The benefits of imaginary employees and A.I.

If it’s just you in your business, imaginary employees can provide lots of benefits!

Work Smart Not Hard Tip No. 14 in a series written for Indie Cambs

The idea of imaginary employees has been around for a long time. I’ve had lots of clients who invented Brenda from Accounts or David from Customer Service. The idea is to have someone who deals with clients, subcontractors or suppliers in a way that apparently leaves the business owner out of the conversation.

It can be tricky to keep a good relationship with someone when you’re chasing them for money or supplies or if you’re on the receiving end of complaints. If you set up email accounts so it looks as though Brenda or David is handling them, it gives you licence to be a bit firmer. It’s a very effective tactic that costs nothing.

You can even use ChatGPT to write the emails for you in a tone of voice that sounds very different to your usual one.

I’ve been talking to people about how they use A.I. (or machine learning tools) to Work Smart and we’ve been having a lot of fun. I’ve used it to work out the break even point in a business. This is usually a complicated thing to explain, especially for service businesses, but ChatGPT did it in seconds and it was pretty good. Speed is the major advantage as the apps can populate a page a lot quicker than most people can type.

Other uses I’ve heard are to create subject lines for email newsletters and blog posts to evoke a particular emotional response; creating videos from text using an A.I. voice; creating images in a multitude of styles; making original music to add to videos or podcasts; turning text into poetry or writing in the style of your favourite author; creating spreadsheets, fact sheets and FAQs. You can check your own messages to see if they’re too confrontational, too apologetic or lacking in warmth.

Whatever part of your business you’d like to do faster, smarter or make more fun you can find an app that will help and many of them are free or have a free trial.

Of course there are drawbacks. Facts are not always accurate and need careful checking. Beware of plagiarism or infringing copyright and be careful what information you share with the apps as that will then become part of the machine learning and will be used to answer questions from other people.

Have you created imaginary employees or used any of the AI apps? What are you finding them most useful for? Get in touch and let me know!

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