⚔️ Technobattle

Happy Wednesday! Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest active volcano, erupted on Monday in Hawaii for the first time since 1984. On the bright side, it appears to be a “mild” eruption so far (because apparently there is such a thing). 

No major flights have been delayed, an initial ashfall warning has since been cancelled, and officials say no property or residents are currently at risk of being BBQ’d by flowing lava. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, Apple, Cyber Monday, and Post.news. Plus 3 signs you need to fire a client, pre-mortems vs pre-parades, and why not all leads from paid traffic are created equal.

Read time: 4 minutes and 51 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Elon threatens to go to war with Apple. The Twitter CEO tweeted a meme indicating he was ready to go to war with the iPhone maker, claiming that Apple has paused most of its ads after spending $40M on the platform so far this year, and was even threatening to withhold Twitter from the App Store.
  • Cyber Monday sales top $12B in the U.S. Step side Black Friday, because there’s a new heavyweight champion in town. According to data from Salesforce, Cyber Monday sales shot up 8.3% year over year, topping Back Friday sales by $3B despite soaring inflation and a gloomy economic outlook. You know what they say: when the credit card has been bad, it must be punished.
  • New Twitter clone banks on micropayments as the future of news publishing. Post.news, a new social platform founded by former Waze CEO Noam Bardin, has 65,000 approved users and is aiming to monetize them via micropayments for news content. Translation: instead of paying for a monthly subscription to WSJ or Insider, on Post, you can pay a tiny fraction to read only the articles you want to.

Working With Clients

3 Signs You Need to Fire a Client

When you speak with a prospective client, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

Most freelancers tend to forget this.

Specifically, you should be on the lookout for major red flags.

Here are 3 to watch out for:

1) Previous bad experiences

Most people have had bad experiences with hiring freelancers.

But if a prospective client goes on and on about all the terrible people they’ve hired in the past…

That’s a hard pass for us.

2) Unrealistic demands about availability

As a freelancer, you’ll typically be juggling multiple clients.

So new clients shouldn’t expect you to be available 24/7.

If they’re blowing you up on evenings and weekends…

Don’t stand for it.

3) They don’t pay on time

There’s nothing worse than having to hound someone to get you paid.

Especially if you’ve turned in your work as promised.

Timely payments create a sacred bond of trust between client and freelancer.

If they’re always late, let ‘em go 👋

Working For Yourself

Pre-Mortems vs Pre-Parades

One of the most difficult things about tackling big projects is balancing optimism with skepticism.

You don’t want to overlook any critical flaws…

But you have to believe it can be successful at the same time.

That’s why we’re such big fans of a technique we discovered in a recent interview with Tim Ferriss and investor Roelof Botha.

In case you haven’t heard of Roelof — and don’t worry – we hadn’t either — he’s the former CFO of PayPal and current Managing Director of Sequoia Capital, one of the oldest and most successful venture capital firms in the world, having invested in companies like Square, Instagram, Stripe, Airbnb, 23andMe, and many more.

Oh, and Roelof has personally generated over $1B in returns for investors at Sequoia through investments he’s led.

So he knows a thing or two about tackling big projects and being successful.

Anyway, onto the technique…

Well, it’s two actually:

The first is a “pre-mortem.” 

Before the project launches or goes live, imagine that it fails. Then ask yourself why.

In other words, if the project were to fail… why would that be?

The reframe here is that instead of wondering “what could go wrong?” you force yourself to get specific…

So you can map it out and do what you can to prevent it in advance.

The second is a “pre-parade.”

This is basically the opposite of a pre-mortem. The idea is to imagine “what if things go right?”

Then likewise, ask yourself why that is.

You see, many people lack the vision necessary to bet big and win…

Because they’re unable to picture exactly what could happen if things go right, and what that would mean.

Roelof and his team at Sequoia perform these two exercises before every investment they make.

And judging by their track record, it’s pretty damn effective.

From The Paid Ads Gig

There’s a Reason Why They Say Cocaine TikTok is a Hell of a Drug

Advertisers have lots of options when it comes to running paid traffic on social these days:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

And that doesn’t even factor in other sources like native ads or push ads.

Now some ad platforms are more popular than others…

Like TikTok, for example.

But what many media buyers and entrepreneurs don’t realize is:

Different platforms produce different kinds of leads.

Case in point:

TikTok leads are naturally less qualified compared to leads from Facebook or YouTube.

Why?

Because the platform is built on short-form content.

It’s impossible for those leads to get as much context as on other platforms like Facebook or YouTube.

Now that doesn’t mean running ads on TikTok won’t work for you…

In fact, we know lots of people who are having success there…

Largely because the traffic is so much cheaper.

Cost per click is typically much lower than Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

So the economics still work out.

Especially if you’re selling ecom products or low-ticket impulse buys that don’t require a ton of context or qualification before making a purchase.

But if you’re selling a high-ticket product or service? 

Not so much.

Ultimately, this is one of the reasons why Facebook is still our weapon of choice when it comes to running paid ads…

Because the amount of context people can get about your offer between long-form copy AND video is hard to beat.

Moral of the story is:

Not all leads are generated equal.

So keep that in mind when crafting your paid ad strategy.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

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Traditional investment news is littered with jargon and filled with fluff. But The Daily Upside peels out the insights and peppers them with A+ memes and GIFs so you can stay above the fray.

Plus it’s completely free, and you are guaranteed to learn something new every day.

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Quote of the Day


“A bad attitude is like a flat tire; if you don’t change it, you won’t go anywhere”

— Joyce Meyer

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.

BUT…

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:

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

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  • The Curiosity Chronicle: High signal content related to frameworks, personal development, productivity, and growth.
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Quote of the Day


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

— Roelof Botha

In Case You Missed It:

🛒 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.

Translation:

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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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:

🦹 Project Aquaman

Happy Tuesday! If you’re concerned about the economy and how it might affect your freelance business, make sure to check our free 81-page guide on how to go from zero to 10k/m. Inside, you’ll find our playbook for building a recession-proof six-figure freelance business — even if you’re brand new.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: TikTok, Project Aquaman, and Meta. Plus one reason why you’re struggling to land more clients, an inconvenient truth about what it really takes to get rich, and the “2-step” secret to blowing up your email list on Twitter.

Read time: 3 minutes and 21 seconds.

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok’s aims to replicate China’s $400B livestream shopping industry in the U.S. The initiative is known internally as Project Aquaman and borrows heavily from the tactics used by Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, to become a major ecommerce company in the last two years — including a decentralized network of 20+ TikTok Shop Partners.
  • Investor asks Mark Zuckerberg to quit dumping so much money into the metaverse. Brad Gerstner owns $320M worth of Meta shares, and he’s tired of seeing the mounting losses from its AR/VR division, Reality Labs. Having lost $15B so far, Gerstner wrote an open letter urging Meta to reduce headcount by 20% or more and limit the company’s investment in Reality Labs to just $5B per year.
  • 26% of U.S. adults under 30 get their news from TikTok. The total number across all adults has tripled since 2020, with 10% saying they regularly get news from TikTok according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Working With Clients

Not Landing Enough Clients? This Might Be Why

What gets measured gets managed.

That’s why, when it comes to finding clients…

You should be tracking your prospecting numbers on a weekly basis.

  • How many people you reached out to
  • How many calls you booked
  • How many proposals you submitted
  • How many clients you landed

This allows you to identify where the constraint is — just like analyzing a client’s underperforming sales funnel — and then try new things until you crack the code.

Sometimes, the reason you’re not landing enough clients is simply because you’re not taking enough swings.

And if that’s the case, it’s time to pump those numbers up.

Working For Yourself

An Inconvenient Truth About What it Really Takes to Get Rich

Is it more important to work HARD or to work smart?

The answer, of course, is that it depends.

Most people tend to glorify one or the other…

But in the video below, Alex Hormozi reveals why hard work alone won’t make you rich…

Plus the one thing that matters more than getting up at 5 AM, taking cold showers, or working 12 hour days.

If you want to be strategic about building a highly-profitable business and acquiring real wealth…

Click below to check it out:

[WATCH]: Why hard work won’t make you rich

Tools We Love

The “2-Step” Secret to Blowing Up Your Email List on Twitter

Twitter’s been our #1 growth channel since we launched in late March.

And there’s one specific type of tweet that’s proven to be insanely effective for attracting more engagement, followers, and subscribers:

The auto-DM.

This simple tweet follows a “2-step” structure where you tease a piece of content (video, template, cheat sheet, checklist, etc) and then ask people to like, comment, or retweet to get it.

Here are some recent results from our last couple auto-DMs:

  • 1,041 RTs and 623 subscribers
  • 393 RTs and 187 subscribers
  • 936 RTs and 127 subscribers

All told, we’ve added 1,249+ subscribers to our list with this one type of tweet.

Now you can manually reply to all these people to deliver the content, of course…

But we prefer to use TweetHunter instead.

Why?

For one, it puts the “auto” in “auto-DM” — so you don’t have to do anything manual.

It’s got a ton of other features we love too, including:

– Tweet and thread scheduling
– Native image editor
– 2M+ viral tweet library to use for inspiration
– Auto-plugs and auto-retweets
– And a whole bunch more

Bottom line:

If you’re looking to grow your audience (and your business) on Twitter as quickly as possible…

TweetHunter is exactly what you need.

Click here to try TweetHunter for free

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day


“The most difficult thing is the decision to act!”

— Amelia Earhart

ICYMI:

🤖 Integrating DALL-E 2

Happy Thursday! Looking for clients? Don’t forget to check the Gig Alerts section at the bottom of the newsletter. We always include a handful of copywriting, media buying, and graphic design jobs that have been posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Microsoft, DALL-E 2, PCs, ByteDance, and Spotify. Plus why working for whales is the best way to make a splash, the $10 million dollar sales process, and our favorite solution for ironclad freelance contracts.

Read time: 3 minutes and 28 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft integrating AI image generator DALL-E 2 into new free and paid tools. After making a big investment in the AI-powered system, Microsoft users will soon be able to use DALL-E 2 through both Designer (its new paid Canva competitor) as well as Image Creator (a new free tool launching to Bing and Edge browsers very soon). So if you’ve been eager to play around with it, you may not have to wait much longer.
  • Global PC shipments fall 15% in Q3 2022. Another sign an economic downturn may be upon us: PC shipments were down 15% year-over-year last quarter.
  • ByteDance planning to expand music streaming business. Spotify may be next on theTikTok hit list: parent company ByteDance has reportedly been meeting with music labels about its music streaming service, Resso. Currently, Resso is only available in India, Indonesia and Brazil. But the company is aiming to launch it worldwide so TikTok users can discover songs and quickly subscribe to new artists. Sounds like a potentially deadly combination to us.

Working With Clients

Why Working For Whales is the Best Way to Make a Splash

If you want to accelerate your freelance career, you need to rack up wins as fast as possible.

Wins are like jet fuel.

They’re what allow you to raise your rates, generate more referrals, and close more clients.

So… what’s the fastest way to rack up wins?

Working for whale clients.

And the reason why is simple…

It’s because bigger companies can afford to spend more on marketing.

You may have an easier time convincing a local business to hire you if you’re brand new…

And you may be tempted to seek the path of less resistance in those early stages…

But big companies ALWAYS make better clients:

Here’s why:

1 – Their products and services have already been validated by the market (people want them)

2 – They usually have lots of existing assets for you to work with (copy, videos, past promotions, etc)

3 – They’re used to spending money on marketing (and freelancers)

Now, is it harder to land bigger companies as clients?

Sometimes, but not always.

We’re not talking about getting hired on as the Chief Marketing Officer here.

It might just be writing a few emails or building a few landing pages for them.

Just enough to get your foot in the door.

And big companies have a massive, ongoing need for these types of assets.

So here’s a pro tip to help you seal the deal: 

Put together custom sample pieces for every big client you’re pitching free of charge.

This delivers value up front and will help you immediately stand out.

Apply this strategy, focus on landing big companies as clients, and watch your track record explode. 

Working For Yourself

The $10 Million Dollar Sales Process

Paging the sales department…

… Oh wait — that’s you 😉

Because let’s be honest: running a freelance business means you work in sales.

It doesn’t mean you have to become a sleazy used-car salesman…

But if you want to make more money, have more freedom, and reap the rewards of entrepreneurship…

Then it does mean you need to learn the fundamentals.

In the 20-minute YouTube video below, CEO of Closers dot io Cole Gordon reveals his entire step-by-step sales process responsible for over $10M in sales.

It’s extremely thorough and tactical.

So if you’re looking to feel more comfortable on sales calls…

Not to mention learn how to close more deals with less resistance and rejection…

Check it out here:

[Watch]: The $10 Million Dollar Sales Process

Tools We Love

How Not to Write a Legally-Binding Freelance Contract

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.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”

— Helen Frankenthaler

ICYMI:

📻 What’s Alexa listening to?

Happy Wednesday! You know what they say: the early bird catches the worm. But then again, the bird who sleeps in probably feels more rested. Plus maybe they’re intermittent fasting anyway? Who knows. But whether you’re an early bird or a not-so-early bird, we’ve got the latest freelance news fresh off the presses and ready for your reading pleasure.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Amazon, Alexa, TikTok, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus how to make unpaid invoices slightly less painful, when that portfolio site looks tight, and what to do when traditional copy frameworks don’t convert.

Read time: 4 minutes and 27 seconds

Together with AdSkills

When You’re AdSkills Certified, it’s All They Need to Know

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

  • Alexa users sue Amazon over allegedly using voice recordings to target ads. In their defense, the company claims that while purchases made through Alexa are used to inform interest-based targeting, recordings of conversations are not. Something tells us this will be difficult for either side to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • TikTok planning to build ecommerce fulfillment network in the U.S. Based on over a dozen new LinkedIn job postings, TikTok is gearing up to build an “international ecommerce fulfillment system” that could eventually pose a threat to Amazon.
  • Twitter and Elon Musk almost struck a deal at $50 per share. If it had come together, the deal would’ve saved Elon roughly 8% on his original $44B offer to buy the company. But the deal reportedly fell through because he was unwilling to accept concessions. 

Working With Clients

How to Make Unpaid Invoices Slightly Less Painful

If you’ve ever had to chase down a client just to collect on an unpaid invoice…

Then here’s a simple tip to soften the blow next time:

Ask for a deposit up front.

It can be 25%, 50%, or even more.. 

Use your judgment, of course. 

But the more established you are (and the bigger the project is), the more you should be asking for up front. 

So even if the project drags on, or you have trouble getting the rest of your fee paid in a timely fashion…

At least you’ve collected some cash up front.

Plus, if a prospective client scoffs at the idea of putting down a deposit, that’s a red flag.

Working For Yourself

When That Portfolio Site Looks Tight

One question you may be asking yourself if you’re a new freelancer is…

Do you need a portfolio website?

Especially considering freelance sites like Upwork have built-in portfolio functionality…

Along with the ability to collect social proof through ratings and reviews.

So here’s our take…

Portfolio websites make you look more credible and professional.

They also demonstrate some added overall know-how…

Because to set one up, you’ll need to: 

  • Register a domain
  • Sign up for hosting
  • Choose a content management system (WordPress, Squarespace, etc)
  • Set up your website to display your work

Now you may eventually get to the point where you don’t need a portfolio site to close deals…

But in the early going, it’s a great way to position yourself as a true professional.

Plus it doesn’t have to cost much to set up.

You can register a domain for less than $20 on Namecheap

You can sign up for hosting at Siteground for less than $5/mo…

And WordPress is free to install.

So even if you’re just getting started in your freelancing career…

Setting up a portfolio website is well worth the effort.

From The Copywriting Gig

Traditional Copy Frameworks Not Converting? Try This

P-A-S and A-I-D-A aren’t the only copywriting frameworks that convert.

The movie industry generated $21.4 billion dollars in 2021.

Here’s the 5-part storytelling structure behind Star Wars, LOTR, and all your favorite Hollywood movies (and how it applies to selling stuff):

PART 1: Inciting Incident

Think of this as the hook.

It’s the ONE event that sets the rest of the story in motion.

Let’s use the Matrix as an example…

The inciting incident is when Trinity contacts Neo through his computer in The Matrix

Now in the case of a product or service…

It’s usually a high-stakes “trigger moment” that brings the problem to the forefront.

– getting dumped
– losing your job
– having your card declined
– ripping your pants in public
– etc

PART 2: Progressive Complications

The inciting incident creates an imbalance in the hero’s life…

So they try to restore balance.

But this only takes them further from their goal.

Like when the Oracle tells Neo he’s not The One.

For marketers…

This is where the prospect explores other solutions, but continues to fail.

– tries keto, atkins, IF and whole30 but doesn’t lose weight
– tries trading stocks, crypto, and FX but doesn’t make money
– tries paid ads but doesn’t get clients

PART 3: Crisis

This is the hero’s “do or die” decision point.

After Morpheus is captured, Neo is forced to decide:

Should he let him die or go back into the Matrix and save him?

In an ad or promotion, the decision point is: 

Should the prospect continue? Or are they finally ready to give up and abandon themselves to their fate?

– being overweight
– being broke
– being single
– working a 9 to 5
– etc

PART 4: Climax

The climax is the OUTCOME of the crisis decision.

Neo decides to go back into the Matrix and save Morpheus.

For products and services…

This is typically the “moment of discovery” where they stumble across the new solution.

– new diet / training program / special nutrient
– new trading / investment strategy
– new approach to landing clients
– etc

PART 5: Resolution

The climax brings the story’s conflict to an end.

The resolution is what follows.

Neo realizes he is the One & sets out to free more minds.

If you’re writing a sales letter or VSL…

The resolution is what leads your hero to share their solution with others, which creates a “reason why” and helps position the offer/solution.

Put this storytelling formula to work next time you’re writing a long-form piece of copy and let us know how it goes.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Almost every significant breakthrough is the result of a courageous break with traditional ways of thinking.”

— Stephen Covey

ICYMI:

📈Tripling TikTok’s losses

Happy Friday! The September jobs report due out at 8:30 AM today will give us a better idea of whether the economy is starting to cool off in response to rapidly rising interest rates. Or you know, not. 

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: TikTok, Twitter, and productivity. Plus a thoughtful way to build rapport with clients, one person you can’t break a promise to, and the fastest way to offend your copy chief.

Read time: 3 minutes and 22 seconds

Together with AdSkills

No Ad Platform Can Escape Them

New ad platforms crop up all the time. And having first mover advantage can often lead to massive profits. But mastering the ins and outs of each new ad platform takes time and money. That’s where AdSkills comes in. Inside their platform, you’ll learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and run profitable traffic at scale across every ad platform from Google and Facebook to TikTok, Native, and more.

Plus, as an AdSkills member, 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 to partner with top-tier businesses and make more money per client, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok’s parent company had operating losses of more than $7 billion in 2021. There’s a big difference between revenue and profit. Just ask TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, whose operating losses tripled in 2021, to the tune of over $7 billion, despite bringing in billions in revenue. The tide may be turning though, as ByteDance reportedly turned an operating profit for the first time in Q1 of this year.
  • Hot labor market leads to slumping productivity. Despite a red hot job market that favors workers, U.S. worker productivity dropped by 5.8% in the first two quarters of 2022. Why? One reason is high turnover: with so many workers quitting their old jobs to find new (and higher-paying) ones, the economy has been flooded by people who don’t know how to do their job very efficiently — a development that could drag the economy down if it carries on for too long.
  • Twitter Edit button rolling out to all U.S. subscribers. Users in the U.S. paying $4.99/mo for a Twitter Blue subscription can now officially edit their tweets. The move is a bit redundant though, as Twitter Blue users have always had access to an Undo button made for fixing typos, aka the primary use case for an Edit button. No word on when this new feature might roll out to free users.

Working With Clients

It’s The Thought That Counts

Freelance businesses are built on long-lasting relationships.

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for clients is to send them a gift.

It could be as simple as a handwritten note, pen, or gift card…

Or something more elaborate like a food and wine box.

A few options to check out:

As for timing, we recommend sending a gift after finishing the first big project with a new client…

Or to mark a big anniversary, like one, two, or even five years (if you’re so lucky!).

Working For Yourself

One Person You Can’t Break a Promise To

One of the hallmarks of high-performers in any arena is a high say-do ratio.

When they say they’re gonna do something…

They do it.

Plain and simple.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

Following through on what you SAY you’re gonna do builds confidence and centers your locus of control.

So if you keep saying you’re gonna…

– apply to more freelance jobs
– start doing cold outreach
– post more on social media
– find a mentor
– go to a live event
– grow your network
– raise your rates
– etc etc etc

Then do it.

Prove to yourself you are in control.

And save the excuses for later.

Because in the end, YOU are the only who can do the work.

From The Copywriting Gig

The Fastest Way to Offend Your Copy Chief

Looking to write strong direct response copy that converts?

Here’s a tip:

Use the active voice.

When you use the active voice, your subject takes the action.

This makes your writing feel strong and punchy.

On the flipside…

When you use the passive voice, your subject is the one being acted upon.

Which makes your writing feel weak and flaccid.

Here’s a few examples:

ACTIVE: I wrote that copy.
PASSIVE: That copy was written by me.

ACTIVE: I beat that control.
PASSIVE: That control was beaten by me.

See the difference?

If you want hard-hitting copy that can crush controls…

(and put a smile on your copy chief’s face)

Write in the active voice.

Use declarations and direct commands to tell your reader exactly what to do.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Never surrender to the momentum of mediocrity.”

— Marlon Brando

ICYMI:

👥 Copycatting features for fun & profit

Happy Tuesday! Today’s a great day to share the newsletter with a friend or colleague. We’ll even send you a fill-in-the-blanks Upwork proposal template for helping us spread the word. Just grab your unique referral link at the bottom of this email to start sharing.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter, TikTok, Douyin, SpaceX, and Starlink. Plus a counterintuitive trust-building technique, the difference between cost, price, and value, and one feature all email marketers deserve.

Read time: 2 minutes and 27 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter is next in line of TikTok copycats. The typically text-heavy social media platform is rolling out an immersive full-screen video experience and a video carousel to the Explore tab.
  • TikTok aiming to launch live shopping in North America after U.K. flop. If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. At least, that’s what TikTok is telling themselves as they plan to outsource a new live shopping operation in North America. Can’t say we blame: TikTok’s sister app Douyin did over $10B in livestream sales last year.
  • SpaceX repositions Starlink satellites to provide internet to Southwest Florida. The company is sending over 100 Starlink kits to the Sunshine State as hundreds of thousands remain without power after Hurricane Ian.

Working With Clients

Try This Counterintuitive Trust-Building Technique Next Time You Make a Mistake

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

The Difference Between Cost, Price, and Value

What do you say when a prospect asks “what will this cost?”

It’s a direct question that can be a little uncomfortable to answer, especially if you’re new to freelancing.

But before you do…

Make sure you understand the relationship between cost, price, and value.

Because none of them mean the same thing.

And if you’re not careful, you may end up underpricing yourself on sales calls, scaring off high-quality clients, and missing out on much bigger deals.

Check out this video from our friends at The Futur to learn more:

[WATCH]: How To Run A Profitable Freelance Business & Make Money

Tools We Love

“I Wonder What They’ll Ask For Next… a Gold-Plated Toilet Seat?”

As the publishers of a daily newsletter, email marketing is the foundation of our business.

And throughout our freelancing careers, we’ve had the opportunity to work with many of the biggest email service providers out there.

But the problem is…

Most of them have so many fancy bells and whistles that you need a PhD in computer science just to figure out how to make them do what you want.

That’s why we’re proud users of ConvertKit.

It’s simple, intuitive, and incredibly easy to use.

Because you *should* be able to collect emails, send out broadcasts, and set up simple automations in minutes without calling in chat support.

So if you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective way to grow your online audience with email marketing…

Try ConvertKit for free today.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

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

— Earl Weaver

ICYMI:

🔬 Under the microscope

Happy Wednesday! Friendly reminder that if you’re enjoying the newsletter, your friends probably would too. Grab your referral link at the bottom of today’s email to start sharing and win cool stuff.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: TikTok, Elon Musk, Parag Agrawal, and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Plus what it takes to become a highly-paid freelancer, tips to declutter your Drive folder, and 3 magic words to punch up your sales copy.

Read time: 3 minutes and 45 seconds

Together with AdSkills

Looking for a new high-income skill to add to your freelance toolkit? Then it’s time to learn paid ads. And when it comes to paid traffic training, AdSkills is the gold standard. That’s why 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred rely on AdSkills courses to train their media buyers.

Inside their platform, you’ll learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale ad accounts to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and more. They even have a Matchmaker program to help graduates line up interviews and land gigs with top tier clients. So if you’re looking to diversify your freelance income, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok nearing deal with U.S. government to continue operating without being forced to sell itself. Rumors have been flying that the short-form video app would need to sell off its American division to eliminate national security concerns. But after being put under the microscope, it looks like they may be nearing an agreement with the Biden administration to avoid it.
  • Depositions of Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal delayed. Both men were set to be deposed Monday, but the depositions were postponed for an unknown reason. The trial is set to begin later this month.
  • TikTok may be forced to pay a $29M fine in the U.K. for mishandling children’s data. Speaking of privacy concerns around TikTok, the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. issued provisional findings of a 2019 investigation that could lead to a $29M fine. Based on the $4.6B in revenue TikTok brought in last year, it would take them approximately 2.3 days to come up with the dough. So we’re not sure that even qualifies as a slap on the wrist. 

Working With Clients

So You Want to Be a Highly-Paid Freelancer?

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

What It Looks Like Inside Most Freelancers’ Google Drive Folders…

Piggybacking on the topic of working fast…

Keeping your digital workspace organized is just as important as keeping your physical workspace organized when it comes to being speedy.

Here are a few tips to help you digitally declutter:

  • Establish a naming convention for files (ex: [CLIENT] – Document Name – MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Create a master folder
  • Organize subfolders with numbers (ex: “01. [FOLDER]”)
  • Maintain a tracking sheet (with links to all documents for a given project)
  • Have a dedicated scratch pad (for quick notes or off the cuff calculations)

Bottom line: a cluttered Drive folder makes for a cluttered mind.

And cluttered minds tend to miss deadlines.

From The Copywriting Gig

3 Magic Words to Punch Up Your Sales Copy

Selling in print can sometimes seem like a dark art.

How do you know which specific words will move people to pull out their credit card?

Well, here’s a good place to start…

Focus on benefits, not features.

Features are structural or functional elements of the product.

  • These headphones are wireless
  • That desk is adjustable
  • This online course is self-paced

Benefits are what those features do for the person using the product.

And one easy way to convert features into benefits so you can punch up your sales copy is to use the 3 magic words:

“So you can.”

As in…

  • These headphones are wireless so you can lift heavy at the gym without worrying about tangled cords.
  • That desk is adjustable so you can avoid sitting in a chair all day.
  • This online course is self-paced so you can finish it in a single weekend.

Get the idea?

Copy that doesn’t convert is often too feature-heavy.

So next time you’re writing an ad, email, landing page, or product description…

Try dialing up the benefits and see what happens.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

— Socrates

ICYMI: