🐻 Bear with me

Happy Tuesday! After a big sell off in the stock market yesterday, Morning Brew posted this thread asking people to name a movie that described their portfolio. Our favorites: Gone in 60 Seconds, Catch Me If You Can, There Will Be Blood, and The Departed.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Google, Skynet, the S&P 500, and Horizon Worlds. Plus an overlooked red flag for new freelancers, a different way to think about compound interest, and our favorite email marketing tool.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 24 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Google engineer placed on paid leave after claiming chatbot AI is sentient. Blake Lemoine thinks Google’s LaMDA chatbot should be treated as a sentient being. Google disagrees. Is this the innocuous beginning of Skynet? Let’s hope not. Fun fact: apparently Lemoine had been teaching LaMDA transcendental meditation before being placed on leave.
  • S&P 500 officially enters bear market territory. After a surprise inflation increase reported in the Consumer Price Index on Friday, the index fell 3.9% yesterday, completing the 20% pull back that signals a bear market — and strengthening signs of a coming recession.

  • Horizon Worlds adds Voice Mode. The update lets users voice chat with others around them in the metaverse. Bizarrely, it’s enabled by default. So a word of wisdom for any metaversal pioneers: if you’ve never voice chatted with random strangers on the internet, proceed with caution. People are less friendly than you might think 🙃 

Working With Clients

If You Have to Explain This to Your Client, Run the Other Way

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer…

It’s natural to try and sign anyone with a pulse and a credit card as a client.

But that’s a big mistake.

Here’s why…

Marketing and advertising can be boiled down to taking financial risks on creative ideas.

Some of them pan out.

Some of them don’t.

In fact, it’s normal to have to iterate 3-5+ times on an angle, offer, or marketing campaign before you find a winner.

But if you’re working with a client who’s never hired a freelancer to produce any marketing assets for them before…

Or someone who’s never spent a dime on paid ads…

The odds of them having unrealistic expectations are sky high.

Which means you’ll have a hard time satisfying them unless you hit out of the park on your first at-bat.


Aim to work with clients who understand (and have experience) with marketing and advertising.

People who understand you have to spend money to make money.

People who understand that you need to “buy” data through testing before you can optimize your campaigns.

People who understand that even the best copywriters and media buyers in the world don’t hit home runs every time.

Now you may have to work a little harder to find and land clients like this…

But it’s an investment that will pay off big time in the long run.

Working For Yourself

A Different Kind of Compound Interest

Finance experts say the secret to building wealth is compound interest.

That’s why Warren Buffett accumulated 97% of his wealth after his 65th birthday.

But while we may not all be able to replicate Buffett’s investing success…

There’s another way freelancers can put this mechanism to work for themselves:

By stacking high-income skills.

You see, it takes a very long time to master a deep skill like copywriting or media buying…

And while it’s definitely worth committing to…

If you can develop other skills that complement or intersect with your primary skill…

You can see some explosive gains.

For example: 

Most copywriters know nothing about paid traffic…

And most media buyers can’t write copy.

The same thing goes for copywriting and graphic design or funnel building.

It’s an unusual combo you don’t see very often.

So by developing competence where those two skills intersect, you can carve out a unique position in the market…

Opening the door to many more opportunities than most other freelancers will ever get.

And over time, mastering these skills will deliver a much higher return than any other investment you could make (unless you are Warren Buffett, of course ;).

Tools We Love

No Computer Science Degree, No Problem

As the publishers of a daily newsletter, email marketing is the foundation of our business.

And throughout our freelancing careers, we’ve had the opportunity to work with many of the biggest email service providers out there.

But the problem is…

Most of them have so many fancy bells and whistles that you need a PhD in computer science just to figure out how to make them do what you want.

That’s why we’re proud users of ConvertKit.

It’s simple, intuitive, and incredibly easy to use.

Their Sequences and Automations features keep your account neat and tidy. And if you’ve ever been into a big Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, or Hubspot account, you’ll know this is rare.

No more Frankenstein workflows that span 27 segments and cover the entire lifespan of your subscribers.

If you’re looking for a simple way to grow your online audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.

Quote of the Day

“Do not let your grand ambitions stand in the way of small but meaningful accomplishments.”

Bryant McGill