Episode #48 | Beyond the Hype: Practical Ways Agencies Can Use Generative AI

Featured image for episode 48 of Designing Growth, titled "Practical Business Uses for AI"

With all hype around generative AI over the past year, sometimes it can feel like you’re falling behind if you’re not using it in every aspect of your business’s day-to-day operations. In this episode, Motion.io Co-Founder Sam Chlebowski explains the ways he’s using AI in his work at Motion.io, going into detail about where he thinks tools like ChatGPT really shine (and where they fall flat) to provide practical suggestions for ways agencies can use generative AI.

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Beyond the Hype: Practical Ways Agencies Can Use Generative AI | Designing Growth #48

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Episode transcript:

[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday, everybody. And welcome back to designing growth. Sam Chlebowski here, joining you for another episode.

[00:00:08] Sam Chlebowski: And this week’s is going to be a fun one because we’re going to be talking all about AI. But before jumping into all of that, I hope everyone out there is having a great week

[00:00:17] Sam Chlebowski: over here at motion. io. Things have just been humming along. And in addition to all of our other recent feature releases and updates we’ve made to our customizable client portal software. One of the things that we added this week is the ability to add profile pictures for yourself and any team members that are using motion.

[00:00:36] Sam Chlebowski: io. this was a request that we got from real life users of motion. io a bunch of times. And we said, Hey, you know what? We’ll go ahead and do it. And my co founder, Zach, the person who is really the architect, and doing the development work there, He added it really quickly. 

[00:00:50] Sam Chlebowski: And you’re now able to add a profile picture. So anytime a client is engaging with you or a team member in one of their client portals, they’re able to see a visual representation of who assigned them a task or who is communicating with them. And it’s a really nice upgrade over what we had previously, which would just display your initials and then a color and it adds that extra level of polish and personalization That really builds upon some of the other options we have to personalize your client experience within Motion. io.

[00:01:22] Sam Chlebowski: As for me personally, I’m doing good. You might hear that my voice is a little bit more nasally than usual this week. With a young kid at home. It seems like one person in our family is always getting sick over the last couple of months. And this time my number got pulled. Thankfully, I’m feeling a little bit better and excited to record this episode today.

[00:01:43] Sam Chlebowski: Back in May, I had a really interesting chat with artificial intelligence expert Brett Malinowski, and the whole episode was focused around AI powered business opportunities and using AI to basically build a business. There were some really interesting things in that [00:02:00] episode.

[00:02:00] Sam Chlebowski: That we talked about, and if you haven’t listened to it yet, I highly recommend you go back and check that out after listening to this. That was episode 36, and I will put a link to that in the show notes this time. However, I want to take a little bit of a different approach to talking about AI and focus a little bit more on how I’m personally using AI within our business.

[00:02:24] Sam Chlebowski: I do think that AI is something that is really powerful and it’s really cool, but at the same time it does have some limitations and I want to kind of cut through the noise and say, hey, here is the flat out truth of how I’m using AI because I don’t think that it is the one stop shop to solve all of your problems things like your services and how you provide those services what you’re doing for marketing AI can help with those things, but it can’t totally replace a lot of the sometimes manual work that you need to do with those. That said, there is a lot of cool stuff that you can do right now to help reduce that amount of manual work.

[00:03:02] Sam Chlebowski: And that’s the thing that we talk about a lot on the show is how can you build the systems and processes that will allow you to scale and work towards your end goal, how can you use tools? Tools like a I like automation to streamline your processes so you have more time to focus on other things that are really going to drive the needle as we say a lot amongst our team here at motion dot IO. So, for example, you’re not spending hours researching. Researching topics for a blog post. You’re not sending manual follow up emails, so you’re not having to follow up or you’re not having to send a personalized email every time a new prospective client comes in the door.

[00:03:46] Sam Chlebowski: To kind of lay the foundation for the episode, the idea behind it. Was I read a really interesting report by eMarketer this week, and in this report, they said that within the next year, over 100 million people will use generative [00:04:00] AI in the U. S. Alone, which is more than double the adoption rate of tablets and smartphones over a similar period.

[00:04:06] Sam Chlebowski: And I think for many of the folks out there listening, this is coming as no surprise. Some days it seems like AI has been the only thing you’re seeing on the Internet. 

[00:04:15] Sam Chlebowski: And I think that the comparison to tablets and smartphones is really interesting Because when I think back to that period of time in 2007, when the first iPhone was launched, I was a freshman in high school and 

[00:04:29] Sam Chlebowski: I remember going over to a family friend’s house shortly after the iPhone was launched and he was one of the first people to get an iPhone. 

[00:04:38] Sam Chlebowski: I think my parents had brought us all to dinner and us basically gathering around him and watching as he played a YouTube video on the iPhone. And I was blown away. And the next thing that I did is I saved every single dollar that I made working at the pool in hopes of being able to get an iPhone. I wasn’t able to get the first version of the iPhone, but I was when it was released, I think maybe like a year and a half later, able to get the iPhone two, and I remember using it for that first time, just so excited, quickly downloading all of the games that I could watching all of the YouTube videos and just thinking that this is the future and I had a lot of similar feelings to that when chat GPT was first released and made public of like, holy cow, this is nuts.

[00:05:27] Sam Chlebowski: This can do everything. 

[00:05:29] Sam Chlebowski: Throw in that data point. And And I say to myself, wow, this has a real possibility to revolutionize the way that we work, the way that we do business. And it ties directly into so many of the things that we talk about on this show.

[00:05:43] Sam Chlebowski: So I want to dig into it, and I’m going to talk a little bit about how I’m using AI here at Motion. io in my day to day work, but then also the ways that I’m not using AI. And talk briefly about why I’m not using AI this way. Because while there has been so much progress, I don’t think that we’re all the [00:06:00] way there to what that kind of final version is. Even going back to the iPhone analogy, Those first couple of iPhones, one, two, three, four, they were always introducing big new features. and then you got up into iPhone whatever.

[00:06:16] Sam Chlebowski: Things started to kind of stabilize And subsequent versions of the iPhones started to look more or less the same. I think we will someday see that with AI where, you know, chat, GBT three was good chat. GBT four was 10 X better. But once things progress even further than that, I think you start to see a lot less of that wild new capabilities, and it’s more just like adding a feature here and there, you know, adding the extra lens for the camera, two lenses and three lenses and four lenses. And it’s not this massive improvement over the subsequent version. But

[00:06:51] Sam Chlebowski: either way, I want to get into it and talk about how I’m using AI here in my day to day work at Motion. io.

[00:06:58] Sam Chlebowski: So the first way that I’m using AI is generating the first draft of blog posts or other content. and I think that this is where chat GBT really shines Because for most people. I think it’s safe to assume the research to draft phase of a blog post or an article is often what takes the longest.

[00:07:18] Sam Chlebowski: And the great thing about ChatGBT is you can give it a prompt and it’ll spit you out a version of a blog post that you can work with, and it’ll help you get past some of that initial writer’s block. That said, when I asked chat GBT to create a blog post for me, I’m typically asking it for more of an outline because one of the weaknesses Is that unless you’re using some advanced kind of set up where you’re training an AI model on how to write like you, it’s always going to sound a little bit robotic and the best performing content, the most relatable content is always going to be if you’re able to inject a little bit of your personality in [00:08:00] there And chat GPT in its current form isn’t going to be able to do that for you.

[00:08:04] Sam Chlebowski: So that’s the first way that I’m using AI. 

[00:08:06] Sam Chlebowski: The next way I use it is similar to blog posts, but it’s coming up with SEO friendly captions for social media posts. One of the things that I’ve had a big challenge with is writing. Captions for the various content that I’m putting out, whether that is posts on Instagram or it’s reels or it’s tick tock videos, it can take a lot of time and what I have actually been doing to give me a jumpstart on my captions for social media posts is 

[00:08:36] Sam Chlebowski: providing a tool like chat GPT, a transcript of what I’m actually saying in that post. And I’ll generate that using a tool called Descript. I’ll have it spit me out a transcript and I’ll paste that into chat GPT and I’ll say, Hey, chat GPT, give me SEO friendly captions for these following social media posts based on each transcript that I share with you.

[00:08:59] Sam Chlebowski: And I found that this is a really quick and effective way to get some nice captions for the content that I’m creating. As with the blog post example, I do have to edit it a little bit and rewrite things how I would say them. But I find that having that foundation for the caption that I’m writing cuts down the time that I’m spending.

[00:09:19] Sam Chlebowski: To write the caption itself down from like 15 minutes to two or three minutes, and that’s been really, really helpful for me.

[00:09:26] Sam Chlebowski: Along the lines of SEO, one of the things that I did this week is explore a new tool called alt text dot AI. And I was kind of just researching tools that I could use to potentially write alt text for me. for those unfamiliar with this, alt text is the text that will display if an image can’t be shown, or if someone is visually impaired and using something like a screen reader, it’s super important, not just for SEO, but also just from a general accessibility standpoint, 

[00:09:53] Sam Chlebowski: So all text is important, but the problem is if you have a lot of images, it can take a lot of time to go one by one [00:10:00] and manually write alternative text for every single image. So this tool called Alt Text AI, it’s really cool.

[00:10:07] Sam Chlebowski: And I took it for a test run this week. You can provide it images and it’ll spit out the alt text for you automatically. They even have a WordPress plugin. So you could install it directly into your site and it will generate alt text for any of the images on your site that it identifies as not having that alt text in place.

[00:10:25] Sam Chlebowski: So that’s really cool. The one limitation that I found that it does have though is if you have images that have text written on them, and it’s more than just like a stock image or an image of a person that you grabbed off the internet or whatever. It has a hard time describing that part of it.

[00:10:41] Sam Chlebowski: I know in general, it’s not best practice to use a lot of text on images for this reason, but sometimes there are situations where. There isn’t a way around that, for example, things like the featured images for our podcast episodes, I really have to write text on those. There’s not a ton of ways around that, and it did have a little bit of trouble with that, but for images without text on them, it worked great, and it allowed me to generate dozens of old text descriptions for images in a couple of seconds.

[00:11:11] Sam Chlebowski: So that was really cool.

[00:11:12] Sam Chlebowski: Switching over to image based generative AI. So that’s tools like mid journey. , and I’ll admit that this example is maybe a little bit more specific to me and what I’m doing in my day to day work at motion. io more so than the first couple I shared, but with motion.

[00:11:27] Sam Chlebowski: io, there are a lot of times where. If I am showing a potential user of motion. io or I’m recording a YouTube video where I want a website example to include as a part of a task that I’m creating. So, for example, when I want to show someone how to use our visual feedback tool, I don’t all the time want to just use our motion.

[00:11:49] Sam Chlebowski: io website and take a screenshot of that. But I also don’t want to just scour the internet for a good example that I can use. So what I’ve done in the past is I’ll ask a tool like mid journey to [00:12:00] say, Hey, generate me a website mockup for a wedding and event planner website. And mid journey will spit out this image and I can use it in a demo for one of our customers to show them how they can use motion.

[00:12:14] Sam Chlebowski: Dario’s visual feedback tool to pin comments on that image And the reason why I like this is when I’m showing people how to use motion. io, a lot of the times I wanted to make the demo specific to their experience so, for example, a brand strategy business comes to us and they say, Hey, I want to use motion.

[00:12:32] Sam Chlebowski: io. I want to be able to walk them through how to use motion. io in a way that is going to be specific to their use case. So in this brand strategy agency example, I would want to upload a brand strategy guide for a hypothetical client. And I’ll ask mid journey to create this for me so I can walk through the steps and I can show this potential user exactly how motion.

[00:12:58] Sam Chlebowski: io can slide into their process. 

[00:13:00] Sam Chlebowski: So I’ll admit that that example might be a little bit more specific to what I’m doing. But these next two ways that I use AI, I think, can apply to a ton of different businesses out there. For me at Motion. io, one of the things that I’m working on as we Head to our full paid product release In September is I’m building up lists of people we might want to partner with various content creators and companies and organizations that we might have synergy with and can send business back and forth or give their customers a discount on motion. io things like that.

[00:13:33] Sam Chlebowski: And a cool way that ChachiBT is able to help with this, is I will ask it, hey ChachiBT, give me a list of the top 15. Software tools that marketing agencies are using right now.

[00:13:46] Sam Chlebowski: Great chat. GBT spits out that list. I can then go to those websites and look up their email and reach out to see if there might be synergy and we might be able to work together.

[00:13:55] Sam Chlebowski: And I don’t have to do any of that research myself. Chat GPT took care of it [00:14:00] for me. The only thing that I have to do is I do have to go to their websites and look up. The best person to contact for partnerships and things like that. And that’s only because chat GPT won’t provide you that information.

[00:14:11] Sam Chlebowski: It’s against their terms of services. So you do have to go search for that on your own, but still it makes it a much lighter lift when I can cut the research part of that out of the equation.

[00:14:23] Sam Chlebowski: I’ve been doing that manually, but from there, that’s also something that’s very easy to outsource.

[00:14:27] Sam Chlebowski: And you can see how you might even be able to use this for your sales process. If you are a agency that is doing cold outreach, there’s all sorts of ways that you can use chat GPT to build you a list of prospective companies to reach out to.

[00:14:43] Sam Chlebowski: My other example of how many businesses out there might be able to use chat GPT is using it to optimize the way that they talk about their products and services. One of the things that we did. Back in February at motion.

[00:14:56] Sam Chlebowski: io is we fed chat GPT all of the content on one of the pages of our website and asked it to essentially re describe.

[00:15:05] Sam Chlebowski: That content that we wrote in an easier to understand more digestible way 

[00:15:10] Sam Chlebowski: And this is something that I see as helpful because especially if you are a small business, or maybe it’s just you, you’re a sole owner operator, you can get a little fatigued on writing copy about your products and services that you add other words Or maybe don’t explain things clearly enough and doing that once over with Chachi BT can really help you optimize that content in the way that you talk about your products and services.

[00:15:37] Sam Chlebowski: So that does it for the ways that I’m using AI within my day to day work here at Motion. io. But I did want to share one interesting thing that I saw one of our users doing with AI this week. And then also talk about something we’re discussing internally right now as a way to integrate AI into our Motion.

[00:15:55] Sam Chlebowski: io product itself.

[00:15:57] Sam Chlebowski: About a week and a half ago, I had a really great [00:16:00] call. With a web design agency that signed up for a trial of motion. io and wanted to kind of learn more about it and see if it could do the things that they needed to do in their business to provide them a client portal solution.

[00:16:14] Sam Chlebowski: We got to talking and I was showing them around the product, walking through the various features of motion. io and we got to motion. io’s custom tabs section custom tabs are your way to basically integrate and embed any other type of software you want into motion.

[00:16:30] Sam Chlebowski: io

[00:16:30] Sam Chlebowski: as well as provide just a general space for content and things that your client needs to access throughout a project. This person that I was speaking with asked me if I could potentially embed a chat flow that they had created. And this was really cool. So there is this tool out there called GPT flow.

[00:16:50] Sam Chlebowski: It is a small startup based out of Europe. for a practical example of how this works, let’s say that I have a web design business

[00:16:57] Sam Chlebowski: that specializes in working with orthodontists, for example. And over the course of running this business, I know that orthodontists, while they’re great at what they do. When it comes to marketing and websites, they have a ton of questions. And because I’ve worked with a bunch of clients, I know these questions already. And what I’ve done is I’ve built an FAQs page that talks about things like SEO and how long it will take their website to rank.

[00:17:21] Sam Chlebowski: That talks about how long it will take me to build the site and what they can expect and the typical time frames. And I’ve built all of that out into a nice FAQs page.

[00:17:30] Sam Chlebowski: What I could do I could train GPT flow on that URL and create a chat bot. And what this chat bot could do is that instead of me having to respond to those questions or direct people to the FAQs page The business owners that I’m working with could ask this chat bot directly and get the answers to those questions quickly.

[00:17:51] Sam Chlebowski: And if the answer wasn’t there, it would ping me and say, Hey, here’s a new question. We don’t have an answer for.

[00:17:56] Sam Chlebowski: So I could then add that to the FAQs page and be accessible [00:18:00] from there on out.

[00:18:01] Sam Chlebowski: If you think about it, it’s almost like having a dedicated support rep or a dedicated account executive.

[00:18:07] Sam Chlebowski: But without actually having to hire one.

[00:18:10] Sam Chlebowski: And what was cool for me is that when I was talking with this person, we were able to embed this chat bot and this chat flow. They had created directly into a motion dot IO client portal so that if a client came to their portal, they could go right to the tab that said support and ask this chat bot any type of question that they wanted the answer to.

[00:18:33] Sam Chlebowski: So I thought that that was a really, really cool example of some of the capabilities of AI and how you could use it in your business in conjunction with Motion. io to really reduce that amount of manual work that you have to do. And it integrated seamlessly All we had to do is embed the I frame code and boom, it was right there in the client’s portal and they could access it.

[00:18:55] Sam Chlebowski: The final thing I wanted to note about AI is that we are considering some really interesting things for how we can use it in motion dot IO. One of the things that we’re talking about right now. Is integrating AI into Motion.

[00:19:08] Sam Chlebowski: io’s Form Builder. So instead of having to drag and drop and build a form yourself, you could ask Motion. io, Hey, build me a form for client onboarding. Build me a form for design approval. And you just let Motion. io take the wheel from there and have it generate this form for you. 

[00:19:27] Sam Chlebowski: So that’s something we are excited about. We’re still kind of in the early stages of talking about that and haven’t confirmed it yet. But it is a really interesting idea. Our co founder, Zach, had brought that up months ago. And I think we’re getting to the point where we’re really considering diving into that.

[00:19:42] Sam Chlebowski: So I will let you know as soon as there’s any updates there, but it’s something that our entire team is pretty intrigued in and believe that it could add a ton of value to all the great stuff we have already.

[00:19:53] Sam Chlebowski: So with that, that does it for this episode. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope you learned a few things. If there’s ways that you’re [00:20:00] using AI within your business, I would love to know about them. Love for you to share them with me and even give us ideas for how we might be able to use AI within the client portal software that we’ve built here at motion.

[00:20:12] Sam Chlebowski: io.

[00:20:13] Sam Chlebowski: With that, everybody, my name is Sam Chlebowski, co-founder of Motion.io and host of the Designing Growth podcast. Signing off for this week. See you next Thursday, everybody. Have fun, good luck, and go crush it.

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