Useful AI Tools for the Independent Professional and How to Make a Selection

By MBO Partners | April 11, 2024

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Key Points

We are just at the beginning of what promises to be a fast evolution to increasingly useful offerings for independent professionals.

While it may be tempting to wait until that evolution is further along, independent professionals need to dive in now.

Evaluate potential AI tools by applying your criteria, testing them out, and gauging the value of adding subscriptions to the budget.

It may seem like the AI tool floodgates have opened. And it’s just the beginning of what promises to be a fast evolution to increasingly sophisticated offerings. While it may be tempting to wait until that evolution is further along, independent professionals need to dive in now. There is a learning curve, not just for each tool but for the use of AI in general. Gaining mastery now will allow fast adoption of future tools.

What types of AI tools should an independent incorporate into their business? A range of general offerings help with business management and productivity. Then, depending on the type of services offered, there are more focused tools to use.

General Tools for Any Independent Professional

  • Time tracking and planning – Plan your work schedule, manage deadlines, and analyze your productivity (e.g. Futurenda)
  • Transcription and summary creation – easily upload video or audio files for AI transcription and generation of a content summary (e.g., Rev, Otter)
  • Content assistance – Get help with blog articles, digital ad copy, and subject lines along with proofreading (e.g., Jasper)
  • Marketing support – improve your cold email outreach efforts (e.g.,, quickly produce short videos for social media uploads (e.g., Supercreator AI), use a comprehensive tool for social media, videos, blog posts and more (e.g., Simplified AI)

Service-specific Tools for Independents

Some AI tools are suitable for particular services. For example, a business consultant can better manage their appointment calendar, a digital animator can save time and improve quality, or a presentation designer can create multimedia slide decks for clients.

  • Intelligent meeting scheduler – a tool that does more than simply present a calendar with available times and dates. If your business requires a lot of meetings with prospects and clients, using an AI assistant to handle schedule management can save a lot of time on your part (e.g., Scheduler AI)
  • Video generator – automatically go from prompt, audio, or text to video (e.g., Steve AI)
  • Document designer – Use text prompts to build multimedia presentations, embedding media from other websites (e.g., Tome)

Practical Implementation of AI Tools

The examples offered here are just a small portion of the AI tools that can help independent professionals. Research, experimentation, and financial planning are the first steps in wrapping your business around AI.

Apply Your Criteria

The criteria you apply to any AI tool should reflect what matters most to you. Examples include:

  • Intuitive user interface/ease of use
  • Automation capabilities
  • SEO optimization
  • High-quality, plagiarism-free images and content
  • Guarantee that your data is secure

Research the capabilities you need in each type of AI tool you are interested in, then narrow the possibilities by looking into how well each product matches your criteria. Select one or two candidates for consideration.

Take Your Choices for a Test Drive

Try out each tool that you’ve selected (for free if possible). How easy is it to learn? Does it produce the results you want? Is the output quality high? Does it fit your business and your own work processes? Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to think about your budget.

Does It Work Financially?

While many AI tools have free versions, once you’ve become familiar with your choices, you may need to upgrade to paid subscriptions.  Check out a tool’s pricing and gauge your need for additional features listed for paid versions. Then consider your budget: can you accommodate more than one subscription? Will the tool(s) give you a good return on your investment?  Is there potential to generate additional income because of the AI you’ve selected?  Recognize that AI will always be a line item on your budget that may increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.


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