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Why AI won't replace freelance copywriters. (Yet).

I've been a bit panicked recently. AI has given me the heebies. Will it be the demise of a million freelance copywriters that have crafted their art into beautiful word song?

I did my research. I had a play with ChatGPT. Damn, she's good! No denying that.

But after twenty minutes of firing an array of copywriting-oriented tasks at her, I noticed that for all she possesses in smartness, she lacks in personality. (Well, she is a robot, I hear you say.) Sure, tell her to write a 500-word blog on chocolate Maltesers and she'll inundate you with historical facts, their versatility and adaptability, and the health benefits associated with the occasional piece of chocolate.

What she won't tell you is the basic, fundamental fact that chocolate Maltesers are bloody lovely, have annoyingly shrunk in size since the mid-80s but cost more, melt if you leave them in your pocket, and can roll down your throat if you chuck them in with too much gumption.

There is a difference. One will lead you down a factual, straight-talking and, I might add, boring avenue. Yeah, you've got the facts, but is that actually interesting? The other gets straight to the point, takes no shit, and gives you the hard truth about purchasing a bag of Maltesers.

Now imagine we're talking about your business, ABC Ltd (fully invented). Shall we bore

everyone with the 'creation story' of your business ('back in 1997 when I were a mere bucket filler'), the long-winded story of your failures and successes, and how Uncle Keith passed it down and...

STOP! That's already about 2000 words. Your customer is bored. shitless.

Why don't we just tell them that you've created a toolkit that can really help people with their problems/issues, you're bloody lovely, and they'll honestly benefit from using your service?

Look closely and you'll see an immense difference.

Okay. You've never tried a Malteser. You want to know what they taste like. 'Hey, Margaret! What are those Maltesers like?' Margaret lapses into a long history of where they came from. What chocolate can offer you. The advantages and disadvantages of chocolate. A full list of ingredients.

No judgment if you're up for the long answer and you have seventy minutes spare. But when you asked Margaret the question, what is it you really wanted to know? What sort of answer did you want?

I'm hazarding a guess. I'm throwing all my balls in the air.

Let's ask someone else.

'Hey, Melinda! What are those Maltesers like?'

Melinda: 'They're sodding delicious.' Or, 'not a patch on Minstrels.' Or, 'Pants. Give them a pass.'

What's the takeaway? Get to the point. What do you think customers want to read? Are you going to be a Margaret or a Melinda? Use simple, talkative language. Don't be a boring tosser full of your own self-importance. Add your own character!

I'm not panicking anymore.

If you know, you know. ;)

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