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Creating Craft Catalogues and Instruction Guides

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Craft Crafts Catalogues Guides Design

If you’re looking for new and novel ways of promoting your craft business, then how about creating craft catalogues and instruction guides?

For most crafts businesses it’s no longer practical to produce catalogues simply listing all the products they sell, not least as it can soon go out of date. Having online websites has helped get rid of the need, as people can browse the range of products available online. But when you’re trying to continue to promote your business and the wide range of products you have available, then there are still benefits to be gained from creating craft catalogues and instruction guides.

With the crafts business in particular, customers are really keen to learn how to get the most from the products they buy. Although some products have basic instructions on their packaging, most items don’t come equipped with more than simple instruction leaflets. In many cases, customers are left unaware of everything they could do with their products.

Craft catalogues and guides can be used as both an effective marketing tool for your business, but also as a very useful resource for your customers – if they contain the right balance and level of information.

What to Include in Craft Catalogues and Guides?

One of the most useful types of content that you could include in craft catalogues and guides are step-by-step project ideas, with clear and easy examples to follow and hints and tips about how to produce certain crafts and specific techniques. The content could draw on products you sell and be aimed at various different ages or crafter experience.

If you’re already running craft classes and courses as part of your business, then you can draw on your wealth of existing experience when creating the guide. If you don’t feel up to the job of writing the guide, then you could employ a professional freelance writer to write the content for you, using your guidelines and experience. Plus, you could either use your own creative skills to design it, or enlist the help of a local design company.

To be sure about the type of content your customers would like to see, it may be useful to do a spot of market research. Simple data gathering approaches, such as questionnaires, should do the job efficiently and will help you gauge details about what kind of instruction guides or crafts they’d like featured in the guide.

Your guide could be printed by a local printer for a professional look, or you could perhaps print it and bind it yourself. Depending on your print run and when/if you intend to update the guide, it’s a good idea to try and keep the contents from dating too soon, as you don’t want it to seem old before its time. So if your prices are likely to change or you may stop stocking certain products, try and avoid mentioning them.

Alternatively, one way around this is to produce simple inserts to insert into the guide with details of current product prices – that way, you can keep it up-to-date without having to reprint the entire guide.

Once you’ve produced the crafts catalogue or guide, then always ensure it’s thoroughly proofread and checked for errors before it goes to print. Don’t forget to ensure that all your essential business contact information is included, such as the name of your business, your address, phone numbers, website and email address. You’ll need to consider whether you’ll charge for the guide or provide it free for customers - in part, this may depend on any production costs involved in producing it.

Finally, once the guide is published and available, producing a press release to promote it may well work well and get you a mention in any local newspapers or crafting publications.

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