How to Make $40,000 Over the Next 12 Months Doing Something You Love
You can make $40,000 (or more) over the next 12 months as a freelance graphic artist or designer.
Hang on…now hear me out… you don’t have to be Picasso… or even have previous training in art and design to get in on this exploding industry.
In fact, I recently helped M.T. transition from being an employee to full-time freelance graphic artist making more than $40,000 a year.
You can do the same!
Have You Received Your Code Yet?
To most people, this series of 140 numbers and letters mean absolutely nothing. They go on using it daily without truly using it to its full potential.
But if you follow just a few simple instructions… you could cash in as little as a few minutes a day.
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Every company and industry needs graphic design services – so there is plenty of work to do.
It’s important to be involved in a business which leverages hot rising trends. This skill is in demand and enjoying a rising trend.
A word of warning though…..
People will tell you graphic design and website design is obsolete.
In fact, last week I read about a top Internet “guru” proclaiming graphic artists, webmasters, and designers were obsolete.
He claimed online template stores like TemplateMonster.com, BoxedArt.com, and WebsiteTemplates.com eliminated the need to pay someone $35 (or more) per hour to “tinker” with the graphic design on websites.
I partly agree with him…but here’s where we differ.
The template sites like those mentioned above are a hot rising trend. Business owners are starting to realize you can buy “plug and play” customized websites off the shelf for just a few dollars.
Huge companies like Intuit, Microsoft and Yahoo! now offer “plug and play” websites.
But despite the popularity of buying websites and design services “off the shelf” there are still unlimited opportunities for freelance graphic artists, designers, and webmasters.
On top of that, you can make serious money working in this market. I’ll show you how to get started.
The secret to almost every planet is the formula for acquiring qualified prospects and clients.
My good friend M.T. is an excellent graphic designer. But he knew nothing about acquiring qualified prospects, clients or closing deals. He was lucky I was willing to help him.
I’ll explain the secret to obtaining an endless flow of qualified prospects and repeat business.
It’s not uncommon for graphic designers to make $35,000, $45,000, or even $55,000 per year or more. I know two freelance designers and webmasters who are making six figures per year!
First some basics on this funny business…….
The secret to making big money in this business is to find a pool of qualified prospects and sell your services to them.
Believe it or not… knowing how to make the first sale is almost as important as the quality of your work.
I’ll handle the secrets of closing sales in another issue.
But I will say this…
Most of the graphic designers I’ve retained over the years believe the quality of their work is the only factor needed to generate sales.
That’s a common misconception.
Granted, quality workmanship usually separates the amateurs from the pros. And most clients want high quality workmanship, at a reasonable price…delivered ON TIME.
But I’ve outsourced hundreds of graphic design and Web development projects over the years, and I can tell you this: The graphic designers making the big bucks in this business often have marginal design skills… but exceptional marketing savvy.
So having graphic-design skills is necessary.
But knowing how to find qualified prospects and how to sell your services to them is just as important.
What Is a Graphic Designer?
Graphic design is the art of arranging images and text to communicate a message.
It may be applied in any media, including print, digital media, motion pictures, animation, product decoration, packaging, and signs. These are just some of the hundreds of areas you could choose to specialize in.
But I’m going to show you where the money and repeat business resides.
Graphic design and the World Wide Web (especially the direct marketing side) are a natural fit.
Business owners and direct marketers need graphic designers to develop print products like brochures, catalogs, magalogs, sales letters, multimedia presentations, YouTube / Flash videos, videos for iPhone and advertisements.
On top of that there’s also a huge demand for graphic designers with Web-development, marketing, and e-mail marketing savvy.
Most business owners and direct marketers are starting to realize they don’t have to pay amateur webmasters (who are pretending to be graphic designers) $45 an hour to “tinker” with their projects.
Most business owners are still using the more traditional methods for locating graphic designers – like the Yellow Pages, want ads, referrals, or even employees who “dabble” in graphic design.
But business owners have discovered they can obtain graphic-design work or plug and play templates in a matter of minutes and at a fraction of the cost of hiring a graphic design firm.
Companies like LogoMojo offer professional graphic design and logos online for a fraction charged by most of the larger graphic design shops.
What’s more, people are doing more of their own graphic design and Web development.
Software programs like Adobe InDesign, Corel Designer, NetStudio, and Macromedia FreeHand make graphic design a snap.
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In most cases, a professionally designed brochure, sales letter, website, or presentation only takes a few minutes.
And like I mentioned earlier, online template farms like TemplateMonster.com, BoxedArt.com, and TemplateBlowout.com offer thousands of top-quality “ready-made websites” for only a few bucks each.
In the past, amateur webmasters would charge $1,000 to $2,000 for a basic website design. Today, that same website could be purchased for $50 (or less) on the template sites.
Even though template farms and easy to use software applications are super-popular, there are still unlimited opportunities for you as a freelance graphic designer – and especially if you can work with dozens of applications.
What’s more, many of the “ready-made websites” that you find on template sites don’t come with e-commerce, chat rooms, copywriting, search engine optimization and marketing, or e-mail marketing.
Granted, these areas may have little to do with graphic design. And I won’t focus on these areas in this week’s issue. But the more you know about these “add-on” services (and especially when it comes to Internet/search engine and e-mail marketing), the better you can serve your clients – and the more they will pay you.
How to Make Money as a Freelance Graphic Designer and Webmaster Guru
Most of the money in this business can be generated from four main markets:
1. Small and medium-sized businesses.
2. Subcontracting work for ad agencies, entertainment companies, and Web-hosting companies.
3. Direct marketing companies, agencies, and related businesses.
4. Government work.
Obviously, there are other markets and variations to the ones I’ve listed. But these are the most promising markets because you will find a large pool of “qualified” prospects for graphic design and Web development in these four markets.
Okay, let’s take a look at each of these markets and start closing some deals.
1. Targeting small and medium sized businesses
According to InfoUSA.com, more than 2.5 million businesses are launched every year.
Most of these start-ups need graphic-design work, and especially graphic design with a Web component. That’s why the small to medium-sized business market is a huge pool of qualified prospects for graphic-design services.
Business owners who are trying to get the word out about their products and services need graphic designers to help with brochures, flyers, sales letters, posters, DVD covers, e-books covers, catalogs, landing pages, micro-sites, Web pages, etc. The average small- to medium-sized business website is about 30 pages.
There are dozens of ways to reach out to these business owners in need.
But the trick is to identify “qualified” prospects first. A qualified prospect would be anyone who recently purchased a similar product or service, for approximately the same cost.
How do you find qualified prospects who would be interested in your graphic-design services?
You can find qualified prospects at dozens of websites like eLance.com, FreelanceDesigners, Project4Hire, Guru.com and iFreelance.com. Business owners, entrepreneurs and direct marketers come to these sites to find designers and webmasters.
Another way to attract qualified prospects is by purchasing targeted keyword ads on the top search engines Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
I also like some of the second-tier pay-per-click PPC networks like 7Search, MIVA, Kanoodle, ABCSearch, or Mamma.com
You can purchase a variety of keyword ads or phrases on these search engines.
Then, when a prospect is searching for a graphic designer, freelance Web developer, and graphic artist, your ad pops up!
All you have to do is link your keyword ad to a powerful, persuasive sales letter (Web landing page).
Still another way to attract qualified prospects for your graphic-design service is to post your availability on freelance websites.
Here are six of my favorite sites: Elance.com, CraigsList, Monster.com, WebmasterWorld, DICE.com, and WarriorForum.
You can also reach qualified prospects by using direct mail and FedEx! All you have to do is secure a mailing list of qualified prospects… and mail away!
Here are three reputable mailing list brokers to help you identify the best lists:
I’ve used all of these methods to sell products and services.
2. Subcontracting work for ad agencies, entertainment companies, and Web-hosting companies
Outsourcing to overseas companies has become a living nightmare for webmasters and graphic artists. Why hire a graphic designer or Web developer for $35 to $45 an hour when you can get the same work done by a developer in Asia for a flat fee of $25?
But you have three very distinct advantages:
- You speak English!
- You understand marketing (or should)!
- You are Internet savvy!
Most of the projects being outsourced to overseas are for behind-the-scenes tasks like programming, network administration, software development, and IT security. Call centers are an exception.
But believe me… there’s still a ton of work and projects available.
Advertising and direct marketing agencies, entertainment production companies, and Web-hosting companies typically “outsource” graphic-design and Web-development projects to freelancers. There are tremendous opportunities for freelance graphic designers who are willing to do subcontract work.
Here’s an example of some subcontracting projects:
- Gaming-software companies are always looking for graphic artists with programming skills.
- Ad agencies receive billions of dollars a year from clients to develop Web, direct marketing (print and electronic), and e-mail promotions for their clients.
- Direct-marketing agencies produce billions of dollars in promotional pieces every year. They can only handle a portion of this work in-house.
- Web-hosting companies are usually not interested in graphic design and Web-development. They offer these services to their customers on a “value-added” basis. (Keep in mind that Web-hosting companies and Internet service providers, or ISPs, are notoriously cheap!)
I’ve included some links in the Additional Resources section to companies and agencies who subcontract graphic-design and Web-development projects.
3. Direct marketing companies, agencies, and related businesses
This may be the largest and most promising sector for securing graphic design and Web-development projects.
Direct marketing companies, agencies, and related businesses (like pre-press services, printers, mail houses, and publishers) are constantly in need of graphic design services and Web development.
In fact, on the job site HotJobs this morning there were more than 2,400 positions for graphic designers. Granted, most of these opportunities are for in-house, on-site jobs, but there were freelance opportunities.
And I’ve proven many times employers can be persuaded to consider the services of a top freelancer over hiring somebody for an “employee” designation. Most of the time employers can save a bundle by hiring freelancers.
What it boils down to is that you shouldn’t stop your search just because someone says they’re looking for an “employee.”
4. Government work!
The Internet started as a U.S. government (Department of Defense) project. But it didn’t really take off until Web browsers landed on consumers’ desktops.
You can start the process of securing government contract work by submitting your profile into the vendor network. It may take a little time to get into the “inner sanctum” of the federal or state governments, but it’s worth it.
I’ve included links in the Additional Resources section to help you get started on obtaining government projects and assignments.
For instance, the General Services Administration (GSA) awards millions of dollars in contracts to small businesses every year. They have a new submission service called eOffer that enables business owners to submit contract proposals via the Internet.
If you have multiple disciplines (like Flash, PHP, Cold Fusion, Linux, and Java programming) in addition to Web-development and graphic design skills, you’ll be light years ahead of the pack (competition)!
As you can see, there are unlimited opportunities for freelance graphic design and multimedia development gurus.
How Can a NOVICE Learn Graphic Design or Web-Development Skills from the Ground Up?
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My 18-year old “whiz kid” son learned everything he knows about graphic design, Photoshop, Web development, programming, hacking, online gaming and Flash… online!
My son has never received traditional classroom instruction. He’s learned everything online.
He’s only read one book on programming – The Linux Bible.
The point is….there are thousands of sites offering graphic design and Web-development tutorials.
Here are three of my favorites:
It’s that simple!
(Ed Note: Marc Charles is referred to as “The King of Business Opportunities” ….and for good reason. He should be known as “The King of Legitimate Business Opportunities”…because he’s launched, bought, sold reviewed and advised on hundreds of businesses and money making opportunities. He understands legitimate opportunities. Marc has agreed supply League of Power members with crucial updates regarding legitimate business and money making opportunities.)
***** Action Strategy *******
Start researching the freelance graphic design market today.
Check out eLance, Guru.com and Project4Hire for current opportunities.
You can’t make money in this market if you don’t take action.
If you need to acquire or improve your graphic design skills you can do so online with the tutorial websites I listed in this issue.
When your skills are up to speed you can start looking for projects and work.
Using the freelance and job websites I’ve mentioned in this issue you will have a paying gig very quickly.
You can also use direct mail to offer your services to qualified prospects.
One last thing…
I’m not a big fan of giving away your services when you’re starting out. But you might consider working with companies, ad agencies, publishers, graphic design firms, or freelancers at reduced fees.
The entrepreneur I mentioned in this week’s issue did this before he had enough work and projects to go full-time.
********* Valuable Resources ***********
Webmaster Networking Resources:
U.S. Government Resources (for submitting proposals):
Graphic-Artist Networking Resource:
Multimedia Production Networking Resources:
Top Advertising Agencies:
Entertainment Production and Gaming Software Companies:
Webmaster/Graphic Artist/Multimedia Training and Certification:
To make BIG money in any business whether you work for yourself or for someone else, you need one of two things:
1. An original idea.
2. A revolutionary product.
Why would anyone let you cash in on their original idea unless they stood to benefit by sharing it with you? Let’s get real here.
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