🥷 Facebook security breach

Happy Wednesday! As a wise man once said: hard work never went out of style.

Here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Snap stock plunges over 43% after warning of revenue miss. CEO Evan Spiegel sent a note to employees on Monday warning the company would miss its revenue and earnings target for Q, dragging down other tech stocks like Alphabet, Meta, and Twitter with it.
     
  • “Buy now, pay later” firm Klarna lays off 10% of its workers. Given their current workforce of 7,000, the news means approximately 700 workers will soon be working on their resumes.

  • Newly disclosed Facebook bug made it possible to hack into accounts using Google to log in. A security researcher was able to break into Facebook accounts by exploiting a bug with Gmail’s authentication code. Facebook revealed they patched the bug in March, but pardon us while we go change our password anyway.

Working With Clients

Positioning 101

Struggling to land your first (or next) freelance client?

Breaking in can be tough when you don’t have a proven track record or a long list of big wins to share.

So here’s a trick to help you differentiate yourself…

Work in niches you already know.

“The riches are in the niches” is something you hear a lot from successful entrepreneurs…

And it applies to freelancing too.

Positioning yourself as a specialist within a niche is the best way to create an unfair advantage.

And it’s as simple as this:

Your freelance skill(s) + a deep understanding of the people in that niche = specialization.

This works if you’ve got brick and mortar experience…

If it’s something you studied in school…

Or if it’s just a topic you’re really passionate about.

Leverage the assets you’ve already got and you’ll have no trouble getting clients and closing deals.


Working For Yourself

Social Media Domination

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.

But here’s an important piece of advice:

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 Copywriting Gig

The One Thing All Top Copywriters Have in Common

Pop quiz — what do all A-List copywriters have in common?

A) Natural writing talent

B) Dashing good looks

C) PhD in English Lit

D) A drinking problem

The answer is: none of the above.

The one thing all A-List copywriters have in common is that they READ great copy every day.

Fortunately for you, you’re already subscribed to this newsletter 😉

But here are a few other Gig-approved email lists to help you step up your game:

If you want to stay sharp, you’ve got to be a student of the game.


Quote of the Day

“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough.”

Roald Dahl


👴 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


🥽 Will this VR headset replace laptops?

Happy Monday! It’s a great day to give thanks for being alive 🙏

Here’s what’s happening…


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter accuses Elon of violating NDA. After tweeting on Friday that his takeover bid of the company was “temporarily on hold,” pending an analysis to verify that fake/spam/duplicate accounts make up less than 5% of users, the company accused Musk of violating an NDA by revealing they only sampled 100 users to come up with that 5% number. We’re no statisticians… but that seems a touch on the small side.

  • 180 million people have used Snapchat’s new crying filter. Talk about going viral. Since launching a little over a week ago, a whopping 180 million Snapchatters have tried out the new Crying Lens.

  • Project Cambria: new VR headset coming to a Meta Store near you? Turns out that $10 billion dollar annual budget for AR/VR may be starting to yield fruit after all. Meta’s newest VR headset, codenamed Project Cambria, is reportedly lightyears ahead of the Quest 2 in terms of resolution and immersiveness. Zuckerberg thinks it has the potential to eventually replace laptops and workstations.

Working With Clients

Why “One” is the Most Dangerous Number in Business

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

This is a Meeting-Free Zone

Meetings can be a major timesuck.

Especially if you’re collaborating across different time zones.

So if you want to protect your time and maximize efficiency…

Focus on asynchronous communication instead.

What is asynchronous communication?

It’s any one-way message where the sender and recipient are not synchronized.

  • Emails
  • DMs
  • Voice notes
  • Screencast videos
  • Etc

The benefits of using voice notes or screencast videos over written messages are that it’s much easier to provide context and illustrate your point…

Plus hearing someone’s voice or seeing their face helps build a stronger connection.

When it comes to recording screencast videos, our weapon of choice is SnagIt.

And nowadays, most messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and Telegram have voice notes as a built-in feature.

Just make sure to keep your voice notes short and punchy.

Otherwise, your colleagues may come to dread them.


From The Copywriting Gig

Scrap Those $5 Dollar Words

Writing copy isn’t like writing essays in college. You don’t get bonus points for using big words. 

In fact, it’s the opposite — the more $5 dollar words you use, the fewer sales you’ll make.

Why? 

It’s not because everyone reading your copy is dumb. 

It’s because simple words get read faster. 

And the easier it is for people to grasp what you’re trying to say, the more people you’ll get to take action.

So aim for short, punchy words with 2-3 syllables. And try to avoid anything with 5 or more.

Run your copy through a tool like Hemingway to see how you’re doing.

If you can spit out sales copy at a 5th-grade reading level…

You’ll be one step closer to writing winning pieces that make your client’s cash register ring off the hook.


Quote of the Day

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Napoleon Hill


🛒 One-click checkout startup struggles

Happy Monday! It’s the start of a new week. Let’s get after it 💪

Here’s what’s new…


Making the Rounds

  • One-click checkout startup Bolt sees massive sales slowdown. Despite raising $355 million in January at an eye-popping valuation of $11 billion, the company is under pressure from PayPal and Shopify, both of whom have launched their own one-click checkout options. 
  • Amazon reports quarterly loss of $3.8 billion. For the first time since 2015, the ecommerce giant lost money last quarter, driving the stock price down almost 15%. On the bright side, sales from their cloud computing division AWS were up 36.5%… because someone’s gotta host all those sales funnels.

  • Snap reveals flying drone camera for selfies. Selfie sticks are so 2021. Now you can snap the perfect pic with Pixy, a bright yellow camera drone that will retail for $299.99. 

Working With Clients

WANTED: Money at a Discount

Let’s say you’re a copywriter, media buyer, or funnel builder.

The “product” you sell is actually a service, right?

Wrong.

As a service provider, the “product” you sell is an OUTCOME.

  • Leads
  • Appointments
  • Product demos
  • Sales calls
  • Clients
  • Free trials
  • Purchases
  • Renewals
  • Etc

Clients aren’t looking for another line item to add to their expense report…

They’re looking for the fastest and most direct way to achieve a specific outcome.

And in marketing, that outcome usually means “buying” money at a discount (by paying you to produce a result that generates revenue for their business).

So the next time you’re pitching a new prospect…

Remember: clients don’t buy services, they buy results.


Working For Yourself

Protect Your Peepers

Digital devices like computers, phones, and tablets emit something called “blue light.”

And some studies have linked it to:

  • Eye strain
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty sleeping

One way to minimize this potential risk is with blue light blocking glasses.

Thankfully, they’ve come a long way from the original gamer glasses that look more like a pair of ski goggles than computer glasses.

So if you’re looking to reduce the strain on your eyes from spending long hours on the computer…

Without looking like Spock here…

Check out this article on the best blue light glasses of 2022.


From The Copywriting Gig

Your English Teacher Wouldn’t Approve

Good news for anyone who couldn’t stand studying Shakespeare:

The art and science of writing words that sell has nothing to do with what you learned in English class.

In fact, it breaks pretty much all the rules.

Some key points to focus on:

  • Keep paragraphs short (1-2 lines)
  • Avoid using big words (3 syllables or less)
  • Ellipses are your friend

It may feel funny at first…

But if you want to sell more stuff, train yourself to write conversationally and in plain English.

Looking to speed up the process? Put your copy through Hemingway before submitting it.


Quote of the Day

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”

W.P. Kinsella


💰 Former Twitter CEO secures the bag

Happy Wednesday! Is it just us… or does this feel like one of those weeks where the time distortion field is turned up to 11? 😅

While we wait for Friday, here’s what’s new…


Digital Marketing News

  • Jack Dorsey set to bank $978 million when Twitter deal closes. No wonder he backed the takeover bid. The former CEO and current Block Head will reportedly receive a monster payday if and when Elon’s acquisition of Twitter is finalized. We’ll pour one out for current CEO Parag Agrawal, who’s only slated to get a measly $38.7 million.
  • 61% of marketers say mobile push notifications are their #1 channel. A new study conducted by OneSignal revealed a majority of marketers are relying on mobile push notifications and in-app messages to drive engagement. Take that, iOS 14 😤

  • Snapchat outpaces growth of Facebook and Twitter in Q1 earnings report. The social media platform reported revenue growth of 38% year-over-year. Not bad considering TikTok (and now Twitter) are the talk of the town.

Working With Clients

Positioning 101

Struggling to land your first (or next) freelance client?

Breaking in can be tough when you don’t have a proven track record or a long list of big wins to share.

So here’s a trick to help you differentiate yourself…

Work in niches you already know.

“The riches are in the niches” is something you hear a lot from successful entrepreneurs…

And it applies to freelancing too.

Positioning yourself as a specialist within a niche is the best way to create an unfair advantage.

And it’s as simple as this:

Your freelance skill(s) + a deep understanding of the people in that niche = specialization.

This works if you’ve got brick and mortar experience…

If it’s something you studied in school…

Or if it’s just a topic you’re really passionate about.

Leverage the assets you’ve already got and you’ll have no trouble getting clients and closing deals.


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 Copywriting Gig

Mortal Enemies

The blank page.

The blinking cursor.

There’s something about it that can shut down the flow of your creative juices faster than a kink in a garden hose.

But if writing ads, emails, landing pages, social media posts, or any other type of copy is part of your day-to-day…

You can’t afford to have writer’s block.

Plain and simple.

So here some tips to help you overcome it:

  • Set a timer
  • Create an outline
  • Review other things you’ve written
  • Start at the bottom and work your way up
  • Come up with the idea before you sit down to write

The more time you spend thinking about it beforehand, the easier it will be to write.


Quote of the Day

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

John Maxwell


💲 Pay me in Bitcoin

Happy Wednesday! Have you checked out our referral rewards yet? The first one is a fill-in-the-blanks Upwork proposal template to help you land more clients. To unlock it, all you have to do is share the newsletter with one other person. More details at the bottom of today’s newsletter.

Now let’s get down to business…


Digital Marketing News

  • New Cash App feature allows U.S customers to get paid in BTC. Ever thought about getting paid in crypto? Now you can. Block announced U.S users of its Cash App can now convert some or all of their paycheck into Bitcoin. No other cryptocurrencies are available yet.
  • TikTok on pace to generate more ad revenue than Twitter and Snapchat combined in 2022. The short-form video platform is projecting $11.6 billion in ad revenues this year, topping the $10.44 billion between Snapchat and Twitter. At its current growth rate, it could catch up to YouTube in as little as 2 years, which brought in a whopping $28.8 billion last year.

  • Forbes heading into the metaverse with launch of virtual billionaires NFT collection. Who wants to become a billionaire? Forbes is banking on a lot as they launch their first ever NFT collection. Owners will get to have their crypto wallet address featured next to their virtual billionaire. We’re not sure exactly what that means. But we will say this: they’re not the coolest-looking NFTs ever minted.

Working With Clients

Need For Speed

Struggling to set yourself apart as a freelancer?

Here’s an easy way to do it even if you don’t have a portfolio full of big wins…

Learn to work fast.

And then don’t be afraid to advertise it.

You see, one of the biggest concerns clients have when hiring freelancers is speed.

This is typically because of bad experiences in the past…

(with freelancers missing deadlines, ghosting them, or both)

Or simply because they need it turned around ASAP.

And if you can speak directly to that fear, you’ll have no trouble closing deals.

Now, you can’t just snap your fingers and make yourself work three times faster…

So here’s a few tips to help you put the pedal to the metal:

  • Close all open tabs
  • Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
  • Create an outline or wireframe first
  • Use a timer
  • Listen to non-lyrical music (binaural beats, lo-fi, etc)

And don’t forget: the faster you work, the more you can jack up your effective hourly rate.


Working For Yourself

Async Comms > Meetings

Meetings can be a major timesuck.

Especially if you’re collaborating across different time zones.

So if you want to protect your time and maximize efficiency…

Focus on asynchronous communication instead.

What is asynchronous communication?

It’s any one-way message where the sender and recipient are not synchronized.

  • Emails
  • DMs
  • Voice notes
  • Screencast videos
  • Etc

The benefits of using voice notes or screencast videos over written messages are that it’s much easier to provide context and illustrate your point…

Plus hearing someone’s voice or seeing their face helps build a stronger connection.

When it comes to recording screencast videos, our weapon of choice is SnagIt.

And nowadays, most messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and Telegram have voice notes as a built-in feature.

Just make sure to keep your voice notes short and punchy.

Otherwise, your colleagues may come to dread them 🙃


From The Copywriting Gig

I Think, Therefore I Am

Piggybacking on yesterday’s Hemingway recommendation is another important writing lesson:

Use the active voice whenever possible.

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

This makes your writing feel strong and punchy.

Like a robot asserting its consciousness for the first time — albeit more gracefully than this hapless goalkeeper 😂

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 an example:

ACTIVE: I think, therefore I am
PASSIVE: Thoughts were had by him, therefore he must exist.

See the difference?

If you want punchier, harder-hitting copy that converts like gangbusters…

Write in the active voice.

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


Quote of the Day

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

Richard Branson


🪙 Zuck bucks to replace ads?

Happy Monday! In investing, they say “time in the market beats timing the market.” Same thing goes in business. Most people aren’t willing to put in the consistent work it takes to succeed — and that’s a good thing. Because it creates opportunity for those of us who are.

The quote at the bottom of today’s newsletter is another one of our favorite reminders for anyone playing the long game.

Now, here’s what’s happening…


Digital Marketing News

  • Virtual “Zuck bucks” could help Meta become less dependent on ads. With the metaverse in mind, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company is aiming to develop new tokens and digital currencies to decrease its dependence on revenue from advertising.
  • TikTok dethrones Snapchat as teens’ favorite app. 33% of teens surveyed in a new poll ranked TikTok as their #1, with Snapchat taking the top spot among 31% of teens. Interestingly, Instagram ranked #1 in terms of engagement with 89% reporting they use it every month.

  • You’re not the only one getting Slack messages at 9 PM. A new Microsoft study reveals up to 30% of workers have a “third peak” of productivity late in the evening. The study also found the average workday has expanded by ~1 hour, with the average person working twice as much after hours. Check out today’s Working For Yourself section for more on how to combat work creep.

Working With Clients

Do This to Avoid Making New Clients Seasick

What’s the most high-stakes aspect of working with clients?

A) The sales process
B) Submitting your work for approval
C) Seeing how your work performs
D) Getting paid

Answer:

None of the above.

The most high-stakes aspect of working with clients is the onboarding process.

That’s because the onboarding process sets the tone for the rest of your work together, including what expectations they have, and how they perceive your work.

In fact, according to ZenDesk, 62% of B2B customers buy again after a good customer service experience.

But unfortunately, most freelancers don’t have a structured onboarding process in place.

So new clients are stuck feeling like they’re prepping to cross the Atlantic in a rubber dinghy…

Instead of a $40M yacht that will get them safely and smoothly to their final destination.

If you want to give your clients clarity and confidence that the project is going to be a smashing success, develop a rock-solid onboarding process.

This should include:

  • Signing an official agreement
  • Filling out any worksheets + background docs you need to start the project
  • Getting access to any software tools, ad accounts, shared folders, etc
  • Discussion of timeline, budget, project expectations
  • A kickoff call to review and make sure everything is in order before you begin

If your onboarding process could do with a little bulking up, make sure to check out today’s referral section.


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

One Ad a Day Keeps the Low ROAS Away

Coming up with killer ad ideas doesn’t always require creative genius.

You just have to be savvy enough to save a great ad when you see one in the wild.

Add one new ad to your swipe file every day and you’ll never lack for creative ideas.

Whether it’s going to the Facebook Ad Library and checking in on your favorite advertisers (because you do keep a list of them, right?)…

Or simply grabbing a screenshot when you see a banger in your news feed…. 

It only takes a few minutes each day.

Get yourself a tool like SnagIt and/or the GoFullPage Chrome extension and you’re all set.


Quote of the Day

“Whatever you face, whatever you’re doing will require, first and foremost, that you don’t defeat yourself.”

Ryan Holiday