A case for a case study

design room office conference

One of the great ways to peak the curiosity of your customers and potential clients is to produce a case study of your projects, not only can you showcase how successfully you provided a solution to your client, it can also boost confidence for new clients who may be unsure if you can handle their project.

Producing a case study is like selling without the sleazy selling bit, showing yourself at your best and dealing with your customers problems is a fantastic way for new customers to envision how you could handle their project.

Any project that you start, whether you’ve thought about producing a case study or not is worth building a library of photographic images, ideally starting from the beginning, illustrating the problems to be solved and photographing or filming the stages of progression up to completion. 

measuring distance between punch holes in sheet metal
precision measurement in pressed steel sheets

The final collection of images will be useful for social media and public relations but can also serve as a visual and technical record that can be used to review processes and operations as well as to show future customers.

During the course of a project when things don’t go to plan and the proverbial is hitting the fan, it’s at these moments that the documentary process is very important, it’s easy to park the photography to one side thinking you wouldn’t want a customer to see the dark side of a project, however it’s these hiccups that provide an interesting angle to your final case study and it’s these incidents that customers want to see, it will inspire confidence in them seeing you handle difficult situations. 

Keeping a photographic record of how you overcome major problems is part of what will keep your audience hooked and build your reputation. It’s like watching a film, if there is no drama and tension we wouldn’t pay it any interest and if every case story had no drama it would itself become a cheesy self promotional sales piece of ‘hey look at me and how fantastic I am’ and wouldn’t be worth reading as we’d already know the predicted outcome.

cleanroom transition from sterile to non sterile environment
cleanroom entry point changing room

There is no hard and fast rule that documenting a project has to be done professionally, although as a professional it would be my duty to advise it, tying up the resources of staff who would otherwise be more productive in the business elsewhere can prove to be less than fruitful, there is a risk of a lack of continuity, gaps in the storyline and no focal point in the images that contribute to the multiple usages the images might need.  

window pane glass cutting
masking pre-cutting hermetically sealed glazing units

Sometimes projects have technical processes that must adhere to regulations and environmental conditions and they can be a challenge to describe and illustrate, at these times its advisable to use professional photography, not only will it clearly show the processes and highlight observations but the photographic illustration will be done in a way that enhances your brand image and reputation.  

There can be many regulations and health & safety requirements to operate a process, if there are signs of failure to adhere to these visible in a photograph, it will be noticed and although it may seem minor, potential clients will pick this up and bring into question your approach and professional operating procedures.  It will also render the whole process of capturing crucial parts of the process redundant forever as the mistakes will be permanently visible in the photography.

exterior of clean room facility
enclosed clean room facility within an industrial building

Creating a visual library of your projects can become a great resource, not just for case studies but done regularly will become a portfolio and legacy of achievements used for reviews, selling and brand building it will become the heritage of the business.

If you have a project in mind that needs documenting, long term or short, please get in touch to discuss how I can integrate into your processes and come up with a solution to build your legacy.

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