Integrate AI Into Your Online Business

For those who are new to using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the process of integrating it into your daily business tasks can appear daunting.  It’s seems especially overwhelming when every course and tool being launched in the online world is some new AI product.

If you want to lean into this technology gradually, without compromising your current processes, there’s an easy way to do that.  By following a simple 7-step process, you’ll be able to start using AI in a way that adds to your productivity, efficiency, and profits, rather than leaving you frustrated and confused.

   Step #1:  Identify Tasks That Place the Largest Burdens on Your Time

It helps to have a starting point.  What you’ll want to do first is go through your entire day, week and month to list out all of the tasks you do.  This can include things like researching, writing, networking, customer service, advertising, and so on.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much, too soon – so look at your list and take one or two of the most burdensome tasks that you dread or never have time to complete.

For example, maybe you’d love to have a thriving, consistent blog, but you find yourself pushing it onto the back burner because you have too many other tasks to do.  Once you master this one use of AI, you can expand and begin using it in more and more of your business tasks.

Keep in mind that the best AI uses for newbies are for brainstorming ideas, providing quick research, writing content, and analyzing data, with suggestions on what to do next.

   Step #2:  Check Your Current Tools for ‘Built-In’ AI Capability

AI is working its way into many existing products that you might already be using right now.  Take email, for instance.   AWeber is one of the email autoresponder systems that has integrated AI as a built-in feature.

So you can ask it something like: “What would be a good topic for my low-carb newsletter this week”?  If you already have tools that are allowing the use of AI, this will benefit you tremendously because you can test drive AI without having to buy anything or register for anything new up front.

Canva, the image tool that many marketers use, has a free online AI image generator built into it.  Gmail has AI built into it now to make crafting your emails a breeze.  You not only want to see if what you’re using has AI to help you test this technology, but you want to prevent yourself from spending money on a tool you may not need.

   Step #3:  Select the Best AI Tool for Your Business

Next, you need to carefully analyze the types of AI tools that are available, and which specific brands will work best for your needs.  There are AI tools for generating text, images, video and audio – and sometimes there are crossover features, such as ChatGPT’s ability to create images with DALL-E.

You want to select the best tools for your needs.  If you have a blog, then something like ChatGPT will work just fine.  But then you have to decide on whether or not to use the free version or pay the $20 per month for premium access.

You should also take your budget into consideration, and see how easily the tools will work for you.  Most AI products have a testing process for prospective buyers, like a certain number of tests you can do or a time amount that’s allocated to you.

Do some research on the various tools to compare their features, price and abilities.  Also look at reviews online to see what people you trust recommend for that particular purpose.

Watch demos and look up how people are using the tools on YouTube so you can see it in action, and read comments to see if there are any drawbacks, or advantages, to choosing that tool.

   Step #4:  Experiment Using AI to Learn Effective Prompting

Next, start using various AI tools – both the ones built into your existing tools and the ones you sign up for or buy.  This is a strategy where practice makes perfect.  Your initial prompts and AI’s initial output will often not be very good.

But as you start to learn prompting, and see what all the AI tool can do for you, you’ll be able to apply it to your business.  For example, maybe you initially thought AI could come up with blog post topics and write the content for it.

But when you begin learning to use it, you realize it can optimize the results for search engines, create connected posts that will boost your ranking, and even develop the meta data for you to use.

Don’t be afraid to ask AI: “What are all the ways you can help me with blog posts?” and see if there are any ways it comes up with that you weren’t aware of.  For example, it will tell you that it can help craft the call-to-action, it can recommend monetization strategies, it can help with formatting and post publication analysis of its performance.

   Step #5:  Find Ways AI Can Complement You – Not Replace You

AI isn’t meant to take your place as a niche leader, yet this is precisely what some marketers are allowing it to do.  This means they won’t have a unique voice and their target audience will likely not remain loyal for very long.

You need to figure out the best way to use AI as an assistant that complements your own brain, ideas, and work.  The human touch you add to the end product is what will ensure that your work is completed in the best way for your audience, which will endear people to your brand.

So for instance, if you already have a knack for coming up with ideas, you don’t need to use AI for that purpose.  Instead, you can start out with your own idea and outline, and then hand it over to AI and ask it something like this: “Here is a title and outline for an upcoming blog post. Suggest ways to improve or expand on this”.

Maybe you’re capable of quickly handling many tasks, but you don’t know how to do certain things (like optimizing the post for search engines).  Feed the post into AI when you’re finished and tell it to do the optimization work as a way to augment your original skills.

   Step #6:  Set Goals and Schedule Your AI Use

Every time you sit down to use AI, you need to have a goal in mind.  This helps the AI tool complete the task in alignment with your goal.  For example, if you need it to write an email, you wouldn’t just tell it to write the email.

You would include your goal.  If you prompt something like this, it can work better for you: “Write an email about the benefits of using AI. The goal is to get them to open the email and click on the link to an AI tool that has a 14-day free trial.”

That way, AI can create a click-worthy subject line that’s optimized for a better open rate, and it will write a call to action that gets the subscriber to click on the link, and follow through with the sign-up.

It can also help to have a schedule when using AI.  That doesn’t mean you can’t turn to it on a whim if you need to.  But having a schedule will allow you to use AI for batch work.  This is important if your AI tool is limited to how often you can use it.

For example, you might be limited to a certain number of prompts within a 3-hour time-frame.  It all depends on the specific artificial intelligence tools that you’re using and what you need them for.

   Step #7:  Have a Clear AI Process That Includes Oversight

Lastly, set up a process for yourself to follow when using AI.  If you’re a blogger, you might have a process that includes analyzing trends, researching, brainstorming slants and titles, outlining, writing, and optimizing for search engines.

Following whatever order you would normally do things in yourself, you can set up a process to use AI wherever necessary or optimal for you.  It’s important to emphasize that oversight is imperative when dealing with AI.

AI is not flawless.  It can (and admits that it will) make up information that sounds legitimate, even thought it’s completely wrong.  Because your name is on the line, you don’t want to be publishing false information.

You are responsible for reading through each output and verifying that it’s correct.  If there’s something you aren’t sure about, do your own research to verify it before you use it blindly.

AI tools have a place in our world and they aren’t going away.  You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to, but they are very beneficial to marketers who carry a big burden of tasks all alone in their business, and who want some of their time freed up for other things.


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