Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Tips for Creating a More Effective Onesheet

If you've used print marketing to promote your business, you're probably familiar with the term "onesheet" (or "one sheet," one-sheet" et cetera). This simple document serves as an all-purpose leave-behind for those client meetings, networking events, and other situations in which you want to stay top of mind long after the encounter has come and gone. But you can't just hand out any old thing with your name on it and expect the calls to roll in. Like any other marketing piece, a onesheet needs to have all the essential elements in all the right places to make an impact and attract customers. So let's look at some smart tips for making your onesheet as effective as possible.

Envision Your Audience.

This rule applies to all kinds of marketing content, including onesheets. Before you write a word of content, ask yourself who you're writing that content for -- and get as specific about it as possible. Does your target market mainly consist of tired homemakers? Harried executives? New parents looking out for their kids' long-term health or finances? Try to imagine that person as vividly as you can, and then write directly to that imaginary person. You may asking, "But what if I have several different types of clients?" The answer: Create a different onesheet for each of those target audiences!

Match the Design to the Brand.

When I write onesheets for my clients, I'm working in tandem with a graphic designer -- either someone the client has already engaged, or one of my own "regulars." In many cases, the graphic designers will want me to create the text first so they can draw visual inspiration from it. But these experts also receive their design cues from your existing brand elements. Send samples of your company colors, fonts, and other key features to the designer early in the process. Make sure you have (or can construct) a high-definition image of your company logo to ensure crisp, detailed, clean-looking results.

Include Striking, Relevant Images.

Pictures always make a big, colorful, eye-catching splash as part of any good onesheet design. Yes, you can get away with stock photos of smiling people in suits shaking hands or whatever -- but honestly, everyone has seen that kind of stuff a zillion times, to the point that it doesn't make as much impact as you might think. Get a professional photographer to take pictures of your team members, workplace, equipment, and other images under optimal lighting and with optimal gear. If you typically display vivid yet simple charts or other graphics when you make pitches to prospective clients, your designer might be able to make use of those, too.

Use Each Side for a Different Message.

Of course, you can create a single-sided onesheet instead of a double-sided one. But it's not the smartest investment, in my opinion. For one thing, when you only use one side of the sheet, you're going to a lot of effort to create half a document -- when you could double the amount of information the onesheet communicates at relatively little additional cost. Even worse, the minute somebody accidentally turns that sheet upside down on a table or desk, it becomes nothing but a blank sheet of paper. So I recommend organizing your information so that each side of the sheet conveys its own important message. For example, the top side might lay out your basic sales pitch, while the reverse side might introduce you and your key team members.

Flow Toward a Call to Action.

Just as the graphic designer creates a format that leads the reader's eye in a precise pattern down the page of a onesheet, so must your written content flow toward a call to action. Both sides of your onesheet should end with a final encouragement to contact your company for more information or to make a purchase. (Some onesheets even include a tear-away coupon or other special offer for this very purpose.) It's usually smart to place your contact information in this same part of the page so your excited reader doesn't cool off while searching the document for it. You always want to make that response as easy as possible.

Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way toward producing a powerful onesheet. Or if you'd rather just leave it all to the specialists, here's one more tip: Contact me. Not only do I have decades of experience writing onesheet content, but I can also bring top-quality graphic design talent onboard as needed. We'll provide you with a leave-behind that won't get left behind!