🔬 Under the microscope

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Mentioned in today’s newsletter: TikTok, Elon Musk, Parag Agrawal, and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Plus what it takes to become a highly-paid freelancer, tips to declutter your Drive folder, and 3 magic words to punch up your sales copy.

Read time: 3 minutes and 45 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

  • TikTok nearing deal with U.S. government to continue operating without being forced to sell itself. Rumors have been flying that the short-form video app would need to sell off its American division to eliminate national security concerns. But after being put under the microscope, it looks like they may be nearing an agreement with the Biden administration to avoid it.
  • Depositions of Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal delayed. Both men were set to be deposed Monday, but the depositions were postponed for an unknown reason. The trial is set to begin later this month.
  • TikTok may be forced to pay a $29M fine in the U.K. for mishandling children’s data. Speaking of privacy concerns around TikTok, the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. issued provisional findings of a 2019 investigation that could lead to a $29M fine. Based on the $4.6B in revenue TikTok brought in last year, it would take them approximately 2.3 days to come up with the dough. So we’re not sure that even qualifies as a slap on the wrist. 

Working With Clients

So You Want to Be a Highly-Paid Freelancer?

There’s only one thing clients HATE more than hiring a freelancer who can’t deliver…

And that’s hiring a freelancer who can’t work fast.

This is typically because of bad experiences in the past…

(with freelancers missing deadlines, ghosting them, or both)

Or simply because they need it turned around ASAP.

Honestly, you would be shocked at how many freelancers with impressive samples and track records can’t work fast.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to stand out even if you don’t have a portfolio full of big wins or a laundry list of testimonials…

Learn to work fast.

And then don’t be afraid to advertise it.

You see, one of the biggest concerns clients have when hiring freelancers is speed.

And if you can speak directly to that fear, you’ll have no trouble closing deals.

Now, you can’t just snap your fingers and make yourself work three times faster…

So here’s a few tips to help you put the pedal to the metal:

  • Close all open tabs
  • Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
  • Create an outline or wireframe first
  • Use a timer
  • Listen to non-lyrical music (binaural beats, lo-fi, etc)

And don’t forget: the faster you work, the more you can jack up your effective hourly rate.

More on this below.

Working For Yourself

What It Looks Like Inside Most Freelancers’ Google Drive Folders…

Piggybacking on the topic of working fast…

Keeping your digital workspace organized is just as important as keeping your physical workspace organized when it comes to being speedy.

Here are a few tips to help you digitally declutter:

  • Establish a naming convention for files (ex: [CLIENT] – Document Name – MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Create a master folder
  • Organize subfolders with numbers (ex: “01. [FOLDER]”)
  • Maintain a tracking sheet (with links to all documents for a given project)
  • Have a dedicated scratch pad (for quick notes or off the cuff calculations)

Bottom line: a cluttered Drive folder makes for a cluttered mind.

And cluttered minds tend to miss deadlines.

From The Copywriting Gig

3 Magic Words to Punch Up Your Sales Copy

Selling in print can sometimes seem like a dark art.

How do you know which specific words will move people to pull out their credit card?

Well, here’s a good place to start…

Focus on benefits, not features.

Features are structural or functional elements of the product.

  • These headphones are wireless
  • That desk is adjustable
  • This online course is self-paced

Benefits are what those features do for the person using the product.

And one easy way to convert features into benefits so you can punch up your sales copy is to use the 3 magic words:

“So you can.”

As in…

  • These headphones are wireless so you can lift heavy at the gym without worrying about tangled cords.
  • That desk is adjustable so you can avoid sitting in a chair all day.
  • This online course is self-paced so you can finish it in a single weekend.

Get the idea?

Copy that doesn’t convert is often too feature-heavy.

So next time you’re writing an ad, email, landing page, or product description…

Try dialing up the benefits and see what happens.

Gig Alerts

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

Quote of the Day

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

— Socrates