📉 Twitter Ads down

Happy Thursday! Welcome to December. Only one month left in 2022! 

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Google, iHeart Media, the FTC, and Apple. Plus what to do with leads you can’t help, 4 reasons not to become a digital nomad, and marketing funnel show and tell.

Read time: 4 minutes and 3 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter ad revenue down 50% in certain markets. The company’s weekly bookings in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are down 49%, according to internal screenshots seen by Platformer. Sounds like someone needs to sell a lot of Twitter Blue subscriptions.
  • FTC and 7 states sue Google and iHeartMedia over fake Pixel 4 ads. The two companies agreed to pay a $9 million settlement to the 7 states that sued, and reached a separate settlement with the FTC, after airing a series of testimonial ads recorded by iHeartMedia personalities who’d never actually used the Pixel 4.
  • Governor of Florida suggests Congress should act if Apple bans Twitter from the App Store. Does Apple actually intend to withhold Twitter from the App Store? Who knows. But it’s clear Elon will have some political firepower on his side, as Governor of Florida (and presidential hopeful) Ron DeSantis said Congress should be ready to act if Apple gives Twitter the boot.

Working With Clients

When in Doubt, Refer Out

Got a lead you can’t help?

Don’t just send them away…

Refer them to someone else in your network.

Becoming a “connector” helps you build goodwill and social capital with both parties — the lead and the person you refer them to.

Something that often comes back around to you…

Whether it’s a referral fee, a client being referred to you, or something else altogether.

And if you don’t have a network of other service providers you can refer to, it’s time to start building one.

Aim to have at least one person you can refer to for all the services adjacent to yours.

– If you’re a copywriter, get to know someone who runs paid ads

– If you run paid ads, get to know someone who does graphic design or video editing

– If you’re a graphic designer, get to know someone who builds funnels

A bigger network always means more opportunities.

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.

Tools We Love

Marketing Funnel “Show and Tell”

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. 

And unless your client’s a seasoned direct response marketer…

It’s easy to get bogged down trying to explain it to them.

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:

Featured Newsletter

More has changed in our world in the past year than in the past 30 years. How will this impact you?

If that’s a question you’ve been pondering then you should sign up for International Intrigue. It’s a daily news briefing that covers global issues at the intersection of geopolitics, business, and technology, all packaged up with a cheeky dose of expert but irreverent analysis. 

Our readers say we’re like the juice concentrate of Foreign Affairs without all the unnecessary pulp that no one has time to read. 

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up here for free.

Quote of the Day

“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”

— Maya Angelou

In Case You Missed It

🤑 Online sales record

Happy Tuesday! If the colder weather and lack of sunlight have got you feeling a little blue, you’re not alone. So here’s something to cheer you up: only 23 days remain until the days start getting longer again.

And better still, the earliest sunset this year actually takes place on December 7. Meaning the days will start feeling longer after that, even though the winter solstice isn’t until December 21. Almost there!

Mentioned in today’s edition: Black Friday, Walmart, Amazon, and college degrees. Plus the benefits of a proven step-by-step system, a simple selling methodology to get more money, influence, and loyalty, and how to give yourself a pay cut if you’re an international freelancer.

Read time: 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Black Friday 2022 sets new online sales record. According to data from Adobe Analytics, consumers spent a record-setting $9.12 billion dollars on Black Friday, inflation be damned.
  • More employers are dropping the requirement for a college degree. Companies including Google, IBM, and Delta Airlines are shifting their focus away from college degrees and towards skills and specialized knowledge when it comes to hiring. Yet another reason why freelancing multiplies your options, even if you didn’t go to college.
  • Walmart tops Amazon in search for Black Friday discounts. In a surprising loss of search share, Amazon ranked 4th in this year’s Black Friday searches, falling behind Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.

Working With Clients

When You Got That Proven Step-By-Step System

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

Want More Money, Influence, and Loyalty From Your Clients? Try This

Direct response marketing is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it’s tailor-made to produce profits out of thin air by persuading people to act — NOW.

But on the other hand…

Studies show anywhere from 80-95% of buyers in your market are not ready to buy right away.

So how you can design a marketing strategy that speaks to them too?

Enter “social selling.”

In the video below from 7-figure copywriter Alex Cattoni… 

You’ll discover how to leverage this alternative selling strategy to get more money, influence, and loyalty from your clients.

Check it out:

[WATCH]: The #1 Marketing Strategy To Earn More Money, Influence More People & Build Long-Term Loyalty

Tools We Love

International Freelancer? Here’s How to Give Yourself a Pay Cut

Inflation may have (finally) peaked.

But the U.S. dollar is still looking pretty strong.

Which means international freelancers *should* be pocketing a little more than usual on every invoice…

Only problem is:

Most of them rely on PayPal (or god forbid, their local bank) to convert their currency.

Instead, they should be using Wise.

With Wise, you can:

  • Get better rates on currency conversions than PayPal or a local bank
  • Send money cheaper and easier than old-school banks
  • Get paid like a local in 10 different currencies
  • And convert & hold up to 53 different currencies.

In fact, Wise is 6X cheaper than other international accounts on average.

That’s why over 13 million people trust them to handle their international payment needs.

So if you’re an international freelancer…

Set up a free Wise account today to start saving big every time you get paid.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

Let me guess: Your portfolio is down?

Yeah, us too. Things are shaky right now.

But did you know that farmland is unaffected? Or that wine is way up? Or that vinyl records are mooning?

That’s why we’ve been reading Alts, where Stefan and Wyatt analyze the heck out of alternative investment markets.

They started out as a newsletter, and have just launched their first fund.

The Alts1 Fund brings together alternative investments spanning 10 asset classes, from collectibles, to fine art, to whiskey, to music rights.

Join 55,000+ investors and see what you’ve been missing.

Subscribe to Alts for free today.

Quote of the Day

“Momentum? Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.”

— Earl Weaver

In Case You Missed It:

  • Monday: 🌈 Multicolored verification

🏆 Rewarding repeat visitors

Happy Black Friday! To borrow from yesterday’s Axios PM: without readers, a newsletter is just a diary. So thank you for sticking with us 🙏  And if you’re on the hunt for some killer deals today, make sure to check out Wirecutter’s Black Friday 2022 guide.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Google, TikTok, and Twitter. Plus whether you should discount services to land a new client, anti-goal setting, and diagnosing your way to paid traffic profits.

Read time: 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Google testing new way to monetize repeat website visitors. The new feature, called “Rewarded Ad Gate”, lets publishers serve a 30-second video ad on someone’s 5th site visit within a specific timeframe. The user will have the option to watch the video or not, but if they choose not to, they won’t be able to access the site until their pageviews reset the following month.
  • Some advertisers choose to run TikTok ads without installing the pixel. It’s a painful trade-off, because it means they can’t track conversions or benefit from any algorithm optimization, but it also means they won’t risk being implicated in any foreign surveillance or other illegal data collection TikTok may or may not be involved in.

  • Elon fires dozens more Twitter employees just before Thanksgiving. Despite Elon saying the company was done laying people off earlier this week, Insider reports that dozens more were fired overnight on Wednesday due to performance reasons.

Working With Clients

Thinking About Discounting Your Services to Land a New Client?

Making an irresistible offer is key to winning big clients.

But going overboard just to close a deal you really want to land can backfire in a big way.

Specifically, there’s one common mistake freelancers make when pitching that…

– Destroys their positioning

– Slashes future earnings

– And shortens the customer lifespan

What is it?

Discounting your services instead of doing something for free.

You see, once you discount your price…

That’s what the client will value your service or offering at until the end of time. 

You’ve created a price anchor.

And no matter how well you deliver for them…

That discounted price will always drag your perceived value down like a weight around your ankles.

So if you’re struggling to overcome a price objection, offering to do something for free is a much better option.

Because you get to bank the goodwill and relationship equity without devaluing your services in the process.

Working For Yourself

Anti-Goal Setting

“Burn the ships,” they said…

“It’s what all great entrepreneurs do,” they said…

But what happens when your big dream doesn’t pan out the way you expected?

What happens if you fail?

Spoiler alert:

If you’re chasing big dreams, failure is inevitable.

This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t succeed…

It means you should be prepared for all outcomes in advance…

In fact, preparing for the worst possible scenario can be surprisingly liberating.

In the TED Talk below, entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferriss reveals how to conduct an exercise he calls “fear-setting.”

Essentially, it’s the opposite of traditional goal setting…

But it can be incredibly powerful to help define your risk and understand potential downsides… 

Especially if you’re faced with a big decision or considering a new opportunity.

Check out the 13-minute video here:

[WATCH]: Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month

From The Paid Ads Gig

Diagnosing Your Way to Paid Traffic Profits

Launched a new campaign that isn’t converting yet?

First things first: check to make sure the link isn’t broken 😂

But assuming that’s not the problem…

The next step is to analyze the leading metrics so you can figure out where the dropoff is happening.

This includes:

  • Page speed
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Order bump and upsell take rates
  • Etc

A sub-1% CTR + high CPC could mean a market-message mismatch or a weak creative.

Slow page speed could mean visitors are exiting before the page loads.

And if your landing page is converting at 20% or less, that’s a sign you may need to do some conversion rate optimization (CRO) before the campaign hits your KPIs.

Bottom line:

Junior media buyers assume every campaign should crush it right out of the gate…

But seasoned vets know you often have to optimize your way to profitability.

And being able to diagnose constraints in your funnel with surgical precision is what will set you apart from the competition.

So focus on getting good at 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:

  • The Playbook by Unemployable: The Playbook helps creators, freelancers, coaches, and consultants attract profitable audiences and develop multiple revenue streams.
  • Trends: 1,000+ pre-vetted business ideas you can start in a weekend + new signals every week.
  • The Curiosity Chronicle: High signal content related to frameworks, personal development, productivity, and growth.

Quote of the Day

“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”

— Dorothy Parker

In Case You Missed It:

👀 Surveillance advertising

Happy Wednesday! We’ll be off tomorrow for American Thanksgiving and back in action on Black Friday. 

Mentioned in today’s edition: Meta, Twitter, and PayPal. Plus how to gracefully terminate a client relationship, the pros and cons of incorporation, and 4 characteristics of an irresistible offer.

Read time: 3 minutes and 1 second

Making the Rounds

  • Meta sued in the U.K. for “surveillance advertising” practices. The suit filed at London’s High Court alleges that Meta is violating GDPR by harvesting personal data to serve targeted ads, aka operating their business.
  • Elon announces Twitter is ready to hire again. After laying off close to 5,000 of its 7,500 employees, Elon told those remaining that the company is now ready to hire for roles in sales and engineering.
  • PayPal study finds 1 in 4 consumers are returning more of the stuff they buy. Shoppers cited inflation and other economic pressures as reasons for returning a higher percentage of their purchases.

Working With Clients

How to Gracefully Terminate a Client Relationship

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

Naming the Business Might Be Our Favorite Part

Should you incorporate your business as a freelancer?

Or is it better to run it as a sole proprietorship?

What’s the best way to reduce your tax burden?

What about limiting your liability? Partnering with other companies? Bringing on investors?

These are just a few of the questions you may be wondering about when it comes to the legal structure of your freelance business…

And the answer to all of them is:

It depends.

But regardless of how you choose to structure your biz, it’s a decision that can have a big impact on your overall financial situation.

Fortunately, our friends at Upwork have written a killer guide on the pros and cons of 5 different business entities, from sole proprietorship all the way to LLC.

Check it out here:

[READ]: Business Entities Pros and Cons You Should Know as a Freelancer

From The Copywriting Gig

4 Characteristics of an Irresistible Offer

Want to learn a simple trick to sell more stuff?

There are 4 main “triggers” that make us want to buy something:

  • New
  • Fast
  • Cheap
  • Easy

So if you can position your offer in a way that implies all of the above…

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

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling lawn mowers, light bulbs, or lead generation.

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

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:

  • Creator Wizard: Join 7,127+ creators getting paid sponsorship opportunities every Monday & Thursday.
  • The Average Joe: Discover the biggest trends moving the stock market with The Average Joe – a free 3x weekly newsletter.
  • Stacked Marketer: Join 32k+ readers getting free daily insights on all major marketing channels, including Google, Facebook, TikTok, native ads, SEO, and more.

Quote of the Day

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

— Jack London

In Case You Missed It:

📈 Hive surge

Happy Tuesday! If your onboarding process is a little loosey goosey, you can unlock a free copy of The Digital Marketer’s Template Toolkit by sharing the newsletter with 3 friends.

The DMTT is made up of 4 detailed intake forms you can copy-and-paste into your onboarding process to uplevel your client experience. Just make sure to use your unique referral link at the bottom of today’s email to start sharing.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Hive, Twitter, and influencer marketing. Plus 3 pricing tips to create a win/win for you and your clients, how one digital nomad makes $2.7M per year with zero employees, and a free app to upgrade your note-taking.

Read time: 4 minutes and 2 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • New social app Hive surges into Top 20 on the App Store. Founded in 2019, the app combines features from Instagram, Twitter, and MySpace. It surged into the Top 20 in the U.S. App Store yesterday, coinciding with Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s decision to reinstate former President Donald Trump on the platform over the weekend.
  • More sales reps laid off after committing to Twitter 2.0. It appears the heads aren’t done rolling at Twitter, as another round of layoffs hit the sales department this week. It’s worth noting that these were all team members who signed last week’s controversial pledge, committing themselves to an “extremely hardcore” new version of Twitter.
  • U.S. marketers will spend $5B on influencers this year. According to eMarketer’s latest report on influencer marketing, that’s an increase of 25% compared to last year’s $4B, and despite a major slowdown in the broader advertising market.

Working With Clients

3 Pricing Tips to Create a Win/Win For You and Your Clients

Pricing is one of those things everyone likes to talk about in broad terms…

But not when it comes to their own pricing strategy.

So if you’re a new freelancer who’s struggling to figure out how to price themselves…

Here are 3 tips to help you out:

TIP #1: Charge by deliverable (not by the hour)

If you’re a new freelancer, you may be tempted to start off charging by the hour.

But charging by the hour incentivizes you to work slower.

Instead, charge clients per:

– email
– image
– video
– landing page
– sales page
– etc

This way, there are no unexpected surprises for them if the job takes longer…

And you get rewarded if you can get it done quicker.

TIP #2: Ask for a 50% deposit

Asking for a deposit helps weed out low-quality clients.

So if they’re not willing to pay you a portion of your fee up front, proceed with caution.

But if the idea of asking for money up front makes your palms sweaty, you could always reduce the amount to 25%.

One final caveat: 

If it’s a small project (like under $100-$200), just ask for the full amount up front instead.

TIP #3: Get approval on pre-work if possible

This last one isn’t *exactly* a pricing tip per se…

But since you’re asking for a deposit, you want to make sure your first draft isn’t way off base so the client doesn’t feel like they’ve paid you for nothing.

The best way to do this is get pre-work approved (and let clients know this is how you work).

In the case of copy, this could be an outline.

In the case of an image or video, this could be a creative brief

In the case of an ad campaign, this could be a campaign mockup.

Regardless of what your service is, getting the greenlight on pre-work will save you time and make it more likely for clients to say “yes” to your price.

Working For Yourself

How This Digital Nomad Makes $2.7M Per Year With 0 Employees

Not all entrepreneurs want to build big companies.

In fact, most freelancers we know are drawn to this type of business precisely because you can run it all by yourself.

But eventually, you’ll have to hire if you want to continue increasing your income.

… Or will you?

In the episode of My First Million below, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri interview Pieter Levels, the founder of NomadList, RemoteOK, and a handful of other profitable businesses…

Which bring in a combined total of almost $3 million dollars per year.

All with ZERO employees.

It’s a fascinating interview that challenges what most entrepreneurs (including us) believe is possible.

So if you’re looking to learn more about how to push the limits of solopreneurship…

Check it out on YouTube here:

[WATCH]: How Pieter Levels Makes $2.7M/Year With 0 Employees

Tools We Love

Upgrade Your Note-Taking With This Free App

If you keep a journal, write Morning Pages, or use pen and paper to stay on top of your to-dos…

It can be tough to stay organized and keep track of all your notes.

Not to mention you can burn through a stack of notebooks pretty quick.

That’s where Simplenote comes in.

Created by the same company behind WordPress and WooCommerce, Simplenote is a free note-taking app that lets you:

– Take notes quickly and easily
– Stay organized with tags & searching
– Sync your notes to all devices

Plus it supports Markdown format, so you could even open up your notes with the Notepad app in a pinch.

But our favorite part?

Simplenote also supports a stylus for those with a tablet.

And in our opinion, this makes for a much more enjoyable experience than putting pen to paper.

With Simplenote, you can take your journaling & input capture to the next level (and save a few trees while you’re at it).

Click below to sign up for a free Simplenote account:

Try Simplenote for free today.

Gig Alerts

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

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

  • The Daily Upside: Insightful business news that respects your time and intelligence.
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Quote of the Day

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

— Leo Burnett

In Case You Missed It:

🏴‍☠️ Skeleton crew

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, Elon Musk, and TikTok. Plus how to nail your retainer pitch, what to do when your creativity calls in sick, and a counterintuitive ad targeting trick to get higher quality traffic.

Read time: 4 minutes and 58 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Hundreds of Twitter employees refuse Elon’s “hardcore” ultimatum. When given the choice between committing to an “extremely hardcore” company reset or quitting with 3 months severance, it appears many of Twitter’s employees chose to take their money and go. And with the World Cup kicking off this week, the platform may be sailing into a major stress test with only a skeleton crew to man the decks.
  • 76% of business owners think TikTok will surpass Amazon for ecommerce, study finds. Just how big is TikTok going to be? Yuge, according to 500 business owners surveyed in this new study. Over ¾ said they think TikTok will eventually overtake both Amazon and Google in ecommerce and search. Speaking of which…
  • TikTok goes on hiring spree as the rest of Big Tech lays off thousands of workers. The company has committed to hire 3,000 more engineers worldwide, drawing a stark contrast with Meta, which is laying off 11,000 workers, and Amazon, which may let go up to 10,000 employees.

Working With Clients

When You Nail That Retainer Pitch

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

What to Do When Your Creativity Calls in Sick

Ever struggle to get your creative juices flowing in the morning?

Welcome to the club 🙋

And let’s be honest…

Sometimes caffeine just doesn’t cut it.

So if you’re a copywriter, media buyer, graphic designer…

Or someone who does creative work of any kind…

Here’s a morning routine add-on you should experiment with:

Write out three pages of “stream of consciousness” by hand before you start work.

This technique is called “Morning Pages”…

And was originally created by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

Many of our favorite writers swear by it, including Andre Chaperon, Tim Ferriss, and many others.

Imagine your creativity is like a pipeline. ..

In order for the great ideas to flow out, you need to clear out the “sludge” first.

That’s what Morning Pages are for.

So, what are you supposed to write about?

Anything. Everything. What’s on your mind. How you’re feeling. What you plan to do today.  How much you hate your alarm clock.

(You can also find prompts like these ones from Masterclass all over the internet)

But the point isn’t to bang out polished prose…

It’s simply to clear out the sludge and make room for your creative ideas to come out and play.

To trap the clutter of your thoughts down on paper before you move on to the important stuff.

Make sense?

If you do decide to test it out, we recommend committing to at least 30 days.

Then let us know how it goes 🙂

From The Paid Ads Gig

Try This Counterintuitive Ad Targeting Trick to Get Higher Quality Traffic

Tracking pixels need to be “fed” lots of data to optimize.

It’s what makes them such a powerful marketing tool…

Because they get smarter and smarter over time.

Only problem is…

Since iOS 14, tracking pixels have gotten dumber.

Especially when they’re fresh out of the box and yet to be seasoned with hundreds or thousands of conversions.

And platforms like Meta and Google keep removing targeting options to stay out of trouble.

So here’s an unconventional way to feed your pixel better data:

Tell anyone who is NOT your ideal customer to leave the page immediately.

For example…

If you were a media buyer running ads to get clients… 

You might place this line of copy on your opt-in form:

“If you are NOT a coach, consultant, or course creator spending at least 1k/day on ads, please leave this page immediately.”

Now, will this decrease your conversion rate and increase your cost per lead?

You bet.


Your lead quality will improve dramatically.

And because you’ll only be feeding the pixel conversion data from smack dab in the middle of your target audience…

Your campaigns will be able to optimize much better over time as well.

Gig Alerts

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

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

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  • Web3 Daily: Web3 and crypto news, translated into plain English.
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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

“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” 

— Bruce Garrabrandt

👾 TikTok eats the world

Happy Friday! Very important question: is it appropriate to put up your Christmas tree in November? Or do you have to wait until December? Hit reply and give us your take.

Mentioned in today’s edition: TikTok, YouTube Shorts, affiliate marketing, and skilled freelancers. Plus how not to respond when a client gives you feedback, 3 things that make up the fulfillment trifecta, and facing the FAQs.

Read time: 2 minutes and 49 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok projected to make more from ads than Meta and YouTube combined by 2027. In case you’ve been living under a rock, TikTok’s been busy eating everyone else’s lunch at the social media table. But just how bad is it? Well, a new report projects the company will earn $331 billion in ad revenue in 2027, which is more than Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube combined. Yowza.
  • 68% of agencies are hiring freelancers. Despite layoffs accelerating across the economy, skilled freelancers are thriving. According to Digiday, 71% of in-house marketers and 68% of agencies are turning to freelancers to help fulfill their services.
  • YouTube Shorts launches affiliate marketing program. A small group of U.S. creators are currently testing the new feature, which lets them take a cut of product sales generated from their videos.

Working With Clients

How Not to Respond When the Client Gives You Feedback

Having high-stakes conversations with clients doesn’t come naturally.

Like anything, it’s a skill.

And one that’s essential to develop…

Because the way you communicate with clients can make or break your relationship.

If you’re effective, clients will sing your praises, hire you back again and again, and even send you referrals.

But if you’re not, then they’ll be heading for the exits the first chance they get.

In this video from our friends at TheFuture, you’ll discover a simple formula for communicating clearly with clients so you can manage expectations, avoid surprises, and overdeliver every time.

Check it out on YouTube here:

[WATCH]: How to Talk to Freelance Clients

Working For Yourself

And They Say Crime Freelancing Doesn’t Pay

Finding fulfillment is something many freelancers struggle with in their careers.

If you’re one of them…

Look for work that aligns with these three things:

1 – What you enjoy doing 🙂

2 – What you’re good at 💪

3 – What you can get paid for 💰

We like to think of this as the “fulfillment trifecta.”

Pursuing a paycheck at the cost of personal enjoyment is just as bad as choosing a career you enjoy or are good at, but has minimal market demand.

The road to happiness starts by finding alignment between all three.

From The Copywriting Gig

Face the FAQs

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section is like the red-headed stepchild of any landing page or sales letter.

Most copywriters get lazy here because:

A) They write it last

B) They’re tired of repeating themselves

C) They assume anyone who’s gonna buy doesn’t need it

But the truth is, the FAQ gives you a perfect opportunity to overcome objections.

Especially since most readers will skim to the bottom first, then return to the beginning and read the page from top to bottom.

So here are some conversion-boosting answers to include in your FAQ:

– “Why should I choose over something else?”

– “How do I use ?”

– “Which order option is right for me?”

– “Is safe?”

– “How soon can I expect results with ?”

– “How soon can I expect to arrive?”

– “Why should I trust you when I’ve been burned by others in the past?”

Make sure to finish off every answer with a strong call to action.

Gig Alerts

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

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

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  • The Curiosity Chronicle: High signal content related to frameworks, personal development, productivity, and growth.
  • Weekly Filet: Thousands of curious minds (including ours!) trust the Weekly Filet for food for thought.
  • Alts: Demystifying the hottest unique investment ideas out there, like NFTs, wine, websites, LEGOs, and more.

Quote of the Day

“It’s the getting, not the having, that makes you happy.”

— Roelof Botha

In Case You Missed It:

🐦 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


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:

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  • Evergreen by NurtureKit: Evergreen helps creators, coaches, and consultants use email marketing automation to convert subscribers into customers without the headache of tech.
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  • 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

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🛒 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:

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  • The Growth Newsletter: Breaking down the tactics fast-growing startups use to grow. Step-by-step. For free. Every week.
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  • 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

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🚀 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.


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


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:

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

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

  • Web3 Daily: Web3 and crypto news, translated into plain English.
  • 1440 Media: Daily news designed to be the fastest way to an impartial point-of-view.
  • 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

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