🛒 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.


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:

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

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

  • 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:

👀 Browser spying

Happy Tuesday! Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral took place yesterday. It was the U.K.’s first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s funeral on January 30, 1965.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Meta, Gmail, Figma, Adobe, and the LinkedIn Mafia. Plus a simple 3-word freelance pitch, the problem with most meetings, and what to do if your client doesn’t have a PhD in funnel strategy.

Read time: 2 minutes and 55 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Lawsuit filed against Meta over illegal tracking through in-app browser. The complaint alleges Meta is breaking a federal wiretap law by tracking users who click on links to 3rd-party websites from Facebook or Instagram. 
  • Gmail prepares to unleash the campaign email kraken. Get ready for an inbox assault. As the midterm elections heat up, Gmail has launched a new pilot program that will prevent spammy campaign emails from actually hitting the Spam folder. The program is a response to criticism from conservatives that their algorithms unfairly target right-leaning content.
  • The LinkedIn Mafia is taking over. Forget Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and the rest of the PayPal Mafia — the group of former LinkedIn employees who’ve gone on to found successful companies is getting a bit ridiculous. Especially with Adobe announcing their $20B acquisition of Figma, started by 30-year old former data analytics intern Dylan Field.

Working With Clients

A Simple 3-Word Freelance Pitch

Struggling to land higher-paying clients?

One trick that could turn the tide is refining (and articulating) your step-by-step system.

You see, most top tier clients aren’t willing to risk a 5-figure fee on a freelancer they’ve never worked with before…

… Unless you’re able to build a mountain of trust.

And while testimonials and case studies do have a part to play…

How can a prospective client be sure their project will turn out like the ones featured on your testimonial or reviews page?

This is where your unique system or method comes in.

When you have a consistent and methodical way for producing results for every client…

You’re giving them reason to believe you can produce similar results for them.

Which is key.

Ultimately, you should be able to walk them through exactly how you’re going to deliver the work, step-by-step…

Because that’s a mark of a seasoned vet.

No matter what skill, niche, or sector you’re in.

So make sure to walk them through it during the interview process, on the sales call, and again during the onboarding or kickoff call.

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

Working For Yourself

The Problem With Most Meetings

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.

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 🙃

Tools We Love

In Case Your Client Doesn’t Have a PhD in Funnel Strategy

Even if you’re not a graphic designer or funnel builder…

If you work in marketing, chances are you’ll 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. 

So whether you’re using it as a part of a proposal for a prospect…

On a kickoff call with a new client…

Or to collaborate with a contractor to make sure they build the next funnel properly…

Whimsical can help you get it done.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Steve Jobs


📸 BeReal-er

Happy Monday! Welcome back to The Gig — the daily email helping freelancers go beyond the 9 to 5 and conquer the gig economy.

Mentioned in today’s edition: TikTok, BeReal, California, and Google. Plus the secret to getting attention online, 4 reasons not to become a digital nomad, and selling on the knife’s edge.

Read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

Together with AdSkills

When They Find Out You’re AdSkills Certified

Most certifications aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But not AdSkills. Their Matchmaker program generates high-quality inbound leads for media buyers of all experience levels. It doesn’t matter whether you’re brand new or a seasoned vet. Once you graduate, you’ll have the chance to apply for real gigs with legit clients who’ve specifically requested an AdSkills media buyer. 

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’re looking for a new high-income skill to add to your freelance toolkit, click here to try a free class today.

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok copies BeReal. TikTok Now prompts users to capture a static photo or 10-second video with both the front and back-facing camera once a day. Looks like the future of social media may just be watching platforms relentlessly rip each other off.
  • New California age law could wreak havoc on the internet. The privacy law aimed at making the internet safer for kids may force users to upload government ID to prove their age across a slew of apps and websites when it takes effect in 2024. 
  • Bug bounty hunter accidentally gets $250k payment from Google. Sam Curry had no idea why he got a payment for $249,999 from Google last month. Google claims it was “human error” and they’re working to correct it. Woops. 

Working With Clients

The Shortcut to Getting Attention Online

Mainstream wisdom is everywhere.

Your audience is bombarded with the same advice all the time.

– cut back on lattes

– eat more vegetables

– go to bed earlier

– avocado toast is why you can’t afford to buy a house
– etc etc

But what sets you (or your client) apart from everyone else is where they disagree.

So ask yourself: what controversial opinions can I highlight?

What mainstream advice do I (or my client) DISAGREE with?

That’s often what makes for the best hooks, emails, or ad angles.

Now, a caveat:

You need to be able to make a logical case for why you disagree.

Don’t just disagree to be a contrarian or to grab attention… unless you can back it up.

Working For Yourself

4 Reasons Not to Become a Digital Nomad

The laptop lifestyle is what attracts a lot of people to freelancing and digital marketing.

But it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be.

Here are a few ugly truths about digital nomadism we’ve learned the hard way:

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

Spending 8 hours a day glued to your laptop while everyone else is partying, sightseeing, and having fun isn’t exactly what most people have in mind when they board a plane overseas.

Temptations are everywhere.

Staying focused when you’re surrounded by distractions is less fun than it looks.

#2: You have to work odd hours

Having clients in the West means you might have to stay up until 12-1 AM to take calls and attend meetings.

This can be brutal.

If you’re an early to bed, early to rise kind of person, this will really jam up your normal rhythm.

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

But when you’re living overseas and often on the move, it’s hard to maintain structure.

You’re always on the lookout for good coffee shops, gyms, grocery stores, etc. near your new place.

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

You can meet lots of cool people while you’re traveling.

But it’s unlikely any of those new relationships will compare to the ones you have back home.

You can’t recreate that kind of depth in a week or a month.

Everyone’s headed in different directions, so nothing lasts.

Now this isn’t to say that it can’t work for some…

In fact, your humble newsletter writer spent a life-changing 8 months in Southeast Asia.

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

And since it’s always glamorized so much on social media…

We think it’s important to shine a spotlight on the not-so-sexy parts of it.

From The Copywriting Gig

Selling on the Knife’s Edge

Humans are emotional beings.

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

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

Talk about analysis paralysis.

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

And ignore the logical side.

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

To win their hearts… 

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

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

A winning offer or marketing campaign always has both.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”

W.P. Kinsella

🤑 Default search billions

Happy Tuesday! The latest Consumer Price Index reading is due out at 8:30 AM today. It’s expected to show inflation continuing to cool. 

Mentioned in today’s edition: Google, Zoom, Slack, and the Department of Justice. Plus why Facebook Ads aren’t the only thing you need to make money online, what a 13” screen will get you, and one thing you need for your next Zoom call.

Read time: 3 minutes and 36 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Department of Justice pursues antitrust suit against Google over default payments. The company pays billions of dollars to device makers each year to remain the default search engine on phones, something the DOJ claims is an illegal monopoly. Last week’s preliminary hearing was designed as a tutorial to help the judge learn more about Google’s business before the trial starts next year.
  • Zoom announces updates for Slack competitor. The product, now called Zoom Team Chat, aims to reduce the friction of hopping between tools, but faces steep competition from both Slack and Microsoft Teams. What we want to know is: does it have a native GIF integration? If so, we may be migrating.
  • Potential port and railway strikes threaten supply chain. Having the U.S. rail system go offline would reportedly cost $2 billion per day, and workers could strike as soon as Friday. With a new report today expected to show inflation cooling off, the government is eager to avoid anything that could send prices back up.

Working With Clients

When They Think Facebook Ads Are the Only Thing You Need to Make Money Online  

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer…

It’s natural to try and sign anyone with a pulse and a credit card as a client.

But that’s a big mistake.

Here’s why…

Marketing and advertising can be boiled down to taking financial risks on creative ideas.

Some of them pan out.

Some of them don’t.

In fact, it’s normal to have to iterate 3-5+ times on an angle, offer, or marketing campaign before you find a winner.

But if you’re working with a client who’s never hired a freelancer to produce any marketing assets for them before…

Or someone who’s never spent a dime on paid ads…

The odds of them having unrealistic expectations are sky high.

Which means you’ll have a hard time satisfying them unless you hit out of the park on your first at-bat.


Aim to work with clients who understand (and have experience with) marketing and advertising.

People who understand you have to spend money to make money…

That having a great offer matters more than having great copy…

That you need to “buy” data through testing before you can optimize your campaigns…

And that even the best copywriters and media buyers in the world don’t hit home runs every time.

Now you may have to work a little harder to find and land clients like this…

But it’s an investment that will pay off big time in the long run.

Working For Yourself

What a Lifetime of Working On a 13” Screen Will Get You

Part of being a marketer or entrepreneur is a steady stream of “aha” moments where you go…

Why didn’t I start doing this sooner?!?”

Such as…

  • Retargeting non-buyers
  • Adding a phone number to your opt in
  • Creating a referral program for your newsletter
  • Etc

Another one is upgrading the size of your laptop screen or computer monitor.

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

But if you’re spending 40 hours a week working on an 11 or 13-inch screen…

You’re not doing yourself any favors.

In fact, you’re making things much harder on your eyes than they need to be.

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.

So, our recommendation?

Grab yourself two curved 24-inch monitors  (setup permitting, of course).

Bonus points if you get monitor arms so they actually sit at eye level.

You (and your eyes) will thank us later.

And 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 our favorite neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman.

Tools We Love

Not Even The Blip Can Stop Him

Taking notes on a Zoom call can be a major pain.

Listening and typing quickly at the same time is no small feat……

Meanwhile, everyone else is forced to listen in as you hammer away on the keys as fast as you can.

And sure, you can record the call..

But if you’ve got to go back to review something someone said…

You’re often stuck skipping around trying to find the exact moment where it was discussed.

(Or worse, trying to remember what they said if you forgot to record it.)

That’s where Fireflies.AI comes in.

It’s an AI assistant that lets you record, transcribe, and search across all your voice conversations.

Once you sign up for free, all you have to do is invite Fireflies (aka Fred) into your meeting.

Then he takes care of the rest.

After the meeting is finished, you’ll have a searchable transcript so you don’t have to worry about taking notes.

Try Fireflies.AI for free today.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Grit is the persistence in following your own destiny.”

— Paul Bradley Smith

Monday: 👾 Metaverse billboards

🤷 Mixed signals

Happy Friday! RIP to Queen Elizabeth, who passed away yesterday at the age of 96. 

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Loom, Slack, Telegram, Instagram, and Google. Plus how to gracefully fire a client from hell, 22 low-cost tools to run your freelance biz, and the one element of persuasion even more important than self-desire.

Read time: 4 minutes and 22 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • 91% of workers report their messages are misunderstood in the workplace. A new study from Loom reveals 1 in 5 were “reprimanded, demoted or fired” because of misinterpreted messages. Ouch. Moral of the story: tone is hard to interpret, especially over text. So don’t be afraid to add warmth to your written communications with smileys, emojis, and exclamation points when appropriate. A little warmth goes a long way in Slack or on Telegram.
  • Instagram planning to scale back on shopping features. The “Shop” tab is reportedly set to disappear in the next few months, along with the entire in-stream shopping program.
  • Google is forecasting an economic slowdown. Senior managers were recently told to avoid travel except for “business critical” reasons as CEO Sundar Pichai aims to do more with less and make the company 20% more productive.

Working With Clients

Nightmare Client After Assaulting Your Inbox For the 47th Time:

Not all client relationships have a happy ending.

If you’ve got a client who’s blowing you up with emails, DMs, and voice notes…

Hammering you with urgent requests that ignore your clearly-stated boundaries…

And implying that nothing you do is up to snuff…

It’s probably time to let them go.

But how, exactly? What’s the best way to fire a client?

Well, for starters, it’s never easy…

Even if you’re secretly wishing a pox upon their house.

Send them an email or DM that hits these key points:

– I’m not the right person to help you achieve XYZ

– I hope you’ve gotten some good value from our time together

– Happy to get on a call to discuss if need be

– Still believe in your mission/product

– Will be rooting for you to succeed

The reason to send them a message instead of getting on a call right away is to give them a chance to digest it…

And (hopefully) eliminate the need for a call.

But this way, even if they insist on one, you’ve already got the hard part out of the way.

And if you have a 30-day cancellation policy in your contract, you can always offer to let them out of it if you’re really eager to end the relationship.

Working For Yourself

22 Low (or No) Cost Tools to Run Your Freelance Biz

There’s no shortage of free or low-cost tools to help you run your freelancer biz…

Even if you’re just starting out.

These are some of our favorites:


Website & Landing Pages:


Social Media:

Email Marketing

Diagrams & Visualizations:

Screen Capture & Record:






What would you add to this list?

We’re always on the lookout for new tools to test out.

Hit “Reply” to share your favorites with us.

From The Copywriting Gig

Reading a Killer Long-Form Sales Letter Be Like

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…

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 promo that ran for over 30 years and generated millions of dollars in the 70s and 80s, and someone who’s often listed as one of the best copywriters of all time… 

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…

And it’s got nothing to do with scarcity, urgency, or even storytelling…

Instead, that special something is:


You see…

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 won’t be motivated to buy.

A few tips to execute on this:

  • Talk about what it’s not
  • Talk about what it’s better than
  • Talk about what you can do it without

But no matter how you create curiosity…

Just make sure you can actually pay it off inside the product — because that’s what separates compelling copy from cringy clickbait.

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.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

— Leonardo Da Vinci


Thursday:📈 Cross-platform scaling

💲Monthly retainers

Happy Tuesday! Our long weekend was filled with sun, good company, and a few wobbly pops. We hope yours was too. Also, a special thank you to everyone who entered our 1k subscriber giveaway. Winners will be announced later this week 🙌

Mentioned in today’s edition: Gen Z, Reddit, Meta, and Google. Plus how to go from one-off projects to monthly retainers, why you should forget time management and do this instead, and service agreements your freelance biz can count on.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 45 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Gen Z begins to replace their parents on social media. According to eMarketer, 2022 will be the first year where the total number of Gen X users on social media declines. Meanwhile, Gen Z’s social presence keeps growing with Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram projected to see the biggest gains.
  • Meta shuts down Novi crypto wallet without explanation. The pilot project let users make fee-free payments using stablecoins. But with stablecoins in regulators’s crosshairs after the collapse of Terra/LUNA, along with the overall crypto crash, we can hazard a guess or two as to why Novi was shut down.

  • Google agrees to pay $90M to settle with app developers. The settlement is similar to Apple’s $100M settlement in 2021: in addition to the payout, Google will reduce their service fee from 30% to 15% on the first $1M in annual revenue for app developers. 

Working With Clients

How to Go From One-Off Projects to Monthly Retainers

No freelancer wants to spend all their time prospecting.

But if you’re stuck doing one-off projects for clients all the time…

You don’t have much choice.

That’s one of the reasons why monthly retainers can be so attractive:

It doesn’t take many to fill up your calendar.

Which means less time spent prospecting and more time spent doing work that pays.

Plus it gives you some predictable income you can use to budget, save, and invest with.

But how do you make the shift from one-off to ongoing?

Well, the playbook is the same pretty much regardless of which service(s) you provide:

STEP 1: Make sure one-off projects are successful

You can’t expect to upsell clients into ongoing arrangements if the initial project isn’t successful.

So make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your client a big win first.

You need a solid foundation to build on if you want them to pay you every month.

STEP 2: Identify ongoing work you can take off their plate

Start by thinking about it from the client’s perspective:

What ongoing work are they doing on a daily or weekly basis that you could take off their plate?

Some examples:

  • Writing emails
  • Running split-tests
  • Managing ad campaigns
  • Creating social media posts
  • Etc

Unless these activities fall within your client’s zone of genius, chances are they’d appreciate you taking it off their plate so they can focus on more important things, like leading the company and being a real CEO.

Often, the question isn’t “do they want to hire someone” — it’s “will this pay for itself?” and “can I trust you?”

STEP 3: Explain why it makes sense

Even if you’ve created some goodwill with your client, you still need to make a strong logical case for this new arrangement:

– How will it make them money?
– How will it save them time?
– Why is it a smart decision?

Don’t be afraid to explain why YOU want it too.

Make it clear how much you enjoy working for them, how much you love their products, why you align with their values, etc.

Then position it as a way for them to lock down a fixed amount of your time every month.

Just keep in mind that not every client will be a good fit for a monthly retainer.

But for the right ones, it’s a win/win.

Working For Yourself

Forget Time Management (and Do This Instead)

Ever heard of Parkinson’s Law?

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


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.

Tools We Love

Signed Service Agreements Your Freelance Biz Can Stand On

Managing contracts is a key part of running a freelance business.

Since you don’t have a company legal or HR department looking out for you…

Your legal protection is entirely up to you.

But asking a prospective client to print out a contract so they can sign it and send it back to you is so 2004.

Enter HelloSign.

HelloSign lets you send out contracts and request legally binding signatures in seconds.

With it, you can set up templates, streamline the signature process, and easily access every signed contract you’ve ever received from anywhere.

Start your free 30-day trial of HelloSign today.

Quote of the Day

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

— Thomas Edison