🏆 Rewarding repeat visitors

Happy Black Friday! To borrow from yesterday’s Axios PM: without readers, a newsletter is just a diary. So thank you for sticking with us 🙏  And if you’re on the hunt for some killer deals today, make sure to check out Wirecutter’s Black Friday 2022 guide.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Google, TikTok, and Twitter. Plus whether you should discount services to land a new client, anti-goal setting, and diagnosing your way to paid traffic profits.

Read time: 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Google testing new way to monetize repeat website visitors. The new feature, called “Rewarded Ad Gate”, lets publishers serve a 30-second video ad on someone’s 5th site visit within a specific timeframe. The user will have the option to watch the video or not, but if they choose not to, they won’t be able to access the site until their pageviews reset the following month.
  • Some advertisers choose to run TikTok ads without installing the pixel. It’s a painful trade-off, because it means they can’t track conversions or benefit from any algorithm optimization, but it also means they won’t risk being implicated in any foreign surveillance or other illegal data collection TikTok may or may not be involved in.

  • Elon fires dozens more Twitter employees just before Thanksgiving. Despite Elon saying the company was done laying people off earlier this week, Insider reports that dozens more were fired overnight on Wednesday due to performance reasons.

Working With Clients

Thinking About Discounting Your Services to Land a New Client?

Making an irresistible offer is key to winning big clients.

But going overboard just to close a deal you really want to land can backfire in a big way.

Specifically, there’s one common mistake freelancers make when pitching that…

– Destroys their positioning

– Slashes future earnings

– And shortens the customer lifespan

What is it?

Discounting your services instead of doing something for free.

You see, once you discount your price…

That’s what the client will value your service or offering at until the end of time. 

You’ve created a price anchor.

And no matter how well you deliver for them…

That discounted price will always drag your perceived value down like a weight around your ankles.

So if you’re struggling to overcome a price objection, offering to do something for free is a much better option.

Because you get to bank the goodwill and relationship equity without devaluing your services in the process.

Working For Yourself

Anti-Goal Setting

“Burn the ships,” they said…

“It’s what all great entrepreneurs do,” they said…

But what happens when your big dream doesn’t pan out the way you expected?

What happens if you fail?

Spoiler alert:

If you’re chasing big dreams, failure is inevitable.

This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t succeed…

It means you should be prepared for all outcomes in advance…

In fact, preparing for the worst possible scenario can be surprisingly liberating.

In the TED Talk below, entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferriss reveals how to conduct an exercise he calls “fear-setting.”

Essentially, it’s the opposite of traditional goal setting…

But it can be incredibly powerful to help define your risk and understand potential downsides… 

Especially if you’re faced with a big decision or considering a new opportunity.

Check out the 13-minute video here:

[WATCH]: Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month

From The Paid Ads Gig

Diagnosing Your Way to Paid Traffic Profits

Launched a new campaign that isn’t converting yet?

First things first: check to make sure the link isn’t broken 😂

But assuming that’s not the problem…

The next step is to analyze the leading metrics so you can figure out where the dropoff is happening.

This includes:

  • CTR/CPC
  • Page speed
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Order bump and upsell take rates
  • Etc

A sub-1% CTR + high CPC could mean a market-message mismatch or a weak creative.

Slow page speed could mean visitors are exiting before the page loads.

And if your landing page is converting at 20% or less, that’s a sign you may need to do some conversion rate optimization (CRO) before the campaign hits your KPIs.

Bottom line:

Junior media buyers assume every campaign should crush it right out of the gate…

But seasoned vets know you often have to optimize your way to profitability.

And being able to diagnose constraints in your funnel with surgical precision is what will set you apart from the competition.

So focus on getting good at it.

Gig Alerts

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

On the hunt for more high-value content in your inbox? Check out some of our top picks below:

  • The Playbook by Unemployable: The Playbook helps creators, freelancers, coaches, and consultants attract profitable audiences and develop multiple revenue streams.
  • Trends: 1,000+ pre-vetted business ideas you can start in a weekend + new signals every week.
  • The Curiosity Chronicle: High signal content related to frameworks, personal development, productivity, and growth.

Quote of the Day


“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”

— Dorothy Parker

In Case You Missed It:

📊 Surging Search Ads

Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to The Gig — the daily email helping freelancers go beyond the 9 to 5 and build profitable client businesses.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Apple Search Ads, Facebook, Google, Meta, TikTok, and Yahoo. Plus why landing a 2nd client should be a top priority, establishing preeminence, and how to solve paid ads attribution problems.

Read time: 3 minutes and 49 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • iOS 14 privacy updates boost Apple Search Ads. In a stunning new report nobody everyone saw coming, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency has vaulted the company’s search ads to the same level of media adoption as Facebook and Google ads.

  • Meta content report reveals TikTok made up 35.9M views seen on platform in Q2. No wonder Meta is rushing to swipe their most popular features. Meta’s Widely Viewed Content Report also revealed that TikTok was the fourth-most viewed domain on the platform last quarter.

  • Yahoo acquires news credibility startup The Factual. The company rates the credibility of news sources with an algorithm based on expertise and data instead of political biases and popularity. 

Together with AdSkills

The Truth About Scaling to 7-Figures and Beyond in 2022

“Free” traffic is a myth. If you want to get more eyeballs on your offers, you’ve got two choices: you can pay with time or you can pay with money. But so-called “free” or organic traffic isn’t predictable or reliable. You can’t turn it up or down at will. Plus time is the only non-renewable resource you have as a freelancer or entrepreneur.

Enter AdSkills: the gold standard in paid traffic training. Paid traffic gives you a consistent, predictable, and reliable way to turn $1 into $2 or more. From there, turning up the traffic and sales can be as simple as turning on a faucet. That’s why paid traffic is the fastest way to create leverage in your business and scale your impact and income. 

As an AdSkills member, not only will you learn how to launch & scale paid ad campaigns, but you’ll also get the stamp of approval that 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred look for when hiring freelancers. So if you want to learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale offers to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Working With Clients

When You Land That Second Client

One big advantage of freelancing is being able to diversify your income streams.

There’s a reason they say “one” is the most dangerous number in business…

Because if you rely exclusively on…

  • One traffic source
  • One ad account
  • Or one client

… for all of your income, then you’re in a very precarious place.

And it wouldn’t take much to knock you off your perch.

So…

A word to the wise:

Avoid relying on one client for 100% of your income.

Aim to have at least two — this way you have something to fall back on if things go sideways with Client #1.

Plus, as you build your track record…

The list of clients you’ve worked with in the past will grow…

Which can also serve as a back-up plan if you need to drum up work.

Working For Yourself

How to Become a Trusted Advisor

Ever heard of Jay Abraham?

He’s a legendary copywriter, consultant, and business owner who’s coached some of the biggest names across many industries, including Tony Robbins, Ramit Sethi, Daymond John, Eben Pagan, and many others.

He also coined a concept called the “Strategy of Preeminence”…

And if you’re a freelance service provider, implementing this simple yet powerful framework has the potential to transform your sales calls…

By eliminating neediness…

Reducing sales resistance…

And forcing prospects to sell themselves to YOU.

Here’s how it works:

Instead of focusing on your product or service and why it’s a great fit for the prospect…

Frame the conversation as a diagnostic tool to help them figure out what’s best for their specific situation… even if that means NOT working with you.

It may sound simple…

But this subtle shift can flip the script and remove sales pressure for the prospect.

And if you can demonstrate a deeper level of understanding of their fears, problems, and goals than anyone else…

Through authentic, empathetic conversation about their current situation…

Then chances are, they’ll be eager to work with you anyway.

Which means you won’t need to rely on fake urgency or fast action discounts to close the deal.

Plus the prospect will be more pre-framed to trust you and implement your solution.

From The Paid Ads Gig

I’ve Got 99 Problems But Attribution is the Big One

Attributing views, clicks, and conversions is a pain in the neck these days.

Especially if you’ve got a mix of organic and paid traffic from different platforms all flowing into the same funnel.

But the good news is…

There’s an old school strategy that can help you combat attribution problems:

Building separate funnels for each traffic source.

If you’ve only got traffic from one source (like Facebook, YouTube, organic, etc) coming into a specific funnel, attributing ROI is a cakewalk.

There is a bit more work up front to get this set up…

But as you (or your client’s) company grows, you’ll be glad you did it.

Gig Alerts

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while working.”

— Henri Matisse

ICYMI:

🥊 Confessions of a control beater

Happy Wednesday! Here’s a fun fact that could come in handy: on this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail with three ships in search of the New World. Two months later, he made landfall in the Caribbean and came ashore on an island known by locals as Guanahani, in the Bahamas.

But the exact location of the island remains a mystery. Why? Because Columbus’s descriptions of the island included penetrating analysis such as “very green trees and many ponds and fruits.” Naturally, experts have since had a hard time figuring out which island he was referring to.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Instagram, TikTok, Shopify, SEO, and Spotify. Plus an unsexy way to build relationships with clients and colleagues, the trick to avoiding information overload, and how to write strong direct response copy that converts.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 34 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Instagram on track for 3X more influencer marketing spend than TikTok in 2022. File this one under “didn’t see that coming”: advertisers are projected to spend $2.23 billion on Instagram this year, compared to just $774M on TikTok.
  • Many of Shopify’s recent layoffs were in the SEO department. The company recently laid off roughly 1,000 workers, and it seems like most of them worked on search engine optimization (SEO) for the company. 
  • TikTok files patent for TikTok Music in potential attempt to compete with Spotify. Operation World Domination continues to proceed at breakneck speed for the short-form video app. According to the patent filing, the new platform will allow users to “purchase, play, share, and download music.”

Working With Clients

No Pants, No Problem

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.

Plus you don’t even have to put pants on if you don’t want to.

Working For Yourself

ALERT: Knowledge Banks Nearing Maximum Threshold

Living in the Information Age has its pros and cons.

On the one hand, you can teach yourself the basics of just about any skill for free online.

But on the other hand…

This embarrassment of riches creates a paradox of choice.

Who do you learn from? Who do you ignore?

It’s no easy task.

That’s why the secret to avoiding information overwhelm is…

Choose 1-2 experts to learn from and ignore everyone else.

– Consume everything they put out

– Implement their strategies as best you can

– Find out what works and what doesn’t before moving on

Learning a high-income skill like copywriting, sales, or paid ads can feel like drinking from a firehose.

You need to control the flow of information you’re taking in.

Otherwise your head will explode.

And the only way to do that effectively is to narrow your focus.

Bottom line: don’t get high on more than one guru’s supply.

The lessons you’ll learn from executing on ONE person’s strategies will trump it every time.

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.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson

ICYMI:

🏆 10 most in-demand marketing skills on Upwork

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back to The Gig, the daily newsletter helping freelancers go beyond the 9 to 5 and conquer the gig economy.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Upwork, HubSpot, and Big Tech. Plus what not to say when you get a lead you can’t help, why following your passion isn’t always a good idea, and a tell-tale sign your lander won’t convert.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 12 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Top 10 most in-demand marketing skills on Upwork revealed. Wondering what marketing skills are in highest demand on our favorite freelancing platform? See the list here so you can add some of them to your saved searches.
  • HubSpot study reveals the best time to send marketing emails is 9 AM – 12 PM. Both B2C and B2B marketers reported this morning window drove the most engagement, followed by 12-3 PM.
  • Strong U.S. dollar hurts Big Tech companies. As the dollar gets stronger against foreign currencies, companies like Netflix, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are making less from selling their products & services in foreign markets.

Working With Clients

What NOT to Say When You Get a Lead You Can’t Help…

Got a lead you can’t help?

Don’t just send them away…

Refer them to someone else in your network.

Becoming a “connector” helps you build goodwill and social capital with both parties — the lead and the person you refer them to.

Something that often comes back around to you…

Whether it’s a referral fee, a client being referred to you, or something else altogether.

And if you don’t have a network of other service providers you can refer to, it’s time to start building one.

Aim to have at least one person you can refer to for all the services adjacent to yours.

– If you’re a copywriter, get to know someone who runs paid ads

– If you run paid ads, get to know someone who does graphic design or video editing

– If you’re a graphic designer, get to know someone who builds funnels

A bigger network always means more opportunities.

Working For Yourself

Why “Follow Your Passion” Isn’t Always a Good Idea

Finding fulfillment is something many freelancers struggle with in their careers.

If you’re one of them…

Look for work that aligns with these three things:

1 – What you enjoy doing 🙂

2 – What you’re good at 💪

3 – What you can get paid for 💰

We like to think of this as the “fulfillment trifecta.”

Pursuing a paycheck at the cost of personal enjoyment is just as bad as choosing a career you enjoy or are good at, but has minimal market demand.

The road to happiness starts by finding alignment between all three.

Tools We Love

If Your Lander Has Prospects Doing THIS, it Won’t Convert

There’s nothing worse than helping a client with the copy, design, or strategy for a new offer…

Only to find out the landing page doesn’t convert.

But before you scrap it and go back to the drawing board, make sure to test the page speed.

According to HubSpot, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each added second of load time.

And in our experience, most hosting providers are not built for speed.

That’s why we use Kinsta to host our WordPress websites.

Their global content delivery network includes servers in 200+ cities worldwide to give you blazing fast page speed…

So you can maximize conversions, sales, and profits.

Join 24,200+ companies who’ve made the switch to better, faster hosting with Kinsta today.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

— Albert Einstein

ICYMI:

🤖 Top 5 tools for freelancers

Happy Friday! U.S. GDP fell for the second straight quarter, which, according to some people at least, means we’re now officially in a recession. So on that cheery note, let’s get into it.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Meta, Google, Facebook, VR, and the FTC. Plus what we’d do to rebuild our freelance biz from scratch, our top 5 tools for freelancers, and the idiot’s guide to writing simple leads that sell.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes and 24 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • FTC sues to block Meta’s acquisition of VR fitness app Supernatural. When it rains, it pours. The injunction filed by the FTC on Wednesday claims Meta should have tried to compete instead of just buying the app outright.
  • Tracking cookies get a stay of execution from Google until 2024. This is the second time the company has pushed back their phaseout of third-party cookies. Hopefully this will give the adtech industry time to figure out a cookieless solution that can compete.
  • Average cost of a Facebook ad down 14% in Q2. In their quarterly earnings report earlier this week, parent company Meta revealed the average cost of a Facebook ad has dropped significantly over the last 3 months.

Working With Clients

If Our Freelance Biz Went Up in Flames, Here’s How We’d Start Over

Here’s a hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say we lost it all — skills, clients, connections, crypto portfolio, testimonials, etc…

What would we do to rebuild our freelance biz as fast as possible?

Here’s the gameplan:

STEP 1: Pick one high-income skill

High-income skills give you proximity to the sale.

This means your work has a direct impact on whether someone buys or not.

And the closer you are to the sale, the more money you can make.

Our top suggestions:

  • Copywriting
  • Paid ads
  • Remote sales
  • Graphic design

Choose the one that aligns most with your personality (introverted vs extroverted) and strengths (creativity vs analytical).

STEP 2: Daily study & practice

The next step is to map out a daily plan to study and practice your high-income skill.

Aim to spend at least one hour a day on this.

For example:

  • Read a sales letter
  • Write an email
  • Find an ad to include in your swipe file
  • Design a IG story for your favorite brand

Daily practice is the fastest path to mastery.

STEP 3: Pick one client acquisition channel and go all in

There are two main ways to get clients:

  • Freelance platforms / job boards
  • Cold outreach

Each has its pros and cons…

But we’re partial to freelancing platforms.

Why?

Because we believe in going where the paying clients are when you’re just starting out.

These are people looking to hire ASAP.

But cold outreach can work too.

Either way, pick one and spend at least an hour a day on it until you’ve landed your first client.

Then rinse and repeat until your roster is full.

BONUS STEP: Diversify

There are a few ways to diversify your freelance business and income once you’ve established a baseline level of security:

  • Build an audience on social media
  • Promote other people’s products
  • Create your own digital products
  • Start a side business

That’s how we’d rebuild the House of Gig as quickly as possible.

Working For Yourself

Top 5 Tools For Freelancers

Over the past 6 years, we’ve come across a ton of useful and time-saving tools to help run a freelancing business.

Best part is, many of them are free or low-cost.

And if your freelance biz is generating some predictable income each month…

Even if it’s only $500 to $1,000…

Taking advantage of some of these tools is well worth it.

So here 5 of our favorites that we use every day:

1) TextExpander

TextExpander lets you set up shortcodes and abbreviations to save time on stuff you type. Once you set it up, all you have to do is type in your shortcode, and TextExpander will automatically paste your text for you.

2) Krisp.ai

Background noise can make you look unprofessional on client calls. 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 client calls.

3) Fireflies.ai

Taking notes on Zoom calls can be a huge distraction. That’s why Fireflies is such a lifesaver: it’s an AI assistant that lets you record, transcribe, and search across your voice conversations. After the meeting is finished, you’ll have a searchable transcript so you don’t have to worry about taking notes.

4) Kinsta

When the time comes to set up your own website, you need somewhere to host it. That’s where Kinsta comes in. Kinsta is a blazing fast WordPress hosting provider. Their global content delivery network includes servers in 200+ cities worldwide, which means your pages load lightning fast, so you can convert more visitors into leads and customers.

5) ConvertKit

ConvertKit is our favorite email service provider. It’s simple, intuitive, and easy to use. You don’t need a computer science degree to collect emails, send out broadcasts, and grow your audience. Plus their Creator Pro plan comes with a free SparkLoop account so you can set up your own referral program.

Now here’s a question for you:

What would you add to this list?

We’re always on the lookout for new tools to test out.

Hit “Reply” to share your favorites with us.

From The Copywriting Gig

The Idiot’s Guide to Writing Simple Leads That Sell

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

Ever wished there was an easier way to write compelling hooks that suck the reader in?

If so, then we’ve got good news:

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.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.”

— Henry Ford

ICYMI:

📈 Take a hike

Happy Thursday! Meta just reported its first ever revenue decline year-over-year since going public in 2012. Choppy waters lie ahead — potentially including a wave of layoffs. More on that below.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Facebook, Google, Instagram, TikTok, and the Federal Reserve. Plus the secret to hitting 10k/m with as few clients as possible, a time-tested solution to creative fatigue, and our most effective list building tactic.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 4 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 0.75%. The rate hike is an effort to bring down rising inflation without triggering a full-blown recession.
  • Facebook may cut up to 10% of their workforce this year. Looks like Spotify isn’t the only one who may be forced to slash headcount this year: according to Insider, Meta is planning to do the same.
  • Google reveals many Gen Z’ers prefer searching on Instagram or TikTok. Internal company research revealed close to 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds prefer not to Google stuff in the traditional sense. They’re turning to their favorite social networks instead.

Working With Clients

The Secret to Hitting 10k/m With as Few Clients as Possible

For most freelancers, hitting 10k per month is their first big goal.

So what’s the easiest way to get there?

Recurring revenue.

Look to find clients who have an ongoing need for your services.

-For copywriters, this could be writing emails and/or managing the list

-For media buyers, this could be managing paid ad campaigns

-For graphic designers, this could be producing ad creatives

-For remote sales reps, this could be setting appointments

Now copywriters and graphic designers may have to work a little bit harder on this…

Because one-off projects are much more common in those lines of work.

But media buyers and remote sales reps have recurring revenue basically built-in to their job descriptions.

And by focusing on recurring revenue…

It only takes:

– 5 clients @ 2k/m

– 4 clients @ 2.5k/m

– 2 clients @ 5k/m

… to hit 10k per month.

 Another way to hit 10k/m faster is to negotiate performance-based compensation.

This is typically a percentage of sales generated by your work.

For example:

– Copywriters may get a % of gross revenue

– Media buyers may get a % of monthly ad spend

– Remote sales reps may get a % of cash collected

Now, performance-based components are much more common for some high-income skills (copywriting, media buying, and remote sales) versus others (graphic design).

But no matter which skill you choose…

Performance-based compensation requires a strong foundation of trust.

No client will agree to share their profits without it.

So keep this in mind as a goal to work toward…

But don’t come out guns blazing and ask for a percentage of gross sales right away.

You should have no trouble hitting 10k/m without it.

Working For Yourself

SPOTTED: Creative Genius Working on the Next Big Idea

Struggling to come up with a creative solution to a work problem?

There’s a reason why famous thinkers like Darwin, Einstein, and Nietzsche used daily walks to stimulate their creativity.

Next time you’re feeling stumped, try this:

STEP 1: Direct your mind to find a solution

STEP 2: Go for a walk

STEP 3: Get back to work & request the solution

What you’ll find is that your subconscious mind continues working on the problem, even after you’ve shifted your active focus away from it.

Tools We Love

1,518+ New Subscribers From a Single Tweet?

Twitter’s been our #1 growth channel since we launched in late March.

And there’s one specific type of tweet that’s proven to be insanely effective for attracting more engagement, followers, and subscribers:

The auto-DM.

This simple tweet follows a “2-step” structure where you tease a piece of content (video, template, cheat sheet, checklist, etc) and then ask people to like, comment, or retweet to get it.

Here are some recent results from our last couple auto-DMs:

-1,041 RTs and 623 subscribers

-393 RTs and 187 subscribers

-936 RTs and 127 subscribers

-697 RTs and 269 subscribers

All told, we’ve added 1,518+ subscribers to our list with this one type of tweet.

Now you can manually reply to all these people to deliver the content, of course…

But we prefer to use TweetHunter instead.

Why?

For one, it puts the “auto” in “auto-DM” — so you don’t have to do anything manual.

It’s got a ton of other features we love too, including:

– Tweet and thread scheduling

– Native image editor

– 2M+ viral tweet library to use for inspiration

– Auto-plugs and auto-retweets

– And a whole bunch more

Bottom line:

If you’re looking to grow your audience (and your business) on Twitter as quickly as possible…

TweetHunter is exactly what you need.

Click here to try TweetHunter for free

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.”

— Dharmesh Shah

ICYMI:

💲 Massive layoffs at Shopify

Happy Wednesday! All eyes are on the Federal Reserve today, as they’re expected to raise rates in response to soaring inflation. The real question is — by how much? Too little and inflation could keep climbing, while too much could trigger a recession.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Shopify, Microsoft, and Meta. Plus 3 ways to get freelance clients without paid ads, 24 side hustle ideas, and only way to bulletproof your ad tracking.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 36 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Shopify plans to lay off 10% of their workforce. The company announced 1,000 workers will be getting their pink slips in an internal memo, according to the WSJ. Ouch.
  • Microsoft reports major slowdown in cloud, gaming, and PC market. It’s another sign consumers may be starting to spend less in anticipation of a coming recession. For what it’s worth: the recent slowdown didn’t stop the company from projecting greener pastures ahead (and sending the stock price back up).
  • Meta launches new Music Revenue Sharing program. The program will let creators (or rights holders) earn from videos that qualify for in-stream ads, as Meta continues to throw everything but the kitchen sink at creators in the hopes of staying relevant.

Working With Clients

3 Ways to Land Freelance Clients Without Paid Ads

Winning in business is all about momentum.

That’s why it’s so important to establish a consistent way to land clients.

Especially if you’re new to freelancing.

Now, there are three main channels you can use to get clients without spending money on ads:

1) Referrals & Word of Mouth

Referrals and word of mouth always make for the best clients.

They’re pre-framed to trust you because someone else has endorsed you or recommended you.

Which also increases your perceived value.

Asking existing clients for referrals (and potentially incentivizing them to do so with a referral fee or bonus) is a great place to start.

The only problem is, if you’re a new freelancer, you’re not really in a position to leverage this channel yet.

2) Cold Outreach

Cold outreach means sending messages to people you don’t know to see if they’d be interested in hiring you.

This is typically done via email or on social media.

But the problem with cold outreach is intent.

No one you reach out to has said they actually WANT what you’re selling.

So this is typically not the best option for new freelancers either…

Because the tools you need to convert cold prospects into clients (lots of credibility, testimonials and a bold, results-based promise) are not in your toolkit yet.

3) Freelance Platforms

Freelance platforms solve the intent problem.

Instead of going after ice cold prospects who may or may not even want the service you provide…

You’re targeting people who have demonstrated a need and are actively looking for the solution.

These are paying clients who are looking to hire someone ASAP.

That’s intent.

And if you’re a brand new freelancer, this is the best place to start.

Our weapon of choice is Upwork, but there’s plenty of others out there like Fiverr, FreeUp and Freelancer.com.

Pick one and go all in on it.

Working For Yourself

24 Side Hustle Ideas to Make An Extra $1,000 Per Month

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 ton 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:

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

From The Paid Ads Gig

Let the Hate Traffic Flow Through You

Apple’s iOS 14 update detonated a bomb on browser-based tracking last year.

And the effects continue to reverberate through the industry…

Especially as many Big Tech companies like Snap, Twitter, and Meta report on their quarterly earnings over the past few weeks.

Now even though there’s plenty of SaaS companies who claim to have “solved iOS 14,” the truth is that the ad tracking capabilities we used to have ain’t coming back.

But the good news is…

There’s an old school strategy that can help you combat Apple’s anti-ad agenda:

Building separate funnels for each traffic source.

If you’ve only got traffic from one source (like Facebook, YouTube, organic, etc) coming into a specific funnel, attributing ROI is a cakewalk.

There is a bit more work up front to get this set up…

But as you (or your client’s) company grows, you’ll be glad you did it.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

— Jeff Bezos

ICYMI:

🤔 Should freelancers ever work for free?

Happy Tuesday! This is The Gig, aka the morning paper for anyone building a highly-profitable client business. Like the Wall Street Journal, but with memes and gifs instead of charts and tickers.

If you’re looking for clients, make sure to check out the Gig Alerts section at the bottom of each newsletter.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Inflation, Google, and email marketing. Plus whether freelancers should ever work for free, how Tom Brady would build a successful freelance biz, and the best way to remove background noise on client calls.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 4 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Upper middle class feels the pinch in 2022. Exhibit #4097823 demonstrating why building a freelance business is a good idea: inflation, rising gas prices, and falling stock prices are just a few of the things hitting middle class folks in the pocketbook this year, forcing many to draw from their savings, sell off investments at a loss, or abandon retirement.
  • Google updates Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more for tablets. Good news for anyone working on the go: Google is finally improving the tablet experience for its core suite of apps. 
  • The ultimate guide to email marketing. Looking to step up your email marketing game? Writing copy is one just piece of the puzzle. Check out this free guide from Hubspot for a bird’s eye view of email as a marketing channel.

Working With Clients

Freelancers Looking For Their First Client Be Like

One of the most controversial freelancing topics is whether to work for free or not.

As a wise man once said, “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

But on the flip side…

How are you supposed to land clients with no experience?

It’s a tricky situation. And one that’s more nuanced than most make it out to be.

So here’s our take on the subject:

  • You should never lie about how much (or little) experience you have to a prospective client.

  • The biggest objection most clients have when hiring new freelancers is experience.

  • The easiest way to overcome that objection is to work for free.

  • One way to split the difference is to prepare custom sample pieces and include them in your proposal. This way, you can demonstrate your competence without doing the entire project for free.

  • Be strategic about who you prepare custom samples for. If it’s a big client with lots of potential opportunities for you, then it’s probably worth it. If it’s a brand new solopreneur with nothing more than a blog and a Stripe account, then probably don’t do it.

  • Any work you do for free should be limited in scope.

  • There are bad actors out there who may try to exploit you, so use your judgment and trust your gut.

Bottom line:

Most new freelancers would be better served by checking their ego and working for free to get their foot in the door with legit clients and companies.

Whatever amount you’re getting your knickers in a twist about is likely going to be small potatoes in the long run.

So don’t sweat it.

And focus on doing whatever you can to prove yourself to quality clients.

Working For Yourself

How Tom Brady Would Build a Successful Freelance Biz

Being your own boss sounds pretty great in theory…

But in practice, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

That’s because there’s no one watching over your shoulder to hold you accountable if you show up late, call in sick, or botch that TPS report.

So if you’re struggling to build momentum or hit the next income goal in your freelance biz…

Here’s some advice:

Start treating your life like a pro athlete.

Even though you may not feel like an athlete…

Your goals are the same:

Performing at a high level and sustaining that performance over the course of an entire season.

This can mean:

  • Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day
  • Developing a morning routine
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Finding ways to relax and de-stress

The more seriously you take your day-to-day habits and routines…

The better results you’ll see inside your business.

Tools We Love

Whoever That is Needs to Mute ASAP

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.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.”

— Indra Nooyi

ICYMI:

🦈 Shark Tank ROI

Happy Monday! Are we headed for a recession? Are we in one already? Experts can’t seem to agree. But a flurry of new economic data this week, including earnings reports from Meta, Alphabet, and Microsoft, could help paint a clearer picture.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Facebook, TikTok, Snap, Mark Cuban, and Shark Tank. Plus 3 magic words to make your clients trust you, 20 tax write offs for freelancers, and the best place to eavesdrop on your customers.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 36 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Facebook launches Home feed on iOS and Android to mirror TikTok. The new feed features Reels, Stories, and other algorithmically-suggested content. Updates from friends and groups you’re in are now in a separate Feeds tab.
  • Snap stock tanks after bad quarterly earnings report. The company reported a $422 million net loss for the quarter, citing an uncertain economy and more competition for ad dollars (along with our best friend iOS 14) and refused to make any financial projections for Q3. The rest of industry reports this week, and it could be ugly.
  • Mark Cuban takes an L on Shark Tank investments. The billionaire recently revealed he’s down overall on the ~$20 million he’s invested through the show. But they make venture capital look so easy! Maybe we’d better stick to gambling on altcoins instead.

Working With Clients

3 Magic Words to Make Clients Trust You

If a client asks a question, you should always have the answer… right?

Wrong.

In fact, trying to weigh in on something when you’re out of depth is the fastest way to make yourself look silly.

So, what’s the answer?

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”

Being open about what you don’t know shows honesty and will give you credibility.

Plus it creates an opportunity for you to find the answer and demonstrate your resourcefulness to the client.

A win-win for both of you 💪

Working For Yourself

That’s a Write Off

As a freelancer, you may not have a pension or 401k…

But you do get some tax advantages from being able to write stuff off.

And if you’re looking to save as much as possible on your tax bill next year…

Our friends at Upwork have put together an awesome list of 20 things you can and should be expensing in your freelance business.

Click here to check it out:

[READ]: The 20 Most Important U.S. Tax Benefits and Deductions for Freelancers

From The Copywriting Gig

I Ain’t Been Dropping No Eaves Sir

Persuasive sales copy starts with market research.

Understanding what problems your customers are having, what underlying beliefs they have about their problems, and what specific words and phrases they use to describe them is essential to writing copy that converts.

But traditional forums are basically extinct.

So, what’s the best place to “eavesdrop” on your customers?

Reddit.

With over 430 million monthly active users and niche-specific subreddits for basically any topic you can imagine.

It’s a treasure trove of insights into the psychology of your target market.

Aside from any niche-specific subreddits, be sure to check out:

Pro tip: filter by Top and All Time to see discussions that have resonated the most.

Gig Alert

Looking for clients? These jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”

— Denis Waitley

🎯 Ad pixel trick

Happy Friday! Formula 1 is in France for the French Grand Prix this weekend, while filmmaker Jordan Peele’s latest horror flick, Nope, hits theaters. Expectations are high: his last two movies have grossed a total of $510M at the worldwide box office against a combined budget of just $24.5M. That’s what we in the biz call a bangin’ ROI.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Instagram, BeReal, Google, Twitter, and Meta. Plus what to look for in an ideal client, the ultimate beginner’s guide to structuring your freelance biz, and an unconventional way to feed your pixel better data.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 23 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Instagram launches DM payments feature. Customers can now place an order, check out, and track their shipment straight from the DMs. As of now, the feature is only available to qualified business owners in the U.S. But it’s a big step forward as social media platforms aim to keep users from going offsite to make a purchase.
  • BeReal climbs to #1 in the App Store. The new kid on the block is basically the opposite of Instagram. And now it’s elbowed TikTok aside to claim the top spot among free apps in the U.S. Will it stay there? TBD. But with over 20M+ installs, it’s certainly making waves.
  • Google becomes the latest tech company to initiate hiring freeze. After hiring 10,000 new employees so far this quarter, the company will freeze hiring for two weeks to re-evaluable headcount. Many other tech companies, including Twitter and Meta, have already either frozen hires or laid off staff this year due to drops in stock price and fears of a recession.

Working With Clients

Not Quite the Reaction You’re Looking For

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

When You Sign Those Incorporation Papers

Should you incorporate your business as a freelancer?

Or is it better to run it as a sole proprietorship?

What’s the best way to reduce your tax burden?

What about limiting your liability? Partnering with other companies? Bringing on investors?

These are just a few of the questions you may be wondering about when it comes to the legal structure of your freelance business…

And the answer to all of them is:

It depends.

But regardless of how you choose to structure your biz, it’s a decision that can have a big impact on your overall financial situation.

Fortunately, our friends at Upwork have written a killer guide on the pros and cons of 5 different business entities, from sole proprietorship all the way to LLC.

Check it out here:

[READ]: Business Entities Pros and Cons You Should Know as a Freelancer

From The Paid Ads Gig

An Unconventional Way to Feed Your Pixel Better Data

Tracking pixels need to be “fed” lots of data to optimize.

It’s what makes them such a powerful marketing tool…

Because they get smarter and smarter over time.

Only problem is…

Since iOS 14, tracking pixels have gotten dumber.

Especially when they’re fresh out of the box and yet to be seasoned with hundreds or thousands of conversions.

And platforms like Meta and Google keep removing targeting options to stay out of trouble.

So here’s an unconventional way to feed your pixel better data:

Tell anyone who is NOT your ideal customer to leave the page immediately.

For example…

If you were a media buyer running ads to get clients… 

You might place this line of copy on your opt-in form:

“If you are NOT a coach, consultant, or course creator spending at least 1k/day on ads, please leave this page immediately.”

Now, will this decrease your conversion rate and increase your cost per lead?

You bet.

BUT…

Your lead quality will improve dramatically.

And because you’ll only be feeding the pixel conversion data from smack dab in the middle of your target audience…

Your campaigns will be able to optimize much better over time as well.

So if you’re struggling with low quality leads…

Or simply looking for a new marketing experiment to run… 

Give it a go and report back 😉

Gig Alert

Quote of the Day

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

— Andy Rooney

ICYMI: