🪦 RIP threads

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

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

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 44 seconds


Making the Rounds

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

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

Working With Clients

Know Your Numbers

What gets measured gets managed.

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

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

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

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


Working For Yourself

Look the Part, Be the Part

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

As in, there is none.

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

Here’s the thing…

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

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

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

(and is paid handsomely for it)

Then you need to come correct.

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

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

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


Tools We Love

How to Lose Friends and Annoy People

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

It sucks.

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

Fortunately, that’s where Krisp comes in.

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

And when we say completely, we mean it.

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

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

Get Krisp for free today.


Quote of the Day

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

Cato


✅ Takeover approval

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

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

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 8 seconds


Making the Rounds

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

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

Working With Clients

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

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

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

Ask them for a 2-minute video testimonial.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Working For Yourself

What Most Newbies Don’t Realize

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

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

Why?

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

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

That’s why finding a mentor is so important.

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

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

You should be looking for someone to learn from.

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

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


From The Copywriting Gig

Confessions of a Control-Beater

Looking to write strong direct response copy that converts?

Here’s a tip:

Use the active voice.

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

This makes your writing feel strong and punchy.

On the flipside…

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

Which makes your writing feel weak and flaccid.

Here’s a few examples:

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

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

See the difference?

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

Write in the active voice.

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


Quote of the Day

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

Epictetus


🤑 3 pricing tips for new freelancers

Happy Tuesday! This is The Gig, where omnipresence is a work in progress. Follow us on IG and TikTok for even more freelance news, tips, and memes in your life.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, TikTok, and Oracle. Plus three pricing tips for new freelancers, the importance of ABCs for service providers, and how to become an overnight celebrity in your niche.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 49 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Internal memo reveals Facebook’s plan to take on TikTok. The biggest shift to the algorithm will focus on recommending popular posts from both Facebook and Instagram over ones from people you follow.
  • Resale of stolen goods on Facebook, Amazon, and eBay is big business. Retailers like Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom have recently been the victims of large-scale robberies, and claim many of the stolen goods are being resold on ecommerce sites. A national task force of state attorneys has been convened to investigate cases across state lines.

  • TikTok moves U.S. user data to Oracle servers. After leaked audio revealed Chinese employees had accessed U.S. user data, the company announced it’s moving the data to Oracle’s cloud storage platform. 

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

Don’t Forget Your ABCs

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.


Tools We Love

How to Become an Overnight Celebrity in Your Niche

Case studies and social proof are great.

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

Credibility (or a lack thereof).

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

By getting booked as a podcast guest.

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

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

That’s where Guestio comes in.

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

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

No more jumping through hoops or sending out cold DMs.

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

Head over to Guestio:

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


Quote of the Day

“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”

Marcus Aurelius


📲 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


💲Buy now, pay later

Happy Friday! Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors, who won the NBA Finals last night. Hopefully our favorite Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc can channel some of that championship energy in Montreal this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mentioned in today’s edition: PayPal, Apple, Firefox, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus why one is the most dangerous number in business, 3 criteria for finding fulfillment in your career, and the secrets of a high-converting FAQ.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 47 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • PayPal Monthly offers monthly payment options for up to 24 months. The new installment program lets users break down the total cost of a purchase into equal monthly payments over a 6 to 24 month period. With Apple recently throwing their hat into the “buy now, pay later” ring, this space is really starting to heat up. If you listen real close, you can hear the collective sigh from all the other VC-backed BNPL firms in the middle of massive layoffs.
  • Firefox launches Total Cookie Protection. The new tool prevents third-party tracking across multiple websites. When a cookie is deposited into your browser, it’s “confined to the cookie jar assigned to that website.” In other words, no more reaching into other website’s cookie jars to access any data they might have collected. Womp womp.

  • Elon confirms “strong bias” towards in-person work in Twitter all-hands meeting. He didn’t elaborate on what the new remote work policy might look like. But he did hint at the need to reduce headcount so the company can “get healthy” — something a strict in-person policy might help with.

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

Finding Fulfillment in Your Career Starts By Checking This Many Boxes

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.


From The Copywriting Gig

Secrets of a High-Converting FAQ

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section is like the red-headed stepchild of any landing page or sales letter.

Most copywriters get lazy here because:

A) They write it last
B) They’re tired of repeating themselves
C) They assume anyone who’s gonna buy doesn’t need it

But the truth is, the FAQ gives you a perfect opportunity to overcome objections.

Especially since most readers will skim to the bottom first, then return to the beginning and read the page from top to bottom.

So here are some conversion-boosting answers to include in your FAQ:

– “Why should I choose over something else?”
– “How do I use ?”
– “Which order option is right for me?”
– “Is safe?”
– “How soon can I expect results with ?”
– “How soon can I expect to arrive?”
– “Why should I trust you when I’ve been burned by others in the past?”

Make sure to finish off every answer with a strong call to action.


Friday Recap

Time flies when you’re making money online.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened this week:

Monday: 👀 Privacy state of mind
Tuesday: 🐻 Bear with me
Wednesday: 👑 Ad market empresarios
Thursday: 🛒 Amazon influencers


Quote of the Day

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”

Ayn Rand


🛒 Amazon influencers

Happy Thursday! Here’s a fun fact: the word “freelancers” originally referred to sword-wielding soldiers for hire. As in, “free lancers.” Go figure.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Amazon Live, Insider, the European Commission, Meta, Google, and Twitter. Plus how to raise your rates, what to do when your creative juices dry up, and the list-building secret that slaps.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 43 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Amazon offers up to $9,000/m in bonuses to influencers. Emails obtained by Insider reveal the ecommerce king offered influencers anywhere from 2-9k per month to use its new live shopping feature, Amazon Live — on top of regular commissions based on sales.
  • Big Tech firms forced to fight deepfakes or risk paying hefty EU fines. An update to the European Commission’s code of practice will force companies like Meta, Google, Twitter, and others to implement policies to fight back against deepfakes, or risk yuge fines of up to 6% of cash collected globally (!!).

  • Study finds consumers prefer text messages over email for appointment reminders. SMS also topped email for delivery confirmations and payment reminders, while email was the medium of choice for order confirmation, flash sales, and customer support. Just like trying to decide between tequila and mezcal on a Friday night, the answer is to do both.

Working With Clients

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

“Raise your rates.”

Sounds easy enough in theory…

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

You might be wondering:

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

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

So, here’s our advice…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Working For Yourself

How to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing Again

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

The List Building Secret That Slaps

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

Unsubscribes.

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

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

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

That’s where SparkLoop comes in.

SparkLoop helps newsletter operators and email marketers get more high-quality subscribers on autopilot with a referral program.

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the Day

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.”

Mark Twain


👑 Ad market empresarios

Happy Wednesday! Did you catch the Strawberry Supermoon last night? We normally jump at the chance to observe celestial phenomena, but it was a school night after all. So these pics will have to do.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Amazon, Meta, Google, TikTok, Alibaba, Apple, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus what NOT to do when you make a mistake, a scary stat for anyone working at a desk, and an apple a day for media buyers.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 9 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • 53% of all global ad revenues in 2021 went to just 5 tech companies. Faithful Gig readers can probably guess 4 of last year’s ad market empresarios: Amazon, Meta, Google, and Bytedance (TikTok) —  with Chinese firm Alibaba rounding out the list.
  • $100M settlement finalized in class-action case against Apple’s app store. The suit was originally filed in 2019 by developers who claimed Apple’s 30% fee was an abuse of market power. But now app developers will have the option to contact users by phone or email about alternate payment options.

  • Elon Musk set to field questions at Twitter all-hands meeting tomorrow. It’s the first time employees will get to hear from their prospective new owner. We predict details of the Q&A will leak to the press approximately 4.2 minutes after it concludes, so stay tuned for more.

Working With Clients

How NOT to Fall On Your Sword

If you’ve been freelancing for a while, chances are you’ve screwed something up when working for a client.

And if you’re new to freelancing, well… give it time.

Either way, mistakes are inevitable.

They can’t be avoided.

But what most freelancers don’t realize is…

How you respond to a mistake can make or break your client relationship.

So own up to your screw ups.

If your sales letter went live with a typo in the headline…

Or you embedded the wrong video on a landing page…

Or you launched ads with a broken link…

Then take responsibility.

Don’t try to deflect the blame.

Clients will respect you for it, and — assuming the offense wasn’t firing-worthy — it will help to build trust and strengthen your relationship over the long term.


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 you covered with this excellent tutorial on how to keep your wrists healthy and injury free.


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 killer ad 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

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

Salvador Dali


🐻 Bear with me

Happy Tuesday! After a big sell off in the stock market yesterday, Morning Brew posted this thread asking people to name a movie that described their portfolio. Our favorites: Gone in 60 Seconds, Catch Me If You Can, There Will Be Blood, and The Departed.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Google, Skynet, the S&P 500, and Horizon Worlds. Plus an overlooked red flag for new freelancers, a different way to think about compound interest, and our favorite email marketing tool.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 24 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Google engineer placed on paid leave after claiming chatbot AI is sentient. Blake Lemoine thinks Google’s LaMDA chatbot should be treated as a sentient being. Google disagrees. Is this the innocuous beginning of Skynet? Let’s hope not. Fun fact: apparently Lemoine had been teaching LaMDA transcendental meditation before being placed on leave.
  • S&P 500 officially enters bear market territory. After a surprise inflation increase reported in the Consumer Price Index on Friday, the index fell 3.9% yesterday, completing the 20% pull back that signals a bear market — and strengthening signs of a coming recession.

  • Horizon Worlds adds Voice Mode. The update lets users voice chat with others around them in the metaverse. Bizarrely, it’s enabled by default. So a word of wisdom for any metaversal pioneers: if you’ve never voice chatted with random strangers on the internet, proceed with caution. People are less friendly than you might think 🙃 

Working With Clients

If You Have to Explain This to Your Client, Run the Other Way

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer…

It’s natural to try and sign anyone with a pulse and a credit card as a client.

But that’s a big mistake.

Here’s why…

Marketing and advertising can be boiled down to taking financial risks on creative ideas.

Some of them pan out.

Some of them don’t.

In fact, it’s normal to have to iterate 3-5+ times on an angle, offer, or marketing campaign before you find a winner.

But if you’re working with a client who’s never hired a freelancer to produce any marketing assets for them before…

Or someone who’s never spent a dime on paid ads…

The odds of them having unrealistic expectations are sky high.

Which means you’ll have a hard time satisfying them unless you hit out of the park on your first at-bat.

So…

Aim to work with clients who understand (and have experience) with marketing and advertising.

People who understand you have to spend money to make money.

People who understand that you need to “buy” data through testing before you can optimize your campaigns.

People who understand that even the best copywriters and media buyers in the world don’t hit home runs every time.

Now you may have to work a little harder to find and land clients like this…

But it’s an investment that will pay off big time in the long run.


Working For Yourself

A Different Kind of Compound Interest

Finance experts say the secret to building wealth is compound interest.

That’s why Warren Buffett accumulated 97% of his wealth after his 65th birthday.

But while we may not all be able to replicate Buffett’s investing success…

There’s another way freelancers can put this mechanism to work for themselves:

By stacking high-income skills.

You see, it takes a very long time to master a deep skill like copywriting or media buying…

And while it’s definitely worth committing to…

If you can develop other skills that complement or intersect with your primary skill…

You can see some explosive gains.

For example: 

Most copywriters know nothing about paid traffic…

And most media buyers can’t write copy.

The same thing goes for copywriting and graphic design or funnel building.

It’s an unusual combo you don’t see very often.

So by developing competence where those two skills intersect, you can carve out a unique position in the market…

Opening the door to many more opportunities than most other freelancers will ever get.

And over time, mastering these skills will deliver a much higher return than any other investment you could make (unless you are Warren Buffett, of course ;).


Tools We Love

No Computer Science Degree, No Problem

As the publishers of a daily newsletter, email marketing is the foundation of our business.

And throughout our freelancing careers, we’ve had the opportunity to work with many of the biggest email service providers out there.

But the problem is…

Most of them have so many fancy bells and whistles that you need a PhD in computer science just to figure out how to make them do what you want.

That’s why we’re proud users of ConvertKit.

It’s simple, intuitive, and incredibly easy to use.

Their Sequences and Automations features keep your account neat and tidy. And if you’ve ever been into a big Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, or Hubspot account, you’ll know this is rare.

No more Frankenstein workflows that span 27 segments and cover the entire lifespan of your subscribers.

If you’re looking for a simple way to grow your online audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.


Quote of the Day

“Do not let your grand ambitions stand in the way of small but meaningful accomplishments.”

Bryant McGill


👀 Privacy state of mind

Happy Monday! Another pole position, another race loss for Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in Baku yesterday. Meanwhile, Jurassic World: Dominion topped expectations with a $143M domestic opening.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Facebook, AdBlock, Gen Z, Ghostery, Google Chrome, and YouTube Premium. Plus why new client onboarding matters, the #1 attribute of high-performers, and a copywriting tip that would get you an F in college.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 20 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Ad industry pushes back against federal opt-in privacy proposal. The bipartisan proposal would prevent companies from tracking users online without their explicit consent. 
  • Facebook facing steep drop offs in user activity. As Gen Z flocks to Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, eMarketer is projecting Facebook’s adult users will only average 30 minutes per day on the platform this year, down 7% compared to 2021.

  • Chrome planning to end support for legacy extension platform. Popular ad-blocking extensions like AdBlock and Ghostery may no longer work as well — if they can even make the transition to the new platform in the first place. Could this be Google’s top secret plan to juice YouTube Premium subscriptions?

Working With Clients

Is Your Onboarding Process 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, share the newsletter with just 3 friends and we’ll send you the Digital Marketer’s Template Toolkit — a bundle of worksheets for new clients to fill out so you can extract all the information you need to knock the project out of the park.


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 etc

Then do it.

Prove to yourself you are in control.

And save the excuses for later.


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

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”

Elvis Presley


♟️ 3D chess

Happy Wednesday! This is The Gig, where it’s hard to go more than one day without Elon Musk making news. 

Here we go…


Making the Rounds

  • Elon’s Twitter takeover may be in jeopardy (again). He sent a letter to the SEC claiming that Twitter was “actively resisting and thwarting” his attempts to get more info on the number of fake accounts. Is the Tesla CEO playing 3D chess and secretly negotiating for a better price? Trying to back out of the deal? Tune in tomorrow for the next episode…

  • Apple wades into “buy now, pay later” with Apple Pay Later. The iPhone maker announced Apple Pay users will now be able to split payments into four over a period of six weeks, with no interest or late fees. The timing probably couldn’t be any worse for BNPL companies like Klarna and Affirm, who’ve been forced to lay off employees in recent months despite sky-high valuations.

  • UK launches major 4-day work week experiment. 70 companies and 3,300 workers are participating in the 6-month experiment. Workers will get 100% of their normal comp for working 4 days instead of 5 — but with a promise to maintain 100% of their normal productivity. Bets on whether the trial will succeed? Reply and let us know what you think.

Working With Clients

The Secret to a Successful Freelance Sales Pitch

… is to ask a barrage of questions during the “discovery” process.

Here’s why:

What’s important to a new client may not be the same as your last client.

So by asking things like:

  • What’s the #1 biggest challenge right now?
  • What makes this a priority right now?
  • Have you hired anyone else to help with this in the past? How did that go?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know?

… you can tailor your pitch to address their specific concerns and desires.

On a related note —  if you want to take your sales pitches to the next level, share the newsletter with just five friends and we’ll send you a copy of our Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheat Sheet.

It’s a step-by-step roadmap to closing freelance deals over the phone, complete with specific questions and word-for-word transitions to help you navigate sales calls like a pro.


Working For Yourself

Can’t Decide What Business to Start? Here’s Some Food For Thought…

Everyone you meet in life is selling you “their way” — whether they realize it or not.

But don’t forget there are lots of different ways to reach your destination.

Especially in business.

As Rich Schefren says, it’s all about tradeoffs vs payoffs.

For example:

With ecommerce and affiliate marketing, the results can be quick…

But you’ll need startup capital to fund your paid traffic costs…

And you’ll need to navigate the steep learning curve of how to run paid ads at a profit…

Otherwise you could lose it all.

Plus the margins are typically on the low end, around 15-20%.

With service-based businesses like coaching, consulting, or agencies…

You can start landing clients and getting paid with virtually ZERO startup costs…

The margins are much higher…

But that means investing time on cold outreach and freelancing platforms…

Always being on the hunt for the next client…

Plus now you’re on call + have to be available for meetings, answering emails and DMs, etc.

Don’t get us wrong — both businesses can be wildly profitable.

Ultimately though, you have to decide what your priorities are and what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve them.

Because no business model is all upside.

And measuring yourself based on the games other people play is a recipe for unhappiness.

Figure out what game YOU want to play and commit to it all the way.


From The Copywriting Gig

What NEVER to Do When Writing Words That Sell

WIIFM is one of the most important concepts in copy.

It stands for “what’s in it for me” — a reminder that your readers don’t actually care about you…

So if you want to get someone’s attention, appealing to their self-desire is key.

But according to Gary Halbert, author of the Coat of Arms promo that ran for over 30 years and generated millions of dollars in the 70s and 80s, and someone who’s often listed as one of the best copywriters of all time… 

There’s ONE element of persuasion even more important than self-desire.

Something that can make readers burn through 50 pages of copy in a frenzy…

Something that can turn an underperforming ad or email into a customer-generating machine…

And something that separates pro copywriters from wannabe Don Drapers.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not a killer price, money back guarantee, or added bonus…

And it’s got nothing to do with scarcity, urgency, or even storytelling…

Instead, that special something is:

Curiosity.

You see…

You never want to reveal everything in your ad, email, or sales page right away.

Learn how to talk about something without giving away what it is.

Because if your readers aren’t curious to discover your secret, hack, trick, tactic, strategy, or 7 magic words to achieve a desired result…

They won’t be motivated to buy.

A few tips to execute on this:

  • Talk about what it’s not
  • Talk about what it’s better than
  • Talk about what you can do it without

But no matter how you create curiosity…

Just make sure you can actually pay it off inside the product — because that’s what separates compelling copy from cringy clickbait.


Quote of the Day

“Above everything else I’ve done, I’ve always said I’ve had more guts than I’ve got talent.”

Dolly Parton