I used to be one of those people who prided myself in how busy I was, regularly working 80-plus hours a week. I started a public relations (PR) agency with a vision of helping people make a bigger impact through media exposure. Starting any business can be a lot of work, especially one with lofty goals. This meant I wore all the hats in the beginning: sales, marketing, content creation, fulfillment and everything in between.
No matter how much progress I made in my business, it always felt like I needed to work more. For years, I wore my “busyness” like a badge of honor and loved telling people how hectic my life was… until I completely burned out. After years of grinding, I realized I needed to reevaluate what I was doing with my life and what my priorities were.
Overworking was not making me happy, nor was it making me the money I felt I should be earning to match all the effort and time I was putting in. During reflection and taking a break from work, I realized that optimizing my time was far more important than how many hours I put in.
With a clearer mind, I started to explore the tools and strategies that could help me accomplish more with less time and effort while still growing my business and pushing me toward my financial goals. That’s when I realized I should be leveraging the power and efficiency of artificial intelligence, and I began to learn how to make money with AI.
Use AI to save time and effort
On my journey to reclaim my time, I discovered that AI tools could allow me to complete more in less time. In 2021, I experimented with copywriting tools like Jasper and Copy.ai. Soon, I realized I didn’t need to work 80 hours a week when AI tools could save me more than half of my workload.
Using AI tools increased my business revenue and personal income because I had more time to focus on the higher-level strategies that made the business more money—I could focus on CEO work instead of spending most of my time on the business’ day-to-day operations.
My company started incorporating AI within our application and other forms, using AI customer service tools like DigitalGenius. The AI tools efficiently collected and analyzed information on who could be a great client for us.
We used Chatbase to create custom AI chatbots for customer service. We feed the AI tool data, and it manages customer service tasks. The AI tool can create a ChatGPT-like bot that offers different ways to improve sales and customer support using data. We also use Sonix for transcribing conversations and meetings for pennies, replacing other manual services that were charging $1.50 a minute.
How to make money with AI in 2024: Assign it manual tasks
I started assigning manual tasks to AI tools, having one of my team members oversee the application. The results? Our business has grown by an additional million dollars in revenue with less effort—and I am enjoying life. And I definitely haven’t been the only one learning how to make money with AI in 2024.
“AI drastically reduces my time on the lowest-value and most energy-draining tasks in my business, like writing copy, corporate communications, etc.,” says Ashley Couto, a business owner and AI marketing consultant and trainer.
“As a marketer, most of my week was in production mode, where I’d create marketing collateral from scratch,” Couto says. “With AI, these tasks take a fraction of the time, and I can more easily outsource them and do so at a lower cost. I can train overseas team members to become skilled, prompt engineers and help them leverage tools like ChatGPT and Grammarly to produce work that’s 95% done. Most of my week now centers on strategy, data-driven optimization and relationship building.”
Use AI as a collaborator
AI is more than simply understanding ChatGPT prompts—it’s harnessing a suite of powerful learning tools. Using the right AI tools is essential, and when done right, business leaders can increase productivity, get more done in less time, optimize performance and even have fun in the process.
“AI serves as my creative collaborator; very few things in my business aren’t done in partnership with AI,” Couto says. “I always lead the direction, but AI helps me stress test my assumptions, consider alternative paths and solutions and easily isolate the data points that will impact revenue growth for myself and my clients.”
AI has been one of the single best additions to society and the business world in decades. In our company, we use WooSender as a sales assistant. It reaches out to people interested in our services, automatically looks at our salesperson’s calendar and schedules appointments with prospects. The AI tool communicates updates and does follow-ups with potential customers. In our business, it can perform the work of two salespeople.
We also use Chorus, part of ZoomInfo, which monitors every Zoom sales call our sales teams have and gives them feedback backed by 14 technology patents that leverage proprietary machine learning. My managers and I can also go in and see where changes need to be made in sales calls based on the input from Chorus. Both of these sales tools have significantly increased business revenue.
How solopreneurs can use AI to make money
If you’re a solopreneur or small agency, you can use AI to make money. Learn the systems, tools and ways to use it to help others, and you can become an AI entrepreneur.
Develop deep knowledge of a particular set of AI tools and offer those as services or training to customers who are too busy or otherwise resistant to learning AI—they can hire you to do it for them.
AI is still relatively new to society, even though it has existed since the 1950s. This creates opportunities to study, learn, use and become an AI expert who can build a business helping others understand and use AI.
“In the last two months, we made $627,000 in one of our businesses using AI,” says Alicia Lyttle, entrepreneur at alicialyttle.com. “In the previous year [pre-AI], it took us six months to reach that revenue.
“We use AI tools such as Midjourney for SMS communication messages and images, Gamma to create summit PowerPoints, ChatGPT to create courses and ElevenLabs to clone our voice in marketing. Our cloned voice marketing videos outperform some non-AI videos, with one of the videos reaching over a million views.”
Learning how to use AI will make you indispensable
If you’re a career professional, AI has many practical uses that can make you more efficient at your job, commanding a higher salary as you become a more valuable employee.
The AI tools you can learn help with sales, design, content, presentations and research. For all the avenues it takes to run a company, there’s an AI tool that can help.
Some common AI tools you can learn are:
Canva for graphics and design
Grammarly for editing and crafting better content
Wordtune for summarizing and rewriting content
VEED for editing and improving videos
Beautiful.ai for presentations, event announcements and graphics
These AI tools encompass the various aspects of your job and can make you more efficient at what you do. As you accomplish more in less time, your employer will take notice, which can impact how often you get a raise or promotion.
You can become indispensable if few within your company understand how to use AI tools. Right now, AI interests many companies. You could become an AI wizard and “recession proof” your current job or use the skills you develop with AI to help you find any job you want.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, budding entrepreneur or career professional, AI can help you save time, do tasks with increased efficiency and make more money. It’s worth taking the time to learn about AI and its various tools.
In the past six months alone, AI has added over $2.7 million dollars to my business while helping me save time and spend that free time on the things that are important to me. And what’s most exciting is that we are just getting started. There’s so much opportunity on the horizon.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of SUCCESS Magazine. Photo by Lyubov Levitskaya/Shutterstock.com
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