Technology

4 new AI content tools for small businesses to explore

- February 17, 2023 5 MIN READ
clothing store owners on laptop

With advancements in artificial intelligence continuing at a cracking pace, many small business owners are feeling a bit left out of the loop. What are these new-fangled AI programs and how can they be put to good use in a small or micro biz? Tech expert Tracy Sheen joined Cec Busby on the Flying Solo podcast to explain some of the ways AI is changing the game for businesses.

Business owners can be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed at the plethora of new AI programs popping up recently. However, Kochie’s Business Builders’ resident tech guru Tracy Sheen says it’s time small, micro and solo business owners got on board, as the benefits are only increasing.

The year of AI

“This is the year that AI really makes inroads and changes for a small business,” says Tracy. “I think it’s going to increase productivity and make our lives a lot easier, but it’s up to you to start playing with it and pushing the boundaries of what it can do for you. I’m not saying you’ve got to try everything, but you need to be aware of what’s coming through the pipeline. We need to be open to what’s out there.

“Content creation is one area people are constantly worried about,” says Tracy. “You can be a great plumber or accountant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re adept at writing social media content. AI tools allow you to type in prompts like, ‘I’m a plumber that works on houses, particularly around gas-fitting. Give me three ideas for a social media post’.

“That’s where these tools really come to the rescue. Those who learn how to work with the platforms will see a significant increase in growth and productivity.”

Robot writing at a desk

4 new AI content tools for small businesses to explore

Tracy has been taking her own advice and trying out various new AI programs that help with creating content such as articles, videos, and social media posts.

Here are four AI-driven content tools Tracy thinks businesses should try for themselves.

1. ChatGPT

At a recent webinar, Tracy and fellow attendees put ChatGPT to the test, trialling various prompts which showcase the content generator’s potential for small businesses:

“We ideated social media content and outlined a blog. We turned podcast show notes into an outline for another episode and devised new interview questions. We wrote some code to plug into a website for a search bar and came up with a formula for an Excel spreadsheet. And we discovered the recipe for the best Negroni!” she laughs.

ChatGPT is proving itself a valuable tool when it comes to creating content. However, there’s some concern that it may supersede the work of journalists, copywriters and other content creators. Tracy believes otherwise, as the human skill of critical thinking is still required.

“AI is not going to take anybody’s jobs or get rid of journalism,” she insists. “If anything, it’s going to level up our critical thinking because the output of any of these programs is only good as the input that we give it. Ultimately, we remain the experts in our business and industry. It is just another tool; we still need to double-check facts and watch for plagiarism.

“I encourage solopreneurs and small and micro business owners to lean into ChatGPT, have a play and understand how it works.”

Check out ChatGPT here.

Listen to Tracy Sheen on the Flying Solo podcast:

2. Canva

Online design platform Canva launched their AI-powered copywriting assistant, Magic Write, in December 2022. Tracy explains a couple of handy ways to use Canva and Magic Write:

“Magic Write is getting better all the time,” she says. “You can open a doc in Canva and say, ‘write me a social media post around this,’ and it will do it. If you’ve got content or a list of ideas written, you can upload an Excel spreadsheet to Canva and it will create tips to use as social media tiles. You can also use Canva to create images and video content like Reels or Boomerangs.

“If you’re not sure how to do something, they’ve got a great learning platform where you can do a couple of quick lessons. It will add a lot of value to your business.”

Check out Canva here.

3. Pictory

Pictory’s AI-driven video service automatically extracts short video snippets from long videos, turning them into shareable bite-sized vids perfect for social media sharing. Tracy says the platform has been a real time-saver for her business.

“I’ve been using Pictory to cut 30-minute webinars down into shorter videos that I can use for social media. It has saved a lot of time in terms of video editing and faffing about for me.”

Check out Pictory here.

4. Synthesia

Synthesia is an AI video creation platform that converts plain text into videos and allows users to create an avatar to present the video.

“You can choose the look of the avatar, the ethnicity, and the language,” says Tracy. “Then you write a short script that could become, say, your ‘hello’ on the About Us page of your website.”

This is great option for business owners who are too shy to appear on camera themselves, or don’t have the equipment to create their own high-quality vids.

Check out Synthesia here.

Embrace change or stick to what you know – how about a bit of both?

While new technology can feel confusing and overwhelming to learn, Tracy urges us all to embrace the idea of change, as that is how we keep moving forward.

“Technology doesn’t stand still and is changing quickly,” says Tracy. “As soon as you become familiar or comfortable with something, it changes. That forces you to keep learning and changing yourself.”

However, Tracy acknowledges that trying out new platforms can feel overwhelming for time-strapped business owners, so she strongly suggests you take a deep dive into the platforms and programs you already use.

“The programs you use likely already have features you don’t realise will do extra things. So, lean into some of the programs you’ve already got rather than looking for things to add. Spend 15 minutes in a platform that you’re already comfortable with and explore what else it can do – take it out for a test drive!”


Listen to the latest episode of the Flying Solo podcast now:

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    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"