Epi 35: End Writers Block and Create Marketing Copy in Seconds With AI – Chris Lu, Co-Founder of CopyAI

Learn more about Copy.AI at: https://www.copy.ai/

Find Chris Lu on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-lu11/

JC: Welcome, everybody to another episode of The Future of BizTech. I’m your host, JC Granger. I have with me here, Chris Lu, who is the co-founder of Copy.AI. Chris, thank you so much for being on the show. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about yourself? And what it is that CopyAI does?

Chris Lu: Perfect. Thank you so much. Yeah, so CopyAI is a company trying to harness the power of large new AI models. And to empower businesses, we’re starting off by helping tackle marketing copy, social media copy, and we believe it’s the end of writer’s block. So what we do right now is very much help people brainstorm new angles, new ideas, as any business owner knows, you have so much copy to write and AI while it’s not as good to write it for you can at least get you 80, 90% of the way there and then have a human you know, edit the last little bit, and it’s ready to go.

JC: I love that tagline. And of writer’s block like and that’s a bold statement to make, you know. And for anyone listening, though, just for transparency purposes, I am now officially a client. I had actually asked Chris to be on the show because I loved your software so much. I was actually kind of blown away. I was telling you, Chris, that there was only two fields that asked me to put in when I wanted some subject line for emails suggestions. And it was basically just like, oh, tell us the name of your company or the service. And then like one or two sentences, tops about the service. And I was like, Okay, well, that doesn’t sound like a lot. And man, the results that came in, I was like, this is gold, like these are really, really good.

Chris Lu: Yeah, thank you, these new AI models have added recent advancement that’s been mind-blowing. Basically, there’s this premise that if you train a larger model, it gets smarter. And they pushed it to the limits. And this is 10 times, no, 100 times larger than the previous model that existed. And it turns out, it ended up being quite coherent. And because of the size of the model that has a lot of knowledge inside of it. So it can generate copy for almost any sort of industry any sort of niche, even products that don’t exist yet.

JC: So let me ask you a question. I mean, so, you know, we touched on a little bit like helped me personally with email subject lines, but, you know, what are some of the major things that your customers or subscribers or whatnot, are using CopyAI for?

Chris Lu: Yeah, some of the more standard copywriting formulas are still really hard to brainstorm as a human, especially if you don’t know the industry as well. So a lot of freelance copywriters, they would use our tool to do a first pass almost like a research say, hey, what are the pain points? How do I agitate these pain points, and they would copy and paste. And they will get a good feel of the industry that they’re trying to write for other tools that people have used significant amounts of as a blog ideas, it’s like, you know, generating an entire blog. And then you know, having a coherent and having other ideas to write about can be a huge pain, product descriptions, social media, captions, all kinds of marketing-related copy, right now, we are very much focused on shorter form. So this is much more around ideation around smaller, you know, pieces of content, like a call to action, maybe an email subject line. But we do hope in the future to offer longer-form pieces of content that can really drive traffic or improve and make businesses a lot more efficient.

JC: What about sales copy? I mean, we talk about, you know, marketing copy, and you know, website copy, you know, you’re talking about that, but what about like sales copy? Does your system do that? Well, or at all? And then if so, you know, what kind of feedback have you gotten from it?

Chris Lu: Yeah, it does. But right now we do the pieces of the Sales Copy. So you know, we have a social proof text, we have, you know, a cliffhanger tool where it tries to write a specific story in the sense of a cliffhanger that tries to get people to, you know, scroll further down the page, we have call to actions. And we have one of my favorites is actually feature to benefit. So you can just list out the features of your tool, and then the AI tries to brainstorm them into benefits. And then to even before you even focus on, you know, the sales page, we have a value proposition tool, which from JacobMcmillen.com, helped us create and he’s like, you know, most business owners don’t even know the value proposition or how to even think about their value proposition. So you type in a simple thing, we help, you know, small businesses write marketing copy with AI, and then it will spit back, you know, the specific value propositions that would make sense for your customers?

JC: And how like, how predictive or how good is how fast is it learning right now? I mean, is what can you tell the audience about, like, Where did you even get the database to start with, right? You have to start somewhere. So you know, what kind of tools or databases are maybe public or out there that can be, you know, for this AI? Like, what’s it built on? I guess, is my point.

Chris Lu: Yeah. So it’s this new model called GPT 3, and it’s a pre-trained transformer. So a lot of the training data happened back in late 2019. It basically is train on a lot of texts that is open license. So think Wikipedia, you know, blog posts, they have to basically go out and scrape the web, they claim it’s took about 10% of the internet. So it’s a significant amount, but it’s mostly English-based. I think the internet in general is mostly English as well. So that’s what it’s trained on. What we’re trying to do, though, is to add an additional few layers of context to this large pre-trained model. Because some of the data may be out of date, or, you know, we wanted to do very specific things. But yeah, it’s insane what it already knows. It’s not as good as generating you know, factual data, but it’s great for brainstorming, you know, angles and storytelling and finding a coherent way to tell the story.

JC: Yeah, I find that the hardest part of copy is the sales copy. Right? You know, so and everything kind of contributes to it. Really, if you think about it, guess anyone listening owns a business, you know, everything you’re doing is sales-related somehow, right? You know, when you’re until your email subject lines, that email copy itself, you know, like you said, you know, value proposition is all that is, has one giant goal of making sure that the recipient reading right understands and wants to, you know, buy your service or product. But how easy is this to use? So, you know, I’ve used it so of course, but can you explain to the audience, you know, what walks someone through visually, well, verbally, I guess, but to paint the picture of what does it look like, you know, the first sign in after they subscribe, and let’s say they pick, you know, you know, subject line, or a sales copy or value prop, how much work do they have to do? Like, they click on the thing they want? But then what do they have to do? How easy is it? And then what is the result? What is how does it walk you through the end product of it?

Chris Lu: Yeah, great question. We try to make it as simple as possible. And then we will make it more complex as we go along. So for the vast majority of the tools, there’s only two inputs, a name, and then a description. Sometimes it’s not necessarily name and description, sometimes it might be an intent, like, “Hey, this is an email, but who is the email for, and what is it about?”

JC: Name, and what the name of the product service name of the company or person?

Chris Lu: Whatever you need. So if you need, you know, a landing page for your company, then this name of the company, if you want it for a specific product line, then it could be for a specific product, make it as general as possible. And then you just click Create, once you fill those two fields out, and we give you 7 to 10 results every single time that you’ve clicked unique results, that then you can, you know, choose your favorite, what we realize is, this is an entire new field called Generative AI. And, you know, if you think about AI, like another person, they’re gonna have a lot of ideas, but you have to filter through the ideas to find the ones that speak the most to you. And so ultimately, there’s a human curation aspect of this. So our job is to try to surface as many ideas and then it’s your job to try to find the ones that you really like. And then you ultimately can copy and paste that app and use it wherever you’d like. There’s a bunch of websites actually already, that use a lot of copy from CopyAI. And one of my favorites is this tagline “A broken link is a broken promise”. And it’s for business that’s, you know, basically, it’s called Permanent Links. And for you book owners or sellers, they will take a link and then make it permanent, so then you’ll never lose like, you know, you’re not you’ll never get redirected to an error page.

JC: That’s really cool. Yeah, here’s the thing, um, you know, where do you see, you know, the future of this going? Right, let’s say from the industry itself, right? I mean, no, you guys do something that I haven’t seen done that well, in a long time, but you will have competition, obviously, right? So, you know, competition can make you better. But where do you see the future of, you know, Ai, when it comes to writing and capabilities, you know, in the long-form into essays maybe like, you know, where do you see just the general industry going in that five-year mark?

Chris Lu: Yeah, that’s a great question. Our North Star is empowering people. There’s this narrative out there, that AI is gonna take people’s jobs, and we just don’t subscribe to them, we think AI plus humans will be even better. So we really, really want to focus on creating features that would help humans get the results they want. Right now, we only have two fields. But as people look for very, very specific needs, the AI will need more context, so new features would include Hey, understanding more context about like, who are they what is the brand voice? What is the tone, you know, what’s the purpose? And if we can understand that we may be able to generate results that are going to be much more targeted, long term, we really think that, you know, entrepreneurship will be easier.

Chris Lu: Anyone who right now, you know, might have to hire an entire team just to get a company off the ground. We’re already starting to see some solopreneurs you know, get going, you know, with the advent of no code, low code technology, and social media networks, but it’s still really, really hard to just get everything that needs to happen to start this company. And so our goals are to lower those barriers one at a time as well.

JC: Let me ask you a question here. This is kind of a hypothetical, right? Because I’m kind of asking where the future of the industry is going, where this AI could go, not just for copy, but just AI in general, that does content? Maybe I should question, let’s say, 3 or 4 years from now, do you see it possible to have an entire book written for yourself? Now, obviously, you’d have to have more fields to fill out. But there’s one thing I know about book writing is that there is a method to the madness, right? There are courses out there that say, listen, we’re gonna write a book of this style wouldn’t be Sci-Fi over here. Or you can write a book about educational stuff. There are people who have created breakdowns of like, in the order of when you need to be, you know, saying these things like, you know, and there’s just like movies, right? There’s always a flow, there’s a climax, and then it comes down, you know, the good guy wins, you know, there’s a flow that works that is received well, so I guess my question is, hypothetically speaking, do you see either the industry or your company, having the ability, where if someone filled out enough fields of Q&A style, that entire chapter, or an entire book could be rough draft written anyway, for someone, and then they can go on and just basically, like, you could write a book for yourself based on you know, throwing your thoughts into these Q and A’s and then have the whole book written out? Like, what do you see that even being possible here soon?

Chris Lu: Yeah, I think that’s definitely possible in three to four years, it might happen sooner than that.

JC: Well, yeah. I mean, dog ears when it comes to AI, right? Like, it just happens so fast, you know,

Chris Lu: Right, this new technology has been around for about like, just under a year now. And we’ve already seen insane amounts of advancements, the AI does struggle right now for longer, like very, very long-form, just because the context window of its understanding is relatively small. Hence why we’re starting with shorter form, text and content, within the next year, you’re going to be able to program with this in natural language, which is going to be insane. And then I think within the next year, you’ll also be able to describe an image, and then the AI will draw it for you, and not just draw it, it will like render it and make it feel like you know, realistic.

JC: Yeah, I didn’t think about that, because we’re only talking about text, but there’s obviously an image capability here, and maybe one day, even video, you know..

Chris Lu: Video we’ve seen, we’re seeing early signs of it. So if you search up video GPT there’s like this algorithm out there that can try to predict the next second of video, but it’s, it’s very, very rudimentary. The more processing power, the more you know.

JC: Now, that’s the future, right? They’re not that’s the answer my question, right? Like, you know, seeing, being able to advance the images, being able to advance to help me you know, digital paintings, you’ve got NFT’s now, where it’s like, people are talking about, you know, a proprietary images that are owned, specifically. Imagine being able to create your own starting with some platform like this, and then go into Photoshop and do the rest, then you digitally own it. I mean, there’s some crazy stuff that could be down the line here, just from this base foundation that you guys in the industry are building, right?

Chris Lu: Yeah, it’s absolutely mind-blowing what’s possible here. And we’re really, really excited about it all. We think that there’s some insane stuff. I don’t know if you know, everyone can see these images.

JC: on YouTube. Yeah, they can see that the background image, we have to make sure you paint the picture for the audience that listening.

Chris Lu: Got it? Yeah. So right here, this is a futuristic spaceship scene, in the style of I think it was Blade Runner. You can kinda see that this is AI drawn.

JC: Wow

Chris Lu: One of my favorites is actually this, which is Van Gogh of Miami. So we were in Miami area, we’re showing off people. 

JC: But this is brilliant I mean, digital art! People can I mean, artists can start using this stuff, at least as a place to start. And then they can edit from there if they wanted to.

Chris Lu: Exactly. This is a sunset at Big Sur. I don’t know how easy it is. They’re absolutely gorgeous.

JC: It’s so ridiculous! 

Chris Lu: Yeah, what we think is that we’re at the very forefront. And right now it works a little bit better for these more abstract types of artwork, but it’s going to get better and better. And the capabilities have been shown to be insane. And it seems like you can just scale it.

JC: You can send me whatever. Where did you get those? Like, did you were you messing around that? Was there a website somewhere that that just does that image stuff you were talking about?

Chris Lu: Yeah, this one is a it’s called a Google collab, which is actually like, it’s like a Python notebook that you can run in the cloud.

JC: Oh okay.

Chris Lu: And this is done by a guy named Ryan. And he has a Patreon page where you can subscribe and he releases new models for you.

JC: So cool. Yeah. Send me a link to that after this, because I just want to check out more of those images. That was really cool. Yeah, well, I think that’s amazing that that’s where I mean, we can surmise that, you know, in that three, four or five year period, I mean, imagine where it would be by then, right? I mean, you’re right now you’re talking about, you know, ending writer’s block, but there’s creative block in general. I think that it sounds like you could really help with and I mean, even for painters, right for digital artists, you know, again videographers, you know, talk on AI that can take all the raw footage of the video, and chop. And we already see this in apps, right apps are doing really good job taking videos that people put into an app, and then it makes it like majesco, I think it was a Magento Magento. It’s one of those. And it does really good at just coming up with really cool stylistic parts.

JC: But those are more template-based. Whereas I feel like this AI could start be more intuitive about what would really draw people into a video because it can listen, it can see, you know, and then it has all that data to build on something that’s incredible of where it’s going. But let’s ask now about where CopyAI is going. My audience loves to hear about new things coming down the pipeline. So what can you tell us in advance of what you guys are coming out with that’s not in the platform right now? And get granted give or take? It’s about two months before this drops from when we’re recording. So you know, you’re safe to have it secret for a little longer.

Chris Lu: Yeah, no problem. Yeah, we’ll see you two months, I think there’s a good chance that we will launch some of these, or at least the early signs, what we realize is we have the building blocks for longer form for very specific things like a sales page. You know, like, we have a hook, you know, we have some social proof, we have potential testimonials. And we have benefits, like we should be able to help someone brainstorm an entire page and you know, mix and match and really generate stuff that’s going to be custom for them. We have all the tools for a custom email drip campaign. Can you imagine, you know, a unique email abandoned cart campaign per product that would be hyper-personalized? Yeah, there’s, we think we can really create these builds.

JC: These are launching soon? These things you’re talking about right here, this drip series?

Chris Lu: Yes.

JC: Nice. Very cool.

Chris Lu: These can all be building blocks to something much, much larger, that would be much more useful for a business. Yeah, it’s really exciting stuff.

JC: That is really cool. Well, let me ask you a question here. What kind of advice could you give the audience and whether it be the best advice you’ve ever been given? Or just advice that from your experience in the startup world, and AI and things like that.

Chris Lu: Finding leverage? You know, everything is about leverage. So you know, our mission is to give our customers the most leverage possible recently, you know, we’re testing some of these tools. And I had a high schooler write blog posts about stuff that they had no idea about. So one of the blog posts is about bowling balls, how do you choose top 10 things to think about when choosing a bowling ball, she had no idea. But she was able to create a first draft 1000 word blog post, 15 minutes.

JC: In 15 minutes?

Chris Lu: 15 minutes.

JC: With knowing nothing about the topic at all?

Chris Lu: Knowing nothing about the topic at all.

JC: That is impressive.

Chris Lu: And so that is leverage, right? You can get an intern who normally would you know, the best thing they can do is help you bring coffee, maybe now they can actually contribute at least a first draft at least get to something where where it’s like, Whoa, with like, 10 minutes of editing, this can become a publishable piece of content. Wow, social media content, same exact thing. You know, we are seeing a lot of young college students using our app and becoming their own social media managers, you know, creating their side projects. And we really believe in that leverage. So for us, that’s something we focus on internally, a lot. And then we also try to think about how can we bring this leverage to our customers?

JC: That’s really cool. Last question, who would be kind of like your perfect client, like what kind of industries or job titles are you seeing signing up for your service who’s getting the most benefit? Obviously, anyone listening can probably figure out how to make this beneficial to themselves, but just kind of like who’s really gravitating towards CopyAI right now?

Chris Lu: Yeah, solo business owners right now find the biggest value. And that’s because they’re doing it themselves. They can’t, you know, scale themselves well enough. And if they do try to hire other people, sometimes it gets really, really expensive. And you’re not too sure about the output. So there’s this like sweet spot for social media managers, they are able to unlock so much time, I consistently hear from them being like, this is a lifesaver. They’re on the content, treadmill, and every business today knows that, you know, the content treadmill is really, really important. The second you stop making content, the second you become less and less relevant. And not only that, there’s more platforms than ever to post to platform has its own unique, you know, aspects to it. So people use our tool to really be able to give themselves leverage to create a piece of content across you know, 10 different platforms, and really, you know, get the Reach out there.

Chris Lu: So social media managers, you know, their biggest pain point is writer’s block. When you try

JC: ..the block to come up with..

Chris Lu: Exactly you’re trying to say the same thing 10 different ways to 10 different audiences you know, on five different social media networks. After a few hours of that your brain is dead. Here, they can just constantly click the button change a few things. And all they have to do is select the ones that they like. And they absolutely love that. Some people are like, Man, I’ve been able to do my entire months with the social media. And like for hours, there was another person who was a social media manager, they found the app at like midnight, they worked until 6 am. Because they were so excited and completed like two weeks worth of work. It was unbelievable leverage. The last one would be ad agency. So right now ad agencies find a whole lot amount of value just because, you know, they’re limited by their people. And when you’re able to click a button and get an idea back for a client that you might not have the most knowledge about, it’s powerful, you really understand their business at a deeper level and the AI can really, you know, brains from the pain points that our clients have, and we just consistently seeing it being very accurate. As a matter of fact, we are testing some basic Ads with an agency and their customers of ours, then, you know, the results are just astounding. So those are the early customers. But in the next few months, we think that we’re going to be able to provide a lot more business value across a lot more businesses.

JC: Well I’ll tell you now, as a marketing agency owner, I’m already using your software. I mean, you know, the lot of times people come to me to be on the show, you’re one of the few people that I reached out to, and I was like, I need you on the show. Because I think what you’re doing is amazing, it worked about 10 times better than I expected it to at this stage of its development. So I love it, and I already have my people taking a look at it. So anyone listening, I recommend going to Copy.Ai, check it out, it’ll kind of blow you away, and it sounds like you’re gonna be by the time they even hear this. It’s gonna be even farther along, which will be really cool. So let me ask you a question here. You know, how can people reach the company? How can they reach you personally, if you know if they have a higher level partnership thing or something like that? Give us a little bit of info, a little contact info here.

Chris Lu: Yeah, you can email me at Chris@Copy.Ai. I’m very, very responsive. I do actually all the customer support right now myself. And the other place to follow us would be on Twitter. So Twitter has been our channel. And we are building the company fully, openly, then. So we’ve hired from Twitter, we share monthly updates about our revenue, strategy or plan, all on Twitter. And the goal is really to inspire more entrepreneurship and also really showcase what the power of this Generative AI is. We really believe that we’re at the beginning of this new wave. And you know, people have been scared, but we are really, really excited. Like any new technology, there are some things that may disappear. But this will empower people beyond their wildest imaginations.

JC: That’s amazing. Chris, listen, thank you so much for being on the show. I’m looking forward to talking to you again and seeing all the new advances of CopyAI. Thanks again.

Chris Lu: Thank you, JC. Have a good one.

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