♾️ $400M fine

Happy Friday! Friendly reminder that we’re handing out virtual high fives to everyone who completes this short feedback survey. We want to know what you’d like to see less of and more of in the newsletter going forward. And a special shout-out to all those who’ve already filled it out! We appreciate you 👊

Mentioned in today’s edition: Meta, Amazon, TikTok, and IMDB. Plus perception hacking for fun & profit, why you should forget work/life balance and focus on this instead, and the surprisingly simple reason most paid ad campaigns lose money.

Read time: 4 minutes and 13 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Meta fined over $400M for serving personalized ads in the E.U. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission not only dropped a whopping 9-figure fine on Zuck and co., but then went one step further and said the company is breaking E.U. privacy laws by serving targeted ads based on online activity.
  • Amazon lays off 18,000 workers. Turns out a surging ad business isn’t enough to protect the king of ecommerce from a wider downturn in the economy. Amazon’s CEO Andy Jaffy announced they’re laying off a total of 18,000 employees in an internal memo, the biggest cut in company history.
  • TikTok launches new feature enabling TV and movie tagging directly in videos. The feature, powered by data from IMDB, lets users link up to 5 titles in a single video. Each link drives to a dedicated in-app page with movie info and a collection that links to the same title.

Working With Clients

Perception Hacking For Fun & Profit

Perception is everything.

And how prospects perceive you can make or break the deal.

Especially if you’re brand new and lacking credibility.

So here’s a simple tip to help position yourself as a real professional…

Set up a business email to communicate with clients.

Not only does this make you look more trustworthy…

But maintaining some separation between church and state (aka your personal and professional lives) can help you turn off when it’s time to stop working.

So, here’s how to get your business email set up:

That’s it!

Now if you wanna score some bonus points…

You can also set up a custom signature with a headshot and links to your social media profiles.

Either way, point is:

Highly-paid professionals use business emails.

So if you’re new to the game, don’t be afraid to make a small investment to look professional.

It’s low-risk and high-reward.

Working For Yourself

Forget Work/Life Balance and Focus On This Instead

We talk about work/life balance a lot here in the newsletter.

Because even though we’ve got (very) big plans for where we want to take this business… and are acutely aware of the many sacrifices this will take… 

It’s a top priority for all of us here at Gig HQ to make time for life aside from work.

We aren’t like some of the other entrepreneur types you’ve probably seen on social media… 

You know the ones — they get up at 5 AM, take cold showers, never drink alcohol, read 7 books a week, and are somehow *always* starting a new cycle of 75 Hard… 

And to be clear, no judgment from us — that’s just not our idea of living a fulfilling life.

It’s also why we wanted to share a powerful mindset shift we came across recently from 8-figure entrepreneur Keala Kanae…

Here it is:

Stop focusing on “work/life balance” and start focusing on “work/life integration.”

You see, the word “balance” implies your work and your life are at adds…

When really, they should be working in synergy to manifest all the things you want for yourself…

Like total control over your schedule and your income…

The ability to travel, take extended time off, and have lots of fun…

Not to mention the opportunity to work on things that excite you and give you purpose.

Labels are powerful.

So while it may feel like your work and your life ARE battling each other sometimes…

The next time these feelings resurface, try reframing this concept in your mind to focus on how one enables the other…

Instead of how one obstructs the other.

You can have your cake and eat it too!

From The Paid Ads Gig

The Surprisingly Simple Reason Why So Many Paid Ad Campaigns Lose Money

One of the most important acronyms in direct response marketing is L.O.C.

This stands for:

List, Offer, Copy.

It’s kinda like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except for selling stuff to strangers.

In this case, it’s a Hierarchy of Influence.

And while it originally came from direct mail…

Where marketers back in the day would rent lists of names to mail their promotions to…

The concept applies to paid ads too.

For example:

Butcher Box might have the greatest offer of all time and the world’s most brilliant ad to sell it…

But if they put those two things in front of a vegan audience, the response is gonna be crickets.

(or worse, lol)

That’s why the “list” is #1 in the Hierarchy of Influence.

And one aspect of nailing the list that many marketers tend to miss is…

Using negative keywords and custom audience exclusions to filter their traffic properly.

Negative keywords are strictly for search-based ad campaigns…

While custom audience exclusions can be used on almost all big advertising platforms.

But regardless of where you’re buying traffic, the principle is the same.

Keeping the wrong people OUT is just as important as getting the right people in.

So don’t forget to audit your negative keywords and exclusions on a regular basis…

Because it can often be the difference between a winning and losing campaign.

Gig Alerts

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

In Case You Missed It:

Quote of the Day

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”

— Alan Cohen

🤖 Search results brought to you by ChatGPT

Happy Thursday! One mistake we’ve made in the past is trying to go from zero to hero in the first week of the new year. Sounds great in theory… not so much in practice. So this year, we’re focused on a slow but steady ramp-up instead of flooring it from Day 1.

With that said, we know plenty of freelancers who still struggle to shift into gear after the holidays are over. So if that sounds like you, then we’re confident you’ll enjoy today’s edition.

Here’s what’s on the docket: Microsoft, OpenAI, Twitter, ChatGPT, and Google. Plus the dark side of fixed price billing, one quick tip for “Swiss watch” consistency, and how to capture high-quality inputs in a single click.

Read time: 3 minutes and 27 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft is planning to launch a new version of its Bing search engine supported by ChatGPT. The company’s $1 billion investment into OpenAI back in 2019 may be about to bear some major fruit: a search engine backed by ChatGPT could provide immediate answers to search queries instead of simply showing a list of links.
  • Twitter reverses ban on political advertising. After shutting down all political advertising 3 years ago, then losing a pile of a big advertisers in 2022, Twitter announced yesterday that “cause-based ads” are back on the menu.
  • Google’s CEO declares “code red” over ChatGPT. The 800-pound gorilla of search is clearly seeing the same thing Microsoft sees: the potential for ChatGPT to displace Google’s massive search business. Just how concerned are they? CEO Sundar Pichai is personally taking over Google’s AI strategy.

Working With Clients

The Dark Side to Fixed Price Billing

Billing per project instead of per hour is a massive unlock for any freelancer.

But if you want to maximize both work/life balance and profitability…

There’s one common pitfall you’ll want to avoid:

And that’s not knowing exactly how much time a given project will take you.

Here’s why…

If you don’t understand what the time cost is for writing a sales letter or building a webinar funnel or launching a Facebook ad campaign…

Then your pricing isn’t based on data…

Instead, it’s based on what “feels” right.

And this leads to one of two bad outcomes:

  1. Overscheduling yourself because you miscalculated how much you get done in a given time frame, or…
  2. Underpricing yourself because you think projects take less time than they actually do

Both are no bueno for any freelancer looking to create more leverage inside their biz.

So – what’s the solution?

Conduct a time audit.

Use a free time tracker like Clockify or My Hours for the next 30 days to see exactly how much time each task takes you.

Not only will this help you update your pricing so it accurately reflects the time you put in…

But it’ll also help you identify opportunities to streamline your workflow and become more efficient.

Working For Yourself

One Quick Tip For “Swiss Watch” Consistency

While we’re on the topic of efficiency…

Here’s another quick tip to make your performance at work more reliable than a Swiss watch…

Create an “end of day” routine.

This could include…

  • Writing out your to-do list for the next day
  • Tidying up your workspace
  • Clearing out your inbox
  • Etc etc

Bottom line is…

The routine tells your mind the day is over and it’s okay to “turn off.”

Something that’s essential if you work at home or remotely.

Plus it guarantees you won’t spend the first part of tomorrow playing catch-up.

Just make sure to get it done before you bolt out the door 😉

Tools We Love

How to Capture High-Quality Inputs in a Single Click

Struggling to keep track of all the articles, podcasts, newsletters, and YouTube videos you come across?


Especially as we dive deeper into personal knowledge management…

And attempt to capture more of the high-quality inputs (books, podcasts, articles, etc) we come across.

That’s why we’ve recently started using Instapaper.

Think of Instapaper as your own personal digital filing cabinet. 

Between their app and Chrome extension, you can save and organize important links from anywhere in one place, making it super easy to find what you need, when you need it. 

No more hunting around for that one article you read a few weeks ago…

Because it’ll be right there at your fingertips.

But Instapaper isn’t just a place to store your stuff…

It also has a super sleek reading interface that makes it a joy to actually sit down and get through all that material. 

So not only will you be more organized, but you’ll also be more efficient.

Combine this with a time audit and a solid EOD routine…

And you’ll be more productive than a beaver after the sun’s gone down.

If you want to check it out, click here to create a free account today.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.”

— Unknown

✌️ Surging ad sellers

Happy Wednesday! We’re looking for ways to improve the newsletter in 2023. If you can spare 30 seconds, please fill out this 2-question survey to share your feedback with us.

Discussed in today’s newsletter: Google, Meta, Amazon, Gen Z, and TikTok. Plus what to say when your invoice doesn’t get paid on time, 5 simple self-care tips to supercharge your productivity, and matching copy to your customers’ consumption patterns.

Read time: 2 minutes and 28 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Google and Meta will continue losing ad market share in 2023. The longtime industry heavyweights are struggling to compete with both Amazon and TikTok surging coming into the new year.
  • Gen Z is changing the narrative on resume gaps. Historically, resume gaps have always been a red flag. But employers’ perspectives may be changing thanks to Gen Z.
  • TikTok creators now able to restrict short-form videos to adults only. The 18+ age-limit feature used to be available only for live videos, but now the company has opened it up to include short-form videos.

Working With Clients

What to Say When Your Invoice Doesn’t Get Paid On Time

Looking to get paid on time?

Make sure to set clear payment terms on and invoice clients on time.

Now we know this sounds obvious, but…

Most freelancers (especially new ones) are uncomfortable having an explicit term about compensation.

Problem is…

Your client will take their cues from you. 

So it’s up to YOU to make it clear how and when you’d like to be paid.

Otherwise, you’re communicating that it’s not a priority.

So if you want clients to pay on time, every time…

Don’t wait for them to read your mind.

Make it crystal clear, up front, just like when you had to ask Mom and Dad for your allowance.

Working For Yourself

5 Simple Self-Care Tips to Supercharge Your Productivity

With the holidays officially in the rearview mirror…

We hope you’re feeling as rested and refreshed as we are.

But if you want to keep it that way…and AVOID struggling with burnout as the new year kicks into high gear…

Here’s how to make self-care a priority in 2023:

1 – Avoid sugar and processed foods during the day

2 – Aim to get at least 5,000 steps per day

3 – Get at least 8 hour of quality shut-eye

4 – Experiment with non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) daily to stimulate creativity

5 – Write down 5 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day

By incorporating these simple habits into your daily routine…

You’ll be able to keep the good vibes going so you can hit more deadlines, land more clients, and grow your income in 2023.

From The Copywriting Gig

Matching Copy to Your Customers’ Consumption Patterns

Sick of seeing huge walls of text that are super tough to get through?

So is everyone else.

If you’re writing copy for a landing page or sales letter…

Use subheads to create a “skimmable track” for your readers.

This is actually how most people consume longer-form writing these days…

They skim the page from top to bottom first, to see if anything piques their interest…

And then if something does catch their eye, they’ll often scroll back up to read it from the start.


Always aim to write your subheads so they communicate all the key points of your sales message…

That way, even if someone skims the page faster than a T-Rex at a vegan restaurant…

They’ve still got all the info they need to convert.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Life is a progress, and not a station.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

📲 TikTok tells you why

Happy Tuesday! And welcome to 2023. We’re back in the office feeling rested, recharged, and ready to make some big moves this year. We hope you are too. Look out for the latest on ChatGPT, AI, personal knowledge management, and so much more in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Now, onto today’s agenda: TikTok, freelancers, and the creator economy. Plus how to juggle multiple clients and projects without missing a single deadline, why this one work-from-home perk is holding you back, and assembling the building blocks of your new digital brain.

Read time: 3 minutes and 20 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • TikTok plans to reveal logic behind suggested videos to users. Videos in the main feed will soon have a “Why this video” button, which will explain why the video was suggested, such as previous interactions, accounts you follow, and pandas are just too friggin’ cute content that’s been posted recently.
  • Freelancers benefitting from a lack of go-getters. Many companies are having a hard time finding workers willing to go above and beyond, and some are turning to freelancers in emerging markets where it’s easier to find talent that can get the job done.
  • Here’s what to expect from the creator economy in 2023. Patreon, Cameo, Substack, and other creator economy darlings are struggling as we step into the new year. This article from TechCrunch lays out a few predictions for what to expect through the rest of 2023.

Working With Clients

How to Juggle Multiple Clients and Projects Without Missing a Single Deadline

One unintended consequence of growing your client list:

Becoming overwhelmed by all of the projects, tasks, and deadlines on your plate. 

Luckily, this is where a project management tool comes in handy.

Using a project management tool can help you stay organized and on top of things. You can:

  • Create a list of tasks 
  • Organize them by project 
  • Set deadlines for each one
  • And mark them off as you complete them

This way, you’ll never lose track of what needs to be done.

Each task or project can act as a personal note file, letting you upload attachments and drop in updates for you (or for others).

Our weapon of choice is Asana.

But we know plenty of other people who use Monday, Trello, and Basecamp.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which tool you use…

What matters is that you pick one and use it religiously.

Your project management system is an essential tool in your digital freelancer toolkit. 

Because when done right, it’s just like a personal assistant reminding you of what needs to be done and when.

Working For Yourself

Why This One Work-From-Home Perk is Holding You Back

Being able to wear whatever you want is one of the perks of working from home.

But just because you *can* wear your pajamas all day doesn’t mean you should

Think about it: 

When you wear pajamas, you’re telling your brain it’s time to relax. 

But when you put on actual work clothes, even if they’re just jeans and a t-shirt, you’re telling your brain it’s time to get down to business. 

Plus, getting dressed in something other than pajamas can help you feel more confident and professional when on calls with prospects and clients.

So the next time you have a work day at home… 

Try getting dressed in something other than your comfy pajamas. Your productivity (and your clients) will thank you.

Tools We Love

Assembling the Building Blocks For Your New Digital Brain

One new thing we’re committing to in 2023 is personal knowledge management.

What does this mean?

It means developing a system for…

A) Using notes to capture inputs (books, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc)

B) Expanding on those notes with your own thoughts about them

B) Organizing and connecting these notes & thoughts with others in a way that’s intuitive and easily searchable

Kind of like building your very own Wikipedia for everything you’ve ever learned.

The potential that building out your own personal knowledge management (PKM) system has for creative work like writing copy or coming up with new marketing ideas has us foaming at the mouth…

Which is why we’re hellbent on learning how to use Obsidian

It helps you organize your thoughts, ideas, and notes into a single, unified PKM system. 

With Obsidian, you can:

  • Create notes, documents, and other files and store them in a single, organized location
  • You can easily search for and access any file you need using tags and bi-directional links, making it easy to stay organized and productive
  • Plus it uses Markdown and stores files locally, so you can always access your notes even if your internet goes down

Ultimately, Obsidian is like a digital brain…

Because it helps you make connections between seemingly unrelated thoughts and ideas.

And that’s every great marketer’s superpower.

If you’d like to get started with Obsidian…

Download it for free here, then check out this 6-part YouTube series on how to use it.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

— L.M. Montgomery

📉 Mobile ad spend declines

Happy Friday! We know you have a lot going on, so we’ve crafted a light and witty edition that will make you smile as you start your day. From our team to you, we hope that this newsletter helps give you the boost you need to be productive and successful as a digital freelancer.

Also — shout out to ChatGPT for writing today’s intro. Unfortunately, it’s got a teeny tiny bit further to go before it’s ready to write the entire newsletter for us. But we’ll keep you posted. 

(… Or will we? 😈)

Discussed in today’s edition: Mobile ad spend, Instagram, and TikTok. Plus one simple trick to make selling your products and services way easier, the dark side of a short commute, and the fast-track to making 120k/year as a freelance copywriter.

Read time: 2 minutes and 46 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Mobile ad spend growth projected to fall from 14% to 7.5% in 2023. A new forecast from data analytics provider data dot ai reveals mobile ad spend growth has been on a slow but steady decline since peaking in 2020. With a global recession looking more and more likely in 2023, advertisers may be looking to focus more of their budgets on desktop traffic.
  • Instagram launches new feature for victims of account hacking. If you (or a client) has ever had their Instagram account hacked, then you know how difficult it can be to regain access. But now the platform is looking to make the process much easier with its new /hacked dashboard.
  • Senate votes unanimously to ban TikTok on government devices. The bill will still need to pass in the House of Representatives before being sent to President Biden’s desk and signed into law, but it’s a sign that opposition to the platform is mounting among U.S. politicians.

Working With Clients

1 Simple Trick to Make Selling Your Products & Services Way Easier

Even if you’re not a freelance copywriter…

You still have to practice “salesmanship in print.”

Whether it’s in a cold outreach message, a job proposal on Upwork, or a booking page on your website…

Being able to sell in print is key to getting paid as a freelancer.

In the YouTube video below, 7-figure copywriter Alex Cattoni reveals one simple trick to drive buying decisions no matter what you’re selling.

Check it out:

[WATCH]: The Neuroscience of Selling – A Simple “Trick” For Driving Buying Decisions

Working For Yourself

The Dark Side of a Short Commute

Blurred lines are an occupational hazard when working from home.

Sure, the morning commutes may be a breeze…

But when the office is always just a few steps away, it can be tough to turn off your work brain.

That’s why one of the best ways to stay sane is…

Create a structured work schedule and stick to it.

That means getting up, starting, and finishing work around the same time each day.

Establishing boundaries like this will not only help you be more productive…

But you’ll sleep better too.

From The Copywriting Gig

The Shortcut to Making 120k/yr as a Freelance Copywriter

Specializing as a copywriter is one of the fastest ways to hit 6-figures.

And when you boil it down…

There are only two ways freelance copywriters can specialize:

#1: Market specialization

This refers to the audience you’re writing for.

The “big 3” are: health, wealth, and relationships.

#2: Task specialization

This refers to the specific deliverables you’re responsible for, such as:

– Facebook ads

– Emails

– Sales letters

– Video scripts

– etc

If you’re wondering which one is more important…

Or which one you should tackle first…

Go here:

This Twitter thread explains exactly how to specialize as a copywriter so you can go from zero to 10k/m and beyond.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

The Daily Upside is a free business newsletter that covers the most important stories in business in a style that’s engaging, insightful, and fun.

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.

Click here to sign up today.

Quote of the Day

“Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.”

— Phil McGraw

In Case You Missed It:

🪦 RIP Revue

Happy Thursday! Perks of owning your own social media platform: you can ban whoever you want. Like the person tracking your private jet.

Even though Elon had previously promised *not* to ban the @ElonJet account (being a “free speech absolutist” and all), operator Jack Sweeney posted a screenshot from his personal account showing it had been permanently suspended. Since posting the screenshot, his personal account has also been suspended. Woops. Probably just a coincidence ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, read on in today’s newsletter for more about: Revue, TikTok, and Apple. Plus 2 pitfalls to avoid when working with new clients, sleep hacking secrets of a Stanford neurobiologist, and simplifying split-tests for fun and profit.

Read time: 4 minutes and 1 second

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter sends newsletter platform Revue to the graveyard. The move comes amid massive layoffs and as Twitter is reportedly working on long-form tweets.
  • TikTok ban proposed by trio of U.S. lawmakers. Senator Marco Rubio introduced a new bill this week that would ban the world’s most popular social media platform from operating in the U.S. entirely.
  • Apple may be forced to allow third-party apps on iOS devices in 2024. In order to comply with the EU’s new Digital Markets Act coming into effect in 2024, Apple is reportedly working to allow apps from outside the App Store function on iOS devices, which means developers could sidestep the staggering 30% fee Apple charges for in-app purchases.

Working With Clients

2 Pitfalls to Avoid When Working With New Clients

Most people aren’t naturally good at sales.

But taking sales calls is a key part of running a freelance business.

Because when you’re charging clients 4-5 figures (or more) per project…

Most of them are gonna want to get on the phone before they sign on the dotted line.

And what most freelancers don’t realize is, sales calls also play a pivotal role in setting the client’s expectations.

So if you want to make sure you start every new client relationship off on the right foot…

As well as avoid any major landmines once your work begins…

Here are two sneaky questions to ask on every sales call:

QUESTION 1: “What do you feel like is working well right now?”

Most freelancers focus on what’s going wrong.

And while it is important to spend time digging into the problem…

(Not to mention there’s a big difference between something the client thinks is working well and something that’s ACTUALLY working well)

But asking about what’s working well will help you tailor your feedback as you audit their existing copy, images, videos, funnels, etc (depending on what services you provide, of course).

For example, if a client thinks their email marketing is working well… but the first thing YOU do on the job is start criticizing it, your relationship could get off to a rocky start.

Especially if the client is the one who wrote all the emails.

Even if you’re right, your client may get upset if you just start tearing it to shreds without any tact or care.

So find out what they think is working before you start the project..

QUESTION 2: “Have you ever hired someone else to help you with this? If so, what did you like or dislike about it?”

If a client has hired freelancers in the past…

Finding out what they did or didn’t like about the experience is basically a cheat code to managing (and exceeding) expectations from the get-go.

All you have to do is mirror anything they did like and AVOID anything they didn’t.

Now, if you’d like to learn more about how to sell your freelance services over the phone without feeling like a used car salesperson…

Grab our Ultimate Freelance Sales Call Cheatsheet by sharing the newsletter with 3 people, or by purchasing it from our shop.

Working For Yourself

Sleep Hacking Secrets of a Stanford Neurobiologist

Even if you’re not an early riser…

Optimizing your sleep is essential to performing at your best.

So what’s the #1 best evidence-based way to hack your circadian rhythm for quality shut-eye?

We’ll give you a hint…

It’s not sleep masks, white noise machines, or keeping your bedroom cool…

(although all of the above do help)

Instead, it’s viewing sunlight.

Specifically, within 30-60 minutes of getting up and then again in the late afternoon before sunset.

In this podcast episode, Stanford neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman explains how light viewing can help optimize not just sleep, but many other facets of your health as well.

Now if your podcast queue is already fully loaded…

Then click here to check out all of Dr. Huberman’s actionable recommendations to improve your sleep:

[READ]: Check out Dr. Huberman’s Toolkit For Sleep here

Tools We Love

Simplifying Split-Tests For Fun and Profit

Running split-tests is key to extracting maximum profits out of your marketing and advertising.

But if you’re working with a site built on WordPress… 

Or you’re operating on a lean budget… 

Or if you’d prefer not to use traditional solutions like ClickFunnels, VWO, or Optimizely, which can often hurt your page speed…

Then it’s time to check out Google Optimize.

It’s a simple and free split-testing tool that lets you run experiments, track conversions, and analyze results.

Optimize integrates directly with Google Analytics…

So there’s no need for any fancy funnel building or split-testing software…

Making it the perfect choice for freelancers (and their clients).

Set up your next split-test in minutes by setting up Google Optimize for free today.

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

“We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.” 

— Ken Levine

In Case You Missed It:

▶️ YouTubers cash in

Happy Wednesday! Inflation fell for the second straight month in November. Perhaps it’s finally ready to imitate our crypto portfolio and just keep going down.

Mentioned in today’s edition: YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus one simple positioning trick any freelancer can use to get more clients, how to set effective boundaries when you work for yourself, and the best place to “eavesdrop” on your customers.

Read time: 3 minutes and 44 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Private equity firms shell out millions for YouTubers’ back catalogs. Musicians like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen aren’t the only ones getting big offers to sell the revenue from their back catalogs. Now YouTubers are getting in on the action too. You never know what your content might be worth one day.
  • Instagram launches new features imitating Twitter and BeReal. Its new Notes feature lets users update followers with just text and emojis, while the Candid feature lets them share Stories that can only be seen by those who share their own Candids as well. Moral of the story: “swipe and deploy” continues to be an effective product strategy if you’re a social media platform.
  • Over 100+ Twitter employees deactivated from Slack after missing a weekend email from CEO Elon Musk. The Saturday email included an anti-leaking pledge employees were asked to sign. Those that didn’t sign it (or simply didn’t see it because they were too busy eating candy canes and drinking rum-and-eggnogs) lost access to all work systems. Woops.

Working With Clients

A Simple Positioning Trick Any Freelancer Can Use to Get More Clients

Struggling to land your first (or next) freelance client?

Breaking in can be tough when you don’t have a proven track record or a long list of big wins to share.

So here’s a trick to help you differentiate yourself…

Work in niches you already know.

“The riches are in the niches” is something you hear a lot from successful entrepreneurs…

And it applies to freelancing too.

Positioning yourself as a specialist within a niche is the best way to create an unfair advantage.

And it’s as simple as this:

Your freelance skill(s) + a deep understanding of the people in that niche = specialization.

This works if you’ve got brick and mortar experience…

If it’s something you studied in school…

Or if it’s just a topic you’re really passionate about.

Leverage the assets you’ve already got and you’ll have no trouble getting clients and closing deals.

Working For Yourself

Wish I Was Free, But…

The numbers are in:

For many of us, working from home often means working (a lot) more than 8 hours a day.

And with notifications pouring in from dawn ‘till dusk (and sometimes even long past then)…

Maintaining more than a shred of work/life balance is a constant battle.

So here’s a simple tip to help you stay sane:

Use “work speak” to set effective boundaries.

Since your home and your office may be the same place, being “out of office” doesn’t have to apply only when you’re away from the computer. 

It can simply mean you’re unavailable.

Whether that’s because you’re doing deep work on a project or going deep into the next season of Schitt’s Creek.

And “meetings” don’t always have to be work-related — they can also be calls to catch up with family or friends.

Bottom line is:

Many people have an easier time understanding (and respecting) your boundaries when you use the right language to set them.

From The Paid Ads Gig

I Ain’t Been Dropping No Eaves Sir

Crafting a profitable paid ad campaign starts with market research.

Understanding what problems your customers are having, what underlying beliefs they have about their problems, who else they’re listening to, and what specific tools they’re using to try and solve their problems is essential to targeting them effectively.

But traditional forums are basically extinct.

So, what’s the best place to “eavesdrop” on your customers?


With over 430 million monthly active users and niche-specific subreddits for basically any topic you can imagine.

It’s a treasure trove of insights into the psychology of your target market.

Just add “reddit” to anything you’re searching for.


  • “How to make money online reddit”
  • “Freelance copywriting reddit”
  • “How to run ads on facebook reddit”

Then, aside from any niche-specific subreddits, be sure to check out:

Final pro tip: filter by Top and All Time to see discussions that have resonated the most.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

Which investment would have given you a return of 560%+ over 10 years between 2011-2021?

The answer: The Invesco QQQ Trust ETF — a passive exchange traded fund (ETF)  with a big weight towards technology companies.

Why? Technology is taking over and as an investor, it’s better to be on the right side of history. An investment in QQQ gives investors exposure to this growth diversified in over 100 non-financial companies.

But what else? Discover more trends by signing up to The Average Joe, a free 3x-weekly newsletter covering the latest market trends and stocks.

Become a better investor by reading their 5-minute, jargon-free stock market newsletter — covering only the relevant financial news for everyday investors.

Subscribe to the free newsletter and join 19,000+ investors discovering the latest market trends.

Quote of the Day

“There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.”

— Robert G. Ingersoll

In Case You Missed It:

✌️ Blue Take Two

Happy Tuesday! Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is expected to announce a major breakthrough today in the search for unlimited power through fusion energy. We’d try to explain it to you, but hey — we’re freelancers, not rocket scientists

Mentioned in today’s edition: Twitter Blue, Stripe, and ChatGPT. Plus 7 places to find freelance clients, how to start building your blueprint for a successful 2023, and Chinese water torture for digital marketers.

Read time: 2 minutes and 48 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Twitter Blue, Take Two. The revamped subscription program is now available again for $8/month on the web and $11/month on iOS devices. It seems like Elon’s plan to circumvent Apple’s 30% tax on in-app purchases is to simply pass that cost onto the consumer. Time will tell whether a move like this puts pressure on Apple to reduce their fee.
  • New Stripe report reveals ecommerce boom in non-traditional tech sectors. According to the payment processing company, there are now companies in over 350 cities across the U.S. each collectively processing over $100M per year through Stripe, up from just 50 cities in 2017.
  • 50+ prompts to experiment with ChatGPT. We wrote yesterday about how OpenAI’s new dialogue-based ChatGPT bot is taking the world by storm. Well, if you’re looking to experiment with it, there’s no need to come up with your own prompts. Just try one of these 50+ prompts to see what it can do instead.

Working With Clients

What the Freelancer Said to the Prospect

Cold outreach isn’t the only way to get clients.

There are thousands of businesses posting freelance jobs every day.

You just have to know where to look.

So if you’re looking to land more clients…

Check out these 7 platforms:

1) Upwork

2) Fiverr

3) Freelancer.com

4) Toptal

5) Guru

6) FlexJobs

7) LinkedIn

Remember: clients posting jobs on these platforms are looking to hire ASAP.

All you have to do is convince them you’re the one.

Working For Yourself

Start Here to Build Your Blueprint For a Successful 2023

2023 is just a few weeks away.

And while setting a New Year’s Resolution may be a little clichéed…

There’s a reason famous entrepreneur and investor John Doerr says, “what gets measured, gets managed.”

It’s because setting goals (and then actually tracking them) works.

Plain and dimple.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelancer looking for your first client or a Fortune 500 company looking to break past $100B.

Check out the episode of My First Million below on YouTube to kickstart your goal-setting for 2023:

[WATCH:] Episode 391: Start Planning Your 2023 Goals Today

Tools We Love

Chinese Water Torture For Digital Marketers

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…

It’s like Chinese water torture for digital marketers.

Multiply all that by hundreds (if not thousands) of repetitions, then do the math on how much all that wasted time is costing you.

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.

For just $3.33 per month, we can’t think of a better way to start buying back your time.

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:

Featured Newsletter

If you’re interested in personal development, growth, productivity, wealth creation, or business, you need to read The Curiosity Chronicle.

Written by entrepreneur and investor Sahil Bloom, The Curiosity Chronicle is filled with actionable, tactical insights you can immediately implement to improve your life.

Find out why 125,000+ high-performers rely on it to uplevel their health and wealth by subscribing here for free.

Quote of the Day

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

— Amelia Earhart

In Case You Missed It:

🤖 The new AI chatbot making waves

Happy Monday! Welcome back to The Gig, the daily email helping freelancers build profitable client businesses.

Mentioned in today’s edition: ChatGPT, Texas, TikTok, and Twitter. Plus what your client thinks about those high CTRs, one simple trick to overcome impostor syndrome, and why copywriting is less like chemistry and more like _____.

Read time: 3 minutes and 29 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • OpenAI launches new chatbot called ChatGPT. The new chatbot responds to dialogue prompts and can write code, poetry, sales copy, and much, much more. And some of it is surprisingly good. Does this mean all copywriters will soon be out of a job? We wouldn’t go that far. But one thing is clear: knowing how to operate AI tools will soon become a massive advantage for content creators.
  • Texas becomes the 4th state to ban TikTok on government devices. The Lone Star State joins Maryland, South Dakota, and South Carolina in banning the app on government devices, as national security concerns continue to complicate a deal for the company to keep operating in the U.S.
  • Twitter set to launch negative keyword controls for advertisers. The feature will let advertisers stop their ads from appearing above or below tweets with specific keywords, similar to Google’s negative keywords function for search ads.

Working With Clients

What Your Client Thinks About Those High CTRs

Let’s say you’re a copywriter, media buyer, or funnel builder.

The “product” you sell is actually a service, right?


As a service provider, the “product” you sell is an OUTCOME.

  • Leads
  • Appointments
  • Product demos
  • Sales calls
  • Clients
  • Free trials
  • Purchases
  • Renewals
  • Etc

Clients aren’t looking for another line item to add to their expense report…

They’re looking for the fastest and most direct way to achieve a specific outcome.

And in marketing, that outcome usually means “buying” money at a discount (by paying you to produce a result that generates revenue for their business).

So the next time you’re pitching a new prospect…

Remember: clients don’t buy services, they buy results.

Working For Yourself

One Simple Trick to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

One of the best parts about working remotely is the dress code.

As in, there is none.

But as nice as it is to spend the day working in sweatpants and a hoodie…

Here’s the thing…

When you’re on video calls, it’s important to “look the part.”

If you want to be taken seriously as a service provider…

Meaning you want to be seen by your clients as someone who knows how to get results…

(and is paid handsomely for it)

Then you need to come correct.

That doesn’t have to mean business formal attire, but it should mean a clean and wrinkle-free outfit.

Studies have shown that what you wear can and does affect how you feel…

So leverage the science of fashion to show up the way you want to inside your business.

From The Copywriting Gig

Forget Chemistry, Copywriting is More Like ______

You don’t “write” direct response copy…

You assemble it.

Or at least that’s what Eugene Schwartz, author of Breakthrough Advertising, always said.

That’s why copywriting’s more like carpentry than chemistry.

And one of the most important building blocks of direct response copy is the lead.

This could be anywhere from the first 100 characters to the first 7 pages, depending on what medium you’re writing for.

But the point is: your lead has a massive impact on conversion rates.

It can make or break your ad, email, thread, VSL, or promotion.

That’s why it’s one of the areas pros spend the most time and energy on…

And one of the first things savvy marketers like to split-test.

So… what makes a great lead?

Well, that depends on the awareness and sophistication of your prospect.

And fortunately for us, Michael Masterson — bestselling author and founder of the $1.5 billion dollar a year company Agora — has boiled it down to just six different types of leads in his book, Great Leads.

It’s the perfect crash course to help you write a killer lead every single time.

Even if you’re not a master copywriter.

Click here check it out on Amazon:

Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

The future isn’t a mystery.

Want to receive the latest in business, entertainment, and internet culture right to your inbox every single morning? 

Not just the stuff everyone else is covering — these are the stories that drive the future, all in a quick and witty package. That’s what TheFutureParty newsletter is all about.

With every email you open, every story you read, you’re going to have the jump on the rest of the crowd. 

And you’ll be that much more prepared for the day — and week, and month, and year — ahead.

Join over 100,000 driven creative professionals who read the newsletter every day.

Quote of the Day

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

— Voltaire

🥸 Giants copying giants

Happy Friday! ‘Tis the season for holiday traditions. Do you have a favorite? Hit reply and let us know. Ours is a creamy vanilla spiced eggnog and rum. Try this recipe if you’re in the mood for a little extra holiday cheer.

Mentioned in today’s edition: Amazon, TikTok, Google Trends, and the H-1B Visa Program. Plus 11 ways to get more clients on Upwork, why you should forget the 4-hour workweek and do this instead, and how to keep low ROAS away.

Read time: 3 minutes and 24 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Amazon launches TikTok-like features within its app to accelerate social shopping. The new feature, called Inspire, will show users a continuous feed of photos and videos featuring products that they could then buy through the app. Beta tested by in-house staff, the feature is now available to select customers with a nation-wide rollout coming soon.
  • Google has released their annual Year in Search report with an added hyper-local twist. As with years past you can see what the top global search trends were (Wordle beating out Queen Elizabeth was not something we saw coming) but this year you can get as granular as knowing what a given zip code was searching for (“quick pancakes” in my neighborhood’s case 🥞).
  • Recent tech layoffs have left thousands of H-1B visa holders stranded and scared. It’s been a rough fall and early winter for tech workers, as more than 144,000 have lost their jobs. Many experts believe H-1B visa holders make up between 10%-30% of those lost jobs, meaning thousands are scrambling to find a new work sponsor within the 60 day window.

Working With Clients

11 Ways to Land More Clients On Upwork in 2022

Whether you’re new to freelancing or a seasoned vet…

Upwork is one of our favorite places to find clients.

It lets you filter for paying clients who are looking to hire ASAP…

And in our experience, many 7-figure and 8-figure business owners actually PREFER to hire from a freelancing platform like Upwork vs a direct referral.


Because they can evaluate your track record, look at past reviews, and see how you stack up against the competition.

Not to mention…

For business owners without a strong network, freelancing platforms like Upwork are sometimes the only option.

So, if you’re looking to land more gigs on the platform…

Check out this article for 11 ways to win more business:

[READ]: How to Get More Jobs on Upwork in 2022

Working For Yourself

Forget the 4-Hour Work Week (Do This Instead)

Spoiler alert:

The 4-Hour Work Week is not realistic for most of us.

(It’s still a great book, though.)

And while even a 4-day work week would be a major upgrade from spending a full 5 days at the slag heap every single week…

Here’s a simple hack that can make the workweek easier to bear:

Structure your workload so you start strong but then taper down throughout the week.

This means stacking Mondays with as much work as you can possibly handle to get ahead and create a buffer…

Then slowly and steadily taking your foot off the gas…

So Friday can be a much more leisurely work day to cap off the week.

Here’s what it might look like in application:

  • Monday: 10-12 hours
  • Tuesday:  8-10 hours
  • Wednesday: 8-10 hours
  • Thursday: 6-8 hours
  • Friday: 4-6 hours

Now, will this be possible every week?


And it’s probably not for everyone.

But if you struggle with the monotony of a uniform work week or have ever wanted to shake up your schedule…

Give this a try.

Easing into the weekend with a lighter and/or shorter Friday can feel mighty nice.

From The Paid Ads Gig

One Ad a Day Keeps the Low ROAS Away

Coming up with killer ad ideas doesn’t always require creative genius.

You just have to be savvy enough to save a great ad when you see one in the wild.

Add one new ad to your swipe file every day and you’ll never lack for creative ideas.

Whether it’s going to the Facebook Ad Library and checking in on your favorite advertisers (because you do keep a list of them, right?)…

Or simply grabbing a screenshot when you see a killer ad in your news feed…. 

It only takes a few minutes each day.

Get yourself a tool like SnagIt, Evernote, or the GoFullPage Chrome extension and you’re all set.

Gig Alerts

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

Featured Newsletter

Advanced marketing insights. By email.

Each week, we ask hundreds of growth leaders which advanced tactics are working for them. Then we share those insights with you.

We turn learnings from our agency into written growth content. Then our 50,000-strong community improves the learnings with real-world examples and data. Once the tactics are proven, they become part of our newsletter.

Find out why 60,000+ founders, marketers, and startups rely on us to grow.

Join here for free.

Quote of the Day

“Big breakthrough ideas often seem nuts the first time you see them.”

— Marc Andreeseen

In Case You Missed It