold outreach. It can be the crux of an ad. If there's a particular pain point, you know, that your audience has then being able to present that pain point in an ad and saying, Hey, are you struggling with this thing?

[00:34:02] Here's a story of how someone overcame it. You know, you can use these as top of funnel. Acquisition type assets. They can also be used in the middle of the funnel for nurturing. So if someone signs up for, let's say I'm a software company, someone signs up and yeah, I know that they are, let's say a small business owner.

[00:34:20] I can integrate in my nurture sequence in the way that I interact with them in the calls that I have with them. I can bring case studies and success stories in to help get them over the line. So I can say, Oh, you're worried about this. So here here's an example of. You know a story about that or in the email nurture sequence.

[00:34:36] I, I send out, I can highlight, Hey, you know, here's an example of how someone used this feature and got this great result. So I can use them to help acquaint people with the solution and show them the actual value in. What I have to offer. Then when we get to sort of the bottom of the funnel, you can use them to close.

[00:34:53] So if they're teetering on the break and they say, Oh, we need it to sign off on this because there are big compliance issues and you've got a great story surrounding compliance. Now you can pass along and say, Hey, we totally understand. We see those concerns all the time. In fact, this customer had them.

[00:35:08] Here you go. You know, and then even beyond the top, middle and bottom of funnel, when we get into retention, when we get into, you know, churned leads, few things or more natural followup to someone who's kind of falling out of your funnel saying, Hey, I was remembering our conversation. We had this recent success of someone just like you.

[00:35:28] I thought you might find it. Interesting. Check this out. And then there's upselling, as I mentioned and so on and so forth. So these stories are infinitely repurposable you can. Make them long and detailed and meaty for people at that consideration phase, you can make them boil them down to a testimonial from people who just want a quick hit of social proof on a sales page.

[00:35:47] They are just super flexible and have this ability, this pretty unique ability to cross the entire funnel and be effective at every point. 


[00:35:56]Case Study Misconceptions

[00:35:56] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:35:56] I am so excited for anybody who's listening, who may have never thought of it that way, who didn't consider that this one ass that you invest in, you get this one asset, but what you're really getting is something that can be redistributed in so many different ways.

[00:36:10]everyone who's listening right now is very excited about doing case studies. I can't imagine they wouldn't be, they are probably really excited about all the different ways that they can deploy these assets. But of course, if you've never done this before, if you're just getting started, it can all feel kind of overwhelming.

[00:36:24] So if they want to hire you and get the professionals to do this for them, walk me through the process. How would that 

[00:36:30] Joel Klettke: [00:36:30] work? Yeah, we've, we've done a lot of work to try to, I mean, the grand vision, as we would love this to be like, you know, push button, get case study like that, that's the, that's the big goal.

[00:36:41] Of course it's never, it's never that simple, but the way that it works is the only thing we need to do our job. There's, there's three things, an introduction to a willing customer. A brief from you that you fill out one time on your company so that our writers, our interviewers have that context to tailor their questions.

[00:37:01] Cause going back to misconceptions for a sec, there's a big misconception that will, if I just have the right interview questions, I can put together a great study. Well, unfortunately just reading off questions like a robot robot. Does not make for a stunning conversation or particularly yeah. The meaty piece.

[00:37:18] So anyway, we've got the brief from you on your company, your niche, your industry, your product. Then we can use that to shape the story, to align the story to your business goals, help you shape a strategy. And then the third one is just a very short brief on this actual customer relationship. So. Again, to sum that up an introduction, a brief on your company, a brief on the customer.

[00:37:37] And after that, the only thing you're responsible for is reviewing a draft and approving things. From there, we take the reins and we schedule a call. We send you an MP3 and a transcript. You can listen back and start gleaning insights right away with a little summary email that highlights some of the sexiest stuff that came out of it.

[00:37:56] And then from there, we manage the entire process. So revisions from your side and there's writing up the story. Bundling it into beautifully designed assets. and then, you know, giving, giving you these, these things that you can then take back to your market and even kind of consulting on, Hey, what's the best way to, to deploy these things.

[00:38:14] So, you know, we want to make the barrier to entry as low as possible. And even if you go well, that's great, but I still need that whole pesky interview to a willing customer. How do I possibly get that? That's something we can help with too. So help with adding and kind of coaching you through, making the ask, providing resources on how to find stories in your customer base.

[00:38:35] We really want to be the company that thinks about this holistically and wax, all the moles in the process from start to finish and thinks about this in a way that other people aren't thinking about it. 

[00:38:47] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:38:47] This is so exciting. I can't wait for people to check out case study buddy, to go look at your website, because again, remember Joel is a conversion copywriter.

[00:38:55] So as you read that site, I bet you, you're going to see a lot of your own objections, your desired outcomes, the things that would matter to you reflected back to you in that copy. So at least go and check it out for a great example of what a strong website copy could be. And so, Joel. Looking forward, you know, if somebody wants to learn more about you, about the way that you work, like what would be the first next steps for them to take?

[00:39:20] Joel Klettke: [00:39:20] Yeah, I think case might've come, you can check out our processes. There's a breakdown of pricing on the individual asset pages and you can get a good sense of that. Our blog, we. Or trying to do some more publishing and our attitude and posture has always been, Hey, give freely share information and help people do the thing.

[00:39:37] And the ones that really value it will be the ones that wind up working with us. Anyhow. So lots of resources there. my caveat to this next one is I don't always reply quickly, but I always reply, but you can drop me a line on Twitter or LinkedIn. and I, I love connecting with people. I love meeting people who are building interesting things, even if now is not the time to help them build those things.

[00:39:58] It's just great to kind of see, see what's out there. And I always try to leave everyone I interact with better than I found them, whether that's a referral or a resource or. Some small way of, of helping nudge you in the right direction. That's something I'm excited do. And then on the conversion copywriting front, you can go visit my very sad, very day website business schedule,

[00:40:19] Probably not an example you want to be taking ironically. In terms of conversion copy though. I still, for some reason, people seem to love it. but it's, you can check out business, casual car in a same thing. There there's blog posts. There's a lot of instructive stuff. If you don't have the bandwidth at the time or the funds to hire a guy like me, there's still plenty there for you to sink your teeth into.

[00:40:38] And, and, you know, again, I think the world is a better place when everyone's a little bit better at communicating. So you'll probably find some resource there that helps you do that. 

[00:40:47] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:40:47] I love it. I love that you, I know that website I've been on your personal site and you are not doing it justice. It is very good, but it's really just a good test admit to the fact that even if you know how to do something, even if somebody thinks I, you know, I could fake it, this case study stuff, I could write a great case study.

[00:41:02] It's about when you're busy and there's other priorities, things that are competing. It's great to just bring in somebody else and let them do the heavy lifting for you. So it's not about whether they could do it. You know, sometimes it's just nice to let somebody else. Do that work for you and bring that fresh perspective.

[00:41:16] So I, I love that. You've mentioned that and if you did it right, this, but I've, I'm a recipient of it. So I think I should be shouldn't 

[00:41:23] Joel Klettke: [00:41:23] you also have a 

[00:41:24] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:41:24] really awesome newsletter. Is that something that people should sign up for as well? 

[00:41:29] Joel Klettke: [00:41:29] Yeah, I it's, it's something that I've been kind of waging war within my brain this week.

[00:41:35] Maybe pushed it down. I take it seriously though, because I want every email that I send to be genuinely valuable. I always hate being on list where they email you just to remind you that they exist. So I do have a newsletter. You can sign up on the site. It's at the bottom of the homepage. And I talk about conversion copy, and I sprinkle in some stuff on case studies and business building and just my own journey as a dad of two and a guy trying to build something that matters and, and sort of grow it.

[00:42:04] So, you know, I try to send out stuff that is tangibly useful and practical, and not just another email. That's going to show up in your inbox and make you want to click the leap. 

[00:42:18] Katelyn Bourgoin: [00:42:18] You are definitely achieving it. Cause there's not a lot of emails that I actually read and yours is always one of them.

[00:42:22] Thank you for walking me through the whole process. I feel like I want like 30 case studies. We will be talking. thank you. Have an awesome day, Joel. 

[00:42:30] Joel Klettke: [00:42:30] Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. 


Joel Klettke Profile Photo

Joel Klettke

Founder of Case Study Buddy

Joel Klettke is the founder of Case Study Buddy, a done-for-you service for high converting case studies and testimonials.

Katelyn Bourgoin Profile Photo

Katelyn Bourgoin

Host of Customer Show & Founder of Customer Camp

Katelyn is the founder of Customer Camp, a training and research firm that helps growth-ready product teams to get inside their customer’s heads so they can market smarter.