A Profitable “Job” Most People Have Never Heard Of

Dear Early to Rise Reader,

I’d like to share with you a valuable secret I learned about the direct marketing industry recently. Over the next few years, I think it will allow me to boost my income by as much as 25% per year. It can probably do the same thing for you…maybe more. Let me show you what I mean… I work primarily as a direct mail copywriter. Without question, it’s a great way to make a living. I get to travel often…I set my own hours…I choose which assignments I want to take…and I earn a nice income. It’s no secret that direct marketing copywriters earn higher-than-average salaries.

MMF has mentioned to you in the past how copywriting can be one of the most valuable and lucrative skills you can learn. But what you may not know–what I learned only as a result of working on a recent assignment–is that the people who do the graphic design work for direct mail packages are very well paid too…sometimes they are paid even more than the copywriters! The surprising thing is that most of these “designers” have little or no formal artistic or design training.

Most, in fact, are self-taught. Take someone I met through this recent project; for example, named Sean. He discovered he could make a lot more money doing desktop design for direct marketers than he could in the T-shirt business. Today, Sean handles 5 to 15 jobs at any one time. He keeps busy working up to 50 hours a week. With an hourly rate of $60, he’s earning an income even a lawyer, doctor, or airline pilot might envy. Or how about a woman I used to work with in Ireland named Catherine. I lost touch with her when she quit working for the small publishing operation that employed us both. But I found out recently how well she is doing. Less than two years after becoming a freelance designer, she not only makes more money than she ever did as a full-time employee…she gets to work out of her home in Waterford.

Sean and Catherine, by the way, are relative beginners, on the low end of the earnings scale. Another fellow I met through this project, Rob Davis, charges between $10,000 and $15,000 to design a single direct mail package–and he has six major clients that give him all the work he needs or wants. He didn’t want to talk about exactly how much he earns, and I didn’t want to push it. But, if he does only two direct mail packages a month at $15,000 each, that’s a gross annual income of $360,000 a year. Rob did say this: “I think I have the best job in the world. I live where I want (rural Idaho), do what I want, have freedom and time to spend with my family … and am well paid for it.” The amazing thing is that he didn’t have any prior experience in desktop design.

The point I’m trying to make is that most of the people who are making really good money in this business didn’t have much, if anything at all, in the way of formal training…and yet, because there is such a demand for people who know the secrets and techniques of creating direct mail designs, their services are in huge demand. And they make a lot of money. How did I learn all of this recently? Well, I was working on a project for the folks at the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI). They asked me to help them with some copy for a new course they just finished, called Graphic Design Success. It is a course that is structured to show complete beginners everything they need to know to become a high-paid direct mail designer.

I was so impressed with AWAI’s program–they’re the same people, by the way, who helped me learn the secrets of copywriting years ago, with their copywriting course–that I’ve just enrolled in the “Graphic Design Success” program myself. I looked at the course closely and realized how it could help me earn more money. Learning the simple, basic graphic skills you need to be successful as a direct mail designer, it turns out, is not as difficult as you might think. Today’s advanced, point-and-click computer software has made it much simpler to do than it was even a few years ago. What would take years to learn on your own, however, are the concepts of successful direct mail design. It’s not that the subject matter is complicated, but rather that it would take hundreds of tests–lots of trial and error–and millions of dollars of direct mailings before you’d have a clue about which designs work and which don’t.

Of course, with AWAI’s help, you don’t have to do that. They gathered some of the best direct marketing experts in the industry (designers, writers, publishers, and marketers) to help them put this training course together. Does it make sense for you to enroll as well? That’s impossible for me to say. But, if you want to learn a high-paid skill that you can use to make a living from home, I think you should at least give it a look. To learn more go to www.awaionline.com/pdgraphicdesign, where Ray Holland, a successful desktop designer, explains exactly what’s involved.


Mike Palmer

Early to Rise