Why use AI writing tools like ChatGPT when you can do better work on your own?

The question in the headline was asked by a good friend, and highly-regarded copywriter.

It’s a totally legitimate question. As professional copywriters we can write better than any AI, and we naturally infuse our work with emotion… because we know it works.

So… if we can do all that on our own, why do I recommend that people dive into AI, use tools like ChatGPT, and then infuse the AI output with Emotional Intelligence?

Why make it complicated? Why not just carry on as normal?

To find an answer, let’s go back to 1907…

Let’s imagine it’s 1907, and you have a profitable courier service, focused on delivering letters and packages between Boston and New York City.

You’ve been in business for decades and are known for the quality of your service. It’s 1907, so you are making your deliveries by horse and carriage.

Then… a year later, in 1908… along comes the motor car in the form of the Model T Ford.

And that changes everything.

It’s the speed of motor cars and AI that can’t be beat.

A competitor sets up a courier service delivering to the same cities as you. But he’s using a fleet of Model T Fords.

His service is ten times faster, and at a fraction of the price.

Can you just carry on as normal and ignore the impact of this new technology… the motor car? Obviously not. You’re going to lose every single one of your clients.

Within months, you’ve acquired your first car, and plan to buy more.

It’s not that you wanted to do. You’d have loved to carry on the way things were. You did a great job with the horse and carriage.

But sometimes, a technological change leaves you no other option than to adapt… and quickly.

It’s the same with AI… you need to adapt.

To survive in a market where freelancers and in-house writing teams are already using AI, you need to give yourself the same advantages by using the same tools.

But… if that’s ALL you do, you’ll fall into what I describe as the sameness trap.

Whether you’re using a Model T to deliver packages, or ChatGPT to write copy and content, you want to add something that differentiates your work.

For your motorized courier service back in 1908, you’ll train your drivers to spend more time engaging with your clients… taking a few minutes listening and getting to know them on a personal level. You’ll hire drivers who display a high level of emotional intelligence.

As a copywriter, you’ll maximise your use of AI, but also edit that output to make it more conversational, and infuse it with emotional intelligence.

And you’ll optimize for all 4 domains of EI when interacting with your clients.

In conclusion…

The answer to your question, my friend, is that I never asked for AI to disrupt my writing business. I didn’t even want to use it.

But if I choose to ignore it, I’ll suffer the same fate as all the horse and carriage owners who chose to ignore the rise of the automobile.

There are some new technologies that simply cannot be ignored. The automobile was one of those technologies. AI is another.

To learn more about how to thrive by combining AI with Emotional Intelligence, take a look at my course, Futureproof Copywriting.

futureproof copywritring

6 thoughts on “Why use AI writing tools like ChatGPT when you can do better work on your own?”

  1. Hey Nick,

    This is a perfect analogy of why AI has to be part of your toolkit. Using AI allows you to get more done in a shorter time. You are spot on about the need to infuse your emotional quotient and make it unique.


  2. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for raising the most interesting topic of the day and thanks are also due to your good friend for motivating it. Answering your question is like going through a labyrinth of roads and describing the scenario. Each road presents a different scenario, some good and some not so good, but they are factual representations of what you actually observe. I don’t think you have permitted me enough space to display my full verdict. So, I will write it on a separate page and send it to you which you can preserve for posterity or discard immediately to the bin – your choice!

  3. Hi Nick!
    Love the horse & carriage business story.

    Likewise as a teacher I would hate to go back to overhead projectors, slides & mimeograph machines (even if I did volunteer to be the teacher’s assistant in 5th grade so I could “smell” the sheets of paper! Ah Memories!

    I would also hate to go back to pre-AI. The amount of data it can handle is amazing.

    I “Discovered” ChatGPT when I was grading a graduate student’s papers and found one that it just didn’t “sound” like him (I had him in a couple of previous classes in undergraduate). This paper was stiff and formal. It contained all correct info – just wasn’t “him.” When I asked him about the “voice.” He answered, “ I have a voice in my writing? Huh! Whadda ya know.”
    The “horse” was literally “out of the barn” and off and running for me. Some of my colleagues – not so much but for me a great “Tool” and writing “assistant.”

    • Great feedback. Thanks! Your student should have fed ChatGPT with several exmaples of his own work, and expanded his prompt with: Write in the style and voice of the following examples. : )

  4. Think of ChatGPT strictly as a writing companion providing extra insights and information to help us, as writers, shape one specific idea (or multiple ideas) into a coherent vision for our readers to enjoy. Empathy stems from within our hearts and experiences with others. From truly listening to what people express and understanding how we can support their growth, build their confidence, and help them thrive with assurance. AI, like ChatGPT, falls short in relating to the human capacity for this measure of empathetic connection.


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