Harnessing the Power of the Internet to Reach Your Full Potential | Internetly Vol. 13

On taking on challenging projects, having a life outside of labor, and why "experience" is overrated.

Hi there, 

On Tuesday, I did my first-ever (paid!) speaking engagement. 

It was for The Phoenix Programme, an accelerator program for young UK writers. I spoke on building your personal brand as an online writer and “Internet Self-Actualization.”

Internet Self-Actualization is when you harness the power of the internet to reach your full potential. 99% of people would vehemently agree the internet has changed our entire way of life. But few people can actually wrap their heads around the possibilities it grants us. 

For instance, exactly one year ago, I came back to NYC from Maine and fell into a deep depressive episode. My source of anguish boiled down to one thing that most 20-somethings can relate to: I felt like I had nothing going for me. 

But on June 28th, 2020, I published online for the very first time. I kept publishing, learning, networking, and became a dutiful citizen of the internet. 

It’s crazy how far you can get in a year. I’m now a full-time freelance writer, something that once seemed wholly unattainable. 

I’m thrilled by the progress I’ve made. But it’s in moments like this - when work is taking off - where you can lose sight of yourself the fastest. Well-fed by dopamine snacks from a busy social media presence and soothed from “well done!” notes from clients, labor encapsulates you. And that’s a problem. 

The TikTok algorithm seems to know me more than I know myself, and keeps recommending me videos lately about “not letting yourself be defined by work.” Vlogs of young women who make a point to have a life outside of work have flooded my feed. One girl who goes kayaking on a Monday “even if it’s a school night,” or another who suggests you “drink Pedialyte” in case a crazy Thursday night goes too far. 

In an ironic fashion, these videos make me feel anxious and honestly, pretty shitty. I slump over in guilt as thoughts such as, “Are you really living your life?” take over. It’s a lifelong lesson, blending your “work-self” and “leisure-self.” 

Anyone else relates, or do I sound crazy? 


🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator

This Week: Success Boils Down to Consistent Behavior 

Folks, 

Productivity porn is real. Reddits’ r/productivity has over 766K members, with a couple hundred online at any given time. We chase after the latest gadgets and apps that promise to “unlock our potential” and “supercharge our workflow.” As a copywriter, those phrases make me roll my eyes - hard. 

But why do people seem so obsessed with productivity? 

My theory: productivity is a direct result of a product-driven society. You don’t contribute to society and *poof.* Your sense of belonging is in jeopardy. 

Follow me along here as I make the connection between productivity and becoming a prolific creator. Productivity is great and all, but it’s not as important as consistent behavior. And not just any type of behavior - behavior that enforces what’s called “sharpening the saw.” 

This is when you consistently take on challenging projects that result in tangible development. Because you’re in charge of your own creativity and development, you’re responsible for your own growth. 

The only way to boost your expertise is to consistently show up and take on intimidating projects and to push your boundaries. There’s literally no use in you having six productivity apps on your phone if you don’t say “yes” to projects that frighten you. 

TL;DR

Productivity is for naught if you don’t regularly push yourself to take on challenging projects. 😤


🥒 Content Diet

Two little vitamins for the brain this week. 

  1. Chuang Tzu & The Butterfly 

A simply delightful poem I found while reading one of my favorite newsletters by Patricia Mou

I was dreaming that I was a butterfly

fluttering happily.

Suddenly, I awoke—

Now, I wonder who I am—

A man who dreamed he was a butterfly,

or a butterfly dreaming it is a man.

Chuang Tzu

TL;DR 

C’mon, man. This is a poem. Read it. Or don’t. 🦋

II. How to Respond to the Most Common Client Objections in Sales by Chris Do 

Freelancing is a full-time learning affair. I’m still binge-watching Chris Do’s content and found this gem I wanted to share with you. 

In this chart, Chris presents the most common client objections you’ll face, and how to counteract them. If you’re keen, I would highly suggest you watch the 40-minute video. It’s a masterclass on the art of persuasion and communication in itself. 

TL;DR

When handling client comment objections, you must embrace their statement and pivot to find the hole in their logic. 🧠


✍🏼 Freelancing Journey

This Week: The Logical Reasons as to Why You Should Charge More 

We’re always encouraged to raise our prices. “Charge more money” is a go-to line in every podcast about entrepreneurship. 

But if you’re like me, this isn’t compelling enough for you to actually do it. You need logical reasoning behind it. Some proof as to why you’re worth the money. 

I come bearing proof. I’ve finished Michael Ardelean’s book “Art For Money” and it taught me in a very straightforward, matter-of-fact way why you must charge more.  And side note - it’s an incredible book. 

Here’s what Michael drills into your head early on: 

  1. Freelancers are cheaper for businesses to hire than full-time employees.

I’ll let Michael explain how this works: 

“Assuming you are great at what you do and everyone knows it, you can set your price 50% higher than the market standard salary, because paying you more is still cheaper than hiring a true employee in your place, and your boss has the added benefit of zero commitment (as do you).” 

Companies aren’t providing a 401K match. They’re not giving you Summer Fridays or paid time off. This is why you should slap on an additional 50% to what you think you’re worth - because doing so still makes you cheaper than hiring someone full-time. 

  1. Experience is subjective. 

This realization didn’t come from Michael, but it’s been incredibly useful and I had to share. 

Last week, I got an email from a fellow Internetly subscriber, Robert H. “Experience is subjective,” he wrote. “Selling to clients based on our experience is very similar to charging clients based on time... there is always a limitation.”

Once this sunk in, it baffled me. He’s right. “Experience” isn’t quantifiably measured by how many years you’ve been in the field. It’s determined by the ROIs, who you’ve worked with, the quality of your work, and overall reputation.  

Allow me to be hippy-dippy for a second: time is an illusion and doesn’t serve you.

If you’re bringing in good results, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing this for one week or one year. Do you think Instagram influencers get paid 50% less if they have less than six months on the scene, even if they have extremely high engagement? 

No. It’s not about the time. It’s about the engagement rates and the relationship with their audience. This new way of looking at business has transformed the way I see my value, and I hope it challenges your perception of value, too. 

Still unsure if you’re valuable enough to charge more money? 

Ask yourself these questions (courtesy of Michael, once again): 

  • What do clients and peers say about you? 

  • Do you deliver on time? 

  • Do you deliver early? 

  • Are you a pleasure to speak with? 

  • Are you impeccable with your word? 

  • If an independent party surveyed all of your previous clients about you, would you post the results on Twitter or LinkedIn? 

If you’ve answered these questions with confidence, any guilt you have associated with collecting money should subside. 

TL;DR

Raise your rates. Not “just because.” Freelancers are less expensive to hire than a full-time employee and because “experience” is overrated. 🙏🏼


Thanks for reading!

I’m off to Mexico tomorrow (😱) so next week’s edition might be delivered a little late. But we’ll see.

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See you soon and have an amazing week.

Love,

Alice 💌