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You’re being manipulated. Conned. Lied to. Tricked.
If you believe you can just get AI tools — ChatGPT or otherwise — to do REAL copywriting work for you, you’ve been fed a spoonful of 💩.
And to start off, I’m NOT going to talk about AI copywriting.
At least not yet.
I’m going to talk about what gets you to buy things.
Specifically, I’m going to talk about “easy button” or “magic pill” promises…
If I want to take money from you…
And I sense even a whiff of hope on you, mixed with the smell of cash in your pocket…
And if I want YOUR cash to RAPIDLY end up in MY pocket…
I’d use an “easy button” promise — just like we see flooding the market around AI — to make your money mine.
I’d say something like, “Now you can crank out A-list marketing copy in SECONDS, that will generate MASSIVE conversions and MAKE YOU A FORTUNE — no matter if you SUCK as a copywriter, no experience required. All you need is my AI prompt secret formula.”
We want to believe in the next great thing.
We want to believe in miracle cures.
We want to believe in can’t-lose opportunities.
We want to believe in ANYTHING that can make our lives better…
ESPECIALLY if it doesn’t require any real work or us improving ourselves in any meaningful (but difficult) way.
We want to believe, and it takes almost NOTHING to get us to suspend our disbelief, once we’ve decided that’s what we want.
Here’s an example…
This was probably the first thing I wrote that generated $1 million in sales.
I’m not 100% that it was $1 million, but it was close.
It was definitely my first BIG winner.
It hinged on an “easy button” promise.
Basically, it told wannabe copywriters that you can make as much money as a copywriter, without having to write a word of copy.
The alternative “work” you’d have to do was the absolute laziest thing you can imagine.
But it promised that this lazy work was highly valuable…
And could get you paid like the hard work of writing strong direct response copy.
Spoiler alert: The opportunity was nowhere near as good as the product creators hoped and told me it was.
I was a freelance copywriter. I took someone else’s ideas and turned them into effective copy.
I was happy to cash the royalty checks.
But in the end I regretted that promo.
Because it exploited the “easy button” weakness pretty much all humans have — and that’s especially weak in the opportunity seeker market.
It's that I became hyper-attuned to this kind of “easy button” promise.
I learned that this is one of the most powerful ways to extract cash from peoples’ wallets…
But I also learned that you have to be VERY careful around these promises and make sure the product lives up to the hype.
And most of the time, it doesn’t.
Which will eventually bring us to AI and copywriting.
But I’ve seen this over and over again.
Take the investment promos that promise HUGE multiples, like 283X your money on some $2 stock…
Or pretty much any and every “secret copywriting formula” promo…
Or almost every “sure thing” in internet marketing.
And then there’s crypto — that was a “sure thing” in 2021, about the time everyone was piling into it. (When a ton of people are piling into any "sure thing" investment, about the only sure thing is the crash a few months later.)
Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
And it becomes both frustrating and sad.
People who don’t know any better walk into the same traps, over and over and over again.
Some people, of course, see it and exploit it.
Others just use this knowledge to keep themselves out of trouble, and hopefully help a few others along the way.
I try to be more in the 2nd group.
I just read a very smart analysis revealing we’re not alone in our enamored feelings about AI…
Silicon Valley investors have a tendency to throw RIDICULOUS amounts of capital at “the next great thing.”
They did it with .com shell companies in the 90s…
Lots of dumb stuff in the late 2000s and early 2010s…
They recently did it with anything having to do with crypto and Web3…
And now they’re doing it with AI.
AI as a technology MIGHT change the very nature of work.
Just like the internet completely transformed our modern world.
BUT, to paraphrase…
People are vastly overestimating what AI will accomplish this year, and probably vastly underestimating what it will accomplish in the next few decades.
Which means there will be MANIA around AI for maybe a couple years…
Followed by a big bust…
After which there will be a much slower and steady growth in its capabilities and impact.
There have been some HUGE and superficially compelling developments in AI writing recently.
The latest, as I write this, is the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI.
Basically, you just type in what you want, and it spits it out.
And it reads a lot like it was written by a human.
… Or does it?
A whole bunch of students started thinking it did. At least it mimicked human writing well enough to write their term papers for them.
But then a grad student from Toronto spent his winter break coding an app to detect AI writing vs. human, for teachers.
And he QUICKLY identified two factors that let him ID AI writing, with only a 2% false positive rate…
Perplexity — basically the random-ish connection of ideas in writing, using things like metaphor and simile.
And burstiness — variability in rhythm and sentence structure.
If it has all the markers of humanness that make for good reading, it’s probably written by a human.
(And don’t forget: Emotions sell — and inhuman AI copywriting just isn’t all that emotional!)
Oh yeah, and that was all before testing for actual truthfulness of the writing…
AI-generated writing has ZERO truth or accuracy filter.
And my own experimentation has quickly generated statements that sound abundantly confident… But that are flat-out wrong. And the AI doesn’t warn me, or even know any better.
In some markets, lying in your ads can put you in prison. It almost always leads to customer service headaches and degradation of trust with your market.
So if you didn’t care about this part of AI writing before, it might be time to start.
(AI copywriters don’t know crap about compliance, either. Which can get you in hot water with everyone from ad networks to three-letter agencies.)
You might think, “But I only want to use AI to do a bunch of content that will get me search engine traffic.”
And right now that works.
Just like all kinds of hacks have worked for SEO in the past — before they get you SLAMMED and BANNED by the search engines.
If some college kid can come up with an algorithm over winter break that’s highly-accurate at detecting AI writing, what about Google?
You can bet they are on it. (Heck, they might just buy his.)
Google has a long history of punishing websites that are full of anything they consider to be low-quality content — or more specifically, to create a low-quality user experience.
And if current AI is generally this type of low quality (and it is), it’s only a matter of time before the Google ranking algorithm totally kills sites stuffed with AI articles.
(Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Not only that, there’s rumors Google is already in talks with AI writing algorithm creators to put invisible signatures into their output. (Maybe they’re there already.)
So they can more easily identify it.
And more confidently Google-Slap it.
AI writing tools like ChatGPT are AMAZING for what they can do…
And if you’re a copywriter, they can be an amazing TOOL — as long as you know the right ways to use them.
You see, they can fill a very specific role for copywriters.
Essentially turning every one copywriter into a two-person copywriting team.
First, there’s YOU, the senior copywriter — the person who makes sure everything that goes out the door is high quality and as effective as it can be.
Then you have AI fill in as a junior copywriter — occasionally brilliant, often unpredictable, great for idea generation and generic research, but almost never someone whose copy should see the light of day without edits.
You have to be the creative one.
You have to ensure accuracy and quality.
You have to be in charge of things like deep structure and creating a powerful persuasive message.
You have to be the one who brings the emotion, because computers can’t.
→ For example, coming up with a list of common challenges and roadblocks around a topic — GREAT!
→ Brainstorming a ton of first-round headline ideas, to shortcut your process to writing your final headline — AWESOME!
→ Giving you a ton of topic ideas inside a bigger subject area — EXCELLENT!
You can even use AI to come up with a reasonably-solid marketing strategy or funnel plan.
You will never get anything wildly innovative — but if you want something simple and straightforward and a good start based on best practices, AI will do the job.
Again, think JUNIOR or ASSISTANT — AI is not the expert consultant and will not be for at least the immediate future.
I’m peeling back the curtain…
And sharing examples of different successes AND failures I’ve had with AI — looking to make the most of it as a copywriting tool.
After many false starts, this is the first time I’ve felt comfortable using AI for anything more than basic headlines or subject lines.
The first time I’m starting to see it as a serious tool.
And so this is the first time I’m sharing tips and tricks on using AI as your copywriting assistant in BTMSinsiders training.
AI Copywriting Assistant: How to use AI as your personal junior copywriter is the January 2023 Monthly Insiders Call for BTMSinsiders members.
This exclusive benefit of membership — included as part of the BTMSinsiders All-Access Pass — allows you to participate in the training live, plus gives you access to all past Insiders Calls recordings.
Video Lesson (1:07:41)
A Quick Request
AI Copywriting Assistant Examples [Google Doc]
The first ChatGP video I've seen that specifically shows you how to use AI as a junior copywriter. Many other courses mention that... this one delivers. And I'm looking forward to using these tactics to help optimize some copy I'm writing now.
After all the recent talk about ChatGPT and copywriting - which has ranged from fear mongering about job losses to done-for-you at the push of a button - it was very helpful to see how a true pro ACTUALLY uses it.
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