📉 Twitter Ads down

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

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

Read time: 4 minutes and 3 seconds

Making the Rounds

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

Working With Clients

When in Doubt, Refer Out

Got a lead you can’t help?

Don’t just send them away…

Refer them to someone else in your network.

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

Something that often comes back around to you…

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bigger network always means more opportunities.

Working For Yourself

4 Reasons Not to Become a Digital Nomad

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

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

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

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

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

Temptations are everywhere.

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

#2: You have to work odd hours

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

This can be brutal.

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

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

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

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

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

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

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

Tools We Love

Marketing Funnel “Show and Tell”

Even if you’re not a graphic designer or funnel builder…

If you work in marketing, chances are you’ll need to map out funnels for clients from time to time. 

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

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

Good news is, there are lots of tools out there to help you do that. 

Bad news is, most of them suck. 

They’re clunky, laggy, and not intuitive at all. 

That’s why we love Whimsical. It’s fast, free, and easy to use. 

So whether you’re using it as a part of a proposal for a prospect…

On a kickoff call with a new client…

Or to collaborate with a contractor to make sure they build the next funnel properly…

Whimsical can help you get it done.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Day


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

— Maya Angelou

In Case You Missed It

🏆 Rewarding repeat visitors

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

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

Read time: 3 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

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

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

Working With Clients

Thinking About Discounting Your Services to Land a New Client?

Making an irresistible offer is key to winning big clients.

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

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

– Destroys their positioning

– Slashes future earnings

– And shortens the customer lifespan

What is it?

Discounting your services instead of doing something for free.

You see, once you discount your price…

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

You’ve created a price anchor.

And no matter how well you deliver for them…

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

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

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

Working For Yourself

Anti-Goal Setting

“Burn the ships,” they said…

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

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

What happens if you fail?

Spoiler alert:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the 13-minute video here:

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

From The Paid Ads Gig

Diagnosing Your Way to Paid Traffic Profits

Launched a new campaign that isn’t converting yet?

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

But assuming that’s not the problem…

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

This includes:

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

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

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

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

Bottom line:

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

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

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

So focus on getting good at it.

Gig Alerts

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

Other Reads You’ll Enjoy

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

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

Quote of the Day


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

— Dorothy Parker

In Case You Missed It:

🤖 Meta has entered the AI-generated video chat

Happy Friday! Today is the last day of Q3. What are you planning over the next 90 days to finish 2022 on a high note? Hit reply and let us know.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Meta, Midjourney, Twitter, and Google Lens. Plus the first word out of every new freelancer’s mouth, 90 days to world domination, and 6 simple tips for high-converting ad images.

Read time: 5 minutes and 34 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

  • Meta announces text-to-video AI tool. Move over Midjourney, images are old news. Meta’s new Make a Video tool can generate short video clips from text prompts. It’s not public yet, but the company aims to make it available by November.
  • Reuters investigation reveals some Twitter ads appeared alongside child pornography tweets. The investigation found over 30 advertisers, including Disney, Coca-Cola and NBCUniversal, had their ads displayed on profiles promoting or soliciting child pornography. YIKES! Many have since suspended their ad campaigns on the platform.
  • Google Lens will soon let you search with an image then refine with text. The company announced several new features at its Search On event yesterday, including the ability to begin a search with an image using Google Lens.

Working With Clients

The First Word Out of Every New Freelancer’s Mouth

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

90 Days to World Domination

You’ve gotta know what you’re aiming at before you can hit the target.

But the problem is…

Humans are notoriously bad at long-term planning.

Why?

Well, for one, we’re terrible at making long-range mathematical predictions (see also: stock market investing).

But secondly, individual variables can change fast…

Especially in business. 

Making it virtually impossible to set long-term goals.

So what’s the answer?

Forget 5-year plans and focus on quarterly goals instead.

90 days offers the perfect balance between short-term and long-term..

It’s short enough to narrow your focus and long enough to make major progress towards a goal.

That’s why many experts like Gino Wickman, author of Traction and creator of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, believe in quarterly goal-setting.

Tomorrow’s the first day of Q4.

So carve out some time this weekend to set your intent and decide what you want to achieve in the final quarter of 2022.

From The Paid Ads Gig

6 Simple Tips For 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:

Quote of the Day

“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”

— Albert Einstein

ICYMI:

📈 Cross-platform scaling

Happy Thursday! Here’s a fun fact: The pilot episode of Star Trek aired 56 years ago today, on September 8, 1966. It spawned 852 episodes across 43 seasons of 12 different shows, one Duolingo-approved language, and one trip to space for its inaugural captain. Not too shabby.

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Microsoft, Pinterest Ads, quiet quitting, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus 3 low-cost ways to generate freelance leads, whether you should build a portfolio website, and the one thing that gives people more feelings of power than money or status.

Read time: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft announces Pinterest Ads import feature. The update means advertisers will soon be able to import their Pinterest campaigns into the Microsoft Audience Network to scale across platforms even faster.
  • New study finds more employees are “quiet quitting.” The Gallup survey found 18% of workers are now “actively disengaged.” That’s the highest it’s been in almost 10 years.
  • Delaware judge allows Elon Musk to amend countersuit to include new whistleblower allegations. The outcome of the first hearing between Musk and Twitter wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Tesla CEO though: Elon’s request to push the trial back to November was denied.

Working With Clients

3 Simple and Low-Cost Ways to Generate Freelance Leads

Winning in business is all about momentum.

That’s why it’s so important to establish a consistent way to land clients.

Especially if you’re new to freelancing.

Now, there are three main channels you can use to get clients without spending money on ads:

1) Referrals & Word of Mouth

Referrals and word of mouth always make for the best clients.

They’re pre-framed to trust you because someone else has endorsed you or recommended you.

Which also increases your perceived value.

Asking existing clients for referrals (and potentially incentivizing them to do so with a referral fee or bonus) is a great place to start.

The only problem is, if you’re a new freelancer, you’re not really in a position to leverage this channel yet.

2) Cold Outreach

Cold outreach means sending messages to people you don’t know to see if they’d be interested in hiring you.

This is typically done via email or on social media.

But the problem with cold outreach is intent.

No one you reach out to has said they actually WANT what you’re selling.

So this is typically not the best option for new freelancers either…

Because the tools you need to convert cold prospects into clients (lots of credibility, testimonials and a bold, results-based promise) are not in your toolkit yet.

3) Freelance Platforms

Freelance platforms solve the intent problem.

Instead of going after ice cold prospects who may or may not even want the service you provide…

You’re targeting people who have demonstrated a need and are actively looking for the solution.

These are paying clients who are looking to hire someone ASAP.

That’s intent.

And if you’re a brand new freelancer, this is the best place to start.

Our weapon of choice is Upwork, but there’s plenty of others out there like Fiverr, FreeUp and Freelancer.com.

Pick one and go all in on it.

Working For Yourself

Do You Need a Portfolio Website?

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.

Tools We Love

I’m King of the World

Ever find yourself retyping or copy-pasting the same thing day after day?

Whether it’s messages to prospects, colleagues, or clients…

Document templates…

Daily reports….

Or even usernames and passwords…

Truth is, all that time spent typing adds up.

That’s why we’re big fans of TextExpander.

TextExpander lets you set up shortcodes and abbreviations to save time on stuff you type.

Once you set it up, all you have to do is type in your shortcode, and TextExpander will automatically paste your text for you.

Learn more about how to save time with TextExpander.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life”

— Elizabeth Gilbert

ICYMI:

📺 Netflix CPMs

Happy Tuesday! We hope you had a better long weekend than the folks at NASA did. A key test of their new Artemis 1 rocket was postponed yet again after a hydrogen leak scratched Saturday’s launch. The next attempt may not be scheduled until later this month. 

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Snap, Twitter, and Elon Musk. Plus how to pick the right market to specialize in, two questions to ask before hiring your friends, and why great offers sometimes don’t convert.

Read time: 3 minutes and 14 seconds

Together with AdSkills

The Truth About Scaling to 7-Figures and Beyond in 2022

“Free” traffic is a myth. If you want to get more eyeballs on your offers, you’ve got two choices: you can pay with time or you can pay with money. But so-called “free” or organic traffic isn’t predictable or reliable. You can’t turn it up or down at will. Plus time is the only non-renewable resource you have as a freelancer or entrepreneur.

Enter AdSkills: the gold standard in paid traffic training. Paid traffic gives you a consistent, predictable, and reliable way to turn $1 into $2 or more. From there, turning up the traffic and sales can be as simple as turning on a faucet. That’s why paid traffic is the fastest way to create leverage in your business and scale your impact and income. 

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 want to learn how to write killer ads, craft campaigns that convert, and scale offers to the moon on Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube, click here to try a free AdSkills class today.

Making the Rounds

  • Netflix planning to charge advertisers $65 CPMs (cost per 1,000 impressions). Compared to an average of $2-$4 CPMs on YouTube and $15-$30 CPMs on Facebook, the streamer is clearly positioning itself as a premium traffic channel with the rate card to match.
  • Major layoffs coming at Snap. The company is reportedly planning to lay off 20% of its 6,400+ person workforce after losing close to 80% of its value so far in 2022.
  • Oral arguments begin today in Elon v Twitter. The big question is whether Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick will allow Musk to add allegations from a recent whistleblower complaint to his counterclaims against Twitter.

Working With Clients

How to Become a Market Specialist

One of the most important ways to specialize as a service provider is by focusing on one of the Big 3 markets:

The Big 3 are:

1) Health

2) Wealth

3) Relationships

These are universal desires we all share. 

As markets, they’re constantly refreshing themselves.

Old consumers exit the market as new consumers enter it.

Now, you can go even deeper by specializing in a sub-market or a niche…

For example, within health, you could drill down by specializing in keto diets or bodyweight training.

And in wealth, you could specialize in gold and silver investing or penny stocks.

But until you’ve built up a big track record, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fill your schedule with client work from just ONE sub-market or niche…

That’s why it’s best to focus on the market instead.

It’s broad enough to offer a ton of opportunities, but specific enough to give you an advantage as a specialist.

So decide which one you’re most interested in or have the most experience with…

And turn it into your specialty.

Not only will this help you attract higher-paying clients and charge more for your services…

But you’ll also save time on research…

So you can increase your output and your income.

Working For Yourself

Thinking About Hiring a Friend? Ask Yourself These 2 Questions

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.

Tools We Love

Why Great Offers Sometimes Don’t Convert

There’s nothing worse than helping a client with the copy, design, or strategy for a new offer…

Only to find out the landing page doesn’t convert.

But before you scrap it and go back to the drawing board, make sure to test the page speed.

According to HubSpot, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each added second of load time.

And in our experience, most hosting providers are not built for speed.

That’s why we use Kinsta to host our WordPress websites.

Their global content delivery network includes servers in 200+ cities worldwide to give you blazing fast page speed…

So you can maximize conversions, sales, and profits.

Join 24,200+ companies who’ve made the switch to better, faster hosting with Kinsta today.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”

— Pablo Picasso

🦉 Metaverse marketing 101

Happy Friday! Labor Day is here. We see tequila and BBQ in our future. How about you? Hit reply and let us know what your plans are for the long weekend.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Duolingo, Roblox, Apple Together, and Creative Commons. Plus a different kind of R&R, when the “friend zone” isn’t a bad thing, and split-testing for statistical insignificance.

Read time: 4 minutes and 12 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Duolingo enters the metaverse. The viral language learning app has launched a game jam inside gaming platform Roblox to spotlight developer-created Duo content and capitalize on organic interest in the metaverse. If you’re a metaverse-savvy freelancer, it’s time to update your bio — because the opportunities in this space are set to explode.
  • Apple workers launch petition to avoid returning to the office next week. Turns out not everyone misses watercooler chit chat and empty coffee pots. A group of Apple employees known as Apple Together have been circulating a petition to demand location flexible work in advance of the company’s mandated return to the office on September 5.
  • How to find images you can legally use for free. Need to find an image for a client project that you don’t have to pay for? Check out this guide from The Verge on how to search for images with Creative Commons licenses.

Working With Clients

A Different Kind of R&R

For most freelancers, hitting 10k per month is their first big goal.

So what’s the easiest way to get there?

Recurring revenue.

Look to find clients who have an ongoing need for your services.

-For copywriters, this could be writing emails and/or managing the list

-For media buyers, this could be managing paid ad campaigns

-For graphic designers, this could be producing ad creatives

-For remote sales reps, this could be setting appointments

Now copywriters and graphic designers may have to work a little bit harder on this…

Because one-off projects are much more common in those lines of work.

But media buyers and remote sales reps have recurring revenue basically built-in to their job descriptions.

And by focusing on recurring revenue…

It only takes:

– 5 clients @ 2k/m

– 4 clients @ 2.5k/m

– 2 clients @ 5k/m

… to hit 10k per month.

 Another way to hit 10k/m faster is to negotiate performance-based compensation.

This is typically a percentage of sales generated by your work.

For example:

– Copywriters may get a % of gross revenue

– Media buyers may get a % of monthly ad spend

– Remote sales reps may get a % of cash collected

Now, performance-based components are much more common for some high-income skills (copywriting, media buying, and remote sales) versus others (graphic design).

But no matter which skill you choose…

Performance-based compensation requires a strong foundation of trust.

No client will agree to share their profits without it.

So keep this in mind as a goal to work toward…

But don’t come out guns blazing and ask for a percentage of gross sales right away.

You should have no trouble hitting 10k/m without it.

Working For Yourself

When Getting “Friend Zoned” is a Good Thing

Before someone will hire you to do a job, they have to know (or at least believe) that you can actually do the job.

And if you’re running a freelance business…

This gap of awareness is much easier to bridge if you do it in advance.

How?

By building your network and getting to know other people in your industry.

There’s a reason they say your network is your net worth.

Because the more people know who…

1 – Who you are

2 – What you can do

… the more opportunities you’ll get.

Plain and simple.

And if you’re worried about “the competition” or anyone else who provides the same service as you do..

Consider this:

There is SO much more work out there than there are competent people who can do it.

The amount of people who have both skill and the will to pursue the same goals as you do is so small that it doesn’t even matter.

The closer you get to the top, the smaller the world gets.

Here are a few ways to get started:

– Join free communities focused around a specific niche or skill

– Build relationships with other service providers on social media

– Buy a product from your favorite content creator to start a more intimate conversation

Bottom line is:

Become a connector and you’ll have more opportunities than you know what to do with.

From The Paid Ads Gig

Split-Testing For Statistical Insignificance

The main conversion mechanism in a sales funnel is usually a sales letter, webinar, or VSL.

But is it the most important one?

Not always — and here’s why:

Your ad determines WHO you’re bringing in and WHAT their expectations are.

Get it wrong, and it may not matter how good your main conversion mechanism is.

Especially if you’re selling a high-ticket product or service.

So while you can split test landing pages, order forms, and button copy until the cows come home…

Truth is, the #1 biggest lever you can pull when it comes to the performance of your funnel…

(aside from your sales letter, VSL, or webinar)

Is your ad.

Nail that and everything else downstream gets much easier.

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.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”

— Elvis Presley

ICYMI:

🚨 Twitter whistleblower comes forward

Happy Thursday! Welcome to September and the last month of Q3. Are you on pace to hit projections? Hit reply and let us know.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Twitter, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Elon Musk, YouTube, and Notion. Plus how to avoid giving clients cold feet, tradeoffs vs payoffs, and a high-converting tweet framework to get more subscribers on your email list.

Read time: 3 minutes and 58 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Cybersecurity whistleblower claims he was fired by Twitter for not concealing security flaws. Peiter Zatko filed a 200-page complaint to the SEC alleging that Twitter ignored critical vulnerabilities and refused to accurately count spam accounts. Something tells us his name might come up when Elon v Twitter kicks off in October.
  • YouTube stealth launches dedicated podcast page for U.S. users. The new addition lists podcast channels, episodes, playlists and more for users in the U.S. Who needs a formal announcement, anyway?
  • How to use Notion, Gen Z’s favorite productivity app. If Asana, Trello, and Basecamp all got together and had a child, it would probably look something like Notion. Check out this step-by-step guide from WSJ to learn more.

Working With Clients

Screwing This Up Will Give Clients Cold Feet

What’s the most high-stakes aspect of working with clients?

A) The sales process

B) Submitting your work for approval

C) Seeing how your work performs

D) Getting paid

Answer:

None of the above.

The most high-stakes aspect of working with clients is the onboarding process.

That’s because the onboarding process sets the tone for the rest of your work together, including what expectations they have, and how they perceive your work.

In fact, according to ZenDesk, 62% of B2B customers buy again after a good customer service experience.

But unfortunately, most freelancers don’t have a structured onboarding process in place.

So new clients are stuck feeling like they’re prepping to cross the Atlantic in a rubber dinghy…

Instead of a $40M yacht that will get them safely and smoothly to their final destination.

If you want to give your clients clarity and confidence that the project is going to be a smashing success, develop a rock-solid onboarding process.

This should include:

  • Signing an official agreement
  • Filling out any worksheets + background docs you need to start the project
  • Getting access to any software tools, ad accounts, shared folders, etc
  • Discussion of timeline, budget, project expectations
  • A kickoff call to review and make sure everything is in order before you begin

If your onboarding process could do with a little bulking up, share the newsletter with just 3 friends and we’ll send you the Digital Marketer’s Template Toolkit — a bundle of worksheets for new clients to fill out so you can extract all the information you need to knock the project out of the park.

Working For Yourself

Taking a Scroll Down the Feed

Everyone you meet in life is selling you “their way” — whether they realize it or not.

But don’t forget there are lots of different ways to reach your destination.

Especially in online business.

As Rich Schefren says, it’s all about tradeoffs vs payoffs.

For example:

With ecommerce and affiliate marketing, the results can be quick…

But you’ll need startup capital to fund your paid traffic costs…

And you’ll need to navigate the steep learning curve of how to run paid ads at a profit…

Otherwise you could lose it all.

Plus the margins are typically on the low end, around 15-20%.

With service-based businesses like freelancing, coaching, consulting, or agencies…

You can start landing clients and getting paid with virtually ZERO startup costs…

The margins are much higher…

But that means investing time on cold outreach and freelancing platforms…

Always being on the hunt for the next client…

Plus now you’re on call + have to be available for meetings, answering emails and DMs, etc.

Don’t get us wrong — both businesses can be wildly profitable.

Ultimately though, you have to decide what your priorities are and what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve them.

Because no business model is all upside.

And measuring yourself based on the games other people play is a recipe for unhappiness.

Figure out what game YOU want to play and commit to it all the way.

Tools We Love

How a Single Tweet Added 1,249+ Subscribers to Our Email List

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:

Quote of the Day

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.”

— Phil Knight

ICYMI:

🧑‍⚖️ Subpoena between friends

Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to The Gig, the private daily email helping 2,000+ freelancers go beyond the 9 to 5 and build profitable client businesses.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Twitter, Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, Apple, Instagram, and BeReal. Plus how to scare away dream clients, what sets high performers apart, and a simple trick to smooth out copywriting transitions.

Read time: 2 minutes and 58 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey subpoenaed by Elon Musk. It’s a surprise move given the two are friends and Dorsey has supported Musk’s takeover bid. But it’s clear Elon’s legal team are gearing up for a fight when the trial begins later this fall.
  • Major Apple security flaw could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones, iPads, and iMacs. If you’re an Apple user, it’s time to update your device, as the company revealed the discovery of a major security flaw that may have been “actively exploited.”
  • Instagram swipes BeReal with new IG Candid Challenge feature. The experimental feature is being tested internally and prompts users to post a candid photo within 2 minutes.

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.

Working With Clients

How to Scare Away Dream Clients

“That’s too expensive.”

Three words most new freelancers are terrified to hear when pitching clients.

But here’s the thing…

You’re far more likely to underprice yourself vs overprice, especially if you’re less established…

And if your rate’s too low, then you’ll scare away great clients.

So, what’s the answer?

Make friends.

Get to know other service providers and find out what they charge — even if it’s just a rough ballpark.

Because the better you can understand the lay of the land… 

The easier it will be to price yourself competitively and land top-tier clients.

Working For Yourself

What Sets High Performers Apart From the Rest

Being your own boss sounds pretty great in theory…

But in practice, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

That’s because there’s no one watching over your shoulder to hold you accountable if you show up late, call in sick, or botch that TPS report.

So if you’re struggling to build momentum or hit the next income goal in your freelance biz…

Here’s some advice:

Start treating your life like a pro athlete.

Even though you may not feel like an athlete…

Your goals are the same:

Performing at a high level and sustaining that performance over the course of an entire season.

This can mean:

  • Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day
  • Developing a morning routine
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Finding ways to relax and de-stress

The more seriously you take your day-to-day habits and routines…

The better results you’ll see inside your business.

From The Copywriting Gig

Sending Readers Down a Slippery Slide Straight to the Sale

Looking to level up your copywriting chops?

Smooth transitions are what separate crappy copy from A-List material.

That’s why legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman coined the concept of the “slippery slide.” Ideally, your copy should be so easy to read that the reader literally slides down to the end without even trying.

And just like learning your ABCs for the first time…

The best way to master this is by reading your copy out loud.

Then smooth out anything that sounds funny or feels abrupt with transition phrases like:

  • In fact
  • Because
  • That’s why
  • In other words
  • What this means is

Treat everything like a script and you’ll be cranking out polished copy in no time.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

— John C. Maxwell

ICYMI:

🥸 How social media apps view sensitive info without consent

Happy Tuesday! If you’ve ever thought about joining a mastermind, we encourage you to check out Fast Foundations. It’s a phenomenal community that helps early-stage entrepreneurs grow fast. Plus it’s run by two friends of ours who’ve both built multi 7-figure businesses. So we’re happy to give it the official Gig seal of approval. Enrollment closes tomorrow at midnight.

Mentioned in today’s issue: InAppBrowser, Meta, TikTok, Chrome, Safari, and The Browser Company. Plus controversial career advice, how to create a “market of one,” and our favorite low-tech email marketing solution.

Read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • InAppBrowser reveals how Meta and TikTok can view sensitive info without consent. The new privacy tool reveals what scripts are running in the background when you share or visit links from within the platform.
  • UK government looking into Apple and Google for browser antitrust investigation. Chrome and Safari have over 80% market share combined. But now UK regulators are looking into antitrust claims as startups like The Browser Company take aim at the two 800-pound gorillas of internet browsing.
  • Why 7-figure funnels aren’t made with ads. When it comes to million dollar funnels, traffic tends to get all the glory. But the truth is, ads are just one piece of the puzzle. Check out this article on the DigitalMarketer blog for more.

Together with Fast Foundations

Stuck Under 5k Per Month in Your Freelance Business? Read This

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. And if you’re a normal person, chances are your 5 best friends are NOT successful entrepreneurs. That’s why joining a community of like-minded people is the fastest way to reach the next level.

The Fast Foundations Mastermind is designed to help you grow your early-stage business fast. It’s led by Carter & Custer, two multi 7-figure entrepreneurs who will help you deploy proven step-by-step strategies to monetize your ideas, scale up your business, and increase your net income.

If you’re looking to make a breakthrough in your freelance business and finish 2022 on a high note, click here to learn more about Fast Foundations.

Working With Clients

Controversial Career Advice That Could Slow You Down

One of the most controversial freelancing topics is whether to work for free or not.

As a wise man once said, “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

But on the flip side…

How are you supposed to land clients with no experience?

It’s a tricky situation. And one that’s more nuanced than most make it out to be.

So here’s our take on the subject:

  • You should never lie about how much (or little) experience you have to a prospective client.
  • The biggest objection most clients have when hiring new freelancers is experience.
  • The easiest way to overcome that objection is to work for free.
  • One way to split the difference is to prepare custom sample pieces and include them in your proposal. This way, you can demonstrate your competence without doing the entire project for free.
  • Be strategic about who you prepare custom samples for. If it’s a big client with lots of potential opportunities for you, then it’s probably worth it. If it’s a brand new solopreneur with nothing more than a blog and a Stripe account, then probably don’t do it.
  • Any work you do for free should be limited in scope.
  • There are bad actors out there who may try to exploit you, so use your judgment and trust your gut.

Bottom line:

Most new freelancers would be better served by checking their ego and working for free to get their foot in the door with legit clients and companies.

Whatever amount you’re getting your knickers in a twist about is likely going to be small potatoes in the long run.

So don’t sweat it.

And focus on doing whatever you can to prove yourself to quality clients.

Working For Yourself

How to Create a “Market of One” Even in Saturated Niches

Finance experts say the secret to building wealth is compound interest.

That’s why Warren Buffett accumulated 97% of his wealth after his 65th birthday.

But while we may not all be able to replicate Buffett’s investing success…

There’s another way freelancers can put this mechanism to work for themselves:

By stacking high-income skills.

You see, it takes a very long time to master a deep skill like copywriting or media buying…

And while it’s definitely worth committing to…

If you can develop other skills that complement or intersect with your primary skill…

You can see some explosive gains.

For example: 

Most copywriters know nothing about paid traffic…

And most media buyers can’t write copy.

The same thing goes for copywriting and graphic design or funnel building.

It’s an unusual combo you don’t see very often.

So by developing competence where those two skills intersect, you can carve out a unique position in the market…

Opening the door to many more opportunities than most other freelancers will ever get.

And over time, mastering these skills will deliver a much higher return than any other investment you could make (unless you are Warren Buffett, of course ;).

Tools We Love

Because That Would Be Just Too Easy

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

“Luck is the residue of design”

— Wesley Branch Rickey

ICYMI:

Monday: 🧲 The 90-Day Rule

📉 Scaling back on paid social

Happy Thursday! Only 2 more days at the slag heap before the weekend is here. Let’s get after it.

Mentioned in today’s issue: Apple, Amazon, MLS, MLB, NFL, Premier League, and Sugarwish. Plus a money-saving freelance tip, the fastest path to mastery, and how international freelancers can benefit from a strong U.S. dollar.

Read time: 3 minutes and 49 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Big Tech is taking over live sports broadcasting. Apple’s signed major deals with the MLB and MLS, while Amazon bought the rights to broadcast Thursday Night Football as well as the Premier League. Now they’re duking it out over the NFL’s Sunday Ticket page, another deal sure to be worth billions of dollars to the NFL.
  • How to quit your job and get a better one. Here’s a shocking stat: 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August alone. If you were one of them or are thinking about joining them, check out this article from the WSJ for some quality tips on how find greener pastures.
  • Why some DTC brands are dialing back their ads on paid social. Sugarwish spent $1.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads in 2021. But they’ve spent just $501k so far this year. Click here to find out why.

Together with Fast Foundations

Two 7-Figure Entrepreneurs Are Assembling a Circle of Influence That Will Force You to Level Up

Past experiences define your reality. And when it comes to reaching new income goals, seeing is believing. That’s why joining a community of like-minded entrepreneurs is the fastest way to 10k/m and beyond. So you can see exactly what strategies, tactics, beliefs, and mindset it takes to get there.

The Fast Foundations Mastermind is designed to help you grow your early-stage business fast. It’s led by Carter & Custer, two multi 7-figure entrepreneurs who will help you deploy proven step-by-step strategies to monetize your ideas, scale up your business, and increase your net income.

If you’re looking to make a breakthrough in your freelance business and finish 2022 on a high note, click here to learn more about Fast Foundations.

Working With Clients

Bringing Home the Bacon

One of the best parts about freelancing is the ability to renegotiate and raise your rates with every new client.

But there’s an unpleasant surprise waiting for you when you do…

Transaction fees.

The more you invoice for, the more Stripe or PayPal takes off the top.

That’s why it’s essential to minimize transaction fees wherever possible (along with conversion fees if you’re working internationally).

They’ll add up to many thousands of dollars over the course of your career.

Check out today’s Tools We Love section for our #1 recommendation.

Working For Yourself

The Sunglasses Are Optional

Daily habits are the fastest path to competency and eventually mastery in your freelancer business.

The more you practice, the better you get.

The better you get, the more results you can produce.

And the more results you can produce, the more you can earn.

We recommend breaking down your daily habit into two parts:

PART 1: Study

To map out the study portion of your daily habit, ask yourself this question:

Which do you have more of — time or money?

If you have more time than money, focus on free resources.

If you have more money than time, focus on paid resources.

Paid products and courses can shortcut your learning curve…

But there’s more than enough free information out there to teach you the basics of any one of the high-income skills we’ve listed in this guide.

In the end, what matters most is that you get started as soon as possible.

PART 2: Practice

Theory is nothing without application.

So the next step is to find ways to practice your high-income skill every day.

Whether that’s writing an ad, designing a logo, or putting together a campaign plan.

But remember this:

Anyone who is highly-skilled at something was once bad at it.

You don’t go from zero to A-List overnight.

Don’t overcomplicate it.

And try not to practice the same things everyday.

It’s good to shake up your routine and complete different tasks.

Aim to spend at least one hour a day on your daily habit.

If you’ve got more time to spare, then of course, you can do more.

But creating momentum is essential in the early stages of your freelance business.

And if you want to progress quickly, you need to be spending at least an hour a day on it.

Tools We Love

SPOTTED: International Freelancer Cackles as He Converts USD Into Local Currency

Inflation may be peaking.

But the U.S. dollar remains as strong as ever.

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

Only problem is:

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

Instead, they should be using Wise.

With Wise, you can:

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

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

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

So if you’re an international freelancer…

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

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

— Stephen Covey

ICYMI: