Writing a "One Page"
I have to write a “one page” for YouTellYours.
It’s not the first time I’ve been asked for this and not the first time I’ve tried to write one. It’s a weird thing to write though.
I feel pressured because it is essentially a sales brochure. And with that word “sales”, I still get hung up that I need to become pushier, more persuasive, and appear shinier. I know that sales these days shouldn’t be like that. It’s much more effective to be honest and clear. Make it easy for the people you seek to serve, to recognize the value of your offer. And make it easy for the people who won’t value your offer, to move on quickly.
As I sit down to write, my past career fights me too. Engineering, tech, an MBA, and management consultancy has conditioned me. I feel drawn to write a bullet point list of benefits and deliverables. And yet everything I’ve learned while we build YouTellYours is that a story is the most powerful tool.
I’m writing this “one page” at the suggestion of a lovely marketer that I met through LunchClub. When I told her the story of what we do and how we came to recognize the need, she offered to send a “one page” to her group of HR Directors for creative businesses. Clearly this a set of people we would wish to serve and who value the creativity that comes from better connected and engaged teams. And so I try to write.
I am not the best storyteller on our team. Lynn is clearly the better writer. However, as much as I am conditioned to write bullet point lists, Lynn has never met a metaphor she didn’t like. Lynn’s go-to writing of a “one page” would have people sharing the expertly crafted story but there would be no “call to action.”
If I can’t get Lynn to write it, and I know whatever I write won’t be perfect, that makes for some character-building discomfort!
So I wrote a draft. Then I nearly asked Lynn for feedback. I hope that I’ve finally learned the lesson that my first draft isn’t ready for feedback. What it is ready for, is a nap and some reflection, and then probably a completely new draft. Asking for help too soon isn’t very productive for me. Once I’ve reflected on my work I will inevitably want to try another direction and that direction probably won’t match the feedback I get.
Reflection on my “one page” draft made me spot the complete lack of a story and any mention of who we are in my first draft. Is a second first draft a thing? I guess so, as that’s what I did next.
Lynn fixed the flow and the structure, and I fix the typos. It is no longer a rough-around-the-edges draft.
But is it finished? There is no deadline. There is no definition of perfect. There’s no easy test for “good enough.”
I let go of the outcome. I send it with curiosity.