Every day, we hear more and more about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been publicly "feuding" about the potential dangers of AI, which can leave people wary to try new products driven by AI.

While what Musk and Zuckerberg are discussing is a potential future scenario, in reality, almost everything we do online today has some element of machine learning or artificial intelligence. As the AI used in them is rudimentary and narrowly focused, we can allow them to be helpful in our day-to-day business--without fear that they're going to take over the world.

Here are some AI-driven tools that will help make your business run like clockwork:

Design

As an entrepreneur, you're often busy running your business. Unless you happen to be an artist or a web designer, you won't have the skills to create your own designs. Thankfully, AI comes to the rescue.

1. With Firedrop, all you do is answer a few questions about your business, and Sacha, the AI web designer, brings it to life. It's slightly more complex counterpart The Grid, a site famous for its Kickstarter, gives you slightly more control out of the box, but still designs a full site for you with very little input. For people who feel SquareSpace or Wix are too daunting, both sites will feel right at home.

2. Do you suck at Pictionary? Are you always trying to get your point across with a sketch and no one understands? Go to the Autodraw site, and it will guess what you're trying to draw and put it in a neat image. Bonus: Take your completed sketch to Paintschainer and you can automatically color it in via AI for a unique work of art.

Marketing

Similar to Design, unless you're a marketing genius, when you're running a small business, you don't have time create content and run it. By utilizing AI, it's like having your own Don Draper on staff.

3. These days, if you aren't using video, you'll lose people's interest fast--but if you're like me, finding the time to create them can be difficult. Magisto helps me out by taking my uploaded pictures and video and applying AI to pick just the best bits. I've been pleasantly surprised by its results right out of the box.

4. Do you have tons of written content and no videos for it? Lumen5 can be a great tool for you. What this site does is take URLs of articles and convert them to captioned videos, complete with music. As an example, I use it to quickly create companion video summaries for my Inc articles to post to social media.

5. Want to add stock footage to your videos? Do you like more control over what you're sending? Are you simply trying to create an explainer? Use Biteable's video creator to put something together fast, with the benefit of accessing their vast catalog of stock footage and music.  

Sales

Sales are the bane of every company's existence, no matter what your size. If you're a small business, you should be spending a disproportionate amount of time selling versus everything else, but what generally happens is that this gets neglected for product development and other tasks. Thankfully, we now have AI to help us.

6. Don't have time to find and capture leads? Use Reply.io to surface warm leads to follow up with.

7. Already have hot leads? Enter them into Conversica and let the AI do its work. Once you have a meeting set, it will add it to your calendar and let you follow up directly.

8. With Crystal, you can surface insights to have the right conversations with people. The insights it gives you can be a bit spooky, so use sparingly.

Administration

As entrepreneurs, it can be all too easy to let things fall through the cracks. Putting processes in place for following up is a good step, yet it seems out of reach for most people. Thanks to AI, it is a reality.

9. Using X.ai, you can have your own virtual assistant, scheduling meetings and follow-ups, adding it to your calendar directly. This allows you to save time for more important things.

10. With AskTetra and Fireflies, you get automated meeting notes sent to you--in summary form. Rather than just a full transcript, these services send you the insights so you know what is most important.

By embracing AI, your business can run smoother and you'll be way ahead of the competition.
 

Published on: Dec 21, 2017
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