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  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

AI Hacks, Tips & Tricks That Every Solopreneur Needs to Know

No matter what industry you're in, ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools are here to change the way we work. While not perfect, they're guaranteed to make your life a heck of a lot easier, especially if you're a solopreneur who is already strapped on time and resources.

These tools are so novel that the average person has never even used them yet. So those of us who have (yours truly!) are truly paving the way for the future, experimenting with real-world problems and solutions to figure out what works best.

This article will cover some basic tips that can help you take advantage of AI technology and use it to reach your full potential as a small business owner.

AI Pros & Cons

The Advantages & Benefits of AI Tools

  • Relieve "blank page syndrome"

  • Kick off the creative processor drafting process

  • Increase efficiency and productivity

  • Save time and energy

  • Streamline formatting

  • Provide an initial draft, template or outline

  • Offer generalized structure and flow

  • Regurgiate and paraphrase web data

  • Generate keyword lists, headlines and metadescriptions

  • Help in researching, brainstorming, writing and drafting

There's no way around it.. ChatGPT can offer unbelievable support in the content-creation process. Think of it as your personal

  • Writing Assistant

  • Thought Partner

  • Productivity Booster

  • Inspiration Motivator

ChatGPT is wonderful resource to support your existing services, but it is not an end-all, be-all magic bullet. In fact it can be highly flawed, imperfect and flat-out risky. Having realistic expectations about AI can help you integrate it into your workflow best.

The Disadvantages & Drawbacks of AI Tools

ChatGPT is a DO-er, but not a Thinker. It simply can't synthesize or revise information as a human does. As such it is not a particularly reliable or accurate source and has shown to generate misinformation. There can be real risks to using AI for your business including:

  • LEGAL - fact vs fiction, inaccurate information, no citations or resources quoted, duplicate or plagiarised content

  • REPUTATIONAL - overly vague, verbose & repetitive wording, spammy or overly "salesy" or manipulative tone, unoriginal content, opinionless, unengaging, unmemorable, overly flat/generic writing style, over-used literary tropes

"AI wont replace you. A person using AI will."

Zain Khan

ChatGPT Basics

A prompt is the key input factor of AI technology. These are the written instructions the user provides the bot/system. A synthographer is someone who specializes in artificial writing or "prompt engineering"

There are two basic principles to prompt development:

1. Be concise, yet detailed. Being straightforward is key. Tell the AI exactly what you want (and don't want) without too many unnecessary instructions, jargon or details. ChatGPT only knows what it's trained to know, say it's best to say only what matters most - nothing more and nothing less. Disclosing the specificity of the positive (what you do want) and negative (what you don't want) yo are equally important.

2. Be technical, yet creative. Form your prompts in a technical manner because that's how it reads your prompt. But you can also incorporate some creativity at the same time.For example: "Write a 20 line narrative poem about a whimsical zerba destined for doom."

Think of ChatGPT as your typical office intern – full of ideas and enthusiasm, but requiring a fair amount of guidance, instruction and hand-holding.

As such, it will need a lot of context and background information. This can feel like a lot of work up front, but after its initial "training period" AI has the power to help you do more of what you love, freeing up valuable time and energy in the longrun.

Well-crafted and curated prompts can help ensure the system is structured well enough to complete the assigned task and narrow your desired outcome. Think of your prompts as the ingredients and recipe of a cookbook.

Priming is the process of providing the AI with context before asking the main question. This can be helpful if you need a specific style or format in the answer.

"C.R.E.A.T.E" is a framework and formula for crafting effective AI prompts with key prompt components that can help ensure satisfactory, useful results.

CHARACTERS. Specify the perspective and position of those involved.

  • ACTIVE ROLE: beginner, expert, critic, enthusiast, journalist, therapist, coach, consultant, manager, copywriter, marketer, recruiter, happy customer, non-believer, writer, creator, assistant, mentor, intern, idea generator, editor, teacher, critic, thought partner

  • PASSIVE ROLE: Twitter users, medical patients, Instagram followers, divine creators, audience, readers

REQUEST your specific output/need, including context about your request

  • TASK: write a caption, create a blog post, craft an email sequence, design a course outline

  • PURPOSE: to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to engage

EXAMPLES. Provide samples to increase precision and guide AI's style and tone.

ADJUSTMENTS. Provide modifications, requests and inclusions, including what you do or don't want.

  • TONE: humorous, authoritative, formal, casual, informative, persuasive, inspiring, professional, informal, descriptive, academic, friendly, assertive, poetic, narrative, enthusiastic,empathetic, educational/instructional, motivating, comforting, inspirations, conversational, lighthearted, whimsical, confident


  • CONSTRAINTS: limitations around word count or character count, deadlines, sensitive topics to avoid

TYPE. Clarify the type/structure / document type of output for your desired response

  • FORMAT: long article, short article, summary, essay, bulleted list, formal outline, dialogue, recipe, advertisement, script, outline, post, pdf, graph,word cloud, table, chart, spreadsheet, quotes, file, pdf, email, blog, presentation, tweet, social post/caption, report, book

EXTRAS. Provide additional instructions for clarity:

  • Use specific keywords, phrases, special terminology or relevant analogies

  • Ask questions, or ignore previous conversations

  • Provide reliable citations, authoritative sources and/or current/recent statistics

  • Offer counterarguments, different opinions or multiple points of view

Alternatively, rather than give AI all of the info up front, you can go in stages with a "Chain Prompt"

  • Initial simple request

  • Modify the output

  • Modify the tone

  • Modify the format

Essential AI Prompts & Tasks

Here are some examples of helpful ways to leverage AI to fit your business needs.

  1. SUMMARIZE a long document or complex subject to get the most useful information

  2. TRAIN it to learn your writing style and personal brand and respond as you would.

  3. MODIFY a style or tone of writing to fit an occasion/scenario or to increase understanding or consistency.

  4. BRAINSTORM new ideas or strategies when you have a mental block.

  5. COMPLETE an administrative or marketing project

  6. LEARN more about a specific topic and how it can be applied to a certain type of work, setting or activity.

  7. UTILIZE it for academic uses & capabilities

  8. GENERATE a response with a specific holistic communication structure, narrative framework or contextual style to ensure clarity, cohesion, and comprehension

For Storytelling

  • 5W1H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How

  • STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result

  • SOAR: Situation, Obstacles, Actions, Results

  • SCIPAB: Situation, Complication, Implication, Position, Action, Benefit

For Analysis

  • SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

For Presentation and Persuasion

  • Pyramid Principle: A hierarchal structure presenting the most critical information (the main point) at the beginning, followed by supporting details and explanations

  • KISS Method: "Keep It Simple, Stupid"

  • PEEL Method: Point, Explanation, Evidence, Link

  • Toulmin Model: A method for constructing persuasive arguments by first establishing a claim, then supporting it with evidence (grounds), and finally building a logical and persuasive case through warrants, which connect the evidence to the claim.

  • PREP: Point, Reason, Example, Point

  • APPROACH: Arrive at the problem, Propose a solution, Persuade the prospect, Reassure by giving proof, Orchestrate an opportunity to sell, Ask them to purchase

Need more help? Simply use the following prompt to generate more examples for you!

"I'm new to using ChatGPT and I am a [insert your profession]. Generate a list of the 10 best prompts that will help me be more productive."

The bottom line: AI can save you HOURS of time per week. If you've ever wondered "Can ChatGPT do this or help with with this?" jump in and experiment! You'll be amazed how many new ways of streamlining or optimizing your workflow you'll discover.

Wrapping it All Up

AI can be your content creation sidekick, but it is NOT a replacement for a professional marketer, conversion copywriter or content creator. And it is definitely not a mind-reader - it will never truly understand you, your brand, or your needs.

You will still need to hire someone who is an expert with words, and if you're lucky, it'll be someone who is also a subject matter expert in your niche.

That's where I come in.

My job is to INFLUENCE, PERSUADE and MOTIVATE your customer. Your customer is human, so your business needs the human touch.

With empathy, compassion and connection, I can help tell the story of your brand. I can paint the picture of you as an expert and industry leader, which naturally and effortlessly attracts leads and conversions.

Ready to dive in? Let's connect!


Erin Ratliff is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving, heart-centered soul-preneurs.

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