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Tell Us A Story

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Casey Hibbard, who received a bachelor's degree in communication in 1995 from Trinity, has uncovered an age-old secret for promoting her clients - story telling. 

by Donna Parker

As president and founder of Compelling Cases, Inc. she is an expert on creating and utilizing customer success stories in sales, marketing and PR. She also just finished a book entitled, Stories that Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Assets.

"Customer case studies and success stories are simply the age-old testimonial taken to the next level. The greater the investment that a buyer is going to make, the more evidence he or she needs to validate that purchase. Customer stories provide that critical third-party validation that a product or service will deliver as promised," says Casey.

Casey, who has run her own business for 11 years, has long been a writer of marketing collateral, but found herself over time writing more customer case studies and success stories for companies. It was a combination of her loving that part of her business and seeing that segment of her business grow that led her to specialize.

"At the time, it felt like a risk, but there is something powerful about specializing. Success stories are more compelling and more memorable, but even some companies didn't understand the value of case studies, so marketing my services has been partly about educating them."

Casey explains the increasing need for authentic customer stories has come out of a crisis of credibility - that some companies today are not perceived as being on the "up and up."

"Now the voice of the customer is coming out and the Internet has been a huge part of that. There is an emphasis on third-party customers because consumers look to other customers' experiences when spending money."

"Basically, a company can talk all day long about how great it is, but customers are ultimately much more believable."

Casey's writing career started years ago on campus when she spent "every waking hour" working on stories for The Trinitonian.

"The staff felt like a big family. We went through weekly deadlines together and late nights in what we called the "dungeon" of campus publications, which was underground. We felt a great sense of responsibility as young journalists to be the voice of students, but at the same time goofed off a lot."

"Professors such as Dr. Peter Balbert, department of English who taught a Writing Workshop, also laid the foundation for my career by encouraging me to write. His assignments were fun and interesting, and required us to tell our own personal stories. Sammye Johnson in the communication department was influential in helping me form true journalism style."

Casey, who moved to Boulder, Colo., with her husband from Santa Fe one year ago, spends spare time biking, hiking, and running. They enjoy active travel and even hiked Machu Pichu a few years back, providing her with a few stories of her own!

"I never expected to be where I am nor that things would evolve into a career that I couldn't have envisioned when I graduated."

"The real story is - I love what I'm doing."

You may contact Casey at casey [at]