👀 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


⚠️ Tesla job cuts

Happy Monday! On this day in 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, marking the beginning of the end of World War 2.

The oldest known living U.S. veteran of WWII was Lawrence Brooks, who died this past January at the ripe old age of 112. When asked about the secret to his unusually long life, he replied “be nice to people.” Amen to that 🙏

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


Making the Rounds

  • Ad spend on search ads for ecommerce in the U.S. set to double by 2026. Intelligence from eMarketer projects 55.72 billion in ecom search ad spend in 2026, compared to 27.10 billion this year.

  • Elon Musk announces plan to cut 10% of Tesla jobs, share price drops 8.5%. He wants to cut staff due to a “super bad feeling” about the economy. Musk later walked back his remarks, saying the 10% cut would only apply to salaried staff and not factory workers. But that didn’t stop the stock price from plunging 8.5% on Friday. Conflicting analysis on whether we’re headed for a recession or not continues to fly…

  • Facebook and Instagram Reels can now be up to 90 seconds long. It’s a 30 second increase from the previous limit of 60 seconds, mirroring a similar update from TikTok, as they scramble to compete with the short-form category king. More on this in today’s Paid Ads section.

Working With Clients

What Makes a Great Hook, Email, or Ad Angle

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
– 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

Sorry, I’m OOO

The numbers are in:

For many of us, working from home often means working (a lot) more than 8 hours a day.

And with notifications pouring in from dawn ‘till dusk (and sometimes even long past then)…

Maintaining more than a shred of work/life balance is a constant battle.

So here’s a simple tip to help you stay stane:

Use “work speak” to set effective boundaries.

Since your home and your office may be the same place, being “out of office” doesn’t have to apply only when you’re away from the computer. 

It can simply mean you’re unavailable.

Whether that’s because you’re doing deep work on a project or going deep into the latest season of Bridgerton.

And “meetings” don’t always have to be work-related — they can also be calls to catch up with family or friends.

Bottom line is:

Many people have an easier time understanding (and respecting) your boundaries when you use the right language to set them.


From The Paid Ads Gig

A TikTok Lead, a Facebook Lead, and a YouTube Lead Walk Into a Bar…

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

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

Some are a helluva lot more popular than others these days (*cough* TikTok *cough*)…

But what many paid ad experts don’t realize is:

Different platforms produce different kinds of leads.

TikTok may be the ad platform du jour…

But because it emphasizes short-form content, TikTok leads are naturally less qualified compared to leads from 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.


Quote of the Day

“There is no failure. Only feedback.”

Robert Allen


💻 Can this new browser compete with Chrome and Safari?

Happy Memorial Day! Bad luck struck again for Charles Leclerc yesterday: a pit strategy screw up cost the Ferrari driver a win at his home race in Monaco. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise had much better luck in Hollywood, notching the first $100M+ opening weekend of his career with Top Gun: Maverick.

Now here’s what else is going on…


Making the Rounds

  • Ads are coming to YouTube Shorts. Google just announced they’re rolling out ads to Shorts worldwide. CEO Sundar Pichai recently revealed Shorts are getting 30 billion views a day, which is a helluva lot more than we would’ve guessed.

  • Investors file class action suit against Elon and Twitter. The suit alleges that Musk acquired some of his Twitter shares at an “artificially low price” thanks to a late disclosure that may have saved him $156 million.

  • New Arc browser aims to disrupt Chrome and Safari. Startup Browser Co. is reimagining the web browser to rescue us from the curse of a million tabs. 

Working With Clients

WANTED: Money at a Discount

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

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Working For Yourself

Files Gone Wild

If you’re looking for ways to work faster + get more stuff done in less time…

Keeping your digital workspace organized is just as important as keeping your physical workspace organized.

Here are a few tips to help you digitally declutter:

  • Establish a naming convention for files (ex: [CLIENT] – Document Name – MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Create a master folder
  • Organize subfolders with numbers (ex: “01. [FOLDER]”)
  • Maintain a tracking sheet (with links to all documents for a given project)
  • Have a dedicated scratch pad (for quick notes or off the cuff calculations)

Bottom line: a cluttered Drive folder makes for a cluttered mind.


From The Copywriting Gig

When Reverse Psychology Backfires

Persuasive direct response copy tells the reader exactly what to do and when to do it… right?

Not so fast.

If you want to convert as many people as possible, there’s a hidden psychological landmine you’ll want to avoid.

It was first discovered by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s…

And it’s called “psychological resistance.”

Translation: people don’t like being told what to do. 

So they rebel by doing the opposite.

How does this apply in copy?

Using the word “need” — as in “this is exactly what you need to achieve XYZ” — can trigger psychological resistance in some prospects and lead them NOT to buy.

So if you want to sidestep this little IED embedded deep in our psyche…

Avoid framing your solution as something your prospects “need” to do.


Quote of the Day

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Helen Keller


📱Frequency-capped ads

Happy Friday! Our eyes will be on Barcelona this weekend as Formula 1 touches down for the Spanish Grand Prix. Here’s to hoping Gig favorite Charles Leclerc and hometown hero Carlos Sainz can fend off surging world champion Max Verstappen. What are you up to? Hit “Reply” and let us know.

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


Making the Rounds

  • YouTube announces new Frequency campaigns. The new frequency-capped campaigns promise to cut down on over-delivery and wasted ad spend. Now you’ll only have to see that one annoying ad 47 27 more times before the algorithm lets you off the hook.
     
  • Texas law banning tech platform censorship could throw a wrench into Elon’s Twitter takeover. The law would force social media platforms to spread content that is typically moderated (like violence, murder, hate crimes, and propaganda) and allow any user to sue if violations occur. Elon’s Twitter, along with Facebook, Reddit, and others could soon be flooded with lawsuits if it survives a legal challenge.

  • Branded Missions let advertisers on TikTok crowdsource user-generated content. After launching TikTok Pulse earlier this month, the platform appears to be racing to build out its ad offerings. While the Pulse program requires creators to have at least 10k followers, Branded Missions are open to micro-influencers with as little as 1,000 followers.

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

Be Right Back

One of the biggest benefits of working remotely is being able to shift your schedule to suit your lifestyle.

Whether that’s running errands in the middle of the day…

Hitting the gym at the precise moment that all the squat racks are free…

Or just taking a much-needed break from staring at the screen.

But as you may know…

Stepping away from the computer instantly increases the chance you’ll be needed for something by approximately 92.47%.

Especially if all’s been quiet.

So, here’s how to make sure you’re ready for anything:

Download all work apps on your phone so you can be available even when you’re away from the computer.

  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Messenger
  • Google Drive
  • Ads Manager

Get everything you could possibly need to communicate or collaborate.

This way, you can step outside with peace of mind.


From The Copywriting Gig

Don’t Forget to Make it a Steal After You Twist the Knife

Humans are emotional beings.

And the limbic system (where we process emotions in the brain) is a key factor in helping us make decisions.

In fact, UCLA neuroscientist Antonio Damasio once had a patient who, after having a tumor removed, couldn’t make decisions because he was unable to process emotions.

Talk about analysis paralysis.

But a common mistake in copywriting is to focus exclusively on the emotional side…

And ignore the logical side.

That’s why it’s important to win both the hearts and minds of your prospects.

To win their hearts… 

Focus on how it feels to be struggling with the problem (shame, guilt, embarrassment, envy, etc) AND what it will feel like to solve it (confidence, happiness, freedom, etc)

Then, to win their minds, focus on why your solution is the smartest and most logical choice (how it will save them time + money, make them look smart, is discounted for a limited time only, etc).

A winning offer or marketing campaign always has both.


Quote of the Day

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? “

T.S Eliot