Sep 20, 2023
Tell us about yourself. What are you working on right now?
I’m Allie Fleder, the cofounder of SimplyWise. We aggregate and organize all of your valuable data to optimize your finances and healthcare. As COO, I handle everything from basic admin, finances, legal, recruiting, and HR to product, growth, marketing, and general management. We’re very lean: we have a team of seven people full-time.
How do you use AI for work?
I use GPT everyday for operations, and I’ll typically do a first draft of any communications on GPT. For example, we’re hiring for a role right now, so I asked GPT to write every step of the interview process—the email to invite a candidate for the first round of interviews, the draft of the tests that we give them, the invite to take the test, down to the rejection letters.
I’m also using it a lot more for marketing: blog posts, SEO, ASO, and ad copy itself. We’re doing a lot of investment in organic marketing right now, but we also do paid marketing. We have reawakened our blog and have GPT do a first draft of almost all of our posts. It’s been really good at some blog posts. It’s also been really shitty at other types of writing.
We’ve also been using it for ASO or App Store Optimization (SEO for the App Store and the Google Play Store to help you rank higher for certain keywords). It helps us think high-level about ASO strategies as well as test keyword placements and descriptions.
We’re currently working on some new value props. I asked GPT to help me think through ad copy for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to help sell these new angles. It gave me an optimized headline and description for the Facebook ad as well as a script for video recordings.
How is Facebook text different from Instagram?
[GPT] knows the way ads look. An ad for Instagram Reels doesn’t have the same text placement as one for Facebook. Facebook will have a lot of copy above, then there’s [the] “see more” [link]. GPT knows how much text you can get before the “see more.” It’s different for Instagram Reels and different for TikTok.
When did you start using GPT for marketing?
We heard about Copy.ai before GPT. We tested it out and were impressed. We had been thinking about it for SEO and wondered what other marketing tasks it could help with. I started asking it about very general stuff, like how we should think about different product positioning and how to test that as a startup. We tried to use it for SEO, and again it was kind of hit and miss. Because we had to pay for Copy.ai, we moved to GPT to help with copywriting.
How did you begin writing prompts?
I saw guides [about how] to write prompts on LinkedIn and [in] a growth newsletter. I haven’t referred back to those lists much, but I definitely used them then. I always wind up iterating on my prompts myself.
What does that process look like?
I find myself going back and forth between GPT and my Apple notes app. I’ll ask, “What is good Instagram ad copy for this?” Then, I copy and paste the response into my notes because that's where I play around. Then, as I start iterating, I’m like, “GPT, that was terrible… You didn’t get it at all.” Then, I will go back to GPT and ask it to tweak the ad to focus on a specific feature or to target it for a different demographic So, I'm going back and forth in the same chat.
What kind of adjustments do you find yourself making most frequently?
For marketing, it’s generally tone and target demo. I never really think about it until I see it. It usually takes two to three tries. I have a different chat for each add value prop, so I’m like “this is the Amazon value prop”;“this is the auditing value prop.” I think of certain demographics associated with certain value props. In my mind, it’s not just about the Amazon one or the auditing one, it’s about small business owners with auditing concerns.
When you have different chats for each value prop, do you start from scratch in that chat box?
I never go back and copy-paste my prompts. They are usually two sentences. Also, I have typically done some of the work on my own first. If, during a customer call, I like how something was described, I’ll copy that into the chat. And I’ll say, “the product solves this need, write me a punchy Facebook ad based on a product that solves this need.
What has helped you refine your process for developing prompts?
Giving it more bite-sized things. In the beginning, I talked to it more like I would talk to a person. Now, I explain the app three times because I’d rather give it more data about the app or more data about how that Amazon feature works. Whereas if I was asking a teammate to put together that ad, I would give them one line about how the Amazon thing worked and trust them to get creative and fill in the blanks. I’d rather give [GPT] all of the keywords and SimplyWise [information] so that it can better pull out the right marketing language. A human can be creative on their own with much less context.
I always prompt GPT to sound more human, especially for the blog content that it creates. It often sounds so robotic; I have found it’s a little “softer” when I tell it to “Make the copy actually sound like a human.”
How would you describe the value ChatGPT has for your business?
It definitely saves us time. Our engineers think it saves them between 10 percent to 30 percent of time everyday—not just using GPT but also Copilot and other AI tools. It has made me more productive as well. As a very lean, under-resourced team, it makes me feel like I have someone else to bounce ideas off of. It’s a creative process, coming up with an ad script and the right headlines. I could bother someone on the team with it–but instead, I can brainstorm with GPT.
The thing I’m really using [GPT] for everyday now is video editing. Three years ago, we paid high agency fees to make our ads. We had a team of really creative, amazing people putting together the clips, thinking through the storyline, getting stock footage, acting, using the right lighting, and putting in subtitles. It’s unbelievable to me that some of these largely AI-created ads are now competing with some of our best-performing agency adss.
I don’t know anything about making digital content or editing something, but these tools are unbelievable. For example, we’re using this tool, Opus AI, where I upload a 30-minute customer video. I tell them to highlight keywords from the video and make it about 30 seconds long. Within minutes, I have a completed, well-edited video. You understand why writers are striking on the streets. AI will kill jobs. We are not hiring people that we did two years ago because of these tools. But I believe there’s an opportunity for people here as well. For example, SEO agencies aren’t dead; but their approach is changing.
Do you have a hot take on generative AI?
The majority of our demographic are small business owners or sole proprietors. We recently ran a survey about AI with this group, and found that small business owners are actually more optimistic than the average worker about the ability of AI to increase their income. Part of that optimism stems from finding efficiencies within their businesses; using talent more productively. But there’s so much more that AI can be doing to help small and microbusinesses. Think of a realtor or a construction contractor–someone who hustles to start their own business and is excited about serving their customers or clients… and is so busy delivering that they don’t have time to do all the mundane things like the admin, finances, and taxes. I don’t think we have the tools to really change that for them and for all of us–yet. But they’re coming, and they could truly empower the American small business owner.
More broadly, I believe there’s an opportunity for AI to bring people together to help build communities and improve communication. I talk to our customers every day and am struck by the fact that [these sole proprietors and small business owners] are dealing with many of the exact same problems. There’s probably a lot of advice they could be leveraging from each other. Yet, they’re so busy with their day-to-day and serving their clients and customers that they just don't have time for it. Tech and AI have the opportunity to bring together this collective wisdom in a way that helps move all of these business owners forward. Since small businesses are the engine of our economy, I can think of little more exciting than that.