📉 Patreon plummets

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 newsletter: Patreon, Snapchat, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus the easiest way to fish for new freelance clients, savvy advice for anyone scaling up their side hustle, and one simple trick to avoid ad fatigue on Facebook and Instagram.

Read time: 3 minutes and 58 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

  • Leaked memo reveals Patreon’s valuation has plummeted 70%. The creator economy darling recently laid off 17% of its workforce, and a leaked memo reviewed by Insider may explain why.
  • Snapchat continues to get hammered by slowdown in digital ad market. The company is projecting zero revenue growth for Q4 as advertising budgets shrink going into 2023, which sent its share price down another 25%+.
  • Elon Musk plans to cut Twitter workforce by 75%. If he completes his Twitter takeover bid, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is planning to slash headcount and get rid of 5,000+ employees, according to a new report from the Washington Post. Time to update your CVs!

Working With Clients

The Easiest Way to Fish For New Freelance Clients

If you’re a new freelancer looking to land clients…

You’ve got two choices:

Go fishing in the equivalent of the Atlantic Ocean by trying to persuade any and every business owner out there to hire you…

Or go to a small pond where the density of fish is much higher.

Where do you think your chances are better?

The small pond, of course.

And that’s exactly what freelancing platforms are.

Places like Upwork and Fiverr are where you can find paying clients looking to hire right now.

So if you’re just getting started…

Don’t waste your time messaging random strangers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Focus on freelancing platforms instead.

Then aim to take your work off the platform once you’ve built strong relationships.

Plus, if you share the newsletter with a friend, we’ll send you a free fill-in-the-blanks Upwork job proposal template.

Use your unique share link at the bottom of today’s edition to start referring today 👇

Working For Yourself

Savvy Advice For Anyone Scaling Up Their Side Hustle

If you’ve ever thought about scaling up your freelance business from a one-person operation to a full-fledged agency…

Or are thinking about starting a new side hustle…

Then an important question to consider is:

Should you partner with (or hire) your friends?

On one hand, the people you work with represent a huge chunk of your day-to-day interactions, especially as you get older…

So wouldn’t it be nice if one (or more) of those people were your friends?

But on the other hand, adding a business layer to an existing friendship requires a strong foundation and stellar communication — and even then, things can still go wrong.

Ultimately, there’s no “perfect” answer…

Because regardless of whether you choose to hire your friends or not…

The two key things you should be screening for are:

1) Competence (can they do the job?)

2) Culture (will they fit in + influence others in the way YOU want?)

Friends may get top marks in the Culture category, but lack the skills and experience you’re looking for…

While outside hires may have the competence you need without being a culture fit.

Bottom line:

Great hires should score high in both categories.

From The Paid Ads Gig

Avoid Ad Fatigue on Facebook and Instagram With This One Simple Trick

One of the biggest roadblocks to scaling your ad account on Facebook and Instagram is ad fatigue.

Once you start spending thousands of dollars per day or more…

You need to give the algorithm more to work with if you want to maintain performance.

Think of it like a deck of cards…

If you’ve only got a few copy and image variations, you’re only giving the algorithm a few cards to play with.

And the result is that your target audience ends up seeing the same ads over and over again.

So… how do you avoid this?

By using dynamic creative.

This lets you upload up to…

  • 5 variations of body copy
  • 10 images or videos
  • 5 headlines
  • 5 descriptions

All within the same single ad.

So you can “stack the deck”…

And allow the algorithm to mix and match each individual asset, creating TONS of different variations to test and run.

Ultimately, this allows you to avoid burning out your audience…

Find more ad variations that convert…

And scale up your ad account much faster.

Gig Alerts

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

Reads You Might Enjoy

  • The Daily Upside: Insightful business news that respects your time and intelligence.
  • The Sample: Discover your next favorite writer.
  • Alts: Demystifies and explains the hottest unique invest ideas out there, like NFTs, wine, websites, LEGOs, and more.

Quote of the Day


“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

— Voltaire

👻 Shocking Snap

Happy Wednesday! Netflix averted disaster yesterday, reporting a loss of only 1 million subscribers instead of the 2 million they projected. They also pushed back the timeline on their ad-supported tier to early 2023.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Amazon, Snapchat, Zoom, and Firefox. Plus why falling on your sword is usually a good idea, an easy office upgrade your eyes will thank you for, and the No Paragraphs Allowed club.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 30 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Amazon slashes its own private-label inventory due to falling sales. The reduction may be a precursor to exiting the private label business entirely to avoid regulatory trouble from the feds, according to the WSJ. 
  • Snapchat unveils desktop app that could compete with Zoom. The disappearing message app has only been available on mobile for years. But now it’s launching on desktop because the mobile version hosts a shocking 100 million video calls per month. Users in the U.S., U.K., and Canada will have to pony up for a $3.99/m Snap+ subscription to access the new desktop version.

  • New Firefox feature blocks URL tracking parameters. The new privacy feature strips URL parameters typically used to track web traffic. The life of a media buyer gets more fun every day.

Working With Clients

Why Falling On Your Sword is Usually a Good Idea

If you’ve been freelancing for a while, chances are you’ve screwed something up when working for a client.

And if you’re new to freelancing, well… give it time.

Either way, mistakes are inevitable.

They can’t be avoided.

But what most freelancers don’t realize is…

How you respond to a mistake can make or break your client relationship.

So own up to your screw ups.

If your sales letter went live with a typo in the headline…

Or you embedded the wrong video on a landing page…

Or you launched ads with a broken link…

Then take responsibility.

Don’t try to deflect the blame.

Clients will respect you for it, and — assuming the offense wasn’t firing-worthy — it will help to build trust and strengthen your relationship over the long term.


Working For Yourself

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

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.


From The Copywriting Gig

No Paragraphs Allowed

Here’s some good news for anyone who failed English class:

Writing words that sell has NOTHING to do with what you learned in high school.

In fact, it breaks pretty much all the rules.

Some key points to focus on:

  • Keep paragraphs short (1-2 lines max)
  • Avoid using big words (3 syllables or less)
  • Ellipses are your best friend
  • Moar bullets

It may feel funny at first…

But if you want to sell more stuff, train yourself to write conversationally and in plain English.

Looking to speed up the process? 

Put your copy through Hemingway before submitting it.


Gig Alert


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


ICYMI:


❌ Freelancing mistake

Happy Thursday! Today may be the last day of Q2, but there’s still four more days to enter our 1k subscriber giveaway, where you can win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. We’ve had less than 20 entries so far, so your odds are looking pretty good right now.

Mentioned in today’s issue: TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and “revenge travel”. Plus one mistake new freelancers make, what happens when you treat your mind like a filing cabinet, and how to avoid taking notes on Zoom calls.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 30 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Social media copywriters are in high demand. A senior agency exec tells Marketing Brew that brands are on the hunt for copywriters with a strong sense of brand voice to help them stand out on platforms like Twitter and TikTok.
  • 72% of travelers report ads influence their choice of destination. In addition to confirming that advertising does work, the study by AdTheorent also found that 57% of U.S. travelers count themselves “revenge travelers” — aka people looking to make up for lost time due to the pandemic.

  • Snapchat+ launches at $3.99 per month. The paid subscription includes critical new features such as being able to change the app icon and see who’s rewatched your Stories. With that kind of breakthrough functionality, we’re expecting this to be a monster hit.

Working With Clients

New to Freelancing? Don’t Make This Mistake

If you’re a new freelancer looking to land clients…

You’ve got two choices:

Go fishing in the equivalent of the Atlantic Ocean by trying to persuade any and every business owner out there to hire you…

Or go to a small pond where the density of fish is much higher.

Where do you think your chances are better?

The small pond, of course.

And that’s exactly what freelancing platforms are.

Places like Upwork and Fiverr are where you can find paying clients looking to hire right now.

So if you’re just getting started…

Don’t waste your time messaging random strangers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Focus on freelancing platforms instead.

Then aim to take your work off the platform once you’ve built strong relationships.

Plus, if you share the newsletter with a friend, we’ll send you a free fill-in-the-blanks Upwork job proposal template.

Use your unique share link at the bottom of today’s edition to start referring today 👇


Working For Yourself

When You Treat Your Mind Like a Filing Cabinet, This is What Happens

Staying productive can be a battle when you’re working from home.

But instead of looking for some fancy productivity system to keep you on task, here’s an old school solution to try:

Write all your to-dos down on paper.

Because if you’ve 479 mental tabs open at the same time, well, that’s gonna suck up all your juice and make it difficult to get things done.

But when you write everything down, you can free up your mind’s computing power to do more important things — like finding the perfect GIF to get your point across 😉


Tools We Love

Fred Has Entered the Chat

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

Listening and typing 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 didn’t record it.)

That’s where Fireflies.AI comes in.

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


Quote of the Day

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”

— Mae West