How to avoid the “echo effect” when working with AI.

Robot AI writing at desk by window

By now, pretty much every writer and copywriter on the planet will have used a tool like ChatGPT as a writing assistant.

Some writers use AI just to help outline their work. Others use it to complete full drafts.

Other tasks that are really well suited to AI include things like brainstorming and market research. This takes us beyond just the task of writing, and can help us learn more about the products and services we’re writing about.

Working with an AI is like having a super-smart assistant working with you on every project.

But there’s one big downside…

Avoid sounding the same as everyone else.

As more and more writers turn to AI, there is a real danger that an “echo effect” will pervade all our writing.

We’re all using the same AI tools, so it should come as no surprise if clients begin to notice a similarity in voice and style, across all the different freelance writers they use.

That’s not a good look for us as freelancers. We don’t want to be seen as “the same”. We want to stand out from the crowd, not be lost in the middle of it.

In fact, being different and unique is what allows us to differentiate ourselves, carve out a niche and a brand, and develop a high perceived value that allows us to charge premium fees.

This is why I don’t use AI when writing for clients, or for this blog. I never want to run the risk of falling into the “echo” trap.

Add value to your brand by using AI as your marketing guru.

While I don’t use AI for any writing for clients, I do use it as my private marketing guru.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say I’d doing some writing work for a company that sells Vegan dog treats through an online store.

As I get to know the client, I’ll immerse myself in their website and social media channels, study their competition, and so on.

But now I can do more. Before I write any first drafts, I can use a tool like GPT-4 to deepen my understanding of the Vegan dog treat market.

First, I might ask a broad question like:

“I’m working with a company that sells Vegan dog treats online. Please outline a simple marketing plan.”

It came back with a 9-point plan. Pretty standard stuff. Everything from coming up with a USP, to content marketing, PR and paid advertising. Just scrolling through it helped me deepen my own understanding of the marketing playbook my client is working from. More or less.

But… while the client hired me to rewrite some of the pages on their website, I’d also like to send them a proposal that would lead me to working on their social media… which I think could work a lot harder for them.

So I asked GPT-4 a follow-up question:

“Give me some revised ideas if I choose to focus my marketing primarily on social media.”

It came up with a few ideas that definitely extended beyond what my client is doing right now…

  • Leverage Influencer Marketing
  • Run Contests and Giveaways
  • Organize a Virtual Scavenger Hunt
  • Collaborate with a Vegan Restaurant
  • Throw Virtual Pup Parties
  • Social Media Exclusive Discounts

Of course, I’m not going to start pitching my client on my social media ideas on day one. First, I’ll complete the work I was hired to do… write the webpages.

Use AI to enhance your brand, build your value, and get more work.

First, by asking GPT-4 to outline a marketing plan for me, I deepened my understanding of the Vegan dog treat market overall, which helped me do a better job of rewriting their webpages.

Second, by digging deeper into an area where I thought they were leaving money on the table – social media – I opened up a few new doors for myself.

I can now reach out them with a social media marketing proposal… which I’ll ask GPT-4 to help me structure and write.

Simply by delivering that proposal, I’ve automatically transcended the AI “echo” problem.

In fact, by using AI for marketing instead of writing, I have achieved the opposite to appearing the same. I have presented myself as being very different, and have raised my brand value way above the crowd.

I’ve differentiated myself, landed more work, and put myself in a position where I can charge higher fees.

So… my advice for when you’re working for clients, and using AI… use it less for writing, and more for marketing and strategy.

NOTE: I’ve recently launches a new course for copywriters and content writers… Futureproof Copywriting.

My course shows you how to futureproof your career as a writer.

It teaches you how to add massive value to your brand as a writer, and make sure you can never be replaced by an AI… today or in the future.

Get ahead of the rise of AI… find out more about my course here.

3 thoughts on “How to avoid the “echo effect” when working with AI.”

  1. That is such good advice. I have been enjoying learning about AI and using it in different ways. I have not looked much into the marketing and strategy side of it. Thank you.

  2. Hi Nick,

    You make a great point. I agree!

    I imagine this is how school teachers must have felt shortly after the calculator became widely available. Suddenly, everyone is getting the correct answers to the math problems. Correct, yes, but also “the same.” To your point – the tool created a sameness in the output. Maybe that’s an excellent idea when calculating how much fuel the shuttle needs to safely return to Earth…but, sameness in the marketing world is not quite so beneficial. 🙂

    Back to your point – I am “this close” to launching my freelance copywriting career (thanks in part to yourself and other greats at AWAI), and I’m using AI to help define my niche and marketing approach. I use ChatGPT for ideation and to improve my ability to see things from the client’s perspective. Combine AI’s synthetic empathy with my own actual human empathy…and voila!

    Thanks for the great stuff, Nick!


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