The Accomplished Solopreneur

Issue 23.16

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash

I'm using ChatGPT in my business - here's why, and how you can get started too

This past week has been like heaven.

As a self-confessed tech nerd, I had the chance to take a detailed look at AI and what it can do for me, and my first impressions ranged from “meh” to “mind blown what else can it do?”.

So in today’s newsletter I would like to give you a quick look at how I’m starting to use AI to help me in my business, and give you some pointers on how you can get started (if you haven’t already).

The hype around AI - do you need to pay attention?

There’s a huge amount of hype around AI and tools like ChatGPT in particular. Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, and every day there’s news of new advancements - and concerns that we need to be very careful.

I’ll talk about the concerns in a future post, but based on my experience over the last couple of months, and this last week in particular:

You need to at least take a look at the freely accessible AI tools and experiment to see what it can do for you.

If you do a little bit of desk research (Googling, in other words), you will find a ton of stuff that leads into never-ending rabbit holes. So if you do start experimenting, take care you don’t get lost in there!

How to get started

The best AI to start with is ChatGPT. Registering is free and easy:

You will land in the ChatGPT main screen. There are examples that give you an idea of what you can ask - use any of these or type in anything you would like to ask.

What can I ask it?

The current public version of ChatGPT was trained on a portion of the whole Internet content up to September 2021. It won’t have scores for the latest season of your favourite games, but still the possibilities are pretty much only limited by your imagination.

Try some of the following:

  • Give me a meal plan and shopping list for two adults for one week based on a keto diet.
  • What are the most important thing I have to keep in mind when using email marketing to nurture my leads?
  • give me 10 options for a headline for an article about the importance of getting enough sleep

In each case, ChatGPT is going to give you some pretty stunning results.

Tuning your results

One of the things to keep in mind about ChatGPT is that it is “context aware”. In other words, it remembers what you asked it, and it can refine or follow up without having to repeat the whole question.

For example, asking ChatGPT “give me 10 options for a headline for an article about the importance of getting enough sleep” produced something like this:

I can now ask ChatGPT to rewrite those with a humorous twist:

Not bad, right?

The more specific you get, the better the results

To get even better results, be as specific as you possibly can. For example, when I get more specific about the importance of sleep, I get the following:

Top hint: speak to a friend

I’ve found that you get the best results when you treat ChatGPT as a “friend”. Speak to it as if you are speaking to a friend, and keep a running conversation going (you don’t need to start each query from scratch).

When you do need to talk to ChatGPT about a completely new topic, use the “New chat” button at the top left of your screen.

How I’m using ChatGPT (and other AI’s) to help with my business

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I can do with AI in my business, but here are a few of the things I’m doing.

Content Marketing - strategy, ideas and SEO optimization

Content Marketing (articles and newsletters like this issue) is a big part of my business. To help me focus on specific topics, generate ideas for articles and produce high-value content, I’ve asked ChatGPT to:

  • Recommend the content pillars (main groupings of content) that would be relevant for the work I do and the people I work with (you!)
  • List the key topics that are relevant for each content pillar
  • List the top keywords that people will be searching for when they’re interested in [topic].
  • Generate ideas for articles about [topic] that are optimized for [keywords].

ChatGPT (and other AI’s) are not perfect. I had to do a fair amount of tweaking to get this to where I felt it was good, but using ChatGPT to get the ball rolling probably saved me days (if not weeks) of research, planning and agonizing.

(I will be testing this process with a couple of people, and turn this into a step-by-step guide when I’ve sorted out the kinks. Drop me a note if you’re interested.)

LinkedIn Posts

I asked ChatGPT the following: “write a linkedin post that lists 5 things highly productive people do, and 5 things people who are not productive do”

The result wasn’t bad, but I wanted it to sound a little more humorous: “can you rewrite that in a humorous sense?”

This is what it came up with:

Now to be fair, I had to do a lot of tweaking to that result to get to a post that I liked, but ChatGPT did a lot of the heavy lifting and saved me a lot of time.

Course design

I’ve only barely scraped the possibilities here, but try the following:

  • what would the ideal learning outcomes be for an online course to teach solopreneur consultants the basics of email marketing? (or whatever course you want to design)
  • then follow that up with something like: that looks good, thanks. Can you give me an outline for a course that achieves these learning outcomes?

The results are not perfect, but if you’re stuck with what should go into a course, ChatGPT can provide a good start.

The promise - and what to be careful of

All of this power and “creativity” seems like heaven - but you have to be careful:

  • Results are not perfect. Examine them closely and tweak your questions (or tweak the results).
  • You can ask ChatGPT to write articles for you, but the number of words it generates (around 600) may not be enough. I’ve had better results asking ChatGPT to give me an outline for an article, and then filling in the blanks myself.

The promise of AI is huge. There’s definitely a learning curve, but I can already see that there is a ton of time savings to be had - and hopefully better quality as well.

I’ll keep you posted on my journey. Have a great week.