Episode 59

E59 - From Nonprofit to Tech Pioneer: Peter's Journey and the Impact of AI on Business with Peter Guirguis

Peter Guirguis shares his journey of starting his own business and how he used AI in his day-to-day life. He discusses using AI in copywriting, web design, app development, and advertising. He emphasises the importance of clear and concise messaging on websites and the use of AI to generate persuasive copy.

He also mentions the use of AI tools like Play.io for advertising campaigns. Peter highlights the need for testing and experimentation in marketing strategies and the importance of tracking ROI. AI tools have saved Peter Guirguis both time and money in his business. He no longer needs to hire copywriters or spend hours crafting email responses. The productivity and time management benefits are significant, saving him hundreds of hours each month. David Brown highlights the lack of discussion around the actual impact and ROI of AI tools. Peter mentions the need for an AI tool that can compare different outputs and determine the best option for a given context. They also discuss the importance of being nimble in a changing job market and the value of vocational training and apprenticeships.

Takeaways

  • AI can be harnessed in various business aspects, including copywriting, web design, app development, and advertising. This empowerment allows business professionals to take control and make confident decisions.
  • Clear and concise messaging is crucial for websites, and AI can help generate persuasive copy.
  • AI tools like Plai.io can streamline the process of creating and optimising advertising campaigns.
  • Testing and experimentation are essential in marketing strategies to track ROI and improve results. AI tools, by saving time and money in business operations, enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • The actual impact and ROI of AI tools should be considered and discussed.
  • Being nimble and adaptable is not just a suggestion but a crucial necessity in a changing job market. This adaptability prepares us to face challenges and be resilient.
  • Vocational training and apprenticeships can provide valuable skills and job opportunities.

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Thanks for listening, and stay curious!

//david

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Transcript

00:01 - David Brown (Host)

Okay.

00:02 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Peter, welcome to the show. Oh, thanks so much, David, for having me. I'm super excited to be with you today.

00:07 - David Brown (Host)

Awesome. So how did you get here, like how did you get where you are today? And you know what was that, what did that journey look like? And I think that'll give everybody a little bit of background of sort of where you're coming from?

00:26 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Oh sure, well, you know, I am the CEO and founder of a company called Swift Press Support and we build websites and apps for small businesses, mostly here in the United States and also internationally. And it all started actually quite some time ago, probably actually back when I first got married. I was at the time I was working for a church and you know it's a nonprofit, and you know everything was fine and dandy, but until we had our first child and our second child and things began to ramp up and began to really get expensive. And now, all of a sudden, the you know, the money that I was making from the church that I was working for wasn't really enough to pay for my wife, my kids, you know, and for all the extra expenses.

01:08 - David Brown (Host)

I feel you.

01:09 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah. So I decided, hey, you know what, I need to have like a side hustle to make some extra money while I keep my full-time job. And so, you know, I started waking up early, like at 4 o'clock in the morning, and started to go and create like this you know some kind of side hustle. And and started to go and create like this you know some kind of side hustle and at the time there was something called PLR products and these were these kind of like products where you can create like little, like small courses about any kind of niche that you want.

01:35

ke, maybe, you know, an extra:

02:21 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, I figured something like that was coming.

02:23 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

u selling things for you know:

02:55

So, he's like you need to go the opposite and go high end and do executive coaching to CEOs and you know and do the time management for them. So I said OK. So I went online and I found a course that would teach you how to do you know build courses for executives and charge a lot of money and that cost me $10,000 just to learn that. So I invested $10,000 in the course. There's your lesson.

03:27 - David Brown (Host)

That's the lesson right there.

03:29 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

I should have just gone.

03:31 - David Brown (Host)

This is it.

03:32 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, but wait, see if you can predict what happened to me, david. So I went ahead and I did the course, I followed everything. There was all these other people and other niches doing the same class with me at the same time. You know they're. After that, you go out there and you do Facebook ads that bring in your target clients, everybody's, you know, getting one sale, two sales, three sales, whatever it is, you know, and they're making money after this money, you know, like not a mark, because they're charging, like you know, 5,000, $10,000. So I go ahead and I and I launched it and I do everything that everybody else is doing and it's just crickets. You know I do absolutely no sales. And so that was another failure, two in a row, and I was like, oh my gosh, you know I'm I'm now in debt. You know, from the my first business that failed second business.

04:22

I paid $10,000 for the course. So I'm further into debt. Meanwhile I'm even more into debt because of, you know, my expenses with my children and I'm just going deeper and deeper into debt and I'm just like man, what am I supposed to do? And you know, I had, I had the skill of building websites and I had one of my friends who owns a marketing agency quite successful actually and he says hey, one time he gets uh, gets ahold of me and says hey, peter, you know, I know that you're good at building websites, would you be interested in doing white labelling? Uh, with my agency. And I'm like white labelling, what's that? And he's like white labelling is basically where I hire you as a contractor, but you act as if you're one of my team members or my staff and you build websites for all of my clients for my agency. I said, sure, no problem, at this point I'll do anything.

05:09

And that's how I got started. I started building websites for him and his clients were super happy and I kept on doing that for several years and he was paying me and he was making money and I also branched out on my own and it was very successful and I was able to get out of debt and pay my way out. So that is kind of the backstory of how I started my business. We started branching out after that because of apps, small business owners need to have apps as well and then we also do advertising for them after we build those websites and apps for them. Now they need traffic, they need to get sales, so we do advertising. So it's kind of a one-stop solution for all small business owners needs when it comes to advertising websites and apps.

05:51 - David Brown (Host)

And so were you doing that as a? Were you sort of moonlighting and doing that as a second job? Was that the idea that you would do your day job and then you would do this on the side, or were you trying to to have that in the very beginning? Did you just want to spend that up and that two grand a month? Did you want that to be your full income?

06:10 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, no, that's a great question, david. For me, I really enjoyed working for the church, you know. It gave me a big sense of meaning and purpose. So I always the idea was to always just have my full-time job at the church and then to have a side hustle and just to continue doing that. But what ended up happening is that my side hustle grew to a full-time job and it became popular as I got more and more clients. And so what I ended up doing is that to this day and I've been in business for nine years, now coming up on my 10th year anniversary quite soon is that I still work for the church and I have my full-time business.

06:44

I just hired more staff in the business to keep it on, so I have both going on.

06:51 - David Brown (Host)

Both going on. Yeah, I had a similar background actually, so I can empathise with you because back this was 30 odd years ago when my kids were born, but I had twins and I worked in the travel industry, and the travel industry doesn't pay very much either. It was great fun and it was, you know, it was a good job, but it wasn't making enough. You know, I wasn't making enough to make ends meet, and so I started this, this nighttime job doing data conversion for a startup in Chicago, and very quickly, the same thing sort of happened as it's, you know, that job became my full time job. They're like oh, we got this big contract, we need you to come on, you're really good at working with people.

07:31

Because they were just a bunch of software engineers they did. You know, they didn't have any kind of customer experience on a commercial level and that sort of thing. So they were like you know, can you just come on and help us with that? And that was my transition into I mean, that was the mid-90s and that was my transition into tech, and so very similar situation. So, okay, cool, I like it. So how are you using AI in your day-to-day life then?

07:59 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, we're using it on so many fronts, David, and I love that you were able to make the transition to tech, because look at where it led you today. So definitely the best thing, yeah, look at what happened to the travel agency world also, you know.

08:12 - David Brown (Host)

I tell you what I got out just at the right time because that was still before you could really book your own travel online. And it wasn't too many years after that that, really, you know, the big booking sites came on and then all the airlines started going on and it absolutely decimated the travel industry from. You know that agency model Because you know I was working on at some jobs I was working for, like American Express travel and there were like 300 agents on a big floor and you know we were all just taking costs because that's the only way you could book it. You know, nobody booked their own flight. You couldn't, you know. And so accidentally I got really lucky and kind of switched industries. You know, just two or three years before I think there was a big shift. So, yeah, you're absolutely right, but I just got lucky. There was no foresight in it whatsoever.

09:01 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, that's incredible. I'm so glad that you did and I'm glad that we got a chance to connect with you today. And then, you know, as far as AI and I love the podcast, you know, because you're talking about a very important subject AI and man. Ai has revolutionised. You know my industry, so definitely for me as a web design agency, we use AI in our agency. Definitely the number one way that we've used it and that's helped us out so much is in copywriting. So taking the text, for, you know, creating the text for the home page, for the about page, services pages, contact pages, those used to take hours and hours and now it takes just a few minutes. You know, we've engineered, you know, uh, an amazing prompt that we know what's the best layout for a homepage. So all we have to do is put in information about the business and talk about their services and we put it in our perfect prompt and out comes the text.

09:54 - David Brown (Host)

And then the next part, Go ahead. That's really sorry, I'm just jumping in. That's really interesting. And how long I'm curious to know, and you don't need to give away any trade secrets. And how long I'm curious to know, and you don't need to give away any trade secrets. You don't need to tell me what the prompt is and how it works. But I've heard this from a lot of people and I've heard some super, super clever ways and maybe we can talk about it offline, just so you don't have to tell everybody. But because that's where the real IP is starting to come in is my point is it's how you learn to prompt the system to get out of it something that's useful and good. And my question is how long did it take you to work through and to really come up with a prompt that you were comfortable with, that you could use over and over?

10:38 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, absolutely. The thing is, is that the problem with AI right now is that if you just go into AI, you know, using any of the emails, and you just tell them, hey, give me the homepage for, you know, a bakery or something like that, and it just gives you like, hey, here's a different section. You're not going to get good results. Yeah, the text is bad, the layout is bad, the order of everything is bad, so it just will not get you good results. And that's the problem with people just going out there and DIYing business owners DIYing doing their own website is that if you just use, you know, ai tools, you're not going to get good results.

11:11

So for me, you know, the model that I really found really resonated and brought fantastic results is a model with I forgot the name of it, but it'll come to me in just a second but basically, what we like is we, if you're familiar with, like direct response, copywriting, you know, and using those kind of methods in order to elicit a response from the people, because really, you know, a lot of people focus on branding, but we want to focus on, hey, eliciting, you know, people to come to your website and to get them to either capture leads so that you get leads to your, to your business, or that you actually make the sale.

11:50

Um, so, in that, in that sense, there's definitely a certain format, uh, that you can, you can follow in order to do that. So, you know, we we like to do like, definitely at the very top and I don't mind talking about the formula, uh at the very beginning, at the very top of, and I don't mind talking about the formula At the very beginning, at the very top of the hero section, which is the header section it's very important that you pass the five-second rule, and the five-second rule is basically a rule that says that if somebody new comes to your website and they cannot tell within five seconds and people will think five seconds is too much, it's actually three seconds If somebody cannot come to your website and tell exactly what you do, they're leaving immediately.

12:28 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, and that's like, basically, you know putting, uh, you know flushing money down the toilet because, however, it's so annoying as well, right and once you once you key into that, because, again, I've worked in digital marketing and doing web analytics and analytics of this stuff for decades and, um, I it just I, sometimes I go on websites and it's just got this airy fairy stuff and it's like you have no, it could be any sort of business. You have no idea what they do. Um, so I'm, I'm a hundred percent with you on that. You know, it's, it's also that bottom line, up front kind of thing. Right, it's like tell me what you want, tell me what you do, whatever, and then let's get on with it, because then, yeah, and I'm doing a website refresh with someone right now, and that's something that we're working on really carefully is to pass that test to make sure that people know this is what we do, and then you can do all the fluffy stuff later.

13:21 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

That's it, that's it so that do all the fluffy stuff later. That's it, that's it so. That's what we do. So we always say in the hero section, the header section, always talk about, hey, what do you do? And kind of include what's the benefit, one benefit of, of what you do, yeah, and then after that, um, put in you know, uh, the text. And then after that, the next thing that we like to do, that most people don't do, is that we talked about the problem, or or we like to say, like you know, because the thing is that you want to empathise and show that you understand your prospective clients. You know a problem. So we like to say, hey, here's the problem that you're experiencing and here's the solution.

13:56

So we do um hero section and problem solution, and then, um, benefits you know, services, um, and then how it works, section you know, show that you. It's very easy to do business with you. I like to do it within three steps, maximum four, and then after that another maybe call to action with the benefits, and now you have a beautiful layout for homepage that brings you results.

14:18 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah. And so I'm curious because I mean, obviously I have a show and I talk about AI incessantly and I use it all the time in my own stuff. I'm curious to know what you're. What do you think about, like the success rate? I mean, like you said, you've probably tweaked now your prompts to get more accurate, better results. Find that a lot of times, even if you say you know brainstorm, if you give it text and say, give me 10 ideas about titles for this piece of content or whatever, it just never, I can just never get it to do it kind of the way I want. But sometimes I wonder if there, if the AI is maybe better than mine. I don't know what you know. Have you tested that before? Have you ever tested that you know and done some A-B testing and say, well, this is what I would write and here's what I, here's what the AI recommended. Which one performs better? Have you, have you ever done any of that kind of testing to see if how it works?

15:16 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

I have. I have and I have done that kind of testing and I found that um, so many times what I've come up with because of my background in copywriting did perform better. And honestly, I went in hoping that I would be wrong, that I would be able to have AI do better. But I think the problem was is that AI are LLMs right, they're large language models and with that, basically you have all the data that is. You know, it's learned. Learned is basically both good data and junk data, so you have to take that. So if you have something that would typically get like an A plus in copywriting, but you also have the things that are getting B, Cs, Ds and Fs and it's basically saying, hey, here's all of it and here's the average and here's what we think you should do.

16:01

But here's some secrets, David, is that if you know, for example, that there's a good copywriter and when I talk about copywriting, just for those who are listening, I'm not talking about, like intellectual property or copyright, legal stuff. I'm talking about the skill and art of writing persuasive copy that convinces people to take your call to action and to do business with you. That's what I'm talking about. And so there's basically very many skilled advertisers that are out there like legendary copywriters. So if you know, for example, somebody that I like is I forgot his name Gary Halbert yeah, Gary Halbert, one of the very famous copywriters.

16:41

Or somebody else like I forgot Clayton (ed. Makepeace), something, something else. I forgot the names. But either way, the point is that if you know somebody, the thing is that you can go into your ai model that you're using, like that chat, gpt or anybody else, and say, hey, you know, create this a piece of content for me, give the prompt and then write. Say, hey, write in the comp and the style of the so-and-so person, the famous copywriter and then now that because that you know the AI has been trained on that it will spit it out and it will sound very persuasive and sound very different. So you can also play around with that and that's also been very exciting and do you?

17:19 - David Brown (Host)

do you think there are any copyright issues around that?

17:23 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

yeah, it depends. You know, at the moment there haven't been any because those the people's works that it has been trained on have been public domain, right?

17:32

so if it's in the public domain, basically it's like the same thing like hey, maybe you go out there and you write with your own hand, you know uh, a person's persuasive letter to an advertising in a magazine or something. Yeah, so at the moment there have been no, um, legal cases that I know of again against doing that. So, so far so good. Uh, where I have seen, of course, in flexural property, issues are like with actors and actresses and you know uh, stuff that's like behind paywalls and stuff like that. And who knows, it's still early in the game and who knows what other legal cases might be coming soon. But as of now, at the time of this recording, using the prompts in that kind of style.

18:13

It's been clear and you're free to use it. Go ahead and try it out.

18:17 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, and I think, just something for the listeners, because we'll have listeners in different countries as well. The laws are a little bit different in both countries as well. Um, the laws, the the laws are a little bit different in both countries as well. So you know the UK and the U? S vary and how they approach copyright and all that sort of stuff, so we'll give that disclaimer straight away. Um, um, sorry about that.

18:42

Um, it's been interesting to, I guess, two points on that. One is that, from what I know as well, anything that's created by AI is not copyrightable yourself. So if you use it, you can't claim copyright on it. And it was interesting because the was it Satya or whatever from Microsoft, I can't remember? Someone from Microsoft just the other day said well, if it's open, you know, if it's on the web, then it's open source and anybody can use it and it's, you know, it's free to use and no one's got copyright over it, which greatly annoyed many, many people. And so, yeah, I think you're right.

19:24

I think we haven't seen a test case for that kind of thing yet, and also, I think some of the people probably that you're modelling off of probably aren't alive anymore anyway, and so you know, are their estates really going to go? And like, I don't know, it's super complicated, it's really complicated. So I was just curious, complicated, so I was just curious, um, so, so how does that, how, how has that affected your, your work? Like, what's the roi you're getting from? Like, I guess maybe your first question is what tools are you? So you're using it to do some copywriting and stuff? Do you use any other tools to do other things, or is that mainly what you use it for?

20:02 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

I do. I do use other tools to do other things too. So that's primarily one of the big things that we do is we know, we know we've crafted perfectly our amazing you know prompts to build websites and stuff like that. Uh, we also use it for ui, for the apps that we build for our clients. So, also, we use ai to build, you know, the user interfaces, the user experience for the apps, and we show it to our clients. They love it. And we use AI to build the user interfaces, the user experience for the apps, and we show it to our clients. They love it and we're able to build them that way. And the third way, which I think you might be using it also in this capacity, which is the marketing and advertising. So we use also AI in advertising and marketing.

20:39

When it comes to advertising, we like to use platforms that can basically sit on top of, like you know, the advertising platforms.

20:49

So the two probably most famous and most popular advertising platforms are going to be google ads and meta meta ads. Of course, there are other other advertising platforms as well, like linkedin, tiktok, advertising on Snapchat. So we like to use third-party tools, one of the tools that I like to use is called Playio. It's spelled P-L-A-Iio, and what this does is that it's basically a software that sits on top of these advertising platforms and instead of you going to Google and you going into Google, into meta, and you're creating the ads and doing all these things, you can go in there and it's basically ai on top of your of advertising platforms and you're able to basically just give, like a landing page um to the ai and basically it'll scour it, understand it. I'll create headlines for you, many headlines. I'll create main descriptions. It'll put them next to each other. It will provide videos from shutterstock that you can use and it will remove the watermark. It will also add images if you want.

21:54

Yeah, right, it does everything for you and then it creates all these different ad sets and it pins it next to each other and it also finds the targeting for you, like, recommends, like you know, hey, who's this, who should you be targeting? And then you're off. You just create the ad and then you create multiple of these and you put them next to each other and then on google and on facebook, they also have a layer of ai to help them find out. Hey, which are the best performing ads? And then play, the io will automatically turn off your worst performing ads and put your best performing ads on, and you just keep on, rinse and repeat. And, man, we get amazing results for our clients using these tactics.

22:37 - David Brown (Host)

Interesting. Back in:

23:28

That was:

23:44 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

You you have, you have two choices you can either use ai or you can come up with headlines yourself, and on this one, I know your next person gonna be like have you, have you tried doing your own headlines?

23:52

I haven't yet, but I will um soon. But it's just like the, the simplicity and how much it saves time and it got good, great results, and I love that. It'll automatically, you know, turn off your worst performing ads and you know put more ad spend towards the best performing ones, and so you're just always trying to beat the control, and so, for our listeners, the control is that one best performing ad that you always have, and so any agency that's worth its salt, its goal is to always beat the control. Whichever is your best performing ad, your goal is to always, you know, uh, do better than that one, and so that's why it's always good to have an agency in your to help you out with that, so that there's somebody that's always looking out for your best interest, always trying to get you more sales, more leads, whatever you're trying to do for the conversions.

24:43 - David Brown (Host)

Top tip for anybody listening. All of that's really good, but in my experience and maybe you'll correct me say this is where the industry may have moved on a bit, but in my experience it takes a lot of traffic for that to really work. If you've got a website and you have 10 visitors a week, no amount of targeting is really going to do. You know what I mean. If you're only getting 10 impressions or whatever a week, that's not enough to be able to do it. You need substantial traffic and you need substantial numbers to really be able for those algorithms to work correctly and to work best. So I guess that kind of depends on your budget and how much you've got to spend and how many impressions you can get and then for it to start to see what it's going to do. Is that right?

25:33 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yes, I do agree with you and I think I think, David, what matters is that it depends on the service that you're offering and it depends on how it is that you're setting up everything and what does your funnel look like, right? So, for example, let me give you a case study from us. You know one of our advertising clients. She owns a school and the school is basically for both typically developing kids and also for special needs kids. Okay, and so we've set up a landing page for her for special needs, and we say, hey, you know what, if you have a special needs kid, you know, here's our school, it's called Smart Start and here's what we offer. We help kids with autism, we help kids with you know, all these different issues ADHD, and so with that one, you know, basically we're able to target, you know keywords on Google and also on Meta and say, hey, here's a special need school and if you're interested in getting more information or touring, just fill out this form. You can get some more information or schedule a tour. And that has been phenomenal and you know it was just like five, $10 a day.

26:33

She's been able, we've been able to get her like one to two leads, you know, sending her a message saying, hey, we're interested in coming and taking a tour. So in that sense, it's great, you know. But you take another client, for example, that is selling e-commerce health and wellness products. Take another client, for example, that is selling e-commerce health and wellness products. They're going to need, like you were saying, you know, thousands and thousands of impressions and traffic to be able to come and make the sale and then do the retargeting and do all this stuff. So there's so many different services, so many different products and different ways to set up your funnel, so you're going to really need to create, like you, the best campaigns that would uh to yield the best results and, as you know as an advertiser and as marketer, is that you always need to be testing everything.

27:17

Everything is like it's a science, you know, and it's like you have a hypothesis, you need to test it and find out, hey, is your hypothesis correct or not?

27:24 - David Brown (Host)

and then you need to take corrections yeah, that's right and um, I apologise for any people who are expecting a pure AI discussion. You're going to learn a lot about adtech, uh yeah, because we've gone in the total rabbit hole of ad tech and uh but that's okay, that's okay, I don't, I don't mind, um.

27:43

So I'm also curious. So you've integrated AI into your workflow and this is something a lot of people, at least in my experience, don't talk about, and I'm curious to know. So what sort of ROI are you getting from using those tools? Have you actually sat down and tried to work it out and said, well before we were using AI, this was the situation, and now that we use it, here's the boost that we've got from it? I guess the question is have you done the work to kind of figure that out and how did you approach it and what sort of results did you see?

28:20 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, well, in terms of the advertising and AI and advertising, all the platforms that I have do have built-in analytics in them, so they've already calculated for us. They can tell us the ROAS, which is the return on ad spend, and we just plug in the client's price points for their services.

28:39 - David Brown (Host)

But I mean your business specifically. So your business, not for your clients, I mean for you and your business. So if it used to take you I don't know two days to write the copy for a website, now it takes half an hour. Right, you've saved a day and a half's worth of man days to you know, and there's a cost with that. And I was just. I was curious, across all the different things that you do in your own company, have you looked at that to see how ai's had an impact on the business?

29:07 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

yeah, all I do know is that I've saved hundreds of hours, but to what extent I don't know, it's just been phenomenal. But, like, because of the time savings, like you said, like the copywriting would take days, you know, to come up with a homepage and, you know, come up with a text, and sometimes I'd even have to hire it out to somebody who's a copywriter and that was going to cost a few hundred dollars and now I don't have to do that. So that saved me like $300, maybe on a homepage or something that I typically might have done in the past to save time. I don't have to do that anymore. So there's that kind of savings.

29:40

And then time management oh my gosh, hundreds and hundreds of hours every single, I would say, month, because I use it usually for a lot of different things. I also use it for emails, like to create replies to my emails, and with the tools that I use, like, I can go into my email for my business and I'll have already crafted with AI three different responses to every single email that I get from my clients and I just choose which one I want. Boom done, I just did it. I just replied in 10 seconds instead of, you know five to 10 minutes for one reply. So you multiply that by. You know tens and tens of emails that I get every day. Oh my gosh, the productivity and the time management that I save. It's in the hundreds of hours. I'm positive.

30:23 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? And I think, again, it's not something that I hear a lot of people. You know, I go to a lot of events so many events around ai and nobody ever talks about the case study, you know, and and no, everybody goes. Yeah, it's really cool, it saves me all this time and it's like okay, but what's the? What's the actual impact? You know what? What's the? The roi that's come from that and it's interesting. Just and this isn't a criticism, it's just, I find it interesting.

30:50

No one's kind of sat down and gone. Do you know what? Actually? Yeah, my, my day rate is, you know, whatever it is. Let's say you know 800 or 500 a day and you say my day rate is 500 a day, you go.

31:02

It used to take me two days to do that, so that was a grand, and now it takes me half an hour. Do you know what I mean? So I've saved, you know, 750 pounds worth of my time that I could now bill out doing something else, and you know, and that's had a huge impact on what I've been able to do. And you know, you multiply that across again. You know your emailing and your task lists and all the other stuff that you use it for, and like image creation and just going and finding images I mean I've I've done websites it's one of the most time-consuming things. That's going, and you know you're trying to find original imagery and you're trying to come up with something that's that's unique, that gets across the message that you want, and you could spend days doing that. It drives me crazy.

31:47 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

So, yeah, you know there's a, there's a massive upside to that and um, yeah I just yeah, anyway, I find it's a good point that you bring up David, I think. I think it just depends on what you're going to do with that information you know, or why it's valuable to you. So you know if, if that and if that data, and creating that research and finding out you know what is the ROI on AI and you need it. Let's say, for example, maybe you know you need it for your shareholders, or you know your board information to justify costs, you know, and all these different things. Then, yes, you would need to do a study and you know, come up with information because that information is useful to you. Need to do a study and you know, come up with information because that information is useful to you.

32:29

For somebody like me who's a sole proprietor you know what I mean like I, I don't. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that. You know, hey, this tool is amazing and it saves me, like, so much time. I'm like, boom, I'm good, I'm sold, I'm going to pay the twenty dollars a month or thirty dollars a month. I love it, I'm going to use it. So, in that sense, um, but I can imagine for people that do need the information that would be useful for presentation or to share with their company or with their employees. Yes, doing a study would be quite valuable.

32:55 - David Brown (Host)

Do you think it's and again, this is going to sound like a pointed question, and it's totally not as your business has grown, would you have hired people to do some of that stuff? Or, you know, has it meant that you didn't have to work with contractors, like you said? You know you don't have to go out to somebody to write the copy for you, so from that perspective it's kind of saved you some money and it means that you're more efficient and you don't have to do that. And before you answer again, this is not a criticism and it sounds like a loaded question, it's not.

33:28

I'd say all the time that the biggest irony of this show is that I have a show talking about how AI is going to take everybody's jobs, and I use all the AI, so I don't have to hire anyone. So I totally get it. But I guess I'm just asking if that's also your experience and you're just like well, actually it means I don't have to hire that assistant or I don't have to hire that you know that person to then work for me. I can actually do all that myself and that's, you know, that's saving me. You know, 30, 40 grand a year just in salary.

33:59 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yes, that's exactly it, that's exactly there's. There's no way around it. You know, there's no, absolutely. I definitely have had so much savings costs because of that and I'm so much more profitable and also the my clients win because I'm able to turn around their projects a lot faster. So, for example, you know a homepage design that typically would have taken, you know, three or four weeks. Now I can do in a week, you know or less, and show them like. And you know in something where, in businesses where, first or less, and show them like. And you know in something where, uh, in businesses where first mover advantage is very critical and it's very time sensitive, those are big wins for my clients. So, yeah, there's no, there's no way around it, absolutely.

34:38

Ai is a game changer. You save money, you save time, uh, you save a lot of different things. You get different ideas. You know I one of the things also that I like to to do, David, is to to basically put the ai's, you know, put them against each other. So there's different tools that you could use. You know, and like hey, give the prompt and send it to chat, gpt, take the same prompt, give it to google, gemini, take the same prompt and send it to claude. Yeah, and take the next prompt and send it to somebody else, you know, whoever it is anthropic, whatever the different.

35:08 - David Brown (Host)

Uh, sonnet or whatever, yeah yeah, I've not.

35:11 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

I haven't used llama. That's the only one that I've done, which is, I think, that not me either yeah, you know, I'm like I have, I have so many ai tools.

35:20

I'm like like, like literally I can get anything and then I just go and compare. The only thing is is that I haven't found like a nice tool that can you know, use all the differentLMs and like, compare it like side by side. I want to see it like horizontally, like in my browser. All of them will just give like, you know, hey, you just will give it to you like in one long thread, so it's kind of difficult to read.

35:40 - David Brown (Host)

But there's a free startup idea for anybody listening.

35:44 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yes, absolutely. Oh my gosh, I probably should do it myself.

35:48 - David Brown (Host)

Four percent. Do you know? What's interesting about that, though, as well, is, I think if somebody did develop a tool like that, because that would use the API interfaces to the different platforms, it would also mean that anything that you query would not get put into their training model. Mean that anything that you query would not get put into their training model Because, at the minute, if you use it through the interface, if you go to ChatGPT's website or use their app, anything that you type in and all the results from that get fed into the training model for the bigger engine, whereas if you use the API, it does not. So that would be another way if you're a business trying to protect your IP and had something like that where you could do it side by side.

36:31

it would be using the API connections instead, so you would need to set it up and you'd need to give it your custom API key and all that. But once you did that, then, yeah, that would be a really interesting tool. I like it. Yeah, I think so much to do that.

36:48 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Would you buy such a tool?

36:50 - David Brown (Host)

I probably would, actually I would certainly use it.

36:53 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah.

36:56 - David Brown (Host)

I think it's a really interesting idea because different tools are good at different things and you know, like Pi I don't know if you've talked to Pi at all you know Pi was trained on video and audio content in the beginning, so it speaks like a human because that's what its core model was built on, Whereas ChatGPT's core model was built on, you can tell, it's like a lot of educational books and stuff, because that was the stuff they had access to to train it in the beginning. So if you want a business sounding or a higher education type language, then it's very good at doing that. Claude's kind of somewhere in the middle and Claude's very good at emotions. I don't know if you've tried to use it, but anything that you're asking it for, like to write an emotional story or an email where you need to get something across emotionally I find Claude very, very good at that. Anyway, that's all.

37:53

I'll buy the buy. Sorry, Love it. We're getting off track all over the place. It's great. So my, I guess my next question is and what's missing? Like, what would you? What AI tool would you like to have? I mean, I guess we've answered it kind of as you want the side by side thing. Is there anything else that you think would be really cool, that you'd really like to see where AI could pick up the slack for you?

38:20 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, absolutely, I think I'd like to. For me, like as a person, like my personality is I like to be I like to choose the best. I always want to make like the best decisions and have the best of everything. So it would be cool if there's like some kind of AI tool where you can like compare, like different outputs, or compare different results, and then that AI tool would analyse all of them and tell you hey, for this use case and for this context, for what you're trying to achieve out of all of these options, this is the best one. Oh, my gosh, I would pay money for that as well.

38:52

That's another amazing idea, because imagine, then you have the best of everything. Um, so you would just give it the output. Hey, you can send the output and get all the different ais and then after you have one ai that governs all of them and choose the best one for the current context. Boom, I think that would also save a lot of time, but I just don't know how you could execute it and which AI model you would use to even take a look at all the different outputs and take a look at all the different things and have it choose the best one, so I love that. I also like for things to improving prompts. I don't know if you've seen some of those, but those are also right now, but they could definitely use some improvement themselves. So about like you know how to improve, like when you give the prompt itself and then you say, hey, improve this prompt and it would improve it for you. A lot of times it does get you better results.

39:47 - David Brown (Host)

The best tip I got from someone around prompting was was the phrase make it punchy. Make it punchy, and if you, if you just say make it punchy, it takes a lot of the extra words out. So it will actually just, it will condense everything and make it a little bit more concise and, oddly, it makes it sound more human instead of less human. It takes like all the therefores out and all the like random words that again you only see in educational text, that no one ever writes in any marketing copy, ever anywhere. But it tends to remove all that stuff and it makes it sound more human. So, um, I don't know if you've ever tried it, but try it on a few, you know, ask it to give you a description of something and then say make it punchy and see what it comes back with and see if you don't like it better. Um, that's a. That's the top tip that someone taught me yeah, I do.

40:41 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

I do want to try that one. So I've never tried to make it punchy, so I'm going to to try that one. So I've never tried it and make it punchy, so I'm going to definitely try that immediately today, after the podcast and then the one that I do write like. I also learned from some of the tools that I use about creating brand voices and with brand voices, like you can like analyze any kind of brand. Let's say, you want a brand like Nike or whatever.

41:31

No-transcript different cultures. I find that there's some cultures that are more formal and some that are more informal. So you, being based out of London, you know I would say definitely England tends to be a little bit more skewed towards formal. They're going to be polite, they're going to be, you know, kind, but also they do like to get to the point. In America, people here are very informal and they're very direct, you know. So they're going to be informal Cultures, like India, for example we're talking about Satya Nadella earlier Microsoft they're going to be more on the formal side, you know. So it just depends also. So sometimes you're thinking like, hey, in your country, wherever you're at, like I don't need this, but in other countries. They actually do want to have that more formal. You know tones and stuff, so that's also something to keep in mind. The context of where you're writing to and from is going to be very important.

42:31 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, it's a great point. It's a great point. So if you had to take out your crystal ball, and where do you see? How do you see things evolving over sort of the next I don't know, three to five, because any further than that's ridiculous to even talk about. I mean, five years is ridiculous to talk about to begin with, but we'll limit it there. Where do you see this all heading? Like, where do you think we're going to be five years from now?

42:55 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, I definitely see there's going to be lots of jobs that are going to be lost, and so it's very important for people to be nimble and to see the writing on the wall. So if you are in an industry and you are going to have a job that is going to be overtaken by AI, you know it's best to start getting education and training on something else and seek a new career, seek a new business, a new side hustle, whatever it is, because AI is estimated that it's going to replace like 300 million jobs or something like that is what I heard Is. Is that the correct act statistic? 300 million, three million? I don't know yeah, probably.

43:29

Yeah, I'd say that's a low estimate globally, but yeah some astounding you know, number of jobs 300 million jobs in the world, right, and we have a world of eight billion people at the time of this, uh, of this podcast recording. So I would yeah, I think it's going to take over. I think it's very smart for you to be also to have your own business. To be honest with you, I think it's good to be a master of your own domain and be in a business where you can use AI to help out your clients, and that is also going to be AI proof. So think about you. Could you know, ask AI, hey, what are the business ideas that I can create where you will never be able to take over my job?

44:13 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, you're going to be a trades person, I think Electrician, that sort of thing service You're right you know.

44:21

Those are the things. And I'm also curious to know what you I don't know how old your kids are and if you want to say and it's okay if you don't, but the you know what are you saying to your kids? Like how you know, cause I, I have children, you know I have, I have children as well, and it's I'm curious to know what you say to them about. You know, while they're in school and they're trying to figure out where they want to go, and you know you're going to have to tell them and try and give them some guidance. And how do you do that in a world where everything is moving so quickly?

44:53

And, whether we like it or not, we live in a society where people are judgmental about what types of work you do. So you know, if you do blue collar work, then people will judge you, even though you probably make more money than they do and you've got more job security. But do you know what I mean? It's like it's a really confusing kind of time, because, because nothing's ever come for the smart people before, and now it's coming for the smart people who work the white collar jobs, and I think there's going to be, there's going to have to be a big distribution. And I'm just curious to what you say to your kids.

45:23 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, I say I, I say I find myself saying the strangest things. David, oh my gosh, I love this question, um, because you know, for me, I'm the son of immigrant parents and, as many people know, when you have immigrants, um, they're very, they put a high value on education. So, for me, you know, I did five-year college.

45:43

ks. I'm graduate. I graduated:

46:16 - David Brown (Host)

students graduate yeah.

46:18 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

So now you've paid, you know 50,000 pounds, 100,000 pounds, you know, or dollars, and you've gotten this degree. And now you're, you just graduated, and there's no jobs, exactly. Yeah, yeah, and your industry is basically already, you know, flushed down the toilet. You know it's been replaced by AI, and so that's why I'm like, wow, you know, like, you really exactly think about those things.

46:42

So that's why I'm like my kids are still a little bit younger than yours. So I have a 10 year old girl and if they're, uh sorry, a 13 year old girl and a 10 year old boy, right, so they're still in elementary school.

46:53 - David Brown (Host)

I'm younger going to eighth grade and going to I was going to say she's coming on to high school soon though, so you know, and then she's going to have you know. Then you get that whole decision process of what's she going to do after high school. And you know it's in the U? S and and maybe you can answer this for me, because I don't know, and I've been gone for 25 years so I don't really know anything about the edge kind of how everything's playing out at the minute, and and I certainly don't know about how it's playing out in California but here in the UK they're putting a big emphasis these days on vocational training and apprenticeships, so there's a government program to really encourage apprenticeships.

47:38

Now when you say apprenticeships it doesn't mean that you have you know it's not necessarily going to be a plumber or whatever. You could be an apprentice in digital marketing if you want to necessarily going to be a plumber or whatever. You could be an apprentice in digital marketing if you want to. But it's like on the job training and the government will support part of the salary for that person to be in that job, to get them jobs, so that they get on the job training.

48:00

But a lot of kids now I think, and certainly in my son's year and there's a lot of discussion about well, do we need to actually go to university? Maybe we can just do an apprenticeship instead, because instead of racking up debt, we're actually making money and we're working in a real job and we're getting there. There are classes and education that go with it at the same time, so it's not like you're just doing a job, you're also getting some classroom tuition as well, but that seems to be a very popular thing that's starting to gain more traction here, and I was curious to know do they even? Because when I was in school in the US, they didn't really have anything like that at all, and I don't know, do they have anything like that now?

48:40 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

They don't. And unfortunately, the US is behind. You know most developed countries when it comes to the educational system, and that's still the US is behind. You know most developed countries when it comes to the educational system, and that's still the case. So they have not done that. It sounds like a wonderful program that you guys have in the UK, very, very smart, very wise. So I would say, absolutely, continue to go down that road. But yeah, over here in the US still I don't know if they ever will come up with such a program or not, but I think it is smart to see the writing on the wall and to to basically, uh, to be shrewd. You know if you see dangers coming, or you know you want to prepare for it, and that's the thing, and also both me and you, dave.

49:17

You know we have a tech background and we've worked in the technology sector for many decades and you know it used to be back in the day when we were younger, earlier in our career. You know, if you used to be back in the day when we were younger, earlier in our career, you know if you wanted to be taken seriously and want to get promoted into management, you would need to have an undergrad degree, a five-year or four-year degree. It's no longer the case. You know there's many, many smart people in the tech world that dropped out from college and they got promoted now because, you know, have certain skills that they have, or people skills that they have or they have whatever is valued by their employer. So it's just. It's just a different world. You know, like my parents would definitely never even imagine saying like, don't go to college. You know, don't get a degree. But now I'm finding myself being like, oh my gosh, like do we really want to pay a hundred,000 or £100,000 for this degree? You know that is basically not going to be useful?

50:09 - David Brown (Host)

No, exactly. But then, on the other hand, you have an entry-level position working at some firm and they want somebody with a master's degree and they're going to pay you 25 grand a year. It's like it doesn't make. The whole thing is just ridiculous. And you know there's been a lot of chat about it over here and every once in a while, you know somebody posts one of these ridiculous job postings on LinkedIn and it's just like what are these people thinking? You know it's like this is an entry-level position and they're asking for people with degrees.

50:35

And it's like someone with a degree isn't going to want to make 20 grand a year on an entry-level in some entry-level job. And it's like the so if you, if you even try to apply for it, you get immediately weeded out by the algorithm, because the algorithm goes oh well, you don't have a degree, so we're not even going to look at your application. And it's like you can't even. You know you can't even get your foot in the door, so something's got to change. You know, we really have to look at it. And it's not just the US, it's everywhere around the world. I think we're all, everybody's, suffering from the same problem and it's only going to get worse. As you know, the technology improves and everything starts to move faster.

51:11 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

So yeah, absolutely. I think it's important to to think about you know, uh, where, where do you really want to go? And that's why I was saying earlier today that I really liked the idea of side hustles and businesses, because then you know you're not at the mercy of side hustles and businesses, because then you know you're not at the mercy of somebody saying like, okay, sorry, we're going to cut off your job, you know we don't need you anymore. Ai is replacing your job, you no longer need it, or whatever. And that's the problem with going and having these things. You know these, these jobs where you're working for employees what colour jobs you know, is that really like? Is your job safe? I don't know. It just depends on what you're going to choose. But, like you're earlier, a lot more people are going to need the vocational kind of jobs the plumbers, electricians and stuff like that, until one day we create a robot that can be an electrician, that can get electrocuted all day long and he doesn't die.

51:59

It's amazing.

52:02 - David Brown (Host)

I think we're actually much further away from that than we are from an AGI solution just because there's a, there's a. There's some physical restrictions to it and the and the. I know some roboticists and they've talked about it sort of with me at length and I'm trying to get him on the show, but I haven't been able to get him, to convince him to come on yet. But I will at some point. Um will, if you're listening. I still want you on the show.

52:27

But, yeah, no, you're absolutely right. So two things. I'm conscious of time. We're about out of time here. So one thing is just before I ask you the last question and put you on the spot where can people find you and how do they get in touch?

52:43 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Sure, you can find my company, and the best place to reach us is at swiftpresssupport.com. So that's swiftpresssupport.com, and from there you can see all of our social media handles. Although the best way to get in touch is to, you know, fill out the contact form or book a call, you could book a call on my website, so that's the best way to connect with me . Awesome.

53:06 - David Brown (Host)

Last question I am going to put you on the spot a little bit. If you could hear from someone on the podcast who's the person on this podcast? Who's the person that you would like to hear their thoughts on AI, who would you like to hear from?

53:22 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Sure yeah.

53:23 - David Brown (Host)

It could be anybody.

53:24 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, get me what's it called.

53:30 - David Brown (Host)

Sam Altman. So can you do that? It's a shout out to sam altman. I will, uh, I will use it wonderful, it's a deal.

53:39 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Yeah, I think he would be a good person to have on. You know, and I think with your pointed questions and your amazing questions that you've asked today, I think you'd really be able to dig deeper and get things out of Sam that other interviewers typically would not have asked him. So I love the questions. You're very insightful, very thoughtful about your questions. So that's why I'm like, hey, I would like to see an interview with you and Sam, as opposed to anybody else.

54:05 - David Brown (Host)

Sam's way smarter than me, so I could ask him stupid questions for an hour and see if I could trip him up. Yeah.

54:14 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Amazing.

54:15 - David Brown (Host)

Peter, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. It's been a great conversation.

54:19 - Peter Guirguis (Guest)

Thank you so much, david. Amazing conversations, amazing questions. I love everything that you said today and I hope that I'll get invited for another talk with you sometime soon.

54:30 - David Brown (Host)

Brilliant. We'll speak to you soon. Bye-bye.

About the Podcast

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Creatives With AI
The spiritual home of creatives curious about AI and its role in their future

About your host

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David Brown

A technology entrepreneur with over 25 years' experience in corporate enterprise, working with public sector organisations and startups in the technology, digital media, data analytics, and adtech industries. I am deeply passionate about transforming innovative technology into commercial opportunities, ensuring my customers succeed using innovative, data-driven decision-making tools.

I'm a keen believer that the best way to become successful is to help others be successful. Success is not a zero-sum game; I believe what goes around comes around.

I enjoy seeing success — whether it’s yours or mine — so send me a message if there's anything I can do to help you.