In my experience of starting a swimwear line and then switching over to start a hair accessories line, I’ve learned a ton about how to present the product digitally for wholesale buyers to make the most sense.
As a designer, linesheets are going to be your most valuable asset when contacting shops, typically a PDF that you you can include in your emails when you reach out. Here are a few tips, fashion designers and product creators, for when you are creating your linesheets and in your wholesale outreach:
- 1. Keep it Simple
- 2. Leave No Questions
- 3. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
- 4. Know When to Stop Editing
- 5. Ask Permission
- 6. Make them Easily Accessible
Only include the most important information, and keep it in an order that makes sense, with options that won’t confuse your buyers. The fewer questions they need to ask, the better. Which leads me to…
Want to get some feedback on how much sense your linesheets make? Ask your little brother, your friend who is a scientist or a lawyer, or the kids that live next door to you. Basically anyone who doesn’t know your industry.
When I created my first set of linesheets, I went in blind and made them the way I envisioned they should be laid out, and what I thought they should include. Later, when I began working with a rep, she asked if I could simply model mine after another designer, and showed me a few options. Well, that was easy and saved a ton of time when I sent them to my assistant. You might also ask a few shop owners or managers to view some linesheets they they prefer to buy from. You can never ask too many questions.
With that being said, you’ll get a variety of opinions on your linesheets. For example, I have one rep who wanted linesheets without any images, because she liked to keep them short and simple. Another rep asked that I include as many as possible. I made them each a unique version that they would feel good about, but as for my own set, I went for a middle-of-the-road approach, and so far feel good about how well buyers are responding to them.
When you’re ready to begin reaching out to your buyer list, I’m begging you, please don’t send your linesheets right off the bat to your cold leads. We start with an email or a phone call to ask permission, and that has been very well received. It pays to take your time, and put yourself in a buyer’s shoes as someone who is likely contacted 18 times a day with product offers. How can you set yourself a part? Etiquette is a lost art, especially when it comes to email. So are phone calls. I’ll fill you in more about my “system” another time for this.
When I do get permission to send linesheets to buyers, I actually send a link to where they can access the linesheets, as well as other information. If I were really good, I’d also include the PDF in the email for good measure. Some email systems get blocked up, however, with other brands like yours sending linesheets as PDFs, and receiving a ton of those is a good way to fill up your inbox memory fast. Even your trusty Gmail account will fill up at some point with space if you send and receive a lot of attachments without erasing them from time to time.
I hope this helps, and if you have questions about how to create your linesheets, reaching out to buyer, etc, feel free to contact me, and I’ll point you in the right direction to making sales for your product. Good luck! You’ve got this.