🏴‍☠️ Walking the plank

Happy Tuesday! Trekkies everywhere are celebrating First Contact Day — a holiday in future history to mark the date of April 5, 2063, when humans made first contact with the Vulcans in the movie First Contact. 

And if you’re not into Star Trek, well, it’s also Deep Dish Pizza Day. So today’s got a little something for everyone.

Here’s the latest…


Freelance Economy News

  • Anti-piracy bill may be lost at sea. Pinterest, Etsy, and Vimeo have come out against a new anti-piracy bill that would force them to use government-developed filtering tools to combat copyright infringement. 
  • 3 new Twitter ads to test. The social media platform is experimenting with new ad formats: Interactive Text, Product Explorer, and Collection Ads (similar to carousels on Facebook).
  • Meet the purple squiggly. Google Docs is rolling out a new feature to improve your writing. In addition to fixing basic grammar and spelling errors, the purple squiggly will soon help you write punchier copy.

Working With Clients

The Secret to a Successful Sales Pitch

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

Here’s why:

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

So by asking things like:

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

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

On a related note —  if you want to take your sales pitches to the next level, refer five friends to The Gig and we’ll send you a free copy of our Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheatsheet ($97 value).

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 calls like a pro.

More details on that at the bottom of today’s newsletter.


Working For Yourself

The Downside to a Short Commute

Blurred lines are an occupational hazard when working from home.

Sure, the morning commutes may be a breeze…

But when the office is always just a few steps away, it can be tough to turn off your work brain.

That’s why one of the best ways to stay sane is…

Create a structured work schedule and stick to it.

That means getting up, starting, and finishing work around the same time each day.

Establishing boundaries like this will not only help you be more productive…

But you’ll sleep better too.


Tools We Love

Achievement Unlocked: Ludicrous Speed

Page speed is a hidden conversion killer.

According to Hubspot, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% for every added second of load time 😬

So if you’re running traffic online in 2022…

There’s no excuse for having a page that doesn’t load in two seconds or less.

Enter PageSpeed Insights.

Developed by Google, it analyzes your website’s page speed and identifies opportunities to optimize it by:

  • Compressing images
  • Reducing unnecessary JavaScript & CSS
  • Avoiding redirects
  • And more

If you want to achieve Ludicrous Speed so you can maximize sales, conversions, and profits, try PageSpeed Insights for free today.


Quote of the Day

“You only have to do a few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

Warren Buffett


🏛️ Facebook vs the Land of Lincoln

Happy Monday! We spent the weekend at Gig HQ setting goals for Q2 in between episodes of Luxe Listings. There may or may not have been tequila involved. Now it’s time to get back at it and crush this week 💪

Here’s what’s happening…


Freelance Economy News

  • Facebook is getting sued by non-users over facial recognition. An Illinois judge ruled on Thursday that a class-action claim against Facebook can proceed. The claim alleges Facebook violated privacy laws in the Land of Lincoln by collecting faceprints of residents without posting a written policy on what it would do with the data. The social media platform recently agreed to pay out a $650 million settlement in a different class-action suit, also brought by Illinois residents. Ouch. IL: 2, Meta: 0.
  • President Trump’s Truth Social app continues to struggle. Technical difficulties appear to be plaguing the social media app. After announcing a launch date of Feb 21, many users are still stuck on a waitlist. Trump himself hasn’t posted a message since before the initial launch date.

  • Monthly podcast listenership is down for the first time since 2013. File this one under news we didn’t see coming: the number of Americans over 12 who listened to a podcast last month dropped from 41% to 38% year over year. The last drop was in 2013. Meanwhile, the top 10 podcast advertisers spent almost $300 million last year according to eMarketer, compared to just $145 million in 2020.

Working With Clients

Send Me a Loom

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.

Here’s an article on the 7 best USB headphones for 2022.

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 Probably Weren’t Paying Attention When They Taught This in High School

As a freelancer, you wear two hats at all times:

1) Technician

2) Operator

Where most freelancers go wrong is by focusing strictly on their responsibilities as the technician.

Doing a great job for your clients is key.

But don’t shirk your duties as the CEO.

Particularly when it comes to bookkeeping and finances.

Since you’ll be classified as an independent contractor, that means you’re on the hook for paying income taxes.

So make sure you’ve got enough left over when the tax man comes for his cut.

On a related note, you might want to check out Catch — a free personal payroll tool specifically for freelancers.

But whether you use a fancy piece of software or a plain ol’ Google Sheet…

What matters most is that you stay on top of it.


From The Copywriting Gig

Mad Scientist Copywriting

You don’t “write” direct response copy…

You assemble it.

Or at least that’s what Eugene Schwartz, author of Breakthrough Advertising, always said.

And one of the most important building blocks of direct response copy is the lead.

This could be anywhere from the first 100 words to the first 7 pages, depending on what you’re writing.

But the point is: your lead has a massive impact on conversion rates.

It can make or break your promotion.

That’s why it’s one of the areas pros spend the most time and energy on…

And one of the first things savvy marketers like to split-test.

So… what makes a great lead?

Well, that depends on the awareness and sophistication of your prospect.

And fortunately for us, Michael Masterson — bestselling author and founder of the $1.5 billion dollar a year company Agora — has boiled it down to just six different types of leads in his book, Great Leads.

It’s the perfect crash course to help you write a killer lead every single time.

Even if you’re not a master copywriter.

Click here check it out on Amazon:

Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message


Quote of the Day

“He who lives by the crystal ball is destined to eat ground glass.”

Ray Dalio


♾️ Meta

Happy Friday! It’s April Fool’s. But more importantly, Season 2 of Luxe Listings just dropped. So you know we’ll be spending the weekend binge watching behind-the-scenes tours of multimillion dollar mansions on Bondi Beach.

(it’s a vibe)

Now let’s get into it…


Freelance Economy News

  • Meta launches PR campaign against TikTok. Meta has hired a top Republican consulting firm to place op-eds and letters from “concerned parents” in regional news outlets across the country. The campaign is focused on the threat posed by TikTok’s foreign ownership and promoting potentially dangerous trends among young people.  Legal? Yes. In the gray zone? Definitely.
  • Hackers forged legal requests to get Apple and Meta to fork over user data. Hackers posing as law enforcement tricked the two tech firms into giving up user data such as addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses in 2021.

  • Apple is working on a hardware subscription service. The software world is not enough for the iPhone maker anymore. They’re reportedly working on a hardware subscription service that would expand financing and payment options for devices.

Working With Clients

Sending Portfolio Pieces in a Word Doc Got Clients Like…

If you’re using freelance platforms to find clients and land gigs…

There’s one thing you can do when putting in a proposal that all prospective clients will appreciate, whether they hire you or not.

And that’s:

Sharing links to samples or portfolio pieces via Google Drive.

Don’t send over PDFs, Word docs, or Excel spreadsheets.

Why?

Because a client may take one look at your sample and decide they don’t like it.

Or that you’re not the right person for the job.

And if you (along with 9 other freelancers) have sent them a handful of docs to download, then they’re stuck with a bunch of useless documents on their computer they’ll never look at again.

So do them a favor and send them a Share link instead.


Working For Yourself

Early Morning Slack DMs Beware

Do you know what your chronotype is?

According to Healthline, a chronotype is “…a person’s circadian typology or the individual differences in activity and alertness in the morning and evening.”

In other words…

Your chronotype reflects when your most creative and productive hours are.

For your humble newsletter writer, that’s typically between 6 and 9 AM.

But for you, it might be later in the day.

Either way, the bottom line is:

Find out what time of day you’re usually at your best, and protect those hours like your very own Time Stone.

Because not all time is made equal.

And the secret to maintaining peak productivity is focusing on energy — not time.


From The Copywriting Gig

Can We Ask You Something?

Ever struggled to write the first line of an ad or email?

Ever wished there was an easier way to write great leads that get readers hooked every time?

There is.

It’s called a “yes set.”

A “yes set” is a series of 2-3 questions designed to create psychological momentum by getting the reader to answer “yes” in their head.

They’re super quick and easy to write…

And the best part is, they prime the prospect to perceive your offer in a much more positive light.

So if you’re ever struggling with what to say in the first few lines of an ad, email, or sales page…

Give it a try next time and let us know how it goes.


Tools We Love

Finally, An Email Service Provider Who Gets Us

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.

(*cough* INFUSIONSOFT *cough*)

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 to grow your audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.


Quote of the Day

“There is no right or wrong in this business. There’s only hits and misses.”

Mike Acosta


📺 Watchbait

Happy Thursday! Today is the last day of Q1. 

Here’s what’s new…


Freelance Economy News

  • Facebook cracks down on watchbait. First it was clickbait, now it’s “watchbait.” Facebook warned advertisers their videos will now get less reach if they’re guilty of “withholding, misleading, or sensationalizing” — as direct response companies everywhere let out a collective groan.
  • Meta’s post-iOS ad performance is getting better. There may be light at the end of the funnel after all. According to AppsFlyer’s Performance Index, Meta Ads performance is starting to improve. It’s about time.

  • Is Google planning to compete with Calendly? The latest update for Google Calendar offers a lot of the same functionality: a hosted booking page and the ability for people to pick a date and time to schedule a meeting with you. Small caveat: you’ll need the Business Standard version of Google Workspace to get access to it.

Working With Clients

Bringing Home the Bacon

One of the best parts about freelancing is the ability to renegotiate and raise your rates with every new client.

But there’s an unpleasant surprise waiting for you when you do…

Transaction fees.

The more you invoice for, the more Stripe or PayPal takes off the top.

That’s why it’s essential to minimize transaction fees wherever possible (along with conversion fees if you’re working internationally).

They’ll add up to many thousands of dollars over the course of your career.

Wise is our weapon of choice.

But regardless of whoever you go with, always be on the lookout for ways to pay less in fees.


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)

From The Copywriting Gig

Swiping From the Revolutionary’s Playbook to Sway Your Prospects

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 and money, make them look smart, etc).

A winning offer or marketing campaign always has both.


Quote of the Day

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”

Estée Lauder


⚡ TikTok

Happy Wednesday! Only two more days until Friday. Time to get after it 💪

Now let’s up on the latest…


Freelance Economy News

  • TikTok starts beta testing search ads. The new feature allows advertisers to target people based on specific keywords. With Facebook’s ad tracking abilities still suffering post-iOS 14, the short-form video platform continues to pose a threat to its advertising business. And it may not stay short-form forever, since…
  • Creators can now upload 10-minute videos to TikTok. When the platform launched, the max video length was 15 seconds. A year ago, it was increased to three minutes. Now users can upload videos up to 10 minutes long. As one person tweeted, “10 minutes is a damn tedtok.”

  • Millennial brand gets a TikTok revival. Abercrombie & Fitch reported “triple-digit year-over-year-growth” in social selling on their latest earnings call. Moving to TikTok and focusing on what they call the “long weekend mindset” paid off handsomely during the pandemic.

Working With Clients

They Like Big Budgets and They Cannot Lie

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect freelance client, here’s a quick tip from Captain America Obvious to help you narrow your search:

Bigger companies can afford to spend more on marketing.

You may have an easier time convincing a local business to hire you if you’re brand new…

But big companies always make better clients.

Why?

Three reasons:

1 – Their products and services have already been validated by the market (people want them)

2 – They usually have lots of existing assets for you to work with (copy, videos, past promotions, etc)

3 – They’re used to spending money on marketing (and freelancers)

Pro tip: put together custom sample pieces for every big client you’re pitching free of charge.

This delivers value up front and will help you immediately stand out.


Working For Yourself

Fire in the Hole

Workspace distractions sap your focus.

And while a cluttered desk may not *always* be the sign of a cluttered mind…

We’re firm believers in keeping your physical workspace organized.

As David Allen, productivity expert and author of Getting Things Done, says:

“When your space is filled up with things you haven’t organized, all of those things are constantly ‘yelling’ at you.”

So, if your office looks like a chaos grenade just went off…

Carve out 15 minutes to tidy it up this week and see how it affects your productivity.


From The Copywriting Gig

I Ain’t Been Droppin’ No Eaves Sir

Persuasive sales copy starts with market research.

Understanding what problems your customers are having, what underlying beliefs they have about their problems, and what specific words and phrases they use to describe them is essential to writing copy that converts.

But traditional forums have gone the way of the dodo bird.

So, what’s the best place to “eavesdrop” on your customers?

Reddit.

With over 430 million monthly active users and niche-specific subreddits for basically any topic you can imagine.

It’s a treasure trove of insights into the psychology of your target market.

Pro tip: filter by Top and All Time to see discussions that have resonated the most.

And be sure to check out:

  • r/ShowerThoughts
  • r/TodayILearned
  • r/ExplainLikeImFive

Tools We Love

Landing Page Won’t Convert? This Might Be Why

There’s nothing worse than helping a client with the copy, design, or strategy for a new offer…

Only to find out the landing page doesn’t convert.

But before you scrap it and go back to the drawing board, make sure to look at how long it takes for the page to load.

According to HubSpot, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each added second of load time.

That’s why we use Kinsta to host our WordPress websites.

Their global content delivery network includes servers in 200+ cities worldwide to give you blazing fast page speed…

So you can maximize conversions, sales, and profits.

Join 23,500+ companies who’ve made the switch to better, faster hosting with Kinsta today.


Quote of the Day

“Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death. The higher the interest rate and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.”

Arthur Schopenhauer


📊 C-suite disconnect

Happy Tuesday! One year ago today, the container ship Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal. It was impounded by the Egyptian government 15 days later and held until its owner agreed to pay out $600 million in compensation. Talk about putting your last parking ticket in perspective 😬

Here’s what’s new…


Freelance Economy News

  • C-suite execs rush back to the office while rank-and-file stay home. A recent Slack Future Forum report found 75% of executives want to be back in the office at least 3 days a week, while just 37% of rank-and-file employees feel the same way. Something tells us going back to the office is a bit easier to swallow when you’ve got a corner office.
  • Elon Musk wants to build a platform to compete with Twitter. Tesla’s CEO tweeted that he’s giving “serious thought” to building a new social media platform.
  • D2C darlings see stock prices sink. Companies like Allbirds and Warby Parker used Facebook ads and low-cost shipping to acquire customers fast and build their brands. But now with ad costs on the rise, weaker tracking, and snags in the supply chain, their stock prices are sinking. Warby Parker is down 28% YTD and Allbirds is down 63%. Ouch.

Working With Clients

What Clients Picture When Hiring a New Freelancer (Unless..)

One of the easiest ways to build trust with prospective clients is to have a step-by-step system for how you’ll complete the project.

Giving them insight into your process will put their mind at ease…

So don’t be afraid to share that with them during the interview process.

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

An added bonus is that having a step-by-step system also implies consistency in your work, because inputs dictate outputs. 

If the quality of your inputs (aka the process) are consistent, then the quality of your outputs (aka the project deliverables) will be too.


Working For Yourself

Stretching Your Legs

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.


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 (4+ syllables)
  • 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.


Quote of the Day

“As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” — John Wheeler


🛰️ Starlink

Happy Monday! F1 world champion Max Verstappen claimed his first win of the season in a thrilling street race in Saudi Arabia yesterday. The next stop on the circuit is the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on April 10.

Now let’s catch up on the latest…


Freelance Economy News

  • SpaceX is coming for in-flight WiFi. New Starlink satellite antennas could soon provide high-speed internet on flights. Make it so, Elon!
  • Look out for AI-generated LinkedIn profile pics. An investigation by NPR found over 1,000 profiles with headshots that appear to have been created using AI. Their purpose? Generating leads for businesses.
  • 30 companies making long-term remote work permanent. The return to the office is happening for some, but all the companies on this list are shifting their policies to make remote work a permanent option.

Working With Clients

R.I.N: Your Unfair Advantage as a Freelancer

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

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

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

Work in niches you already know.

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

And it applies to freelancing too.

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

And it’s as simple as this:

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

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

If it’s something you studied in school…

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

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


Working For Yourself

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to a Sore Neck, Chronic Eye Strain, and Tension Headaches

Forget “text neck” — that’s old news…

There’s an even better way to crumple your posture and lock in a lifetime of upper body stiffness, aches, and pains…

And that’s working on a teeny tiny laptop screen.

Now, if you’re traveling, that’s one thing.

But if your home or office set up includes working on a 11 or 13 inch screen…

Consider upgrading to a 24 inch monitor.

Bonus points if you grab a monitor arm so it can actually sit at eye level.

The reasons why are simple:

Squinting causes your eyes to tire quickly…

And craning your neck to look down or get closer to the screen can lead to stiffness and soreness…

Both of which can lead to tension headaches.

If you’d like to learn more about just how much the vision system affects our mind and body, listen to this eye-opening podcast with neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman.

(sorry, couldn’t resist)


From The Copywriting Gig

What NEVER to Do When Writing Words That Sell

WIIFM is one of the most important concepts in copy.

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

(not even if you write their favorite newsletter!😭)

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

But according to Gary Halbert, author of the Coat of Arms direct mail promo that ran for over 30 years and generated millions of dollars in the 70s and 80s, there’s one element of persuasion even more important than self-desire.

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

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

And something that separates pro copywriters from wannabe Don Drapers.

Can you guess what it is?

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

Instead, that special something is:

Curiosity.

See what I did there? 😉

Point being…

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

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

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

They’ll never buy.


Tools We Love

Fort Knox Ain’t Got $#!* On This

Death, taxes, and password resets.

Three things you can count on when doing business online.

And if you want to keep track of all your usernames and passwords, both for yourself and for clients, without going mad…

LastPass has got you covered.

Trusted by 30M+ happy users, it’s the simplest way to keep your sensitive info safe, secure, and highly organized.

Try LastPass for free and get peace of mind today.


Quote of the Day

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” — Arianna Huffington


💰 Trillion dollar trend

Happy Friday! Today’s a great day to finish out the week on a high note 💪

Here’s what’s happening in the world of freelancing…


Freelance Economy News

  • Ecommerce sales projected to hit 1 trillion this year. It’s a big milestone. But one that comes with an asterisk — Adobe says $27 billion of it will be due to inflation.
  • Now is a good time to start a business. The number of people who applied for small business licenses in the US last year jumped by 53%. Probably because more and more people are finding out just how much you can do with technology, remote work, and a few digital freelancers 🙌

  • Perks of working from home: no “lunchflation.” Workers returning to the office are struggling with sticker shock. Latest data from Square reveals typical lunch meals like salads and sandwiches are up anywhere from 11 to 18% due to inflation.

Working With Clients

The Fastest Way to Get Clients When You’re Brand New

If you’re a new freelancer looking to land clients…

You basically have two choices:

Go fishing in the equivalent of the Atlantic Ocean by trying to persuade any and every business owner out there to hire you…

Or go to a local pond where the density of fish is much higher.

Where do you think your chances are better?

The local pond, of course.

And that’s exactly what freelancing platforms are.

Places like Upwork and Fiverr are where you can find paying clients looking to hire right now.

It’s about as close as it gets to having the fish literally jump right out of the water and hit you in the kisser, like the unsuspecting guy above.

So if you’re just getting started…

Don’t waste your time messaging random strangers on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Focus on freelancing platforms instead.

Plus, if you refer one person to the newsletter, we’ll send you a free fill-in-the-blanks Upwork job proposal template. More details on below 👇


Working For Yourself

It’s Not a Magic Spell, But it Might Be the Next Best Thing

When the kitchen, the couch, and the TV are all just a few steps away…

Or the hustle and bustle of the coffee shop rises up to the level of a dull roar…

It can be tough to focus on work sometimes.

That’s why listening to non-lyrical music can help you put the blinders on, drown out distractions, and get sh*t done.

Some of our favorites include:

  • Lo-fi
  • Chillwave
  • Binaural beats
  • Atmospheric sounds

Experiment with each and see what works best for you.

If you’re into electronic music, check out Odysseus’s channel on YouTube


From The Copywriting Gig

Activate These 4 Buying Triggers to Make More Sales

Want to learn a simple trick to sell more stuff?

When it comes to buying decisions, human psychology isn’t as complicated as you think.

If you can position your offer as…

  • New
  • Fast
  • Cheap
  • Easy

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

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling lawn mowers or light bulbs…

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


Tools We Love

Your To-Do List On Adderall

We love a good pen and paper to-do list.

But when you’re juggling multiple projects with multiple clients…

Keeping track of deadlines and deliverables can leave you feeling like you’ve got Google Docs coming out your eyeballs.

That’s where Asana comes in.

It’s a simple and intuitive project management tool that allows you to communicate and collaborate quickly and easily.

You can organize and assign tasks, upload files, categorize by project or stage of completion, streamline your workflows, and a whole lot more.

Best part is, you don’t need a computer science degree to figure out how it works.

Create your free account and start getting more stuff done today.


Quote of the Day

“Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist: While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” — Lori Greiner


🔌Splinternet

Happy Thursday! If your birthday is this month, then your birthstone is Aquamarine. Ancient mariners believed this deep blue gem could calm the waves and protect sailors. But if your birthday’s not in March, don’t worry — aquamarine is also apparently the standard gift for a 19th wedding anniversary. So, you know… just hang in there.

On a more serious note, here’s the latest…


Freelance Economy News

  • The splinternet is here to stay. Russia’s war in Ukraine is accelerating the fragmentation of the internet. Instead of one free and open internet shared by all, there are now multiple versions of the web. And the future may include even more, with new digital borders mirroring the physical ones that exist today.

  • War drives retreat from globalization. With supply chains and commodities thrown into crisis, countries are starting to pull back from the global economic ties that have been in place since the Cold War ended. This, along with the splintering of the internet, could have ripple effects for some freelancers working internationally.
  • Companies spend millions on ads to provide support for Ukraine. New data released by intelligence platform Pathmatics reveals media, tech, retail, and non-profits are ramping up their advertising campaigns to collect donations for Ukraine.

Working With Clients

3 Magic Words to Make Clients Trust You

If a client asks a question, you should always have the answer… right?

Wrong.

In fact, trying to weigh in on something when you’re out of depth is the fastest way to make yourself look silly.

So, what’s the answer?

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”

Being open about what you don’t know shows honesty and will give you credibility.

Plus it creates an opportunity for you to find the answer and demonstrate your resourcefulness to the client.

A win-win for both of you 💪


Working For Yourself

Why Not All To-Do Lists Are Made Equal

To-do lists are probably our favorite productivity hack….

But they’re not all made equal.

That’s because the most effective to-do lists are written the night before.

If you want to hit the ground running first thing in the morning, you should already know what comes first, second, and third.

Otherwise, you’ll waste valuable energy and momentum trying to decide what to tackle first.

Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll sleep better too.


From The Copywriting Gig

The One Thing You Can’t Afford When You Write For a Living

The blank page.

The blinking cursor.

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

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

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

Plain and simple.

So here some tips to help you overcome it:

  • Create an outline
  • Set a timer
  • Start at the bottom and work your way backwards
  • Come up with the idea before you sit down to write

Quote of the Day

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” — Albert Einstein


🤓 Open talent

Happy Wednesday! Today is National Chip and Dip Day. How will you be celebrating? 

We’re betting on Doritos — which is apparently the most searched for chip brand in 44 out of 50 states. That is, unless you live in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or Colorado, where Cheetos supposedly reign supreme.

Fun facts aside, here’s what’s happening in the world of freelancing…


Freelance Economy News

  • Netflix and NASA discover perks of the “open talent” model. Harvard Business Review notes that even large organizations are beginning to rely more on freelance talent compared to pre-2020. Both Netflix and NASA recently ran contests with external hires that topped internal innovation standards. Go figure.

  • Not all 50 million Americans who left the office in 2020 are eager to get back. With companies like Goldman Sachs, Meta, and Microsoft finally returning to the office, some workers are choosing to stay home because they find it easier to navigate office politics (or lack thereof) and get the compensation they deserve. Well, that, and control of the thermostat.

  • 48% of Gen Z workers are already freelancing. Upwork CEO Hayden Brown reports younger generations are embracing freelance careers because they see it as less risky than working for a single company. Who needs a pension when you can work in sweatpants?

Working With Clients

What to Say When That One Annoying Client Won’t Stop Sending You Voice Notes

Freelance power dynamics typically favor the client.

But it’s important to remember that no client is worth nonstop Slack messages, neverending voice notes, or needlessly urgent “pivots” that have to be executed right after the last one.

Healthy working relationships are built on boundaries and expectations.

So…

Don’t be afraid to fire clients who can’t respect your boundaries.

If a client’s expectations are not aligned with yours (aka they expect you to be available to turn something around on a Friday night at 9:30 PM when you’re already two margaritas deep), the chances of them being unhappy when the job is done are pretty dang high. 

And that poses a serious risk to your reputation, which you’ve got to protect at all costs.


Working For Yourself

When You Treat Your Mind Like a Filing Cabinet, This is What Happens

Staying productive can be a battle when you’re working from home.

But instead of looking for some fancy productivity system to keep you on task, here’s an old school solution to try:

Write all your to-dos down on paper.

Because if you’ve 479 mental tabs open at the same time, well, that’s gonna suck up all your juice and make it difficult to get things done.

But when you write everything down, you can free up your mind’s computing power to do more important things — like finding the perfect the GIF to get your point across 😂😈


From The Copywriting Gig

Forget a Hot Cup o’ Joe, Here’s What Top Copywriters Do Every Morning

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

A) Natural writing talent
B) Dashing good looks
C) PhD in English Lit

The answer is: none of the above.

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

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

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


Tools We Love

We’re Pretty Sure You Deserve a Raise

If you’re an international freelancer, getting paid in USD is great…

… Until you actually convert it into your own currency.

Traditional solutions like PayPal (or god forbid, your own bank) will make you pay out the nose to convert USD into your local currency.

That’s why we use Wise (formerly TransferWise). 

Not only do they give you a much better rate than PayPal on currency conversions, but they also give you a local USD bank account so you can get paid via bank transfer instead of a wire.

Open a free account today and start keeping more of your hard-earned money for yourself.


Quote of the Day

“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” — Seth Godin