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Create an Effective Wholesale Catalog

Lesson 7 of 9

Don't Let Budget Stand in the Way of Your Perfect Catalog

Katie Hunt

Create an Effective Wholesale Catalog

Katie Hunt

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Lesson Info

7. Don't Let Budget Stand in the Way of Your Perfect Catalog

Lesson Info

Don't Let Budget Stand in the Way of Your Perfect Catalog

So let's, move into the budget you might be asking yourself, like, can I afford this? Like we've talked about professional photography, we've talked about design services we talked about, you know, outsourcing all this stuff, you know? So I want to run through some kind of like options for when you want to splurge it it's kind of like a wedding, and I also quit this example when we talk about trade shows that paper camp but, you know, you have to decide what your budget is and where you want tio, spend your money and where you think you can cut back and do it yourself. So designing the catalog, you know, a splurges definitely hiring somebody to do it for you, hiring a graphic designer to build a custom template for you. The includes all of your product that includes all your branding and do it start to finish for you, obviously, with direction and and guidance from you on the skin side, you can do it yourself so you can get in and design and get your hands dirty and really try to get i...

t done. That's difficult. So if you're not familiar with in design, I would highly encourage you to take a course or you know, find some way to educate yourself because otherwise it will take you longer to figure out on your own or there's also that middle ground to of buying a pre purchase template like the ones that are offered in your bonus materials with a discount, you can then just kind of drop images into, but the thing is, a graphic designer is going to use professional designed software, so if you don't have access that software that's an added cost. So you really do want to kind of weigh the pros and cons of whether you're saving time? You know, everything boils down to time that money, right? So you may spend a little bit more and money hiring somebody, but you're going toe cut down your time investment by hiring somebody. So again, you have to wait what's best for you. You have to look at what your budget can take, but those are some of the options with designing, editing, improve reading. This is a critical critical component if you know you have the splurge here is that you can hire somebody. All my supporters seem to be outsourced outsourcing, but what the splurge here is that you hire somebody to prove it. And specifically looking at the nitty gritty details not just looking oh does it look great? Is the formatting okay? You know all of the above looking at the product details looking at this skewed numbers in particular that's really, really where you want to hone in on the attention to detail the skin pierre is, you know, recruit friends, family members, people that are you know that aaron the editing business or have a background and some of this and, you know, get them to do it. But even if you hire somebody you still want several eyeballs on this catalog before you go to print, I would also recommend to help with this editing improving process purchasing a proof from your printer most will offer it for a fee and you can get a copy before they print the larger print run. You just get one sample and you read through it does lengthen the time line of getting this catalog, but if you plan ahead for that I'm seeing it in print really helps to with the scale size and it's different than putting it off on your home computer just a kinko's or something. So I do recommend you spend the money there for that also one note on this to my boot camp alarms and I can testify from personal experience on this too many if not all wish that they had allowed more time for developing their catalog, they feel like they would have spent more time on proofing and they would have caught more airs or avoided were errors so, you know, again give yourself plenty of time to develop this catalog and then go through the proofing process is really important so we talked a lot about product photography before, so I'm just going to quickly go over this side but really you're splurge here is hiring a professional it's getting somebody else to do the work for you if this is something that really scares you and intimidates you or you just feel like the quality of those the photos you're taking aren't up to snuff hire somebody focus on your strengths focus on where you can really add the most value to your business and hire somebody for this the you know, skim side of it on the lower budget side this is where you want to do something like hair did where you barter trade or you just take him yourself and maybe you do the the editing yourself or maybe you you know, hire one of those online services to do the photo editing for you it's a lower cost option and for people starting out you know it's a really great way to do it I showed you the catalogue for semisweet press on the screen here I have a pretty catalogue here too, but all of her photos were things that she took herself and they look fantastic so again but no your strength here again and no what works best for you and then printing so you know a commercial any commercial digital printer can print these for you they can you especially they have more options you can use a heavyweight paper you could use that excuse me, a thinner wait paper you could do full color like the full monty here is like thick paper, full color commercial printer, high quantity, the lower end price point of these though there's a lot of online printers that are coming out with catalog options booklet options you can order fewer quantity s o the prize overall price will be less, but I do want to note that some of the online printers the quote the quality will suffer a little bit. We've talked a lot in my community about printers that have been good printers that have been bad some someone might have a great experience in the x person might have a bad one so again that's we're getting that proof is really helpful too. Um again some other ways in the print department that you can save some money you can print on thin or paper, you could do a black and white catalog I don't necessarily recommend that for products I think you really if you're going to spend the money on a catalog, do it and do it right but those are some ways that you can kind of curb some of your costs and then this is something we talked about you is just how many to order so this large is that you buy enough for everything you might possibly need you just go crazy you know that could be all your potential targets on your mailing list if you plan to work with sales reps if you want to use these for marketing outreach if you plan to go to shows you know that number is probably going to be five hundred or above is that splurged level depending on how established you are and where you are in your business if you're just starting out you know a smaller quantity like a hundred like carried it is a really good place to start if you're not doing a show if you are doing a show I'd probably bump that number up to two hundred fifty should be your minimum because you'll use them at the show and then outside of the show um so the skin very is like order lesser quantity and just prioritize your mailing list prioritize how you're going to use them find an alternative like that postcard we're talking about and use that when you don't want to hand out the physical catalog is that makes sense yeah okay s o that is like those air the basics of my kind of skimping splurge and I really want you teo focus on what your budget is I really don't want this catalog breaking your bank and causing you to not be able to invest in other parts of your business I do think catalogs very important, but I think you can do it in a way that still fits within your overarching budget of what you want to spend on this so I didn't want to ask the audience both online as was in the studio you know what is something you splurge on when creating your catalog or line sheet and or if there's ah skimp option to you wanna share of that you saved me some money you know let's share let's let's work together to figure out some solutions tiffany you've done a catalog share this uh I thought I was going to skimp and lay out the catalogue by myself but I had too much of life late and had to splurge and I had had helped to do that for me and so that's why I splurged on he splurged on the designer yeah okay yeah and did they create a template that then you can reuse later? Well, I didn't know what the etiquette was I didn't know if I can so now I am going to go back and ask her for I don't know a way to have that conversation but I would normally tell you to address that at the front end of it they may just surprising if it's going to be something that's reuse because it's kind of like that licensing stuff we touched on very briefly you know it so I wouldn't typically address that at the front and say the them I'd love to have a template that I can then reuse later on down the line would you be open to doing that most are but go back to her and ask all she what's where she could do say no yes so I split on that kelly even kind of looks before ah yeah with other companies and you know it's it's just all over the place I think really the most important thing already touched on was hiring a photographer that you can't I mean without good pictures you can't sell your product so I mean that's that's the one thing that I would say you know, it's really worth the money and especially if you can find a photographer that like I think it was perfect that you work with somebody in the wedding industry because they have access to a lot of props and I think playing in with that tailoring props with your line you know, depending on what it is I mean if you're selling apparel and you're partnering, you know, jewelry with the the clothing or you know the right kind of shoes or something um it will just add that much more into your line xom creative from a sale drops perspective on govern like from a sales rep for perspective which of the components in your opinions most important from a sales perspective the photos for sure having poor images can really in cannibal statement your brand in a sense so I've had people that you know we've worked with that have not very great images and when people see the items in person they say oh my gosh this doesn't even match up with my expectations so just knowing that making that first impression with a catalog is huge through photography you want something it's not quite this but so digital category catalog so I hear you I think print is you know there's nothing that beats print just to hand hold on my everything that it gives you so when do you use the digital or is it just sitting out there in cyber space hoping someone will look at it? Where do you send out email blasts or is that where instead of sending the catalog with the insert you actually send a link to your updated catalog online and say no check out my god boston wins the that's an awesome question and we will talk a little bit about that more during the marketing to retailers course but I would include that lane also first of all, people are searching issue in particular all the time so I would include your digital catalogue there in case retailer stumbles upon you but I would also included on your web site we talked about earlier like having that functioning web sites a critical sales tool so you know having that on your website for people to download and it could be behind a wholesale portal if you prefer or it could just be on your site but there's a couple other places you could put it you could put it in your email footer and it could just be texas slinked check out our wholesale can you know most current wholesale catalogue here you could have it linked on your social media sites if if you're primarily selling wholesale I do that if you're selling also to the retail market I probably wouldn't do that because it might confuse buyers but yeah there's a lot of different ways that you can leverage that digital link the other thing is some people will just email and ask for a catalog or can I get your information? I want to create a wholesale order so that's a really great time to respond to them to you and just send them your digital materials and then you could also ask them would you like me to follow up with a printed piece but at least that way is quicker it's it's within hands reach like done and I usually recommend people set up this is going like a little more technical than I normally do but have a little folder on your desktop that's like all your sales tools so that you've got you know you've got a temple email that you can customize for different people you've got your, you know pdf of your catalog maybe you've got a couple of images that could be the same images in your catalog, frankly, but all of its in a quick grab folder that you can then just kind of on made and put into your email when people come enquiring or if you're pro actively reaching out to so yeah, we have a few questions online, so daisy chain oddities at asks if you operate in two languages do print to catalogs or one with two languages goodness gracious, I don't know I think for that one I would probably print my primary language and then maybe have an insert she with your terms and conditions and pricing in the second language and then have this is so time consuming teo create, but I would think it would be really valuable if you're working with multi lingual people, but then I think I'd put online both versions if it was possible to do both languages um because the skew and all that stuff will stay the same me gosh, I don't know I think it's hard call I like I've been in, you know, I've lived in foreign countries before, and I have scenes catalogs, but do both, like, just english or have, like english and chinese, side by side, right with each product? Yeah, I think if that's feasible from a design, if that still looks good, serves his purposes a functional sales tool and and it is feasible from the size of the catalog, it doesn't make it too cumbersome than I do that. But otherwise, if you only have the option to really print one version, I would probably do your primary language and audit at an answer or have two pages with the pricing in different languages. I think I want to see that in person to be able to weigh in with a more substantial point of view. But that's a tricky one? I haven't incurred that before. So and sarah cooley asked the cost keeps getting mentioned, but what is the average cost you should expect to spend when printing get your catalog? And that was that question was pretty popular. Yeah, chat rooms. So this is in the bonus material. I've got some sample pricing and some I'm going to share it here, so for example, but and this is just one printers quote. Like again, every printer is going to be different the quality when you change paper styles size all that stuff is going to justice but just for ballpark range here difference printing in san diego does two hundred fifty quantity of the smaller five and a half by eight and half catalogue the half size sheets like this sixteen pages is four hundred eighty dollars before their discounts for my students there eight and a half by eleven sheet the size sixteen pages is six hundred and sixty two dollars and fifty cents so we're talking about a substantial investment when you print these catalogs again there are now online this is a commercial printer this is high quality full color sixteen pages there are online printers that will do it for less expensive but again the quality of that might go down. So I think last year I did through you printing perhaps or smart press there's there's a lot of different online printers and I know I spent at least five hundred dollars and that was to get five hundred catalogs. So um again it's going to very based on the materials used in stuff but that should hopefully give people a ballpark of some price ranges. Hopefully that helps it's a reminder for everybody that the bonus material again there's a lot of great material that bonus material and it's for purchase on lee so when you buy you get all that you get that workbook but all that great information, so check it out and there's some resource is in there for some of those online printers I don't mean to cut you off. Oh no, not at all but there's some resource is for some of the online printers, and they're just to select few there's lots and lots of mail, right and there's, are there some discounts yet for printers and yeah, there's a special discounts for my students with the paid of course great, so get those discounts of the paid of course, and we'll pay for your class really quickly actually probably will come with a wave of resentment thing is, yeah, a lot can be a lot depending how much you're printing absolutely lining. So the last question on deck is for from les slit, and she says all of my paper products are printed on matt papers as I found that they highlight the textures of my delicate watercolor designs the best yet I've noticed that most catalogs are printed on glossy paper. Is it ok to print on a map papers so much? My actual product? Absolutely I would encourage you to use whichever paper stock is going tio display your product in the best possible way the glossy paper is sometimes a little less expensive than the matte paper and said that's, why you'll see more more people using that and but that's, where running samples are asking for paper samples from the printer's you're using. Definitely asked to do that because you want, you're going to spend a lot of time and money developing this catalog. And so you wanted to look at the best possible. And so, yeah, use the matte paper. If that's, what makes your products like the best?

Class Description

An effective product catalog is a must-have tool in the arsenal of any business with a wholesale arm.   This class will guide you through each step of creating catalog that helps you and your business appear more polished and professional.

This class will introduce you to the process of creating a compelling wholesale catalog. You’ll learn about:  

  • Leveraging dynamic product photos – even when a professional photographer is out of reach  
  • Organizing your catalog to increase sales 
  • Stretching the life of your catalog 
  • Strategies for cost-effective production and printing 
Whether you’re an independent artist taking your first steps into the world of wholesaling or a long-time wholesaler looking to refine your sales tools, you’ll leave this course with concrete, easy-to-follow steps for building a catalog that will entice your customers – and drive your sales.



Even though I've been selling my creative work through my wholesale business for several years, this class was a great refresher! It can be so tempting to make a catalog that's artistic and flashy, but Katie reminds us that the main focus should be to make it easy for your client to BUY! Katie has tons of experience with businesses buying and selling paper goods and gifts, and her insights help me focus in on the details that matter most to my buyers. Thanks for the help!

Katy Casey

This course was fantastic and gave specific tips on how to effectively create your wholesale catalog. It was a perfect resource as I hadn't even thought about creating my catalog yet, but the info I learned will help influence the direction and thought I put into building out my product line.

Tracy Clarke

I already had a digital catalog, but this really opened my mind up to the idea of a printed one and how important it can be for getting sales. It was great to see other catalog examples and learn about the variety of product that a retailer is looking for in a catalog. Really great class for anyone wanting to expand into the wholesale business.