I’ve not had a single conversation with a client or fellow copywriter over the last few months that didn’t involve calling out the elephant in the room: ChatGPT.
Look, I wanted to hate it. I wanted to hate it so, so, so bad and join crew bury-their-heads-in-the-sand. Because surely AI copywriting was going to be shockingly clunky and couldn’t possibly bang out 500 words on any topic in less than 3 seconds? But, then I tried it. And it was glass-shatteringly brilliant.
What does AI Copywriting, mean for me?
At first, whenever ChatGPT was brought into conversation, my mind would spiral into thoughts like:
What does that mean then, for copywriters like me? Who spend hours every day writing articles, landing pages, emails, for clients who have always wanted more words, more content, but understand you’re simply a human who cannot do more and more, in less and less time? OMGAAAAWD, am I being, *gulp* replaced? Already? But, we don’t have hover cars yet. How can we be in the year 3000, ruled by robots?
But, the panic soon started to wear off the more I chit-chatted with ChatGPT. The more I figured out the extent of its excellence. Instead of pretending it didn’t exist and ignorantly carrying on as normal, I carried on talking to it, and then talking about it to anyone who would listen.
I now use it everyday to a) keep your enemies close and all that and b) because it’s like handing someone a superpower, why wouldn’t you use it? And this is what I’ve learned: Pssst! Wanna quick jump to...? - What can ChatGPT do better than a Copywriter? - Why AI won't replace copywriters
What can ChatGPT do Better than a Copywriter (+ Secret Bonuses for Copywriters)?
Bangs out that crappy first draft Sometimes, a first go at something, whether it’s a paragraph, a caption, or a shiny new name for that service you want to launch, takes a lot of brain power - and time. ChatGPT knocks out that first batch of boringness and blaaaahhh-ness, in the same time it takes for you to have a sip of your morning coffee. + Copywriter's Bonus: You can start refining ideas quicker. You rely more on your editing senses, than your copy generating senses. Instead of bashing words out on a page, to simply get going, you have a starting point already. This bonus alone is knocking off hours during my first draft phase, streamlining my process.
Serves the ‘bad’ clients, with robotic calmness I’m fortunate that my clients are a dream to work with, because I make sure we’re aligned from the get-go. They value me and what I bring to the table, I respect and honour their business, it’s the perfect trade-off. But, if you have a sketchy BS detector, and find yourself working with ‘bad’ clients (you know the ones, they pinch pennies, drain your energy, can’t commit to a brief, constantly change the brief… etc etc ), ChatGPT will bedazzle the heck out of them and approach their limited feedback and non-stop changes with a “Oops, let’s try that again” vibe. ChatGPT isn't left with a client headache and won't roll its eyes when it reads feedback like "A bit like this, but not like this - does that make sense?". Sometimes robots have more chill, y'know. + Copywriter's Bonus: The clients coming through a copywriter’s door will be pre-vetted. If they want words on a page, for the sake of words, or without understanding the value a copywriter or content strategist brings, they’ll go for AI copywriting. If they can’t afford your rates, they’ll go AI. The clients that want copywriters, know what you bring to the table, irrespective of what they can get for ‘free’ - which means better clients all round in my book.
Gets the EXACT brief from the client “You get back what you put out” has never been more true when it comes to ChatGPT. The user has to get super specific when it comes to prompts, because ChatGPT will deliver line by line, exactly what they've asked for - no reading between the lines! I've been around the copy block long enough to know how difficult, and at times, painful, it is to get a client or stakeholder to articulate what it is they actually want from the copy. Chat GPT will force it out of them, fast. It gets them to really think about what they want to say and how they want to say, probably better than a briefing form can (because, let's be honest, how many clients fill in a briefing form in its entirety?) + Copywriter's Bonus: ChatGPT will help future clients get clearer on what they want from you. One of my clients is already using ChatGPT to understand key parts of their branding - it’s being used as a tool. The content that then makes it to me, is fully fleshed out and actually useful as the client has often resolved gaps and blind spots in the process of working with AI.
Churns out choices Need a subject line 10 different ways? How about multiple article titles that all allude to the same thing in different ways? Now I know my brain can do it, but there does come a point where you feel like you’re scraping the barrel of creativity. Enter ChatGPT. + Copywriter's Bonus: The clients who say, I like this word, but don't use this word… use ChatGPT to keep coming up with new ways of saying the same thing until you stumble on 'the one'.
Why AI won’t replace copywriters
There’s a lot of fear-mongering happening at the moment. AI is a hot topic and it feels like every day there’s a new shiny tool that is about to revolutionise how we do things. But, in the world of marketing, adapting to change at lightning speed is just part of the job, hun. So, if you’ve had a knee-jerk stress reaction to all of this AI talk, here’s some reassurance that this robot cannot do everything.
In fact, I’ll let you hear it from the horse's mouth. Want to know why website copy sucks when it’s written by AI? Take it away ChatGPT…
Lack of Creativity: One of the major limitations of AI-powered tools is their lack of creativity. While they can generate website copy quickly, the copy often lacks the creativity and nuance that only a human touch can provide. AI tools rely on algorithms and pre-written templates, which limits their ability to produce unique and engaging copy that resonates with your target audience.
Limited Understanding of Context: AI-powered tools have limited understanding of context. They rely on pre-written data sets, which means that they can't tailor their writing to the specific needs of your business or industry. They may use inappropriate language or tone, which can make your copy appear robotic and unprofessional.
Inability to Personalise: Copy needs to be personalized to your brand and your target audience. AI-powered tools lack the ability to personalise copy, which means that copy may not reflect your brand voice or connect with your target audience. This can lead to poor engagement and low conversion rates.
Poor SEO Optimization: While AI-powered tools can optimize website copy for SEO, they often do so at the expense of readability and coherence. AI tools may stuff keywords into copy in an unnatural way, which can actually harm your website's SEO ranking. Professional website copywriters can optimize website copy for SEO while still maintaining readability and coherence.
Inability to Use Emotional Appeal: Emotional appeal is a crucial element of web copy. It's what connects your brand with your target audience and drives engagement. AI-powered tools lack the ability to use emotional appeal effectively. They may use formulaic language or cliches that fail to resonate with your target audience.
Lack of Consistency: AI-powered tools lack the ability to maintain a consistent brand voice across different mediums. This can lead to a disjointed brand identity and confusion among your target audience.
What can copywriters do RN?
If you’re a copywriter and you don’t know what AI means for you and your business, my advice? Use it. Get super friendly with it. Don’t pretend nothing has changed, because it has. Take a look at your services, the leads, the client feedback, and pivot, adapt, refine, push, pull, whatever you need to do, swim with the tide, not against it.
Remember, there was a time people thought that no one would shop online because the internet was a new and shady place. Blockbuster thought they would still be relevant next to Netflix. Do not underestimate how quickly things can change, but instead embrace it and use it to your advantage. ChatGPT is not replacing me, it’s simply a shiny new tool I’m playing with to make me more efficient, more productive. And (for now at least) it’s free!