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Want to build your personal brand but struggle with the time commitment required to write a LinkedIn post or worse, a lengthy article on thought leadership? You are not alone. Recently, a fellow entrepreneur told me, “I’d rather have another C-section than sit down and write!” It’s laughable, but it applies to so many of us, right?
Enter ChatGPT. As this chatbot continues to make waves in the digital world, becoming a hot topic of conversation in both boardrooms and coffee shops around the world, many entrepreneurs see this impressive AI tool as the perfect solution to their content creation bottlenecks. The demand for this magic wand overwhelmed the servers, causing them to crash or simply unable to process the load. Suddenly, we see many entrepreneurs mass-posting on social media and blogs at staggering speeds, thanking ChatGPT for providing content they can simply copy and paste to the platforms of their choice. Enter bad news. I chose to write this article at the risk of sounding like the Grinch who stole the proverbial Christmas, but I promise to offset the mood I might spoil with some practical advice.
Related: The dark side of ChatGPT: Employees and businesses need to prepare now
Risks of using ChatGPT as your personal brand ghostwriter
As a personal branding expert, I have no choice but to advise against using ChatGPT as a ghostwriter. I’ll tell you why.
When it comes to creating content to build a compelling personal brand, your strategy must be based on at least one of the following three pillars:
Sharing the experience
Sometimes we select and share other people’s content (with credit, of course) or share something purely for entertainment purposes. However, the rest of the content we publish online must reflect our thinks, our opinion and our experience.
This is where using ChatGPT can become problematic. When you “hack” the content creation process by copying and pasting his answers, you are exploiting other people’s thoughts and opinions, not your own. Why is this a problem? At best, your personal brand will seem unoriginal, uninspired, and devoid of the emotional link that compels your audience. At worst, you’ll build a personal brand rooted in falsehood, thus giving up what a personal brand should be rooted on: radical authenticity.
The copy-and-paste approach has two other risks.
The first is the risk of misleading consumers. According to ChatGPT itself, it may provide inaccurate or outdated information and may make mistakes. That was the risk we took plagiarizing a friend’s work in our school days, and it’s the same risk we take today plagiarizing an AI tool.
The second risk is that many other traders may have asked ChatGPT the exact same question you asked and copy the post or article to yours. I talk to entrepreneurs all over the world and I know we all complain about the noise and repetitive “junk” (your words!) that we are inundated with online. Why add it?
Related: What does ChatGPT mean for the future of business?
How influence ChatGPT for building your personal brand
Right now, you might think that I am passionately arguing against ChatGPT for content creation, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I think it’s a fantastic tool that can help us in exactly the same way that Google Translate helps but does not replace the actual work of a translator. I use it personally and as part of my personal branding agency. As promised, here are four ideas to use ChatGPT effectively:
If writing is not your forte, use the gift of the spoken word instead. Ask yourself a question and record yourself answering it. Take a recording, run it through transcription software like OtterAI, then take the raw text and put it into ChatGPT. This way you will use it for editing your thinks, your opinions and your experience without having to do any actual typing. The writing quality may seem generic, but at least there won’t be anything generic about the content itself.
Don’t know what to write about? Use ChatGPT to brainstorm ideas. Tell him you want to write an article, identify your audience, define an overarching topic (can be generic) and ask for 10 ideas. Choose the one that speaks to you and refer to point 1 for steps to follow.
ChatGPT is especially useful for adding strong opening lines or engaging closing sentences. Yes, usually every closing paragraph ends with “in conclusion”, but this can be removed. Specify the tone you want: professional or serious, funny or humorous, engaging or light-hearted, and ask for variations of your choice.
Use it to come up with an article title. I asked ChatGPT for five ideas for the title of this article, and this is what it gave me:
“From personal branding to plagiarism: the risk of relying on ChatGPT for content creation”
“ChatGPT: A Powerful Personal Branding Tool or Shortcut to Scam?”
“Using ChatGPT to Build Your Personal Brand: Tips and Tricks from a Brand Expert”
“Radical Authenticity for Personal Branding: Why Copy and Paste with ChatGPT Isn’t Enough”
“ChatGPT for personal branding: how to use it wisely without sacrificing your authentic voice”
These are five great options. I felt they were long for my style and voice, so I asked ChatGPT to shorten the fourth option. The result is what I chose as the title for this article – an interesting brand title that we worked with ChatGPT for a quick result.
Related: How to use AI tools like ChatGPT in your business
I hope more entrepreneurs will embrace tools like ChatGPT — but without sacrificing human intelligence for artificial intelligence. The concept of “radical authenticity” in personal branding is what resonates with all entrepreneurs. I hear it almost everywhere, no matter what city or country I’m giving a speech in. We all seem to agree that “fake it until you make it” is outdated and unfortunate advice (I’ve written about it here and received an overwhelming amount of feedback from you backing this sentence up).
And yet, in love with impressing this new tool, we suddenly forget that copying and pasting is the opposite of authenticity. We have so much to share with the world, so many battlefield stories to tell, and so many ways we can use our experience to pay it back. Why reduce it all to platitudes that have been generated for us, contaminating online platforms and risking your readers discovering that posts and articles under your name are not yours at all?