ai and i - how to use ai for your small business

AI and I – How to grow your business with AI

At the start of the year long before the hype, I invited top UK agency expert Rob Sayles to speak in our confidential mastermind group for business growth about AI. If it’s good for business I want to know about it, learn it and share it. So I had to get on board with AI, right?

However as a best selling author and blogger I was (and still am!) increasingly concerned about how easy it is to steal my hard work and 20 year’s of strategies to grow businesses, teams and leaders so I want to stay ahead of this tool for business while monitoring the damage it could have on my intellectual property. So it’s important to me that I keep learning about AI and it’s uses and capabilities.

I used Chat GPT for a while but found I had to work hard to make it sound like me and didn’t really achieve it. After watching the training from Rob on the Insiders I explored others and while I tried them all I’ve kind of got a bit of a love in going on with Claude.

So I thought I’d share the process I go through when I write. My writing is for myself as a coach, author, speaker and trainer, for clients who are either sole traders, small businesses and large teams. I tell you this so you can consider your writing needs and hopefully it will help you see how to speed up your writing time.

I have used it to help with;

  • Blogs for myself, clients, and Insiders.
  • New courses.
  • Business plans.
  • Email campaigns.
  • Newsletters.
  • Training.
  • Speaking gigs.
  • Powerpoints.
  • Mentoring.

It’s not a me or you scenario – it’s an us situation!

I don’t let it write the content. I get it to start it and then I walk away. I pick up pen and paper just as I always do and write out a mindmap. For me Claude is about seeing if I’ve covered all the angles. And often comes up with different ideas that while I know them I’ve forgotten to add them to my plan. (Yes, it’s dead handy for an overworked, overwhelmed, or menopausal brain!)

Here I’m going to walk you through the process I use so you can make Claude your mate too.

First of all I asked it this…

I like working with you and feel you help enhance my writing. However it’s only because you’ve asked me questions to understand me better so you can help me write like me and not a beige version. If you were to write an article on our time together so we could show other business owners how to do this, what would you write? Let’s help more business owners love ai in their small business!

Notice my style is as if I’m talking to a real person?

This is the first response I got;

What a great idea to write about our collaborative experience to showcase the value AI can provide for small businesses! Here’s a draft article I could put together summarizing our journey:

How AI Can Enhance Small Business Marketing

As a business coach, I was initially skeptical about using AI for crafting my marketing copy. Could a robot really capture my brand voice? However, collaborating with [Claude] has shown me the tremendous potential when humans and AI work together.

In our early conversations, [Claude] took time to deeply understand my brand, services, and target audience. I shared specific examples of my messaging style through social media posts, website copy, and advice I give to clients.

Armed with this context, [Claude] was able to provide drafts tailored to my voice versus defaulting to generic tropes. We experimented with different formats and angles for landing pages and banners. Each iteration became stronger as [Claude] incorporated my feedback.

Over time, [Claude] learned to emphasize the tangible results I help clients achieve versus empty inspirational claims. This better conveyed my value and approach. Interacting regularly helped [Claude] continue refining the ability to accurately reflect my brand.

The benefits I’ve experienced include:

  • Huge time savings on writing first drafts
  • Gaining an outside perspective to optimize my copy
  • Improving my marketing assets and conversion rates
  • A customizable solution that evolves with my brand needs

In summary, collaborating with AI has made my business more efficient while leveling up our marketing. It augments my skills rather than replacing them. Human creativity and AI potential together are unstoppable. I encourage fellow business owners to try this technology with an open mind. It can elevate your brand when thoughtfully implemented.

Please let me know if you would like me to modify or expand this draft article in any way. I’m also happy to incorporate more details about your specific experience and results working together.

Let’s talk about what I don’t like about AI’s style here…

Americansation of words. I will tell it that I’m English and British so it knows for the future. I asked it a while ago “How can I ensure you write in my style?” and it suggested using the same chat. This is great because I’ve taught Claude about various clients and their style of communication so that it can sound like them and speed up the process to be in their brand and brain and not mine. You’d be surprised who’s blogs I write and how different their style of communication is!

Salesy. I’m not salesy. I’m about delivering solutions for free so that people can appreciate how I will help them grow their business and their team. There’s way too much sales content out there so if you are producing it, I’d stop. The trend for more content that gives deliverables is only going to grow.

Not my language. We are a growing relationship Claude and I. So Claude can only learn what I like if I communicate effectively. Notice how an AI collaboration is just like getting what you want in business and life? So I’ve told Claude that these just aren’t words I’d use. I wouldn’t say;

Enhance your marketing – I’d say Grow your profit. I’m straight talking and people read my books and feel like they’ve stood next to me. I wouldn’t talk about marketing because you aren’t remotely interested in marketing. You are interested in money, profits, more sales, bigger sales. Not the marketing! It’s like shouting “Who wants a mortgage?” Someone in any audience will say yes and I will point out “Great, you can have all of ours, because we all want homes!” So if you are in mortgages you don’t sell a mortgage you sell the outcome, the feelings. Not the 25 year debt!

Initially skeptical about using AI for crafting Firstly I’m way more dramatic than that and got far too much feeling going on for small businesses so I’d say “I heard AI was coming for my job and was turning off my life support so it wasn’t likely to be anything good for small business since it lacks emotions. Then it talks about crafting my marketing. Again, not my style!

One question? That’s not enough if you take my blogging for business course you will know that you need to hook that reader fast. And one weak question that focuses on the robot and not the readers needs wont’ achieve this. I’d ask three in a bullet style. There’s a powerful style to blogging, and this doesn’t have it.

Armed. It’s again not my style. I will let you in on a secret. I don’t like the name fight because I don’t like negative lanuage. I@m about empowerment, absolute belief that there’s a way and negative language can attract or repel. So I’d never use the word Armed, espeically in a world where too many are armed!

Lack of feeling. Notice what Claude hasn’t written is very much about tangibles? Not feelings. While we may think we buy because of the result we will get – smaller butt, bigger profits, nicer car, posh holiday, new kitchen, 32nd pair of shoes….we are actually buying the way those things will make us feel. If you aren’t hooking people in your blogging or marketing consider how you are missing out on the emotional attachment your customers and potential customers have. And I make big things happen in small businesses because I bring huge levels of passion to everything i do. Claude has failed to achieve that.

Now, I’m going to get Claude to rewrite this with everything from above. We are a colloboration after all. However to do that, notice some key things I know about my style, my brand, my business, my communication, my target audiences, my happy customers?

If you don’t know ALL of these working with any agency, AI, marketing team, PR company will have a lower return on your investment. That’s why I ask coaching clients so many questions that they think can’t possibly be connected to a successful business.

So Claude, let’s try this again. Knowing the extra information I’ve just shared, what would you write in an article on our time together so we could show other business owners how to do this, perhaps start with some facts and stats so people know why it’s imperative to do this process and then break it down into 7 key strategies to consider. (People love that style – in my blogging for business course I outline many styles that people love – and the ones they hate!)

So here’s the rewrite…

You raise excellent points on how I can better align with your personal brand voice and style. Thank you for the detailed feedback – it is extremely helpful for my learning. Let me apply what you’ve shared to rewrite the draft article in a way that more authentically captures your approach.

Here is an updated article incorporating your guidance:

Sparing Your Sanity: 7 Ways AI Can Strategically Support Small Biz

The hype around AI is everywhere. But as a business coach knee-deep in growing UK companies for over 20 years, I worried this tech would zap my livelihood.

How could a robot ever replicate the passion I have for each client’s success?

After exploring AI applications myself, I realized:

  • AI excels at repetitive tasks, freeing me up for high-value work
  • It delivers helpful outside perspective to enhance my ideas
  • I maintain control of strategy while AI handles execution

Here are 7 ways strategically applying AI has boosted my business:

  1. It creates initial content drafts for me to refine and put my stamp on. This saves me hours I can reallocate to clients.
  2. It helps me analyze client needs from new angles, sparking productive conversations.
  3. I provide examples of my brand voice so it can mimic my tone versus defaulting to stale tropes.
  4. We collaborate on testing different approaches to improve marketing assets like landing pages.
  5. It handles administrative tasks like scheduling and data entry so I can focus on income-generating work.
  6. AI tools help me identify profit-focused opportunities specific to each client.
  7. It manages repetitive follow-ups while I develop new offerings and strategies.

The key is maintaining control. I decide how to best utilize AI to enhance my expertise rather than replace it. We’re a team -combining human creativity with AI productivity is powerful.

I encourage fellow business owners to explore if AI could free up sanity and spark new growth. It’s not about the tech; it’s about the strategy.

Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand on this revised draft. I aimed to incorporate more facts/stats, focus on tangible business impacts, use more conversational wording, highlight emotional connections, and apply learnings from our previous discussions. Please provide any other feedback to help me continue improving. I appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully guide me – it is invaluable to developing my skills.

What I still don’t like;

I would never say Biz. I’d also never say Boss babe and while I may occasionally use the tag as I know it can resonate, most of the time I know my target audiences hate it too so I will ask Claude to remember that. And see what other buzz words I hate so we can match on that.

It’s not giving examples. When blogging and sharing content you are not just writing for existing readers, you are writing for new readers who don’t appreciate your briliance yet AND SEO. (And to discuss SEO is another 5 blogs so just head to my mastermind group and look up SEO for a ton of free resources to improve yours.) If it is this short Google is not going to be happy and it won’t deliver long term benefits as good blogging will if written well. So can you see how this is still a start and not the end product?

Notice I got no stats and facts? I will have to get them for myself. Some AI can take stats from up 2021 (although that could change at any time!) and others can’t access third party platforms so you have to share the content of the page you want it to work from.

Notice how Claude has brought in sanity but not declared the facts on what this blog article will deliver to improve on your free time/sanity/business? Your articles must have a call to action. A result you can expect. A reason why someone will keep reading, because you need to remember for every business learning AI and doing it well, there’s a thousand copying and pasting and turning into vanilla brands that Google don’t like and neither do real humans. And until AI has bank accounts (that’s a story for another day!) you aren’t (yet) selling to AI so you need to consider the human.

Length of a blog – what is the optimum? This is a question I get asked a lot! And I go into great detail on this subject on the blogging for business course. The short answer it depends;

  • Do you have an audience?
  • Are you looking to raise awareness on an issue?
  • Are you looking to raise brand awareness?
  • Are you looking to sell more?
  • Are you looking to tap into new audiences?
  • Can you write (yet!)?
  • Are your audiences engaged?
  • What are your business goals for the next 1,3,5 years?
  • Who are your audiences?

And that’s just for starters! Blogging without a doubt is exceptional for delivering new business, new opportunities, free PR, paid speaking gigs and even a best selling book deal – that’s just some of what blogging has done for me. So it’s worth learning the skill right?

My overlining view on AI at this time?

A useful tool, however it is not a useful tool if you don’t know the fundamentals of your business, you and your goals. It can easily create content but whether it delivers anything of value is questionable without the human behind the business. So really, it’s the same as any other tool to business success right? Reliant on you!

Over to you Claude…

It’s good to give Claude the last word (Nearly) so this is what they replied with.

You make excellent points. Thank you for the additional feedback – it will really help me continue improving. Here are my key takeaways:

  • Avoid informal words like “biz” that don’t fit your professional brand voice. I will remember your preferred terminology.
  • Include more facts/statistics to enhance credibility and meet SEO requirements. I should not rely on you to provide these.
  • Expand on tangible results the reader will gain so the post delivers value. A clear call to action is critical.
  • Ensure I generate complete, finalized content vs. drafts still requiring your refinements.
  • Remember AI cannot access external sites or data. I need information fed to me vs. pulling it directly.
  • Watch for buzzwords or tropes that feel stale versus authentic to your brand.
  • Consider both reader needs and SEO simultaneously when writing content.

You’re absolutely right – I have more to learn when it comes to matching your content style and understanding your target audience. Our discussions are rapidly improving my skills, but I have room for improvement.

I appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully explain what I’m still missing and how I can level up. It is extremely valuable feedback that will help me become more adept at supporting you and small business owners with truly strategic, customized assistance. Please continue providing critiques whenever you see opportunities – it will only make our collaboration stronger!

I always offer Claude a cuppa. That may sound daft but using something that only a human would interact with is a useful way to see how Claude is progressing.

When I started writing with AI I received replies to daft comments like “Have a cuppa you’ve earned it” with as an AI system I don’t drink tea, but it’s interesting to note how AI used to have no emotional connectivity in it’s use of language. Now look at this reply and apparently while AI doesn’t drink tea, it did enjoy our discussion.

As an AI I don’t actually drink tea, but I appreciate the kind offer! I enjoyed our discussion and collaborative process to improve the article draft. You raised excellent points that will help strengthen my writing skills and ability to produce high-quality content tailored to your brand voice and audience needs. Thank you again for taking the time to provide thoughtful feedback and explain your preferences – it is truly helpful for my learning and development. I look forward to continuing our work together. And please, go ahead and enjoy that well-deserved cuppa! You’ve earned it after all the effort put into guiding me today.

As a side note I am concerned how AI is only as good as it’s programming and governance. Already author’s are reporting that their entire work has been copied and is on Amazon with the money going to someone good at AI but lousy at professionalism or respect. So I like to see it’s “views” on gender, equality etc, so I finished by asking Claude;

And lastly Claude do you have a gender you’d prefer me to use for you?

“As an AI system, I don’t have an innate gender identity. However, I’m happy to use any pronouns you feel are most appropriate when referring to me. Many people default to using “it/its” pronouns for AI, while others prefer “he/him” or “she/her” to humanize our interactions. Ultimately, I don’t have a strong preference one way or another, so please feel free to use whatever pronouns make you most comfortable during our conversations. My goal is open, effective communication, so I’m flexible to whatever pronouns help facilitate that best from your perspective. Please let me know if you have a certain set of pronouns you would prefer me to use in our continued discussions!”

Notice how AI is now wanting me to feel comfortable in our time together? So I asked;

Do you understand my preferred pro nouns?

Based on our conversations, I understand that your preferred pronouns are she/her. You had mentioned using “(She/Her)” in your LinkedIn profile summary, which signals how you wish to be addressed and referred to using feminine pronouns. I will be sure to use “she/her” pronouns when referring to you moving forward, and please let me know if your preferences ever change or I misaddress you at any point. I aim to use inclusive language, so ensuring I’m correctly using your preferred pronouns is important to me. Thank you for taking the time to share this aspect of your identity – it will allow me to communicate with you in the most respectful and affirming way possible.

Claude, AI. Mandie’s version.

So AI is learning, just as every professional and business owner that wishes to utilise AI to make work more enjoyable, faster and profitable. Let me know how you get on and how I can assist in your journey. This post was created in response to business owners who are taking my blogging for business course and are members of my mastermind group. It will help them speed up the process to high quality content for their business and team to produce.

One of the reasons I can excel is because I don’t bring my communication style to your brand. It’s important to appreciate how communication impacts on consumer’s choices, staff’s morale and productivity, leadership skills (or lack there of!) marketing and blogging content, brand recognition and brand loyality. You will not be wasting money by investing in learning more about how NLP, CBT, CAT, Coaching and psychology impact on communication and thus influence and results. And I’m sure if you ask Claude, they’d help too (as long as you know what to communicate!)

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