How to get started with ChatGPT

How to get started with ChatGPT

Last week myself and our new SEM team lead, Mitesh Patel headed to a great breakfast event held by Visit Sunshine Coast on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Featuring a panel of specialists, including one of our longest serving business advisors Mark Cameron, tourist operators from across the Sunshine Coast along with delegates from Visit Sunshine Coast, Tourism Noosa and a variety of other local businesses like ourselves who work within the industry in some shape or form attended, eager to gain insights to the growing trend of people using ChatGPT and other AI technologies to perform a wide variety of tasks.

How many people use ChatGPT and when did it come out?

According to the latest available data, ChatGPT currently has over 100 million users. And the website generated 1.6 billion visits in June 2023. Which is astounding when you consider that ChatGPT was only introduced by OpenAI in a research preview on November 30, 2022. 

The launch of ChatGPT marked the latest development in the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) series of language models, designed to generate human-like text and engage in natural language conversations. ChatGPT builds upon the capabilities of earlier models, such as GPT-3, and represents OpenAI’s ongoing efforts to advance natural language understanding and generation technology.

How do you get started with ChatGPT?

To get started with ChatGPT and use it effectively, you can follow these steps:

1. Access the Platform:

Most people are signing up for a free account at https://chat.openai.com/. It’s quick and easy to sign up.

2. Understand Usage Terms and Costs

Familiarise yourself with the terms of service and pricing (if applicable). ChatGPT is free, whereas some platforms which connect to it or use AI in other ways may require payment.

3. Come up with some initial Questions or Prompts for ChatGPT

To start using ChatGPT, enter your questions, prompts, or requests into the interface. Be clear and specific in your instructions. You may need to refine or rephrase your questions to get the desired output so don’t be disillusioned if you dont get an answer you’re satisfied to start with. 

example of chatgpt prompt

Some examples of prompts I used on ChatGPT in my early days include:

  • Coming up with a title for my presentation on ‘work life balance’ – What is cool about a prompt like this is leaning on ChatGPT in those moments where creativity just isn’t coming to you. Don’t like what it comes up with for you? Simply hit the ‘regenerate’ button and keep going until ChatGPT comes up with something you do like, or use it’s suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Competitor Analysis – having tried something super easy, next up I put it to work by getting it to do a competitor analysis. This was a much longer prompt and I was amazed at what it came up with. Here is what I entered:

    ‘I want you to act like an analyst / auditor. I want you to perform an analysis of The Creative Collective  with the following top 6 competitors (1,2,3,4,5,6 – I entered actual competitor names here). I need you to assess the differences and similarities between The Creative Collective and r(1,2,3,4,5,6). I need you to focus on pricing, market positioning, branding and messaging. Research the relevant market and analyze each brand to identify key differences and similarities. Present all the information in a detailed report that includes charts, graphs and tables. based on all the information let me know how The Creative Collective can improve and actionable steps we can take to make The Creative Collective better than (1,2,3,4,5.6).

    The results? Absolutely mind blowing!
  • Gift ideas – With my Mum’s 70th birthday coming up in May this year, I was feeling out of ideas for a thoughtful present. Again, I turned to ChatGPT for all the answers. In this example I simply asked ‘Got any creative ideas for a 70 year old’s birthday?’. It came up with some great stuff, none of which I went ahead with, but the inspiration was appreciated and helped me get some focus on the momentous occasion.
  • FAQs for a client website (or your own) – In August I was writing some FAQs for a client’s website in a really niche area on a topic I wasn’t all too familiar with. In a moment of doubt, again, I turned to ChatGPT and it didn’t disappoint. In this example I asked it to give me some frequently asked questions and answers on the topic of… bedwetting alarms! The answers were super helpful and allowed me to pass on a list to the client to review, add to and update to suit them.
  • Blog posts – Perhaps the most practical use of all for our company (and many others out there) is leaning on ChatGPT for a little help with long form content i.e. blog posts, media releases and other items. I’ll fess up here and admin some sections of this very blog have even had a little help from my good friend ChatGPT (or Chad as I like to call it!), but I have also taken the time to review these things and flourish them in my own style, to feel comfortable about sharing them with you!


4/ Save prompts which work for you well in a library and share them amongst the team to foster collaboration

A brilliant idea which is so simple but I imagine could be so effective is simply keeping a repository of your ChatGPT prompts, so others in your organisation can learn and collaborate with you on the AI journey. This could be as simple as a a collaborative Google Sheet that you give your team access to and contribute to regularly.

5/ Review and Refine Your Own Responses

Experiment with different prompts and phrasings to find the most effective way to communicate with ChatGPT for your specific task. It’s important that you carefully review the responses generated by ChatGPT and also understand that its knowledge is based on information available up to September 2021 (there are rumours they will release newer data soon). Therefore if the topic you need to write about or source information on is post this date, you may need to do some more up to date research. Additionally, as one of the panelists at the breakfast we attended said, “ChatGPT can be overly confident at times” and gave an example of a lawyer in America who used it to source case references he consequently presented in a live legal case. The references turned out to be fake, and the case was thrown out with the lawyer having ‘egg on his face’. In short, fact check everything.

6/ Check for plagiarism

Whilst you may have gained inspiration from ChatGPT or other AI platforms, and in theory could copy and paste whatever it produces word for work, we would never recommend it in fact this is completely the WRONG thing to do in our opinion. We believe it’s essential to run your copy of any kind through a  plagiarism checker program such as Grammarly or Copyscape once you have finished your copy. Best practice is to keep new content at 5%, absolutely maximum 10-15%. Please ensure your copy remains within these guidelines and amend it accordingly if it does not meet these guides before publishing.

Similarly, to detect ChatGPT plagiarism in copy provided to you by team members or contractors, you should use these programs too.

7/ Maintain a Human-in-the-Loop Approach

Keep in mind that while ChatGPT can generate responses, which you can then run through a plagiarism checker and adjust, it’s also important to use human judgment, and commit to going through any body of text you create and thoroughly fact-check, and ensure the copy is in line with your company’s brand voice, and generally ensure the quality of the information. You may like to inject some opinion and angles on the copy which are your own to really add the value.

8/ Consider Ethical & Privacy Considerations

Be cautious when sharing sensitive or confidential information with ChatGPT. Avoid using it for harmful or unethical purposes. I can’t think of any examples to share here right now as my brain is not wired this way, but in short if it feels wrong, or could have legal ramifications, potentially avoid it. Also follow the usage guidelines and policies provided by OpenAI or the platform provider to ensure responsible and ethical use.

9/ Explore Advanced Features

Depending on the platform or integration, you may have access to advanced features like translation, summarisation, or code generation. Familiarise yourself with these capabilities.

10/ Stay Informed

Keep up to date with any updates, improvements, or new features offered by ChatGPT. It is evolving rapidly and there are not updates all the time.

Summary of how to use ChatGPT

Remember that ChatGPT is a powerful tool, but it’s important to use it responsibly and with a critical eye. It’s not a substitute for human expertise and judgment, especially in areas that require accuracy and ethical considerations.

Efficiency in using ChatGPT depends on your specific tasks and goals. However, here are some prompts and tips to help you be even more efficient when working with ChatGPT:

  • Clear and Specific Questions: Start with clear and specific questions or prompts. The more precise your input, the more focused and relevant the responses will be.
  • Contextual Information: Provide relevant context when asking questions. Mention any relevant details or background information to help ChatGPT understand your query better.
  • Bullet Points and Lists: If you’re looking for structured information or a list of items, use bullet points or numbered lists. For example, “Can you list the top three marketing strategies for e-commerce businesses?”
  • Direct Requests: Make direct requests when you need actionable information. For instance, “Please provide a summary of the quarterly sales report.”
  • Summarisation and Simplification: If you have lengthy text or content that needs to be summarised or simplified, you can ask ChatGPT to do so. For example, “Can you summarise this article on renewable energy in 3-4 sentences?”
  • Programming and Coding: When working on coding or programming tasks, provide a clear code snippet and describe the issue or request. Be specific about the programming language you’re using.
  • Troubleshooting and Problem-Solving: When seeking help with troubleshooting or problem-solving, describe the issue, any error messages, and the steps you’ve already taken to resolve it.
  • Feedback and Critique: If you want feedback on a document, design, or idea, present it clearly and ask for specific areas where improvement is needed.
  • Comparisons: When comparing products, services, or options, specify the criteria you want to consider. For example, “Compare the features and pricing of Product A and Product B for small businesses.”
  • Exploration and Idea Generation: If you need creative ideas or suggestions, express your goals or criteria, and ask for brainstorming or recommendations.
  • Advanced Features: Explore advanced features of ChatGPT, such as using the system to translate languages, generate code, or draft content. Clearly state your requirements and expectations.
  • Follow-Up Questions: If the initial response doesn’t fully address your query, don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions to clarify or seek additional information.
  • Review and Edit: When ChatGPT generates content, review and edit it as needed to ensure it aligns with your specific requirements and style.
  • Experiment and Iterate: Experiment with different phrasings and approaches to find the most efficient way to extract the information or assistance you need.
  • Stay Safe: When discussing sensitive or confidential information, be cautious not to share sensitive data or passwords with the AI.

Remember that while ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for efficiency, it’s not infallible. Critical thinking and human judgment are essential for verifying information and ensuring the quality of the output.

Want to learn more about ChatGPT or be guided through getting set up or using it for your organisation? Contact us to arrange a one on one consult or group workshop for you and your team!