♟️ 3D chess

Happy Wednesday! This is The Gig, where it’s hard to go more than one day without Elon Musk making news. 

Here we go…


Making the Rounds

  • Elon’s Twitter takeover may be in jeopardy (again). He sent a letter to the SEC claiming that Twitter was “actively resisting and thwarting” his attempts to get more info on the number of fake accounts. Is the Tesla CEO playing 3D chess and secretly negotiating for a better price? Trying to back out of the deal? Tune in tomorrow for the next episode…

  • Apple wades into “buy now, pay later” with Apple Pay Later. The iPhone maker announced Apple Pay users will now be able to split payments into four over a period of six weeks, with no interest or late fees. The timing probably couldn’t be any worse for BNPL companies like Klarna and Affirm, who’ve been forced to lay off employees in recent months despite sky-high valuations.

  • UK launches major 4-day work week experiment. 70 companies and 3,300 workers are participating in the 6-month experiment. Workers will get 100% of their normal comp for working 4 days instead of 5 — but with a promise to maintain 100% of their normal productivity. Bets on whether the trial will succeed? Reply and let us know what you think.

Working With Clients

The Secret to a Successful Freelance Sales Pitch

… is to ask a barrage of questions during the “discovery” process.

Here’s why:

What’s important to a new client may not be the same as your last client.

So by asking things like:

  • What’s the #1 biggest challenge right now?
  • What makes this a priority right now?
  • Have you hired anyone else to help with this in the past? How did that go?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know?

… you can tailor your pitch to address their specific concerns and desires.

On a related note —  if you want to take your sales pitches to the next level, share the newsletter with just five friends and we’ll send you a copy of our Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheat Sheet.

It’s a step-by-step roadmap to closing freelance deals over the phone, complete with specific questions and word-for-word transitions to help you navigate sales calls like a pro.


Working For Yourself

Can’t Decide What Business to Start? Here’s Some Food For Thought…

Everyone you meet in life is selling you “their way” — whether they realize it or not.

But don’t forget there are lots of different ways to reach your destination.

Especially in business.

As Rich Schefren says, it’s all about tradeoffs vs payoffs.

For example:

With ecommerce and affiliate marketing, the results can be quick…

But you’ll need startup capital to fund your paid traffic costs…

And you’ll need to navigate the steep learning curve of how to run paid ads at a profit…

Otherwise you could lose it all.

Plus the margins are typically on the low end, around 15-20%.

With service-based businesses like coaching, consulting, or agencies…

You can start landing clients and getting paid with virtually ZERO startup costs…

The margins are much higher…

But that means investing time on cold outreach and freelancing platforms…

Always being on the hunt for the next client…

Plus now you’re on call + have to be available for meetings, answering emails and DMs, etc.

Don’t get us wrong — both businesses can be wildly profitable.

Ultimately though, you have to decide what your priorities are and what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve them.

Because no business model is all upside.

And measuring yourself based on the games other people play is a recipe for unhappiness.

Figure out what game YOU want to play and commit to it all the way.


From The Copywriting Gig

What NEVER to Do When Writing Words That Sell

WIIFM is one of the most important concepts in copy.

It stands for “what’s in it for me” — a reminder that your readers don’t actually care about you…

So if you want to get someone’s attention, appealing to their self-desire is key.

But according to Gary Halbert, author of the Coat of Arms promo that ran for over 30 years and generated millions of dollars in the 70s and 80s, and someone who’s often listed as one of the best copywriters of all time… 

There’s ONE element of persuasion even more important than self-desire.

Something that can make readers burn through 50 pages of copy in a frenzy…

Something that can turn an underperforming ad or email into a customer-generating machine…

And something that separates pro copywriters from wannabe Don Drapers.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not a killer price, money back guarantee, or added bonus…

And it’s got nothing to do with scarcity, urgency, or even storytelling…

Instead, that special something is:

Curiosity.

You see…

You never want to reveal everything in your ad, email, or sales page right away.

Learn how to talk about something without giving away what it is.

Because if your readers aren’t curious to discover your secret, hack, trick, tactic, strategy, or 7 magic words to achieve a desired result…

They won’t be motivated to buy.

A few tips to execute on this:

  • Talk about what it’s not
  • Talk about what it’s better than
  • Talk about what you can do it without

But no matter how you create curiosity…

Just make sure you can actually pay it off inside the product — because that’s what separates compelling copy from cringy clickbait.


Quote of the Day

“Above everything else I’ve done, I’ve always said I’ve had more guts than I’ve got talent.”

Dolly Parton