Ever wonder how AI tools can give you an edge in content creation? Join us as I chat with Matt Thomas, who has journeyed from the realm of technical writing to the world of copywriting and content creation.
Unveiling the secrets of his craft, Matt shares how he brings innovation and brainstorming to the fore in copy creation. Get a glimpse of his creative process, where he uses AI tools to create and curate content for LinkedIn posts and copywriting.
If you are curious about how to optimize prompt engineering or looking for valuable tips to create actionable content, this episode is a must-listen. Get ready for a thought-provoking chat that will inspire you to look at AI tools and content creation from a unique perspective.
Matt Thomas has 13 years of experience as a technical writer, specializing in creating user-friendly documentation, instructional materials, and online content.
He’s worked as a tech writer across multiple industries to produce deliverables that range from traditional print manuals to interactive online resources.
In addition to his technical writing background, Matt is also the in-house copywriter for TacoTime Canada, a freelance copywriter, and an up-and-coming content creator on LinkedIn.
Since last November, he’s gained over 1.3 million impressions on LinkedIn, had his work reshared by one of the biggest creators on the platform, and had multiple posts go viral.
You can check out Matt’s content and follow him on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/perfectproseyyc/
You can also sign up for his newsletter waitlist at www.perfectprose.ca
People that Matt follows on LinkedIn
Show notes generated by AI and curated by me.
Hello listeners, welcome to Inside TechCom with your host, zohra Mudabana, in season 4, I hope to bring to you different perspectives and interests that intersect with our field. Let's get started. Hello listeners, welcome to another episode of Inside TechCom with Zohra Mudabana. Today I have an interesting guest that I kind of I've been following on LinkedIn and started following his content and I was pretty impressed with it and I wanted to reach out to him and I did. Lucky for me, matt responded Hi, matt, how are you?Matt Thomas:
Good, how are you doing, zohra?Zohra Mutabanna:
I am doing very good, so we have Matt Thomas today. Hey, Matt, take it away. Tell us a little about yourself.Matt Thomas:
My name is Matt Thomas. I am a few things, a bunch of things. My background professionally as a professional writer was mainly as a technical writer. I started I was a technical writer just straight for like 12 years. The last few years I've gotten more into copywriting and in the last nine months I've become a content creator on LinkedIn and so that's what I'm focused pretty heavily on now. I've been posting post-contents like original content five days a week, monday to Friday, sometimes on weekends, and, yeah, been building up my following. Since I started last November I've grown my following by about 10 times the number I started with. As I kind of have gotten more serious about it. I'm eventually going to start like monetizing and kind of focusing on that, making that my turning that into a business.Zohra Mutabanna:
That's impressive and that is I mean, that's superb. I would love to learn some of those tips and I'm sure we will kind of dive into some of how you go about creating that content. You said you were a technical writer and you became a copywriter. Can you share a little bit about that journey and what prompted you to kind of go on this different path?Matt Thomas:
Sure, like I said, my background is a technical writer. I worked as a contractor. I was always self-employed. I worked on a bunch of different contracts and projects as a technical writer, creating everything from software documentation, health and safety documentation, animal care protocols for my local zoo, training material, e-learning courses. Then, after about 12 years, I kind of decided that I was just tired of being a technical writer, working on these big projects too much stuff out of my control and I just wanted to do something else. I felt like I wasn't really growing. I was just kind of like my skills weren't really broadening. At the same time, a friend of mine she was a friend of mine first, but she's also the marketing director for a Canadian fast food chain called Taco Time Canada she reached out to me. She had a writing background and she asked me about doing some copywriting for them and more corporate messaging and stuff, both internal and external. I started doing more of that and it was fun. It was a different challenge. It was different. There were a lot of transferable skills, but it was definitely a different thing than technical writing in terms of fewer words but a lot longer spent on figuring and coming up with the right ones, being very precise about using the right language and the creative aspect of it, like finding angles to talk about or different ways to frame or talk about a specific topic or product or promotion. The creative aspect of just sitting there and brainstorming 50 headlines before you come up with the right ones.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I can kind of associate with that. Sometimes I do feel like I want to do something creative and, to some extent, technical. Writing does put you in a box. I do hear you there Now that you've been on this journey. You talked about your followers just multiplying times 10 on LinkedIn. Why did you start that? Was that to drive people to your business, or was it something that you just wanted to experiment with content creation?Matt Thomas:
Yeah, I don't actually know. I don't even have a good answer. I always say I didn't know exactly why I started. I actually read Justin Welsh post and that's what inspired me to start, but I mean, I didn't realize exactly what goes into it. I'd never done any online content creation but I figured that I could be good at it because I had a solid professional background in writing. Thank you. And one thing I've always been good at is, like even in my roles as a technical writer, was teaching people like how to write more clearly, like kind of showing them like what good writing is, like explaining it with examples and like just a lot of that stuff, a lot of. And then, as I dived into it more and more, it turns out the technical writing is like, in my opinion, like one of the best backgrounds For content creation, just in terms of the number of like how many skills that are important in technical writing that overlap with the requirements of being a good creator, like, and so a lot of that stuff I turns out I just knew how to do instinctively from being a technical writer and whether or not I realized that was important, and, yeah, I just got thought I could be good at it and turns out I was right.Zohra Mutabanna:
That's awesome. Can you tell us what transferable skills from tech writing that you sort of apply to copywriting? I think that's a. You know that will really eliminate this conversation and content creation or copywriting. Sorry, and content creation, I would say both.Matt Thomas:
There's definitely some overlap. I'd say some of the more like specific skills of technical writing requires are more, even more, applicable to content creation. At the end of the day, I think, like, honestly, this is like I also kind of try and make the distinction like I try not to put myself in a box is just like a technical writer or a copyright. Like I can write manuals but I can also write web copy or, like you know, cold emails or, and I can also teach people how to like create content. But a lot of skills are like understanding your audience. That's a big thing in technical writing rate and that's also with copywriting. Understanding who you're writing to and how to tailor your language and speak to them in a way that they kind of hit somewhere they live like use their language. I think that's that overlaps with the skills required from technical writing to you know writing in a concise, direct, active voice. Those are things I always did as a technical writer in my documentation. I think are super relevant to content creation and copywriting. So this is kind of I'll just talk about some skills that are applicable to both now, but maybe especially content creation being able to break down complex information and presented in a way and organize it. Presented in a way that's easy to understand, obviously like important as a technical writer, really important as a content creator, because it's important to be clear and just Right, I could be explaining. It's important. It's just you understand, explain your ideas in a way that's useful and then also to be able to. Technical writing is writing for purpose, right, it's like writing, use this product, learn how to work this software, do this thing like assemble these, this Maus, trap, whatever it's writing for purpose and like. I think the best content Is stuff that is actionable, so it's not just in front. I kind of make this distinction Good content is. I mean, sometimes it's informational, but it's not just information, which means if it's something I can just find in a Google search, then there's not really any value to it. The value is either your perspective or how you're explaining it in a way that goes beyond just what you can read on the internet, like whether that's with examples like those are another thing I use all the time and as a content creator, the examples like One of the biggest things I say show, don't tell. So that's another thing. With, like, technical running, I was used a lot of screenshots and stuff, right. So rather than trying to describe stuff in words, show, don't tell and I really apply that to my content creation examples explaining, showing people why things work so they can see for themselves, it's much more convincing than just telling them. Here's why you should, you know you, replace to Weak words with one strong word. When they actually see it applied, an example, like a sentence, they see the impact that makes a difference. And then other not like I think, just being able to organize and structure information presented like hierarchically in a way that's visual, appealing. A lot of the Funny, a lot of the design things to like. When I design, like carousels and stuff, or like the visual design of my post and stuff, like as a technical writer is just like you learn certain habits right. Like you don't center body text, like it drives me nuts. When I see carousel text, it's all centered and you know clear headings that are visually distinct, all sorts of stuff. I think it's a good background for a lot of different things. The trick is that I think I don't know that every technical writer can adapt their style to like either be a copywriter or Be content creator. So I mean I think that that kind of got the individual, but it gives you a lot of skills.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I mean, as you were sharing the overlap. You're right that you, we may have those skills, but applying those and making the content creation aspect of your journey actionable is something not all of us may have. But I have been following your content for a few weeks now and I think I've learned a lot from them. Actually, and it's easy to scan, it's fun. Sometimes it's not all about just content, it just posts about you know.Matt Thomas:
That's the thing too, is you gotta like you can't just educate, you have to entertain people as well, like, so like every Friday I'm a drummer, I put out a drum post. It's also like there's a lot of things that going into be, go into being a content creator, beyond just the content and the technical skills, like there is like there's a whole aspect of building a personal brand, like having people connect with you, because that's kind of what Entertaining, like. My best post, honestly, are the ones that I think good content like inspires, educates and kind of entertains, and my best post are the ones that can do all three like I have some posts that are really good, they're entertaining, but they're also educational and they're also inspiring.Zohra Mutabanna:
So yeah, and they're also quite engaging, if I may say so. They kind of draw me in, so and you know, just kind of getting to know you a little more, kind of it's also personable, it makes you more relatable as well.Matt Thomas:
So yeah, because you need people to trust you building a relationship with an audience over time. Right, like those are the and it is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time, like it's been. I've been at this nine months, seven months consistently. I started small and kind of like ramped up, but it's definitely paid off the way and the main thing is, like I said, like kind of the relationships I've made and people I've met and that I wouldn't have met or had access to otherwise. I mean so.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, that's awesome. You know this sort of dovetails into my next question. You have been at it for you said, about nine months now, and looks like you started this journey in November, which was just before ChatGPD came out. So when you started this, with all sincerity, I suppose, did you use AI to create content before ChatGPD?Matt Thomas:
No, I didn't use any of the tools before.Zohra Mutabanna:
It seems like a very small window, but what was it like to create content for five days a week just before ChatGPD?Matt Thomas:
No, I didn't start creating content. That's kind of what I said. The first two months I started posting just once a week and then, kind of slowly, as I started doing more, ramped it up. From there it would have been definitely more difficult. It's anything too right. It's a skill the more you do it, even just coming up with ideas and stuff. When I started I was worried I'd run out of ideas. But the longer you do it, the more you realize that ideas are everywhere. It's like an ideation itself is like a skill. The more you practice it, the better you get at it. A big part of that is as soon as I get an idea, I write it down. It's all organized in a folder in my phone so I can capture my ideas anywhere.Zohra Mutabanna:
What sort of a tool do you use on your phone? Is that an app or just a note?Matt Thomas:
Just iPhone, just notes. In my iPhone. I have it quite organized into folders by month. Right now I'm in July. All my unused ideas stay pinned to the top. All my unused ideas get unpinned, and every month all the unused ideas get moved into the next month's folder. That way I can also just go back and see hey, three months ago, what did I post this month? If I need to repost something, I can just check. It's not high tech, but it works for me. I think the system doesn't matter as much as just having something to capture ideas.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, that makes sense. You mentioned that you've now really started leveraging the AI tools for content creation. The theme for this season of my podcast is AI. I think it would really benefit the audience my listeners to know what kind of tools you've looked at in addition to chat, gpt, and which ones do you use for what purpose. Just your strategy, your thoughts on that.Matt Thomas:
Yeah, sure, to be honest, chat GPT is the main one I use. I haven't used many other ones. I am actually just signing up for a subscription for mid-journey, so I'm going to start playing with that as well. The nice thing about being an active content creator on LinkedIn is that I have a lot of fellow creators and connections who are in that. It's a very hot topic right now. It's the hottest topic on LinkedIn because I think it's a very popular hot topic worldwide. It's kind of disrupting. There are so many new tools coming out every day. I have a good friend of mine who is the founder of a directory of AI the main directory for AI tools because there are so many coming out daily, but she's got a great site. It's called topappsai. It's a good way. Right now. There isn't really one central place to go with other products and stuff because there are so many coming out, but she's kind of tried to centralize it all into one spot. There are user reviews, there are rankings, articles and stuff about the different tools. At the same time, there are so many coming out that there are hundreds being added a day. They are using AI to add all the new AI tools that are coming out every day because that's the only way they can keep up with it. Mainly, chatgbt is going to start diving into mid-journey. I think that would be a good way to add some visual interest and flair to my chair itself covers. It's all about stopping the scroll to. The other thing you are, as a creator is getting attention, finding ways to stand out. I've also used a tool, developed by a connection mine called Unfluffer. That's a copywriting slash rewriting tool. You can take a rough draft or a real ugly version of something and drop it in there and then it can rewrite it in 14 different languages. There's a bunch of different tones, like humorous, educational, informative, persuasive, authoritarian and yeah, it's, unfluffer is the name of the tool. There's a couple others. I think it's better to kind of like now that I've got a handle on chatGBT, cool, I'm going to use that, and then I'm going to mid-journey, the next one I'm going to do, because that's a visual aspect. After that I think I might look at something for video. I think there's so many tools that if you try and keep up with them all, it's just going to be overwhelming. It's better to pick a couple in different categories and then just take your time like playing with them and learning, like learning them at your own pace.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yes, that's true. Yeah, I mean I was going to ask you. You know, with the noise that's out there, I'm kind of starting to feel overwhelmed. And thanks for the recommendation. The top apps API, topappsai yes, I will definitely plug that in my show notes. And Unfluffer is the other one that you mentioned. I've been using WordTune since I'm a UX writer but, it's not just the number of apps.Matt Thomas:
Yeah, I've used WordTune a little bit too. Just the free version. Just the free version as well.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, it's not only the many options it's like a buffet out there but it's also which one to pick. And then subscribing to all these because they tease you with all the potential these tools have and that's kind of starting to really overwhelm me. Do you feel that way?Matt Thomas:
Yeah, I just kind of. That's why I say I think it's better to just focus. Chatgbt was kind of the first one that came out, and a big reason about why I adopted that is because everybody on LinkedIn started talking about it. But also I kind of saw the writing on the wall and especially now that I've been doing more copywriting, I was like, well, this is probably going to disrupt things, so, and also I think it's just like I was curious about it, right, and then people talking about it. I think the best way to approach these tools is with a mindset of creativity and curiosity, rather than just feeling like you have to learn these.Zohra Mutabanna:
Because then it's just you're not going to want to do what's going to feel like work. I mean, yeah, it does get overwhelming. That's why I've made a conscious decision to just I'm going to, like I said, I'm using ChatGBT. I consider myself obviously better than the average person because I've used it a lot now and I have like a library of my own prompts and stuff. I'm going to do mid-journey next because I have a couple good friends who are like they've got a bunch of guides I've downloaded and they're experts, so like I mean I can leverage other people's expertise in that space to kind of up my game. But it's going to. It's like hey, it's going to take time and it's trial and error right and playing with stuff. And then I think the next one I'll look at is some sort of maybe a video creation tool. I actually just had really an idea yes, jay on like a really unconventional way to use a couple different AI tools in combination with each other. I mean we can maybe talk about that in a bit or whatever.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, why don't you jump right into it, since we're talking about it?Matt Thomas:
Sure, so like, as I mentioned, so I'm a content creator, so as I'm going to, so I'm going like I'm kind of starting to monetize my services now because I think I've built it up to the point and like my services are helping people with their LinkedIn, with their content, like there's a whole industry which you probably don't realize if you're not active on LinkedIn, but there's a whole like industry around just LinkedIn, right, and I've already had a couple clients, like I've had a few people reach out. I've done consults. I've had one client go through my five week program already. But I just kind of realized yesterday that like one of the ways I was thinking about it, like how I could add value to like my consults, and I was just thinking a couple weeks ago I had just a meeting with a connection of mine on LinkedIn just to meet, catch up, chat. This is the stuff you do when you're in this like we were in Seuler LinkedIn world all the time and you're other creators, and he had his AI assistant, Otter AI, show up. They were at the meeting, so I accepted them and invited them to the meeting or it to the meeting. And then he said he uses that with his clients. He's a ghostwriter on LinkedIn, so like he interviews them, it captures everything in their voice and transcribes it all. So I was just thinking I was like I should, that would be a good value add. Like, if you do a 75 minute consult with me, I was going to send like record, obviously give send you a recording of the video after, but for somebody like me, I'd rather have a transcript. That's like broken down right and this tool will do that automatically. Like I think that's a big value add, so like having a transcript copy of your call as well as a video. And then I realized, like part of the reason I'm doing these consults is my eventual goal is to build like a digital product and to build and sell a digital product. And I'm using these calls as a way to kind of figure out, like, what are the common issues, what are the common things that people keep bumping up against, and, like one of the things I can kind of keep telling people because that'll be the basis of my course. And then I realized I was like, if I have transcripts of all of these, I can dump a bunch of transcripts into GPT, have it analyze all the themes in different categories that I'm looking at, have it summarize the stuff that I'm saying over and over so I can simultaneously build my digital course whilst I'm productizing my service. So it's like it's just supervision and obviously like it's not going to be perfect. I've written and built courses, so like that's, but it's, it's a huge, like it's literally my own words. I just realized that, yes, I was like, oh, that's amazing. I haven't seen anyone else. I'm sure it's, somebody else has done it, but I haven't really seen anybody else mentioned using AI that way. Like it's just, it's just crazy, Like it's just efficient. You know what I mean.Zohra Mutabanna:
It is super efficient and I'm so excited you brought this up, because I record, obviously, my podcast you know shows and then I do go and transcribe them and I was using order for a long period of time and just recently I started using my hosting platform that is bus sprout. It creates the show notes and it creates the transcript and I found that the quality was. I mean, these tools have just gotten better with time.Matt Thomas:
And then going and summarizing, especially when I use the transcript to write my show notes. It's all I generated. I of course there is that human oversight where I have to. What I'm noticing is that the transcript is good, but the show notes can be very long. There is no formatting, there are no bullets, it's hard to scan and that is where that human element comes in and I kind of rewrite that using my tech writing background, but it's definitely very powerful and the kind of things that you can do with the content and especially with the course creation that you're talking about. These are some things that I have thought about and they are in the back of my mind, and for to have a guest who is also thinking along the same lines and trying to monetize, I think that's brilliant.Matt Thomas:
I mean, even yesterday I just started adding I don't know why I haven't done this before, but I just started adding like plugins to GPT for to like scan and summarize PDFs and stuff quickly. Yeah, I don't know, it was the first time I've done that. The knowing that it only works in GPT for, though, because they only give you like a limited I think 25 messages every three hours, which is annoying.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I think I've been using the 3.5, the turbo, and I just signed up with this plugin that allows me to. It sort of. It has a team and you can pick the team role that you want and that extension serves content based on the role you select. So, for example, I'm helping my husband create a marketing campaign and I had to pick that role and provide the prompt. John spit out this whole campaign for Facebook on what to do. It's a subscription and I you talk about content creation. The sky is the limit and you have to get creative and if you come at it with curiosity, you can, I think, and not fear. I think you can really find the potential and see that it's truly a tool that can assist you.Matt Thomas:
Yeah, exactly Like I don't know, like it's going to disrupt a lot of things and I think that, like I don't think that you need to be an expert in it, but I think you need to like learn the basics of how to prompt it and how to use it and just, and the thing is that they're getting, they're only getting more and more like user friendly right, like some of this stuff exists, like that's partly why GPT caught on, because it's simple, it's a simple interface, it's just a chat window, right, it's easy for anybody to use. Like you can. I actually just bought a course last week that I haven't even looked at yet, but I'm super excited about one of the ones I really wanted to buy. It's called the AI content reactor by a guy named Rob Lenin, a LinkedIn creator as well, and he's on Twitter as well, but it's kind of like the definitive course for content creators right now, and it's a new version of it too. So he's got the first one. He introduced this concept of like mega prompts, kind of like really detailed, specific prompts that you can, and the thing is that he talks about too it's not even like like using the prompts and like whatever is also like he says like it helps you improve your writing in some ways. I haven't even dived into it, so I don't know the specifics of how, but I guess apparently the new one is like prompt chaining. I guess chaining together like combinations of these big prompts to do like crazy things and there's examples and yeah, I'm pretty excited. I just the thing is that it's hard. It's hard to, it's the time. It's the time to like learn it, so it's almost why like just kind of integrate it, get into your daily like work routine is a better way to do it than trying to just be like I'm going to learn everything and play with it. So I just make silly stories with my five year old in it and in GPT, like just have him like say some nonsense and spit out something.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I mean, I think the only way we involve our kids, the better too. I mean, I have two teens and unfortunately they are kind of not excited about chat, gpt.Matt Thomas:
Yeah, my 19 year old has like no interest in it.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, and it kind of worries me as a parent, but I guess they'll figure that out, yeah but it's.Matt Thomas:
I think it's just kids like they don't. I think that as soon as they like need it for something like school, where they realize, right like, part of the reason I adopted it quickly is because it was useful to me. Right Like, as soon as they find an application or they sit down and play with something like mid journey and start generating cool images, they'll be like okay.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I suppose it has to have that cool factor for them. You're right. Maybe there was one particular well challenge that you ran, or other. A poll on LinkedIn which I was really intrigued about Was was a content editing where yeah, it was man versus AI, man versus AI. I really found that entertaining and informative at the same time. But and the results were did those results surprise you? Can you or what did you expect when you created that challenge?Matt Thomas:
Sure, yeah, I'll just give like a bit of background so people understand what was so. I did yeah it was me versus, I think, the tool I mentioned earlier on fluffer, me versus on fluffer, and it was man versus AI editing challenge. So I started with five. I took five poorly written sentences. So, like I'm also like I have a background in professional editing as well. So, yeah, I guess that's another thing I didn't mention I'm also an editor, copyright or technical writer, content creator. So I took kind of five examples from my editing one of my editing textbooks and I rewrote them and then I ran them through on fluffer and I kind of took the best version. I ran them a few times sometimes and I took the best version from on fluffer and my edited version and then I put them side by side in like a carousel, like a slideshow post, and then just show them to people and with and covered up like which the response for sorry, whose response was which? Whether which one was mine, which was on fluffers Showed you all five examples mine and the other one but didn't tell you which was which and then did a reveal and then showed you which one was mine, which one was the thing, and then asked people to kind of let me know in the comments who they thought won the challenge, spoiler alert, they thought man beat machine, but for all but one example actually for the most part, but it was good. I think it was a good way of thing was entertain. I mean it was like I think I was back in January or February, which doesn't even seem that long ago, but like in January, with how fast AI tools are like whatever it seems like ages ago now. I think that was a good example, one that's educational and kind of entertaining at the same time.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, strangely, I tended to. I picked all the human written sentences and not the AI. I don't know what it was about them, but I just felt that they were simpler and easier to understand. I think it was a little more new nuance right yeah there's like that's really human judgment comes in.Matt Thomas:
Sometimes I found the AI rewrote it in what seemed like still like a little bit of a clumsy or like wordy way compared to like, and sometimes it would try and keep more of those words in. There was I would just like. For example, I think there was one where basically I just replaced a bunch of words with contentious right and that was, and it made the sentence way shorter and that was also. I remember one of my friends, my connections, was saying that that's what tipped her off like the human. It was like human version, just because she's like. I didn't think the AI would kind of like exercise that kind of judgment, but I think it was an interesting experiment. It was more also to see, can you tell?Zohra Mutabanna:
And I think in one instance it probably to me it sort of changed the meaning as well to some extent. And I felt like this does not sound human-written, because if a human was writing this, they would make sure that the meaning was intact and that was lost. Yeah, yeah it depends on the human too, I guess, but it is nuanced. We kind of talk about your journey, the AI tools you use, the content creation. I think the one thing that I would like you to share is, when you're creating this content you talk about, you capture your ideas in just the North's version of your iPhone app. How do you convert those to what they end up being on LinkedIn? Like, what is that journey?Matt Thomas:
A few things it depends. So a lot of times I'll start, I'll capture the idea that was the first step to just have it written down in my notes and then so like the longer mail, just like talk about like the process of doing this, just like back it up just a tiny bit, so like, because I'm posting five days a week, like, and I'm, you know, very consistent. I haven't missed like posting on a weekday since the end of February. It's the longer you do it, the more like kind of regimented, the more of a system you need. So I mean, all my posts are scheduled. I don't really live post anything, so I always just post at the same time every day. Because again, that's taking another variable out of it. It makes it easier, right, when you always post at the same time consistently and also just being able to schedule. It is like I don't, whatever I'm doing, I don't have to like stop and try and schedule it for like 930am. It's just good to go. I plan my content out a week at a time, like the week before, usually on the weekend. I'll kind of just have a. I'm not really disciplined enough to do it like a monthly content calendar the way some people do. I just kind of do it a week at a time, but that's okay. But I'll just like have like a thing on my phone and just even just see it written down came Monday, I'm doing this Tuesday, I'm doing this Wednesday, thursday, friday, and then just having that laid out, and then I'll usually work on my stuff on the weekends before. And I mean right now, like lately, I've built up enough of a kind of library of content to that I can repurpose stuff. Where you have to repurpose stuff. I mean everything is right. And you, just because, like I have way more followers now than I did three months ago, I will probably 2000 followers more than I did three months ago. So, like, a lot of them haven't seen it. Nor some of those older people saw the old post. Maybe they're not as active anymore. So, but then I'll sit down and like, when it comes to actually writing the post, I'll take the idea. Sometimes I'll just sit down and like I'll just write it, a first draft of it, a lot of times on my phone, just so I can't like sit there and mess with it. But also then sometimes is like hey, here's my idea, here's one talking point, and I'll dump that idea into GBT and I'll just kind of give it some context, like the persona, like I'm a LinkedIn content creator who creates content about writing, editing and what makes good content. So, like, here's my idea for a post about blah blah, blah, blah. Here's like some of like the angles, talking points, discussion points that I've thought of. Can you give me some other? A lot of time is more just like what else? How else can I expand on this topic? Can you give me some other discussion points or discussion, yeah and yeah, topics in like point form, and then it'll listen and I'll kind of start going from there and figure out a structure and and then also sometimes like it's helpful, like if I get stuck, like I kind of know what I want to say, but I hate the way I'm writing it, or I'm just like I'll just get something down and dump it in GBT and give me give me five variations of the sentence. I don't really ever just dump stuff in and then just take the output and put it online Like it doesn't work like that and I don't think the quality would be good, but there are people who do that and it's trash.Zohra Mutabanna:
So no, I would not do that, and I see a point. I would not recommend doing that. But it seems like you've kind of come to a point where you have templates of prompts that you probably keep going back to. Is there a formula, any general advice as we start tracking up prompts like what to do, what not to do?Matt Thomas:
Some of the best advice I got, and I don't know why I was doing this before, because I've been using GBT for like three months before. Someone just mentioned this to me, so a friend of mine maybe at the end I'll give you a few creators that people should follow on LinkedIn as well, because I think there are some people who are making, who are exploring AI and making it accessible in a way that's kind of good for people. That's another way, right, like to just kind of dip your toes into it is to kind of start getting educated and having some of these people show you what they can do. But a friend of mine, his name is Jordan Wilson. He hosts a daily show on LinkedIn called Everyday AI and yeah, it's a five day a week kind of podcast live show that he does about AI topics. He told me he's like start a prompt library, like a database of all your own prompts, and I was like why am I not doing that? I mean, all your history is saved in the GPT window. But I was just like, no, like I use these all the time and then when you get good ones, like you want to keep them in one spot. So that's what it's only I would suggest to everybody he's like start like just a prompt library doesn't have to be fancy Like I just did a table and word and put it in there and then, yeah, like certain prompts I use like so persona, so I'm a LinkedIn contact, just what I gave you just now. That's just something I copy and paste, right, I'm writing a post about blank and I just fill in the blank with whatever like the idea is from my note, right. And then then there's other things too, like there's I have a lot for tone, because I find a lot of the times like the tone of what GPT spits out is kind of over the top. If you don't like massage it like it's very like hyper. It just doesn't sound like the way people talk. So sometimes, like I will run samples of my writing through it and try and have it emulate that. But also like a great prompt that I found is simple is use minimal tokens Like that's a great one and that that cuts the like tone of it way back. It's just like way more like less fluffy, less over the top, just much more close to like it's. Yeah, sometimes it's a little boring, but I'd almost rather have that because it's easier to punch up than trying to like rewrite stuff. That's really over the top. So use minimal tokens is one temperature. So GPT is a temperature setting. So like, if you go add your prompt, then you go, I think the default temperature is 0.7. If you go 0.9, it'll prioritize more creative, unconventional ideas. If you go 0.3, it'll kind of be like more conservative and just more traditional. So those are ways of just kind of varying the output and the amount of creativity. So those are two really good ones. And then, yeah, like I have a just a bunch of other ones for tone, right, this is a concise, direct, active tone. And then there's like even stuff, like I said, even for the use minimal stuff, if I'm using GPT, for I can add a counter to keep track of my messages after every message, add a counter written as like blank out of 25 from, so I know how many messages I have left, stuff, like I said, use minimal tokens. I can just, from now on, if I add UMT or at the end of a thing, just apply it means you, I mean you just put shortcuts.Zohra Mutabanna:
That's invaluable.Matt Thomas:
If you're a lazy person who's also like kind of creative, AI tools are perfect for you, Because it's like I want to do as little as possible, but efficiently and well.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, I'm one of those lazy ones and I'm going to steal your ideas. Thank you so much. I think this has been my best takeaway from this whole conversation on how to optimize those prompts and everybody talks about prompt engineering, but you gave us some solid examples of what it really means in execution.Matt Thomas:
My example two is like one of my clients for my content creation, like my content consulting services, my first student who kind of went through my five week program he is keeping really consistent and stuff like that. He was so like I helped him with a bunch of things. One of the things I'll do is that he wasn't he's not a native English speaker. English is his third language, so Russian if he brewers first two languages, I mean and his English is pretty good, it's like it's quite good. The most part grammatically is just certain funny, you know, just certain like obviously like it's third language. But I actually came up with kind of a custom prompt for him that I gave him to kind of take his drafts and just smooth out some of the language a bit to like closer to like a native speaker English speaker, without changing like what he's writing, without changing his voice, but just just fixing some of those little grammatical idiosyncrasies. And it worked really well. I was actually really impressed with it. Like I was worried, like I didn't want to like I don't want to change the way he was writing, but I think like yeah, there's a million ways to just and sometimes you find stuff in some of those like the use, minimal tokens and the temperature. One were when I got from like a LinkedIn creator and I was like those are super useful. I tried them right away and I immediately added them to my list.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, those are gold. Those are gold, definitely. You talked about a five week course that you run. Why don't you tell us a little bit about that?Matt Thomas:
Sure, yeah, so I'm just in the middle of putting it together. Actually, it's a five-week program for creators on LinkedIn who want, like I offer a 75-minute consult as well, but for people who want more individualized attention and feedback on their content. So, feedback on their content what's working, what's not everything from formatting to like the topics, to kind of their hooks, to how they're discussing things, to framing things in a way that the audience cares about, helping them with that, helping them with their content strategy and kind of identifying what their content pillars are. So this client of mine when we started, I wasn't really sure, like what do you talk? It was kind of all over the place, like one day I'd be a post about this and I was okay, we need to like kind of dial you in. So like helping them, let's focus on these core topics and, like these are what you're going to kind of center your brand and your content around. I mean it's cool because, like honestly, since we worked together, I've seen like an uptick in the engagement. The quality of this post has gone up. The whole reason I started doing this was because I was doing it anyway, like people. I was giving people advice, people were asking me for advice and it was helping themselves. Just like you know what like I should. Just there's people who are far less qualified than me who are charging money for dubious things on LinkedIn, so I was like, why not me? That's the other thing too. I think that, like, the best creators are ones who have solid professional skills, because there are a lot of people on LinkedIn who, like, don't have very much experience off doing anything professionally off LinkedIn. Right, I find those kind of be a feature.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yeah, definitely. Please provide us those details when the program is ready, and if it's ready by the time this episode comes out, I would definitely love to plug that in as well, and all the other recommendations that you've given. I'm definitely going to make it a point to add those and I'll run it by you so that we can make sure we come around. Sure, let me give you a couple of names too.Matt Thomas:
I think that that would be good for some of your listeners. Just a couple of names, people to follow in the AI space. So I'll just give you a couple at the top of my head. And there's Heather Murray. She's really good at making her whole thing is like AI for non-techies, so she's really good at kind of making AI accessible. That use minimal tokens prompt and the temperature prompt are ones I got directly from a couple of her posts. And there's everybody Rory Flynn. He is a genius with mid journey, like generative AI, like creating images and stuff. He just gave a talk in Spain last week he's and he shares some awesome tips and really detailed carousels and then like as you can download all his prompts and stuff from his gum road for free. And he's really good at making AI accessible and relatable and also exploring some of the potential ethical questions and stuff around it and issues that might come up and just kind of keeping you updated on the main, because it's changing so fast. I've never really seen an industry like in my lifetime. That's just like where it's just changing this quickly yeah, just rapidly, right, if you look at mid journey the first version versus version 5.2, whatever one now it's like insane. It doesn't even look like the same software. Isabella Bedoya she's another one who is. She has some great, especially for marketers and for businesses and entrepreneurs. She has some great AI tips as well. Rob Lennon, like I mentioned, the guy who's course I bought AI content reactor. Those are the main ones that kind of comes to the top of my head, but Max Rasscher is another one as well. He talks about the AI for business and like automation and stuff like that as well.Zohra Mutabanna:
What do you think it will be the impact of AI tools on our profession?Matt Thomas:
I think it's so hard to say right now because I think it's going to disrupt so many industries. I definitely feel like there's a lot of opportunities for technical writers to. I think that it's better to get on board with it sooner rather than later. Like I said when, as a writer like as soon as GPT, like in December I was like I better get on this because, like I see the writing on the one, there's learning to use it. It's hard to honestly, like a good human writer beats AI, but like a good human writer who knows how to leverage AI is hard to beat in terms of efficiency. It augments your skills, right. It's not a replacement. Like we're still going to need qualified, competent humans who have solid professional skills to leverage these tools. It's best when they're filtered through somebody. Like I said, I would never just take the output of GPT and put that on the internet as a post, like it's got to be. It might help me write it or it might give me suggestions or ideas, but it's, at the end of the day, it's like my words and it's my voice, right.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yes, and I think that is where your unique personality comes through, and I think, at the moment at least, ai has no personality.Matt Thomas:
As whatever personality you prompted.Zohra Mutabanna:
Yes, yeah, and even then I think there is that. I mean, at least I for one have kind of found that there is this unique voice that comes through when you know a human is writing it. It's just me, I'm not claiming that I do that all the time. But again, this technology is going to evolve but, like you said, it is assistive and if you can leverage it to, you know, become effective.Matt Thomas:
I think it can make as a potential to make technical writers' lives and jobs a lot easier. Like I said, even with that like idea of how to put together a course, like I don't know how to put together a course, but like it's just giving you a starting point, place right, yes, Like apply your own skills to.Zohra Mutabanna:
Definitely, definitely. I think this has been a great conversation, matt. Thank you so much for your valuable time and for all the amazing tips and resources that you've pointed us to, and I will be settling back with you to get those links in my show notes, and I appreciate your time being with us.Matt Thomas:
Have a great day. Thanks for having me, Zora.Zohra Mutabanna:
Thank you, matt. Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app, such as Google, apple or Spotify, for the latest on my show. Follow me on LinkedIn or visit me at wwwinsighttechcomshow. Catch you on another episode.