🤔 Should freelancers ever work for free?

Happy Tuesday! This is The Gig, aka the morning paper for anyone building a highly-profitable client business. Like the Wall Street Journal, but with memes and gifs instead of charts and tickers.

If you’re looking for clients, make sure to check out the Gig Alerts section at the bottom of each newsletter.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Inflation, Google, and email marketing. Plus whether freelancers should ever work for free, how Tom Brady would build a successful freelance biz, and the best way to remove background noise on client calls.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 4 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Upper middle class feels the pinch in 2022. Exhibit #4097823 demonstrating why building a freelance business is a good idea: inflation, rising gas prices, and falling stock prices are just a few of the things hitting middle class folks in the pocketbook this year, forcing many to draw from their savings, sell off investments at a loss, or abandon retirement.
  • Google updates Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more for tablets. Good news for anyone working on the go: Google is finally improving the tablet experience for its core suite of apps. 
  • The ultimate guide to email marketing. Looking to step up your email marketing game? Writing copy is one just piece of the puzzle. Check out this free guide from Hubspot for a bird’s eye view of email as a marketing channel.

Working With Clients

Freelancers Looking For Their First Client Be Like

One of the most controversial freelancing topics is whether to work for free or not.

As a wise man once said, “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

But on the flip side…

How are you supposed to land clients with no experience?

It’s a tricky situation. And one that’s more nuanced than most make it out to be.

So here’s our take on the subject:

  • You should never lie about how much (or little) experience you have to a prospective client.

  • The biggest objection most clients have when hiring new freelancers is experience.

  • The easiest way to overcome that objection is to work for free.

  • One way to split the difference is to prepare custom sample pieces and include them in your proposal. This way, you can demonstrate your competence without doing the entire project for free.

  • Be strategic about who you prepare custom samples for. If it’s a big client with lots of potential opportunities for you, then it’s probably worth it. If it’s a brand new solopreneur with nothing more than a blog and a Stripe account, then probably don’t do it.

  • Any work you do for free should be limited in scope.

  • There are bad actors out there who may try to exploit you, so use your judgment and trust your gut.

Bottom line:

Most new freelancers would be better served by checking their ego and working for free to get their foot in the door with legit clients and companies.

Whatever amount you’re getting your knickers in a twist about is likely going to be small potatoes in the long run.

So don’t sweat it.

And focus on doing whatever you can to prove yourself to quality clients.

Working For Yourself

How Tom Brady Would Build a Successful Freelance Biz

Being your own boss sounds pretty great in theory…

But in practice, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

That’s because there’s no one watching over your shoulder to hold you accountable if you show up late, call in sick, or botch that TPS report.

So if you’re struggling to build momentum or hit the next income goal in your freelance biz…

Here’s some advice:

Start treating your life like a pro athlete.

Even though you may not feel like an athlete…

Your goals are the same:

Performing at a high level and sustaining that performance over the course of an entire season.

This can mean:

  • Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day
  • Developing a morning routine
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Finding ways to relax and de-stress

The more seriously you take your day-to-day habits and routines…

The better results you’ll see inside your business.

Tools We Love

Whoever That is Needs to Mute ASAP

Ever been on call with someone who had lots of background noise?

It sucks.

But… it’s even worse when you’re the one with the bad background noise.

Fortunately, that’s where Krisp comes in.

It’s a free software solution that completely eliminates background noise.

And when we say completely, we mean it.

Whether it’s a barking dog, crying baby, or a computer fan so loud it could pass for a vacuum cleaner…

Krisp uses AI technology to cut out background noises from your mic and speaker so you (and more importantly, your clients and colleagues) can finally enjoy distraction-free calls.

Get Krisp for free today.

Gig Alert

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

Quote of the Day

“When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.”

— Indra Nooyi