3 Things That Every Client Case Study Needs

3 Things That Every Client Case Study Needs

Last week on Instagram Stories, I asked my audience a simple question: "If I put together a guide for creating client case studies that convert...would that help you?"

The answer? An overwhelming amount of YESES!

While I'm still in the process of wrapping my head around what this guide will look like (How long will it be? Will it be a free or paid resource? When will it launch?), I wanted to chat with you about the three things that every client case study needs. Too often I see incredibly talented designers and social media strategists who create amazing work, but don't know how to show it off in its best light. It's time to change that! 

Are you currently struggling with finding ways to put together case studies that showcase your best work and have the potential to convert new potential clients into paying customers? Keep reading for a few pointers to get you started!

1. Begin with a brand narrative

Rather than diving into hard data from the get-go, I've found that beginning my client case studies with background information on the brand in reference adds value by pointing out where a brand needed help and how we decided to work together to fix it. For example, in the below introduction statement for Heritage1933, I share who the brand is, what they needed help with (brand strategy on social media), and how we worked together to elevate the brand.

3 Things That Every Client Case Study Needs

2. Share high-quality work samples

Work samples may very well be the most important part of your case study. After all, potential clients want to see what you're all about! For my social media clients, this looks like pulling together examples of top-performing Instagram posts, Instagram Stories and Facebook ads; for branding and web design clients, this looks like sharing out full logo families, website proofs and – when applicable – before-and-after views of revamped websites. In my case study for branding client Juris Clothing, all elements of the branding process were shared – from final logo assets, to visual inspiration and typography!

3. Communicate meaningful results and data

Sure, designing quality, eye-catching creative matters, but what use is it if it doesn't help meet your client's overall objectives? I end each of my case studies with relevant data that potential clients will want to see if they're toying with the idea of investing in a social media strategy or refreshed brand. For social media clients, this looks like sharing important metrics like a lift in impressions and reach; for design clients, this looks like listing out each of the client's objectives that were met with the final web or brand product. In my case study for client and beauty brand LARK Skin Co., increases in Instagram audience size, Instagram engagement rate, total Instagram Story views and a boost in the brand's email click-through rate were all communicated.

3 Things That Every Client Case Study Needs

Do you struggle with creating meaningful case studies for your clients? You aren't alone! I'm so excited to share my upcoming Client Case Studies That Convert guide with you in the coming weeks. Sign up for updates and be the first to know when the guide is available below.

Why I DON'T Check My Phone First Thing In The Morning – Anymore!

Why I Don't Check My Phone First Thing In The Morning - Anymore!

This is what my "normal" morning routine used to look like: I'd hear my alarm go off at 6 a.m., roll over, groan and snooze until 6:15 a.m. Then, I'd begrudgingly wake up and scroll through my Facebook feed and Instagram feed in the dark, filling my mind with a stream of comparison, doubt and (let's be honest) judgement...before I'd even left the bed.

But this year, I've decided that enough of that was enough

Most nights I now leave my phone in my office, away from my bedroom, or shove my phone to the far side of my nightstand where it's not within reach. And y'know what? The quality of my mornings has improved immensely

Don't believe me? Here's a few ways that my life has changed since going phone-free in the morning! 

1. I enter into my workday with a more positive mindset 

When I used to indulge myself in a.m. phone scrollfests, I'd pop into my inbox to read emails that came through overnight and immediately feel petrified and overwhelmed by my to-dos. And if I got a negative email or a quick turnaround deadline? Consider my day ruined. Now, I wake up and make myself wait until I'm officially in my office to check emails, and I almost always sit down excited to start the day with a positive mindset. Don't let your phone make you worry about issues that aren't even issues yet! 

2. I use my mornings to enrich my workweek

Rather than reaching for my phone as soon as I wake up, I peel myself out of bed, make said bed and pop downstairs to get in a little downtime before the workday officially begins. I'm an early riser and typically like to be at my desk by 7:30 a.m., so that looks like joining my husband for breakfast, enjoying my coffee and partaking in a little yoga before getting down to business – all phone-free! Are you using your mornings to enrich your week? If you aren't, consider ditching your phone for 15 minutes in the morning and see how it affects your overall routine.

3. I'm an overall happier person

It's crazy how seeing a certain Instagram post or Facebook update can put a damper on our day. I remember my Monday scroll sessions on social media resulted in me seeing all of the fun weekend activities that everyone seemed to be having but me – and I'd get in a weird comparison-filled mood. Now, it's awesome not having to look at everyone's highlight reel at the start of the week! 

Do you have a bad habit of checking your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning? If so, are you working on ways to break this habit? I'd love to hear about your morning routine in the comments!

How I'm Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

How I'm Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Photo: Jacoby Photo & Design

Whew – this blog post is going to get a little personal. Are you ready? 

If you haven't heard about imposter syndrome before, it's time that we talk about it. Tina Fey helped bring this little-known syndrome to light in her book, "Bossypants," when she lamented that no matter how "successful" she became (hello, she was on SNL!), she constantly feared being "outed" as a fraud. Just in case you need a more official definition: 

"Imposter syndrome (also known as imposter phenomenonfraud syndrome or the imposter experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud."

I've dealt with my fair share of imposter syndrome over the years, too. My first taste of it came my senior year of college, when I was appointed editor-in-chief of my college newspaper. Sure – I'd worked hard to land that position, but...how could someone like me be qualified? To lead a team? To have the power to hire, fire and publish? Nah...there's no way I was meant to be in that position.

And yet, I successfully made it through one of the most trying years of my life. 

As a business owner, my imposter syndrome has come creeping back – and it isn't welcome here anymore! I can't tell you how many times I've gotten that nervous feeling in my stomach when a signed client contract comes back or an invoice is marked as "paid," when I feel like I deserve none of this because I'm going to be "found out" that I really don't know what I'm doing

And y'know what? I'm not the only business owner dealing with these feelings, either. Take it from my friend and copywriting extraordinaire Kayla Hollatz

"My imposter syndrome kicks in when I think about my youth. I've heard "You're so successful for being so young" enough times to have me constantly question if I have what it takes to work with people who have more experience. Short answer, yes I do!"

Does that sound like you, too? Here are three ways that I'm overcoming imposter syndrome in my business and saying no to not feeling like enough from now on. 

I keep a business journal to record my highs...and lows.

Ever since I took my business full-time I've made a point to record memories from each week in my business journal, which is a separate journal from my personal one. I use this notebook to record the highs ("I landed my ideal client this week, yasss!") and lows ("Ugh, I'm behind on a design project") that come along with business. When I feel those fraudulent feelings creeping back in, I use this notebook as solid proof that I'm doing OK, and I read the highs aloud to affirm that.

I feel the fear – and keep on keeping on.

Navigating your business and career is scary. Especially when you're managing it all on your own. Honestly? I get scared over something in my business each and every day, whether it's dealing with taxes or figuring out how to bring a client's design request to life perfectly. But I'm trying to use the energy of that fear to motivate me to work hard, rather than recoil in fear. Harnessing your energy in a positive way is a powerful thing! 

Remember: we're all just weird humans.

This is something that I've been trying to live by. I'm human. I'm a real, breathing, eating, sleeping (and sometimes napping!) person who isn't a machine built to solely work. Sometimes things are going to go awry in my life, and my emotions may get the best of me – and that's OK. I have to remind myself that we're all just figuring it out. There's no such thing as the "perfect" business owner or the "perfect" employee. Where I am in my career is the best most successful place that I've ever been, because I'm happy. And being happy? Sometimes, that's the best by-product of success.

Have you dealt with imposter syndrome in the past, or are you dealing with it now? I'd love to hear about your struggles in the comments so that we can encourage each other! 


3 Woman-Led Newsletters to Read ASAP

3 Woman-Led Newsletters to Read ASAP

I know, I know – your inbox is precious territory! You probably feel like you unsubscribe from more emails than you actually read, so why should you spend you time reading yet another email in the morning?

Well, friend, I've got news for you: there are a handful of email newsletters that I seriously look forward to receiving, and I want you to know about them. These newsletters have gotten me fired up, ready to make things happen and shouting positive mantras from the rooftops after reading them. Check out these three woman-led newsletters to subscribe to read ASAP!

The Monday Club

The Monday Club is a newsletter run by speaker and author Hannah Brencher, and serves as my weekly soul gut-check. I'm being 100% real when I say that one email from Hannah can have me beaming, and the other can have me crying honest, happy tears in the next moment. Start your week off on the right foot and get inspired with Hannah's soulful words.

Girls' Night In

I featured the founder of Girls' Night In, Alisha Ramos, on the blog a few weeks ago, but just in case you missed it, here's your reminder to join the Girls' Night In club! Join the group of 20,000 women who wake up and get cool-girl vibes in their inbox each Friday with Girls' Night In's official newsletter, which is here to remind us that it's 100% OK to stay in tonight.

A Woman To Know 

Crazy-awesome women in the world that we should know? There's an endless, amazing pool of them. Julia Carpenter aims to regularly highlight interesting women of note in her email newsletter, A Woman To Know. Subscribe today and get ready to boost your lady knowledge in no time.

What are your favorite email newsletters to read each week? We'd love to hear them. Share them with us in the comments below! 

How To Use Instagram Story Highlights To Elevate Your Brand

How To Use Instagram Story Highlights To Elevate Your Brand

Don't you just hate when you put a lot of time and thought into an Instagram Story, only to know that it'll be gone in 24 hours? Me too, me too! Thankfully, Instagram announced last month that we now have the ability to save, curate and share "Instagram Story Highlights," allowing us to extend the life of those precious Stories.

So...why does this matter?

With Instagram Story Highlights, you can now extend the life of your content and elevate your brand by providing your Instagram audience with a more personal experience as soon as they visit your profile with curated highlights. Ready to get started?

Think of your highlights as content categories.

When you visit my own Instagram profile, you'll see that I currently have three distinct, curated highlights: design, blog and business. Within each of these highlights I share relevant Instagram Story content that touches on these topics. Simple, right? Think of the top three or four topics that you blog about or share about on your Instagram feed and turn those into your first highlights.

Add your content to each highlight.

To begin adding content to each of your highlight categories, tap into the "new" highlight circle in your Instagram profile and begin adding your past content until you're pleased with how it looks. From there, you'll be able to name your highlight whatever you'd like!

Use CTAs to direct users to your highlights.

Now that you have your highlights set up, it's time to send your audience there! Since I frequently post about content on my blog and business tips in my Instagram feed, a call-to-action could look like this at the end of a caption, "Want to learn more about how I stay on productive during the week? Check out all of my favorite tips in my Biz Life Instagram Highlight – in my profile!"

Have you had success using Instagram Highlights to extend the life of your content and elevate your brand? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new Instagram feature in the comments!