📺 Netflix ad sweepstakes

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

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

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 42 seconds


Making the Rounds

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

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

Working With Clients

When in Doubt, Refer Out

Got a lead you can’t help?

Don’t just send them away…

Refer them to someone else in your network.

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

Something that often comes back around to you…

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

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

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

– If you’re a copywriter, get to know someone who runs paid ads
– If you run paid ads, get to know someone who does graphic design or video editing
– If you’re a graphic designer, get to know someone who builds funnels

A bigger network always means more opportunities.


Working For Yourself

What to Do if You Picked the Wrong Side Hustle

Freelancing is one of the easiest side hustles to get started with.

There’s no overhead and you can spend as little or as much time on it as you want.

But once your freelance biz becomes your main hustle…

You may want to find a new side hustle to work on in your spare time.

We like to think of it this way:

Side hustles are stomping grounds for accelerating your skills.

Having skin in the game totally transforms the way you approach a project.

And if your end goal is to build something of your own…

It’s never too early to get started.

But there are a dizzying number of options when it comes to picking a side hustle.

If you’re on the hunt for one that meets your criteria for both lifestyle and income goals…

Check out this article from Shopify:

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


From The Paid Ads Gig

Scaling 101

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

There are two main ways to scale it:

1 – Vertical scaling

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

2 – Horizontal scaling

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

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

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

That’s when horizontal scaling comes into play.

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

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

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

Make sense?

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


Quote of the Day

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

Victor Frankl


🪦 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


💲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


💦 Twitter unleashes the firehose

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

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

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 23 seconds


Making the Rounds

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

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

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

Working With Clients

The One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Freelance Portfolio

Want to increase your chances of getting the gig?

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

There are two ways to think about relevance:

1) Task-specific
2) Market-specific 

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

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

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

Aim to have both.


Working For Yourself

4 Ugly Truths About Being a Digital Nomad

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

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

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

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

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

Temptations are everywhere.

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

#2: You have to work odd hours

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

This can be brutal.

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

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

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

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

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

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

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


From The Paid Ads Gig

iOS 14? Never Heard of It

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

Paid ads haven’t been the same since.

And even though every SaaS company and their grandma claims to have “solved iOS 14,” the truth is that the ad tracking capabilities we used to have ain’t coming back.

But the good news is…

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

Building separate funnels for each traffic source.

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

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

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


Quote of the Day

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

Harry Golden