⚔️ Technobattle

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

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

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

Read time: 4 minutes and 51 seconds

Making the Rounds

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

Working With Clients

3 Signs You Need to Fire a Client

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

Most freelancers tend to forget this.

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

Here are 3 to watch out for:

1) Previous bad experiences

Most people have had bad experiences with hiring freelancers.

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

That’s a hard pass for us.

2) Unrealistic demands about availability

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

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

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

Don’t stand for it.

3) They don’t pay on time

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

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

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

If they’re always late, let ‘em go 👋

Working For Yourself

Pre-Mortems vs Pre-Parades

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

You don’t want to overlook any critical flaws…

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, onto the technique…

Well, it’s two actually:

The first is a “pre-mortem.” 

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

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

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

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

The second is a “pre-parade.”

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

Then likewise, ask yourself why that is.

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

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

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

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

From The Paid Ads Gig

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

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

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

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

Now some ad platforms are more popular than others…

Like TikTok, for example.

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

Different platforms produce different kinds of leads.

Case in point:

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


Because the platform is built on short-form content.

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

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

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

Largely because the traffic is so much cheaper.

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

So the economics still work out.

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

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

Not so much.

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

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

Moral of the story is:

Not all leads are generated equal.

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

Gig Alerts

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

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Quote of the Day

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

— Joyce Meyer

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