HOW STRATEGIC CONTENT CAN ELEVATE PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS’ TRUST
About Michael Sablone
Michael Sablone is the founder, owner, and operator of Compiled Rogue, a lean agency of elite developers who build, maintain, and improve marketing website platforms. Since 2022, he’s been working with North Star Messaging + Strategy to build a portfolio of case studies that demonstrate his team’s expert skills, unmatched determination, and stellar track record.
With over 25 years of experience in web development, Michael draws on his comprehensive understanding of digital technologies to provide his clients with utility-driven solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Case Study Highlights
- Support a growing web development company by attracting new clients.
- Demonstrate the firm’s expertise without having to rely on cold calls and sales pitches.
- Interview happy clients to create compelling case studies that showcase the firm’s strengths.
- Share case studies with prospective clients through direct communication and on the website to allow the firm’s outcomes to speak for themselves.
- Increased the firm’s confidence in closing sales with referrals.
- Improved the lead-generation power of the firm’s website and converted the first client from the site’s online contact form.
- Ended up with a body of work documenting the firm’s expert skills and stellar track record.
Background: Struggles With Client Outreach
Like many experts, Michael Sablone leaned on his agency’s stellar track record and his preexisting relationships to land Compiled Rogue’s first clients. Over time, though, he needed to turn to more traditional marketing techniques. But doing the cold calls and client outreach that could take his development agency to the next level was time-consuming and not second-nature to him.
In Michael’s words:
I’m not a sales guy. I don’t like the whole process. If you want what I have to offer, you come to me—I’m here to help. But that being said, I’m running a business, and I want to grow and expand. And part of that process is at least convincing a new referral that I’m not some yahoo that doesn’t know what I’m talking about.
To lead Compiled Rogue into a new phase of growth and expansion, Michael knew he needed to demonstrate his team’s expertise and client successes to referrals and potential leads. He decided that case studies would be an important part of his strategy.
Challenge: Illustrate to Potential Clients that Compiled Rogue is Right for the Job
With a successful, growing company to run and a busy roster of clients to manage, Michael didn’t want to tackle his client outreach problem alone. In 2022, he decided it was time to invest in the business and set a goal to uplevel his lead generation with a complete website revamp.
The first component of his plan was to rebuild his website and hire design agency Oxy.co to top it off with a design worthy of his incredible team.
As Michael puts it,
The website we had at the time was beyond atrocious. It was an insult to web developers everywhere. But it was also a cobbler-shoe situation. Who the heck has the time to build their own website?
However, while a new-and-improved website could help attract new clients, it didn’t do enough heavy lifting on its own to convince them that Compiled Rogue was the agency for the job. To do that, Michael needed a content creator with a strategic approach who could construct a portfolio of case studies that demonstrated his team’s complete set of skills. He wanted client features that were filled with direct client quotes to demonstrate their experience of working with his team in their own words.
I was trying to build a portfolio of case studies that not only talked about how awesome we are, but also had some kind of underlying thread. So, if somebody were interested in us, they could serve as a form of social proof that would make the person feel good about hiring us.
Fortunately, Michael had the perfect team in mind to interview his clients and write the case studies: North Star Messaging + Strategy. After collaborating with us a few years prior on an outside project and observing our content creation and strategy skills firsthand, he knew we were capable of building him a powerful case study portfolio.
Says Michael of his first impression of North Star:
Michael wanted a trusted partner to collaborate with to build his case study portfolio.
I knew exactly who I was gonna call when it was time for my company to need content resources.
Solution: Construct a Portfolio of Case Studies that Speak to Complied Rogue’s Expertise
Michael’s biggest goal in developing a portfolio of case studies was to provide a complete picture of what it’s like to work with Compiled Rogue—from examples of real-life results and problem-solving, to the types of clients they typically serve. That meant getting both sides of the story. So, Michael brought on North Star as a third party to interview his clients as well as Michael about his experience. This way, the case studies would depict an accurate representation of the entire working relationship.
Providing his perspective on the case studies, Michael says:
You can’t just do a case study based on what you think, right? Because if you write what you think, it’s gonna be some glowing review about how amazing you are in every single thing you touch. But the truth is always some middle ground between two sides of a conversation. And I think that that’s what made our case studies valid—we tried to find that nugget of truth between the two conversations.
Using a strategic set of questions, North Star first met with Michael to get his perspective on a client, focusing on a specific project. This helped us prepare for the corresponding client interview so we could use their time wisely and keep the conversation focused on building a compelling story.
North Star managed communication with Compiled Rogue’s clients and used video, transcripts, and interview skills to draw powerful soundbites from the clients, as well as permission to use the interview for marketing purposes.
In the end, North Star developed a complete portfolio of case studies that provide an accurate picture of Compiled Rogue’s working style and demonstrate the breadth and depth of their skills and unique problem-solving capabilities in a variety of projects. Additionally, the client features demonstrate Compiled Rogue’s competency in supporting high-profile and complex clients.
Looking back on how North Star developed the case studies, Michael said confidently:
I think it worked great. I wouldn’t make any changes to the process.
Results: Social Proof with the Power to Generate Leads and Solidify Contracts
Once Michael uploaded the portfolio of case studies that North Star created to his revamped website, his confidence in closing sales with referrals grew. With that well-crafted social proof in hand, he can show potential clients—rather than simply tell them—why Compiled Rogue is the best team for the job. In conversation with prospects, he can send links to case studies specifically chosen to complement their projects or company qualities.
The case studies make our company look like the company that we actually are. They put it down on paper and show people what we are really capable of. Even if people don’t read them top to bottom, word for word, that social proof and those compelling client quotes are important. They make people feel good about hiring us.
In addition to the case studies’ support in closing sales, they have also improved the lead-generation power of Compiled Rogue’s website. Historically, the company’s clientele came exclusively from referrals. But since revamping their site and adding the case studies, Michael and his team have already gotten their first client from their online contact form.
Speaking of this significant win, Michael says:
It may seem like a small thing, but it’s not. It was a large company that wasn’t a direct referral, and they ended up turning into a client. So, it was a small step, but it was an important step, because if that website wasn’t there, if those case studies weren’t there, and if we didn’t put the time and effort into presenting us in the best possible light, I don’t know if they would’ve filled out that contact form.
Beyond social proof, Michael also sees his case study portfolio as a way to document Compiled Rogue’s expert skills and stellar track record for the sake of the business itself. Being reminded of their biggest successes makes a huge impact on company culture and team morale.
As Michael puts it:
Yes, there’s an aspect of the case studies being important to the brand and to the voice of the company. But there’s also something to be said for documenting what we’ve done. Because when you interview people, they bring things up that you’ve completely forgotten about. So, it’s nice to have that historical documentation of what we do. It’s not just about the sales, it’s about creating a body of work.
Looking forward, Michael wants to expand his portfolio as his team works with more clients. He sees the value in the investment he’s made in case studies and the impact this collaborative project with North Star has had on his company.
Speaking of his future plans, Michael says:
I would love to continue doing more case studies. They were a wise investment and an investment I’m planning to continue.
Create Content That Drives Results
Intentional, well-crafted content can produce real results for your business. With North Star’s expert team of writers and strategists by your side, you can create content that gets you closer to your goals, frees up your time and energy, and helps move your business forward.
If you need content, North Star is the source.