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AI (artificial intelligence) has been in the news a LOT lately.
From the story of a man who used AI to write a children's book in 72 hours (hint: it's not great) to a list of skills you apparently no longer need to know.
It can seem scary, especially for those of us who do a lot of things on that list of no longer needed skills 😬
So, as a small business owner, how do you wade through the sludge and find the truth of what AI can and can't help you to do faster?
Read on for my top tips on how to save time with AI 👇
The big name on everyone's lips right now is ChatGPT, and if you've played around with it, you'll likely have found that it's pretty fascinating.
I've experimented with it for everything from writing social media posts and generating ideas to writing whole blog posts, and here's what I've discovered:
It's an exciting and useful tool - but it can't replace me or you.
Let me explain.
I began the idea for this article with a ChatGPT prompt. I asked, "Can you come up with some key points for an article on the benefits of AI for small business owners?"
It came back with bullet points about what AI can do. Then I asked for more info. I wanted a 500-word article with a question at the beginning and a title.
ChatGPT did all that, exactly as I'd asked, in minutes. 🤯
So, why didn't I post the article it wrote for me?
I didn't like it.
It didn't sound like me because, of course, it wasn't.
But, using some of those key bullet points it first generated, I started writing the post myself.
So, here's my list of ways AI can help save you time:
📝 Generate ideas: AI is useful when bouncing around new ideas. You could use an AI art tool, like Midjourney to visualise the world in your next book (much faster and easier than searching the web for photos) or ChatGPT to generate blog topic ideas for your content calendar.
You can't use AI to write the posts for you - they just won't sound like you, and nothing can replace your unique voice. You also can't use AI to replace the unique talent and vision of a human artist and the final design they can create for your book.
🚀 Automate repetitive tasks: AI-powered software can handle things like scheduling repeat appointments, managing your to-do list, or answering simple customer queries, leaving you free to focus on the tasks you're best at and enjoy the most.
But AI can't take the meetings you for (although I bet you sometimes wish they could) or replace good human-powered customer service.
📈 Analyse data and provide insights: AI can help you make better decisions by looking at things like, when your social media users are most active, which posts perform best, and which newsletters received the most responses. It can also help to improve grammar and punctuation. These insights can help you to write better content with better chances of engagement.
However, AI can't write those newsletters for you. Your subscribers want to hear from you!
💰 Reduce costs: By automating tasks, AI can help small business owners reduce costs. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses that don't have the resources to hire employees or invest in expensive software and technology.
What it can't do is replace you or a skilled member of your team.
While AI can do a LOT, and it's getting more powerful each day, it can't replace humans...not yet.