💦 Twitter unleashes the firehose

Happy Friday! Formula 1 is in Baku this weekend for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. And Jurassic World: Dominion aims to unseat Tom Cruise at the box office with a projected $125M opening. 

Mentioned in today’s newsletter: Elon Musk, Walter Isaacson, TikTok, Twitter, and Ready Player One. Plus the one thing that can make or break your freelance portfolio, four ugly truths about being a digital nomad, and an old school trick to keep your attribution clean even after iOS 14.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 23 seconds


Making the Rounds

  • Twitter unleashes the firehose on Elon Musk. The board has finally caved to Elon’s demands and will give him access to its massive internal data stream of 500M+ daily tweets. Will Musk be satisfied? Or will it prompt him to formally pull out of the deal? Either way, one person loving all this drama (aside from Elon himself) is probably Walter Isaacson, who’s been working on a biography of the Tesla CEO since 2021.

  • TikTok introduces Avatars. Similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, TikTok users can now set up and “become” their avatars when recording videos. Ready Player One takes place in 2045 in a world where people spend most of their time living as their VR avatar, and so far, the timeline is looking pretty accurate.

  • Twitter launches Product Drops. As we’ve reported in recent weeks, the push into shoppable ads and content continues to heat up. And now Twitter is entering the fray with Product Drops, which allow users to sign up for reminders about upcoming launches right from the feed.

Working With Clients

The One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Freelance Portfolio

Want to increase your chances of getting the gig?

Make sure you’ve got relevant sample pieces in your freelance portfolio.

There are two ways to think about relevance:

1) Task-specific
2) Market-specific 

Task-specific relevance means that if you’re applying for a job to write emails, you should highlight email work you’ve done in the past (instead of sales pages or video scripts).

Market-specific relevance means that if you’re applying for a job to run ads for a health company, you should highlight previous work you’ve done in the health space (instead of another niche like finance or relationships).

And if you want to pull a Mike Tyson and hit the bullseye…

Aim to have both.


Working For Yourself

4 Ugly Truths About Being a Digital Nomad

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

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

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

#1: Everyone else is in vacation mode

Working from exotic locations is tough.

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

Temptations are everywhere.

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

#2: You have to work odd hours

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

This can be brutal.

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

Which leads us to…

#3: Routines are hard to maintain

As Jocko Willink says, discipline equals freedom.

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

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

Which sucks up more brainpower than you might think.

#4: Relationships are transient

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

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

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


From The Paid Ads Gig

iOS 14? Never Heard of It

Apple’s iOS 14 update detonated a bomb on browser-based tracking last year.

Paid ads haven’t been the same since.

And even though every SaaS company and their grandma claims to have “solved iOS 14,” the truth is that the ad tracking capabilities we used to have ain’t coming back.

But the good news is…

There’s an old school strategy that can help you combat Apple’s anti-ad agenda:

Building separate funnels for each traffic source.

If you’ve only got traffic from one source (like Facebook, YouTube, organic, etc) coming into a specific funnel, attributing ROI is a cakewalk.

There is a bit more work up front to get this set up…

But as you (or your client’s) company grows, you’ll be glad you did it.


Quote of the Day

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”

Harry Golden