AI for Freelancers: How to (Responsibly) Use AI to Grow Your Business

Explore the power of AI in freelancing! Learn how to increase productivity, unlock creativity, and elevate your freelance business using innovative AI tools.

Change and innovation cause disruption. That disruption can be good or bad, and it’s often a mix of both. Just as journalists had to pivot to SEO and content marketing to stay relevant in the age of social media, so too will AI tools and machine learning make some roles obsolete and create the need for new ones.

There will be a period during the transition when careers will be jeopardized, as roles from data scientist to software development are impacted or made redundant by generative AI. Freelancers are well-positioned to fill that skill gap and create opportunities for themselves as AI experts if they stay smart, remain flexible, and keep an open mind to the possibilities AI tools present for them.

This post will explore the way AI tools are changing the way freelancers work, how it’s changing the digital marketing space, and offer ways that freelancers can make it work for them.

AI Tools Are Changing the Way We Work

Sooner or later, artificial intelligence will work its way into every industry, content creation and copywriting included. The change is already underway. The World Economic Forum reports that up to 85 million jobs may be replaced by AI machines by 2025.

As a freelancer, you can choose to either react in fear that your skills may be made obsolete by AI technology or you can be proactive and seek out opportunities to use tools like Jasper and ChatGPT to make more freelance income and grow your business.

Freelance writers and content creators have more flexibility than full-time employees and can pivot to adapt to the growing demand for skills related to AI tools. The freelance marketplace Fiverr reported a 1,400% increase in demand for AI-related skills and services over the last six months.

Here are some of the new roles and job titles we can anticipate as the demand for AI skills continues to grow:

AI Prompt Engineers

Machine learning algorithms and generative AI tools still require human input.

AI tools need someone to give it the right input to produce the desired report. AI prompt engineers craft prompts for AI tools so they execute the desired task and standardize the best results into documented templates.

Freelancers with a background in copywriting can position themselves as AI prompt engineers and can use their skills to properly train deep learning algorithms. They also set up the automation for AI tools to consistently achieve certain tasks and goals.

AI Content Creators

Generative AI technology can mimic human conversational patterns more than ever thanks to how far natural language processing (NLP) has come. However, it’s not yet at the point where it can replace the creative process entirely or create high-quality content on its own.

Talented AI content creators and freelance writers can make use of AI content tools to automate repetitive tasks like proofreading, enhancing their content, and aligning their messaging with their target audience.

AI Artists

Graphic designers and artists can build AI tools into their workflows to quickly create logos, illustrations, and images faster than they could on their own, or else use AI art tools like Jasper Art or DALL-E-2 to inspire them and test out different ideas before putting pen to tablet.

AI Ethicist

AI tools are fascinating, valuable, and extremely capable in the hands of an AI expert, but it’s a new and potentially dangerous technology. It can be extremely destructive in the hands of terrorists, cybercriminals, authoritarian governments, and other bad actors.

As the ethics behind generative AI language models and their use takes shape, AI strategists who are trained in the ethical use of AI and machine learning will have to make sure that AI tools are aligned with human values, with a focus on privacy concerns and labor exploitation.

Best Practices for Using AI Tools as a Freelancer

Generative AI tools can create many new, exciting, and lucrative opportunities for freelancers and entrepreneurs who can pivot quickly and upskill to meet the rising demand for AI experts.

Lauren Crawford, the founder and CEO of AI copywriting agency Imperative Copy, says that AI is still new territory, and freelancers are still figuring out how to make it work best for them by trial and error.

“Firstly, they need to develop a healthy mindset about AI and learn how to view the technology as an asset—not a competitor,” Crawford says. “They can also learn how to use the tools to create more value propositions for their clients. Freelancers can easily quadruple their income by learning about the ROI potential of AI and how the technology can affect their pricing structure, helping them scale their income.”

Here are some of the ways freelancers can use AI tools to quickly grow and scale their freelance business:

1. Identify Your Needs

Start by determining which aspects of your workflows and your business can be improved with AI tools. This may include content creation, invoicing and financial management, research, and project management.

Focus on the areas where AI tools can have the most significant impact on your efficiency and productivity.

2. Research AI Tools

Several options for AI tools and platforms fulfill specific needs or are best suited for specific tasks—be it graphic design, copywriting, or video creation.

As you build machine learning tools into your workflows, read reviews, compare different features, and use free trials to experiment with different platforms, and use the ones that best align with your requirements and existing processes.

3. Start Small and Scale Up

As with any new process, you need to test it on a small scale before you implement it across your business, and it’s the same with AI. Start with a single platform and get familiar with its functionality before you go on to using more complex AI tools or using multiple at once.

4. Invest in Skillbuilding

Many generative AI platforms offer tutorials, webinars, or online resources to help you get the most out of their features. Make the most out of them, as you familiarize yourself with the AI platform and gain a more intimate understanding of how it works.

Learning about AI tools and how they work isn’t a one-and-done endeavor but an ongoing task. Stay up-to-date with current developments in AI and continually refine your skills.

5. Maintain Human Oversight

While AI tools can be incredibly useful, they’re not infallible. One of the biggest drawbacks of the latest GPT-powered text generators is that they can be convincingly wrong—making results that sound believable but contain errors.

Always review any AI-generated content for accuracy, and make sure it stays consistent with your brand voice. At all times, maintain your creative control, and use AI to support your copywriting rather than replace it.

6. Address Ethical Considerations

As AI technology continues to evolve, be a good human and commit to using AI responsibly and transparently. However you use it, ensure that you’re using AI tools in a way that considers data privacy, security, and algorithmic biases. The onus is on you to use AI tools as a force for good in the world.

Future Development in AI Tools—and What They Mean for Freelancers

AI technology is rapidly changing at a pace that’s becoming harder to keep up with. OpenAI released ChatGPT-4 in February, and there are murmurs in the digital marketing space of GPT-5 on the rise.

It’s important that, as a freelancer, you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in AI and are open to learning new skills and adapting to new technologies as they emerge.

Another way you can prepare for the disruption caused by AI tools is to develop skills that artificial intelligence can’t replicate, like creativity and collaboration.

As AI technology advances, several future developments could significantly impact freelancers and their work:

  • Improved Natural Language Understanding: AI tools are becoming better at understanding context and nuances in human conversational patterns. NLP can help freelancers be more productive and create more high-quality content at scale.
  • Seamless Integration of AI Tools: When AI tools become more available, there will be more ways to integrate them into your existing tech stack, so they can be used more efficiently. Jasper recently released integrations with tools like Zapier, Make, Google Sheets, Google Docs, and more.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Advancements in AI technology can facilitate real-time collaboration between freelancers and their clients, they can complete projects faster and communicate more effectively.
  • Customizable AI tools: As AI tools evolve, you may have the option to customize AI platforms and features to suit your needs as a freelance writer for a more personalized user experience.
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