Before using AI in your marketing strategy, you need to know the facts.
There are several points you need to be aware of before using AI to grow your personal brand and business.
Before using AI for content, you need to understand exactly what it is. You may have heard it referred to as Chat GPT in addition to artificial intelligence and AI. ChatGPT is a dialogue format of AI, it was created to be more conversational. But for the sake of this post, we will not go into all of the types and levels of AI available on the market today. That is a much deeper level of technical understanding than I have. As complicated as AI may seem when used for content generation, it isn’t something to fear. However, it is important to use caution.
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence, (AI) is the use of computer systems to simulate the human mind. There are various hardware and software programs involved in AI, for example, Python, Java, R, C++, and Julia. There are experts who specialize in AI programming.
How does AI work?
In simplified terms, a bot will consume large amounts of data, look for patterns, and then make predictions. When a human puts in text, a chatbot can pull information and have lifelike exchanges with the human. You ask a question; it gives you an answer.
AI techniques are improving rapidly and can produce very realistic text, music, graphics, images, etc.
What do you need to know before using AI?
I’ve had an opinion about AI for a while since first introduced. The anxious skeptic in my first thought that’s amazing. But immediately my mind went to the thought that that means a bot could take my information, the content I’ve worked hard to create, and give it to someone else t use. And I may never know it.
I thought about plagiarism and how before, that was a big deal, but it may no longer be because of how the data is being discovered and shared for someone else to use. And believe me, not everyone is rewording the results produced by AI programs.
In addition, I thought about how AI was going to take away human jobs. And it reminded me of going to the grocery store or Target or Costco and the self-check-out lanes. Talk about anxiety producing. Every single time I use them something goes wrong, and I have to wait for the human who is frantically trying to help 10 other people to have time to help me. All the while, the light is flashing, and the intercom is saying help is needed in lane 5. I love check-our clerks and the service they provide. Computers shouldn’t replace them. Let computers replace the need for vacuuming or other meniscal tasks but not the ones that give humans jobs and allow them to provide for their families.
Before I felt comfortable addressing the topic of AI, I researched it and asked my small business attorney, Cheri Andrews, for her legal perspective.
With that said, here are a few things to consider before using AI in your business:
- If you are trying to grow a personal brand and business, you need to be genuine and authentic. Is AI going to accurately represent you, your tone, your knowledge, your level of professionalism, and your opinions that make up your personal brand?
- What stops someone else in your niche from asking the same question, getting the same response, and using the exact same answer in their content?
- Are you willing to review the AI outputs and add your own brilliance, flare, opinion, and expertise?
In addition, you need to be aware of these facts before using AI:
- No one in the technology industry is verifying the information to monitor for plagiarism. This could hurt you in two ways. First, your valuable content could be given to others to use. Second, you could be plagiarizing someone else.
- No one is monitoring the accuracy of the content shared when you ask a question. Therefore, you could use what was regurgitated by a chatbot and lose your credibility, which means you’d lose the trust of your community. Since trust determines buying practices, this could ultimately hurt your business in a big way.
- No one is confirming that the information provided is from an authoritative, reputable, and expert source on the subject matter. Again, this could influence your credibility as an expert in your niche if you aren’t carefully checking the information produced by AI.
Before using AI, decide why you are using it in the first place.
Are you using it to save time because you don’t like to write? Or are you using AI because you don’t believe you are creative enough to create compelling content and copy? Do you not believe that you have the expert answer and are seeking help in finding it? Or do you simply need a little help with content idea generation? Are you using AI for a quick solution to attract clients – thinking the more content you put out the more clients you’ll get?
Here’s the truth. You are creative and you can write because you are an expert in your niche. All of your life and business experiences along with God himself, give you the ability to create and share meaningful and impactful content.
Of course, there are times when we lack ideas, and if that’s the situation you are in, use AI for idea generation. But at the same time, get back in touch with your own creativity. Maybe you need to step away from the office for a bit and take a walk, listen to music, garden, or do crafts. Or ask your community what they want to learn from you. They see you as an expert and they are depending on you to show up as yourself and share what you know.
The reason you are using AI is going to determine how you use it.
Before using AI responses in your content, I suggest you:
- Review all answers for accuracy and credibility.
- Rewrite most of the AI-generated response in your own voice, and words, to avoid confusion amidst your community. Remember, confused people do not buy.
- Ensure that the AI-generated response agrees with your values as a business owner.
- Use AI sparingly and do your own research to keep your mind fresh and abreast of all new information in your industry.
We live in a digital era as it is. If you take advantage of AI but don’t rewrite it in your own voice, you will sound like everyone else and all of the time you’ve spent to develop your personal brand and grow your business will have been lost.
Here are some places you can use AI in your business should you choose to:
Email marketing. Here’s an example. I have an SEO webinar coming up soon so before creating this post I wanted to do a little research for myself. So, I asked copy.ai to write an email about an SEO webinar. It generated a response that included this paragraph: Are you tired of your website being buried on the second or third page of search engine results? Do you want to learn how to increase traffic to your website and improve your online presence? If so, we have great news for you!
Pretty accurate, for sure, but I would have to change it up a bit and not have three questions in a row at the beginning of an email. I also don’t know that I’d refer to the SEO webinar as great news, but then again, maybe.
Some ways you can use AI for idea generation:
- Writing a blog post
- Sending email marketing campaigns
- Social media captions – but remember social is about building relationships via engagement
- Pinterest captions
- LinkedIn captions
- Podcast episode content
- Writing a speech – thought leadership
- Product Description
But I make these suggestions loosely as I strongly encourage you to write your own content, create your own speeches, and write from a place of authenticity that is aligned with your values.
Resources for AI
Before using AI, you need to know where to find it. I did a little digging on this subject too. I found a few lists of top AI companies, but there were a few that were repeated on multiple lists.
It’s important to note that prices vary between the companies and the amount of AI you get. Most of the companies offer so many words, like 10,000 per month, for a set monthly fee. However, you can upgrade your account for more AI-generated content.
There are several companies that offer a free entry-level plan. If you are using AI for idea generation and using it sparingly, a free plan may serve you well.
Free AI companies –
Read more about each of the companies listed above. Suresh Chaudhary provides an overview of the pros and cons of each company.
Other AI companies in no order – there are hundreds of them.
Do a Google search to see which is the best fit for you.
Check out this article by Shelly Walsh in Search Engine Journal for her recommendations on the top 10 AI companies.
When using AI . . .
Start broad and narrow down. Ask questions that your community has. Do comparisons, this or that. Some AI programs will offer prompts that you can use and fill in the blank.
Before using AI, decide why you are using it, how you want to use it, and how much time you are going to invest in rewriting the information so that it is in your voice, resonates with your soulmate clients, and helps you to continue to build your personal brand and grow your business.
If you aren’t using AI, you are not at risk of losing your business or place in the market, unless you aren’t creating content and doing due diligence to be visible in the online space. I’ve seen people say that if you want to be competitive and stay ahead of the curve, you have to use AI. Not true. If you are a good writer and creative and feel confident that you can grow your business without it, you do not need to conform to using AI. You get to choose if and how you use the tool. But if you do use it, use it with integrity while being authentically yourself.