📺 Netflix ad sweepstakes

Happy Friday! We’re hunkered down at our satellite office in Toronto to celebrate a wildly successful Q2. And we want you to celebrate with us! So look out for details on our first ever subscriber giveaway next week, where you’ll be able to win some cool prizes.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Adobe, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Google, Roku, Comcast, Twitter, and Shopify. Plus what to do with leads you can’t help, 24 side hustle ideas that can make you an extra 1k/m, and scaling 101 for paid ads.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 42 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Adobe, Meta, and Microsoft join Metaverse Standards Forum. One conspicuous absence from the group is Apple, who’s rumored to be working on an AR/VR headset that could make them a major player in the metaverse.
  • Netflix looking at Google, Roku, and Comcast for their first advertising partnership. With the streamer aiming to launch their ad-supported tier by the end of 2022, multiple companies are vying to win the business.

  • Shopify users can now sell straight from their Twitter profiles. The new integration gives merchants two options: display up to 5 products in a carousel, or link to a Twitter Shop where they can display up to 50 products.

Working With Clients

When in Doubt, Refer Out

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

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


From The Paid Ads Gig

Scaling 101

If you’re running a paid ads campaign that’s converting…

There are two main ways to scale it:

1 – Vertical scaling

Where you increase the budget on winning ad sets and/or campaigns.

2 – Horizontal scaling

Where you take winning ads and roll them out to new audiences.

Once you’ve hit on something that works, vertical scaling is the easiest to start with.

But depending on your audience, offer, and platform, you’ll eventually bump into a budget ceiling.

That’s when horizontal scaling comes into play.

Pro tip: the best way to achieve horizontal scale is to reposition your offer.

For example: a biz opp/make money online offer might start out being positioned towards young professionals as a way to escape the 9 to 5…

But it could also be positioned towards stay-at-home parents as a way to provide for their family without having to leave the house or hire a babysitter.

Make sense?

If you want to scale an ad account to the moon, you’ll need to scale both vertically and horizontally.


Quote of the Day

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Victor Frankl


📲 Is TikTok a national security threat?

Happy Monday! This is your friendly reminder that you can’t control circumstances, only how you react to them.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Plus what we’d do if we had to restart our freelance business from scratch, diversifying your client & income streams, and a common retargeting mistake even seasoned advertisers make.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 47 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Leaked audio reveals U.S. TikTok user data accessed from China. The recordings of 80 internal meetings exposed multiple instances where U.S. employees lacked the permission or knowledge to access local user data without help from Chinese colleagues, and to a Master Admin in Beijing who apparently had “access to everything” — disclosures that amplify fears about TikTok’s potential threat to national security.
  • Instagram tests new full-screen mode to compete with TikTok. Members of the test group will see videos full-screen in the feed, mirroring the user experience on TikTok (but hopefully without the foreign data breach that comes with it).

  • FBI warns of cryptocurrency fraud schemes on LinkedIn. Fraudsters gain trust by directing victims to legitimate investing sites first, then convince them to move to a fake site where their assets can be drained. The World Wide Web can be a dangerous place. Stay safe out there.

Working With Clients

What We’d Do if We Lost it All and Had to Start Over

Hypothetical scenario:

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 works 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

Keep reading for more on how to do this 👇


Working For Yourself

Diversifying Your Client & Income Streams

People follow leaders, not experts.

That’s why creating content on social media is so important for freelancers…

Because content creation is leadership.

And even if you’re not an A-List service provider with a track record full of big wins…

Sharing your perspective on social can help establish credibility and authority…

Which can lead to lucrative deals you may not have landed otherwise.

You never know who’s watching.

But here’s an important piece of advice related to our “start from scratch” plan above:

Pick one social media platform and go all in on it.

Don’t try to be on Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram all at once.

Each platform has their nuances…

And unless you’ve got 2-4 hours you can dedicate to creating content every day…

The sacrifice isn’t worth it.

So take the time to learn the ins and outs of your platform of choice.

As an added bonus, once you’ve built a following and created some top-performing pieces of content…

You can easily repurpose them on other platforms.

For example, Dickie Bush recently shared these impressive results just from posting his top 50 tweets and threads on LinkedIn.

Moral of the story:

Focus on getting traction one platform at a time.

Then move on to conquer the next one.


From The Paid Ads Gig

Avoid Making This Retargeting Mistake

Retargeting is a key part of any paid ads strategy.

Even in a post-iOS 14 world.

But there’s one common mistake we see even experienced advertisers making with their retargeting strategy:

Not retargeting people to a different offer.

If someone sees your ad, clicks on it, hits your lander, but doesn’t opt-in or buy…

Retargeting them with same offer again and again amounts to saying:

Hey, I know you decided you didn’t want this the first time you saw it… but how about now??”

Can this approach produce *some* results?

Yes.

But as a skilled media buyer, you can do better…

By retargeting them to a different offer (and ideally, one that lowers the commitment.)

For example:

  • Retargeting ecom buyers with a free + shipping offer
  • Retargeting info product buyers with a quickstart guide
  • Retargeting SaaS buyers with free 7-day trial
  • Retargeting coaching clients with a low-ticket group challenge

Presenting them with a new offer creates a “reason why” for your ad…

And increases the chance they’ll take action.


Quote of the Day

“Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.”

Seneca


💦 Twitter unleashes the firehose

Happy Friday! Formula 1 is in Baku this weekend for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. And Jurassic World: Dominion aims to unseat Tom Cruise at the box office with a projected $125M opening. 

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Elon Musk, Walter Isaacson, TikTok, Twitter, and Ready Player One. Plus the one thing that can make or break your freelance portfolio, four ugly truths about being a digital nomad, and an old school trick to keep your attribution clean even after iOS 14.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 23 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter unleashes the firehose on Elon Musk. The board has finally caved to Elon’s demands and will give him access to its massive internal data stream of 500M+ daily tweets. Will Musk be satisfied? Or will it prompt him to formally pull out of the deal? Either way, one person loving all this drama (aside from Elon himself) is probably Walter Isaacson, who’s been working on a biography of the Tesla CEO since 2021.

  • TikTok introduces Avatars. Similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, TikTok users can now set up and “become” their avatars when recording videos. Ready Player One takes place in 2045 in a world where people spend most of their time living as their VR avatar, and so far, the timeline is looking pretty accurate.

  • Twitter launches Product Drops. As we’ve reported in recent weeks, the push into shoppable ads and content continues to heat up. And now Twitter is entering the fray with Product Drops, which allow users to sign up for reminders about upcoming launches right from the feed.

Working With Clients

The One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Freelance Portfolio

Want to increase your chances of getting the gig?

Make sure you’ve got relevant sample pieces in your freelance portfolio.

There are two ways to think about relevance:

1) Task-specific
2) Market-specific 

Task-specific relevance means that if you’re applying for a job to write emails, you should highlight email work you’ve done in the past (instead of sales pages or video scripts).

Market-specific relevance means that if you’re applying for a job to run ads for a health company, you should highlight previous work you’ve done in the health space (instead of another niche like finance or relationships).

And if you want to pull a Mike Tyson and hit the bullseye…

Aim to have both.


Working For Yourself

4 Ugly Truths About Being a Digital Nomad

The laptop lifestyle is what attracts a lot of people to freelancing and digital marketing.

But it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be.

Here are a few ugly truths about digital nomadism we’ve learned the hard way:

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

Spending 8 hours a day glued to your laptop while everyone else is partying, sightseeing, and having fun isn’t exactly what most people have in mind when they board a plane overseas.

Temptations are everywhere.

Staying focused when you’re surrounded by distractions is less fun than it looks.

#2: You have to work odd hours

Having clients in the West means you might have to stay up until 12-1 AM to take calls and attend meetings.

This can be brutal.

If you’re an early to bed, early to rise kind of person, this will really jam up your normal rhythm.

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

But when you’re living overseas and often on the move, it’s hard to maintain structure.

You’re always on the lookout for good coffee shops, gyms, grocery stores, etc. near your new place.

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

You can meet lots of cool people while you’re traveling.

But it’s unlikely any of those new relationships will compare to the ones you have back home.

You can’t recreate that kind of depth in a week or a month.

Everyone’s headed in different directions, so nothing lasts.

Now this isn’t to say that it can’t work for some…

In fact, your humble newsletter writer spent a life-changing 8 months in Southeast Asia.

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

And since it’s always glamorized so much on social media…

We think it’s important to shine a spotlight on the not-so-sexy parts of it.


From The Paid Ads Gig

iOS 14? Never Heard of It

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

Paid ads haven’t been the same since.

And even though every SaaS company and their grandma claims 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.


Quote of the Day

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”

Harry Golden


📱 Social media mysteries in the metaverse

Happy Wednesday! And welcome to June. This is The Gig with news, tips, and A+ memes to help grow your freelance biz.

Here’s the latest…


Making the Rounds

  • Substack abandons $75M fundraise. The newsletter-biz-in-a-box company was attempting to raise $75M to $100M in new funding at a valuation of $750M-$1B. But with VCs and Wall Street bearish on tech companies these days, it looks like they’ll have to wait.

  • SpaceX president defends Elon Musk against sexual misconduct allegations. Gwynne Shotwell, who’s also COO, came out in support of Musk in an email to employees, saying she believes the allegations are false.

  • Foursquare founder announces $4M in funding for mysterious new social media metaverse company. The project is called LivingCities and aims to integrate web3 technology into a “mirror world” you won’t be able to find in app stores. Not sure exactly what that means? Don’t worry – us neither. 

Working With Clients

What to Do When a New Client Questions the Strategy

Kidding.

While you may want to Force choke a client on occasion…

(we’ve all been there)

Client success can be boiled down to one thing:

Learning how to manage expectations.

It’s the bedrock that long-lasting relationships are built on.

Here are some tips to help you to do it better:

  • Be transparent about the process
  • Offer multiple options or strategies
  • Set deadlines with wiggle room
  • Overcommunicate
  • Avoid getting carried away with too much excitement or enthusiasm 

And if a client is eager to pursue their own strategy instead of the one you’ve suggested…

Make the potential risks clear.

Explain that it’s your job as the expert to speak up.

Then establish clear criteria to determine whether the strategy is successful or not.

If it pans out, they’ll appreciate you pushing forward despite disagreeing.

And if it doesn’t, they’ll respect your judgment for being right.

Win-win.


Working For Yourself

The Dark Side of a Short Commute

Blurred lines are an occupational hazard when working from home.

Sure, the morning commutes may be a breeze…

But when the office is always just a few steps away, it can be tough to turn off your work brain.

That’s why one of the best ways to stay sane is…

Create a structured work schedule and stick to it.

That means getting up, starting, and finishing work around the same time each day.

Establishing boundaries like this will not only help you be more productive…

But you’ll sleep better too.


From The Paid Ads Gig

Ads Not Working? Try This

Ads not performing?

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:

  • CPM
  • CTR/CPC
  • Page speed
  • Landing page conversion rate

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.


Quote of the Day

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”

John Maxwell


🐦 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


👀 What do Facebook users see?

Happy Monday! And a happy Victoria Day to our friends in Canada. If you haven’t had a chance yet, it’s not too late to fill out our 2-minute subscriber survey

Now here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter tells employees the deal with Elon is still on. Despite his tweet about the deal being “on hold,” executives at Twitter recently told employees they won’t renegotiate the deal and intend to enforce the merger agreement if necessary. Speaking of Elon…
     
  • Facebook releases Widely Viewed Content Report. Two stats that stuck out to us: 1) the most posts with the most content viewers in the US only represented 0.1% of all content views on Facebook, and 2) 20.5% of the average user’s newsfeed is made up of Group posts. See the full report here.

  • SpaceX flight attendant accuses Elon of sexual misconduct. She alleged that while on a corporate flight, Musk exposed himself, then asked for an erotic massage and offered to buy her a horse, according to Insider. The flight attendant was reportedly paid 250k two years after the alleged incident and signed an NDA. Musk replied by calling the story a “politically motivated hit piece” and said there is “a lot more to this story.”

Working With Clients

Channeling Your Inner Liam Neeson

Finding your first client is arguably the biggest challenge you’ll ever face in your freelance career.

Especially if you’ve got no experience or track record.

So…

If you’re new to the game and looking for advice on how to land client numero uno…

Check out this article from our friends at Hustle Startup:

[READ]: 19 Actionable Ways to Get Your First Client

We’ve also got a little something for you in the referral section of today’s newsletter 👇


Working For Yourself

Base of Support

They say you should always invest in a good pair of shoes and a good mattress.

Why?

Because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other.

Well, we’ve got one more item to add to that list:

A good office chair.

Because if you’re spending 4-8+ hours working on the computer in a crappy chair…

You could easily end up with back, neck, or wrist pain.

And your skeleton deserves better than that.

Our top choice is the IKEA Markus.

But if you’re looking for a side-by-side comparison…

Check out TechRadar for some of the best office chairs of 2022.


From The Paid Ads Gig

Ads on Easy Mode

CPMs are on the rise.

Competition on the big ad platforms is getting stiffer.

And targeting ain’t exactly what it used to be.

So if you’re struggling to make paid ads profitable in 2022, you’re not alone.

But what’s the fix?

Well, it’s not a sexy marketing “hack” and it’s got nothing to do with flipping switches or the way you set up your campaigns…

Instead, the way to put your paid ads on easy mode is:

Launching a high-ticket offer.

One high-ticket sale of $2,000 to $5,000+ can liquidate a ton of ad spend and turn entire campaigns from bottomless money pits into cash-printing machines.

The two most common ways to do it from a traffic perspective are…

1) Promoting a low-ticket offer with an application on the backend

2) Driving traffic straight to a VSL or webinar that pushes leads to book a call

Bottom line:

The days of running profitable ads promoting low-ticket offers are over.

Traffic costs are only going to go up as the big ad platforms continue to mature…

So to make paid traffic work in 2022, you need to go high-ticket.


Quote of the Day

“Learn to recognize good luck when it’s waving at you, hoping to get your attention.”

Sally Koslow


👴 TikTok users are growing up

Happy Wednesday! Today is International Museum Day. To celebrate their first anniversary, Cairo’s two International Airport Museums are receiving transit visitors free of charge. And yes — there are mummies. 

In other news, here’s the latest…


Making the Rounds

  • 40% of TikTok users are over 30. Advertisers haven’t just been blowing smoke about TikTok ads: a new survey by the Pew Research Center found 40% of TikTok users are at least 30 years old, and 14% are 50+. No wonder #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is a thing.
     
  • Illinois users sue Snapchat over faceprint storage. Two Illinois residents have filed a class-action complaint against the social media platform alleging they store face scans within the Lenses app. The suit is made possible by a 2008 state law requiring companies to notify users about the collection of biometric info, which has led to several other pending suits against Meta. Who knew Illinoisans were so litigious when it comes to social media?

  • Apple users can now send and receive money from their Wallet app. The Apple Cash update is included with the launch of iOS 15.5, along with a handful of new Apple Podcasts features.

Working With Clients

You Could Be Waiting a While For That Referral (Unless…)

The best clients always come from referrals.

They’re typically more qualified, more trusting, and more fun to work with.

But most freelancers have never given a second thought to incentivizing them properly.

So, what’s the answer?

Create an attractive referral bonus for existing clients.

A cash bounty is the simplest way to do it…

But you can also get creative if you want to spice things up:

  • Gift boxes
  • WFH upgrades
  • Dinner at their favorite restaurant
  • Etc

Bottom line: if you want more referrals, give your clients a good reason to send them your way.


Working For Yourself

Don’t Forget the Basics

If you’re a freelance service provider…

Learning new things is essential to staying competitive:

  • New marketing strategies
  • New ad platforms
  • New skills
  • Etc

But don’t let shiny objects distract you too much…

Make sure to review the basics of your profession at least once per year.

We’re willing to bet you’ll be surprised at just how much you’ve forgotten.

And while marketing and advertising are two dynamic industries in constant flux…

The fundamental principles still apply.

So if it’s been a while since you re-read Breakthrough Advertising, The Ultimate Sales Letter, or any of the other classics, carve out some time this month to review them.


From The Paid Ads Gig

23 Sentences to Make Your Paid Ads More Profitable

1. Don’t test away all your profits

2. Retarget warm audiences to lower-commitment offers.

3. Build separate funnels for each traffic source.

4. The most important part of a video ad is the first 5 seconds.

5. The most important part of a Facebook ad is the first 125 characters.

6. If you want to get attention, disagree with mainstream wisdom.

7. Study the advertisers in your niche who spend the most money.

8. Reposition your offer to reach new segments of the market.

9. Create a swipe file of all the best ads you see in the wild.

10. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not touch anything.

11. Analyze leading metrics (CPM, CTR, CPC) to find out where the boat is leaking.

12. Preview your ads and landing pages on desktop and mobile before you launch.

13. Memes make for great creatives but can also get you banned, so be careful.

14. Winning ads can run for much longer than you think.

15. Run low-budget retargeting campaigns on other platforms to capture more of the top-of-funnel interest you’re generating.

16. First-mover advantage is real, so don’t ignore new platforms.

17. Compliance gets stricter as a platform matures.

18. Low CPMs usually mean junk traffic.

19. Manual bidding still works.

20. Thinking outside the box is how you create breakthroughs.

21. Don’t change too many things at once.

22. Always test the link.

23. Paid ads can’t fix a bad offer.


Quote of the Day

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis


📺Ads incoming

Happy Friday! Today marks the only Friday the 13th of 2022. Can somebody tell the crypto markets?

In the meantime, here’s what’s going on as we head into the weekend.


Making the Rounds

  • Elon plans to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account if the deal closes. At the Future of the Car conference, the Tesla CEO said he thought it was wrong for the platform to ban the former President. Trump claims he’ll stay on Truth Social even if he is reinstated, but if there’s an over/under on him coming back once the deal closes, we’ll take the over.

  • Netflix warns employees that ads are coming. After losing 200k subscribers in Q1 (along with $170 billion in market value over the last year), Netflix is moving quickly to launch an ad-supported tier of streaming service by the end of 2022.

  • Google announces the first-ever Pixel Watch. The new smartwatch will launch this year alongside the Pixel 7 and will integrate with Fitbit accounts.

Working With Clients

When in Doubt, Refer Out

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

If Ifs and Buts Were Candy and Nuts

One of the hallmarks of high-performers in any arena is a high say-do ratio.

When they say they’re gonna do something…

They do it.

Plain and simple.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

Following through on what you say you’re gonna do builds confidence and centers your locus of control.

So if you keep saying you’re gonna…

– apply to more freelance jobs
– start doing cold outreach
– post more on social media
– find a mentor
– go to a live event
– grow your network
– raise your rates
– etc etc

Then do it.

Prove to yourself you are in control.

And save the excuses for later.


From The Paid Ads Gig

The Lazy Media Buyer’s Guide to Riches Winning Video Ads


Hooks are often what separate winning video ads from creatives that won’t convert.

So…

If you’re producing video ads, or having someone else produce them for you…

Record the first 5 seconds separately from the rest of the video ad.

This way, you can easily transplant new hooks onto an existing video to test new angles.

And what you’ll find is…

A new hook can extend the life of a winning video ad, sometimes by a lot.

Eliminating the need to create entirely new videos from scratch.


Quote of the Day

“I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.”

Margaret Thatcher


🥶 Hiring freeze

Happy Monday! Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen was not to be denied in Miami this weekend. Despite starting from P3, he overtook second-place Carlos Sainz in Turn 1, passed pole-sitter Charles Leclerc a few laps later, and then never looked back.

He still trails Leclerc in the championship race, but it’s shaping up to be another thrilling season on the grid.

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


Making the Rounds

  • Would shoppers really pay to go ad-free? A new survey found 28.1% of shoppers would pay $50 per month to go ad-free on social media. Meanwhile, what most shoppers are actually doing these days is cancelling their subscriptions. That’s why Netflix and other streamers are rushing to build out new ad-supported tiers. Bottom line: consumers vote with their wallets, not their mouths.

  • Facebook initiates company-wide hiring freeze amid revenue slowdown. Internal memos leaked to Insider reveal the company is putting a kibosh on new hires for the foreseeable future. Something tells us the $10B per year they’re spending on AR and VR probably isn’t helping the bottom line right now, either.

  • Dwindling ecommerce sales send stocks plunging. Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and Wayfair have all suffered big drops in share price recently as overall online sales have declined 1.8% compared to a year ago. 

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

Not All Athletes Wear Gym Shorts

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.


From The Paid Ads Gig

Resist the Temptation

One of the easiest media buying mistakes to make is changing too many things at once.

Especially when your ads are converting well.

Not only does this prevent the algorithm from optimizing…

But it also muddies the data and makes it almost possible for you to analyze effectively.

So resist the urge to make changes to campaigns that are crushing it.

If something’s working, let it work.

Run up the score.

Because you don’t want to end up “testing away” all your profits.


Quote of the Day

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

Madeleine Albright


📺 New ad market projected to 2X

Happy Wednesday! May the Fourth be with you. The original Star Wars movie, A New Hope, was released almost 45 years ago on May 25, 1977, and grossed $775.8 million on a budget of $11 million. Now there’s an ROI to make the even world’s best media buyers blush.

Here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Elon’s Twitter endgame could be another I.P.O. As he seeks out more investment to avoid putting up so much of his own money in the deal to buy Twitter, Elon’s been telling investors he could take the company public again within as little as three years, according to the WSJ. Sounds bold, but we know better than to bet against him.

  • Advertisers spent 57% more on streaming ads in 2021. The Connected TV market is projected to double in size from 2020 to 2022. And Netflix hasn’t even launched their ad-supported tier yet.

  • EU says Apple violated its antitrust laws. Limiting the iPhone’s touchless payment system to only support Apple’s service was a no-no, Axios reports. The newly agreed-upon Digital Markets Act could force Apple to allow people to download apps via 3rd-party platforms in Europe. Not exactly what they want to hear from the world’s second largest economy, we’re guessing.

Working With Clients

What to Do When a New Client Questions the Strategy

Kidding.

While you may want to Force choke a client on occasion…

(we’ve all been there)

Truth is, client success can be boiled down to one thing:

Learning how to manage expectations.

It’s the bedrock that long-lasting relationships are built on.

Here are some tips to help you to do it better:

  • Be transparent about the process
  • Offer multiple options or strategies
  • Set deadlines with wiggle room
  • Overcommunicate
  • Avoid getting carried away with too much excitement or enthusiasm 

And if a client is eager to pursue their own strategy instead of the one you’ve suggested…

Make the potential risks clear.

Explain that it’s your job as the expert to speak up.

Then establish clear criteria to determine whether the strategy is successful or not.

If it pans out, they’ll appreciate you pushing forward despite disagreeing.

And if it doesn’t, they’ll respect your judgment for being right.

Win-win.


Working For Yourself

The Force is Strong With This One

Spoiler alert: sitting for 5+ hours a day isn’t good for you.

According to Stanford neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman, sitting for 5 hours or more per day is enough to erase the benefits of doing 180 minutes of cardio per week.

Fortunately, you can use a standing desk to avoid sitting for so long…

But one thing you can’t avoid?

Typing and mousing all day long.

That’s why it’s so important to have a daily strength and stretching routine for your hands and wrists.

Luckily, our friends at GMB have got us covered with this excellent tutorial on how to keep your wrists healthy and injury free.


From The Paid Ads Gig

Avoid Making This Retargeting Mistake

Retargeting is a key part of any paid ads strategy.

Even in a post-iOS 14 world.

But there’s one common mistake we see advertisers make with their retargeting strategy:

Not retargeting people to a different offer.

If someone sees your ad, clicks on it, hits your lander, but doesn’t opt-in or buy…

Retargeting them with same offer again and again amounts to saying:

Hey, I know you decided you didn’t want this the first time you saw it… but how about now??”

Can this approach produce *some* results?

Yes.

But as a skilled media buyer, you can do better…

By retargeting them to a different offer (and ideally, one that lowers the commitment.)

For example:

  • Retargeting ecom buyers with a free + shipping offer
  • Retargeting info product buyers with a quickstart guide
  • Retargeting SaaS buyers with free 7-day trial
  • Retargeting coaching clients with a low-ticket group challenge

Presenting them with a new offer creates a “reason why” for your ad…

And increases the chance they’ll take action.


Quote of the Day

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

Jim Rohn