Well, we’re pretty sure nobody has told you… either way, WELCOME! This is our little ‘How to use ChatGPT’ guide, and quite possibly the last one you’ll ever need (Okay, that might be a tiny exaggeration).
So, why are we, your friendly neighbourhood digital marketers, writing this guide? Well, because just like you, we've experienced those days where the words aren't coming because you didn’t get to sleep till 3 in the morning wondering about oranges, and if the colour came before the fruit, or if it was the other way around.
So without further ado, let's crack on and get you being productive before anybody notices!
Tip 1 - Be specific
Our first and best tip is to do that thing teachers made us all do in Primary School “Imagine you’re talking to an alien and describe ‘x’ to them”. Well in that similar vein, imagine you have a personal assistant and you say “Make me a cuppa”, that’s a bit of a broad question, isn’t it? (Also a bit rude, you should really start saying please). The first thing they’ll think about following that question is, do you take milk? Sugar? They aren’t going to know right off the bat the best way to perform the task. Well, that’s the same as ChatGPT, it’s your brand-new PA who doesn’t know how to make your tea properly without getting fired.
Surreal has recently been putting up ads “Written by AI”, and it illustrates our point pretty well:
Now this isn’t exactly what would happen. If you were to ask ChatGPT that same question, it would say something like "Start Your Day Right with our Irresistible and Nutritious Cereal – The Perfect Breakfast Fuel!".
But that’s seriously generic, right? That’s because it doesn’t know the details it needs to make something useful to you. You need to set the scene and give it context. If we think about your tea order again something like “I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I’m desperate for a strong cup of tea, just a dash of milk, no sugar, with at least two biscuits please” then you’re going to get something exactly like what you asked for. You’re also being way more polite so well done.
So that’s all fine and well for your tea order, but in the context of ChatGPT what does this look like? Well, it looks something like this:
- Tell it exactly what it needs to make Whether it’s an email, social media copy, an article framework, or a complaint letter to Ben & Jerry’s because they discontinued The Vermonster.
- Tell it who the intended audience is Is it your colleagues? Is it your boss? Is it your boss’s boss? Is it your Mum?
- What do you want the tone of the subject to be Keywords here are things like Friendly, Informal, Formal, Concise, Polite,
- Tell it why you need the information Say you want to respond to someone, rather than ask it “Can you respond to this message” and copy and paste said message, say something like “My Mum has asked me to come round for dinner, but I want to politely decline because my Mum’s dog smells and puts me off my food. Can you come up with a polite but firm response assuring her that I definitely cannot come over as I am very busy?”
- Give it something to work with We know you can’t be bothered and that’s why you’re asking ChatGPT but don’t be LAZY! It’s a great help, not a miracle worker, it needs something decent to work off. Tell it roughly what you want to say.
Tip 2 - Be clear
Now this might come as a surprise to you but ChatGPT is a robot, and because of that it tends to be quite the literal thinker. So when giving your prompt, make sure to pick your words carefully and double check that your sentence couldn’t be interpreted in any other way, like that time at your best friend’s wedding when you said “I’m surprised Barry married Lucy because I never knew Barry liked dogs”. Lucy just had a lot of dogs okay! I wasn’t calling her a dog.
Things like homonyms can mess up your prompt, things like ‘right’ can be the direction, or saying something is correct. Rose can be the flower or the past tense of rising. For example, saying something like “Can you think of a different way to say ‘make your business shine’”. Well if I was asking that to you, you’d be able to assume what I meant by ‘shine’, to stand out, be brilliant. Well, when that exact prompt was put into ChatGPT it gave back “Illuminate your business”. See what we mean?
Tip 3 - DON’T GIVE UP!!
To get the best results from ChatGPT it’s good to build something that’s called a ‘chain’, it’s much like a train of thought even though you’ve probably never thought about how you think before and then you wonder how you ever thought normally because you’re thinking too hard about how you think like when someone reminds you about breathing and then you start breathing weirdly and there you go we just reminded you and now we’re all sat thinking and breathing and- … ANYWAY!
…Back to chain building, it’s easy. Instead of writing one massive essay in the prompt box like you’re texting your ex at 3 am, break your request down into smaller tasks and ask it one thing at a time. By doing this, you get more in-depth responses (or, as posh people say, nuanced), and even though it takes a little more input, it brings you much closer to a satisfactory answer more quickly.
But even after all this advice, if you don’t like the answer you get, again, we say DON’T GIVE UP! Did you ride a bike like Jonas Vingegaard the first time you went without stabilisers? NO! Just hit ‘regenerate response’ and ChatGPT will pop back to the drawing board and have another crack at it. It’ll even ask after the new response if the answer was better, worse, or the same. What a sweetheart!
To wrap it all up
Now, we’ve got to get a little serious like your Dad from time to time so your Mum doesn’t feel like he’s taking all the “cool parent” privileges.
We know ChatGPT is super cool and all that, but we must remind you that it isn’t a replacement for lovely old you and your creative input. You can’t just blindly copy and paste, not only will it put a load of zs in there, but also from a content writing perspective, it can seriously hurt your SEO rankings.
Just imagine if we rolled into our client meetings with a presentation filled with ChatGPT's most generic content that didn’t apply to the client, and didn’t wholly make sense. We would be in serious trouble, like that time you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer after your Mum asked you in the morning and you remembered just as she just got home from work. So don’t be that person! Take the chicken out the freezer for heaven's sake.
Okay serious talk over, go on, go fly and make everyone think you’re a literary genius! Good luck!