👾 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


📸 BeReal-er

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

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

Read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

Together with AdSkills

When They Find Out You’re AdSkills Certified

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

As an AdSkills member, not only will you learn how to launch & scale paid ad campaigns, but you’ll also get the stamp of approval that 9-figure companies like ClickFunnels, DigitalMarketer, and VShred look for when hiring freelancers. So if you’re looking for a new high-income skill to add to your freelance toolkit, click here to try a free class today.

Making the Rounds

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

Working With Clients

The Shortcut to Getting Attention Online

Mainstream wisdom is everywhere.

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

– cut back on lattes

– eat more vegetables

– go to bed earlier

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

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

So ask yourself: what controversial opinions can I highlight?

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

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

Now, a caveat:

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

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

Working For Yourself

4 Reasons Not to Become a Digital Nomad

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

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

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

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

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

Temptations are everywhere.

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

#2: You have to work odd hours

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

This can be brutal.

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

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

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

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

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

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

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

From The Copywriting Gig

Selling on the Knife’s Edge

Humans are emotional beings.

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

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

Talk about analysis paralysis.

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

And ignore the logical side.

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

To win their hearts… 

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

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

A winning offer or marketing campaign always has both.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

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

W.P. Kinsella

❌ 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