Episode 276: 3 Ways to Use AI and ChatGPT in Your Design Business

October 11, 2023


In today’s episode of the podcast, I’m sharing 3 ways you can use ChatGPT and AI in your design business to improve your workflows, save precious time, and better serve your design clients along the way! From project management to content creation and marketing shortcuts to weekly meal plans, AI tools can offer so many benefits in your graphic, brand, or web design business (or even your personal life!).

Whether you’re been using AI tools ever since they first hit the scene or you’re just now beginning to explore these services, check out this bite-sized episode for a few ways to use AI in your design business.

Tune in for the full episode above!


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Please note this transcript has been auto generated and may contain typos.

Bonnie (00:00):
Hey friends, welcome back to the Brand Strategy Podcast, where today we are talking about three of my go-to ways that I use AI in my brand design business on a consistent basis. My hope for this episode is to show you maybe some new to you or who knows, maybe even a familiar idea about how you can actually be integrating AI into your graphic brand or web design business so that you can be utilizing tools that are readily available to us in this day and age, so that you can better serve your clients, maybe free up some precious time and energy and run your business with more intention. Now, whether you are a totally new designer or you’ve been in this industry for quite a while, like myself, , I know that you have seen over the past year at least, the kind of explosion of AI tools and features all over, not just the design industry, but you know, just the, the online business space as a whole.

Bonnie (01:03):
And I know that for some of us, that brings up kind of some complicated feelings. Uh, personally, I do not think that AI will be replacing us as designers anytime soon. , maybe you’ve seen that, um, that kind of like meme that, or even that like kind of quote graphic that was making the rounds a while back. It was like, in order for clients to replace, um, you know, designers with ai, they’re gonna have to get really good at communicating what they want, . And, you know, like for legal reasons, that is a joke. Um, but I, I do believe that we as designers have so much value that cannot be replaced at this point in time by, um, some lines of code. So with that being said, I’m thinking, Hey, why don’t we utilize those lines of code to help us better serve our clients and streamline our design processes and save valuable time along the way.

Bonnie (02:02):
So with that being said, I’m gonna share just a handful of ways that I currently have been using AI in my business. And it’s worth mentioning that if you’re tuning in today’s episode and you’re like, Bonnie, I’m not a graphic brand or web designer, that’s okay. If you have a service-based business, I think that you’re gonna find some value in these tips as well. Um, you know, thinking about the work that I do with clients on a daily basis, thinking about the way that I set goals and, and, you know, build out projects and all these things, there are these organic spaces that I’ve seen where AI and features like that can actually come into to really be helpful. So over the last couple of months, I’ve really been testing out a bunch of different tools and features to kind of see how, how these can be things that fit into my existing workflows. So I wasn’t gonna go out and necessarily like create a new client flow from scratch.

Bonnie (02:59):
Um, and I wasn’t necessarily gonna go and try to like, reinvent the wheel, right? Like, I’ve been in business for 11 years at this point, and, um, not to say that I’m gonna like keep doing things the way I’m doing because that’s how I’ve always done them. Uh, no, actually, I believe there’s so much value and constantly reexamining the way that you do things and looking for opportunities for growth. But, um, kind of looking at this AI experiment that I did for my business, my goal was to find ways to just streamline things without adding more to my plate. And I really also did not wanna sacrifice the deeply personalized and human-centered experience that my clients have come to associate with me and my brand. So with that being said, a couple ways that I’ve been utilizing ai, well, first and foremost, before I started like heavily incorporating this into my business, I focused on incorporating it into kind of like the personal side of things.

Bonnie (03:56):
Like, like for me as the c e o of this business, how can I be buying back my time? How can I be doing something that will create more margin in my life so that I am able to live my life more presently? I’m able to feel more connected to myself and to the world around me and my loved ones, and I’m able to then in theory, pour some of that newfound energy back into the business in the long run. Um, so I actually started using things like chat g p t to uh, kind of take this place of like a digital personal assistant to help me free up some mental space and, and to save time. So I don’t know if you can relate, I’m the person in my house who usually takes on the bulk of kind of those like, um, home management responsibilities, like meal planning, grocery lists, things like that.

Bonnie (04:51):
And that adds a lot to my mental load. And I don’t know if you can relate, but that was a huge amount of mental space that I would’ve loved to free up for other things. So, you know, obviously I’m, I’m not belittling the responsibility of keeping everyone in this house like nourished and like well fed, but I, I really didn’t love it. Like, there are some people who love doing the meal planning and the grocery shopping and those things. Um, I’m not that person. So I started looking at things that I have to do, but that I don’t love doing, and I looked for a way to utilize specifically chat g p t to do that for me. So I started asking chat g p t, like, Hey, what is a five day meal plan for two people who have these specific allergies or food intolerances, you know, that kind of thing.

Bonnie (05:42):
And it would generate all of these ideas for me that followed, you know, our, our, our preferences, our specific dietary requests. And then when I looked through that, and you know, of course if you’ve ever used chat g p t for something similar, this happens in a matter of seconds. So it’s aggregating all this information from all over the internet, like so much faster than I could ever Google these things. And so then I look through and I say, okay, these things look great. These meals are absolutely things that I wanna try. Can you create a grocery list with all the ingredients needed to make these specific recipes? And then again, in seconds, I’ve got my entire grocery list for that week, and that saves me so much time. There are even like integrations I think through like Instacart that, um, it’ll, it’ll connect with chat G B T or something like that for you, and it’ll take that grocery list and start cultivating that order for you.

Bonnie (06:36):
So I mean, like the, the options are so endless here, but, um, you know, there are other ways that you can utilize something like chat G p t to be your own digital personal assistant. Uh, I’ve, I’ve had friends who use it to plan out travel itineraries for the next trip. I’ve personally used it to create a list of gift ideas for neighbors and friends based on their interest. And it’s also a fantastic way to gather research on specific topics. Or if I’ve got an idea of, oh, I am curious about creating, you know, um, a masterclass on this topic. Like, it’s, it’s a great tool to use for market research, which actually leads me to the second way that I have been utilizing ai. So market research is another space where chat, um, where chat G B T and Google trends especially are useful.

Bonnie (07:33):
So if you have an audience that you’re wanting to research further, you can put in the descriptors that you already know into a tool like this and ask it to find out more about these specific groups of people. So you can look at anything from common searches to, you know, kind of like what are they Googling, what are they searching for online to what are my ideal client’s biggest pain points? And, and that information can be available to you. Now granted, tools like this are aggregating the data that they have access to on the internet. So a lot of it is gonna be accurate, but it is important whenever you’re using stuff like this, especially if you’re gonna use it for client work, right? So if you are a brand designer like me who offers brand strategy, you could technically use a tool like this for, um, market research for your client as part of the strategy process.

Bonnie (08:22):
But it’s important that you do your due diligence as well and go through and make sure that that is accurate, that that sounds true, that it’s, you know, it’s, it’s up to date and current because, um, you know, these are tools that save us a lot of time and energy, but I, there’s still definitely an opportunity for us to add in that personalized touch. It’s also an opportunity if you are using a tool like this to do some market research. You can test out new messaging or refine an existing offer based on this. So it’s gonna help you create content or brand strategies that are gonna meet your ideal client right where they are. And for people who are just getting started and maybe don’t have access to sit down and do like actual interviews with ideal clients, with real living, breathing people, this can be a great way to enhance what you already are doing.

Bonnie (09:17):
Okay? Honestly, there’s so many other ways that I’ve been using tools like chat g p t specifically, um, but content creation and ideation is a big one for me. Um, if you’ve been around here for any stretch of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about how I aim to be very intentional with how I spend my time and energy. And so creating like tons and tons of content for social media is not really a priority for me. So I actually have been using AI to help with content creation and ideation. Now, let’s, let’s get it, let’s be clear here. Let’s, let’s, you know, not get it twisted. I’m not asking like chat G p t for example, to create my blog posts or my social media captions. For me, I have found as I’ve been testing this out that, um, I, I don’t love the results that it gives me, even when I train it to, you know, sound like me.

Bonnie (10:18):
It’s just, it’s just not, and that’s fine. But I do use it to comb through my past top performing content pieces to gather new ideas for me on new content I can create. So instead of sitting there with like, you know, a notebook in hand and my pencil kind of like, you know, tapping on the desk and trying to wonder like, what am I gonna talk about for the podcast next month? Or what am I gonna write for the blog next month, right? I don’t have to figure that out. If I just look at what has performed well, what people have found helpful, what has resonated with people, and put that into an AI tool, then I’m able to be more specific and I’m able to get more ideas about new content that I can create. So you wanna be specific when you’re doing this.

Bonnie (11:07):
So for example, you want to be asking chat G P T I and I’m using, there are other tools of course you can use. I personally have been playing around more specifically with that one, and it’s, it’s one of the more popular and it accessible ones out there. But here’s some things that you might wanna think about if you’re going to play around with using a tool like this for content ideation. So giving the tool a lot of context about your business and your offer, like what you do, who your ideal clients are, what their biggest pain points are, what your unique value proposition is, right? So we’re honing in on what you do and the transformation that your work work offers to your very specific ideal client. So with that in mind, knowing all that background, what is the point? What’s the goal of the content you wanna create?

Bonnie (12:02):
Are you driving people to a services page or a sales page? Are you trying to generate new inquiries for your services as a designer? Are you creating new content to add to your portfolio or to, you know, repurpose and add to Pinterest, right? So that Pinterest is showcasing your past work? Ask AI tools then with all that information to create a list of, let’s say, 10 blog post topics or social media posts or Pinterest posts that can help you do what you want to do based on your specific goal. So let’s take this example of generating more client inquiries as your goal asking chat g p T. Hey, cre, you know, knowing this background about my business, please create a list of 10 blog post topics that will help me generate more client inquiries. And one thing that I always love to do that I find gives me more context and helps me have better results with a tool like this, is I always include a sentence along the lines of, please ask me any follow-up questions needed in order to generate the best results.

Bonnie (13:14):
And then chat, g p t can come back to me and say, okay, great. I need to know more about your ideal client. I need to know more about the service you wanna book. You know, it can come back and, and talk with me about what it needs in order to do what I’m asking it to do. So then when it has all the information, I have a done for you list of 10 content themes that you can then judge up with your unique perspective, your brand voice, and really make it sound like you. So, uh, I know that, and you know, I’ve been talking about, uh, this with some of my industry friends over the last couple of months, and you absolutely can use a similar approach to this to actually write the body of the content itself. You can ask chat g p t to write a social media caption for you or to write a blog post for you.

Bonnie (14:01):
Um, so play around with it and see what you like doing. But I do, as always, I personally recommend going back over anything it creates for you to add in your brand voice to pepper in some personal anecdotes, maybe some client case studies. Make sure that it actually sounds like your existing content. And it sounds like you, of course, if you’re, uh, using an AI tool like this to create content that you’re going to use for your marketing, like for let’s say a sales page or a services page, or a marketing email or something like that, please go through and make sure that any, if you’re citing like specific facts that those are accurate, um, these tools are constantly learning and they are so sophisticated, but there’s a reason why when you use them, there are these disclaimers all over the place about like, please, you know, know that this might generate inaccurate facts.

Bonnie (14:56):
Please know that it might use outdated information. So these are tools that we’re using to help save us time and energy. Um, personally, I’m not convinced that it’s gonna like, be able to do everything for you just yet. Um, at least maybe to the standard, not to the standard that you or I might have in mind. But those are three ways that I’ve personally been playing around with AI and chat G P T specifically in my business. But there’s so many other ways you can actually, I mean, you can use it for client communication, you can use it for honing your craft. So, um, improving your skills as a designer. Um, just kind of like as a fun, like did you know that, um, there’s actually, uh, an AI tool called Good Brief. And it’s a really fun way to practice your design skills.

Bonnie (15:46):
It, it, it generates like, we’ll auto generate a design brief from scratch. So then you can take that brief and design using that inspiration, so then you can add that to your portfolio, or you can use that as social media content maybe in a slow season. Or maybe if you’re like me, you like constantly improving and constantly diving into your skills as, as a designer. So something to think about, friend. But however you’re using these tools, I encourage you to explore it in a way that saves you time and energy, so then you can spend that time and energy where and with who you want. I am curious to see how in the future these tools are just gonna continue to evolve. And, you know, if you’re tuning in today and you’re thinking, oh, there’s some other ideas that, um, this sparks for me, then I love that for you.

Bonnie (16:35):
And I hope that it just turns out to be such a fruitful use of your time and your energy. And of course, if you have any suggestions for me, um, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram. My dms are always open, and you can find me at Bonnie Joy Marie and clue me in on the way that you are using tools like AI to grow your business and to run your design business with intention. As always, I’m grateful for you. Thanks for hanging out with me today, and I’m gonna be cheering you on from Waco.

  1. Candice says:

    Thanks so much for this! ChatGPT can be such a useful tool.

    • Bonnie Bakhtiari says:

      So glad to hear this was helpful, Candice! And I totally agree–ChatGPT can be a great tool for creatives and independent business owners!

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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