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Prompt Engineering 101: ChatGPT Essentials

Updated: Apr 7

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, one of the most revolutionary tools at our disposal is ChatGPT. Imagine it as an actor on the stage of digital communication, ready to perform a multitude of roles with just a nudge in the right direction. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just diving into the world of AI, understanding how to direct this talented performer can transform your interaction with technology. Let's break down how to harness the power of ChatGPT, making it simple, accessible, and effective for everyone.

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Dave Birss's course on How To Write and Research Using Generative AI is a great resource for anyone with a Premium LinkedIn account. He'll teach you the basics behind what the industry calls prompt engineering or the information you feed ChatGPT to give you a more qualified answer. One of his key points is to use the CREATE prompt format:

Character, Request, Examples, Adjustments, Type, and Extras.


Imagine Chat GPT is an actor, and you are telling it who it is, how to act, or what to emulate. What's the tone? Who is the one giving you an answer? Are they an expert copywriter? If so, what subject matter expertise do they have?

"You're a talented copy writer and social media manager, with 20 years experience writing high-performing sales copy and engaging social media content."


Add as many details about what you want to be created (think about what you would include in a creative brief). Is it persuasive, educational, entertaining, informational, etc? Is it for a five-year-old or a seasoned professional? What do you want your audience to feel and experience? Is it inspiring or direct?

"Compose a captivating sales page for mechanical engineering services that addresses common pain points. The goal is to intrigue and persuade potential customers to book a meeting."


Provide a few examples of what you're looking for. If you have the premium version of ChatGPT, you can upload attachments to pull from specific examples.

"Look to leading engineering service providers' brochures and websites for inspiration. Emulate the clear, concise way they convey complex services, their benefits, and how they address specific client needs."


Tell it what to do and not to do. Give ChatGPT direction on what to emphasize or avoid, akin to a director refining an actor's portrayal to fit the vision better—focus on clarity, avoid jargon, and maintain reader engagement.

"Ensure the language is accessible to non-experts without diluting the technical prowess behind the services. Balance technical accuracy with engaging storytelling to highlight case studies or success stories."


Tell it what type of content or output you want, i.e., a poem, social post, table, list, blog, newsletter, invitation, subject line, product description, pitch, etc.

"Craft this content in the format of a print-ready brochure, organized with engaging titles, bullet-pointed services and benefits, client testimonials, and a clear call to action for consultations."


Ask it to provide you with more questions to help it give you a better answer or explore tangents and related research questions. You can also tell it to explain its thinking or how it came to the conclusion it provided you.

Favorite Go-To Uses:

Sample Problem 1: I need a marketing expert with subject matter expertise in a specific topic and someone who can help me find a better way to achieve the tone and style I'm going after, as well as details specific to each target audience.

Prompt: You're a talented copy writer and social media manager, with 20 years experience writing high-performing sales copy and engaging social media content. Take the following blog post (copy and paste your content) and create LinkedIn and Instagram posts for ________ target audience.

Sample Problem 2: I have no knowledge of a specific topic, such as something industry or role-specific, and a jargon-rich email was just sent my way.

Prompt: You're an expert in ______ and _____ and great at explaining complex and jargon-rich topics to general audiences unfamiliar with the subject matter expertise of the topics at hand. Explain "_______" to me in an easy-to-understand way and use an example that makes it easy to visualize.

Sample Problem 3: I have a massive PDF to read over to find something specific that goes beyond a control-F command and requires critical thinking and understanding of the document. Maybe I'm writing a content piece and need insight from the research study, or maybe I'm trying to determine if a 50+ page notice of funding announcement is worth it for my client to explore opportunities.

Prompt: (Upload PDF to ChatGPT-4) | You're an expert in ______ and _____, (then list your questions and judgement criteria you have for said document that you want to discover from reading it).

Guiding ChatGPT is like directing a play where your words shape the script. With a nudge here and there, it's ready to bring your ideas to life. For more tips and tricks, reach out for coffee sometime, and we'll talk more.



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