🛰️ 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


✈️ Unmasked

Happy Tuesday! We’re almost at the end of Q1. Hopefully your 2022 is off to a great start 💪

Here’s the latest…


Freelance Economy News

  • Air travel is slowly getting back to normal. London’s Heathrow Airport, along with a handful of British airlines, are dropping face mask requirements. Count us in — we’re looking forward to no more aching ears. But if you’re planning to travel and work remotely for the first time, make sure to check out our Working For Yourself tip further down.

  • Meta to introduce contextual ad placement options later this year. After removing hundreds of targeting options over the last two years, Meta is finally throwing advertisers a bone. They plan to introduce new content tools to help companies prevent their ads from being displayed next to “unsuitable content” such as war or politics.

  • Crypto adoption runs high among content creators. A recent PCMag survey of digital creators found over 50% own cryptocurrency.

Working With Clients

The Easiest Way to Get Fired

Unlike high school, “my dog ate my homework” doesn’t cut it when you’re a working freelancer. So if you want to get 5-star reviews, referrals, and repeat work from high-quality clients, the recipe is simple:

Don’t miss deadlines.

It sounds simple, we know — but trust us… getting your work in on time will instantly set you apart from the competition. 

Don’t believe it? Try hiring a freelancer and see for yourself.


Working For Yourself

Spotted: A Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad

If you’ve been dreaming of working from a beach in Bali, here’s a quick tip that could save you a lot of hassles and headaches:

Do a short test-drive (1-2 weeks) before you commit to a long working trip (1-3+ months).

It may look glamorous on Instagram…

But working from exotic locations while everyone else is in vacation mode can be pretty tough. And staying up late to take client calls when you’d rather be sipping pina coladas by the pool is no fun either.

So we recommend you give it a try it for seven days before you take off for six months. 


From The Copywriting Gig

The ABCs of Silky Smooth Sales Copy

Looking to level up your copywriting chops?

Smooth transitions are what separate crappy copy from A-List material.

That’s why legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman coined the concept of the “slippery slide.” Ideally, your copy should be so easy to read that the reader literally slides down to the end without even trying.

And just like learning your ABCs for the first time…

The best way to master this is by reading your copy out loud.

Then smooth out anything that sounds funny or feels abrupt with transition phrases like:

  • In fact
  • Because
  • That’s why
  • In other words
  • What this means is

Quote of the Day

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” — Reid Hoffman


🤖 NFTs

Happy Monday! Welcome to this inaugural edition of the newsletter. We’ve got a lot of exciting stuff in the works. As a reminder, we’ll be in your inbox every morning from Monday to Friday with the latest gig economy news + everything you need to become a highly-paid freelancer.

Now here’s what’s new…


Freelance Economy News

  • Fiverr survey reveals ⅔ of US freelancers are working on NFT projects. Demand for NFT collections and artwork has exploded this year. According to recent research from Fiverr, the number of freelancers offering NFT services has gone up by 278% so far this year. And the amount earned by said freelancers has gone up by 374%. Brb while we dust off our MS Paint skills and update our profile.

  • Zuckerberg confirms that NFTs are headed to Instagram. Meta’s CEO revealed that NFTs are coming to your favorite photo-sharing app “in the near term.” He also hinted users may be able to mint NFTs on the platform.

  • Platform intelligence may be the future of freelancing. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are sitting on a mountain of data that could help freelancers, like what niches are most popular, what types of gigs pay the most, and what kinds of proposals have the highest success rate. But they aren’t in the habit of sharing that data with users. That’s why those offering platform intelligence features may overtake them in future.

Working With Clients

Do This to Filter Out Low-Quality Clients

Avoiding bad clients is just as important as finding good ones. So here’s a simple trick to filter out the schmucks: ask for a deposit up front.

It can be 25%, 50%, or even 100%. Use your judgment, of course. But the more established you are, the more you should be asking for up front. Because most people worth their salt don’t work for free. 

And if a prospective client scoffs at the idea of putting down a deposit, that’s your cue to say “k thx bye” and move on to the next one.


Working For Yourself

Why Robots Don’t Have Work-Life Balance Problems

One of the hardest parts about working remotely is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Unlike our robotic brothers and sisters, we don’t come with an off switch. So, what’s the solution? 

Creating a “shut down” ritual. 

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

Our favorite? Checking in to see how much our crypto portfolio is down.


From The Copywriting Gig

The #1 Most Common Mistake New Copywriters Make

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 big 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.

Aim for short, punchy words with 2-4 syllables. And try to avoid anything with 5 or more.

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


Tools We Love

Maybe the Best Funnel Mapping Tool Ever Created?

Even if you’re not a graphic designer or funnel builder, you may need to map out funnels for clients from time to time. Good news is, there are lots of tools out there to help you do that. 

Bad news is, most of them suck. They’re clunky, laggy, and not intuitive at all. 

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

Give it a try and let us know what you think.


Quote of the Day

“Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room—until you change that with results.” — Ryan Holiday