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6 ways to make ChatGPT genuinely useful

We all know by now about ChatGPT – the AI language model that can help you with everything from writing content to planning a holiday. If you’ve had a go – which I’d recommend you do, you’ll quickly realise that while impressive, this tool, like all tools, is only as useful as the person using it. 

To avoid churning out uninspired lists and sleep-inducing social posts, people are now clocking onto the fact that with ChatGPT, its power is in the prompt.

Affectionately referred to as ‘prompt crafting’, knowing what to ask ChatGPT and other AI language models is predicted to be a must-have skill – at least until the inevitable mind-reading update lands.

Anyway, like it or loathe it, ChatGPT is here to stay. And people are using it to make their lives easier. To help you move past the initial buzz of asking it to write a pop song about Marmite, here’s how you can make ChatGPT genuinely useful.


1. Tell it who to be

Put ChatGPT in someone else’s shoes

We tried: You’re a personal trainer. Give me some of your frustrations with marketing your business.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try 

  • You’re a graduate graphic designer. What are you looking for in your first job?
  • Topic: The London Eye. Write a review from the perspectives of different family members.


2. Set some constraints

Tell ChatGPT what you’re looking for

We tried: Generate a table of keywords for a blog about raw dog food. Put example titles as a column.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try 

  • Summarise this chapter in less than 100 words.
  • Outline a Twitter strategy for small businesses. Use bullet points for sub topics.


3. Fine-tune the output

Continue the conversation to refine the results

We tried: Explain nuclear fusion like I’m 5 years old.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try 

  • Expand on points 2 and 3 with examples relevant to millennial couples.
  • Make the introduction more conversational.


4. Challenge a narrative

Ask ChatGPT to change perspectives

We tried: Provide 5 counter arguments for the introduction of electric cars. 25 words for each point.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try

  • I’m writing an article about AI. Provide examples that defy the mainstream view.
  • Challenge a commonly held belief about renting vs mortgages.


5. Analyse a style

Explore more dynamic content

We tried: Come up with some alternative phrasing for these brand values. Be curious. Be open. Be customer-driven. Be effective.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try

  • Analyse my short story and come up with new chapter ideas.
  • Write a poem about the Amazon rainforest in the style of Edgar Alan Poe.


6. Practice outside of work

Swap Google for ChatGPT and see how it goes

We tried: Write a mildly humorous bedtime story about a frog in Norway.

ChatGPT Prompt

Other prompts to try

  • Write a four-day itinerary for Barcelona. Budget-friendly!
  • Natural remedies for a sore throat.


Final thoughts

ChatGPT is powerful. And the possibilities for development and integration into our lives are endless. But it’s not perfect. And there’s no guarantee that anything it spits out is factual or even remotely accurate – so brands especially should proceed with cautious optimism.

At least for now, ChatGPT relies on human due diligence to get the best results, with its usefulness as a tool resting firmly on the input and imagination of those who use it. 

Edit: More final thoughts

Since writing this post, Open AI has released GPT-4, the successor to GPT-3, which I used for this post. As expected, this update brings even more mind-melting features to ChatGPT Plus users. 

As well as being able to analyse both text and images, the latest version will also be available as an API, allowing developers to build applications and services for the first time. Duolingo, Be My Eyes, Stripe, and Khan Academy are among those that have already integrated GPT-4.

Finally, let’s talk about plugins. Because this is where things get really interesting. Plugins will allow ChatGPT to use third-party services to actually do things for you. 

At the start of this blog, I mentioned using ChatGPT to plan your next holiday. Now it can book it for you too. Along with your restaurants. And do your food shop for when you get back.


Expedia, FiscalNote, Instacart, KAYAK, Klarna, Milo, OpenTable, Shopify, Slack, Speak, Wolfram, and Zapier are the first to create plugins for ChatGPT’s growing library.

Imagine all your favourite brands and services, easily accessible from one intelligent platform, without the fuss of jumping in and out of each app. Well, now you don’t have to.

For better or worse, it’s here < Try it for free!