Recently I’ve heard a lot of buzz about an AI tool called ChatGPT that can chat with you, answer questions, and even assist with writing articles. Many freelance writers in the online networking groups I’m a member of are worried that ChatGPT is going to hurt their businesses.
Recent advancements in AI technology have enabled ChatGPT to produce blog posts that sound pretty coherent in my opinion. Understandably, writers are worried that clients will use AI to generate their marketing content instead of working with freelancers because it’s a cheaper option.
AI has also been trained to produce graphics, code, and even edit videos. So freelance writers aren’t the only solopreneurs who may be affected by these new improvements in the artificial intelligence field. If you’re worried about losing business due to ChatGPT and other AI tools, here’s what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.
Will AI Replace Freelancers?
I’ve done a lot of research on AI over the past week to determine what kind of changes I might need to make in my freelance writing business to stay competitive. But as of right now, I don’t think freelance writers need to worry about AI.
Although AI can write articles that seem coherent, they’re often riddled with factual inaccuracies. ChatGPT has even made up fake quotes that seem real at first glance. So clients will need to do some serious fact-checking if they want to use ChatGPT to produce original journalism or marketing content. ChatGPT can also give answers that are quite vague at times, so it can’t replace writers who are experts in their given field, such as health tech or finance.
Plus, AI-generated content lacks personality and empathy. The fact of the matter is, AI can’t empathize with where buyers are in the customer journey or speak directly to their pain points the way humans can. It lacks the creativity to produce top-notch copy that motivates customers to take action. Companies that want to boost sales probably won’t be happy with the results they get from generic AI-generated content.
AI Is Expected To Improve
However, AI is expected to undergo massive improvements and advancements in the coming years. Eventually, ChatGPT will probably be able to produce content that’s much more specific and accurate. So, how can you stay relevant and grow your freelancing business in the age of AI?
How To Stay Competitive In The Age of AI
Personally, I’m trying to grow skills in areas that AI probably won’t take over, such as consulting.
Even as AI advances, I doubt it will have the empathy necessary to relate to customers and their pain points. So humans will probably still handle content strategy and create marketing funnels that guide customers through the buyer’s journey. Although I already come up with content ideas for clients, I’m planning to grow my skills in this area and learn as much as I can about marketing funnels.
Another area that AI probably won’t take over in my opinion is editing. Companies will still need editors to add personality to content and copy (and fact check it if AI still has inaccuracy issues in the future). Right now I don’t do a lot of content editing or rewriting, which is something I’m planning to add to my list of services.
Additionally, AI can’t write from personal experience. I doubt that it will be able to replicate first-person essays on topics like parenting, personal finance, or dating. The Modern Love section of The New York Times, for example, will still need real humans to share their love stories and inspire others. So I’m planning to write more personal essays this year about personal finance and my life experiences.
Another area I doubt AI will dominate is narrative journalism. It’s a type of original reporting that incorporates the author’s personal experience, as well as facts, statistics, and quotes from sources. Narrative journalism is often used to highlight issues in our society like social and climate injustice. Since AI can’t write from human experience like people can, I doubt it will be able to replace narrative journalists.
I’m not a graphic designer, so I can’t give as much in-depth information about how to stay ahead of the curve in that industry. However, after doing some research, it seems like UX designers will still be sorely needed in the age of AI.
UX designers help ensure websites and apps are designed with humans in mind. They focus on things like accessibility and functionality and perform market research to see how customers respond to certain design elements. Since UX designers perform a consultative role, I doubt AI will be able to replace them anytime soon, if ever.
AI isn’t going to steal your job tomorrow, so don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to upskill so you can stay competitive in your industry. From my research, it seems like freelancers who can analyze data and take on a consultative role for their clients will still be in high demand in the age of AI.
I’d recommend leaning into your humanity and the things you can do that AI will likely never be capable of, such as writing from personal experience and displaying empathy. Solopreneurs tend to be highly creative and innovative, so I have no doubt you’ll be able to carve out a niche for yourself and grow your business even as AI becomes more advanced.
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Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.