🐻 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.

So…

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


✈️ Project Sunrise is go for takeoff

Happy Tuesday! Today is National Paranormal Day. As the viewing habits of moviegoers continue to change, horror movies are one of the few genres (aside from superhero flicks) that can still draw a crowd to the theater. And the studios love them.

Why?

Because they’re often very profitable. Take A Quiet Place Part II for example: it grossed $297.4 million worldwide last year on a production budget of just $61 million. Not too shabby.

Will you be celebrating ghosts and UFOs today? If so, reply and let us know.

Now let’s get you caught up on the latest…


Making the Rounds

  • NYC employers forced to disclose salaries in job postings. As of November 1, employers in New York City will have to include minimum and maximum salaries in their job postings. The move is an attempt to reduce gender and racial pay gaps. The new law was set to go into effect this month, but after pushback from businesses, the start date was delayed.

  • Google plans to donate free Career Certificates to all U.S. workers. On Monday, the company said it will offer up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships to all U.S. businesses. The offer’s only valid for domestic workers, but applies to all certificates available on Coursera, including their Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate.

  • Project Sunrise aims for 20-hour direct flights from Sydney to London and NYC. Time to dust off those compression socks: Qantas Airways has announced it’s buying 12 Airbus A350s, which can fly direct from Australia to any city in the world. With air travel rebounding and geopolitical tensions on the rise, the airline is betting passengers will pay a premium to avoid layovers. The first A350s will touch down in 2025.

Working With Clients

Only You Can Decide

The global freelance market is projected to hit $455 billion by 2023.

And over 70% of U.S small businesses report hiring freelancers in the past year…

Which means:

Job opportunities are exploding.

But here’s an important factor you may not have considered:

Do prospective clients align with YOUR values?

For example, work in the direct response marketing world can be a double-edged sword…

As an industry, it offers one of the fastest paths to six figures and beyond.

But it’s also got some of the shadiest practices:

  • Fake countdown timers
  • Falsified testimonials
  • Photoshopped before and after pictures
  • Etc

We’re not here to judge…

Instead, we simply want to point out that it’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable with.

So make sure you know where you stand before you find yourself in a situation where you’re forced to compromise on your ethics or values to get the job done.


Working For Yourself

Struggling to Set Goals? Forget 5-Year Plans and Do This Instead

You’ve gotta know what you’re aiming at before you can hit the target.

But the problem is…

Humans are notoriously bad at long-term planning.

Why?

Well, for one, we’re terrible at making long-range mathematical predictions (see also: climate change).

But secondly, individual variables can change fast…

Especially in business. 

Making it virtually impossible to set long-term goals.

So what’s the answer?

Forget 5-year plans and focus on quarterly goals instead.

90 days offers the perfect balance between short-term and long-term..

It’s short enough to narrow your focus and long enough to make major progress towards a goal.

That’s why many experts like Gino Wickman, author of Traction and creator of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, believe in quarterly goal-setting.

So if you haven’t set goals for Q2 yet (which ends June 30)… 

Carve out some time this week to set your intent and decide what you want to achieve this quarter 💪


Tools We Love

Finally, An Email Service Provider Who Gets Us

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 to grow your audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.


Quote of the Day

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Steve Jobs


♾️ Meta

Happy Friday! It’s April Fool’s. But more importantly, Season 2 of Luxe Listings just dropped. So you know we’ll be spending the weekend binge watching behind-the-scenes tours of multimillion dollar mansions on Bondi Beach.

(it’s a vibe)

Now let’s get into it…


Freelance Economy News

  • Meta launches PR campaign against TikTok. Meta has hired a top Republican consulting firm to place op-eds and letters from “concerned parents” in regional news outlets across the country. The campaign is focused on the threat posed by TikTok’s foreign ownership and promoting potentially dangerous trends among young people.  Legal? Yes. In the gray zone? Definitely.
  • Hackers forged legal requests to get Apple and Meta to fork over user data. Hackers posing as law enforcement tricked the two tech firms into giving up user data such as addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses in 2021.

  • Apple is working on a hardware subscription service. The software world is not enough for the iPhone maker anymore. They’re reportedly working on a hardware subscription service that would expand financing and payment options for devices.

Working With Clients

Sending Portfolio Pieces in a Word Doc Got Clients Like…

If you’re using freelance platforms to find clients and land gigs…

There’s one thing you can do when putting in a proposal that all prospective clients will appreciate, whether they hire you or not.

And that’s:

Sharing links to samples or portfolio pieces via Google Drive.

Don’t send over PDFs, Word docs, or Excel spreadsheets.

Why?

Because a client may take one look at your sample and decide they don’t like it.

Or that you’re not the right person for the job.

And if you (along with 9 other freelancers) have sent them a handful of docs to download, then they’re stuck with a bunch of useless documents on their computer they’ll never look at again.

So do them a favor and send them a Share link instead.


Working For Yourself

Early Morning Slack DMs Beware

Do you know what your chronotype is?

According to Healthline, a chronotype is “…a person’s circadian typology or the individual differences in activity and alertness in the morning and evening.”

In other words…

Your chronotype reflects when your most creative and productive hours are.

For your humble newsletter writer, that’s typically between 6 and 9 AM.

But for you, it might be later in the day.

Either way, the bottom line is:

Find out what time of day you’re usually at your best, and protect those hours like your very own Time Stone.

Because not all time is made equal.

And the secret to maintaining peak productivity is focusing on energy — not time.


From The Copywriting Gig

Can We Ask You Something?

Ever struggled to write the first line of an ad or email?

Ever wished there was an easier way to write great leads that get readers hooked every time?

There is.

It’s called a “yes set.”

A “yes set” is a series of 2-3 questions designed to create psychological momentum by getting the reader to answer “yes” in their head.

They’re super quick and easy to write…

And the best part is, they prime the prospect to perceive your offer in a much more positive light.

So if you’re ever struggling with what to say in the first few lines of an ad, email, or sales page…

Give it a try next time and let us know how it goes.


Tools We Love

Finally, An Email Service Provider Who Gets Us

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.

(*cough* INFUSIONSOFT *cough*)

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 to grow your audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.


Quote of the Day

“There is no right or wrong in this business. There’s only hits and misses.”

Mike Acosta