🪦 RIP threads

Happy Thursday! This is The Gig, aka the morning paper for freelancers looking to build profitable client businesses.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Twitter, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Plus why you should know your numbers, the importance of looking the part if you want to get paid, and how to lose friends and annoy people.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 44 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter testing new Notes feature that could eventually replace threads. These new long-form posts can have images, videos, and even other tweets mixed in. One upside is the content could then be indexed by Google, giving it the potential to drive inbound traffic from search. 
  • Meta agrees to revise ad targeting for credit, housing, and employment ads. The agreement settles a complaint from the Department of Housing and Urban Development alleging the company broke the law by targeting housing ads based on age, race, and gender.

  • Facebook and Instagram hold off taking a cut of creator revenue until 2024. Meta had originally planned to start taking a cut of creator’s revenues in 2023, but then announced the change on Tuesday alongside a bunch of other monetization updates.

Working With Clients

Know Your Numbers

What gets measured gets managed.

That’s why, when it comes to working with clients…

You should be tracking your prospecting numbers on a weekly basis.

  • How many people you reached out to
  • How many calls you booked
  • How many proposals you submitted
  • How many clients you landed

This allows you to identify where the constraint is — just like analyzing a client’s underperforming sales funnel — and then try new things until you crack the code.


Working For Yourself

Look the Part, Be the Part

One of the best parts about working remotely is the dress code.

As in, there is none.

But as nice as it is to spend the day working in sweatpants and a hoodie…

Here’s the thing…

When you’re on video calls, it’s important to “look the part.”

If you want to be taken seriously as a service provider…

Meaning you want to be seen by your clients as someone who knows how to get results…

(and is paid handsomely for it)

Then you need to come correct.

That doesn’t have to mean business formal attire, but it should mean a clean and wrinkle-free outfit.

Studies have shown that what you wear can and does affect how you feel…

So leverage the science of fashion to show up the way you want to inside your business.


Tools We Love

How to Lose Friends and Annoy People

Ever been on call with someone who had lots of background noise?

It sucks.

But… it’s even worse when you’re the one with the bad background noise.

Fortunately, that’s where Krisp comes in.

It’s a free software solution that completely eliminates background noise.

And when we say completely, we mean it.

Whether it’s a barking dog, crying baby, or a computer fan so loud it could pass for a vacuum cleaner…

Krisp uses AI technology to cut out background noises from your mic and speaker so you (and more importantly, your clients and colleagues) can finally enjoy distraction-free calls.

Get Krisp for free today.


Quote of the Day

“I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.”

Cato


✅ Takeover approval

Happy Wednesday! Enjoying the newsletter? Please consider sharing it with a friend. Word of mouth always makes for the best marketing. Plus, that way you’ll both be able to participate in the giveaway we’re running soon to celebrate 1,000 subscribers. Stay tuned for more on that.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Elon Musk, Amazon, TikTok, and YouTube. Plus what to do after scoring a big win for a client, the one thing most new freelancers don’t realize, and confessions of a control-beater.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 8 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter board urges shareholders to approve Elon’s takeover. The deal’s been stuck in almost perpetual limbo since it was announced, but the board reiterated its unanimous recommendation in favor to shareholders in a recent SEC filing. For context: Twitter’s share price is currently trading 29% below Elon’s initially proposed price of $54.20.
  • Internal research from Amazon reveals it could run out of US warehouse workers by 2024. A leaked memo says the ecommerce giant could literally run out of people to hire in the US within the next two years. #NotTheOnion

  • Livestream shopping app installs increase by 77% year-over-year. What’s even crazier? This new report excludes both TikTok and YouTube. If you’re working in ecom, this a shift in the marketplace you can’t afford to ignore.

Working With Clients

Scored a Big Win For Your Client? Here’s What to Do Next

Scoring your first big win for a new client is a great feeling.

It also creates the perfect opportunity for you to make a strategic request:

Ask them for a 2-minute video testimonial.

Clients will (almost) never volunteer these on their own…

And you never want to wait too long to ask for one.

So make sure to put in the request while you’re both riding high on the heels of a job well done.

Plus, this way, you can transcribe it to text and have their testimonial in both written and video form.

If you want to take your testimonial game to the next level…

Check out testimonial.to — it lets you automatically collect text and video testimonials so you can display them on your site.


Working For Yourself

What Most Newbies Don’t Realize

The best thing about freelancing is that you can teach yourself the basics of almost any skill for free online.

Unfortunately, that’s also the worst part about freelancing.

Why?

Because you’ll often pick up a lot of bad habits along the way.

Things you’ll need to unlearn in order to progress and eventually master your craft.

That’s why finding a mentor is so important.

It may not make sense to look for one at the very beginning of your journey…

But once you’ve got a few paying clients and steady work coming in…

You should be looking for someone to learn from.

There’s a reason Tony Robbins says “the fastest way to achieve success is to model it”…

Because finding someone who can show you the way will shortcut your learning curve.


From The Copywriting Gig

Confessions of a Control-Beater

Looking to write strong direct response copy that converts?

Here’s a tip:

Use the active voice.

When you use the active voice, your subject takes the action.

This makes your writing feel strong and punchy.

On the flipside…

When you use the passive voice, your subject is the one being acted upon.

Which makes your writing feel weak and flaccid.

Here’s a few examples:

ACTIVE: I wrote that copy.
PASSIVE: That copy was written by me.

ACTIVE: I beat that control.
PASSIVE: That control was beaten by me.

See the difference?

If you want hard-hitting copy that can crush controls…

Write in the active voice.

Use declarations and direct commands to tell your reader exactly what to do.


Quote of the Day

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”

Epictetus


⚠️ Tesla job cuts

Happy Monday! On this day in 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, marking the beginning of the end of World War 2.

The oldest known living U.S. veteran of WWII was Lawrence Brooks, who died this past January at the ripe old age of 112. When asked about the secret to his unusually long life, he replied “be nice to people.” Amen to that 🙏

Now let’s get you caught up on what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Ad spend on search ads for ecommerce in the U.S. set to double by 2026. Intelligence from eMarketer projects 55.72 billion in ecom search ad spend in 2026, compared to 27.10 billion this year.

  • Elon Musk announces plan to cut 10% of Tesla jobs, share price drops 8.5%. He wants to cut staff due to a “super bad feeling” about the economy. Musk later walked back his remarks, saying the 10% cut would only apply to salaried staff and not factory workers. But that didn’t stop the stock price from plunging 8.5% on Friday. Conflicting analysis on whether we’re headed for a recession or not continues to fly…

  • Facebook and Instagram Reels can now be up to 90 seconds long. It’s a 30 second increase from the previous limit of 60 seconds, mirroring a similar update from TikTok, as they scramble to compete with the short-form category king. More on this in today’s Paid Ads section.

Working With Clients

What Makes a Great Hook, Email, or Ad Angle

Mainstream wisdom is everywhere.

Your audience is bombarded with the same advice all the time.

– cut back on lattes
– eat more vegetables
– go to bed earlier
– etc etc

But what sets you (or your client) apart from everyone else is where they disagree.

So ask yourself: what controversial opinions can I highlight?

What mainstream advice do I (or my client) DISAGREE with?

That’s often what makes for the best hooks, emails, or ad angles.

Now, a caveat:

You need to be able to make a logical case for why you disagree.

Don’t just disagree to be a contrarian or to grab attention… unless you can back it up.


Working For Yourself

Sorry, I’m OOO

The numbers are in:

For many of us, working from home often means working (a lot) more than 8 hours a day.

And with notifications pouring in from dawn ‘till dusk (and sometimes even long past then)…

Maintaining more than a shred of work/life balance is a constant battle.

So here’s a simple tip to help you stay stane:

Use “work speak” to set effective boundaries.

Since your home and your office may be the same place, being “out of office” doesn’t have to apply only when you’re away from the computer. 

It can simply mean you’re unavailable.

Whether that’s because you’re doing deep work on a project or going deep into the latest season of Bridgerton.

And “meetings” don’t always have to be work-related — they can also be calls to catch up with family or friends.

Bottom line is:

Many people have an easier time understanding (and respecting) your boundaries when you use the right language to set them.


From The Paid Ads Gig

A TikTok Lead, a Facebook Lead, and a YouTube Lead Walk Into a Bar…

Advertisers have got plenty of options when it comes to running paid traffic on social these days:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Some are a helluva lot more popular than others these days (*cough* TikTok *cough*)…

But what many paid ad experts don’t realize is:

Different platforms produce different kinds of leads.

TikTok may be the ad platform du jour…

But because it emphasizes short-form content, TikTok leads are naturally less qualified compared to leads from Facebook or YouTube.

Now that doesn’t mean running ads on TikTok won’t work for you…

In fact, we know lots of people who are having success there…

Largely because the traffic is so much cheaper.

Cost per click is typically much lower than Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

So the economics still work out.

Especially if you’re selling ecom products or low-ticket impulse buys that don’t require a ton of context or qualification before making a purchase.

But if you’re selling a high-ticket product or service? 

Not so much.

Ultimately, this is one of the reasons why Facebook is still our weapon of choice when it comes to running paid ads…

Because the amount of context people can get about your offer between long-form copy AND video is hard to beat.

Moral of the story is:

Not all leads are generated equal.

So keep that in mind when crafting your paid ad strategy.


Quote of the Day

“There is no failure. Only feedback.”

Robert Allen


🐦 Elon ups the ante

Happy Friday! You made it. LFG 💪

Now let’s get you caught up before Happy Hour starts…


Making the Rounds

  • One-click checkout company Bolt announces layoffs. Despite raising $355 million in new funding at a valuation of $11 billion dollars a few months ago, the fintech unicorn is handing some employees their walking papers. Timez iz hard on the boulevard for tech companies these days.

  • Jack Dorsey says ✌️ to Twitter’s board of directors. His exit was made official on Wednesday. TBD whether he’ll roll over his 2.4% ownership stake into Elon’s bid to take the company private or cash it out. Speaking of the takeover…

  • Elon steps up personal Twitter commitment to $33.5 billion. In a new filing that sent the price of Twitter shares up and Tesla shares down, Musk revealed he’s increasing his own commitment to the deal. He’s also expected to serve as a temporary CEO. Because it’s not like he has anything else to do.

Working With Clients

3 Pricing Tips For New Freelancers

TIP #1: Charge by deliverable (not by the hour)

If you’re a new freelancer, you may be tempted to start off charging by the hour.

But charging by the hour incentivizes you to work slower.

Instead, charge clients per:

– email
– image
– video
– landing page
– sales page
– etc

This way, there are no unexpected surprises for them if the job takes longer…

And you get rewarded if you can get it done quicker.

TIP #2: Ask for a 50% deposit.

Asking for a deposit helps weed out low-quality clients.

So if they’re not willing to pay you a portion of your fee up front, proceed with caution.

But if the idea of asking for money up front makes your palms sweaty, you could always reduce the amount to 25%.

One final caveat: 

If it’s a small project (like under $100-$200), just ask for the full amount up front instead.

TIP #3: Get approval on pre-work if possible

Since you’re asking for a deposit, you want to make sure your first draft isn’t way off base so the client doesn’t feel like they’ve paid you for nothing.

The best way to do this is get pre-work approved.

In the case of copy, this could be an outline.

In the case of an image or video, this could be a creative brief

In the case of an ad campaign, this could be a campaign mockup.

Regardless of what your service is, getting the greenlight on pre-work will save you time and make clients happier.


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 Paid Ads Gig

Trust the AI? I Think Not

Ad platforms like Meta and Google have been shepherding media buyers away from manual controls for years now.

One example of this is automated bidding.

Instead of setting your own bids or cost caps, they encourage you to use automated bidding instead.

But here’s the problem…

Ad pixels are typically trained to optimize for the lowest cost per conversion.

And which do you think costs less to acquire…

The crap leads or the high-quality leads?

We’ll give you a hint: it’s not the high-quality leads 🙃

So the end result is you get more volume, but lower quality.

How do you fix this?

By testing manual bid or cost caps instead of (or alongside) automated bidding.

This lets you take back the wheel from the pixel AI so you can improve your lead quality and reduce wasted ad spend.

Now in case it’s been a while since you toyed around with these settings…

You can find one-pagers from Meta and Google on this topic here and here.


Quote of the Day

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

Hunter S. Thompson


⚖️ Celebrity trial goes viral

Happy Thursday!

Here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • 65% of consumers are “click and collect” shopping. A new study reveals pandemic-era changes in consumer behavior are here to stay. The popularity of this hybrid model caught our eye — where you purchase online, but pick up in store —  it’s projected to drive $15.59 billion in sales in 2022.
     
  • Depp-Heard trial drives more engagement on social media than Elon’s Twitter takeover. This chart shows how the celebrity defamation trial is dominating social media. A reminder that paying attention to pop culture is part of your job description if you work in marketing.
  • Spotify testing NFT collections. The streaming platform is experimenting with letting artists display their NFT collections on their profiles. Apparently they don’t intend to take a cut of any NFT sales that happen through the platform either. 

Working With Clients

“Raise Your Rates” They Said… “It’ll Be Easy” They Said…

“Raise your rates.”

Sounds easy enough in theory…

But in practice, it’s a little trickier than it looks.

You might be wondering:

  • When’s the best time to raise my rates?
  • How much should I raise your rates?
  • Do I raise rates for everyone – or just new clients?
  • How do I justify it (aside from just wanting to get paid more)?

These are only a few of the questions freelancers are forced to figure out if they want to successfully raise their rates.

So, here’s our advice…

(+) Raise your rates as demand for your services increases (or once your client roster is full)

(+) Aim to increase prices by 10-20%

(+) Start by raising your rates just for new clients – but make sure to let existing clients know they’re being grandfathered in at their current rate

(+) If raising rates on existing clients, explain that your new rate structure will allow you to spend more time and energy on their account – but also be prepared for them to leave

As a freelancer, you’re more likely to undercharge than overcharge…

But that doesn’t mean you should arbitrarily increase your rates by 5X either.

Focus on the value and ROI you’re delivering for your clients.

Use that as a barometer to gauge what you should be charging.


Working For Yourself

What to Do if You Picked the Wrong Side Hustle

Freelancing is one of the easiest side hustles to get started with.

There’s no overhead and you can spend as little or as much time on it as you want.

But once your freelance biz becomes your main hustle…

You may want to find a new side hustle to work on in your spare time.

We like to think of it this way:

Side hustles are stomping grounds for accelerating your skills.

Having skin in the game totally transforms the way you approach a project.

And if your end goal is to build something of your own…

It’s never too early to get started.

But there are a dizzying number of options when it comes to picking a side hustle.

If you’re on the hunt for one that meets your criteria for both lifestyle and income goals…

Check out this article from Shopify:

24 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make an Extra $1,000+ a Month


Tools We Love

Achievement Unlocked: Ludicrous Speed

Page speed is a hidden conversion killer.

According to Hubspot, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% for every added second of load time 😬

So if you’re running traffic online in 2022…

There’s no excuse for having a page that doesn’t load in two seconds or less.

Enter PageSpeed Insights.

Developed by Google, it analyzes your website’s page speed and identifies opportunities to optimize it by:

  • Compressing images
  • Reducing unnecessary JavaScript & CSS
  • Avoiding redirects
  • And more

If you want to achieve Ludicrous Speed so you can maximize sales, conversions, and profits, try PageSpeed Insights for free today.


Quote of the Day

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”

Timber Hawkeye


♾️ Visiting the metaverse IRL

Happy Tuesday! Enjoying the newsletter? If you know anyone else who might like to start their day with The Gig, use your share link at the bottom of today’s email to refer them and unlock cool rewards.

Visit your referral hub to see what’s up for grabs.

Now here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Meta opens their first IRL store. Similar to competitors Apple and Microsoft, Meta now has their own store. The inaugural Meta Store threw open its doors in Burlingame, California yesterday, where shoppers can test-drive Meta’s VR and AR hardware.

  • Elon plans to 5X Twitter’s revenue by 2028. According to a pitch deck presented to investors, he’s projecting $26.4 billion in revenue by 2028, which would be a 500%+ increase from last year’s $5 billion.

  • Shopify acquires Deliverr for $2.1 billion to improve shipping and delivery times. Despite a falling stock price and slumping ecommerce sales across the industry, Shopify is pushing ahead to develop end-to-end logistics by acquiring the fulfillment company.

Working With Clients

How to Pass the “Real Person” Test

Video calls are an essential part of running a remote freelance biz.

But even though we love a good 60-minute Zoom as much as the next person…

It can be tempting to go “camera off” sometimes.

Whether you’re talking to a new prospect…

Or if you just had one too many tequila shots on Taco Tuesday the night before.

The benefits of being on camera can’t be overstated, though.

Being on camera helps develop a strong personal connection with colleagues and clients.

Relationships are what your business is built on.

So don’t be that guy or girl who’s making it weird by having your camera off while the other person’s camera is on.

“Camera on” is a mindset.

When talking to prospects, it proves you’re a real person and not some deepfaked AI-bot from the Philippines.

And when talking to existing clients or colleagues, it adds valuable context to deepen the back-and-forth.

Now, on a related note…


Working For Yourself

Look the Part, Be the Part

One of the best parts about working remotely is the dress code.

As in, there is none.

But as nice as it is to spend the day working in sweatpants and a hoodie…

Here’s the thing…

When you’re on video calls, it’s important to “look the part.”

If you want to be taken seriously as a service provider…

Meaning you want to be seen by your clients as someone who knows how to get results…

(and is paid handsomely for it)

Then you need to come correct.

That doesn’t have to mean business formal attire, but it should mean a clean and wrinkle-free outfit.

Studies have shown that what you wear can and does affect how you feel…

So leverage the science of fashion to show up the way you want to inside your business.


Tools We Love

Turning Subscribers into Bounty Hunters

If you’re an email marketer or list owner, there’s an unpleasant reality you’ve got to face:

Unsubscribes.

In other words, every email you send shrinks your list…

And the more often you mail, the faster it happens.

Unless you’ve got a referral program that makes subscribers excited to share your emails.

That’s where SparkLoop comes in.

SparkLoop is specifically designed to help newsletter operators get more high-quality email subscribers on autopilot with a referral program.

It’s the ultimate combination of organic and paid acquisition.

With SparkLoop, you can flip the script so that every email you send actually GROWS your list.

Whether you opt for physical rewards, digital rewards, or a mix of each…

Turning subscribers into bounty hunters is one of the main reasons why companies like The Hustle and Morning Brew were able to grow so fast (and eventually get acquired).

If you’re a newsletter operator, try SparkLoop for free today.


Quote of the Day

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.”

Malcolm Gladwell


💸 Ecom bribery

Happy Thursday! Today is Cinco de Mayo, a day celebrating Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862. Ironically, it’s much more popular outside of Mexico, as beer and spirits companies have commandeered it to sell some $700+ million of alcohol each year, topping both St Paddy’s Day and the Super Bowl. And they say advertising doesn’t work 😏

Here’s what else is happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Meta’s ecommerce division struggles to find its feet 2 years after launching. Since going live in May 2020, Facebook and Instagram Shops haven’t had much uptake, and now five execs have quit in the past six months, according to the WSJ. The features and overall UX are still pretty clunky, which is probably why Meta’s offering a 20% bribe promotion to users making their first Instagram Shop purchase.

  • YouTube sets its sights on live shopping? With ad revenue tumbling last quarter, the platform is looking at new ways to monetize, which includes a “big bet” on live shopping. Considering livestream shopping generated over $5.6 billion in the U.S. in 2020, it could help them fend off TikTok in the years to come.

  • Twitter tests new “Circle” feature to manage tweet reach. Similar to the “Close Friends” feature on Instagram, Twitter is testing a new feature called “Circle.” Users can have up to 150 people in their Circle, and choose to tweet only to them (instead of their entire following).

Working With Clients

Special Delivery

Freelance businesses are built on long-lasting relationships.

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for clients is to send them a gift.

It could be as simple as a handwritten note, pen, or gift card…

Or something more elaborate like a food and wine box.

A few options to check out:

As for timing, we recommend sending a gift after finishing the first big project with a new client…

Or to mark a big anniversary, like one, two, or even five years (if you’re so lucky!).


Working For Yourself

SPOTTED: Freelancers at Tax Time

As a freelancer, you wear two hats at all times:

1) Technician

2) Operator

Where most freelancers go wrong is by focusing strictly on their responsibilities as the technician.

Doing a great job for your clients is key.

But don’t shirk your duties as the CEO of your freelance biz.

Particularly when it comes to bookkeeping and finances.

Since you’ll be classified as an independent contractor, that means you’re on the hook for paying income taxes.

And contrary to popular belief, the 2022 tax season doesn’t start next April…

It’s already begun.

So make sure you’ve got enough left over when the tax man comes for his cut.

On a related note, you might want to check out Catch — a free personal payroll tool specifically for freelancers.

But whether you use a fancy piece of software or a plain ol’ Google Sheet…

What matters most is that you stay on top of it.


Tools We Love

How to Become an Overnight Celebrity in Your Niche

Case studies and social proof are great.

But there’s one thing holding most freelancers back from charging premium rates and commanding an elite position in the marketplace…

Credibility (or a lack thereof).

And the fastest way to build credibility is to “borrow” it from somebody else…

By getting booked as a podcast guest.

Studies show podcast listeners are typically more educated, affluent, and active on social media than the average American.

And when prospects see (or hear) you being interviewed by someone else they trust, those feelings are instantly transferred to you.

That’s where Guestio comes in.

Their guest booking and interview platform allows you to cut to the front line and book yourself on shows like:

  • Entrepreneurs On Fire with John Lee Dumas
  • Build Your Network with Travis Chappell
  • Franchise Secrets with Erik Van Horn
  • And many more

No more jumping through hoops or sending out cold DMs.

So if you’re looking for the simplest and easiest way to build credibility and attract more of your dream clients…

Head over to Guestio:

Find your first (or next) podcast booking on Guestio today.


Quote of the Day

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Thomas Jefferson


🍎 $16 billion reasons to hate Apple

Happy Thursday! Today’s a great day to remind yourself how lucky you are. Life is good 🙏

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


Digital Marketing News

  • Apple’s privacy updates may cost Meta, YouTube, Snap, and Twitter up to $16 billion in lost revenue this year. Meta and Snap are projected to be the hardest hit, followed by YouTube and Twitter. Ouch. Something tells us Apple may get left off the social media Christmas card list this year.
  • Making money in the metaverse. Meta is experimenting with new ways to help creators monetize in Horizon Worlds, its Quest VR metaverse platform. Meta will reportedly take a 25% cut of all virtual items and effects sold by creators, on top of a “platform fee.”

  • Etsy sellers go on strike to protest price hike. Speaking of transaction fees, Etsy just raised theirs from 5% to 6.5%, and sellers are not impressed. More than 14,000 have gone on strike this week to protest the increase.

Working With Clients

Try This Simple Growth Hack to Get More Clients

Most freelancers tend to overcomplicate the process of getting clients.

So here’s a simple tip to try:

Once you’ve scored a big win for a new client and asked them for a video testimonial…

Ask them for a referral.

Keep it simple and straightforward by saying something like…

“Given how we’ve been able to [achieve client’s desired result], I wondered if you might know anyone else looking to [achieve desired result]. I’m looking to fill a spot on my client roster and I’d love to help someone in your network achieve similar results.”

That’s it.

You can also get creative and incentivize them by offering a discount, gift card, bonus, or referral fee. 

Bottom line is:

Referred clients are typically much higher-quality than those found via cold outreach or on freelancing platforms.

Plus, everyone likes to “have a guy.”

It allows us to build social capital by playing the connector.

So when it comes to finding new clients, you should always start with your existing client base.


Working For Yourself

Why Not All To-Do Lists Are Made Equal

To-do lists are probably our favorite productivity hack….

But they’re not all made equal.

That’s because the most effective to-do lists are written the night before.

If you want to hit the ground running first thing in the morning, you should already know what comes first, second, and third.

Otherwise, you’ll waste valuable energy and momentum trying to decide what to tackle first.

Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll sleep better too.


Tools We Love

We’re Pretty Sure You Deserve a Raise

If you’re an international freelancer, getting paid in USD is great…

… Until you actually convert it into your own currency.

Traditional solutions like PayPal (or god forbid, your own bank) will make you pay out the nose to convert USD into your local currency.

That’s why we use Wise (formerly TransferWise). 

Not only do they give you a much better rate than PayPal on currency conversions, but they also give you a local USD bank account so you can get paid via bank transfer instead of a wire.

Open a free account today and start keeping more of your hard-earned money for yourself.


Quote of the Day

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

Stephen Covey


🤝 How often do TikTok users buy?

Happy Thursday! The grand opening for Tesla’s new Texas Gigafactory is today. Our invite must’ve got lost in the mail. Lucky for us, Elon’s been posting pictures of the preparations on Twitter. 

Here’s what else is happening…


Digital Marketing News

  • #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. It’s not just funny animal videos. 20.6% of TikTok users report buying products on the platform “all of the time” — more than any other social media platform. If you’re on there, you can follow us @readthegig.
  • Podcast ads struggle to scale. Spending on host ad reads has grown 200% year-over-year, but programmatic ad options (which you can buy directly without speaking to someone) are still limited, making it a difficult channel to scale.

  • One-click checkout startup Fast shuts down. Once valued at a whopping $1 billion in November 2020, their 2021 revenue was a measly $600,000 — despite raising $100M in funding from investors including Stripe in January 2021. In an early frontrunner for Understatement of the Year, CEO Domm Holland said “sometimes trailblazers don’t make it all the way to the mountaintop.”

Working With Clients

Pay Attention When Prospects Do This

Avoiding nightmare clients is just as important as finding dream clients.

One bad client can ruin your freelance reputation + make your life hell.

Here are 3 red flags to watch out for:

1) Previous bad experiences

Most people have had bad experiences with hiring freelancers.

But if a prospective client goes on and on about all the terrible people they’ve hired in the past…

That’s a hard pass for us.

2) Unrealistic demands about availability

As a freelancer, you’ll typically be juggling multiple clients.

So new clients shouldn’t expect you to be available 24/7.

If they’re blowing you up on evenings and weekends…

Don’t stand for it.

3) They don’t pay on time

There’s nothing worse than having to hound someone to get you paid.

Especially if you’ve turned in your work as promised.

Timely payments create a sacred bond of trust between client and freelancer.

If they’re always late, let ‘em go 👋


Working For Yourself

If Only 2FA Was This Easy

Managing lots of logins comes with the territory.

But in addition to keeping track of usernames and passwords, you’ll often have to enable 2-factor authentication, which means getting a verification code via text or email.

Problem is…

If you’re traveling, you may not be able to receive a text to your normal phone number.

And if the account is in your client’s name, you’ll need to wait for them to send you the 2FA code in order to access it.

Either way, it can jam up your workflow bigtime.

That’s why we recommend setting up an authenticator app like Google Authenticator.

All you have to do is scan a QR code, and then you’ll be able to quickly get a 2FA code from anywhere in the world.


Tools We Love

The WordPress Theme You’ve Been Looking For

WordPress powers 37% of all websites on the internet.

But with over 31,000+ themes to choose from, setting up your own WordPress website can be more than a little daunting.

That’s why we’re in love with GeneratePress.

It’s a fast and free lightweight theme that makes setting up a clean yet professional-looking website easy as pie.

Plus, they’ve recently rolled out a free block-based builder called GenerateBlocks that makes building landing pages a breeze.

Did we mention it’s got over 1,000+ reviews, 90,000+ happy customers, and 4M+ downloads?

Click below to check it out:

Learn more about everything GeneratePress can do here.


Quote of the Day

“In the death zone, I come alive.”

Nims Purja