Prompting your own uniqueness — Kelford Labs Weekly

Writing prompts for marketing content.

Prompting your own uniqueness — Kelford Labs Weekly
Kelford weekly 07 09 24
“One, don’t wait for inspiration, just start the thing. Two, once you begin, keep on until the end.”
— Roger Ebert, recounting advice given to him by a senior writer.

When people talk up the benefits of AI and Large Language Models, they’ll often mention the fact that they always have something to say.

When you work with an LLM (like ChatGPT), you never have to stare at a blank page, because the LLM will generate tokens about any subject, anytime—whether it knows anything about the topic or not.

And I completely agree! That can be incredibly helpful for the writing process. But we shouldn’t ignore or neglect the importance of spending time thinking and pondering by ourselves.

Because the downside of having a tool that always has something to say is we can easily fall into the trap of having it do our thinking for us, too.

Sometimes (perhaps even most of the time) instead of prompting a Large Language Model, we should prompt our own mental models. We should dig into the data stored within our own minds, forged by real-world experience and trained on inputs unique to us.

In a world of AI-generated slop, the way to stand out is by producing novelty—concepts, phrases, explanations that only we know how to produce, because they’re rooted in our own uniqueness.

So if you want to produce content—ideas, processes, and messages—unique to your business, your experiences, and your expertise, take the time to prompt yourself into writing something that’s truly your own.

I’ve identified three writing prompts that can help entrepreneurs, experts, and marketers create content that demonstrates their unique value—by leaning into what makes them unique.

The next time you need to write marketing content, first write down one of these prompts. Then, keep going, writing what comes naturally—and don’t stop writing until you’ve finished the thought.

Prompt 1: “The question everyone else forgets to ask is…”

Experts know that much of the value of expertise is in asking the right questions, not simply providing answers. Over the years and across your experiences, you’ve discovered questions that only you know to ask, because they’re related to things only you’ve seen and done, across clients that only you’ve worked with in your unique way.

Start with this prompt, and then keep going. It’s okay if you’re not sure if it’s truly a unique question, the important thing is that you’re inspired to write about your expertise in a way that’s specific to your process.

Prompt 2: “Here’s the most common question my clients ask me:”

The best marketing gold is found in our customers’ and clients’ own words. They know how to describe our value better than we do. By starting with this prompt, we can tap into what we know about how our best customers describe what we do, how we do it, and what they get out of it.

Pretend you’re talking to a friend and they asked you what you’re most often asked. Be a bit informal, use plain language, and use exact phrasing.

Prompt 3: “The most surprising thing about our process is…”

What makes you unique is usually what you don’t do—so you can focus on what you do best. So, what don’t you do? What would a customer or client who’s bought from someone else find most surprising about your process? What do you avoid so you can overdeliver where it matters?

Our best clients share our values and priorities, and they want to know we’re spending time, energy, and resources in the places that matter to them most. So by talking about what we don’t do, we demonstrate the value we deliver by focusing where it counts.

Getting Started

The important thing is getting started—getting past the blank page and creating content that demonstrates your unique value.

Use these prompts as starting points, little nudges to get your mental models working and producing novel outputs.

From here, you can edit, polish, and ultimately publish—as blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, or even website copy.

But it starts by getting started.

Kelford Inc. helps hands-on entrepreneurs and founders with complex marketing challenges define and articulate their unique value to their very best customers.

We’ll show you the way to always knowing what to say.