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Introduction to generative AI for agencies

This SAGA Member Webinar is available only to individuals with active memberships. Login or join to gain access.
Webinar presented live on April 20, 2023

With all of the talk about artificial intelligence and what it means for agencies, it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise.

What can this new technology do for you? What generative AI solutions already exist that agencies should be experimenting with and potentially taking advantage of today?

In this webinar, Chip Griffin walks through some specific examples of how agencies can use currently available tools to produce better results for clients and improve efficiency.

He shows you some of the most popular text and image creation tools so that you can see how they work and start to consider how you might use them in your own work.

Hello and welcome to today’s SAGA webinar on introduction to generative AI for agencies. I’m your host, Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance. And we’re gonna be talking about something that is a hot topic today, something that I know many of you have asked me about and are talking about amongst yourselves and perhaps even experimenting with a bit.

And that is how we can use all of these recent developments in AI to help our agencies be more efficient, to generate better results for our clients, and also hopefully, perhaps be a little bit more profitable. So with that, let us go into talking about what the housekeeping items are before we dive into the actual topics.

First of all, the webinar replay will be available for SAGA Pro members. You’ll just log into the replay tab on the website and you can access them. If you are a SAGA Pro member and there’s more information about SAGA Pro membership on the website. If you’d like to ask a question today because you’re participating live, feel free to use the q and a function.

It should be at the bottom of your screen. If you submit your questions at any point throughout the webinar, I will take them at the end from folks who are participating live. And if you’re watching the replay, you can simply email chip@smallagencygrowth.com and I’d be happy to try to answer it as best I can.

Of course, if you’re watching live and have a question you’d like to ask, but not publicly, I can also field that at that email address as well. If you’re talking about this webinar on social media, I would encourage you to use the hashtag agencyleadership so it’s easy for folks to find. And finally, if you’d like to learn more about SAGA or the resources we have or other upcoming webinars and events, just visit smallagencygrowth.com.

So with that housekeeping stuff out of the way, let’s talk about what we’ll be covering over the course of today’s webinar. First of all, I’ll speak a little bit about what the current state of AI is, particularly as it is relating to agencies. Then I’m gonna go through a bunch of ideas for how you might be using, might be able to use AI already for your agencies today.

I’ll talk about some advice for using some of the most popular tools, and then we’ll walk through assuming the, the services cooperate. And it’s always risky to do these in live webinars, but we will be showing ChatGPTand Midjourney and some examples of how those work because I know a lot of you have, have heard about them, but you haven’t had a chance to kick the tires yet.

So we’ll walk through a couple of quick examples just to show you what they look like and get you started on the road to experimentation yourself. So let’s talk about where AI is today and, and obviously there have been a huge number of developments just since the end of 2022. And I, I think probably one of the best ways to describe it is, is someone said to me, you know, right now generative AI is the worst it is ever going to be.

And when you think about that, that sounds negative, but it’s really a positive. It means that we’re only going to continue to see improvements in all of these services, and there’s been plenty of discussion about some of the problems that they have and some of the risks that are associated with them.

And I’ll touch on that a little bit as we go forward because there are ways that you can try to mitigate that in the work that you’re doing and the ways that you’re using those tools. But I think the, the important thing to remember is simply that it is going to continue to advance, and I don’t think any of us in the agency world should view this as a threat.

I think this is a huge opportunity. I have had some agency owners come to me and say, well, geez, you know, if there’s these AI tools that will write blog posts and press releases, why would anybody ever pay us to do it? And I think that’s the wrong way of looking at it, because these AI tools are that just that they are a tool.

And you’ll see if you haven’t already experimented with them yourself, that they don’t operate on autopilot. They do require some expertise in order to get the most out of them. And so if your agency is developing these capabilities to interact with the tools that exist today and that will exist in the future, you’ll put yourself in a better position to provide the results that clients are looking for.

Also, keep in mind that a lot of the work that the AI is doing today are things that can be a piece of a larger puzzle. So if you were an agency that was simply churning out low quality blog posts for SEO purposes, yeah, I think, I think generative AI probably is a threat for you. I know most of the agencies in the SAGA community are not that, and to the extent that they are using blog posts and other things like that, it is part of a broader strategy, a broader approach, and there is more thought leadership and expertise woven into those pieces than what you can currently get with the AI but it’s like anything else. Just as we’ve seen new media come out, whether that’s, you know, radio followed by television, followed by the internet, followed by video, all of these things have developed along the way, and the agencies that succeed are those that are able to continue to adapt and to harness the power of these tools rather than cowering from them and worrying about what it will do to their business.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a varying state of maturity for all of these products. There are things that we’ve probably been using for a while now that we don’t think of as AI but really kind of are. So many of you are using some of the automated transcription tools that are out there and we’ll talk about that a little bit today because they continue to advance and make progress in becoming better and more efficient at what they do.

But that’s a form of AI and that’s something that’s really helpful for many of us in the agency world. And we’ll talk about some specific examples of how you might leverage that even more so than you are today. There are other things like the image generation that we’ll look at that are much more in their infancy.

And while they can do some great things, they also do have some real challenges and it’s not as good as it’s going to be. And so I think we will see a lot more progression there. And then finally, I guess the, the way that I would encourage you to think about AI and particularly generative AI today, is that it is very much like having an intern.

The vast majority of what you get from them will be, you know, decent workman-like quality. Some of it will amaze you at how good it is. It’s just fantastic and you’re, you just are really impressed. And then occasionally it’ll just be awful and you’ll sit there and say, okay, this didn’t work. We need to, to go back to the drawing board.

I need to help you as an intern, do your job better. Or perhaps I’ve asked you to do something that’s just beyond what your capabilities are. The AI is very similar to that. And we’ll look at some of the examples of where it can excel and where maybe it is more likely to have some. So let’s talk about some of those specific ways that you might be leveraging AI even today in your agency.

And I think the important thing to remember here is that it is not just experimental. There is an experimental component to it, but there are things that you can actually put to work today in your agency that will be helpful. And I mentioned before transcription because I think that’s probably the most common.

There are a lot of tools that will help you to automatically transcribe videos and podcasts, for example, and they can be incredibly helpful. There are others that will plug in to Zoom and will do automated transcripts. Some of them now are even trying to do automated summaries. I’ve tried a few, I’ll be honest with you.

I think the summaries are,

They’re not. They’re not where they could be eventually, but it’s a great starting point. And if we are able to start using some of these transcription tools for transcribing videos, podcasts, meeting notes, all those kinds of things, that’s great. But there are other things that we should be thinking about using the transcription for.

For example, I know a lot of you struggle to get the information that you need from your clients and their experts in order to create a meaningful content, whether that’s for press releases or blog posts, or op-eds, or articles or anything else. And these transcription tools can be really beneficial because instead of asking the expert to provide you with information or sitting on a phone call with them and, and taking longhand notes or recording it and then trying to extract the, the information yourself, you can use the transcripts quite effectively to have a conversation with the client’s experts.

And then weave that into a blog post, article, or other piece of content with a lot less work, not just on your part, but on the client’s part. And so I would encourage you to be thinking about how you might be able to take advantage of that. You can also use these transcripts in meetings and, and plug the plugins that are available for Zoom, for example, so that instead of taking notes, you can be more present in the meeting with the client and have the back and forth, particularly when it comes to strategy or brainstorming.

And so being able to revisit the transcript after the fact may be a better way to make sure that you’re engaging, because I don’t know about you, but when I’m taking notes, I ha I do have momentary lapses where I’m writing something. And so maybe I don’t hear exactly what someone else is saying on that call .

These transcript tools are also something that feed into a new way of video editing. And there’s a tool that we use extensively here at SAGA, and it’s called Descript. And it can be really effective at being able to take raw recorded video and cleaning it up, not just by creating the transcript, but you can actually use the text transcript to edit the video.

So if you go in there and you delete a paragraph of text, it will remove the corresponding portion of the video. That can be really helpful, not just for video, but you can also output just the audio portion of it if you’re building podcasts or other kinds of audio content. And it’s something that does not require any real video expertise to do.

In fact, my wife, who has no experience in video editing, is the one who now does all of the, the video editing for the various podcasts and other pieces of content that we publish on YouTube. And Descript is what empowers that. And so that is a fantastic use of AI for many agencies who might not be inclined to pay someone to do a lot of this work because video editors can be very expensive.

Now, there are limitations to this, and it’s not going to give you everything that a true video editor would be able to do, but for a lot of the basic content that we’re creating as agencies, it can be quite effective. Some of the other things that we can think about using AI for though would be things like content outlines.

So for example, you can use ChatGPT, probably the most popular form of generative AI today. And you can ask it to put together an outline for a possible article on a topic, and we’ll talk in a little bit about some of the tricks that you need to use in order to get good quality results. But it can be a good way to get you started or to make sure that you’re not overlooking something as you’re writing an article or a blog post.

I’m not as big a fan of it for straight up creating blog posts, but it can be something that really does help you get that framework in place. You can also use it for ideation. You can ask it questions, you can ask for it to give you some ideas, suggested headlines for blog posts on a particular topic, things that can help to get your own creative juices flowing.

And so if you’re sitting there and you’ve got writer’s block, you’re staring at a blank screen. Turn to ChatGPT. Start asking it questions. See what it tells you and, and perhaps it will spur some additional thinking. I know Gini Dietrich, my co-host on the Agency Leadership Podcast, has been using it this way very effectively with her own team to try to overcome writer’s block and accelerate the content creation process.

Mentioned that I’m not a fan of it, of using ChatGPT for actual blog creation, but you can use it for article editing. For example, you can feed in the draft of a blog post or article and ask for it to edit it for you, and you can give it specific guidelines and say, here’s my draft, and I would like you to look at it for grammar tone, maybe turn it into more active voice.

There are a lot of things that you can ask it to do as an editor that can give you some good ideas on how you might improve writing that you’re already doing. It’s not the be all end all, but it can really help you out, particularly if you are writing something solo and you don’t have a good editor to look at your stuff.

It’s better than just looking at the red squiggly lines on Word or even putting it through Grammarly because those are things that are looking at it from a technical standpoint. Whereas the AI can actually give you some feedback on how to perhaps condense your writing on how to make it more active voice on how to make it more compelling.

And I’ve tried it a little bit for that. Some, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. But it will give you those ideas that might help you to improve it, and it will actually do it two different ways. You can ask it to give you suggestions and then it will give you feedback, sort of like a professor might give you feedback on a, on a piece if you’re writing a draft and letting them look at it.

Or it can actually serve as an editor and make the edits itself and submit it to you to look at from there. So consider using it for that purpose. You can also use the AI to do summaries. And in fact, that can be a particularly good use if you’ve got a volume of content. And there are limitations to the amount of text that you can put into ChatGPT right now.

But if you give it a volume of content, it can then summarize it and try to pull out the key points. This can be particularly effective. For example, in looking for tweet suggestions, you could feed it the text of a blog post and say, write 10 different tweets that would promote this. And I know a lot of us struggle when it comes to social media posts, particularly on Twitter, where we’re trying to promote the same thing over and over again with different messaging.

And so this can give us some good ideas by asking for the service to give you 10, 20 different ideas that you can choose from or perhaps that you can use to mold your own i deas. Similarly, any of you who are as part of the the PESO model working on the the P or paid part and you’re creating Google ads for your clients, it can sometimes be a challenge to come up with different variations on the ad copy in order to create some good tests within the system and to allow Google to further optimize the results. Again, this is an area I’ve tested it a little bit in where you’ve feed it some information about what you’re trying to sell, if you will, and where you want it to send people and all that. And it will spit out some pretty decent suggestions at this point in time. It doesn’t look at actually any underlying data for Google Ads, but it can still be very effective at pulling out some ideas.

And again, it requires the human touch before you would implement them at this point, but it can be very helpful in coming up with tho those ideas for these kinds of things where we all fall into ruts with the language that we use. And so the AI can suggest some other ideas that might be worth looking at.

Along those same lines, keyword discovery. A lot of us are cognizant of SEO and trying to think about how the work that we’re doing for clients can play into that. And so you can share with it some of the search terms that you’re trying to optimize for or some of the things that you’re trying to promote and ask for it to give you some suggestions.

Again, I’ve tried this. Sometimes it’s hit, sometimes it’s missed, but it, it really does help you to think about things, and I know it’s, it’s revealed things for me in, in my experiments that I probably wouldn’t have thought of. Certainly not right off the bat, and perhaps not even after some more long-term brainstorming.

So consider using it in that way. You can also use it for competitive research. And so let’s say that you’re talking with a prospective. Client in a particular industry. You can ask ChatGPT, who might be some potential competitors. You can even ask it to build the list in such a way that it provides the name and the website url and perhaps a brief description.

So that’s something that you can use in order to start looking through who some of their competitors might be. Get some other ideas of what folks are doing in the space. You could ask for other experts in a particular field, so you could say to it, who are some experts in advising agencies on business development, for example.

And it will spit back a list of what it thinks might be some good advisors in that space. Try to use it for different things like that where it can give you some information that’s not as easy to do in a straight up Google search, but requires a little bit more thought and association between different pieces of data and, and I think that you’ll find that.

ChatGPT can be very effective in helping your agency in that way. Obviously a lot of what I’ve talked about up until this point is focused on text, but images are a key part of what generative AI can do. And so using a service like Midjourney or Stable Diffusion or one of the others that creates images from text prompts, you can use it in order to create

imagery for your website or for a blog post that you’re putting together. You can even ask it to put together suggestions for website layouts and design. If that’s something that you’re working on or perhaps you’re working with a website designer and they’re asking you for some ideas or inspiration, you can turn to Midjourney and ask for it to provide you with some mockups of some websites, and you give it some general information about what you’re looking for.

You can even suggest color schemes and things like that, that will allow you to perhaps further those ideas more quickly than you might be able to on your own. There are some gotchas and I personally find that for a lot of the work that agencies do, the text tools may be a little bit further along, particularly ChatGPT, but I think that there are still some potentials with the image generation that you should be considering, and so we’ll talk about that a little bit more later.

So what’s my basic advice when you’re using these tools? How should you get the most out of them? And I think there are really three key things here in order to get the most out of the existing AI tools. The first is that you need to, to understand the prompts, understand how the tools actually work, and it’s very tempting to go in there and just start typing things.

And we’ll do that in a minute and we’ll show you kind of what happens when you do that. But in both with all of these services, they have documentation that will help you to better understand how to use them. And so with ChatGPT for example, there’s documentation that explains to you the kinds of information that you should feed it in order to get the best results.

And if you think about ChatGPT, again, like an intern, I think that’s a really good. Analogy to make here, because you have to provide it, the background information. If I go in and say to ChatGPT write an article on how agencies can grow business in 2023, it’ll spit some stuff out. But if I give it some background and I say, okay, I’m running an agency that is focused on this sector that does this kind of work, and you, you start feeding it more information.

You can even give it, you can even provide it with your agency name and website, for example. And it will in some cases incorporate that well into the advice that it’s giving. And so if you’re thinking about. The information that you’re providing it so that it has some background, just like you would provide an intern, you will tend to get better results.

You also have to be clear about what you’re asking for it, and you have to understand the limitations of these services because they are not perfect and they do not do everything. And in fact, ChatGPT is not great at creating things completely from scratch. And those tend to be the popular examples where you just feed it with, you know, two or three sentences and you’re expecting it to produce fundamentally tremendous results.

That’s not typically what happens. You typically do have to invest in it. You also have to understand that ChatGPT really needs to be fact checked. And so this is another area where at least today, It’s not going to replace the human expertise that agencies provide because ChatGPT has been known, and I’ll show you a specific example where I saw it, where ChatGPT simply makes stuff up, or as some people have said, it hallucinates and it does so sometimes very assertively.

And so it comes across as if it is factually correct and it, it can sometimes insist on its correctness even when it is not. And so it’s very important that either you or someone with expertise in whatever field it is that you’re creating content for, reviews it and makes sure that it’s accurate. And if something is said as a fact, if you don’t have an expert who can confirm it, you need to research it and double check it to make sure that it is correct, because otherwise you’ll run in some real challenges.

And then finally, you just need to start experimenting with these things. There’s really no substitute for rolling up your sleeves, getting at your keyboard, and starting to try some of these services out. And that’s really where you will find how you can get the most out of them for your particular agency and the work that you’re doing.

So now we’re gonna get into the, the risky part of today’s webinar. We’re gonna see if some of these services will actually work for us today while we are here live. And you just never know. It is, it is always a risk. So, The first one we’re gonna try out here is ChatGPT, because it’s the one that’s gotten the most headlines.

I know many of you who have already tried it out, but if you haven’t, you can go to chat.openai.com and you can get a free account. There is a paid account. I subscribe to the paid account and it does give you some additional capabilities. In particular, I believe that’s the only way to get the latest language model called GPT 4 and the free one provides you with GPT 3.5.

Now, one of the real challenges with ChatGPT and a limitation you need to be acutely aware of is the system is often unavailable. So in just a moment here, we’re gonna find out today whether it’s actually available for us to use live or it’s going to give us one of the lovely check back later messages.

So let’s go ahead and bring it up here on the screen. And actually I’m gonna go full screen here so that you can see it a little bit more easily. Just one moment here. Let’s see if I can find the right button here. There we go. All right, so you’ll certainly want to be looking at this full screen if you are able to do so.

But this is the what the ChatGPT interface looks like. And what it does is it gives us the ability to go in and have a literal chat with the technology. And it, what it will do is on the side here, it will save all of the different searches that you’ve done before. And you can delete them if you want or you can keep them.

And one of the real benefits to ChatGPT is if you reuse some of these chat discussions, because that’s where you can go in and actually take a look at providing it with additional information. And it will continue to remember, if you will, all of the things that you’ve put in as far as background information or questions.

And so that will help you to get better results in the process. So here what I’ve done is this is one of the the, the buyer beware sections of the ChatGPT because this is where we’re gonna take a look at the hallucinations, if you will, of the service. And so in this particular case, this is a past chat that I had, and I asked, what is the average size of a PR agency in the United States?

And it effectively says that the Holmes report says that it’s around 24 employees. And so I just simply asked for it to provide me with a link to that statistic because it’s an interesting statistic and I’d like to be able to share it in some of the, the work that I produce. It came back and said, after being asked simply for a link, I didn’t challenge it.

I didn’t question it. I just, I just wanted the, the data point supported. It said, I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. Upon double checking, I found that the Holmes report did not provide a specific figure for the average size of a PR agency in the United States. I don’t know about you, but I find that very distressing that it would simply cave that quickly and easily.

It was if I had challenged it in some way, if I had said, geez, that doesn’t sound right. Or I said, if I said, even if I said something like, are you sure? I could perhaps see something like that happening? But for it to, to simply fold up that quickly and easily was a little bit concerning. So definitely be careful with what you’re doing and ask for it to provide information or do your own research after the fact to make sure that you are clear on what what you’re doing.

So let’s try a new chat here though. So, At the top of the, the chat screen, you’re able to choose between chat three point, or sorry, GPT, 3.5 or 4 if you have the paid version. The the, the differences between the two, I’ve, I’ve, frankly, I don’t necessarily think that one is better than the other in the experiments that I’ve done.

3.5 is definitely faster. It is something where it does spit back a lot of information very quickly, whereas the GPT 4 model tends to come back a little bit more slowly and you can watch the words type on the screen and we’ll talk about that, or we’ll show you that hopefully in just a minute Here, since I was able to log in, I’m optimistic that it will actually work for me.

The, but as far as the quality of the content, I think it’s, I, I haven’t seen a, a giant difference and sometimes 3.5 has been better and sometimes 4 has been better. You can see here on the side here, it does give you some information about how the models differ are, are different, and it focuses primarily on the speed.

But then the GPT 4 is also considered to be, to involve more reasoning, or some people call it creativity and it’s also more concise. So I would encourage you to experiment with both. And depending on what you’re doing, you may get better results from one or the other. So let’s try the, the free one here that most of you will be able to use.

And so, you know, we’ll, we’ll do, I think one of the most popular things is to simply do something like how can public relations agencies use generative AI for business development? So we’ll just see what it has to say here. And so as we ask it that question, it then you can see very quickly spits back results.

And so it’s got a few ideas, content creation, media monitoring, targeting crisis management. I, I think we can all agree that this answer, at least on the surface, is not all that great. So it, it clearly would’ve benefited from additional information. So let’s try giving it some additional information and see how it does.

So I run a PR agency with five employees based in New Hampshire and we focus on high tech PR in the United States. How can we build more effective target lists of prospective clients? Let’s try something like that and see if giving it some additional information. Throws back some additional information.

And, and again, looking at this, I would say it’s, it’s kind of thin. It, it’s basically explaining what some of the general AI tools are. So let’s try this. Let’s ask it. Can you provide a list of high tech PR agencies in New England? Let’s see what it comes back with. So instead, it tells us that we should consult a database again, not especially helpful.

So you’ll see here that, that some of the things that are, are commonly talked about as things you might use. ChatGPT 4 are not particularly helpful, but let’s try this. Let’s see. Create a, a blog post about best practices for… let’s see, what do we want to do for distributing a press release

to financial media? Again, we haven’t given it very much information, so let’s see what it comes up with. So as we look through here, and you can see it’s, it’s creating it very, very quickly. It’s coming up with pretty much the basic advice that you would provide for any kind of press release. So it’s still not really honing in what we’re specifically asking for.

It is if you skim through, as I’m skimming through this content live while we’re talking, it does reference financial media regularly throughout it. So if you were creating this as sort of generic SEO content, it could be potentially a beneficial starting point. But let’s try this. Let’s ask it for create a, an outline for a blog post.

On. And if anybody has any particular prompts that you’d like to try, feel free to submit them in the, the question box. And I’d be happy to try to, to make this a little bit more interactive with you all. Because I’m just coming up with things on the fly here to, to give some examples and kind of show you how it works.

But let’s see. Create an outline for a blog post on, let’s see, what do we want a blog post on today on the

public relations challenges that face cryptocurrency companies in 2023? Let’s see what it comes up with. So you can see here again, very quickly comes up. An outline and it gives you some of the ideas of things that you might want to incorporate into your blog post it. It’s not the kind of thing where I think you can use it straight up to replace writing a blog post, but it certainly can provide you with some useful information.

Now, let’s, let’s go ahead and compare some of these results over by using the the GPT 4 model. So this is GPT 3, and in order to use a different model, you can’t do it within the same chat window, so you will need to go over and create a new chat. But we’ll switch this one over to GPT 4 and let’s use that actually, let’s, we’ll go over let’s see.

We’ll copy that exact same prompt so we use it word for word and just outta curiosity, since it’s supposed to be more creative. Let’s kind of compare what we get for creativity in this next prompt. And the first thing that you’re gonna see here is that it is indeed much slower with GPT 4. You can, it’s almost like watching a very fast typist working on it on the screen in real time.

Whereas the other one sort of spit it out more ticker tape style as quickly as it possibly could. So as we look here, it, it is certainly much more detailed. It, it has some it. It’s interesting the way that it doesn’t indent the the outline, by the way. So to me it makes it a little bit confusing to read, but as you look through, a lot of them are similar, but it has added some additional topics.

I don’t think that we, we use 3.5 that had environmental and sustainability issues, but that is something that does come up regularly in the cryptocurrency conversations. So certainly from, from what we’re seeing here at a very top line level, the suggestions that we’re seeing from the GPT 4 model for this outline of an article are much better and stronger.

I think as far as a starting point than what, than what 3.5 had. It does take a little bit longer, but frankly, if you’re using this to create content for a client or something like this, that’s… it’s a negligible amount of total time. And so you could then from here, go in and ask for it to do additional thinking and processing and, and refinements and all of that.

So there are a lot of things that you can do with ChatGPT that will give you some real flexibility in getting started. But to me the key is to simp. To jump into it and to start using the tool there and actually start typing in your own ideas, start asking it questions and you know, hopefully that will give you a good resource to build off of.

So we’ll move on to the image portion here. And again, if you have any particular prompts of images that you’d like to see me try to create while we’re talking, I’m happy to do that. And if you’ve got any questions that you’d like me to answer after that, feel free to start submitting those in the q and a, because I will go to that after I show Midjourney and how that works.

So let’s go ahead and try to bring up Midjourney here. Let’s see if we can get it up here on the screen. And so, Midjourney’s a little bit different from. From using, let’s see, lemme bring up the right screen here. There we go. So, Midjourney is a little bit different from using ChatGPT in that it doesn’t have its own website that you’re using to actually create the content.

And so the way you do it is you actually use. A product called Discord. And some of you may be familiar with it some of you may not, but Discord is a separate application. It is a, a bit like using Slack but it’s a, it’s a little bit more technically oriented, I guess, is the way that, that I would describe it.

And so you have to install Discord in order to be able to sign up for Midjourney. But if you go to their website, there’s a getting started link on Midjourney that will help you to to do that getting started process. And again, like ChatGPT, there is both a free option. As well as a paid option.

Again, I have subscribed to the paid option, which gives you access to similar to ChatGPT a more advanced model. In this case, it’s called Midjourney version five but it also gives you access to some additional resources, less limits on the amount of requests that you can make and all that kind of thing.

So there is a benefit to subscribing to either of these services, but effectively what happens when you’re using. Midjourney is that it is designed for you to give it some text prompts and it will then provide you with some images based on the criteria that you are providing to it. So you can see here some, some ones that I’ve tried here in the past, this, these were some images I was trying to use for the article that I wrote recently on how agency owners can compensate themselves.

And so I was looking for a vault full of cash or an ATM or different things. And so I tried a number of different examples here. And what you’ll see here with, with all of these is that as you provide it with text prompts, it then spits back a panel of four different potential images. And those images are, you know, typically have some relation to each other, but they are certainly different.

And once you’ve gotten each of these, and let’s go full screen here, once you have gotten, and let me clear off Discord likes to, to provide lots of of promotions to upgrade and do different things with their software. But in any case it gives you these four different prompts and then it gives you some options underneath.

And so in this case I asked for a drawing of a bank vault with stacks of currency and then there are some commands that you can provide to it. And again, this is in the, the Midjourney documentation. And as I said earlier, it’s really important to look at the documentation for these different services to understand what you can do and get the most from them.

In my case, I specified for this particular example that I wanted version five, so that’s the dash dash V space five. And then I generally for images that I put on the saga website, I have them in a 16 by nine ratio because that’s what the site is designed and optimized for, for the article imagery.

And so in this case it’s dash, dash ar for aspect ratio, and then you can do 16 colon nine, which you can do different things there. As well. Now, the way that Midjourney typically works when you first start using it for free is that you will come into this Midjourney server itself. They’re called servers on Discord that you have.

And so it is kind of daunting here. It’s got all sorts of different options here on your left, but basically you just go into one of the newbie rooms. And in there you’re able to type in your prompts that you’re looking for. That’s those text prompts that will create images. And then as you go through, you can also see everything that that other people are asking for.

So that’s something that’s important to remember with Midjourney is that is explicitly public. It is something where anybody can see the prompts that you’re making, and so that may or may not be something that you need to consider in the work that you are doing for clients. There is the ability to create separate private requests as well with some of the paid accounts, and so that may be something that you would look into, but I would encourage you, even if you’re using that functionality or with ChatGPT, anything that you’re putting in there, I would assume that that information could potentially leak out.

So I think it’s very important for you to factor that into your decision making on how you’re using these services. You don’t ever want to assume that it has the same level of confidentiality of work that you’re doing perhaps within your own agency itself. So as you’re seeing here, it’s coming up with a lot of different examples, even while we’re talking.

And so some people apparently are looking for birds, some people are looking for some more perhaps for some icons it looks like. And one of the things that you will notice here when you’re creating anything that has text in it, like icons, the text is all gibberish. It is not, Midjourney is not capable of integrating text appropriately.

Now, in fact, even if you ask for it to provide you with an image of say a car, it will have the, the logo emblazoned on it, but it will not be the actual name of the, the vehicle itself, even though that might be in a typical image. So something to consider if you’re going to be asking for results from Midjourney with text is that you will need to find a way to replace it after the fact.

But you can see here this is quite a bit of variety that we’re seeing even as we’re just watching this live stream of content going by. And so this is something that you can think about by looking at some of these examples, how you might be able to use it. So it, it can be a, a good idea just to sit and watch this process, particularly as you’re getting started, because you’ll be able to see the prompts that everybody is using.

You can also see these over on the Midjourney website itself once you’ve created your account there. And so it, it’s in a slightly prettier format there. But here it’s nice because it is in this real time view. And so I think particularly for that learning process, it can be very, very helpful.

But as you’re, so let’s go ahead. And what I’ve done is, is because when I’m working on creating ideas, I don’t want to have to, to watch all of these other prompts flying through my screen. What I’ve done is I created my own Midjourney server, or sorry, my own Discord server. And I’ve installed the Midjourney bot on it.

It’s not particularly challenging to do. There are many examples online that show you how to do it. It’s basically just a couple of clicks. For my purposes, it’s much easier for me to see all of the things that I’ve requested of it in one place, because then I don’t have to go hunting after I create it and make sure that, you know, perhaps someone else’s request didn’t push mine up off the screen.

So you’ll see what happens is it comes back with this panel of four different options with whatever text prompt you’ve provided it, and then underneath it has a number of different options. So you’ve got U one, u2, U three and U four. So that’s what you would use when you say, okay, this is, this is the one I want.

You’ve, you’ve hit on it. Midjourney. This is, this is the image that I’m looking for. So let’s say that I’m looking here and I say, okay, this, this top one is the one that I want to actually use on my website. So what you can then do is, in that case, the, the, the boxes go one, two across on the top, three, four on the bottom.

So if I wanted that top right one, I would hit U2 and U is for upscale. And so what that means is that it will give me a higher resolution version of just that, that I can download and use on my website or wherever I’m looking to deploy it. But then there’s also V1 through v4. And so that’s for variations.

And so what that does is it takes that image say that if I wanted to do that off that top one, it would then give me some variations of that image. So let’s go ahead and. Just for fun click that. And so it will then come back with some different variations based on that. And generally speaking, what I, what I tend to see is that they are not very different from each other.

They are all minor modifications of that one image that we’ve initially started with. So it, it can be useful, but you, you shouldn’t do it and expect it to use it as inspiration and come up with for brand new ideas. It’s really tweaking things, perhaps moving things around a little bit. And so we’ll take a look here.

Let’s blow this up for you all so that you can see it a little bit better. And actually we’ll go full screen so we can take me out of the picture and you can focus on it. There we go. So as you can see here, as you look at it, there are certainly some subtle differences between them, but they are still largely the same image.

And, and I don’t know about you, but. They all look kind of weird to me. And, and this is one of the things that I would would highlight about Midjourney is when it hits, it hits, but it, it can have some real misses in my view. And so it, it does take some work and some practice in order to get something that you’re going to be happy with.

Now, one of the other things that you can do with it is you can select this regenerate button, this B two Arrow Circle. And so if you click that, then what it will do is it will take another shot at it. And I probably shouldn’t have done it with that one where it’s, they’re all pretty similar already, but you can do it with any of the examples that you have and be able to, to generate it back to you.

So there’s a lot of things to play with here. One of the things I would highlight with Midjourney that, that you want to pay attention to is something, and, and you’ll see here in these variations, now that it’s coming up with, it’s, there’s still again, Pretty similar, and you can watch it as it generates in real time.

So it continues to refine it right before your eyes, which is kind of, it’s kind of neat to do that rather than simply waiting for it to produce the final result. But you also, you do wanna make sure that it, it finishes completely before you actually start interacting with it. But you can provide it with all sorts of things.

You can tell it as I did here to, to give me a drawing. You could ask for a comic book style. You can ask for it to look cinematic, you can ask for different color schemes, and it really will produce a whole lot of different things. And, and the, the possibilities are endless. The question for me is, if you’re looking for an image for an article, is it actually faster than using You know, one of the stock image sites or something like that, or is the quality that much better, that it’s worth that additional time investment?

Those are things that you’ll have to determine for yourself how you want to deploy it. But again, the best way is to, to look at your own workflow and the things that you need and see how it does in generating them. But it, it can, if you look at some of the examples on the Midjourney website, it produces some truly stunning art at times and even some very photorealistic content that you can consider.

But as we look at this, you know, one of the things that I did want to to show you here is this image here, which some of you may recognize is the image that I used in the the signup page for this webinar. And on the surface, it, it looks quite good, but there are, Some oddities in it shall we say.

And so, you know, the, the idea was that it would have a robot with a newspaper sitting there with someone at a, a table with coffee. I can’t remember the exact prompt that I used, but it, as you look at it, it on the surface looks very good. But then there’s some strange things, like it appears that there are two coffee cups in front of the woman there, which is a little bit odd.

Most people don’t have two coffee cups, although admittedly I do sometimes because I like to have espresso with my regular coffee, but it’s not a normal thing. But more importantly, if, if you take a look it appears that, that her hand is on the left hand side of the, the newspaper there, but then there’s another hand down here, but it doesn’t appear to be her right arm.

So it, it’s a little unclear. And, and I’ve seen this happen a number of times. Extra limbs get added in Midjourney. And so I’m sure that’s something that they’ll work out eventually. I saw an example recently of a bird that had it, its, its wings were flapping, but it also had a second set of wings that were you know, held in close to the body.

So it, it’s it, it can be a little bit odd and those are just things to watch out for. It, it also appears that the, the woman has well over five fingers, at least six and perhaps more. So there are some of those things that you just need to keep an eye out for. And if it’s important to you for the work that you’re producing, then you may want to, to screen those kinds of things out.

So the bottom line here is because I do wanna leave some time here for the questions that you may have when you’re when you’re thinking about generative AI and the things that you can do for your agency, I think it’s really important to start using some of these tools and services, whether we’re talking Midjourney or ChatGPT or some of their direct competitors or alternatives.

But also looking at some of the things like descript or Otter AI that does transcription or other things like that, that can help you to do, do your job more effectively today. So know how to use them. Start to think about how you can integrate them within the workflows that you already have. Start to think about what new opportunities it may create for your agency.

And I think if you look at it from that perspective, you’ll put yourself in a good place for being able to take advantage of AI in the future. So if you’re watching this on replay, this is where the replay will end, but we will move on to q and a for live attendees. If you are watching on replay and do have a question, feel free to email me at chip@smallagencygrowth.com.

I appreciate you watching. And after a sip of water, we’ll jump into the q and a.

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