🐦 Work hard or quit

Happy Thursday! After being delayed four times, NASA’s new Artemis I rocket finally took off from Cape Canaveral early yesterday morning. Its 25-day mission will take it past the Moon before circling back to splash down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Elon Musk, AVODs, FASTs, and Acast. Plus how to avoid becoming a jack of all trades and master of none, 14 books that helped build a $30 million dollar company, and the one thing all A-List marketing minds have in common.

Read time: 3 minutes and 43 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Elon issues “hardcore” ultimatum to Twitter staff. Employees were given the choice to sign a pledge committing to a new Twitter that would be “extremely hardcore” or take 3 months severance and quit.
  • 23% of U.S. ad-supported TV users engage with ads. Looking for a new placement to run traffic on? A recent survey of people who use either ad-supported video-on-demand  platforms (AVODs) like Netflix or free, ad-supported streaming services (FASTs) like Samsung TV Plus found that 23% of U.S. users often click on ads and buy products they see advertised. Bottom line: TV ads still work.
  • Acast launches keyword targeting for podcast ads. Up until now, podcast advertising has been stuck in the Stone Age, with most advertisers having to place ads manually by contacting the show host or platform. But the rush to roll out programmatic podcast ads is accelerating, as Acast is launching the ability to target specific keywords based on advanced speech-to-text transcription technology.

Working With Clients

How to Avoid Becoming a Jack of All Trades and Master of None

One of the most important ways to specialize as a service provider is by focusing on one of the Big 3 markets:

The Big 3 are:

1) Health

2) Wealth

3) Relationships

These are universal desires we all share. 

As markets, they’re constantly refreshing themselves.

Old consumers exit the market as new consumers enter it.

Now, you can go even deeper by specializing in a sub-market or a niche…

For example, within health, you could drill down by specializing in keto diets or bodyweight training.

And in wealth, you could specialize in gold and silver investing or penny stocks.

But until you’ve built up a big track record, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fill your schedule with client work from just ONE sub-market or niche…

That’s why it’s best to focus on the market instead.

It’s broad enough to offer a ton of opportunities, but specific enough to give you an advantage as a specialist.

So decide which one you’re most interested in or have the most experience with…

And turn it into your specialty.

Not only will this help you attract higher-paying clients and charge more for your services…

But you’ll also save time on research…

So you can increase your output and your income.

Working For Yourself

14 Books That Helped Build This $30M Per Year Company

Books are one of the most cost-effective ways to upgrade your skills.

Especially if you’ve got more time than money available to invest in your freelance business.

But let’s be honest…

Not all books on business and entrepreneurship are worth reading.

So if you’re looking for top-tier recommendations you can trust… 

Check out the YouTube video below from Cole Gordon, CEO of Closers dot io, to discover the 14 books that helped him build a $30m per year company from scratch.

Click here to give it a watch:

[WATCH]: These 14 Books Made Me $36,000,000

Tools We Love

The One Thing All A-List Marketing Minds Have in Common

What’s the secret to becoming an A-List marketing mind?

Is it…

A) Going for long walks

B) Reading books

C) Taking courses from your favorite guru

D) Staring into the void until an idea appears

Answer:

None of the above.

Instead, it’s taking the time to write your ideas down when they show up.

As productivity expert David Allen says, your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.

And if you want to free up the mental processing power you need to come up with ideas that consistently make you and your clients money…

You should aim to hold onto your ideas for as little time as possible.

That’s where Evernote comes in.

It’s a free, easy-to-use note taking app that lets you:

  • Keep important info handy with notes that sync automatically to all your devices
  • Remember everything by adding text, images, audio, scans, PDFs, and documents
  • Find things fast with powerful and flexible search capabilities (including tags, tasks, and notebooks)
  • And more

Start capturing better notes today:

Click here to try Evernote for free.

Gig Alerts

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

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

On the hunt for more high-value content in your inbox? Check out some of our top picks below:

  • Evergreen by NurtureKit: Evergreen helps creators, coaches, and consultants use email marketing automation to convert subscribers into customers without the headache of tech.
  • The Newsette: Breaking down trending topics in news, fashion, and lifestyle to keep you up to date but not weighed down.
  • The Playbook by Unemployable: The Playbook helps creators, freelancers, coaches, and consultants attract profitable audiences and develop multiple revenue streams.

Quote of the Day


“Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.”

— Gretchen Rubin

In Case You Missed It:

🛒 Ecom world domination

Happy Wednesday! If you’re like most freelancers, you probably don’t enjoy taking sales calls. That’s why we created the Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheat Sheet. It’s a simple step-by-step roadmap to sales calls that close, even if you’re brand new. Best part? You can unlock it for free by sharing the newsletter with just 5 friends. Copy and paste your referral link to start sharing.

Mentioned in today’s edition: TikTok Shop, Twitter, and Google. Plus how A-Player freelancers tackle deadlines, why time management is for suckers, and 6 traits of high-converting ad images.

Read time: 3 minutes and 37 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok Shop launches in the U.S. The new invite-only ecommerce platform is part of the company’s master plan to replicate the success of their $400B livestream shopping empire in China.
  • Ad agency Omnicom recommends clients pause ads on Twitter. The company, which counts McDonald’s, Apple, and Johnson & Johnson among their blue-chip client list, reportedly said “the risk to our clients’ brand safety has risen sharply” in an internal memo. The timing isn’t great for Twitter, as they’re in the midst of (attempting to) negotiate long-term deals that account for more than 30% of U.S. ad revenue.
  • Running search ads on Google? Your cost-per-lead has probably gone up. A new study from WordStream found cost–per-lead on Search went up in a whopping 21 of 23 industries analyzed. The only two industries to see a decline? Finance & Insurance (down 2%) and Education and Instruction (down 29%).

Working With Clients

How A-Player Freelancers Tackle Deadlines

There’s only one thing clients HATE more than hiring a freelancer who can’t deliver…

And that’s hiring a freelancer who can’t work fast.

This is typically because of bad experiences in the past…

(with freelancers missing deadlines, ghosting them, or both)

Or simply because they need it turned around ASAP.

Honestly, you would be shocked at how many freelancers with impressive samples and track records can’t work fast.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to stand out even if you don’t have a portfolio full of big wins or a laundry list of testimonials…

Learn to work fast.

And then don’t be afraid to advertise it.

You see, one of the biggest concerns clients have when hiring freelancers is speed.

And if you can speak directly to that fear, you’ll have no trouble closing deals.

Now, you can’t just snap your fingers and make yourself work three times faster…

So here’s a few tips to help you put the pedal to the metal:

  • Close all open tabs
  • Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
  • Create an outline or wireframe first
  • Use a timer
  • Listen to non-lyrical music (binaural beats, lo-fi, etc)

And don’t forget: the faster you work, the more you can jack up your effective hourly rate.

More on this below.

Working For Yourself

Why Time Management is For Suckers

Ever heard of Parkinson’s Law?

It states that work expands to fill the time allotted for it.

Translation:

If you give yourself an hour, it’ll take an hour.

If you give yourself a week, it’ll take a week.

And in our experience, we’ve found this law to be pretty accurate.

That’s why time management is the wrong area to focus on if you want to increase your output.

Instead, focus on energy management.

Energy is the true constraint to productivity, not time.

So here are three of our favorite tips to help you better manage your energy:

1 – Put your phone on Do Not Disturb

2 – Listen to non-lyrical music (lo-fi, chillwave, binaural beats)

3 – Go for a walk as soon as you hit a wall

Your mileage may vary…

But the more you focus on extracting the most out of yourself, the less you’ll have to worry about time.

From The Paid Ads Gig

6 Traits of High-Converting Ad Images

Video may be all the rage these days…

But image ads can still crush it on Facebook and Instagram….

if you know how to pick a winner.

Here are 6 simple tips to help you pick out (or create) high-converting ad images:

1. Dial up the contrast

2. Choose an image with a human face

3. Make sure they’re looking right into the camera

4. Look for colors that stand out from the white & blue of the feed

5. Incorporate diagonal lines whenever possible

6. Aim for “native aspirational” (something a real user would post + reflects the prospect’s desired future state)

Don’t be surprised if your image ads outperform your video ads once you implement these tips 💪

Gig Alerts

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

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  • The Growth Newsletter: Breaking down the tactics fast-growing startups use to grow. Step-by-step. For free. Every week.
  • Stacked Marketer: Join 32k+ readers getting free daily insights on all major marketing channels, including Google, Facebook, TikTok, native ads, SEO, and more.
  • The Average Joe: Discover the biggest trends moving the stock market with The Average Joe – a free 3x weekly newsletter.

Quote of the Day


“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

— Coco Chanel

In Case You Missed It:

🚀 SpaceX saves the day

Happy Tuesday! Elon tweeted yesterday that he’s sleeping at Twitter HQ until the “org is fixed.” Welcome to the club! Lucky for us, sleeping at home the office ain’t so bad. Especially when you have the t-shirt to match.

Mentioned in today’s edition: SpaceX, Twitter, Gen Z, and Meta. Plus our blueprint for going from zero to 10k/m even if you’re brand new, a shocking new way to make $35k/m on TikTok, and attack of the killer browser tabs.

Read time: 3 minutes and 58 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • SpaceX makes $250k ad buy on Twitter. What do you do when your new social media platform is bleeding advertisers? If your name rhymes with Whelon Tusk, the answer’s easy: place a massive ad buy from one of your other companies. 
  • Older Gen Z workers missing from the labor market. New data reveals roughly 500 million workers aged 20-24 have left the workforce since 2019. And it’s not because they’re going to college either: there were approximately 1.5 million fewer students signed up for college this call compared to pre pandemic.
  • Cracks beginning to show in Meta’s foundation. 2022 hasn’t been kind to Zuck and co. The company has lost 70% of its value and is struggling mightily to compete with TikTok. Throw in another $15 billion on a metaverse bet that could be years from paying off, and it’s easy to see why they were forced to lay off 11,000 employees last week.

Working With Clients

Starting From Square One? Copy and Paste This Zero to 10k/m Blueprint

Hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say we lost it all — skills, clients, connections, crypto portfolio, testimonials, etc…

What would we do to rebuild our freelance biz as fast as possible?

Here’s the game plan for you to copy-and-paste:

STEP 1: Pick one high-income skill

High-income skills give you proximity to the sale.

This means your work has a direct impact on whether someone buys or not.

And the closer you are to the sale, the more money you can make.

Our top suggestions:

  • Copywriting
  • Paid ads
  • Remote sales
  • Graphic design

Choose the one that aligns most with your personality (introverted vs extroverted) and strengths (creativity vs analytical).

STEP 2: Daily study & practice

The next step is to map out a daily plan to study and practice your high-income skill.

Aim to spend at least one hour a day on this.

For example:

  • Read a sales letter
  • Write an email
  • Find an ad to include in your swipe file
  • Design a IG story for your favorite brand

Daily practice is the fastest path to mastery.

STEP 3: Pick one client acquisition channel and go all in

There are two main ways to get clients:

  • Freelance platforms / job boards
  • Cold outreach

Each has its pros and cons…

But we’re partial to freelancing platforms.

Why?

Because we believe in going where the paying clients are when you’re just starting out.

These are people looking to hire ASAP.

But cold outreach can work too.

Either way, pick one and spend at least an hour a day on it until you’ve landed your first client.

Then rinse and repeat until your roster is full.

BONUS STEP: Diversify

There are a few ways to diversify your freelance business and income once you’ve established a baseline level of security:

  • Build an audience on social media
  • Promote other people’s products
  • Create your own digital products
  • Start a side business

That’s how we’d rebuild the House of Gig as quickly as possible.

Working For Yourself

Redefining What it Means to Make Money While You Sleep

Being able to make money while you sleep is what attracts a lot of people to online business.

This used to mean having an ebook, info product, or profitable paid ad campaign running 24/7…

But a new group of creators are taking it to another level.

Like Jakey Boehm for example, who reportedly rakes in $35,000 a month by streaming himself sleeping on TikTok Live.

Yep, you read that right — this guy literally crawls into bed, hits record, and then wakes up to a pile of money in his bank account.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Click below to check the article on WSJ:

[READ]: Like Sleeping on the Job? Make $400,000 a Year Snoozing on TikTok

P.S:

If you need any more proof that we are living through the Golden Age of opportunity online, this is it.

Quit making excuses and start building something.

Tools We Love

Attack of the Killer Browser Tabs

Browser tabs are like garden weeds.

Every time you uproot one, two more somehow appear to take its place.

And the truth is…

Switching between accounts on Gmail, Drive, Slack, Asana, and any other workplace app you use on the daily can be a major drag on productivity.

Luckily, that’s where Shift comes in.

It’s a desktop app that lets you quickly switch across accounts without changing tabs…

So you can streamline your online work experience to save time and get more work done faster.

Shift has been an absolute game-changer for us.

If you’re looking to optimize your daily workflow and keep your digital workspace organized at all times…

Click here to download Shift for free and get started today.

Gig Alerts

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

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  • Refind: Every day, Refind picks 7 links from around the web for you, tailored to your interests. Loved by 50k+ curious minds.

Quote of the Day


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

— David Allen

In Case You Missed It:

☑️ Verified impersonators

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

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Amazon, Mastodon, Tumblr, and CounterSocial. Plus 5 simple tips to land more clients on Upwork, walkie talkie productivity, and two key ingredients to cook up copy that converts every time.

Read time: 4 minutes and 20 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Impersonators force Twitter to stop giving out blue check marks. Elon’s play to boost Twitter’s subscription revenue is off to a rocky start: the company removed its Twitter Blue service from iOS devices on Friday after accounts impersonating LeBron James, George Bush, drugmaker Eli Lilly and others used their blue check to wreak havoc on the platform.
  • Amazon makes more money from ads than Prime and Audible combined. Don’t look now, but the ecom king has quietly turned their advertising business into a certified powerhouse. The company now earns more revenue from ads than it does from Prime, Prime Video, and Audible combined. That should help foot the bill for their $1B LOTR reboot.
  • Small social apps get a big boost from Elon’s Twitter takeover. Alternative social apps like Mastodon, Tumblr, and CounterSocial are seeing huge leaps in app installs in the wake of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, according to new data from SensorTower.

Working With Clients

5 Simple Tips to Land More Clients on Upwork

Upwork has 5M+ client accounts and 100,000+ open jobs on a daily basis.

It’s our favorite freelancing platform by a country mile.

So if you need help landing clients…

Try these 5 hacks to start crushing it.

1 – Check it every day

Speed matters.

Most clients on Upwork are looking to hire ASAP, so the faster you can respond, the better your chances are.

Make it a habit of checking for new gigs at least once a day.

2 – Submit relevant samples

The #1 most important factor in a winning proposal is relevance:

– task relevance

– niche or market relevance

For example:

If you’re applying for an email copywriting gig in the health niche, submit email samples in the health niche. Or if you’re applying for a video editing gig in the biz opp space, submit biz opp video samples.

3 – Create custom samples if you don’t have relevant ones

Don’t have relevant samples to submit?

Take the time to create some. Especially if you’re new to the platform.

The purpose of submitting relevant samples is so clients don’t have to imagine what your work will be like in a different medium or market.

This is an easy way to get your reps in too.

Paint the picture for them.

That’s how you get hired.

4 – Ask for reviews

One of the biggest benefits to freelancing on Upwork is the social proof.

So you should be doing everything you can to over deliver and provide a 5-star experience to clients.

Then make a personal appeal for an honest review (not just a rating) when the job is done.

Every 5-star review you get makes the next client easier to land.

5 – Don’t be afraid to apply to older jobs

Even though you’re much more likely to get hired for jobs that have just been posted…

Don’t be afraid to apply to older jobs either.

Sometimes clients aren’t able to interview people right away, and by the time they are, the freelancers they wanted are booked or don’t respond.

And sometimes clients just don’t get any good applications.

We’ve had a lot of success applying to older jobs with something like:

“Hey, I can see this job has been open for XX days, but I wanted to apply anyway just in case you weren’t able to find the right freelancer the first time around.”

The results may surprise you.

Working For Yourself

Walkie Talkie Productivity

Meetings can be a major timesuck.

Especially if you’re collaborating across different time zones.

So if you want to protect your time and maximize efficiency…

Focus on asynchronous communication instead.

What is asynchronous communication?

It’s any one-way message where the sender and recipient are not synchronized.

  • Emails
  • DMs
  • Voice notes
  • Screencast videos
  • Etc

The benefits of using voice notes or screencast videos over written messages are that it’s much easier to provide context and illustrate your point…

Plus hearing someone’s voice or seeing their face helps build a stronger connection.

When it comes to recording screencast videos, our weapon of choice is SnagIt.

Loom is another popular one that lets you record up to 5 minutes per video for free.

And nowadays, most messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and Telegram have voice notes as a built-in feature.

Just do your best to keep your voice notes short and punchy.

Otherwise, your colleagues may come to dread them 🙃

From The Copywriting Gig

Two Key Ingredients to Cook Up Copy That Converts Every Time

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 ultimately 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.

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

— Stephen Covey

🤑 Twitter Cash

Happy Friday! It’s Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada. A special thank you from us to all those who’ve served 🙏

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Elon Musk, and Mastodon. Plus findings from a Harvard study on successful freelancers, the most effective investment strategy, and an old school attribution strategy for paid ads.

Read time: 3 minutes and 45 seconds

Together with AdSkills

A Match Made in Direct Response Heaven

Mastering high-income skills multiplies your options. You can apply them for clients or for yourself. And that’s one of the big reasons why so many freelancers get into copywriting — so they can launch their own offer one day. 

But here’s the problem: you still need traffic. And unless you’ve got a massive audience on social media, that means learning how to run paid ads.

Luckily, that’s where AdSkills comes in. They represent the gold standard in paid traffic training. Which is why 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred rely on AdSkills courses to train their media buyers. 

So if you want to learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale your offer to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Elon reveals plan for Twitter payments during livestream. The company filed paperwork last week that would let it process payments, and on a recent livestream meeting with advertisers, Musk explained his plan to enable users to send money directly through Twitter. He wasn’t done making news though…
  • Twitter’s remote work policy is cancelled. In his first email to the employees of his latest acquisition, Elon Musk banned remote work — unless he personally approved it. Employees are now expected in the office at least 40 hours per week. Welcome back to the slag heap.
  • The ultimate beginner’s guide to Mastodon. One of the beneficiaries of the recent turmoil at Twitter has been Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform. It’s added 640k+ users since Elon took over. Check out this article from the WSJ to get an inside look at what it’s like and how it works.

Working With Clients

Harvard Study Reveals the Secrets of Successful Freelancers

Easy come, easy go.

A low barrier to entry means that anyone can become a freelancer with little to no experience…

But it also means a lot of people wash out without ever finding success.

If you’d like to avoid being one of them, check out the article below.

Inside, you’ll discover important findings from a study done by Harvard Business Review on 218 freelancers — and more importantly, the companies who hired them.

Read it here:

[READ]: What Success Freelancers Do Differently

Working For Yourself

When the Client Asks If You Can Write the Copy and Build the Lander

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…

And make yourself a “double threat”…

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 ;).

From The Paid Ads Gig

Try This Old School Attribution Solution For Paid Ads

Attributing views, clicks, and conversions is a pain in the neck these days.

Especially if you’ve got a mix of organic and paid traffic from different platforms all flowing into the same funnel.

But the good news is…

There’s an old school strategy that can help you combat attribution problems:

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.

Gig Alerts

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

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

On the hunt for more high-value content in your inbox? Check out some of our top picks below:

  • Evergreen by NurtureKit: Evergreen helps creators, coaches, and consultants use email marketing automation to convert subscribers into customers without the headache of tech.
  • The Playbook by Unemployable: The Playbook helps creators, freelancers, coaches, and consultants attract profitable audiences and develop multiple revenue streams.
  • The Daily Upside: Insightful business news that respects your time and intelligence.

Quote of the Day


“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”

— Peter Drucker

In Case You Missed It:

🫵 Digital nomads wanted

Happy Thursday! And if you want to keep it that way, don’t look at your crypto portfolio for a while. Especially if you own a lot of $SOL (like at least one poor newsletter writer we can think of).

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Spain, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Plus one important step to include your client fulfillment process, how to build a bulletproof freelance business, and why simplicity is divine when it comes to sending emails.

Read time: 3 minutes and 0 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Spain approves new digital nomad visa. Looking to work remotely in Europe? Now there’s another way around those pesky Schengen Zone limitations. The Spanish Parliament just approved a new visa program for digital nomads, which lets them stay & work in the country for up to 12 months.
  • In-app scheduling finally comes to Instagram. Creators and social media managers rejoice! Instagram is finally rolling out an in-app scheduling tool that lets you schedule posts and Reels as far as 75 days out.
  • YouTube pays creators 55% of ad revenue. Elon’s answer? “We can beat that.” Newly-installed Twitter CEO Elon Musk is setting his sights high: the company is apparently planning a new monetization model for all forms of content on the platform, with the potential to top payouts creators get from YouTube. But you know what they say: you come at the king, you best not miss.

Working With Clients

Don’t Forget to Include This One Step in Your Fulfillment Process

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.

Working For Yourself

7-Figure Agency Owner Reveals How to Build a Bulletproof Freelance Business

2023 could be a difficult year for the freelance economy.

Between rising interest rates, persistent inflation, and a slowdown in the digital ad market…

There’s no shortage of potential storm clouds.

But the negative effects of any future downturn won’t be distributed equally.

Some freelancers will lose clients and struggle to make ends meet…

While others will be able to jack up their rates because they’ve become even MORE in demand.

So, the question is…

How do you make sure you’re in position to profit no matter what?

In the episode of The Chris Harder Show below, our co-founder and CEO Dorothy Hollabaugh explains how to build a bulletproof freelance business that thrives in any economy — even during a recession.

Click here to give it a listen:

[LISTEN]: Episode #641 Bulletproofing Yourself By Becoming a Freelancer 

Tools We Love

Why Simplicity is Divine When it Comes to Sending Emails

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.

Because you *should* be able to collect emails, send out broadcasts, and set up simple automations in minutes without calling in chat support.

So if you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective way to grow your online audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

— Lao Tzu

In Case You Missed It:

📊 Daily user spike

Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to The Gig. We’ve got your daily dose of freelance news, tips, and GIFs piping hot and ready to serve.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Twitter, YouTube Shorts, and Apple. Plus one thing experienced freelancers aren’t afraid to admit, how to activate maximum productivity mode, and an uncomfortable truth about writing for the masses.

Read time: 3 minutes and 45 seconds

Together with AdSkills

The Truth About Scaling to 7-Figures and Beyond in 2022

“Free” traffic is a myth. If you want to get more eyeballs on your offers, you’ve got two choices: you can pay with time or you can pay with money. 

But so-called “free” or organic traffic isn’t predictable or reliable. You can’t turn it up or down at will. Plus time is the only non-renewable resource you have as a freelancer or entrepreneur.

Enter AdSkills: the gold standard in paid traffic training. Paid traffic gives you a consistent, predictable, and reliable way to turn $1 into $2 or more. 

From there, turning up the traffic and sales can be as simple as turning on a faucet. That’s why paid traffic is the fastest way to create leverage in your business and scale your impact and income. 

As an AdSkills member, not only will you learn how to launch & scale paid ad campaigns, but you’ll also get the stamp of approval that 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred look for when hiring freelancers. 

So if you want to learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale offers to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter claims user growth hit all-time high in Elon’s first week of ownership. Maybe it’s not all bad news in the Age of Elon? According to an internal document viewed by The Verge, the company’s daily user growth jumped more than 20% to hit an all-time high during Elon’s first week as owner and CEO.
  • YouTube Shorts coming to a TV near you. The short-form video arms race continues to heat up, as YouTube announced Shorts can now be viewed on your TV. Your move, TikTok.
  • Ex-Apple employee pleads guilty after defrauding the company of $17 million. Over 10 years, Dhirendra Prasad orchestrated a variety of schemes to bilk the iPhone maker out of $17 million dollars, and now faces 20 years in jail. Moral of the story: don’t forget to double-check those expense reports.

Working With Clients

One Thing Experienced Freelancers Aren’t Afraid to Admit

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.

And as you become more established in your area of expertise, you should feel less of a need to know everything about everything.

High-level experts have encyclopedic knowledge about very specific topics.

So don’t feel pressured to always have the answer.

On the flipside, if you’re less established, this 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

Maximum Productivity Mode: Activated

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.

Some of our favorites are Odysseus (YouTube), Downtown Binary (YouTube) and The Future Beats Show (Soundcloud).

From The Copywriting Gig

An Uncomfortable Truth About Writing For the Masses

Writing copy isn’t like writing essays in college. You don’t get bonus points for using big words. 

In fact, it’s the opposite — the more five dollar words you use, the fewer sales you’ll make.

Why? 

It’s not because everyone reading your copy is dumb. 

It’s because simple words get read faster. 

And the easier it is for people to grasp what you’re trying to say, the more people you’ll get to take action.

So aim for short, punchy words with 2-3 syllables. And try to avoid anything with 6 or more whenever possible.

(unless it really makes your headline pop 😉

Also, ask yourself “do most people actually know this word and what it means?” before you use it.

Run your copy through a tool like Hemingway to see how you’re doing.

If you can spit out sales copy at a 5th-grade reading level…

You’ll be one step closer to writing winning pieces that make your client’s cash register ring off the hook.

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

— Margaret J. Wheatley

In Case You Missed It:

♾️ Layoffs, layoffs, layoffs

Happy Tuesday! Midterm elections take place in the U.S. today, and the results will ripple out across the freelance economy, regardless of which party controls the House and Senate when all is said and done. As always, you can count on us to keep you up to speed.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Meta, Twitter, and Substack. Plus what makes a bullseye portfolio piece, Metabolic Sitting Secrets™, and spell check on steroids.

Read time: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Meta is the latest Big Tech firm to plan major layoffs. Not to be left out of the cool kids club, Meta is reportedly planning to let go thousands of employees as soon as this week, and join the wave of Big Tech firms slashing headcount due to an industry-wide post-pandemic downturn.
  • New Gallup poll finds 62% are indifferent to their work lives. Hate your job? You’re not alone: a recent edition of Axios’s Finish Line reveals 18% of people are miserable at work, while a whopping 62% are indifferent about their life at work. Just 20% of people surveyed said they were thriving at work. This is might be a good time to remind you of Benefit #4756 of running a freelance biz: if your clients make you miserable, you can always fire them 🙂
  • The battle for Twitter’s successor begins. One week into Elon’s tenure as Twitter CEO and the vultures are already circling: Substack is looking to capitalize on the opportunity by targeting Twitter’s user base with Substack Chat. The new feature lets Substack writers communicate directly with subscribers inside the mobile app, similar to Slack or Telegram.

Working With Clients

What Makes a Bullseye Portfolio Piece

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).

The bottom line is:

The last thing you want is to make clients try to imagine what your work will look like for a specific medium or market.

So give them relevant samples.

And don’t be afraid to curate individual portfolios for individual clients.

Taking just a few minutes to select the most relevant sample pieces will be time well spent.

Working For Yourself

Metabolic Sitting Secrets™

Sitting may not be the new smoking…

But the data suggests it sure ain’t good for us.

That’s why a new study covered in this episode of the Huberman Lab podcast is making waves:

Researchers discovered a stupid simple exercise you can do while sitting that can lower your blood sugar and increase your metabolism — significantly.

No equipment and (almost) no movement necessary.

We sh*t you not.

Listen to the episode and see for yourself.

In it, Dr. Huberman also covers a basic fitness “template” anyone can use to build strength, endurance, power, and flexibility.

So if you’re looking to limit the downsides of working at a desk…

Click below to check it out:

[LISTEN]: Fitness Toolkit: Protocol & Tools to Optimize Physical Health

Tools We Love

Spell Check On Steroids

Even if you’re not a pro copywriter, being able to write well is a superpower.

It helps” grease the skids” in all areas of life.

The only problem is…

Writing for business and writing for the classroom are two different things.

Five dollar words might get you an A, but it’s the two dollar words that get your message across.

That’s where Hemingway comes in.

Copy and paste your text into the free app and you’ll get instant feedback on readability:

  • Adverbs
  • Passive voice
  • Run-on sentences
  • And those dreaded $5 words

Aim to write at a Grade 5 reading level or lower.

Give Hemingway a try for free today and see how you score.

P.S: Copy and paste the above section into the app to see how we did 😉

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

— Confucius

In Case You Missed It:

🐦 Revenue drop

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

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Gen Z, and tech workers. Plus 2 sneaky questions to ask on every sales call, advice from a billionaire on how to become successful, and retargeting insanity.

Read time: 4 minutes and 44 seconds

Together with AdSkills

No Ad Platform Can Escape Them

New ad platforms crop up all the time. And having first mover advantage can often lead to massive profits. But mastering the ins and outs of each new ad platform takes time and money. That’s where AdSkills comes in. Inside their platform, you’ll learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and run profitable traffic at scale across every ad platform from Google and Facebook to TikTok, Native, and more.

Plus, as an AdSkills member, you’ll also get the stamp of approval that 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred look for when hiring freelancers. So if you’re looking to partner with top-tier businesses and make more money per client, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Massive revenue drop at Twitter after advertisers press pause. Elon Musk’s first week on the job didn’t exactly end on a high note: after laying off ~3,700 employees, he said the company suffered a “massive drop in revenue” after General Mills, Pfizer, and other big advertisers reduced budgets or paused campaigns entirely due to concerns over how the new CEO will handle content moderation.
  • Gen Z pushes back on toxic work culture. “Lazy” and “entitled” are two words that get thrown around a lot when it comes to Gen Z. But in reality, they’re quickly becoming “America’s most pro-union generation” by pushing back against the toxic status quo in the workplace.
  • Winter isn’t the only thing coming for tech workers. The industry is in the midst of a massive surge in layoffs, as companies like Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, Lyft and Twitter seek to slash their headcount in the face of falling stock prices and a coming recession. This is a perfect example of why relying on a single client (or employer) for 100% of your income can be risky.

Working With Clients

2 Sneaky Questions to Ask On Every Sales Call

Most people aren’t naturally good at sales.

But taking sales calls is a key part of running a freelance business.

Because when you’re charging clients 4-5 figures (or more) per project…

Most of them are gonna want to get on the phone before they sign on the dotted line.

And what most freelancers don’t realize is, sales calls also play a pivotal role in setting the client’s expectations.

So if you want to make sure you start every new client relationship off on the right foot…

As well as avoid any major landmines once your work begins…

Here are two sneaky questions to ask on every sales call:

QUESTION 1: “What do you feel like is working well right now?”

Most freelancers focus on what’s going wrong.

And while it is important to spend time digging into the problem…

(Not to mention there’s a big difference between something the client thinks is working well and something that’s ACTUALLY working well)

But asking about what’s working well will help you tailor your feedback as you audit their existing copy, images, videos, funnels, etc (depending on what services you provide, of course).

For example, if a client thinks their email marketing is working well… but the first thing YOU do on the job is start criticizing it, your relationship could get off to a rocky start.

Especially if the client is the one who wrote all the emails.

Even if you’re right, your client may get upset if you just start tearing it to shreds without any tact or care.

So find out what they think is working before you start the project..

QUESTION 2: “Have you ever hired someone else to help you with this? If so, what did you like or dislike about it?”

If a client has hired freelancers in the past…

Finding out what they did or didn’t like about the experience is basically a cheat code to managing (and exceeding) expectations from the get-go.

All you have to do is mirror anything they did like and AVOID anything they didn’t.

Now, if you’d like to learn more about how to sell your freelance services over the phone without feeling like a used car salesperson…

Grab our Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheatsheet by sharing the newsletter with 3 people, or by purchasing it from our shop.

Working For Yourself

Advice From a TV Billionaire on How to Become Successful

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.

Channel your inner Logan Roy and MAKE that thing happen.

Prove to yourself you are in control…

And save the excuses for later.

Because in the end, YOU are the only who can do the work.

From The Paid Ads Gig

Retargeting Insanity

Retargeting is a key part of any paid ads strategy.

Even in a post-iOS 14 world.

But there’s one common mistake we see even experienced advertisers making with their retargeting strategy:

Not retargeting people to a different offer.

If someone sees your ad, clicks on it, hits your lander, but doesn’t opt-in or buy…

Retargeting them with same offer again and again amounts to saying:

Hey, I know you decided you didn’t want this the first time you saw it… but how about now??”

Can this approach produce *some* results?

Yes.

But as a skilled media buyer, you can do better…

By retargeting them to a different offer (and ideally, one that lowers the commitment.)

For example:

  • Retargeting ecom buyers with a free + shipping offer
  • Retargeting info product buyers with a quickstart guide
  • Retargeting SaaS buyers with free 7-day trial
  • Retargeting coaching clients with a low-ticket group challenge

Presenting them with a new offer creates a “reason why” for your ad…

And increases the chance they’ll take action.

Plus you know what they say about the definition of insanity…

It’s doing the same exact thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

Gig Alerts

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Quote of the Day


“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you. Pay more attention to what is going on within you.”

— Mary-Frances Winters

📸 NFTs for everyone

Happy Friday! In the name of daylight savings, we’ve included an especially helpful sleep tip in today’s Working For Yourself Section, backed by science. If you decide to experiment with it, be sure to hit reply and let us know how it goes.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Instagram, Meta, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus what this 7-figure copywriter would do if she had to start from zero, one quick fix to solve your sleep problems, and failing English class for fun and profit.

Read time: 3 minutes and 16 seconds

Together with AdSkills

Every Direct Response Company’s Biggest Turn On

Stacking high-income skills is the best way to become truly in-demand. And copywriting and paid ads make for a lethal combination most direct response companies would kill for. 

That’s where AdSkills comes in. Inside their platform, you’ll learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale ad accounts to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and more.

Plus, as an AdSkills member, you’ll also get the stamp of approval that 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred look for when hiring freelancers. 

So if you’re looking to partner with top-tier businesses and make more money per client, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Instagram plans to let creators make their own NFTs. Forget showing off your existing NFTs, because Meta has announced soon creators will be able to make their own (and more importantly, sell them) on Instagram using the Polygon blockchain.
  • Meta revives 28-day attribution window? There’s been no official statement yet, and may only be for reporting (not optimization), but according to Jon Loomer, the OG attribution window is back.
  • Elon plans to lay off 3,700 Twitter employees today. The layoffs total about 50% of the company, which is significantly less than the 75% that was previously reported — but still a staggering number. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO hasn’t been afraid to shake things up after his latest acquisition, but it will be interesting to see how these layoffs affect the company’s ability to generate revenue and profits going into 2023.

Working With Clients

7-Figure Copywriter Reveals What She’d Do if She Had to Start From Zero

They say failure is the best teacher.

But hindsight is 20/20.

That’s why asking successful people what they’d do if they had to start over can be such an enlightening exercise.

And if you’re a freelance copywriter, you’re in luck today…

Because in the video below, you’ll discover exactly what 7-figure copywriter Alex Cattoni would do to get back to 10k/m as a freelancer if she had to start over.

Click here to check it out:

[WATCH]: How I’d Make 10K/Month From Scratch As A Freelancer

Working For Yourself

Having Trouble Falling Asleep at Night? Try This Quick Fix Tomorrow Morning

Even if you’re not an early riser…

Optimizing your sleep is essential to performing at your best.

So what’s the #1 best evidence-based way to hack your circadian rhythm for quality shut-eye?

We’ll give you a hint…

It’s not sleep masks, white noise machines, or keeping your bedroom cool…

(although all of the above do help)

Instead, it’s viewing sunlight.

Specifically, within 30-60 minutes of getting up and then again in the late afternoon before sunset.

Especially during the winter when sunlight is scarce.

In this podcast episode, Stanford neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman explains how light viewing can help optimize not just sleep, but many other facets of your health as well.

Now if your podcast queue is already fully loaded…

Then click here to check out all of Dr. Huberman’s actionable recommendations to improve your sleep:

Check out Dr. Huberman’s Toolkit For Sleep here

From The Copywriting Gig

Failing English Class For Fun and Profit

Here’s some good news for anyone who failed English class:

Writing words that sell has NOTHING to do with what you learned in high school.

In fact, it breaks pretty much all the rules.

Some key points to focus on:

  • Keep paragraphs short (1-2 lines max)
  • Avoid using big words (3 syllables or less)
  • Ellipses are your best friend
  • More bullets

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.

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“Impatience with actions, patience with results.”

— Naval Ravikant

In Case You Missed It: