Since its launch at the tail-end of 2022, ChatGPT has been a hot topic in the business community.
Should I use it? Is it any good? Can it be relied upon? Will Google be able to tell if my content is all written by, let’s be honest here, an AI chatbot? Do I want my content to be written by an AI chatbot? Can I tell my copywriter that their services are no longer required?
Every question under the sun has been asked, discussed and debated at great length and for every person saying that it’s the best thing since the last best thing, there’s somebody else saying the opposite. Or at least saying that if you do use it, you should do so with caution.
But ultimately, one of the biggest questions revolves around whether it’s the end of the world as we know it for copywriters and whether money spent on hiring one is money that doesn’t need to be spent.
So let’s start at the beginning. As Julie Andrews once sung, it’s a very good place to start.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It belongs to the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) family, specifically GPT-3.5 architecture. It is designed to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. The “Chat” in ChatGPT suggests its emphasis on conversational capabilities.
That’s what ChatGPT itself says.
In more human terms, it’s a website which writes decent copy for you on almost any subject once you type in the subject matter, and even works as a Google-esque search engine if you’re looking for advice on, I don’t know, how to best get rid of weeds in your garden.
What does ChatGPT stand for?
Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is just that – writing copy. Some people refer to copy as “content” but basically it’s just words. I like to think of a copywriter as somebody who writes words for someone else (and gets paid for it.)
Those words could be any number of things, including (but not limited to):
- Website copy
- Press releases
- Social media posts
- Newspaper and magazine copy (e.g. magazine articles)
I often say that I write anything involving words because that covers everything. I’ve even written job applications for people in the past.
Will AI and ChatGPT replace copywriters?
Let’s ask ChatGPT itself. Although you might half-expect it to say “I won’t just replace copywriters, I’ll replace the whole world!!!” before emitting an evil laugh through your computer speaker, this is what it actually says:
“AI-generated content can be helpful and provide value in many cases; it’s not a complete substitute for human content. Combining human creativity, expertise and AI assistance often leads to the best results.”
I think we can see that as a firm no, then.
Here are some reasons why ChatGPT is unlikely to replace copywriters anytime soon.
Copywriters will write copy that is unique to you.
Chances are that your business has competitors – other businesses offering a very similar service to you.
Persuading people to use your business and not someone else’s is crucial – and that’s what copywriters are gifted at.
They (well I certainly will) will chat to you, go through what makes you and your business unique and ask you a range of questions such as what kind of clients you are looking for and what people can expect from working with you. I’ll then turn that conversation into compelling copy that will persuade people to use you and not Joe Bloggs down the street.
Copywriters will write copy that people actually want to read.
Have you ever heard the phrase “People tell, stories sell”?
It basically means that telling someone a story is more likely to persuade them to buy from you than anything else.
Telling a story is all about hooking people in with an intriguing introduction and keeping them reading with well-written copy that is easy to read.
Copywriters tell stories more often than you’d think and they’re often extremely effective. Here’s an example written by legendary copywriter John Caples back in 1926 for the US School of Music – often described as one of the greatest adverts of all time.
Copywriters can be persuasive.
Do you have a favourite advert or brand slogan (‘Just Do It’, ‘This is not just food. This is M&S food’, ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin”?)
Chances are that every slogan you’ve ever read and remembered has been written by a copywriter.
A good slogan can make all the difference – which is why some of the best and most well paid copywriters are hired just for their slogan-writing ability.
When I’m writing for another business owner, my sole intention is to help that business owner get what he or she wants. That’s mainly more sales but sometimes it boils down to explaining what they do.
Copywriters will inject personality into your copy.
Copywriters often talk about “voice”. This basically means writing in a way that makes you sound friendly, or business-like, or a bit of both. It also means writing in a way that makes it sound like YOU could have written it.
It’s harder than it sounds – that’s why people hire copywriters in the first place.
Copywriters will also write copy that’s bang up to date.
At the time of writing, ChatGPT’s last ‘knowledge update’ was in September 2021. That means that, for example, if you ask it to write an article about the England Women’s Football team (the Lionesses), it will include neither their Euro 2022 triumph nor their having reached the World Cup final this summer.
If you’re writing copy that needs to up-to-date statistics, then that’s a major issue.
I hope you enjoyed this blog.
If you’re in business, you will almost inevitably have to write copy at some time or another.
You might decide you want a website, or need some help writing social media posts, or a 60-second speech to say at a networking meeting. I can help with all of those things and many more.
To have a chat – no strings attached – just send me an email or give me a call.