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9 Clever Ways to Leverage AI in 2023



9 Clever Ways to Leverage AI in 2023

Are you looking for a side hustle that you can do from the comfort of your own home? Building an online business is a great way to bring in extra cash – or a full-time income. Generative AI promises to make the whole process of opening the doors of an online business easier than ever. How can you leverage ChatGPT for online business endeavors? 

Make good use of the tools available to build your small business from the ground up. Some of these tips may even help other established online businesses achieve greater success in building their brand. 

Let’s dive in. 

Brainstorm New Ideas for Marketing or Products

ChatGPT can help you with every step of the process of opening a new online business – starting with the brainstorming phase. You can tell the software a bit about your proposed business and ask what types of products might appeal to your audience. 

For example, you can feed the AI tool a prompt like:

  • Give me three product ideas for a clothing business geared toward college students
  • Give me three product ideas for a shop catering to small dogs
  • Give me five product ideas for a cleaning business

Once you come up with the products, the Chat GPT software from Open AI can also help you with the actual marketing of your product. Prompt the artificial intelligence to give you ideas on where and how to market and copy that you can use for customer-facing advertisements. 

Understand the Wants and Needs of a Target Audience

On the other hand, you may already have a product for your online businesses in mind. If this is the case, you can reverse engineer your way into finding the right target audience. Chat GPT can help your online business by suggesting who to market to. 

All you have to do is define your product and then prompt it: “Who should I market my product to?” Fill in the space for “product” with the item that you’ll be selling. 

ChatGPT will do the heavy lifting of recommending several potential target audiences, making your marketing easier than ever. 

From there, if you plan to sell physical products, you can use a tool like Jungle Scout to nail down further the specifics of a target audience or niche, and even gain valuable historical sales data.

Use ChatGPT for Web Design Suggestions

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There’s no way around it: if you want an online business, you need a website. ChatGPT can’t build a website for you, but it can help you design one. Skip hiring a fancy web designer and experiment independently with OpenAI ChatGPT. 

How does it work? 

ChatGPT can give you ideas for your website’s overall design and aesthetic. It might recommend a specific layout, an overall color scheme, or a design. You can always drill down further if you like some of its suggestions. 

The other perk to using ChatGPT for web design is that it’s capable of writing code. Once you’re happy with the suggestions that it gives you, all you have to do is ask the machine learning tool to write the code in the format that you need.

But don’t forget that you can also use a platform like Podia to help you quickly get your online business off the ground and start selling. Learn more in our full Podia review, but it’s worth checking out – especially for beginners.

Write Compelling Product Descriptions

A product description is an often overlooked part of digital marketing. The good news is that the AI technology contained within ChatGPT can help your online business to write these quickly and effectively. 

First, you’ll need to ensure you’ve done some of the heavy lifting in the earlier suggestions used with ChatGPT for online business, such as defining your target audience and selecting a product to sell. 

With this taken care of, you can ask ChatGPT to write a succinct and highly effective product description. Be specific when you prompt ChatGPT, asking it to do something like this: “Create a product description for a canvas tote bag designed for busy students to carry their technology safely to class.” 

From here, you can refine what Chat GPT gives you and make it your own. If you aren’t confident in your own writing abilities, you can ask the AI tool to rephrase certain parts, highlight features of your unique product, or expand the text that it gives you.

Don’t forget to ask it to add a call to action! 

Customer Service Chatbot 

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Are you tired of trying to handle your customer inquiries entirely alone? You can use the AI model to create a chatbot that understands your most frequently asked questions and can respond to them without your input. 

Previously, creating technology that offered customer support was time-consuming and expensive. A ChatGPT chatbot can make this experience much easier. 

Teach the tool how to answer questions that your customers ask. It may not always be able to help with customer inquiries, but it saves you lots of valuable time on those questions that don’t require a human touch. 

Take some time to comb through your online support tickets to develop a list of the most frequently asked questions. Then, use these as a framework to teach the chatbot how to respond to them.

If your online business is still so new that you don’t have a record of support tickets, try to predict what questions your customers will ask or even ask ChatGPT to brainstorm some ideas. 

Create Content to Establish Your Business as an Authority

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Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to establish your brand as an authority, but creating content can be time-consuming. Save yourself hours of slaving away over your keyboard trying to wordsmith the perfect blog post. Use the natural language processing of Chat GPT instead. 

ChatGPT can be used for every stage of content marketing, from title ideation to the actual drafting of your content. All you have to do is let it know what your brand is, what products or services you sell, and ask for ideas. 

With a title in mind, you can guide the ChatGPT chatbot to produce the type of content you want by giving it a few bullet points. Ask it for a blog post of your desired length, and you’ll have a piece of content you can post from start to finish in a few minutes. 

You can also use it to create content that you can sell, such as an ebook. Long-form content gives you a new platform where you can start to establish your voice. Not to mention, a book on a topic related to your product or service can give your online business a sense of credibility. People are impressed by books!

If you want to write a book using ChatGPT, see our full guide here to refine the text and create something you’re happy with and proud of. 

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If copywriting isn’t your forte, you might want to turn to this AI tool to help you craft compelling advertisements for social media or as a Google Ad. Simply give it the promotion you want to advertise and the platform you want to use it on. 

ChatGPT is trained to know the subtle differences in each advertisement platform’s requirements. This allows it to generate the perfect ad that needs minimal input from you. 

For example, you can ask ChatGPT to: “Write a Facebook ad for a 25% discount on a messenger bag aimed at college students.” 

While it does often write compelling copy from the start, you might need to tweak it a little bit to achieve your desired result. You can always create a new prompt for the language model, asking it to be more specific or to lean into a certain aspect of the ad with a future iteration.

Build Your Email List

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Did you know that 59 percent of people say email marketing influences buying decisions? Unlike social media marketing, where the platform technically owns your audience, an email list belongs to you alone. The question is: how can you build your email list? 

ChatGPT for online business formation makes it easier than ever to collect email addresses and engage with your audience. You can use it to create a lead magnet in a matter of minutes, giving your customers incentive to part with their email address and grant you permission to market to them.

A lead magnet could be anything from a short ebook to exclusive content you don’t publish on your website or social media.

From here, you can use ChatGPT to create a series of marketing emails to nurture those leads from cold to sold. 

You can continue to use ChatGPT to write your regular email newsletters, giving you extra space in your fans’ inboxes. This is a great way to tie in some of those promotional ideas you came up with in the last step. The people on your email list are already fans, so a discount might be the push they need to actually buy. 

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We would be remiss if we didn’t discuss how ChatGPT can help you with social media marketing. In an earlier section, we discussed how it can generate advertisements which is a great starting point. However, you can also use Chat GPT to build up your brand and connect with your audience more deeply. 

Creating ideas for what to post on social media can be time-consuming. You need to do research for images, hooks, and fresh content. 

Now, you can eliminate those steps with the conversational AI found in ChatGPT for online business. 

Get ideas for what you can post on social media with just a few taps on the keyboard. Prompt the tool to give you five or ten ideas for Facebook posts about your product. If Facebook isn’t where your audience is, you can substitute it for Instagram, Twitter, or other social media sites. 

When you like an idea that it offers, you can ask it to write the post for you. Chances are that you’ll find the chatbot to be quite clever and catchy, hitting the nail on the head right out of the gate.

All you have to do is copy and paste it into your social media scheduler.

A Final Word: How Will You Use ChatGPT for an Online Business? 

Building an online business is a lucrative way to earn a living or to start as a side hustle. Where it used to require heavy lifting, lots of research, and time spent wordsmithing your copy to perfection, ChatGPT makes it easy to get started. 

You can leverage this AI technology from defining your product or service to marketing it, saving you valuable time to get more out of your business. 

Could ChatGPT be the tool you need to finally start improving the customer experience for your brand and make more sales? 

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How I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue By Being More Transparent



How I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue By Being More Transparent

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s a common nightmare — you’re walking through a busy hallway or giving a presentation only to look down and find yourself completely naked.

We’re inherently fearful of revealing too much about ourselves, and as an entrepreneur, this likely extends to your business as well.

But based on growing my own business from nothing to over $100 million in annual revenue, I can tell you less is not more when it comes to business transparency — more is more. Being open builds trust, and trust fosters customers and relationships in droves. The only exception is not giving away your trade secrets to competitors.

Here are three effective ways to build trust with clients and prospects by being more transparent (without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed).

Related: How Transparency In Business Leads to Customer Growth and Loyalty

1. Increase sales by 18% or more by increasing your Google reviews

Nearly everyone reads reviews before purchasing. One study found a whopping 93% of people read reviews before making a purchase, and on average, reviews produce an 18% uplift in sales. In today’s online landscape, people put almost as much weight on a Google review as they do on a personal recommendation.

The best way to increase your reviews is to simply ask! According to research, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.

About four years ago, we had 486 reviews after servicing more than 90,000 clients. We started using Podium to send out texts or emails — based on customer preference — asking to leave a review on Google, the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.

By May 2024, we’d accumulated 2,312 five-star reviews, an increase of 375%. Keep in mind that our account managers have been very diligent about sending review requests to clients and only ask the clients most likely to give positive responses.

Another good way to increase reviews is to automate postcards at the close of an order thanking someone for their business and encouraging them to leave a review. A physical mailer is likely more effective than an email — one study that surveyed 1,200 consumers found that 76% trusted direct mail the most as opposed to online methods.

You might be wondering, “What about the negative reviews?” You’re always going to have a handful of bad reviews, but people look at the ratio of good vs. bad. If you have far more five-star reviews than one-star reviews, they’ll disregard the negative ones and assume it’s not the norm.

2. Improve lead generation by 105% by sharing your clients’ success stories

Sharing real marketing results has always been a priority for my business, PostcardMania. We currently have 944 marketing case studies and 139 video case studies that document real people sharing campaign specifics that led to more leads, revenue and new customers for their businesses.

We share these case studies far and wide with prospects via email and postcards in the mail to increase trust. But more recently, we began incorporating these stories into video social media ads. During a recent earnings call by Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 50% of all people’s time on Facebook and Instagram is spent watching videos, so naturally, we went that direction to gain more eyes on our services.

We put our 139 video case studies — real business owners talking about their successful campaigns — to work for us on Facebook and Instagram.

As a result, our social media leads doubled. In 2022, our average number of social media leads per week was 174, and then in 2023, the average lead count increased to 356 a week! That’s a 105% increase.

Of course, our use of social media in this case is part of a larger multi-channel marketing strategy that ties direct mail and digital ads together, so I suggest a similar approach if you want to see the same results (we’ve actually packaged our successful approach into a single affordable marketing bundle called Everywhere Small Business due to high demand from our clients to replicate this method). Campaigns that uniquely combine print and digital advertising using hyper-targeted mailing lists and lookalike audiences have been proven to work time and time again, so I highly recommend them.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, your customers’ success stories can be compiled and incorporated into your marketing plan to grow your customer base.

Related: How Problem-Solving Case Studies Help You Market Your Business

3. Convert prospects faster by dropping the velvet rope and inviting them in

Being transparent online will help build a positive image of your brand and bring in more customers — but you can also take this one step further and let prospects visit your business and interact with your products or services in person. One report revealed that 79% of customers want brands to go above and beyond what they are required to reveal and give more information, with two-thirds of them saying they would switch brands for more in-depth data.

At PostcardMania, we welcome clients to visit us and take a tour of our in-house printing facility. We also have a marketing conference twice a year where clients can meet their marketing consultants face-to-face and learn more about our business behind the scenes. These clients often end up being some of our best and longest-lasting relationships! You can do the same by hosting an event and opening your doors to the public. It doesn’t have to be a conference — you can start small with something as simple as a night of snacks and entertainment.

Related: 3 Ways to Personalize Your Marketing for Higher Engagement

Free samples are also a great way to show customers exactly what they are getting before they make a commitment. This doesn’t always apply to every business, but you can try to find a way to allow prospects to interact with your product or service on a deeper, more physical level.

Incorporate any of these tactics, and you’ll show prospects the most authentic side of you and your business. Believe me when I say trading in your fears about being super transparent for bold authenticity will reap real rewards in long-term growth and customer loyalty.

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The 10 Best and Worst States to Start a Small Business



The 10 Best and Worst States to Start a Small Business

There are many important things to consider when launching your own business or side hustle, and location is at the top of the list. Local and state laws can mean different taxes, zoning regulations and licensing requirements, so it pays to be strategic about your choice of state, city and even neighborhood, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Related: 5 Things Not to Do When You’re Running a Small Business

After all, some 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years of being open, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also found that 45% of businesses fail within the first five years. That number jumps to 65% after 10 years.

Capital on Tap, a company that offers a credit card and spending management platform for small business owners, analyzed BLS data to determine the percentage of startups that are still active after three years — and broke down the U.S. states with the highest and lowest chance of survival in three- and five-year time frames.

“There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., making up an enormous percentage of the economy, and as this number continues to grow, so will innovation and commercial drive,” says Damian Brychcy, chief executive officer at Capital on Tap. “This research should serve as a positive sign to entrepreneurs in the top ten states who are thinking about starting a business.”

Image Credit: John Coletti | Getty Images. Boston, Massachusetts.

Qualities of business-friendly states

Before diving into the data, it’s important to consider what factors make a state attractive for new business owners. And it’s about more than just starting a business. The following factors can help keep small companies afloat and lead to ongoing success:


Perhaps the most important factor of all, a business-friendly tax environment can keep costs down and put more money in your pockets. There are payroll, employment, income and corporate taxes to worry about, all of which can affect decisions around hiring and expansion. Some states also offer tax incentives for small businesses, which can remove expensive hurdles. Reviewing a self-employed tax schedule in your area can help.


If you want to run a healthy, growing business, you’ll almost certainly be hiring employees. The best states for small businesses will have a plethora of available talent and a workforce with high levels of college education. Starting a business near a college or university can also attract interest from recent graduates. This is especially prominent in the technology industry.


State policies regarding small businesses involve more than just taxes and deductions. Government programs can offer business owners grants and loans and incentivize investment from larger funders. Compliance is another factor. States can lower the costs of business by removing regulatory red tape, such as required government approvals or clearances.

Growth potential

You want to start your business somewhere it can thrive in both the short- and long-term. A number of factors can support this — for example, funding, investment in infrastructure and livability. A close proximity to sources of financing can help your company grow, as long as the area can support your workers and their families. States and cities with a low cost of living, good schools and solid infrastructure will not only attract talent but keep it.

U.S. states/territories with the highest rate of small business survival, per Capital on Tap 


1year average (%)

3year average (%)

5year average (%)









South Dakota












North Dakota
















North Carolina





With elite universities, a thriving tech hub, a strong economy and a highly educated workforce, Massachusetts tops the list. Nearly 82% of small businesses survive their first year. Boston is also a growing hub for STEM jobs and is home to many investors and potential employees. The state also boasts a strong Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) that provides tax and property incentives for job creators.


Not only does Wisconsin have a relatively low cost of living, but the state has one of the nation’s best public university systems (read: highly educated workforce) and a business-friendly government that offers tax credits, low-interest loans and grants to small companies. Wisconsin also runs a public-private capital initiative through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which recently announced a $100 million investment in the state’s startups.

South Dakota

Taxes are the big selling point for starting a business in South Dakota. With no corporate income, personal income, property or business inventory taxes, the state makes running a small company affordable for owners. The state is highly affordable and has very few regulations, both of which lower overall business costs.


Almost 81% of small businesses survive their first year in Minnesota, a feat that can be credited to the state’s supportive business environment, educated workforce and relative affordability for a high quality of life. Minnesota also has nine small business development centers throughout the state, which offer consulting, mentoring, networking opportunities and access to capital.


With a high quality of life and low cost of living, Iowa is an attractive place to start and expand a small company. One of the biggest factors is extremely low energy and utility costs, which is especially important for manufacturing. Iowa cities also offer property tax incentives for small businesses and some of the nation’s lowest workers’ compensation costs.

U.S. states/territories with the lowest rate of small business survival, per Capital on Tap 


1year average (%)

3year average (%)

5year average (%)





District of Columbia




New Mexico












New Hampshire
















Rhode Island





Less than 43% of new businesses in Washington are still running after five years, thanks to expensive real estate, complex regulations and the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage ($16.28/hour). The state’s business and occupation tax is also calculated based on gross receipts, not overall profits, so businesses with slim margins will especially struggle.

District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., is one of the most expensive metro areas in the country, both in terms of real estate and overall cost of living. That means high salaries and high rents for offices or storefronts. The city’s business income tax and regulatory requirements are also relatively high, both of which can cut into profit margins.

New Mexico

High unemployment rates and limited access to capital make New Mexico a challenging state to open a small business. Skilled workers are lacking compared to surrounding states, and complex regulations can be a burden for business owners. More than 23% of small businesses fail within their first year.


Although Florida claims to be a thriving hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses, the data tells a different story: More than 55% of small businesses fail within five years. One of the biggest factors is the increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes, which has led to rising insurance costs. This affects both the available workforce and a company’s bottom line as premiums skyrocket.


Almost 23% of new businesses fail within their first year in Nevada, and that’s despite no corporate or individual income taxes. Part of the challenge is local governments: regulations vary widely depending on your city of choice, with different requirements for specific licenses and fees. A heavy reliance on tourism can also backfire when travel to the state falls off, such as during the pandemic.

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How the Peak Travel Season Will Impact Payment Fraud



How the Peak Travel Season Will Impact Payment Fraud

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes an influx of vacationers ready to explore new destinations. As the summer travel season begins, businesses operating within travel and hospitality must adopt robust strategies to manage the anticipated increase in transaction volumes and fraud risks. These strategies must also effectively manage disputes and chargebacks during a peak travel period that’s expected to break records.

Americans are still choosing to prioritize their vacations despite challenges like international unrest and rising prices. Projections from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggest we’ll see a record-breaking summer travel season in 2024, with officials anticipating the busiest travel season ever.

52% of consumers say they plan to travel as much in 2024 as last year, with another 40% saying they expect to travel even more. These prospective travelers already have significant budgets set aside for these trips.

Millennials and Gen Z are the driving forces behind this trend. People in this cohort tend to prioritize experiences over material goods and seek a healthy work-life balance to explore new places and cultures. They’re also heavily influenced by social media, where many influencers showcase travel as part of an aspirational lifestyle.

This surge in travel drives global business at every level of the economy, but it also creates a heightened sense of risk. For businesses, effectively managing fraud and chargeback risk year-round is crucial to navigating the travel space.

Let’s explore the best strategies and tactics for managing these threats, whether in-house, hybrid or outsourced, and why asking for help might be the most effective course of action this year.

Related: How a Bad Billing Descriptor Can Cost You

The challenges ahead

While a travel boom is fantastic for businesses and local economies, it poses significant challenges that underscore the necessity of comprehensive fraud and chargeback management. An exceptionally busy travel season can aggravate existing chargeback triggers already intrinsic to the travel space. We may see:

  1. Increased Transaction Volume. The sheer volume of transactions during peak travel seasons makes managing and monitoring every transaction closely difficult. This increased volume can overwhelm internal systems, leading to errors and delays in handling disputes, contributing to more chargebacks.
  2. Fraudulent Activities. Fraudsters take advantage of the busy season, knowing that the high transaction volumes can mask their activities. From fake travel deals to phishing emails, the types of fraud targeting travelers are diverse and sophisticated, increasing the likelihood of chargebacks from unauthorized transactions.
  3. Overbooked Flights and Hotel Shortages. High demand can lead to overbooked flights and sold-out hotels. When travelers are bumped from flights or denied rooms, dissatisfaction spikes. So, too, does the number of chargebacks as customers dispute charges for services they didn’t receive.
  4. Poor Customer Service. Understaffing is common during peak periods, resulting in longer wait times, unresolved complaints and poor service. Frustrated customers often turn to chargebacks to resolve their grievances when they feel neglected or mistreated.
  5. Operational Strain. Handling a surge in transactions requires a well-prepared operational setup. Without it, companies might fail to process payments and refunds promptly, further aggravating customers and leading to more disputes and chargebacks.
  6. Financial and Reputational Impact. Chargebacks result in financial losses due to refunds and fees. However, they also damage a company’s reputation with customers and hurt their relationships with financial institutions. High chargeback rates can result in higher processing fees and, in severe cases, the loss of merchant processing privileges.

Considering what’s at stake, you can see why it’s incredibly urgent to prioritize effective chargeback management. Aside from saving time and money, it can also help boost customer trust during the peak travel season.

Managing chargebacks: In-house, hybrid or outsourced?

Travel operators can adopt one of three chargeback management strategies to handle the increased demand and the potential challenges outlined above.

First, they can manage everything in-house. This involves maintaining a dedicated team to manage disputes, enhance customer support and refine fraud detection systems. While this approach offers direct control, it can be resource-intensive and requires constant updates and training to stay updated on new fraud tactics and regulatory changes.

A second option is to outsource everything. This allows travel companies to benefit from specialized expertise and advanced technologies without the burden of maintaining an in-house team. Third-party providers can offer scalable solutions, real-time fraud detection and comprehensive chargeback prevention strategies. However, it can also mean that merchants lack insight.

As a third option, merchants can try taking a more hybrid approach. Combining internal efforts with external support lets businesses leverage advanced technologies and knowledge from third-party providers while retaining some control over the process. This approach provides a balance between direct oversight and external expertise.

Related: How to Fight Fraud and Chargebacks Should Regulation Fail

Industry collaboration

As we gear up for a record-setting summer, it’s clear that improved industry collaboration could be the key to addressing fraud and chargebacks.

We could consider the transformative potential of open data and artificial intelligence (AI) within the tourism industry. Combining an open data strategy with AI can enhance decision-making processes, helping to personalize customer experiences and optimize operations.

By harnessing open data, businesses can gain valuable insights into traveler preferences and behaviors. This insight can be refined using AI to forecast trends and tailor services.

Related: Think You Can’t Win Against Chargebacks? Think Again.

Open data and AI will have a much more symbiotic relationship in the future. The kind of collective effort that open data demands will create a more secure environment for our customers and protect our businesses from the financial strain of chargebacks. These technologies promise to boost efficiency and innovation in tourism, help manage threats and enhance the overall travel experience.

Ultimately, travel operators need to be proactive. By adopting the right strategies and fostering collaboration across the industry, operators can thrive during this busy travel season and create a better experience for all travelers.

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