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May 1, 2023

AI: Your New Virtual Assistant?

Sponsored Content provided by Theresa Bassett - CEO, The Diamond Group

Side note: No, this article was NOT generated by AI - but I can tell you that ignoring the tech train that’s coming speeding down the tracks isn’t a good idea either. AI is here to stay and only getting faster, stronger, and smarter by the day. So how does this apply to you as a small business owner? When we opened our doors in 1995, we had no idea that digital marketing was even going to be a thing - heck, I think we were using landlines and rotary phones and fax machines had just come into vogue. Pivoting with technology is a thing all small business owners must consider and embrace - just as we all were forced to pivot and adjust to the Covid realities of the world recently. The evergreen truth in the middle of all that, though, is that business is still about providing goods and services to others to fill a need and although the tools and logistics may change, we can’t lose sight of the fundamentals. Sales does, and will always, drive the bus.

Right now, I’m watching my marketing industry counterparts chase shiny AI objects around like squirrels chasing proverbial nuts. I’m not judging, only observing, and in the midst of it also asking: What’s in it for the average small business owner? How can AI help them make sales, connect with more customers, or attract and retain great employees? Here’s the landscape and the tech stack in a nutshell (no pun intended):

ChatGPT, Jasper, and BARD - Google’s new AI tool - are all available and on the scene. They are all a bit different and have some unique advantages and disadvantages. I highly encourage you to try them on for size for yourself - but with an exploratory mindset or a specific end goal in mind. Those are two extremes, I realize, but either go in the sand box to play with the prompts and just see what all the fuss is about or go to accomplish a very specific task - but don’t get caught in the mushy middle - an endless vortex of frustration may await you there, and much like social media, you’ll ask, “Is this a good use of my time?”

What to use them for? Try writing a job description for your next position posting or outline an operations process that needs to be documented. AI is great at pulling from an extensive database of information and synthesizing, giving you a great starting point for that next keynote speech or employee handbook. You’ll find that a good eye for editing and your personality pieces all still need to be there, but AI is a perfect tool for going from a blank page at the start and moving to a working starting point and draft.

I encourage you to dive in and demystify the mystical world of AI if you haven’t already. New tools and skills require new mindsets, open perspectives and a willingness to try. You just might find a new helpful virtual assistant lurking in there somewhere and keep the speeding tech train from running you over, all in one fell swoop.

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