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Ground Zero Case Studies

How To Get Paid What You're Worth

In the video below, Derek Halpern explains why clients don’t value your work, and how that results in them trying to underpay you.

“The problem isn’t that your customer is stupid. The problem is that you didn’t accurately explain your process. You didn’t tell them what you do. You didn’t show them how you do it.”

Instead of having a simple portfolio page showing samples of your work, Derek recommends creating “ground zero case studies.”

“A ground zero case study is an example of your great work, except you’re going to put context around it. This context tries to bring to life your process and the client’s experience, for new clients.”

For example, if you’re a photographer, instead of showing a bunch of pretty pictures with no context, you create a case study of one particular photo (or collection of photos) you shot and edited for a client.

In the case study, you explain what went into creating that photo.

For example, you could flesh out the following points:

  • Met with the client
  • Brainstormed ideas
  • Created a storyboard
  • Planned and scheduled the shoot
  • Provided wardrobe recommendations
  • Provided and transported all equipment
  • Shot photos at 3 locations
  • Edited photos and sent 5 for review
  • Helped choose the best photo
  • Did the final edits
  • Met with client for final review and feedback

“Once people see the behind-the-scenes, once they see that this whole shoot took three weeks to prepare for, they’re not going to try to offer you $200 anymore. They’re going to know that this is a different level of service.”

“This is all an opportunity for you to showcase your value to your customer in a great way.”

Examples Of Ground Zero Case Studies

UX & Product Design

A thorough case study of a freelance project Lucas Toledo worked on that leaves no doubt about his expertise.

Editing Services

Not a lot to this case study – it would be better if they explained why they made the edits they did – but the before/after feature shows at a glance how this company’s service can transform a piece of writing.

(Note that a similar effect can be achieved using the “suggest edits” feature in Google Docs.)

Product Photography

This case study details the photographer’s process to achieve the following result.

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