Interview with Kate Bradley Chernis, CEO of Lately – Creating an AI That Makes Engaging Social Content – Episode #28

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Kate Bradley Chernis is the Founder & CEO of Lately, which uses AI to automatically transform long-form content like blogs, podcasts and videos into dozens of “smart” social posts. As a former marketing agency owner, Kate initially created the idea for Lately out of spreadsheets for former client, Walmart, and got them a 130% ROI, year-over-year for three years. 

Prior to founding Lately, Kate served 20 million listeners as Music Director and on-air host at Sirius/XM. She’s also an award-winning radio producer, engineer, and voice talent with 25 years of national broadcast communications, brand-building, sales and marketing expertise. 

 

In this episode, we spoke about why all of her growth staff does sales, customer service and marketing, the importance of marketing to your internal team to build trust with your customers, how Lately works for social media and content marketing, how she’s leveraged 15 years of remote work during a COVID-19 economy, and more. 

 

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto  0:00  

Right. We are now recording and 54321 Hello everyone and welcome to Kenny Soto Digital Marketing podcast. My name is Kenny Soto, and today we have a very, very special guest. Before I introduce her, I just want to say that I’m very grateful for all of the listeners who have been listening to this podcast since the beginning of the summer. I appreciate your time and attention. 

 

And I am definitely taking all the topics and messages that you’ve been sending, and making sure that we’re answering all of the questions that you’ve been sending as well, just to make sure that we’re providing as much value as possible. Today, we’re going to dive deep into artificial intelligence and content creation.

 

 And today I have a new guest. Her name is Kate Bradley Turnus. Kate is the founder and CEO of lately, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically transform long form content like blogs, podcasts and videos into dozens of quote unquote smart social pod social posts. scuze me. As a former marketing agency owner, Kate initially created the idea of lately out of spreadsheets for a former client Walmart and got them a 130% return on investment. I’ll say that again. 130% ROI. 

 

Prior to founding lately, Kate’s are 20 million listeners As music director and on hair on air host at Sirius XM. She’s also an award winning radio producer, engineer and voice talent with 25 years National Broadcast Communications, brand building sales and marketing experience. Welcome Kate.

 

Kate Bradley  1:37  

Katie, I every time someone reads me my own bio, I think Who’s that? First of all, because I’m like, Oh, my God, I’m old enough to have had those experiences, you know. And then I sometimes I have impostor syndrome as well, where I don’t know if this happens to you or anybody and of your listeners. 

 

But I find it happens to a lot of my female entrepreneur friends, especially where we’re doing something that’s amazing. And we don’t even know. Right, so like with the Walmart campaign, and by the way, it was 130% ROI year over year for three years. But I didn’t even realize how amazing that was, someone else had to tell me, you know. 

 

So it just goes to show you that it’s good to have friends who have a different perspective around you. Right?

 

Kenny Soto  2:23  

Certainly. And prior to recording this podcast, I did a little bit of research about the company just for the context for both yourself and the listeners, I discovered lately by going on LinkedIn. And I was just scrolling through the feed. And I saw a post from Gary Vaynerchuk saying that his team is using lately for one of his Twitter accounts. 

 

And I was like, hmm, if Gary’s mentioning a tool, might as well just do some research on it. And while I was doing research on the tool, I just thought it would be a good idea to ask if you want to be on the podcast. And luckily, you said yes. Which is why we’re recording this. And before we start talking about the particular like aspects of lately and how it works, I wanted to just get more context about you as a person. And my first question would be, why did you get into digital marketing?

 

Kate Bradley  3:17  

Yeah, so that’s a great question. It was an accident. As things kind of are right, or it seems so at the time right now, it all seems like it all makes sense. But so I used to be a rock and roll DJ, as you mentioned before, broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM. And I was the music director of the loft actually. 

 

And so I have a have a radio voice to Kenny, you know, it’s different voice fantastic. But I had done radio for about a dozen years up and down the eastern seaboard here in the States. And before that, I was actually a line cook. And I was a fiction writing major in college. So from intro, so a couple things there. Like being in the restaurant world is total piracy, right? Like it’s just mayhem. 

 

And radio was like that as well. And honestly, startup life is like that. So I have a pension for just the carnival. Clearly, right. But then as I was in radio, so it’s a it’s a boys club. I mean, it is what it is, right? And it’s a very high sexual harassment culture. But I didn’t actually even know that was wrong, because it’s just pervasive, pervasive. I thought it was normal. And honestly, it that’s not what bothered me Believe it or not, what bothered me was that I was consistently not getting the credit I deserve for the work I was doing. 

 

And I couldn’t I couldn’t figure out like I’m doing a plus work here. Why am I not getting an A plus? Right? It just didn’t make sense to me. And my body started to react in a way that was stress related, and it was trying to tell me to make a change, and I wasn’t listening. And so it got sold Add that I was actually physically crippled. I couldn’t touch a keyboard at all, without extreme pain. And so I freaked out. I mean, oh my god, I can’t do what everybody can do in the world. This is crazy. 

 

And so I hired a voice, a voice activated software coach. Right. So this is my, my first experience with more sophisticated computing than what I already kind of know, you know. And so that was a real eye opener. And now I was using software that people who are paraplegic use, right. And so I was learning about that, and macros and these different words, and I paid that woman, by the way, with CDs, because I didn’t have any money, but a lot of records. 

 

And as I moved to another music related company, and it was the same, same thing, boys club, again, are so frustrated, and I didn’t look like I had a disability. So people didn’t understand what was wrong with me. Right. And that was really frustrating as well. So I was crying a lot. I was, I was a terrible employee. I was just toxic. I used to smoke cigarettes, which, you know, boy, that was fun. But I was I was just toxic. And Kenny, my dad shook me by the shoulders one day and said, you can’t work for other people. And there’s no shame in that.

 

Kenny Soto  6:19  

That’s good advice.

 

Kate Bradley  6:21  

Yeah, it was shocking. So he hit two nails on the head to me one was the shame factor, which is, that’s what I felt I this is how, because I was actually being gaslighted by a bunch of guys. But my sort of knowing that I said was full of self doubt. I thought I was disappointing. My male bosses, right. I needed to go to I had to do some therapy to unlearn that. 

 

Right. But then the other thing my dad, let me know about was that, oh, there’s this whole other avenue of things, right? And I was like, Oh, right. My dad owns his own business. My mom owns hers. The guy down the street owns the Jiffy Mart, you know, right, oh, people do this all the time. You don’t need to be some superstar Harvard grad to have your own business. Right? 

 

And so that this is what was crazy. So my husband, my boyfriend at the time, was so thoughtful. He went down to the bookstore, because that’s what you did. And he picked me out a startup book that got some really good reviews. Guy Kawasaki is our to the start, you know it right. And I was reading it. And right in the beginning guy says, Hey, don’t make a plan, just get started. So I was like, Well, I don’t need to read this book anymore. 

 

And so I put it down. And literally the next day, I met my first investors, I didn’t know they were angel investors, they happen to be meeting me for something unrelated. And I was just kind of going off about my ideas, which I didn’t have a I’m not very. I’m rough around the edges. And I’ve always been so I was pretty obnoxious. And they loved it. They were like, We love you. Here’s 50,000 bucks, let’s start a company. 

 

What was so that was called Outland dose music. And what we did was, I hope this isn’t too boring for people. But what we did was we created a widget, remember widgets, they were like little mini websites on top of a web page, right. And the this is where so by the way, my radio career ties into the AI and this is where the beginning of that is. So nobody ever asks about this stuff. So it’s fun to talk about it. 

 

The widget was designed to be a new song and an old song paired together every day that worked sonically and thematically. Right. And that’s the radio I had come from, I was very lucky. I came from album rock radio, where you played all kinds of genres of music mixed together in a way where it was a sonic journey, right? And what I was taught, I was so lucky when the last people do this was the art radio, where an actual human is making the segways and picking the music right and making mistakes and all the things and so I learned how to make listeners fans, right. 

 

And there’s a big difference between a listener and a fan. Same way, there’s a big difference between a customer and evangelist. Right. And so that means and then this applies to to anything you’re doing as far as sales and marketing goes now for any business. If you have the microphone you know this Kenny because you do it really well. I loved your intro because I heard you do it.

 

You have the microphone but it’s your job to make the listener feel that they have a voice. It’s a two way street. Right? That’s how you know you’re really good at wielding that throne. And Gary Vee does it amazingly right he that’s why he’s such an icon. And you don’t have to be on radio, or podcasting to do this. You can do this through text, TV, obviously. We’re video, anything like that. So the other key thing here, by the way, and again sorry, rock’n’roll DJ, so I like kind of don’t stop. 

 

Was that with what I I learned about the old and the new music was that you a human, any human will is more willing to digest something new, if you couch it in something old, something familiar, trust, trust is the magical thing here, right. And this is what it all boils down to. When you trust me, you’ll go on this journey with me and you’ll listen to whatever I do, and, and you’ll come back for more, and you’ll even listen to music that you don’t like, because you know, I’m gonna give you something you do in a minute, right? Or you’re curious. And so I knew that. And then I done some studies on the neuroscience of music. 

 

And so this is what’s so interesting. So so when you hear a song, Kenny, your brain must index and look for every other song you’ve ever heard before in your life in order to categorize that in your mental library. And when it’s doing that, it’s automatically pulling back every member you have of every of hearing all that song. So that’s why music is so emotional, right? It makes so visceral feeling. And your voice Kenny is also a note, right? It’s a frequency. 

 

And so there’s a way to do that. And through through podcasting, also, that’s why my radio voice is a little bit different, because I learned, this is the voice that makes people more comfortable. Now, this is not the voice that makes anyone feel comfortable, right? So I learned to like to, it’s different. Yeah. And this voice that we’re using now, it’s a fine voice. But it’s a little nasally. My husband was always like, why don’t I get the nice voice, right? So. So I had all I had this information that I understood, and I was applying it to that widget. And we did really well, we were well listened to I think I had 6000 listeners and a couple of months, which was a big deal back then. And I was just using social media Myspace, Facebook had just started. 

 

And I think Twitter like had just barely started. And as I was marketing it, someone else came along and said, Hey, you’re really good at marketing, we’ll pay you a lot more money to consult us. And you don’t have to listen to bad music anymore. And I was like, that sounds great. And essentially, that was that was the Walmart project.

 

Kenny Soto  12:16  

I love this because I in my own back in the day story, I was a music major before I became a digital marketer. So a lot of things relate from your story. And one thing that I definitely have to appreciate from what you just mentioned, is that, for the most part, if you have trust, regardless of the industry, or what you’re selling, you can promote pretty much anything. But trust in and of itself is like the cement to a building. And if you focus on trust, first, you don’t necessarily need to sell anything for an entire year, you can just focus on building trust. 

 

And then when you’re ready to sell anything, you have a higher chance of conversion or a sale going through because you’ve built that trust.

 

Kate Bradley  13:05  

So you hit the nail on the head there. And I just want to say the number one reason I’m not kidding that startups fail is because they don’t know how to market meaning they don’t know how to do lead gen, right, basically. And so if you are a small business owner, the best thing you can do is to start marketing now meaning building that trust, which is what you’re all about. And building that network that audience so that when it’s time to sell something you have someone to sell to right.

 

Kenny Soto  13:32  

Yeah, exactly. And another thing I would add on before our next question is, I learned this actually from a previous podcast guest that sales and marketing go hand in hand. And if you don’t think about how marketing is part of sales and customer service, you’re missing out on a key objective that should be focused on regardless of whether or not you’re doing a campaign for brand awareness for lead generation or for conversions. 

 

And that is the marketing should tie in to what the customer wants. And for the most part, whether the customer knows they want the product or service or they don’t. If you have that trust, they’re more receptive to hearing why they should at least consider it. Would you agree with that?

 

Kate Bradley  14:16  

Yeah, I would 100% We are friends. So So in fact, so in my staff, the we call it growth, we didn’t call it we stopped calling it marketing and sales for those reasons. And each one of my staff members does customer service, marketing and sales, they all do it. Right. And there’s a lot of it is important because we’re young enough so that we can do that. And also, I mean, people have been telling me forever, you’re doing it wrong. And I’m like but it’s working. Like the waves have changed. 

 

Like the old way is siloing those business those business aspects, right. So marketing is the most important aspect of any business because it’s the one thing that unites accounting, HR customer service, say elles product engineering like you name it, right? There’s a great book about this, by the way, it’s called Beyond product written by Gil solely S O L E L YG. will surely I’m in the book. Yeah. But it’s, it’s it’s so interesting. I had my I bought copy for my entire team. And my engineers, were amazed to really understand how important it was to know the company byline, right, because again, this is about trust. 

 

So when you when everyone inside internally, walks the walk and talks, the talk, your job externally, is so much easier, right? And there’s a couple of reasons why so so one is just basic messaging and consistency of messaging. And I’ll boil that down. So so inconsistent messaging is the number one reason for loss of sales, because it promotes lack of trust. Right, all these things that you’re talking about. 

 

The other thing that’s interesting is that in the US alone, companies waste $400 billion dollars on poor communications, poor copywriting. Right. And that’s both internal and external. Just think about how many people trade emails about what time the damn meetings at, right? Because they can’t do a calculation between South Africa time in New York time, so do it for them. Right? This is ridiculous. 

 

And then come companies spend $3.1 billion, just in the US alone on remedial writing training, because we’re idiots.

 

Kenny Soto  16:39  

Could you explain what that is for the audience?

 

Kate Bradley  16:42  

Yeah, so remedial writing is like writing 101? Like literally how? How good? Are you at sending an email to get people to do what you want them to do? That’s what it’s all about. So are you the kind of person that every text you send? I’m going to get like 10 messages, because you could only send me one word at a time and drive me up a freakin wall. Really, it’s, it’s the Golden Rule Do unto others what’s happening on the other side, right? This is becoming a more obvious problem now that the world is working from home, which is great news. 

 

People are understanding it better. But my team has been working from home as we are earlier since the very beginning. So we’re really adept at this. But the other thing about just basic, this is basic communication here, right? an emoji. Can’t do it all for you. You know, so you do need to take that time to just really say this, always think about what the objective is, what, again, what do you want me to do? 

 

There’s always something, right, whether it’s getting your husband to take out the garbage, or getting your product guy to update the deck, or getting a customer to sign the goddamn contract. There’s always an objective. And I think people forget what they don’t even think that there’s an objective, you know, they’re just not even thinking what that is. 

 

So that’s the first thing is to think what it is. And then to really break it down. I actually do a whole thing on writing tips and copywriting tips, which we can talk about another session. The this is again, trust, by the way, you do what I want you to if you trust me, right? Yeah. And so I kinda, it’s a little bit lead by example, I put my whole again, my whole staff through that writing course, my writing course that I made up, actually. And it was so cool to see like, the engineers talking about it later. 

 

Because I, I told them some of my tricks that I use, and they were like, now that we know and see your tricks that you’re even using on us, which I do, like I do my marketing to my team internally, right also, because I need them to trust me more than anybody else. Of course, you know, and they’re like, even know, even though we know you’re pulling that trick on us, we still love it. Right? So it’s so interesting. I got off I got off piste here. So you gotta know this.

 

Kenny Soto  19:11  

This is perfect. I think this is a good segue to talk about your team and to talk about internal communications and internal productivity. You have been working and we talked about this prior to recording remotely for 15 years Correct? Yes. How how that’s the main question is how does that even work? How did you from start to finish create systems that allow you and your team to work remotely effectively?

 

Kate Bradley  19:40  

Well, number one because of my so I have a partial permanent disability I still cannot touch the computer at all without extreme pain or my phone like so. styluses are my life. And so I was forced to and when you use Dragon Naturally Speaking, there’s a microphone that hears everything, so I must be in a room with closed doors, not a cubicle. 

 

With an open ceiling, right, and you can’t come in and bother me, because every time you open the door, the microphone here is my day stops. Right? And so it’s very, that’s hard for companies to understand who are you as junior level person you need your own office? Yes, I do. Right. And so I had just had to work from home. Number one, because I was tired of dealing with HR and all their bullshit. 

 

And it was just so I got a deep understanding for what, granted, I have my arms, thank you, God, but like, I understood what people with disabilities must be dealing with. It’s very frustrating. So that was one thing. But But, and then I realized, like, all the time, I was saving on my commute. And I’m, I’m one of those people, Kenny that like, in general, if I’m working in office, it really bothers me when people come up to interrupt me, because I’m thinking, you know, I’m not I’m not trying to be a bitch, but like, I’m working on something here, and I need to get it done. 

 

So that was one. But the other thing was my co founders all were were DBAs. So doing business as they were independent contractors, or had their own companies. So they already had this experience of working from home also, and autonomy, you know, so it takes a certain kind of person that like, is constantly looking at the glass half empty, what’s broken, what can we fix, right? I stand at the fridge and eat lunch, when I eat lunch, I don’t sit down, it’s five minutes, because I’m busy, I got stuff to do. And I don’t like I don’t really like to sit on the beach. 

 

Believe it or not, I like to swim in the water for sure. So that was one thing. But we we also while we got good at building using different systems online, so we use Slack, of course we use, we use text and email and asana and then get hub for my tech team. So with Slack, you can feed a lot of stuff through it. And while we have a lot of channels, the most important thing for me the boss is the visibility, I just need to know that everybody’s I need to know exactly what they’re doing. I need to trust to know trust them to know that they’re gonna get the job done. That’s, that’s the most important thing. 

 

Obviously, I just, I was kind of up somebody’s asked the other day, because we’re the team that doesn’t drop balls ever. And it’s my biggest pet peeve is asking twice. I hate that because then it’s back on my plate. And I’m right. So like, that’s the only if you ever do that to me, I will I will never let it go. And sadly, somebody did. But he’s changed his ways, which is great, great, great job on kit, you’re the best. 

 

I felt bad because I took him to task so hard the other day. And so that’s an important thing is like that’s my you know, everybody knows that’s the nogo is don’t drop the ball. It’s an also you have to communicate louder and better when you’re not together, right? Because you don’t have that ability just to turn around and grab somebody, you know. 

 

So I’ve told people literally, if in Slack, I don’t know what you’re doing, or an Asana, it doesn’t exist, right? So you got to let me know, good and bad, if you’re just telling Lauren, all the good things you’re doing all the time, she might get around telling me but like, you gotta like, let me know, you know, the thing. I think that’s a good behavior, by the way. And it’s not time consuming is because it shows people to take credit and own what they’re successful at, which I think is so important, like, regardless, regardless of like, work from home or not work from home. And the other thing, too, is to do get together in person. 

 

So my team, we always get together at least once a year for an off site at my house. And everybody, we’re not young. So I mean, we have some people who are interns, and they’re 18. But we have also people who are like in their mid 60s, I think, I hope I didn’t insult anybody. But I think they’re close to that. And so everybody comes here, we do some wild, fun adventure for the day and cook a meal together, have a bonfire, play some games, and everybody sleeps at my house on the floor and a mattress, you know blowup mattresses, whatever. 

 

And it’s the most important day of the year. And we fly everybody in even when we’ve had no money before we did it. 

 

Because this is marketing this is trust is that all these things, right? I’m building a team that I have to ask them not to take a paycheck. Sometimes it’s very difficult to do that. But I have to make them want to to like me, you know all the things we’re talking about, right? 

 

So I think like, it doesn’t matter how good your remote systems are in place, number one, if nobody’s using them, so they have to use them. But number two, you have to have that at least once a year, if not more human one on one connection where everyone’s allowed to just also be themselves like warts and all right. That’s so important. Kenny.

 

Kenny Soto  24:55  

I want to ask another follow up regarding this and then we’ll move on on to what lately does specifically. But I feel like there’s a lot of value that not only marketers, but anyone who’s just doing business can definitely learn from. 

 

You mentioned that sometimes, and I’m assuming this might be just only the worst case scenario that you would have to tell some of your employees, you can’t get a paycheck. What does that mean? And can you elaborate a little more on that?

 

Kate Bradley  25:25  

Yeah. It’s not the worst case scenario. It’s sort of like regular. Which is that startup life, right, like? So in our, in our world, it’s a little bit different with when tech startup, if this is the game you choose to play, right? So the game I’ve moved on to is not have an ice business that makes money. It’s raised capital from venture capitalists. And you know, it’s a high risk game, right? Because this is this is how big the tiger by the tail we believe, is that we have that makes sense. So that means we have to raise money, and you spend a lot of money. 

 

So Amazon, I think, still isn’t profitable, by the way people, right? Like you raise a lot of money to spend it, so that you can figure out how to double down as fast as possible. It’s like how you get quick growth. And we, it was two years ago, I had, I had circled $2 million in New York City. 

 

And I hadn’t found a lead investor. So the lead investor is the person that basically shoulders, the pressure. They do all the research, the diligence, they put together the papers with the lawyers, and they lead the rounds so that everybody else can follow on and they’re the ones they trust, right. They don’t have to do the dirty work. 

 

So someone who is vouching for this company. So once you have a lead the dominoes fall, it’s easy peasy. And I’d raised almost $3 million dollars before previous years through a different kind of fundraising, angel investing. But But I was going to this new level, right. And I couldn’t find the lead. And it was so frustrating. And I couldn’t figure out why. 

 

Here we are. Again, I’m checking every goddamn box and I’m not getting an A plus what why this is making me so angry. And Joanne Wilson, who’s a very well respected angel investor in New York City, her husband is Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures. She’s the Gotham gal. She’s my board member and had led one of my earlier rounds. 

 

And she said to me, Hey, have you heard this stat, that only 2% of all female founders get venture capital money? And I was like, what? And she showed me all the paperwork. And there was this new uncovering, and I was like, Holy shit, I have to work 98% harder than you actually. If you’re black, you’re not even on the goddamn scale. Okay, I get angry about this, because it’s just, it’s ridiculous. And that was 2.3%. And in the last three years, they’ve increased it to 2.7% Wha hoo.

 

Kenny Soto  27:51  

Right. Impressive. It’s,

 

Kate Bradley  27:54  

it’s just crazy. So. So I mean, yeah, right. So here I am. Thank you. So so I’m, I have no choice Kenny, I have to pull my burn is at $100,000 per month, I have to pull it down to 10,000. In order to do that, I gotta ask people to not pay to take paychecks. Right. So I got 12 people working for me.

 

 Some of them are interns, founders, sales, like all these things. And everybody is like doing their own thing. Basically, like now we’re, we’re a team and we’ve always gelled that way. So me and my co founders are finding everybody supplemental work, right, because we have pretty good networks and we’re able to do that. Some people take a paycheck this month. Some people take one that one, you know, we did like kind of a slinky effect. 

 

And we put our heads down, we close lot bigger deals. We got Gary Vee on board, some bigger enterprise companies. But still the magical thing that they were looking for wasn’t happening. I couldn’t figure out why. And so then I got into Jason Calacanis is accelerator called launch. So he’s the host of This Week in Startups. He’s kind of a famous Silicon Valley investor.

 

 So this was a huge deal. Silicon Valley. Now we’re going to the show, right? So and they’re like a couple 1000 companies apply. And they take they took 46 That year or something like that. So we’re like this is we’re in the 1%. Now. Awesome, golden. I fly to New York every week for 14 weeks. Sorry, fly to California from New York, right now for me to do a demo day on stage, a new one every week to a new group of investors. 

 

So it’s pretty nerve racking. I’m really good at it, but takes a lot of preparation. And I fly on a plane one day, do the demo the next flight home the next day, and remember, I can’t use my hands. I can only talk in a closed room so I can’t get any work done on the airplane. It’s a huge time suck for

 

Kenny Soto  29:46  

  1. It’s good for context for people to just remember that for this context. You can’t use your hands. Okay,

 

Kate Bradley  29:52  

can I use my hands? Yeah, thanks. I mean, it was it was crazy town. And so in stressful like and if I have a husband I’m on enough They’re team also, you know, but he’s awesome. So So anyway, so going back and forth and doing all this shenanigans, I graduate in the top three of the class, I win the final demo day, that’s the one to win, right to brag about, like that shows you grew and all these kinds of things.

 

 And I have, we’re doing another two and a half million dollar round, I’ve got a term sheet, I’ve got $4 million circle, I’m going to be oversubscribed, it’s going to be awesome. And the world explodes. Right? So I could see, the good thing is, I could see that the world was exploding. Before it sort of like went dark for us. 

 

And at the same time, the term sheet I had I did love, there was some challenges, and I was dragging my feet about it. And it’s you have to leverage other people. It’s like high school. So there’s a lot of dynamics that are in play here. 

 

And it wasn’t working. And my gut was just saying this isn’t right. But I didn’t know what the answer was. And I took out a loan from one of our current investors who I trusted just to say, Listen, either the world’s gonna explode, I’m gonna need this buffer or this round is going to take a long time to get together and I need to pay people something, you know. So thank God, I did that. 

 

And then also one of our key customers, Brian Moran, who he loved so much said, Hey, can you please build me this damn feature? And it was a feature that I wanted to I’ve been asking interns to do this thing manually me for a year and no one had done it yet. It was making me crazy. I kept asking remember my pet peeve.

 

 I was like, What the hell is this. And it was the video clips feature which we can talk about in a second. So we did that I went past out on the couch for two weeks stuff my face full of nachos. Watch the Kardashians of all things. I just was like, kill me now. Like I need to just check out. And Lauren, my head of growth ran the company, because I just was done for totally fried. 

 

And we were making money suddenly, and Gary Vee. He was our customer before, but he didn’t really know about us. And one of his teammates have created that Twitter channel and walked up to gearing to show him his phone with the video clip feature that I’m talking about. And Gary’s like, holy shit, who’s that I need to meet her. So since then, we’ve increased sales 180% in 10 months. And I just paid all my my whole team is getting paid right now.

 

Kenny Soto  32:29  

And now’s the perfect time to ask what does lately do?

 

Kate Bradley  32:34  

Thanks. I’m the worst person at describing this. As you guys know, right, Shoemaker has no shot.

 

Kenny Soto  32:42  

I heard it was witchcraft on LinkedIn.

 

Kate Bradley  32:46  

Yeah, I saw that too. So I was freaked out, right. So lately uses artificial intelligence to essentially unlock long form content and give you dozens and dozens of social posts to like atomize it is the easy way to say it. 

 

But the kicker with the AI is that it prevents every single post we write, so that it learns exactly what your audience is going to engage with. So like Gary Vee, using only lately gets a 12,000% increase in engagement. Right? And because two reasons number one, he’s Gary Vee. So the content he’s putting in is awesome. He’s very good speaker. Right. So we’ll let me let me break this down to people. 

 

So we’ll take a video, for example, you pump it through lately will instantly transcribe it for you. So then you could use the video, you can use that transcription as a blog if you wanted to, for example. And we then take the transcription, and we put the AI model the model that already knows what your customers want to read, watch or hear. And it looks through the transcript for the best quotes, right. 

 

And then it finds those quotes and it pairs it up with a video of whoever it is saying those quotes. And suddenly, you’ve got hundreds of mini movie trailers to use out to the end of the time. So really unlocking like the golden nugget nuggets of what you pay up what you say and do and right. Like we can do this with anything. It can be with blogs, it can be with websites, it can be with audio files, you know, whatever we want. 

 

This, by the way, is what I did for Walmart by hand. Right? And then the other thing here too, is the new way of thinking. So if someone would say to me, Well, why would I want 100 ways to market this blog? And I would say well, why wouldn’t you? But it’s because again back to radio Kenny, you the chances and just to make sure that you’re because this is a question people ask a lot. The chances of me flooding by your Twitter or link feed when you happen to publish a message or like none, right? You need to publish multiple times and radio. We played you the same song 300 times a week hoping you would hear it once right the old Marketing adage was you have to hear something seven times, or read or watch something seven times before it sinks in. 

 

Now it’s 12 to 14 times, right? So you have to be, the quantity has to be, but the quality is essential, because now everybody’s onto the spamming and the social places, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, they prevent you from saying the same message. So you need that variety as well. And you need variety. Why should you shoot in the dark? And guess that’s ridiculous. So you use AI that that knows what works, right?

 

Kenny Soto  35:28  

One thing I definitely want to use and jump off of from that analogy talked about in radio, like 300, not 300, but like three times a day or something like that, to get the listener to actually listen to the song. When I was working at VaynerMedia. In 2017, I got an interesting stat where a user, when they’re swiping up a news feed on Facebook, specifically, the speed of the news feed is 60 miles per hour. Oh my gosh, on average. So it’s super fast. 

 

So when you equate that to the radio analogy, and when you equate that to that question of why wouldn’t you want 100 pieces of content to deploy? Think of it not just as marketing, but also customer service? If you want to service the customer? Or someone you want to be a customer? How, how else should you do that then by providing them with as many touch points or potential touch points as possible for them to engage with your brand? And it seems like this is an amazing tool to do that. 

 

I have another question. In in regards to like the main use case, is this like a universal tool that anyone can use? Or are there specific features and functions that are better for a particular type of business versus another?

 

Kate Bradley  36:44  

Yeah, that’s the question. So ideally, we’d love to be able to serve everybody, but we’re not there yet. But so we know that our customers that can’t be beginners, they have to have at least two social channels that their animals on publishing, like two to 10 times a day, right. They also have to have the pain of wanting to unlock that long form content. Right. So they, they want to do more with it. 

 

So they have a regular podcast, they have a webinar series or a blog that they write all the time. So those two things are, are really key. But we do serve small customers and very large customers. At the same time, there’s some there’s another feature not to bore everybody where we’re able to sit one lately account on top of hundreds or 1000s, so that a CMO from a very large company can actually do the broadcasting of AI tested messaging for an entire sales team, for example, right across the globe. 

 

So it’s this idea of me again, once you know what people want to hear, watch or read, like, don’t guess. But we, we do have a freemium toolkit anywhere that anybody can use, it’s the dumbed down version of what we’re talking about for blog for blogs only, it’s for text only. But we are pricing starts at $300 for the video clipping that we started, and that’s a monthly fee. But we do what we call a sliding scale. 

 

So we have a lot of customers that we might work up work something out with. But what we’ve learned is that if we don’t keep to those qualifications, people churn because marketing is complicated. And we’re not yet in the business of educating the basics. Although we do see that need coming soon, you know, not yet.

 

Kenny Soto  38:31  

One thing I definitely want to add on to this and why I was so interested in lately in the first place is I don’t know if you I think you might know who this guy is navall Raava. Khan always talks about leverage, and how if you have either media, or capital, or labor, or some type of software, that that is a form of leverage that you can use to grow any kind of business and I feel and correct me if I’m wrong lately is a type of leverage that you can use to scale your content marketing, correct. Yeah, so

 

Kate Bradley  39:04  

thanks for the softball so so lately, we at lately, we don’t do any cold calls. We don’t do any cold emails, no paid ads we use only lately to market lately. So I do a lot of interviews like this, I don’t even have time to write a blog. And we give some free online courses. We take all of that long form content that we feel needs to be unlocked. Right. We don’t want to waste the time we spend. We run it through our own AI.

 

 And that’s we use it to publish marketing from our Brand Channels, but also all the employees so that that hub and spoke model we were talking about before because when you’re a small company, especially you need as many people shouting the good word as possible because it’s hard, you know, Ville takes a village. So we see a 98% sales conversion because our AI is smart AF

 

Kenny Soto  39:59  

now out just for the listeners to let them know, and I hope that I can I can follow up on this as well, I’m definitely and I hope that you can be on the podcast the second or third time. So we can dive deeper not only on lately, but just in marketing in general. 

 

But I feel like just to close on a good note, I’m going to ask a common question that I asked to all my podcast guests at the end. If you can go back in time, 10 years ago, with everything you know, now, and 10x, the speed of your career to get to where you are faster? How would you do it?

 

Kate Bradley  40:37  

That’s the most thoughtful question I’ve been asked in a long time. And the answer would be Oh, it’s tough. I’m teetering between. Listen to my gut is probably the one that I would say would be, it’s either that one or I’m sorry, I’m thinking about it so hard, because it’s important. Or it might be just be yourself. It’s Be yourself. And in the reason I know that sounds so corny and cheesy folks, but but let me explain why. 

 

So it’s very hard to be yourself, actually. Because society doesn’t teach you to do that. Right? And women, especially they teach us to be like Kim Kardashian, Have you every teenager, you know, takes sexy selfies of themselves and put them on Instagram and holo.

 

Kenny Soto  41:27  

There’s a template.

 

Kate Bradley  41:28  

Yeah, right there is it’s so it’s so bizarre. And for me being myself means it’s brought me the confidence and I’ve never been not confident. But that memory we were talking about that, that the doubt, sort of reels that go on your head with your being gaslighted. So to stop that, and I didn’t, it’s happened a couple times. And I’ve had to be reminded a few times, and I’m so thankful every time but like myself, I swear like a sailor, I have a dirty, foul mouth, you couldn’t possibly wash it out with soap, I don’t do my hair or my nails, I barely have time to brush my teeth. And I dress terribly. 

 

So like if I have to go out to meet somebody, I’m wearing jeans and cowboy boots, and a sweatshirt generally, that’s it I have. And maybe sometimes it’s a dress if it’s hot out. But like, I don’t have time to think about that stuff. And I don’t have time to not be rough around the edges. I get very impatient with people who need me to translate what I’m saying to them, right? I don’t have time for that. So I learned to surround myself with people who are cool with the edges right to stop apologizing for who I am. 

 

And then also to stop making excuses. Like, now I know if somebody if an investor says to me, Well, you know, one of the things reasons we’re not going to invest is because you’re not really a New York company. You know, your your team does disburse. Now I say, You know what? That’s a bullshit answer. If you want to invest, you will, because I fucking No, I know, the deal. Like, I don’t know how anybody does this. 

 

Without the I mean, I’ve got seven years of wisdom here. I love it. When a company is someone says to me, Well, you guys are kind of old. And I’m like, you know, it took Facebook four years doesn’t just happen. You know, and I’m a woman, I gotta work 90, it should take me 98% times four years, should be next fucking century that I should figure this out. You know, it’s gonna take me seven. Sorry to get angry. But you know, I’m saying like so. So being yourself is really hard to do. But the good news is, you know, when it’s happening, everything clicks, right, Kenny.

 

Kenny Soto  43:41  

If, if there’s one thing that I can personally attest to, when it comes to being yourself is a book. I can’t remember the author right now. And I’ll definitely put it in the show notes, but it’s called the alchemist. And there’s a word in that book called Mach tube, which is, it means in Arabic, it is written. And essentially, the whole purpose of that book is to show you through the the narration of the protagonist journey, that the whole point of the journey was for him to discover himself, not necessarily chase the treasure that he was looking for. And without going too, in depth with that book, I’ll just put a link. 

 

A link to the book in the show notes is that every single person has their own journey. And I think the main challenge to making sure you start the journey is to one acknowledge the templates that are out there in the world that society wants you to follow. And to then start thinking about, okay, maybe these templates, I might resonate with them, but how do I create my own? That’s the most important part. 

 

You don’t necessarily need to subscribe to every single thing you hear. And you also don’t necessarily need to think about what other people think you should do. Do it what’s most important is thinking about how do you find your own happiness? How do you become successful? What is success for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the next Steve Jobs and the next Jeff Bezos, and next, Elon Musk, it can just mean that you find yourself a job that you’re secure in or start your own business, or become an author or become a teacher. 

 

It doesn’t necessarily matter what other people think it’s just what resonates with you. And that self identification can and should change over time, for the most part. And I think that’s, that’s something that I also resonate with what you just said, because I’ve also gone through that journey myself. 

 

That’s one of the main reasons why I started this podcast, it’s because at first I thought, Why me? Why should I have my own podcast? There’s a bunch of other digital marketing podcasts out there. What makes me so special? Well, let’s find out. And that’s the best way to end this podcast. If people wanted to connect with you online, where could they find you?

 

Kate Bradley  45:58  

Thank you so much, Kenny. They can find me at kate@lately.ai or my team calls me Keightley. So I’m lately AI Keightley and all the most of the social places. So that’s easy, and we’re lately done AI. So thanks again.

 

Kenny Soto  46:13  

I think that’s great branding. Again, you just listened to another episode of Kenny Soto Digital Marketing podcast. Thank you, Kate, for your time. Thank you to the listener and I hope everyone has a great week. Bye.

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