September 11, 2020

How to Make a LineSheet

You’ve been told you need a linesheet, you’ve read up on vital selling tools and you’ve even fiddled with generic product sell sheet templates scattered online. But there’s one thing nobody’s sharing: how to create a product sell sheet from the ground up.

One reason you’re not getting a ton of guidance is because the process is hard. It can also be expensive. Creating linesheets from scratch can drain your wallet and your will to live faster than you can say “SOS!”

But fear not, oh ambitious ones. Learning how to make a linesheet is easy when you have an app serving as your second in command and top-of-the-line product sell sheet templates at your disposal.

Related: Why Do I Need a LineSheet?

How to Make a LineSheet in 4 Steps

Creating a sell sheet doesn’t have to be a big production, but often it can be, especially if you’re new to it. Here are four steps to creating a great linesheet each and every time:

1. Choose a Template

Different businesses have different needs. That’s why Linesheets — the web-based app you’ve been waiting for — has a cornucopia of linesheet templates with a variety of industries, product lines and aesthetics in mind. Whether you’ve been scouring the internet for a t-shirt linesheet template that’ll make your designs sing or simply can’t live without a linesheet for your handcrafted furniture, Linesheets has got you covered.

Not sure what you’re looking for? Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I need a linesheet for a single product or a collection?
  • Which template seems like it would mesh with my potential partner’s aesthetic? (Target might be drawn to a different look than, say, your local family-run hardware store.)
  • Which layout feels the most “on brand?”
  • Is there enough space to include key product details?

When in doubt, opt for something simple. You can always switch to a more complex design later on; for now, your top priority is getting your products into the spotlight.

Spending a fortune making manual linesheets? Learn more about Linesheets — the tool that makes your job easier and saves you money.

2. Customize Your Layout

If your linesheet template is a big pile of delicious tortilla chips, your customization options are the condiments. While most people want meat, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole, you get to pick whether it’s ground beef or chicken, Colby-jack or straight-up melted cheddar, classic guac or something a little spicier.

In other words, this is your chance to tailor your new product sell sheet so it feels more personal. You can swap fonts, add colors to mimic your branding or move pictures around until the overall look finally feels right.

This is where you’ll put in crucial product specs, too — but don’t panic, we’ll show you which details are usually included in a linesheet, such as:

  • Logo
  • Product name
  • Collection name (if applicable)
  • SKU or item number
  • Product description
  • Available sizes
  • Available colors/finishes
  • Pricing (wholesale as well as suggested retail)
  • Minimum order requirements
  • Quantity limits
  • Estimated turnaround time
  • Sales terms
  • General ordering and delivery information

You made need all of those details or only a few. If you think an extra tidbit would help a buyer understand your product and make a positive decision, include it; if that detail is just cluttering up the page, ditch it.

There’s also the question of a single-product sheet versus one presenting a collection. Think carefully about how you want to group products and which you should lead with (generally your newest products or best sellers should take center stage). Give seasonal products or those most relevant to the target audience’s special placement, too.

See: 6 Ways to Ease LineSheet Production

3. Review and Edit

Now it’s time to take another look at your linesheet, this time with an uber-critical eye. Try to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes; without your emotional ties to the product in the way, what would an outsider see? Review your linesheet with fresh eyes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your logo clearly visible?
  • Are the fonts consistent and easy to read?
  • Have you included the correct prices?
  • Is your contact information up-to-date and displayed in a prominent place?
  • Have you met any buyer-specific requirements or requests?
  • Are all listed products relevant to the person or retailer you’re presenting them to?
  • Are your images clear, high quality, with proper lighting?
  • Are your images cropped and similar in both size and orientation?
  • Will your linesheet stand out in a crowd?

A cohesive linesheet screams organization and professionalism — two things buyers look for not just in sell sheets but in vendors, too.

Related: 4 Ways to Level-Up Your Business Using LineSheets

4. Download and Send

Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece, feel free to pat yourself on the back and take a much-needed coffee break. Then it’s time to put your finished product to work. You have a couple of options:

  • Email It: Linesheets offers an in-app email capability that sends linesheets from your own email address without the need to switch programs or open up a new tab.
  • Download It: You can download your sell sheet as a PDF, then print it, sell it or add it to your other marketing collateral when you pack for a conference, convention or one-on-one sales meeting.

A great linesheet template makes life a lot easier. The first run through may take a few extra minutes, but once you get the hang of things you’ll be a lean, mean, linesheet example-creating machine.

Are you a buyer with an eye for the perfect linesheet? Share your insights below — we want to know what you look for when a new sell sheet crosses your desk!

How to Get More Out of Your Sell Sheets With the Linesheets App

We’ve stressed how easy it is to make a sell sheet with Linesheets, but it’s also easy to make a beautiful linesheet — one that’s fully functionally and brilliantly designed from headline to call-to-action. Do everything right and you’re working smarter and paving the way for customers to sign on the dotted line without losing momentum along the way.

Here’s how to squeeze every last drop of potential out of our program:

  • Make it pretty. Clutter kills and white space matters. Think of it like a restaurant menu— what’s more pleasurable to read, a massive wall of text and images or a couple of thoughtfully crafted pages that flow smoothly and lead your eyes where they need to go.
  • Give your star player the spotlight. If you sell sheet has multiple items, lead with your most profitable or popular option and let the others play a supporting role.
  • Categorize your products properly — but also be creative. Sometimes you’ll want like with like (all the bracelets in one group, for instance), other times you’ll play to your audience by putting together a small collection of all science-themed toys or the perfect summer outfit. The key is to be sure the sell sheet makes sense as a whole.
  • Aim for uniformity. When images are the same size, products are all in identical boxes, and item names are clearly marked in bold script, you’re increasing scannability and boosting visual appeal.
  • Include the important bits. These will change depending on your industry but think: collection, style, size, color, price, ordering info, lead time, case size, minimum order count, etc.
  • Limit the noise. Too many asides makes for a messy sheet. Stick to the important points, use boxes and horizontal lines to sequester information, and save us all a lot of eye strain by picking a font and color scheme that are easy to read.
  • Don’t dither. Your life story is fascinating, but it doesn’t belong on a linesheet. Product descriptions are vital, but flowery language and rambling metaphors only obscure the stuff that really matters.
  • Invest in professional photography — or at least upload high-resolution photos. Blurry shots with bad lighting scream amateur hour, and that’s not the look you’re going for.
  • Get down to the nitty-gritty and lay out your terms and conditions. It may not be fun to talk about cancellation policies and return times, but it is necessary.
  • Have payment and shipping protocols? Those can go here too.
  • Don’t forget your contact information. Seriously.

Play around with cover pages, promotional announcements, and purchase order forms as you see fit. The key is to use your best judgment — if it makes it easier for customers to know who you are and place their order, consider it. If it falls into the “more is just more” category, ditch it.

Customize Your LineSheets

Giving your linesheet template a quick nip and tuck isn’t just for aesthetics. When done correctly, customization should buoy your branding, accommodate client needs and reflect fluctuations in inventory.

Have a client who desperately needs to expand their store’s selection of thumb rings? Create a sell sheet just for them, highlighting your top picks and underscoring your passion for hand-polishing each special piece.

Has your fabric vendor discontinued two of the most popular dress colors? Delete those from your linesheet before sending updated copies to your Rolodex of clients.

That “hot new product” actually a total dud? Cut your losses and delete it from your linesheet, freeing up the priceless real estate so you can insert something better.

Still selling doormats but need to replace the holiday designs with spring florals? One-click customization ensures you can do that too, and it’s just as easy as you hope.

You can’t do that with catalogs. You certainly can’t do that, at least not efficiently, if you have to design a new linesheet from the ground up every time. Without a template, every nixed product and deleted color shifts columns in the wrong direction and throws off the visual balance. It’s hard. And it doesn’t have to be.

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Photo credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock.com

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