How to use examples to 10x your prompts

My simple iterative process for adding examples into your prompts

Hey Warrior,

Are you using enough examples in your prompts?

A common problem I see with prompts is that people are just describing what they want. And then they complain that the AI produced an output that is not exactly what they wanted.

The thing is… it's actually quite hard to describe things. And if you only do that, you won't get the best results from your prompts.

Instead, you should be showing instead of telling. This means using a lot of examples.

Today you'll learn:

  • What does it mean exactly to use examples in your prompts?

  • Why using examples helps improve the output quality

  • My simple iterative process for adding more examples into your prompts

Let's dive in!

Read time: 5 minutes

🧠 Why Adding Examples to Your Prompts is a Game-Changer

When I started learning copywriting, I used to read a bunch of advice like:

"Start with a strong hook to set the emotional tone."

"Use descriptive language to engage the senses."

And while I understood what that meant, I found it really hard to actually implement the lessons.

My breakthrough came when I stopped reading this descriptive advice and started reading actual examples of great copywriting and then tried to copy them.

That’s when my writing instantly improved.

I'm not the only one that is this way. A lot of people learn and understand things better through examples instead of descriptions.

And guess what? It's the same for AI.

If you don't use enough examples in your prompts:

  • The AI may not fully understand what you're looking for

  • You'll likely have to go through multiple iterations to get the desired result

On the flip side, by including examples in your prompts:

  • You provide clear guidance on the type of output you expect

  • The AI can better match the style, tone, and format you're aiming for

  • You'll make it much easier on yourself to write good prompts

Make sense?

Ok, now let me show you how you can actually implement this powerful advice into your prompts.

🤖 My Simple Iterative Process for Adding More Examples Into Your Prompts

To demonstrate how to use this method effectively, I'll be building a prompt step-by-step and adding examples into it as we go.

The prompt I'll be building is a "Template Creator". This means it will:

  1. Take a certain type of content as input (e.g. a tweet)

  2. Output a reusable template of that content

Step 1: Start With a Simple Prompt

We'll start with a simple prompt like: "Ask me to paste a Twitter post, then turn that post into a reusable template."

The output looks good at first glance.

BUT, the template it produced is not great in my opinion, since it's not very reusable for another topic.

For example, let’s say I want to use this template to write about a workout tip. Won’t work, right?

So let's fix that.

Step 2: Feeding the Example Back into the Prompt

Next, we’ll take the initial output and feed it back into the prompt (you can use the EDIT prompt feature in Claude now for that).

Additionally, we’ll tell the AI why this output is not good. We’ll also provide a modified template that is good.

Here's the new prompt:

Ask me to paste a Twitter post, then turn that post into a reusable template.

For context, here are some good and bad ways to fulfil this request.
<Example 1>

<Original content>

Another rule for getting AI to do what you want:
Showing is more important than telling.
• Simply describing isn't always enough
• Use concrete examples to show what you want or don't want
The more detailed examples you give, the better AI can serve your needs.

</Original content>

<Bad template>

[Introductory phrase] for getting AI to do what you want:
[Concise rule or principle]
- [Supporting point 1]
- [Supporting point 2]
[Concluding statement emphasizing the importance of detailed examples].

Reason for bad template:
- The template cannot be reused for any other topic
- "getting AI to do what you want" restricts this template to a specific topic
- "the importance of detailed examples" restricts this template to a specific topic

</Bad template>

<Good template>

Another rule for [a desired outcome]:
[What matters most] is more important than [what matters less].
- [Supporting point 1]
- [Supporting point 2]
[Conclusive statement or learning]

</Good template>

And with that, we have a much more detailed prompt, which includes a short instruction, as well as a good and a bad example. (If you’re wondering why we’re using these XML tags, read my last post about using delimiters).

Now this prompt immediately produces much better results. We can test it by inputting a new piece of content.

The result is a lot better than the first try, but there are still some things we can improve.

Step 3: Repeat the Process

Do this a few more times and feed in some more examples into the prompt. I would lean towards adding more good examples rather than bad examples.

Each iteration will then refine the output further, and improve the chances of a good output.

For a robust prompt that consistently generates high-quality outputs, I recommend adding ~5 examples (especially for a more complex prompt like this one).

💡 Wrapping Up

In today's lesson, we learned the power of using examples in our prompts to get better results from AI.

Here's a quick recap:

  • Examples help AI understand exactly what you're looking for

  • Including examples in your prompts leads to higher quality outputs that match your desired style

  • You can iteratively improve your prompts by providing feedback and more examples

Remember: Crafting effective prompts that produce repeatable outcomes takes iteration.

Keep refining your prompts, and soon you'll have a library of prompts that save you hours of work every week.

Thanks for reading!

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