‘Ello ello, you fabulous freelancers. So, tell me…how’s January 2023 been then? This sodding month can go either way... Has it been a case of smack back to reality and all systems go? Or has the freelance ocean been pretty calm, giving you the opportunity to sail at your own pace — where you can make use of the quiet time to plan out the year ahead before the storm eventually hits?
‘Ello ello, you fabulous freelancers.
So, tell me…how’s January 2023 been then? This sodding month can go either way...
Has it been a case of smack back to reality and all systems go? Or has the freelance ocean been pretty calm, giving you the opportunity to sail at your own pace — where you can make use of the quiet time to plan out the year ahead before the storm eventually hits?
As freelancers, we know all too well about the storm…don’t we? At some point, it’s going to hit. It’s just a matter of when.
The calm before the storm is where we shine
There really is no better place to be for us freelancers. No big deadlines, no late nights, no stress, no ‘all hands on deck’.
Just us and our future. A clear horizon. Smooth sailing.
It’s during this calm we aim to catch up on vital correspondence, reach out to quiet clients, make much needed new connections and opportunities.
We also must use this time to draft that proposal to a client in order to entice them on something and generate lots of new work.
Or, we stop twiddling our thumbs, bite the bloody bullet, and publish that online job post with the hope of finding some trusted, talented hired-help for the year ahead. You always think about it…but you never do it. You keep allowing the work to drown you.
Oh my gosh! We have all this free time and we don’t know what to do with it. It becomes uncharted territory, a little foggy — we drift off course and lose sight of the horizon.
Then the storm hits! Your deadlines are back. And your future back on hold.
Maybe A.I could be the first mate you’ve always needed
Behind every great captain is a great second-in-command. While you keep your eyes on the horizon — the bigger picture, the destination if you will — your first mate handles the day-to-day.
That’s right! How can we use this brand spankin’ new writing A.I to our advantage as freelancers, the same way a client would? Instead of it being a threat to our futures, perhaps it could be the secret to our success?
I really want to persuade a new prospective client that launching a blog page on their website is the best thing they can do this year. I just can’t be arsed putting too much time into thinking about what to say. Okay, my little first mate…take command of the ship!
My goodness, so professional and on point! Four terrific arguments that I couldn’t agree more with. I need to pull back on the corporate jargon a little bit, and add my own personality, but this can be sent before lunch.
And you know what? I really ought to start getting serious about terms and conditions with my clients this year, before I write a single letter. Not only does it protect me, it also makes me look good. But…ugh! I’m dreading even thinking about it. Where do I begin? How do I write one? Do I need to pony up the dough for some small business legal service?
Wait a minute! Lightbulb moment. I know who to delegate this to…
Wow! My first mate is now also my personal attorney.
See what I mean, guys? See how I’m already closer to my future success…in a matter of minutes? The bow of my ship is piercing through the waves.
Whatever your freelance profession is…I highly recommend using this new tech to do things ‘faster, better, cheaper’ as well — the same way any client thinks.
Perhaps it’s time to promote your first mate to captain also?
Now, you might be thinking, and rightfully so, that your artificially intelligent first mate has been so instrumental behind the scenes towards your success…why not give them a shot in the limelight itself?
Listen, I’m totally onboard (pun intended) with that question. It really gets you thinking and imagining, doesn’t it?…
The second the storm hits and a client drops into my inbox out of the blue, asking me if I can write some simple how-to blog content with a typically tight turnaround — perhaps this is a chance for my first mate to really shine? I don’t want this uninspired job taking up too much of my precious time.
Or maybe I get tasked with an urgently needed 5-part email drip campaign for a client's new offer. No thinking required — simply ask my first mate to do all the donkey work…and I’ll do a little finessing.
Actually, ye know what…I really need to start drafting that landing page hero text for a client’s new skincare line. There is too much to think about with their product — I’m so anxious about hitting the blank page and getting it wrong. I could easily play this safe with my first mate, who can give me some basic material to work with at the very least.
Look at me delegating. Look at me winning back my time!
Wait? Hold on a second. This feels weird. Do my clients deserve this? These are the people who like me, took a chance on me, hired me for my voice, and deem me worthy enough to be paid.
Anybody can use an A.I tool and simply do it themselves, right? So, why hire me at all?
It’s your ship. It’s your orders. But it’s not your ocean.
This is where we get into the ethics of all this.
At the end of the day, you can choose how you want to this new tech at your own peril with clients. If you wanna let ChatGPT do ninety percent of the labour, and you edit the remaining ten and pass it off as your own "original work”...by all means go ahead and send it.
But if your client starts suspecting that you aren’t actually writing from scratch, and takes the leap of faith to ask if you are in fact using a bot writer tool to generate material — what happens next is up to you…
Do you lie and tell them no? Do you believe it’s none of their business either way? Or perhaps, it really isn’t of any concern to you at all and you quite happily admit to it? — knowing full well that A.I is just a tool, nothing more, no different to a designer using Photoshop.
Actually, let’s pretend the client doesn’t even have the decency to politely ask you, but instead runs your “original work” through one to the A.I detector tools that have already begun flooding the marketplace as a response to all this, and finds some inconsistencies. They call you out on it…no different to a professor doing the exact same thing to a student's recent research paper.
Do you get defensive? Do you get pissed off? How do you respond?
All of sudden…the sea is no longer just stormy — but the waters have become dark, murky, and messy too. What a dilemma you’ve created here. You chose to disrespect the ocean, and got your comeuppance.
Where do you draw the line between a faster path to your financial future using all this new “artificial intelligence,” and your personal ethics?
I’ll leave the decision with you, Captain.
I’m just here for the ride…
Feature: Tara Winstead