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Where The Money Is if You're a Copywriter or Graphic Designer

BY Chris Marlow

NEW - Chris has just published her long-awaited report: The 2005 Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey

Are you drawn to the world of direct response marketing because of its high income potential? If so, it pays to know where the money really is.


For freelancers who are interested in earning a very high income, it's best to look to industries that mail very large quantities; industries that mail very large quantities can do so only if they have a very large pool of buyers.


And consumers are a very large market, especially when it comes to certain widely used products such as face cream, vitamins, and publications. If a company drops a million pieces whenever they mail, and they're selling the product in a one-step (mail order), then they would place a very high value on the copywriter who can get results, even if incremental.


This is the arena where you'll find your most lucrative opportunities…work that can often command mailing royalties and/or bonuses, in addition to a hefty up-front flat rate. Imagine writing a mail order package for $15,000 and then making $20,000 every time it rolls out to 1 million names!


Of course, like practically everything else in life, the big mailers are fewer in number, representing the top of the pyramid; many smaller B2C companies occupy the middle and bottom portions of the pyramid.


Companies in the middle group (mid-size companies) are also great sources of business, paying well if not astronomically so. Small businesses, however, often do not have the funds to pay for professional copywriting, and often don't understand direct marketing or the value of copywriting, and must be educated. A common phrase uttered by the experienced copywriter or designer is "I don't take clients I have to educate."


The Business-to-Business Market:


Unlike the B2C market, the consumer and prospect universes of businesses are usually much smaller, often occupying niches that can be miniscule indeed. In such cases, all marketing costs are scrutinized with the utmost detail, with each campaign targeting a certain ROI. It's not uncommon for a large, well-known brand to consider a campaign a success if it brings in 15 or 30 high quality leads.


(Sometimes these leads have buying power that reaches into the millions of dollars.)


According to Direct Marketing Association statistics, about two-thirds of the B2B space is lead-generating in nature, with the remaining one-third order-generating. A review of my own copywriting samples bears this out.


For the copywriter, the difference between a lead-gen job and a mail order job comes down to money. Since it usually takes more "real estate" (space) to convince someone to "write a check now" than it does to convince someone to "raise her hand" (lead-gen), an order-generating job should pay more than a lead-gen job, and sometimes much more.


In terms of pay structure, most B2B companies work on flat rates and would find the idea of "bonuses" and "royalties" foreign. However, I have successfully negotiated pay structures that offer extra pay for goals met.


Dangerous? Absolutely.


But once you have the utmost confidence in your knowledge and talents, and if you trust the company implicitly (a nailed down contract is essential for any job, no matter who they are or what they pay)…then you can do a little "gambling" and increase your potential for income, to say nothing of "upping the excitement."

Related learning materials:


The 2005 Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey

Finally. Now you'll know how much to charge for that next freelance copywriting job - without having to worry about estimating too high or too low. Read my review...


Freelance Writing Success in a Box

What's in the Box? Everything you need to start and build your own, successfull freelance writing business. Learn how to start your company, find clients, set your prices and make up to six figures a year. Read my in-depth review

Michael Masterson's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

Improve your copywriting skills and enter the very lucrative market for direct marketing copywriters. This is a comprehensive course and my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to write copy that drives results. Read my in-depth review



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