🎁 Incentive to stay

Happy Monday! Welcome back to The Gig, the daily email helping freelancers build profitable client businesses.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Microsoft Advertising, and LinkedIn. Plus jacking up this one metric will boost your close rate, confessions of a work-from-home freelancer, and a trick to help you scale up your ads on Facebook or Instagram.

Read time: 3 minutes and 24 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter is offering major incentives to advertisers to increase their spending on the platform. Billed as the “biggest advertiser incentive ever on Twitter” and featuring offers to match spending with a “100% value add” it seems that Elon & Co are desperate to get some of those big brands back who have paused or stopped spending. 
  • Microsoft Advertising wants to help marketers leverage New Year’s resolutions into sales driving ad campaigns. The new year is fast approaching which means online searches related to popular resolutions are increasing rapidly. So to our copywriting friends, sharpen your pencils.
  • Demand for remote jobs is now greatly outpacing supply. According to a LinkedIn study, over 50% of applications being submitted are folks wishing to work from home, while only 15% of job postings offer that possibility. That noise you hear is the typing of many a brand new Upwork profile ⌨️.

Working With Clients

Jack Up This One Metric to Boost Your Close Rate

Want to learn a simple trick to increase your chances of closing a new client?

Here it is:

Ask a ton of questions during the “discovery” process.

The reason why is simple…

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.

And the more questions you ask, the better handle you’ll have on exactly what your client is looking for (and is willing to pay for).

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

Confessions of a Work-From-Home Freelancer

Work-life balance is a constant struggle for freelancers.

That’s why, in addition to having a structured workday where you start and end around the same time…

One of the best ways to create separation between work and personal is to eat lunch away from your desk.

Even if it’s just 15-20 minutes…

Giving yourself a break from the computer screen is good for mind and body.

From The Paid Ads Gig

Struggling to Scale Up Your Ads on Facebook or Instagram? Try This

One of the biggest roadblocks to scaling your ad account on Facebook and Instagram is ad fatigue.

Once you start spending thousands of dollars per day or more…

You need to give the algorithm more to work with if you want to maintain performance.

Think of it like a deck of cards…

If you’ve only got a few copy and image variations, you’re only giving the algorithm a few cards to play with.

And the result is that your target audience ends up seeing the same ads over and over again.

So… how do you avoid this?

By using dynamic creative.

This lets you upload up to…

  • 5 variations of body copy
  • 10 images or videos
  • 5 headlines
  • 5 descriptions

All within the same single ad.

So you can “stack the deck”…

And allow the algorithm to mix and match each individual asset, creating TONS of different variations to test and run.

Ultimately, this allows you to avoid burning out your audience…

Find more ad variations that convert…

And scale up your ad account much faster.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

It can be challenging to find unbiased news sources these days. 

There is one outlet we trust for everything from culture and science to sports and politics: 1440

The team of PhDs and industry experts at 1440 scour over 100 news sources to create one daily email that gets you caught up on the day’s events in just five minutes. It’s independent and 100% free; sign up for 1440 here.

Quote of the Day

“There is no breakthrough without a breakdown.”

— Tony Robbins

⚠️ Crisis averted

Happy Friday! Here’s a fun fact to finish out the week: when volcanoes like Hawaii’s Mauna Loa erupt and molten lava is shot high up into the sky, lava drops often solidify into volcanic glass, which can then rain down on the surrounding area. 

This volcanic glass is named after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, and usually takes one of two shapes: Pele’s hair (long, thin strands) and Pele’s tears (droplets).

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Apple, and BeReal. Plus the easiest way to make yourself look like an amateur when working with clients, the next best thing to an ‘off’ switch, and a 3-part framework from the godfather of persuasion.

Read time: 3 minute and 21 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Elon says he and Apple CEO Tim Cook had “good conversation” after visit to Apple HQ. One Twitter crisis has seemingly been averted: CEO Elon Musk posted a video from Apple’s Cupertino HQ and indicated that he and Cook “resolved the misunderstanding” about Twitter being removed from the App Store. 
  • BeReal wins app of the year in Apple’s 2022 app awards. The filter-free photo app won app of the year in the iPhone category.
  • Twitter engineers working on design or software asked to move to Elon’s floor.  Musk has apparently set up shop on the 10th floor, and sent out an email on Tuesday asking anyone writing software or doing design to relocate for “dense and intense” work.

Working With Clients

The Easiest Way to Make Yourself Look Like an Amateur

One of the most efficient ways to communicate with clients is by recording screencast videos with tools like Loom or SnagIt.

Client work typically involves a lot of troubleshooting, walkthroughs, and back and forths…

So being able to send screencast videos makes collaborating a helluva lot easier…

And cuts down on the need for calls or meetings.

Asynchronous communication FTW 🙌

However, something important to keep in mind is how you sound.

Invest in a decent pair of headphones (or better yet, a proper USB microphone) to make sure you sound good in videos and on calls with clients.

You never know when your client may forward your video onto their friend, colleague, or boss to get their input…

And there’s nothing worse than having to watch or listen to someone go on and oooon with a crappy mic.

So don’t be that person 😉

Working For Yourself

You Don’t Have an ‘Off’ Switch, But Here’s the Next Best Thing

One of the hardest parts about working remotely is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Because we don’t come with an off switch. 

So, what’s the solution? 

Creating a “shut down” ritual. 

Whether it’s turning off your computer, closing the office door (if you have one), putting Slack on snooze, or going for a walk — developing a routine that signals the end of the day can do wonders for your mental health. 

For example, author and digital minimalism advocate Cal Newport actually says the phrase “schedule shut down, complete” out loud at the end of his workday.

We’re not quite ready to go that far…

Instead, we prefer checking in to see how much our crypto portfolio is down 🙃📉

From The Copywriting Gig

A Simple 3-Part Framework From the Godfather of Persuasion

The godfather of persuasion wasn’t David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins, or Eugene Schwartz.

It was Aristotle.

Here’s how to apply his 3 modes of persuasion to get more leads, customers, and sales:

MODE #1: Ethos

This means proving you’re a credible, trustworthy, & unbiased source of information.


– credentials
– track record
– certifications
– endorsements
– media features

Establishing ethos lays the groundwork for a marketing message that people can trust.

MODE #2: Pathos

Evoking emotions like fear, greed, shame, envy, and hope is essential if you want people to take action.


– claims
– stories
– promises
– deeper emotions
– unspoken desires

As the saying goes…

People buy on emotion, then justify with:

MODE #3: Logos

We want to think of ourselves as rational decision-makers.

That’s why having a strong logical argument is also important.


– stats
– testimonials
– case studies
– functional benefits

Make the thing you’re selling the obvious *logical* decision.

And ultimately, your goal with any piece of sales copy should be to check all three boxes.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

If you’re interested in personal development, growth, productivity, wealth creation, or business, you need to read The Curiosity Chronicle.

Written by entrepreneur and investor Sahil Bloom, The Curiosity Chronicle is filled with actionable, tactical insights you can immediately implement to improve your life.

Find out why 125,000+ high-performers rely on it to uplevel their health and wealth by subscribing here for free.

Quote of the Day

“Never surrender to the momentum of mediocrity.”

— Marlon Brando

In Case You Missed It

📉 Twitter Ads down

Happy Thursday! Welcome to December. Only one month left in 2022! 

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Google, iHeart Media, the FTC, and Apple. Plus what to do with leads you can’t help, 4 reasons not to become a digital nomad, and marketing funnel show and tell.

Read time: 4 minutes and 3 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter ad revenue down 50% in certain markets. The company’s weekly bookings in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are down 49%, according to internal screenshots seen by Platformer. Sounds like someone needs to sell a lot of Twitter Blue subscriptions.
  • FTC and 7 states sue Google and iHeartMedia over fake Pixel 4 ads. The two companies agreed to pay a $9 million settlement to the 7 states that sued, and reached a separate settlement with the FTC, after airing a series of testimonial ads recorded by iHeartMedia personalities who’d never actually used the Pixel 4.
  • Governor of Florida suggests Congress should act if Apple bans Twitter from the App Store. Does Apple actually intend to withhold Twitter from the App Store? Who knows. But it’s clear Elon will have some political firepower on his side, as Governor of Florida (and presidential hopeful) Ron DeSantis said Congress should be ready to act if Apple gives Twitter the boot.

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

4 Reasons Not to Become 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.

Tools We Love

Marketing Funnel “Show and Tell”

Even if you’re not a graphic designer or funnel builder…

If you work in marketing, chances are you’ll need to map out funnels for clients from time to time. 

And unless your client’s a seasoned direct response marketer…

It’s easy to get bogged down trying to explain it to them.

Good news is, there are lots of tools out there to help you do that. 

Bad news is, most of them suck. 

They’re clunky, laggy, and not intuitive at all. 

That’s why we love Whimsical. It’s fast, free, and easy to use. 

So whether you’re using it as a part of a proposal for a prospect…

On a kickoff call with a new client…

Or to collaborate with a contractor to make sure they build the next funnel properly…

Whimsical can help you get it done.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

More has changed in our world in the past year than in the past 30 years. How will this impact you?

If that’s a question you’ve been pondering then you should sign up for International Intrigue. It’s a daily news briefing that covers global issues at the intersection of geopolitics, business, and technology, all packaged up with a cheeky dose of expert but irreverent analysis. 

Our readers say we’re like the juice concentrate of Foreign Affairs without all the unnecessary pulp that no one has time to read. 

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up here for free.

Quote of the Day

“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”

— Maya Angelou

In Case You Missed It

⚔️ Technobattle

Happy Wednesday! Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest active volcano, erupted on Monday in Hawaii for the first time since 1984. On the bright side, it appears to be a “mild” eruption so far (because apparently there is such a thing). 

No major flights have been delayed, an initial ashfall warning has since been cancelled, and officials say no property or residents are currently at risk of being BBQ’d by flowing lava. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Apple, Cyber Monday, and Post.news. Plus 3 signs you need to fire a client, pre-mortems vs pre-parades, and why not all leads from paid traffic are created equal.

Read time: 4 minutes and 51 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Elon threatens to go to war with Apple. The Twitter CEO tweeted a meme indicating he was ready to go to war with the iPhone maker, claiming that Apple has paused most of its ads after spending $40M on the platform so far this year, and was even threatening to withhold Twitter from the App Store.
  • Cyber Monday sales top $12B in the U.S. Step side Black Friday, because there’s a new heavyweight champion in town. According to data from Salesforce, Cyber Monday sales shot up 8.3% year over year, topping Back Friday sales by $3B despite soaring inflation and a gloomy economic outlook. You know what they say: when the credit card has been bad, it must be punished.
  • New Twitter clone banks on micropayments as the future of news publishing. Post.news, a new social platform founded by former Waze CEO Noam Bardin, has 65,000 approved users and is aiming to monetize them via micropayments for news content. Translation: instead of paying for a monthly subscription to WSJ or Insider, on Post, you can pay a tiny fraction to read only the articles you want to.

Working With Clients

3 Signs You Need to Fire a Client

When you speak with a prospective client, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

Most freelancers tend to forget this.

Specifically, you should be on the lookout for major red flags.

Here are 3 to watch out for:

1) Previous bad experiences

Most people have had bad experiences with hiring freelancers.

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

That’s a hard pass for us.

2) Unrealistic demands about availability

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

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

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

Don’t stand for it.

3) They don’t pay on time

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

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

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

If they’re always late, let ‘em go 👋

Working For Yourself

Pre-Mortems vs Pre-Parades

One of the most difficult things about tackling big projects is balancing optimism with skepticism.

You don’t want to overlook any critical flaws…

But you have to believe it can be successful at the same time.

That’s why we’re such big fans of a technique we discovered in a recent interview with Tim Ferriss and investor Roelof Botha.

In case you haven’t heard of Roelof — and don’t worry – we hadn’t either — he’s the former CFO of PayPal and current Managing Director of Sequoia Capital, one of the oldest and most successful venture capital firms in the world, having invested in companies like Square, Instagram, Stripe, Airbnb, 23andMe, and many more.

Oh, and Roelof has personally generated over $1B in returns for investors at Sequoia through investments he’s led.

So he knows a thing or two about tackling big projects and being successful.

Anyway, onto the technique…

Well, it’s two actually:

The first is a “pre-mortem.” 

Before the project launches or goes live, imagine that it fails. Then ask yourself why.

In other words, if the project were to fail… why would that be?

The reframe here is that instead of wondering “what could go wrong?” you force yourself to get specific…

So you can map it out and do what you can to prevent it in advance.

The second is a “pre-parade.”

This is basically the opposite of a pre-mortem. The idea is to imagine “what if things go right?”

Then likewise, ask yourself why that is.

You see, many people lack the vision necessary to bet big and win…

Because they’re unable to picture exactly what could happen if things go right, and what that would mean.

Roelof and his team at Sequoia perform these two exercises before every investment they make.

And judging by their track record, it’s pretty damn effective.

From The Paid Ads Gig

There’s a Reason Why They Say Cocaine TikTok is a Hell of a Drug

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

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

And that doesn’t even factor in other sources like native ads or push ads.

Now some ad platforms are more popular than others…

Like TikTok, for example.

But what many media buyers and entrepreneurs don’t realize is:

Different platforms produce different kinds of leads.

Case in point:

TikTok leads are naturally less qualified compared to leads from Facebook or YouTube.


Because the platform is built on short-form content.

It’s impossible for those leads to get as much context as on other platforms like Facebook or YouTube.

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

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

Largely because the traffic is so much cheaper.

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

So the economics still work out.

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

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

Not so much.

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

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

Moral of the story is:

Not all leads are generated equal.

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

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

The Daily Upside is a free business newsletter that covers the most important stories in business in a style that’s engaging, insightful, and fun.

Traditional investment news is littered with jargon and filled with fluff. But The Daily Upside peels out the insights and peppers them with A+ memes and GIFs so you can stay above the fray.

Plus it’s completely free, and you are guaranteed to learn something new every day.

Click here to sign up today.

Quote of the Day

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire; if you don’t change it, you won’t go anywhere”

— Joyce Meyer

In Case You Missed It:

🤑 Online sales record

Happy Tuesday! If the colder weather and lack of sunlight have got you feeling a little blue, you’re not alone. So here’s something to cheer you up: only 23 days remain until the days start getting longer again.

And better still, the earliest sunset this year actually takes place on December 7. Meaning the days will start feeling longer after that, even though the winter solstice isn’t until December 21. Almost there!

Mentioned in today’s edition: Black Friday, Walmart, Amazon, and college degrees. Plus the benefits of a proven step-by-step system, a simple selling methodology to get more money, influence, and loyalty, and how to give yourself a pay cut if you’re an international freelancer.

Read time: 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Black Friday 2022 sets new online sales record. According to data from Adobe Analytics, consumers spent a record-setting $9.12 billion dollars on Black Friday, inflation be damned.
  • More employers are dropping the requirement for a college degree. Companies including Google, IBM, and Delta Airlines are shifting their focus away from college degrees and towards skills and specialized knowledge when it comes to hiring. Yet another reason why freelancing multiplies your options, even if you didn’t go to college.
  • Walmart tops Amazon in search for Black Friday discounts. In a surprising loss of search share, Amazon ranked 4th in this year’s Black Friday searches, falling behind Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.

Working With Clients

When You Got That Proven Step-By-Step System

Struggling to land higher-paying clients?

One trick that could turn the tide is refining (and articulating) your step-by-step system.

You see, most top tier clients aren’t willing to risk a 5-figure fee on a freelancer they’ve never worked with before…

… Unless you’re able to build a mountain of trust.

And while testimonials and case studies do have a part to play…

How can a prospective client be sure their project will turn out like the ones featured on your testimonial or reviews page?

This is where your unique system or method comes in.

When you have a consistent and methodical way for producing results for every client…

You’re giving them reason to believe you can produce similar results for them.

Which is key.

Ultimately, you should be able to walk them through exactly how you’re going to deliver the work, step-by-step…

Because that’s a mark of a seasoned vet.

No matter what skill, niche, or sector you’re in.

So make sure to walk them through it during the interview process, on the sales call, and again during the onboarding or kickoff call.

Pro tip: keep it simple and stick to 3-5 steps or pillars.

Working For Yourself

Want More Money, Influence, and Loyalty From Your Clients? Try This

Direct response marketing is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it’s tailor-made to produce profits out of thin air by persuading people to act — NOW.

But on the other hand…

Studies show anywhere from 80-95% of buyers in your market are not ready to buy right away.

So how you can design a marketing strategy that speaks to them too?

Enter “social selling.”

In the video below from 7-figure copywriter Alex Cattoni… 

You’ll discover how to leverage this alternative selling strategy to get more money, influence, and loyalty from your clients.

Check it out:

[WATCH]: The #1 Marketing Strategy To Earn More Money, Influence More People & Build Long-Term Loyalty

Tools We Love

International Freelancer? Here’s How to Give Yourself a Pay Cut

Inflation may have (finally) peaked.

But the U.S. dollar is still looking pretty strong.

Which means international freelancers *should* be pocketing a little more than usual on every invoice…

Only problem is:

Most of them rely on PayPal (or god forbid, their local bank) to convert their currency.

Instead, they should be using Wise.

With Wise, you can:

  • Get better rates on currency conversions than PayPal or a local bank
  • Send money cheaper and easier than old-school banks
  • Get paid like a local in 10 different currencies
  • And convert & hold up to 53 different currencies.

In fact, Wise is 6X cheaper than other international accounts on average.

That’s why over 13 million people trust them to handle their international payment needs.

So if you’re an international freelancer…

Set up a free Wise account today to start saving big every time you get paid.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

Let me guess: Your portfolio is down?

Yeah, us too. Things are shaky right now.

But did you know that farmland is unaffected? Or that wine is way up? Or that vinyl records are mooning?

That’s why we’ve been reading Alts, where Stefan and Wyatt analyze the heck out of alternative investment markets.

They started out as a newsletter, and have just launched their first fund.

The Alts1 Fund brings together alternative investments spanning 10 asset classes, from collectibles, to fine art, to whiskey, to music rights.

Join 55,000+ investors and see what you’ve been missing.

Subscribe to Alts for free today.

Quote of the Day

“Momentum? Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.”

— Earl Weaver

In Case You Missed It:

  • Monday: 🌈 Multicolored verification

🌈 Multicolored verification

Happy Cyber Monday! Welcome back to The Gig, your free daily guide to conquering the gig economy.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter and Facebook. Plus the power of a good controversial opinion, the difference between knowledge and information, and why most sales copy never converts.

Read time: 4 minutes and 8 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Multicolored Twitter verification launching this week. The revamped program will reportedly offer blue checks to individuals, gold checks to companies, and grey checks for government accounts. Oh, and each verification will be manually approved before the check is activated. That probably won’t take long.
  • Facebook’s Widely Viewed Content Report for Q3 reveals top 5 external sites getting traffic from the feed. Just 1 out of the top 20 posts met the company’s criteria for clickbait, representing a 100% drop year-over-year.
  • Twitter shutters Brussels HQ, snubbing EU regulators. The company’s last two employees in Brussels, charged with overseeing the company’s digital policy in the region, left last week which led to the office being permanently shut down. Regulators were not impressed, and may soon focus their attention on Twitter once their new digital rulebook known as the DSA comes into effect

Working With Clients

When You Find a Good Controversial Opinion and Let it Rip

Mainstream wisdom is everywhere.

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

– cut back on lattes

– eat more vegetables

– go to bed earlier

– avocado toast is why you can’t afford to buy a house
– etc etc

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

So ask yourself: what controversial opinions can I highlight?

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

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

Now, a caveat:

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

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

Working For Yourself

The Difference Between Knowledge and Information

Information is everywhere these days.

And it’s available to consume in a ton of different mediums…

– Books

– YouTube videos

– Podcasts

– Digital courses

– Documentaries

– Etc etc

But here’s a question for you…

Do you have a system for translating the information you consume into personal knowledge?

Here’s one way to think about it…

Information is a solitary data point without context.

For example, take this quote from productivity expert David Allen…

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

Great quote, right?

Now it’s one thing to come across it and think to yourself “dang! I should write more things down.”

But if you want to take the next step and convert that “input” (the quote) into personal knowledge… 

You have to add your own context to it.

Here’s how we might do it for the quote above:

– This is why you should write down your to-dos

– This is why you should create your to-do list the night before

– This is why Morning Pages is such an effective exercise for creativity

– Creativity doesn’t work on demand, you need to create space for it

– This is why you should always keep a notepad handy

– Your mind is like a computer, and you need to free up RAM

See how that works?

By connecting these six other thoughts to this one quote, we’re able to contextualize what it means to us.

Ultimately, that’s what adding context means… 

Asking yourself: what does this piece of information mean to YOU?

How does it connect with other things you know or thoughts you’ve had?

The topic of personal knowledge management, or PKM, is a rabbit hole we’ve only just stumbled down quite recently…

But it’s already had a profound effect.

And if you’re a copywriter, media buyer, or someone who does any kind of creative work…

Check out the free YouTube course below to learn more about our favorite PKM tool:

[WATCH]: Obsidian for Beginners: Start HERE — How to Use the Obsidian App for Notes

From The Copywriting Gig

Why Most Sales Copy Never Converts

Selling in print can sometimes seem like a dark art.

How do you know which specific words will move people to pull out their credit card?

Well, here’s a good place to start…

Focus on benefits, not features.

Features are structural or functional elements of the product.

  • These headphones are wireless
  • That desk is adjustable
  • This online course is self-paced

Benefits are what those features do for the person using the product.

And one easy way to convert features into benefits so you can punch up your sales copy is to use the 3 magic words:

“So you can.”

As in…

  • These headphones are wireless so you can lift heavy at the gym without worrying about tangled cords.
  • That desk is adjustable so you can avoid sitting in a chair all day.
  • This online course is self-paced so you can finish it in a single weekend.

Get the idea?

Copy that doesn’t convert is often too feature-heavy.

So next time you’re writing an ad, email, landing page, or product description…

Try dialing up the benefits and see what happens.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

Which investment would have given you a return of 560%+ over 10 years between 2011-2021?

The answer: The Invesco QQQ Trust ETF — a passive exchange traded fund (ETF)  with a big weight towards technology companies.

Why? Technology is taking over and as an investor, it’s better to be on the right side of history. An investment in QQQ gives investors exposure to this growth diversified in over 100 non-financial companies.

But what else? Discover more trends by signing up to The Average Joe, a free 3x-weekly newsletter covering the latest market trends and stocks.

Become a better investor by reading their 5-minute, jargon-free stock market newsletter — covering only the relevant financial news for everyday investors.

Subscribe to the free newsletter and join 19,000+ investors discovering the latest market trends.

Quote of the Day

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

— Frances Willard

👀 Surveillance advertising

Happy Wednesday! We’ll be off tomorrow for American Thanksgiving and back in action on Black Friday. 

Mentioned in today’s edition: Meta, Twitter, and PayPal. Plus how to gracefully terminate a client relationship, the pros and cons of incorporation, and 4 characteristics of an irresistible offer.

Read time: 3 minutes and 1 second

Making the Rounds

  • Meta sued in the U.K. for “surveillance advertising” practices. The suit filed at London’s High Court alleges that Meta is violating GDPR by harvesting personal data to serve targeted ads, aka operating their business.
  • Elon announces Twitter is ready to hire again. After laying off close to 5,000 of its 7,500 employees, Elon told those remaining that the company is now ready to hire for roles in sales and engineering.
  • PayPal study finds 1 in 4 consumers are returning more of the stuff they buy. Shoppers cited inflation and other economic pressures as reasons for returning a higher percentage of their purchases.

Working With Clients

How to Gracefully Terminate a Client Relationship

Not all client relationships have a happy ending.

If you’ve got a client who’s blowing you up with emails, DMs, and voice notes…

Hammering you with urgent requests that ignore your clearly-stated boundaries…

And implying that nothing you do is up to snuff…

It’s probably time to let them go.

But how, exactly? What’s the best way to fire a client?

Well, for starters, it’s never easy…

Even if you’re secretly wishing a pox upon their house.

Send them an email or DM that hits these key points:

– I’m not the right person to help you achieve XYZ

– I hope you’ve gotten some good value from our time together

– Happy to get on a call to discuss if need be

– Still believe in your mission/product

– Will be rooting for you to succeed

The reason to send them a message instead of getting on a call right away is to give them a chance to digest it…

And (hopefully) eliminate the need for a call.

But this way, even if they insist on one, you’ve already got the hard part out of the way.

And if you have a 30-day cancellation policy in your contract, you can always offer to let them out of it if you’re really eager to end the relationship.

Working For Yourself

Naming the Business Might Be Our Favorite Part

Should you incorporate your business as a freelancer?

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

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

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

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

And the answer to all of them is:

It depends.

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

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

Check it out here:

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

From The Copywriting Gig

4 Characteristics of an Irresistible Offer

Want to learn a simple trick to sell more stuff?

There are 4 main “triggers” that make us want to buy something:

  • New
  • Fast
  • Cheap
  • Easy

So if you can position your offer in a way that implies all of the above…

… then you’ll have no trouble making the cash register ring off the hook.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling lawn mowers, light bulbs, or lead generation.

Because we’re hardwired to want things that check all four boxes.

Gig Alerts

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

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  • Creator Wizard: Join 7,127+ creators getting paid sponsorship opportunities every Monday & Thursday.
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  • Stacked Marketer: Join 32k+ readers getting free daily insights on all major marketing channels, including Google, Facebook, TikTok, native ads, SEO, and more.

Quote of the Day

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

— Jack London

In Case You Missed It:

📈 Hive surge

Happy Tuesday! If your onboarding process is a little loosey goosey, you can unlock a free copy of The Digital Marketer’s Template Toolkit by sharing the newsletter with 3 friends.

The DMTT is made up of 4 detailed intake forms you can copy-and-paste into your onboarding process to uplevel your client experience. Just make sure to use your unique referral link at the bottom of today’s email to start sharing.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Hive, Twitter, and influencer marketing. Plus 3 pricing tips to create a win/win for you and your clients, how one digital nomad makes $2.7M per year with zero employees, and a free app to upgrade your note-taking.

Read time: 4 minutes and 2 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • New social app Hive surges into Top 20 on the App Store. Founded in 2019, the app combines features from Instagram, Twitter, and MySpace. It surged into the Top 20 in the U.S. App Store yesterday, coinciding with Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s decision to reinstate former President Donald Trump on the platform over the weekend.
  • More sales reps laid off after committing to Twitter 2.0. It appears the heads aren’t done rolling at Twitter, as another round of layoffs hit the sales department this week. It’s worth noting that these were all team members who signed last week’s controversial pledge, committing themselves to an “extremely hardcore” new version of Twitter.
  • U.S. marketers will spend $5B on influencers this year. According to eMarketer’s latest report on influencer marketing, that’s an increase of 25% compared to last year’s $4B, and despite a major slowdown in the broader advertising market.

Working With Clients

3 Pricing Tips to Create a Win/Win For You and Your Clients

Pricing is one of those things everyone likes to talk about in broad terms…

But not when it comes to their own pricing strategy.

So if you’re a new freelancer who’s struggling to figure out how to price themselves…

Here are 3 tips to help you out:

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

This last one isn’t *exactly* a pricing tip per se…

But 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 (and let clients know this is how you work).

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 it more likely for clients to say “yes” to your price.

Working For Yourself

How This Digital Nomad Makes $2.7M Per Year With 0 Employees

Not all entrepreneurs want to build big companies.

In fact, most freelancers we know are drawn to this type of business precisely because you can run it all by yourself.

But eventually, you’ll have to hire if you want to continue increasing your income.

… Or will you?

In the episode of My First Million below, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri interview Pieter Levels, the founder of NomadList, RemoteOK, and a handful of other profitable businesses…

Which bring in a combined total of almost $3 million dollars per year.

All with ZERO employees.

It’s a fascinating interview that challenges what most entrepreneurs (including us) believe is possible.

So if you’re looking to learn more about how to push the limits of solopreneurship…

Check it out on YouTube here:

[WATCH]: How Pieter Levels Makes $2.7M/Year With 0 Employees

Tools We Love

Upgrade Your Note-Taking With This Free App

If you keep a journal, write Morning Pages, or use pen and paper to stay on top of your to-dos…

It can be tough to stay organized and keep track of all your notes.

Not to mention you can burn through a stack of notebooks pretty quick.

That’s where Simplenote comes in.

Created by the same company behind WordPress and WooCommerce, Simplenote is a free note-taking app that lets you:

– Take notes quickly and easily
– Stay organized with tags & searching
– Sync your notes to all devices

Plus it supports Markdown format, so you could even open up your notes with the Notepad app in a pinch.

But our favorite part?

Simplenote also supports a stylus for those with a tablet.

And in our opinion, this makes for a much more enjoyable experience than putting pen to paper.

With Simplenote, you can take your journaling & input capture to the next level (and save a few trees while you’re at it).

Click below to sign up for a free Simplenote account:

Try Simplenote for free today.

Gig Alerts

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

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  • The Daily Upside: Insightful business news that respects your time and intelligence.
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  • International Intrigue: The most important geopolitical news and analysis in less than 5 minutes a day.

Quote of the Day

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

— Leo Burnett

In Case You Missed It:

🏴‍☠️ Skeleton crew

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

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Elon Musk, and TikTok. Plus how to nail your retainer pitch, what to do when your creativity calls in sick, and a counterintuitive ad targeting trick to get higher quality traffic.

Read time: 4 minutes and 58 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Hundreds of Twitter employees refuse Elon’s “hardcore” ultimatum. When given the choice between committing to an “extremely hardcore” company reset or quitting with 3 months severance, it appears many of Twitter’s employees chose to take their money and go. And with the World Cup kicking off this week, the platform may be sailing into a major stress test with only a skeleton crew to man the decks.
  • 76% of business owners think TikTok will surpass Amazon for ecommerce, study finds. Just how big is TikTok going to be? Yuge, according to 500 business owners surveyed in this new study. Over ¾ said they think TikTok will eventually overtake both Amazon and Google in ecommerce and search. Speaking of which…
  • TikTok goes on hiring spree as the rest of Big Tech lays off thousands of workers. The company has committed to hire 3,000 more engineers worldwide, drawing a stark contrast with Meta, which is laying off 11,000 workers, and Amazon, which may let go up to 10,000 employees.

Working With Clients

When You Nail That Retainer Pitch

No freelancer wants to spend all their time prospecting.

But if you’re stuck doing one-off projects for clients all the time…

You don’t have much choice.

That’s one of the reasons why monthly retainers can be so attractive:

It doesn’t take many to fill up your calendar.

Which means less time spent prospecting and more time spent doing work that pays.

Plus it gives you some predictable income you can use to budget, save, and invest with.

But how do you make the shift from one-off to ongoing?

Well, the playbook is the same pretty much regardless of which service(s) you provide:

STEP 1: Make sure one-off projects are successful

You can’t expect to upsell clients into ongoing arrangements if the initial project isn’t successful.

So make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your client a big win first.

You need a solid foundation to build on if you want them to pay you every month.

STEP 2: Identify ongoing work you can take off their plate

Start by thinking about it from the client’s perspective:

What ongoing work are they doing on a daily or weekly basis that you could take off their plate?

Some examples:

  • Writing emails
  • Running split-tests
  • Managing ad campaigns
  • Creating social media posts
  • Etc

Unless these activities fall within your client’s zone of genius, chances are they’d appreciate you taking it off their plate so they can focus on more important things, like leading the company and being a real CEO.

Often, the question isn’t “do they want to hire someone” — it’s “will this pay for itself?” and “can I trust you?”

STEP 3: Explain why it makes sense

Even if you’ve created some goodwill with your client, you still need to make a strong logical case for this new arrangement:

– How will it make them money?

– How will it save them time?

– Why is it a smart decision?

Don’t be afraid to explain why YOU want it too.

Make it clear how much you enjoy working for them, how much you love their products, why you align with their values, etc.

Then position it as a way for them to lock down a fixed amount of your time every month.

Just keep in mind that not every client will be a good fit for a monthly retainer.

But for the right ones, it’s a win/win.

Working For Yourself

What to Do When Your Creativity Calls in Sick

Ever struggle to get your creative juices flowing in the morning?

Welcome to the club 🙋

And let’s be honest…

Sometimes caffeine just doesn’t cut it.

So if you’re a copywriter, media buyer, graphic designer…

Or someone who does creative work of any kind…

Here’s a morning routine add-on you should experiment with:

Write out three pages of “stream of consciousness” by hand before you start work.

This technique is called “Morning Pages”…

And was originally created by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

Many of our favorite writers swear by it, including Andre Chaperon, Tim Ferriss, and many others.

Imagine your creativity is like a pipeline. ..

In order for the great ideas to flow out, you need to clear out the “sludge” first.

That’s what Morning Pages are for.

So, what are you supposed to write about?

Anything. Everything. What’s on your mind. How you’re feeling. What you plan to do today.  How much you hate your alarm clock.

(You can also find prompts like these ones from Masterclass all over the internet)

But the point isn’t to bang out polished prose…

It’s simply to clear out the sludge and make room for your creative ideas to come out and play.

To trap the clutter of your thoughts down on paper before you move on to the important stuff.

Make sense?

If you do decide to test it out, we recommend committing to at least 30 days.

Then let us know how it goes 🙂

From The Paid Ads Gig

Try This Counterintuitive Ad Targeting Trick to Get Higher Quality Traffic

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

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

Because they get smarter and smarter over time.

Only problem is…

Since iOS 14, tracking pixels have gotten dumber.

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

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

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

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

For example…

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

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

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

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

You bet.


Your lead quality will improve dramatically.

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

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

Gig Alerts

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

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  • Web3 Daily: Web3 and crypto news, translated into plain English.
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Quote of the Day

“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” 

— Bruce Garrabrandt

👾 TikTok eats the world

Happy Friday! Very important question: is it appropriate to put up your Christmas tree in November? Or do you have to wait until December? Hit reply and give us your take.

Mentioned in today’s edition: TikTok, YouTube Shorts, affiliate marketing, and skilled freelancers. Plus how not to respond when a client gives you feedback, 3 things that make up the fulfillment trifecta, and facing the FAQs.

Read time: 2 minutes and 49 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok projected to make more from ads than Meta and YouTube combined by 2027. In case you’ve been living under a rock, TikTok’s been busy eating everyone else’s lunch at the social media table. But just how bad is it? Well, a new report projects the company will earn $331 billion in ad revenue in 2027, which is more than Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube combined. Yowza.
  • 68% of agencies are hiring freelancers. Despite layoffs accelerating across the economy, skilled freelancers are thriving. According to Digiday, 71% of in-house marketers and 68% of agencies are turning to freelancers to help fulfill their services.
  • YouTube Shorts launches affiliate marketing program. A small group of U.S. creators are currently testing the new feature, which lets them take a cut of product sales generated from their videos.

Working With Clients

How Not to Respond When the Client Gives You Feedback

Having high-stakes conversations with clients doesn’t come naturally.

Like anything, it’s a skill.

And one that’s essential to develop…

Because the way you communicate with clients can make or break your relationship.

If you’re effective, clients will sing your praises, hire you back again and again, and even send you referrals.

But if you’re not, then they’ll be heading for the exits the first chance they get.

In this video from our friends at TheFuture, you’ll discover a simple formula for communicating clearly with clients so you can manage expectations, avoid surprises, and overdeliver every time.

Check it out on YouTube here:

[WATCH]: How to Talk to Freelance Clients

Working For Yourself

And They Say Crime Freelancing Doesn’t Pay

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

Face the FAQs

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.

Gig Alerts

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

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  • The Curiosity Chronicle: High signal content related to frameworks, personal development, productivity, and growth.
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Quote of the Day

“It’s the getting, not the having, that makes you happy.”

— Roelof Botha

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