🛩️ AI Copilot

Happy Tuesday! For anyone who feels like all the good business ideas have been done already, get this: there’s a company in San Francisco called City Grazing using goats to eliminate the weed and brush overgrowth that leads to fires. 

In other words, they literally get paid to send in the goats.

The only constraint in business is your creativity.

Now, here’s what’s covered in today’s newsletter: Microsoft Copilot, Pinterest, and the recession. Plus how to build a unique personal brand, and why you should stop taking notes on client calls and do this instead.

Read time: 2 minutes and 39 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft Copilot brings AI to Dynamics 365. The company is aiming to automate repetitive sales and customer service tasks for its enterprise-level clients, like responding to email support requests and summarizing team meetings.
  • Pinterest testing new Premiere Spotlight ad placement. The placement features your ad at the top of the app’s search page for 24 hours. Given they’re following in the vertical video footsteps of Instagram and YouTube, this could be an interesting placement to test for ecommerce brands.
  • Why the recession is always six months away. Experts have been banging the recession drum for months now. But the economy is somehow still hot. This article from the WSJ explains why.

Working For Yourself

How to Create a Unique Personal Brand

Personal brands are the new portfolios.

And while you don’t necessarily *need* one to land a gig or fill your schedule…

They are a major competitive advantage for any freelancer.

That’s why we really enjoyed this interview between Amy Porterfield and Rory Vaden.

Rory is a personal branding expert who made it to the world championship finals in public speaking at the ripe old age of 22.

Since then, he’s become a NYT Bestselling author and founded multiple 8-figure companies.

He also recently helped Amy with her massively successful book launch…

So she had him on her podcast to discuss his unique approach to personal branding.

If you’ve ever thought about building a personal brand…

Or have already started but feel like you’re spinning your wheels…

This interview will give you a ton of clarity on how to hone your message so you stand out.

Click here to give it a listen:

[LISTEN]: 549: Cut Through The Noise: How To Create a Unique Personal Brand With Rory Vaden

Tools We Love

Stop Taking Notes On Client Calls and Do This Instead

Forget Jasper, QuillBot, or ChatGPT… 

One of the most effective AI tools we’ve come across is a meeting assistant called Fireflies.*

Not only does it record a video of your meeting… 

It also creates a highly-accurate searchable written transcript…

Plus it generates a concise meeting summary so anyone who wasn’t on the call can quickly get up to speed on topics discussed and takeaways.

It’s been a huge time-saver for us, and our clients love it too.

Get started with a free Fireflies account today.*

Gig Alerts

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

NOTE: We only share job postings from Upwork. We’ve found it to be the most trustworthy platform with the highest-quality clients. 

Furthermore, job postings must be for high-income skills like copywriting, media buying, funnel building, graphic design, remote closing, etc in order to qualify.

Quote of the Day

“I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect.”

— Sophocles

The worst case is never as bad as it seems.

If things go wrong, don’t agonize over what you could have done differently.

Extract the lesson, then move on.

(Share this on Twitter)

Tools of the Trade

Looking to upgrade your toolkit? Here are some of our favorite tools we use to powerful our freelance business:

  • ConvertKit — Email marketing for creators. Simple, easy to use, and very cost-effective.
  • Kinsta — Super fast website hosting trusted by 25,000+ small businesses.
  • Fireflies — AI note-taker that can record client calls + create searchable transcripts.
  • Krisp — Eliminates echoes and background noise on calls and meetings using AI.
  • Wise — Unbeatable rates on currency conversions. Saves you a ton of money if you’re an international freelancer.

* Some of these are affiliate links. This means we may receive a small commission if you sign up for a paid subscription (at no extra cost to you.)

📺 All roads lead to YouTube

Happy Monday! Welcome back to The Gig. We’re like the personal trainer for your freelance career, here to help you build the muscles you need to succeed.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: YouTube, Twitter, and the economy. Plus revenge of the Anonymous Alligator, and the savvy media buyer’s secret weapon.

Read time: 2 minutes and 39 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • YouTube launches free ad-supported streaming channels. Arguably the crown jewel in its parent company Alphabet’s portfolio, YouTube is aiming to become a one-stop shop for all things streaming. Last year, they started encouraging users to subscribe to other paid streaming platforms like Paramount+ directly from inside the platform, and now, they’re testing a new hub of free ad-supported streaming channels to compete with companies like Roku.
  • Major U.S. banks predict “mild recession” for 2023. Execs from Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase all shared the same prediction on Q4 earnings calls last week.
  • Twitter rolls out “For You” and “Following” timelines to web app. The update, after first appearing on the iOS version of the app, allows users to switch between algorithmic (For You) and chronological (Following) versions of the timeline.

Working With Clients

Revenge of the Anonymous Alligator

“CLIENT has left 36 comments inside your document.”

Seeing the above alert from Google Docs hit your inbox can sometimes lead to a panic attack.

Especially if it’s a new client.

There’s nothing worse than firing off a first draft, thinking you nailed it…

Only to see Anonymous Alligator appear and start tearing up your work (not to mention your ego) like a stray dog lost in the Everglades.

But the truth is…

Learning to receive feedback well is the mark of an elite freelancer.

Now you may not always agree with it…

(and you don’t have to!)

But you should always be prepared to adapt and iterate based on what the client has to say.

Here are a few examples of how to respond:

  • “Got it”
  • “I hear you”
  • “Totally understand”
  • “Let me addresses these comments and then circle back”

The goal is to take their feedback in stride without getting defensive.

Because, don’t forget…

Your job as a hired professional is to share your expert opinion, but ultimately, it’s the person signing the invoice who gets the final say.

From The Paid Ads Gig

The Savvy Media Buyer’s Secret Weapon

When it comes to optimizing paid ad campaigns, it’s important to think outside the box.

The conventional approach to improving performance usually involves focusing on just two variables:

1) Ad performance

2) Lander performance

But these are far from the only options available to the savvy media buyer looking for more conversions.

Another tool that belongs in your optimization toolkit is “dayparting.”

This just means scheduling your ads to only be displayed at certain times.

For example…

If you’re running ads for a B2B software company, you might want to test only having ads run during business hours, when decision makers are more likely to be on the clock.

Or if you’re a car dealership, you could test only having ads run on the weekend, when potential buyers are more likely to be free to come in.

Bottom line is…

Ads and landing pages aren’t the only levers you can play with.

Placements, browsers, devices, operating systems, and time of day can all affect how well your ads perform…

So don’t forget to test them when the situation calls for it.

Gig Alerts

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

NOTE: We only share job postings from Upwork. We’ve found it to be the most trustworthy platform with the highest-quality clients. Furthermore, job postings must be for high-income skills like copywriting, media buying, funnel building, graphic design, remote closing, etc in order to qualify.

Quote of the Day

“The trajectory of your life bends in the direction of your habits.”

— James Clear

👾 GIFs 4 sale

Happy Wednesday! Today is International Gin and Tonic Day. So here’s a fun piece of trivia to get the party started: back in the 1700s, it was discovered that a component of tonic water called quinine could be used to treat malaria. But the taste was awful. 

So, British officers stationed in India later began adding water, sugar, lime, and gin to the tonic water to make it easier to gulp down. That’s how the gin and tonic was born. Moral of the story: one G & T-a-day keeps the malaria away.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Meta, Giphy, Facebook, and Bloomberg. Plus what Upwork clients know about experience level, tax advantages for freelancers, and an old school trick for anyone running Facebook or Google ads.

Read time: 3 minutes and 38 seconds

Together with AdSkills

A Match Made in Direct Response Heaven

Mastering high-income skills multiplies your options. You can apply them for clients or for yourself. And that’s one of the big reasons why so many freelancers get into copywriting — so they can launch their own offer one day. But here’s the problem: you still need traffic. And unless you’ve got a massive audience on social media, that means learning how to run paid ads.

Luckily, that’s where AdSkills comes in. They represent the gold standard in paid traffic training. Which is why 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred rely on AdSkills courses to train their media buyers. So if you want to learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale your offer to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Meta ordered to sell Giphy after purchasing it for $400M. U.K. regulators have ordered Facebook’s parent company to unwind its 2020 acquisition of the GIF-maker, stating it would substantially reduce competition in the U.K. display advertising market.
  • Facebook begins rolling out Advantage Custom Audiences. The new feature lets you expand custom audiences if it will improve results. As with most new automated Facebook features, it’s a bit murky as to how exactly it’s affecting performance when it’s turned on. And if you do decide to test it out, make sure you aren’t using it on any retargeting audiences. Otherwise you could end up showing abandon cart ads to people who’ve never visited your website.
  • Bloomberg probability model says 100% chance of U.S. recession in the next 12 months. Forget inflation with a chance of recession — Bloomberg economists are now predicting there is a 100% chance the U.S. will enter a recession by October 23, 2023. Cheerio.

Working With Clients

Upwork Client Spills the Beans on Freelance Experience Level

Estimated budgets aren’t the only thing you should ignore when looking for jobs on Upwork.

Don’t pay attention to the desired experience level either.

Before we explain why…

Here are the three options clients choose from when posting a job:

  • Entry: Looking for someone relatively new to the field
  • Intermediate: Looking for substantial experience in the field
  • Expert: Looking for comprehensive and deep experience in the field

Now this seems simple enough, right?

But here’s the thing…

Most clients don’t know what “substantial experience” might cost vs “comprehensive and deep experience.”

Or whether they really need someone who’s been in the field 5+ years vs someone who’s only been doing it for six months.

And even if they do…

Nine times out of ten, they’ll happily pay more for the right freelancer…

Or accept someone with less experience (even if they come in under budget) who’s got good samples and submits a strong proposal.

So, bottom line:

Our advice is to ignore the experience level in the job posting and apply to anything that seems like a good fit for you.

In the end, you’ll submit more proposals and (likely) land more gigs.

Working For Yourself

Charge That to My Expense Account

As a freelancer, you may not have a pension or 401k…

But you do get some tax advantages from being able to write stuff off.

And if you’re looking to save as much as possible on your tax bill next year…

Our friends at Upwork have put together an awesome list of 20 things you can and should be expensing in your freelance business.

Click here to check it out:

[READ]: The 20 Most Important U.S. Tax Benefits and Deductions for Freelancers

From The Paid Ads Gig

Running Ads on Facebook or Google? Forget Autobid and Try This Instead

Ad platforms like Meta and Google have been shepherding media buyers away from manual controls for years now.

One example of this is automated bidding.

Instead of setting your own bids or cost caps, they encourage you to use automated bidding instead.

But here’s the problem…

Ad pixels are typically trained to optimize for the lowest cost per conversion.

And which do you think costs less to acquire…

The crap leads or the high-quality leads?

We’ll give you a hint: it’s not the high-quality leads 🙃

So the end result is you get more volume, but lower quality.

How do you fix this?

By testing manual bid or cost caps instead of (or alongside) automated bidding.

This lets you take back the wheel from the pixel AI so you can improve your lead quality and reduce wasted ad spend.

Now in case it’s been a while since you toyed around with these settings…

You can find one-pagers from Meta and Google on this topic here and here.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“If you want to succeed, if you want to achieve all your outcomes, you have to think of success as a process, a way of life, a habit of mind, a strategy for life.”

— Tony Robbins