Freelance secrets from an ancient Egyptian tomb

Started watching this Netflix documentary: “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” and it reminded me of one of the more powerful marketing principles I learned as young online business tadpole — and a little twist on it that can help you to command attention in your market and get more clients.

It’s really in the first few minutes of the documentary.

It starts with two guys in some dusty cave… who make a “startling” discovery. It turns out to be a private tomb for some Egyptian noble — almost fully preserved. They start to explain why this particular tomb was so unique…

How it was one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st Century.

They show all the press the discovery received.

All the major news channels… ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, etc..

It really is quite exciting. By the time they’re done, you’re hooked. You want to know what’s in this tomb and why it’s so special.

It’s the power of “new”.

Now, that might not sound super amazing at first blush, but it’s the principle behind some of the greatest marketing campaigns of your lifetime. P90X is the classic example. They took the boring, well-known principle of periodicity and turned it into “muscle confusion”.

And, by June of 2010, it’d done over 200 million in sales.

Ford’s recently come out with its SYNC Technology — which is its take on navigation and voice control. And, SYNC is a registered trademark. It’s not some off-hand thing they did. A lot of time and muney went into naming and trademarking it.

You’ve probably heard things like “Duramax Diesel” or “Cummins”.

HEMI is another.

These are all examples of what infamous copywriter, Gene Schwartz, called a “new mechanism”. It works particularly well in a jaded market. Fitness is a great example… most of the people in the market have heard all the big claims, tried all the latest gadgets and programs…

And haven’t got the results they want.

So, they’re highly skeptical.

A new mechanism, like “muscle confusion”, is one way to give your product or service a fresh take and convince those skeptical buyers to give your stuff a shot. If you start to look around, now knowing this, you’ll see it’s how a lot of tech products, today, are sold.

You might remember how everything was “AI-powered” there for a bit.

One infamous example was “The Grid”… the AI-powered website builder. Of course, it failed spectacularly (as I predicted) because it couldn’t deliver on its promise — which is a whole other discussion — but, it sure got a lot of attention.

I had web developers terrified they were gonna become obsolete. 😀

It shows the power of a “new mechanism”.

Now, here’s the thing… almost nobody does this in the freelance space. People compete almost solely on talent and price. It’s ripe for the pickin’ for a smart marketer, who gets this stuff, to swoop in and dominate whole markets using this principle.

I used it for years with virtually no competition.

It’s one of the reasons why I got hired by the Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss’ of the world.

And, if you’re the ambitious type, you could do the same.

And, there’s a simple twist on this principle that any freelancer can add to their marketing to stand out as unique and better — without changing a single thing about your service. As Gene says… every product or service HAS a “new mechanism”, it’s simply a matter of finding it.

And, freelancers have an advantage…

Because ours are obvious and simple to find.

Anyway, this is one of the many lessons I’ve learned during my 17-year freelance career and packaged into my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. If you’re looking for the shortcuts to help you fast-track your way to freelancing full-time and living the freelance life…

May be worth a watch.

And, as I’ve been saying… you can get the course essentially free. That’s because it’s up on Skillshare and, as a teacher there, I can get you an exclusive 1-month free trial of the site (normal trial is just 7 days).

With that, you get full access to all 30,000+ courses.

And, if you cancel before the month is up, you never pay a penny. Up to you if that floats your boat, but I created a page explaining all the details here:



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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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