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Generative AI for Freelancer: Will You Be a Disruptor or Disrupted?

As I advance in the Applied Generative AI course by MIT, I am completely and irrevocably convinced that the freelance business in the content creation field is experiencing a monumental transformation.

The type that will permanently alter its landscape.

I won’t lie, I had been resentful and did not want to touch it. But it’s here and here to stay, so, even though, we are pretty late to the table, we better be armed for this new revolution in the field of knowledge and creative work.

Parallel to my research, study, and hands-on exploration of generative AI technologies, LLMs, and the transformative impact of AI tools on our efficiency, I am developing a methodology designed for the next generation of freelancers.

The framework I am developing will enable freelancers with an entrepreneurial mindset to QUICKLY go from identifying profitable markets in adjacent fields via conducting focused AI-powered research to creating their new Unique Value Proposition, securing new commercial clients, and scaling their business.

Rinse and repeat the process for continued growth as many times as desired.

This wasn’t possible at the scale and accessibility it is available to us today. We are the pioneers.

And I will serve as my own test subject as I experiment with this framework. I will be sharing my insights and reference materials on my personal blog: juliakuzmenko.com/blog. You can subscribe to receive my practical and valuable findings by using the subscription option in the sidebar on the blog page, under “Freelancer’s Roadmap” or at the bottom of this article.

This method will inevitably leverage generative AI tools, and probably not in the way you are expecting, so it’s a good time for a formal introduction to this groundbreaking technology.

By @juliakuzmenko, generated using MidJourney

What is Generative AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a machine’s ability to perform some cognitive functions we usually associate with human minds. Source: What is AI by McKinsey & Company, April 2024

Generative AI is a transformative technology in artificial intelligence that empowers machines to produce new, original content—be it text, images, music, voice, or code—mirroring the creativity typically attributed to humans.

While it speeds up the creative process by handling time-consuming tasks, true artistry and direction still remain the prerogative of the human creator.

Generative artificial intelligence is powerful and exciting, but its output is only as good as its input, or, in other words, garbage in – garbage out, like in any creative field. The only difference is that here you will be using prompting – verbal instructions – rather than the common creative tools we are accustomed to.

What is prompt engineering?

Prompt engineering is the process of carefully crafting prompts (instructions) with precise verbs and vocabulary to improve machine-generated outputs in ways that are reproducible. Source: “What is prompt engineering?” by Zapier.

For creative professionals, especially full-time freelancers who wear the hats of the principal creator and the entrepreneur behind the business, it’s vital to keep up with Generative AI developments.

This technology is set to transform both creativity and efficiency in the industry, allowing all content creators to push the boundaries of their body of work. It truly opens up a new realm of possibilities for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.

By leveraging deep learning techniques it offers an unparalleled tool for inspiration and ideation, facilitating the rapid generation of visual or written ideas, and exploration of new forms of expression in various creative avenues.

For instance, photographers and retouchers can use Generative AI to create unique props, garments, and backgrounds to use in their images, which can save a lot of time and money for independent creatives, especially at the start of their careers. And this can now be done directly in Adobe Photoshop too.

The same photographer or retoucher, if inclined, can also offer expert articles and other written content services to small and large businesses in the field of photography and retouching – we at Retouching Academy are always looking for those mutli-disciplinary gems! With the help of Generative AI, this can be done quickly and really well, opening up an additional income stream for their freelance business.

And this is just one example out of very many options I have discovered in the research for my “Next-Gen Freelancer” framework.

By @juliakuzmenko, generated using MidJourney

New Income Streams

One of the key benefits of Generative AI for creative professionals is its ability to significantly reduce the time and effort involved in creating preliminary drafts, shot-lists, marketing content, emails, social media captions and it can be used as a tireless tutor too (trust, but verify, though!).

This efficiency allows more time for refinement and experimentation, potentially leading to higher-quality creative outcomes and the development of new unique styles of art, and definitely many opportunities for an increase in income.

To reiterate, creatives shall approach Generative AI with a clear understanding of its capabilities and limitations. While it can generate content that is novel and inspiring, the creative insight and direction still fundamentally come from the human DIRECTOR.

Additionally, ethical considerations, such as copyright and the authenticity of the creative process, are paramount when incorporating AI-generated content into professional work (more on this below).

In summary, Generative AI will undoubtedly shape the future of creative industries, making it essential for professionals to stay informed and adapt to its advancements.

Will You Be a Disruptor or Disrupted?


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