Let’s begin, as so many things do, with a silly question. Except that it’s not silly, and it’s a question most artists never trouble to ask. What is a wholesale catalogue?
Here’s my answer.
Think of a time when selling your work felt effortless.
Maybe you were chatting to a customer at a craft show and they were so bowled over by the lovely thing you make they could hardly get their wallet out fast enough.
Or if selling in person has never been an inviting prospect (and that’s often the case for creative people,) picture a time when making your lovely thing felt effortless. Perhaps you were working on a commission for a customer and you instinctively knew how to delight her.
Have you experienced moments like that? Times when you felt completely at ease, yet completely in charge of your business?
That’s the essence of a persuasive wholesale catalogue.
On a practical level, it’s a booklet or brochure.
It can be made from paper or pixels, and it tells a shopkeeper how to go about get your work on their shelves. Your products, prices, terms and conditions – all the facts about how you do business are laid out inside.
But your wholesale catalogue also expresses why a shopkeeper might want to stock your stuff.
Through photographs, design and copy, you’re telling a story about who your work is for. You’re showing how your lovely thing enhances that person’s happiness, and therefore why he or she might want to buy it.
And, when you get it right, all of this is communicated in a naturally persuasive way, just like it would be if you were chatting with a favourite customer.
There’s no fear or anxiety.
All of the answers are at your fingertips and you’re on sparkling form. Your wholesale catalogue is a distillation of those golden moments.
Oh, if only I’d been there to stuff you into my giant garlic press!
I could have bottled that precious essence and saved us both a lot of trouble.
But we’re going to do the next best thing. We’re going to reconstruct that feeling of being completely at ease and completely in charge of your business, and translate it into something tangible you can use to sell your work to retailers.
Because let’s be honest. Moments like that don’t come along very often, no matter how much gingko biloba you toss into your smoothie in the morning.
For your wholesale business to thrive, we need a way for you to be in the zone even when you’re 100% not in the zone.
Even when you’re asleep, 1000 miles away from a potential stockist, or in bed with two cats and the box set of Battlestar Galactica.
That’s what your catalogue is for.
help with wholesale
If you've liked what I've had to say,
get more with my newsletter.
Six free Beginner's Guides, weekly wholesale tips and the occasional
offer to help you sell the lovely thing you make to shops.