Our guest today is Kate Bradley, CEO of Lately.Ai, a social media marketing tool.
Lately uses artificial intelligence to help companies manage their social media accounts. In this episode, she talked about how to use artificial intelligence to manage your social media accounts and create content that resonates with your audience.
Plus, there are a lot more useful insights to learn from her so stay tuned!
Artificial intelligence is amazing and is progressing leaps and bounds week after week. We interview Kate Bradley, Co-Founder, and CEO of Lately.ai, and learn how the Artificial Intelligence tools help social media managers produce and distribute social media efficiently while saving hundreds of hours.
Brent Peterson and Kate Bradley discuss the importance of social media marketing tools in the industry, especially Lately.Ai.
As Lately’s CEO, Bradley shared how wonderful this tool is and how it can help social media managers in their work. Enjoy this episode and gain insights into social media marketing straight from the pro!
Lately’s A.I. learns which words will get you the most engagement and turns video, audio, and text into dozens of social posts. Unlock which words will get you the most engagement with artificial intelligence that studies what your audience wants to read, hear or watch. Lately’s A.I. content-generator will then atomize any interview, webinar, conference panel, podcast, blog, PDF, word document, or newsletter into lead-generating social posts that get next-level results. Because that’s the power of artificial intelligence.
In addition to her success with the Artificial Intelligence tools from Lately.ai, Kate’s appeared as a guest speaker on hundreds of sales, marketing, and entrepreneurial podcasts and has led presentations for Walmart, National Disability Institute, IRS, United Way Worldwide, SaaStr, SXSW, Content Marketing Institute, Harvard University, Columbia University, NYU, and others.
Stay tuned and enjoy this Talk Commerce episode.
A notable quote from this podcast:
“What rules certainly shouldn’t be broken? Because so we can evolve and do better. But like, how can you find enough sanity in that one confined space so that the chaos, which is mostly good chaos can continue to reign? And that you don’t lose your mind at the same time?”
[1:49] – Guest Introduction
[8:57] – What do entrepreneurs think about AI?
[15:56] – The AI Power of Lately
[18:26] – Your Brand Voice Despite AI
[24:42] – Finding the Right Channel
[32:12] – Leveraging Engagement
[33:51] – The Role of AI in Sales Conversion
[44:38] – AI Does Not Equate to Cheating
[54:04] – The Role of Google
Ideas/Quotes by Kate Bradley
- I’ve raised $3.4 million, but I haven’t actually raised over seven years, so I have actually raised a full-price round where all that money comes in at once. It’s been a trickle, trickle of income, which means it’s really hard to really do anything meaningful, because you’re constantly cash-constrained, right. And this is part of the plight of any entrepreneur and certainly, female founders, we’ve harder time than men raising, which is BS, but it is what it is. So we had, you know, kind of come to Jesus with ourselves.
- And what’s amazing to me, Brent, is how, how many different kinds of patterns can appear like you think you see one, but then you just tilt your head a little bit, and there’s a whole new slice there. And that’s the thing that’s so important is like, once you know that trick to constantly as well, like a kaleidoscope spinning your head around. So you’re making sure you see all the different ways that those patterns can be evolving or appearing. Because that’s, I mean, that’s the puzzle, right? Because it always will change like you think you solve one problem. It’s the, they say welcome all, which is cliche, but it’s so true.
- When if it’s creative writing or something like that, you know, you’re suddenly making yourself less creative because you don’t have the space. And maybe, I don’t know, maybe some people are more creative in that aspect.
- Right, right. And we create a writing model based on the words and key phrases and sentence structures in those posts that have the most engagement. And then, so this is part one. And this is really important because AI can’t work by itself. It has to learn from something so in part one, it learns from you. And then you feed it long-form content, like this video, or any audio or a blog text or something like that. Again, it has a second learning arena. And this is so important because it’s a child. So it pulls from that content. And it’s looking with the writing model as its basis to try to find the same quotes, right to assemble and pull into social posts and clipping up the video that goes with the quotes and all those kinds of things
Brent: Welcome to the show today. I have Kate Bradley. She is the CEO and founder of Lately. And that doesn’t mean just Lately. She is the founder of Lately. Not Lately. Kate, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us what you do. Day-to-day and maybe one of your passions in life.
Kate: Hey there, brent, kudos to you for like totally not outing me on not knowing which state that was, but my idea I’m just
Brent: such a silly, I think you said New Jersey.
Brent: I said, no, it’s Delaware.
Kate: I’ve got a, like 40 states before. I didn’t even get there, but you’re so kind and patient with me. So yes, it’s true. I’m the CEO of Lately, which, my team does call me Kately, Brent. I don’t know if you’ve heard them do that before. It’s pretty funny. I’ve got investors who are like, yeah, just call me Peter Lee.
Brent: My, one of my nicknames was Brentley and I do have brent.li think I’m also a, I’m a domain name junkie
Kate: oh, really? My uncle Chris was the first domain king. He was the first guy to buy up a whole bunch of domains and make his money that way, which is, that’s some foresight right there.
Kate: don’t know if that trickled down to me, but so before Lately I used to be a rock and roll DJ broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM satellite radio. And somewhere in between there, I also owned a little marketing agency and our first client was Walmart. You guys know them.
Kate: And I got Walmart 130% ROI year over year for three years. Amazingly what I learned from both of those experiences. And we’ll dive into this later, I’m sure. Help fuel the bedrock for how Lately is artificial intelligence works, which surprises me, right? I’m 47, Brent. So I’ve lived enough life where the S the zigzags are now making a straight line to at least in my mind, which you hope will be the case.
Kate: You want all the dots to connect
Brent: minor circles even better. Yeah. And they don’t connect. That’s the odd part.
Kate: More like a spring,
Brent: a spiral. Yeah. Yeah. It’s weird.
Kate: Ladies and gentlemen, Brent Peterson. So good.
Brent: What, tell us what do you like what are you doing right now day to day and what is something you’re super passionate about?
Kate: Honestly, Christmas at the moment, it’s in the way, I’m trying to just do what a lot of people are doing, which is licking stamps and getting things out the door. And I’m always too late about it and planning a menu and just all that kind of stuff. But, With Lately, we just launched three new products.
Kate: And when people say that you’re always like, oh, that sounds nice. Or whatever. I don’t know what people really think, but for us, we’re doing something crazy. Brent, we’re actually turning, I shouldn’t tell you this maybe, but we’re turning the company inside out. Because we’ve been learning and listening and learning to you and so many others what you like, what you don’t like, and what’s in our capacity to change, right?
Kate: We’re a small company, I’ve raised $3.4 million over seven years. But I haven’t actually raised a full price round where all that money comes in at once. So it’s been a trickle of income, which means it’s really hard to really do anything meaningful because you’re constantly cash constrained.
Kate: And this is part of the plight of the, any entrepreneur and certainly female founders. We’ve had a harder time than men raising which is BS, but it is what it is. So we had a come to Jesus with ourselves. This summer, a confluence of like really crummy events happened and I’ll just touch on what that means for people.
Kate: Like number one, I discovered a $240,000 accounting error, which, Eight months ago. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say that, but I’ve met so many founders. Who’ve had worst things happen to them since that, like now I know it’s just par for the course. Those kinds of hurdles, I can’t even say, I can call it a hurdle now it’s obviously cataclysmic.
Kate: That gets you to look closer. And see what’s really wrong. And so we did, we zoomed in, and some of the things that we thought were wrong were, but they were bigger than we thought. And so we banged our heads against the wall and I certainly cried a bunch.
Kate: And then, had the wherewithal to put myself in, into a couple of situations that I knew would change the channel, right? How do we get out of growth? How do we get into growth mindset and move from scrape mindset? And so that’s what we’re doing now is taking all this information, just totally flipping things on its head and changing the channel.
Kate: And so that’s, what’s on my mind, like I’m constantly thinking, am I doing the right thing? Is this gonna work? Oh God, Jesus, please let it work. Do I have the right team to do that? Pretty sure I do. My team is amazing. Do I have enough runway? There’s three months right now for a couple of us, don’t take a paycheck.
Kate: But that’s always the case. And then I think to myself, are you crazy? Oh, good. You still are. Okay. Then keep on. Yeah,
Brent: I think we all, as entrepreneurs, you have to have a little bit of craziness in it. I guess there is the accountant entrepreneur, who just goes.
Brent: It goes by the numbers and does it, because the numbers say they can do it. But then there’s the other, the flip side of, and I’m, I guess I would be at the flip side where you just run headlong into it and hope that it’s a wall, but it’s going to be a soft wall and you’re going to crash through it.
Brent: And it’s not going to be a hardened steel wall that you’re going to bounce off of. And then there’s the middle ground and probably you enter the middle ground after you’ve been at it a little bit. You decide, oh, I probably should start tracking some of these things and I should measure some of these things and I should define success.
Brent: And especially if you have investors that you’ll have to define some success and some objectivity in that.
Kate: It’s true. Yeah. As you’re speaking, you reminded me something, one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten and, people give you lots of free advice and there’s a reason it’s free because most of it ain’t very good.
Kate: But one good one was to look at all the data you have and always searched for the patterns in the data. And then, what to double down on or obviously double down off. And what’s amazing to me, Brent is how. How many different kinds of patterns can appear. Like you think you see one, but then you just tilt your head a little bit and there’s a whole new slice there.
Kate: And that’s the thing that’s so important is once that trick to constantly as like a kaleidoscope spin your head around. So you’re making sure you see all the different ways that those patterns can be evolving or appearing. Cause that’s, that’s the puzzle, right? Cause it always will change.
Kate: Like you think you solve one problem. It’s the, they say whack-a-mole, which is cliche, but it’s so true, and then like on a personal note, just to answer that question a little more I’m really thinking about I’m not old, but I’m older and I’m thinking about my sanity and like, how do I maintain this level of stamina?
Kate: It’s already waning. To be honest with you, like the equation of self care to like work has definitely, there’s more self care needed every day, to keep going. And I don’t know about you or, your listeners, but for me, that can come in so many ways, like massages and acupuncture and working out and all that kind of stuff.
Kate: And then, meditation, or even just diet and vacations as we were touching on earlier. And then I also think about who am I surrounding myself with? Do I have people around me, either my team or my friends or my family who (a) make you smile? Cause you can’t do any of this
Kate: if you’re not laughing at yourself, cause it’s painful, you gotta be able to crack some jokes along the way. But then are they people who will force me to tilt my head and get that other perspective?
Brent: Yeah, no, that’s a great point. And I I agree that you have to be constantly reevaluating, but I think you also have to have a point in which you can move forward and have some space to be able to move forward in and feel comfortable in that space without constraints or without it feeling like it’s the end of the world, or this is the biggest disaster that has ever happened.
Brent: And let’s go into firefighting mode. I’ve found those to be not very productive, especially when you can’t do some strategizing and be creative. I think you lose a lot of that creativity when you put that pressure on and you have to either deliver something or solve something it’s ironic that we often wait till the end of our term to deliver a term paper.
Brent: When, if it’s creative writing or something like that, you’re suddenly making yourself less creative because you don’t have the space. And maybe, I don’t know, maybe some people are more creative in that aspect. Yeah.
Kate: I agree with you. You just reminded me when so I was taking some poetry courses.
Kate: Don’t roll your eyes people. Cause I was a fiction writing major and so I love words and the sound of words, but what I actually did a shoot like poopoo poetry for a long time until I realized. What was interesting to me is there’s rules, very set rules and a lot of poetry and that they too can be broken.
Kate: And so I was interested in breaking them. And I remember one professor actually assigning me the task of cause I was really going so lawless out there and he was like, okay, you’re going too far. So I want to sign, you, make up your own rules, make it be more rules but keep within your own rules, if you don’t want to conform to the rules or set preset rules, and it was a great task because it gave me the understanding of how much work one would take just to actually stay within the confines of those rules.
Kate: And so I had a lot more respect for poetry as a genre than I had before. I think about that with. Certainly Lately, or even I’m onboarding a new CRO right now and poor Nick, like he’s coming into our, you call it a I call it a fire hose, but like he’s coming in. We’re just waterboarding that poor guy, like all day long.
Kate: You know how it is, right? There’s so many things wrong, of course, that this is part of startup life. There’s a million things wrong, but you have to decide I’m going to drag out the fire metaphor and spin it around a little bit. So there’s 50 houses on fire, which one gets water. And even the one you decide that gets water, you’re not going to put it out.
Kate: You’re just going hit, hit the first floor a little bit. And I’m watching him struggle and I feel all the guilt of being a terrible onboarder. But then it’s the way it has to be because he’s going to have to figure out kinda what rules are rules, what rules are meant to be broken, what rules certainly should be broken cause so we can evolve and do better, but like, how can you find enough sanity in that one confined space so that the chaos, which is mostly good chaos can continue to reign and that you don’t lose your mind at the same time.
Kate: Yeah, no,
Brent: a metaphor. Is there? Yeah, no, it’s good. Yeah. Which leads us into our next discussion about AI. How do you keep all that together? I, full transparency. We we were an early adopter of Lately. We were early as opposed to late. He’s killing me.
Brent: Sorry about that. Yeah, it was called early when we first started. And I’m a believer in it. But I’ve also, I’ve continued to embrace this whole idea of AI and I’ve recently. Also signed up for a writing tool that helps you write. I won’t tell you which one I did,
Kate: but I want to know so that you can compare notes and tell me,
Brent: is this one of your new products?
Kate: We have the AI, our AI actually does write for you. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So
Brent: You’ve heard of Jarvis, right? It’s not Jarvis, but it’s similar to Jarvis. And it, what I’m finding is that if you have a very factual based article that you would like to write, do not depend on any AI right now, because it’ll give you a whole bunch of, oh, you know what?
Brent: I’m excited about this. Cause I’m going to put in a bleep, it’ll give you a whole bunch of bullshit. I’m going to bleep this out later, but it’s so it gives you, breaks down into sections and then writes it for you. And I had one that was. Five sections of this article and none of it was right.
Brent: It was like, it was so wrong and it sounded so real. It, went on to say, Mike was an early founder or co-founder of this new product and blah-blah-blah, and it was nothing to do with it. So AI can be completely wrong and it can lead you down the wrong path. And in that case, it actually didn’t help at all.
Brent: It made it worse because suddenly you have this thing in your head that, oh, this is the way I should go. And you got to pivot and go somewhere else.
Kate: Yeah you’re right. On the scale of AI, would I like to think of it is, if AI was a human, we’re looking at a three-month old, it’s a baby a wee sweet baby, and it needs a lots of guidance and it needs to be fed and it can’t even walk yet or hold up its head really. And no, I’m not surprised if that’s the case like with, and I can define Lately, not as a commercial, but just so that people understand.
Kate: So Lately uses artificial intelligence to first learn your brand voice. It studies all your social content and it’s looking at what gets you the highest engagement. And we create a writing model based on the words and key phrases and sentence structures in those posts that have the most engagement.
Kate: So this is part one, and this is really important. AI can’t work by itself. It has to learn from something. So part one, it learned from you and then you feed it long form content like this video or any audio or a blog text or something like that. And again, it has a second learning arena and this is so important because it’s a child.
Kate: So it pulls from that content. And it’s looking with the writing model as a basis to try to find the same quotes, to assemble and pull into social posts and clipping up the video that go with the quotes and all those kinds of things. So the reason I wanted to say all that is in our world, we made a really important stance to insist that AI and humans must co-exist right.
Kate: Cause we could see that the AI would run off the rails and it’s only a robot, and humans are slow, right? So let’s put the two together and make them work out. So one of the things that’s been interesting to learn is like how little humans care, so we insist that you come in and tell the AI what’s wrong or right.
Kate: Cause this is how it learns, but a lot of people don’t even want to do that. And so then it’s often its own. We can see, like I select the T’s Alex is one of our customers. Like I can see Alex just pushing the button and letting the AI go. And I’ll be like, Alex, you gotta like step in here. But what’s been interesting.
Kate: Brent is to learn. So here’s the secret, which is we have a second level of AI, which we’ll introduce in about two weeks that can read any content and summarize it on its own and use your isms in the summary. So it’s not just quoting anymore is writing and it’s pretty incredible. Like it needs a lot.
Kate: It has to have at least 10,000 pieces of content to learn from. So that’s a lot. Cause it’s really trying to get it right. And instead of swearing I do swear like a sailor in real life, but I try not to. And so I come up with other ways, so I might say jumping Jehosaphat or holy hot pickled jalapeno pepper, stuff like that.
Kate: And so the test of the AI on my voice does that, for example. And it gets some stuff wrong. Like I can see it hashtag weird things in the middle. Cause it’s trying to guess what you would like, that’s the thing that we have to all remember is that A, the human has to be involved for the AI to get it right.
Kate: But B even no matter how far we take the AI. It doesn’t matter, whether it’s his driving cars or writing copy, is that humans just like you and I are do here. Like humans provide that vision to say qua Brent, that AI can never replicate. And it shouldn’t like, so even if we managed to get it, as far as it can, like right around 99%, I say would be the dream.
Kate: Except for this one little factor. And the factor is the thing that, I really want to have a beer with you or a cup of coffee. You’re cracking me up over here. You’re and I can see I’m detecting the looks in your face. I can see the smirk on your slow, dry sense of humor. Like all that is reaching through the screen on me.
Kate: And a robot can’t replicate that.
Brent: Yeah, hopefully
Kate: no way.
Brent: When we first started with Lately about three years ago, the main tool we still use is we it’ll pick apart our blog posts and put it in a nice social media snippets, which is a fantastic tool.
Brent: And more recently you’ve come out with it’ll actually Go through a podcast and come up with a snippets and as well as video. So I think those are two really valuable things that people can use. And so I think that this whole idea of writing something, I what I haven’t seen is from the content AI, tools is that idea of when it does give you a wrong answer to infatically, just say, Hey, don’t ever give me this again. This is so wrong. I think what you’re, it sounds and I haven’t used your new or your newer tools yet. But one thing that I haven’t seen anyone do so far is that learning model where even if it doesn’t know your voice, if it just writes something to write it for the sake of writing a blog post, let’s say, and it comes up with 800 words that are completely wrong.
Brent: Like it doesn’t do anybody any good. And if you don’t have as the user, the ability to go back and say, here’s what I’ve meant. Okay, if you breaks it down into your three main headings, of a blog post in the intro and a conclusion you want your three main headings, right?
Brent: And then if it gets all three of those wrong, great to go back and say, Hey, here’s what you got wrong. Here’s what I meant. Like then the human takes some time to say, here’s what I was going to give you. Please look and learn about this. Yeah. That’s
Kate: I think that’s probably the hardest part it is. And it’s the part nobody wants to do.
Kate: We’re all lazy, which is so interesting. But you think about it, like with Spotify or Pandora, like you thumbs down the channel, when, if it’s playing your song, you I’m like, so there’s this idea of the human, interfering in a good way. I like to make the couple of metaphors, like one is, it’s like an electric toothbrush Brent, right?
Kate: It’s still going to hold the damn thing up to my teeth. But perhaps more interestingly is there’s a great Betty crocker story where, you know, Betty crocker made cake mix. And at the time it was all powder. Even the eggs were powdered eggs and the Housewives, which who was buying marketing to at the time they didn’t feel as though they had made a cake because so much was already in there.
Kate: So they took the powdered eggs out and they made it so that you, the human had to add eggs. And that was the thing that worked. So now they actually felt that there was a human roll here. See?
Brent: Interesting. Yeah. Oh, that’s good. Yeah. I’ve never thought of it that way.
Kate: Yeah. And that’s the thing.
Brent: Oh, sorry. Yeah no I think you’re, you’re exactly right there. The idea that I think right now, AI is still in its early stages and people think it should do everything.
Kate: Yeah. It’s amazing what we expect. I remember demoing somebody a long time ago and they’re really like, oh, that’s all.
Kate: And I was like, do you know how hard this is? It’s amazing. I think I went to, I was in radio for a long time. When in small town radio. And then when I was at XM, suddenly I could get tickets to much larger shows. Like I’d never been to see ACDC or the rolling stones or anything like that.
Kate: And I managed to get tickets to the rolling stones and which is another great story for us to have over coffee. And I took my husband and the show was amazing. And then right afterwards, he’s can we get Paul McCartney tickets? And I was like, Jesus, we just
Kate: give you a second, man. Don’t tell him I told you that. But yeah, the other thing I wanted to touch on here too is get to getting back to that. The, je ne sais quoi part, the magical, human part which I want to further emphasize, because this translates to sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, like all the things, right?
Kate: So that special indescribable component that only you bring to the table, right? Whatever you’re working on. So one of the things I learned in radio Brent was how the neuroscience of music works when you’re processing music in your brain when you’re listening to it.
Kate: So when you hear a new song, Brent, every other song you’ve ever heard instantly gets pulled forward by the memory of your brain. And it’s trying to index this new song in the library of the memory of songs in your brain. And it’s looking for familiar touch points. So it knows where to put that song, right?
Kate: And so by pulling that library forth, it triggers emotion and memory. And the stallion, this is why music is so powerful right now, those three characters all must exist for trust to happen. And trust is why we buy anything. It has to be there. And when your voice acts similarly, right?
Kate: So when you write text, whether it’s, you’re texting your wife to pick up cash at the bank, or if you’re slacking your employee to fill out the form, or you’re emailing a sales target, People read that text and they hear your voice in their heads. This is the theater of the mind a little bit here. Right?
Kate: And when they hear your voice is like a musical note. There’s a frequency to it. It’s a note, write it. It does happy frequency. So that same idea happens. It’s your job as the author to help guide the reader and fill in those blanks with the nostalgia and emotion and memory, like putting those familiar touch points.
Kate: So a trust is triggered, right? Same idea here. You do it by putting the shape of your state behind you. I’m doing it with some Pac-Man here. We’ve did it right away. And we were connecting and laughing about how we met each other. And I forgot. And we were touching on all of these familiar touch points now because the listener
Kate: it’s multifaceted. And I’m trying to give them many avenues. You’re trying to guide me into doing the same thing here, right? Because we want people to not only listen, this is the thing I really want to emphasize with people. It’s not just listening here. You want people to evangelize. I’m assuming you do.
Kate: I do. Because listeners who become fans are infinitely more powerful than just a listener, same way a customer is an evangelist, and the only way to do that is by optimizing the humanness of the thing, right? This mystery character, this third party, the theater of the mind,
Kate: all that.
Brent: Yeah. I want to just dig into that humanist of the thing, because I can say from my experience so I’m I’m on Twitter and I like to I like to send out different, jokes and stuff. And I found that people know, I guess you can see on Twitter where it’s, where it generated from.
Brent: I used to, pre-load like a quarter’s worth of a joke a day or something like that or whatever it is. And then it would just go out. And I think, honestly, Lately is a great thing for this, but there is a, there’s a bit of humanist and I and I think this is where you ha you can’t a hundred percent rely on AI.
Brent: Like the engagement part of it, people know. When it’s a BOT and when it’s not, and even early on, I think it was x.ai or something like that was like a tool that came out five years ago. That was just automated scheduler and you could register Amy. Oh yeah. Amy and Alex or something like that.
Brent: Amy in Ingram and Alex
Brent: idioms of the bots. Yeah.
Brent: And it’s one of my clients figured it out. Like I sent this out and I probably made 50 appointments and 49 successfully. And one of my clients like was just screwing around a pain, it’s just like back and forth
Kate: the poor robot. Nah,
Brent: I feel bad.
Brent: Yeah. So I think what, w what I’m learning as an AI human wait, am I artificial intelligence
Kate: now? We’re second guessing.
Brent: I think a lot of people would say that, you can, I guess you are artificial, if you’re depending on a tool to send your tweets and never engaging in real life, right?
Brent: Yeah. Symbiotic. The point is that you can’t a hundred percent depend on AI, and like you said, 99%, if it’s effective, but what you still need is that real, like we’re here to, for a reason, and we’re marketing for a reason. And at the end of the day you end up talking to a bot on your chat and it’s just give me a representative for you.
Brent: Like you’re on the phone. What you like? Yeah. Zero, zero. No. Like calling the cable company. Oh my gosh. I didn’t hear you. Did you say you want to disconnect your cable? No. You would like to go to the, oh, you’ve been upgraded the 10 gigabit. Your new bill is $12,000 a month.
Brent: Thank you very much. But that, that interaction and then that humanist is such an important factor. And maybe you could talk about how you’re doing, how are you doing that with Lately? Like with your own. Business and making it better. How are you constantly improving that?
Brent: And do you have the thought in the back of your mind when you’re adding features and developing your own platform?
Kate: Yeah, we do. I’m so glad you asked this question because I think it’s a fun one to answer. So first just to put some proof in the pudding for anybody questioning it.
Kate: So we only use Lately to market Lately. We don’t do any cold calls and no cold emails and no paid ads. So only organic and only with the AI. And we have a 98% sales conversion. And I’ll just say that again, 98% sales conversion. So in case anybody wonders, if it works or not, this works. Now there’s a little more into that process.
Kate: And so you asked about that and I’ll tell you here’s the secret? So first, because I wrote hundreds of commercials, thousands of commercials, and I was a fiction writing major. I’m good at writing. And so I write all the social posts from my own channels are by me by hand. They’re not Lately, it’s all me.
Kate: I write them when I think of them daily. And then Lately studies me first as a best practice. And from my social posts, I created about two dozen writing rules that I passed on to my team. So we’ll auto-generate content from Lately. The AI will give us a bunch of social posts. My team takes the rules that I gave them that are based on how I write and applies the rules to augment what the AI gave them and help it learn, help it get better and better.
Kate: And then we publish all of that on our brand channels and also on our employee channels, right? So the more the merrier and then the AI learns from there, it’s studying our brand channels and employee channels for best practices as a second layer. And then the next layer is, of course what you bring to the table and in your custom voice, it creates from you now, then collectively, it’s got all of our employees, our customers, and it’s looking at that data as a whole best practice as a whole.
Kate: So there’s four different layers there for it to, get smart on. And the goal is for us to be able to assemble this data. And then for you Brent, to be like, okay, Lately new Lately V two V3, whatever it is, I want to have a sense of humor. And I want to be able to use all the keywords that are going to appeal most to mortgage industry companies smaller than 100 in Minnesota, for example,
Brent: yeah, that
Kate: sounds fun. I think it’s pretty fun. It’s a little wacky. But it’s interesting because the problem we’re talking about is people writing is hard it’s not only knowing what to say, but knowing what to say, that’ll get a reaction, but the reaction is what we want.
Kate: What we all want. You want someone to do something for you? Every communication has this as its baseline, right? And there’s no shame in that. It’s very clear. Take out the garbage, water the plant, sell the damn thing, whatever it is, right? Exchange my robe that I don’t like customer service. So when you know, that’s the case, then you can really work backwards and thinking about, okay, and this is what the writing rules are about.
Kate: Like very practically speaking. I hate it when people are. Be more engaging and you’re like, duh how is the thing? And so what I thought a lot about is what’s the psychology that goes into how to get people to react with what you write, right?
Brent: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Brent: I know that Grammarly is another tool that is used to at least, check your spelling get rid of the red squiggles. And Grammarly does break it down into the type of voice you’re using. Are you going that far as to and I just saw a report. That’s what it reminded me of.
Brent: It says, you have an optimistic conversation or you’re confident. Mine always says feeble. That means? Do you incorporate that many, that, that part of it to try to match that style and then, for me, and I’m sure I’m not unique, but like do you have Spotify?
Brent: I do. Yeah. Spotify gives you the end of the year, most listened to songs for the year. You know what, my number one song was for last year, it was it was Neil diamond and it was sweet Caroline. And it’s come on, are you kidding me? Yeah. And there’s a reason why, but it wasn’t because I love the song.
Brent: It’s just because it was like a number one their thing. If you do it, it just plays the same star
Brent: And then number two was Cake. I love it. The band Cake right there. Aren’t even related. I think if Lila Down, she’s a Mexican singer.
Brent: Like these are my three top artists. That’s fascinating. So then how do you fix, how do you fit that in? Yeah. Like how do you call it? How do you say. How do you have a voice? I definitely have a different voice when I wake up and I’m going to have some coffee.
Brent: Like when I was in Hawaii for the last six weeks I started work at 5:00 AM and I literally rolled out of bed. I had the coffee maker going, so I could get into meetings right away. And I, try to be awake. You have a different aspect of life then as you do later in the day when I’m half asleep.
Brent: That’s true.
Kate: So yeah so it’s called tone of voice is the term that we hear and use. And Watson has API for that. And I don’t know if that’s what we’ve tapped into. I can’t remember. Cause we do integrate with IBM Watson and a bunch of other things, but in the new product, there is a tone of voice.
Kate: I just saw it actually yesterday. I forgot that they were doing that by they, I mean my tech team and I was like, oh yeah. Cause other people ask about that center sentiment, is the other thing. So we’re just dabbling with that right now. And, with the music thing, what’s interesting to me is, so the format that I was in Brent is called AAA or adult album alternative, which is a rare format.
Kate: It’s all the bands you described by the way. So new music and old music, and usually deeper cuts stuff, that’s in your actual album collection. And it runs the gamut from folk to rock, to blues, to, to world and everything in between. And like the music you might hear on, I hate to say this on NPR, if I’m, I don’t want to alienate anybody.
Kate: And in cooler, like he’d be Dave Grohl or Weezer, that kind of stuff, too. But what I love about that format is that it thinks about humans in a way that’s not one dimensional, whereas most of radio, so here’s the here’s, boom, we pull back the black curtain for people. So radio operates on, let’s play the same song over and over and over and over and over again.
Kate: And it relies now on charts for research, as opposed to asking people what they like. So Lee Abrams, who invented XM, he in the seventies, he used to stand outside. This is his idea. I’m going to stand outside the concert and ask them what their favorite song was. So human did this, right? So we would know what song to play off the record.
Kate: Now everybody reads charts and the DJs don’t even actually listen to the songs themselves. So there’s no tastemaking involved. They’re just like, oh, they’re telling me to play in a play this, which is asinine. But in. Format. We were on live. We were actually on the radio live. Oh my God, this never happens anymore.
Kate: So the human could make the judgment and a human could take you on a journey. Cause this is part of what you do every day right here as you hold the mic, Brent. But if you’re doing your job, you’re making the listener feel as though they’ve got a voice with you, right? This is that je ne sais quoi thing we’re talking about here.
Kate: And so with adult album alternative, because it’s looking for multiple ways to turn you on. It’s actually creating the evangelist. We talk about this is that long tail. This is why I believe in long tail. I’m going to give you guys just another example here. So the marketing forever used to say consistency, and that’s not wrong, but it has evolved.
Kate: So you can’t really say have a Coke and a smile to everyone anymore, because it’s not, what’s going to turn them on our friend, David Alison is proving this. He’s a consultant to the United nations to prove him. Whereas a series of statistics that they’ve referred to now as value graphics versus demographics.
Kate: And the idea is that Brent and I can be in different countries. We could have a different ages, different colors or races. We could have all kinds of different backgrounds, but we care about the same things. And so if you market to people based on what they care about versus how old they are, what color hair they have, the likelihood of you having an understanding of their predictive behaviors and turning them into evangelists goes up exponentially, right?
Kate: So it’s the same idea here with I’m talking like a crazy person, but back to Lately. So the reason Lately doesn’t give you one message instead gives you dozens is because we know this, we know that your customers are going to engage with multiple different kinds of messages and the likelihood of them
Kate: sharing, which is you want to click or share. But sharing is a little bit more powerful because sharing goes farther and people take credit for what you wrote. It’s all about the ego. They want to look cool and be the person who’s the taste-maker and just like music. And so that’s how you get that proof, social proof and the trust.
Kate: See how this all, so again, I wouldn’t say this against the people can hear this. The hard way is the way this is what we do. And we have a 98% sales conversion because of it, right?
Brent: I think too, that, like you had said earlier that you write all your own content, which I applaud you for that and getting into that habit is.
Brent: For me is a, it’s very difficult to do that, especially if I think, Hey, I’m going to be creative for an hour in the morning, and I want to try to use that creativity for the rest of the week. And then I’ll schedule those out. I suppose it’s a little bit still writing your own content, isn’t it?
Brent: But then scheduling it is, I don’t know if that’s cheating or not.
Kate: I don’t know. I don’t think it’s cheating. I think it’s being resourceful. The only reason that I it’s funny when I was a marketing consultant, I would do that for other people. Exactly what you said scheduled spend an hour, schedule it out from a week and be done with it.
Kate: But because I’m flying by the seat of my pants, like I’m just trying to think. I don’t think I’ve brushed my teeth yet today. It’s 2:52 PM here and it’s not because they’re not fuzzy.
Brent: I didn’t want to say anything now that you brought it up. I can barely get it together to put my yoga pants on here.
Brent: I’ve got the, I’ve got the smello-o-mic and he’s coming through breathing through the mic on you.
Kate: Yeah. And, the other thing I want to say here is as we’re talking, like I’m thinking of all, this is my nature. I’m thinking all the things I could be doing better. I’m thinking of what quotes can I give the AI to you right now? What am I one-liners I’m thinking of all the crutches I have.
Kate: How many times if I said right to end a sentence with you?
Brent: Yeah. Yeah. I use another tool called Descript and I know lightly does this too, but I use it to do my, I use it to just, to give me my transcripts. And I just like I did, I just said we’ll pull those out for you, which is really nice.
Brent: And often I listen. I watch some news shows and I’m very intentful and listening to the announcers and they are very good at not ever saying But if they have guests on or, I think if they have other people on it, doesn’t, there’s not a, it’s not a set pattern, but it seems like the, and I suppose they’re reading off a teleprompter and that’s really where they’re winning, right?
Brent: The ones that are doing it off the cuff, or putting in some of those ums and soes and right. And and it’s like this and blah-blah-blah, and
Kate: it’s more powerful. So I listened, I just did it again. I’ve been listening to Smartlist. I love that podcast and I love that the advertisers are giving Sean and Jason and Will Arnett, Bateman, and Hayes the.
Kate: Pat, they’re empowering them to read to ad-lib for the commercials. This is a novel idea. And the result is I, listen, I stay through the commercials, I’m dying to know how they’re going to do it. It’s hysterical. And I, in like McDonald’s is having the wherewithal to do this, that whoever is running that show way to embrace, technology and evolving with a new mindset.
Brent: pretty incredible. Maybe I should do some live commercials for Lately on this show. I would love that. We’ll see how it goes. In a past life. I had a computer retail store and I had a radio host sponsor and his name was Jesse Ventura. Oh. And then Jesse had to quit because he ran for governor, we paid for one minute spots and he would go on and on about, he would bill for number one, he’d come down to the store and he’d interview talk to people and he would learn about us.
Brent: And then he would do these spots and he would go on about these guys with a Coke bottle class. I’d come fix my computer. He’d gone for five minutes and we had more business from his one minute spots than I can imagine any prerecorded spot. It was fantastic. He did such a great job.
Kate: Yeah. I’m going to use that because people still don’t believe that a sprint. They, you conveyed to them. Use your vernacular be casual try to loosen the stiffness, loosen the tie or whatever it is. Take off the clip-on earrings here, people and be yourselves and the people are still so nervous about they’re still so afraid.
Kate: And they think how can I do that if I own a bank or, and I’m like, listen your customers are still just people just like you, they still just want you to talk to them. Yeah.
Brent: A couple of a powder milk biscuit. And there you go. Are people going to just put my, I just put myself into a demographics just going
Kate: to say, like right here, did we just,
Kate: it’s amazing. So yeah, the good news is not everyone will have caught onto that. And so then we’ll continue to shine because. That’s what stands out. So it’s I want to teach the world to sing, but I don’t at all because
Brent: I think we can still teach them to sing okay, maybe not in key, but at least they’ll sign. And if you get enough people singing, it doesn’t matter if they’re in or out of key. That’s true from my experience because I’m a Lutheran and where we have a choir. So you know how that works anyways. Now
Brent: we’re at way off target here. So coming back to AI I’m excited about that. The tools that you’re developing and we’re using where do you think it’s going? Like where do you think content creation is going? And I see often now I publish a blog post and there’s a tool that says, make this blog post into a podcast.
Brent: And I think myself, are they seriously going to have some robot read through this podcast or read through a a blog transcript and make it into a podcast. For me, it’s the other way around is so much easier. But do you think that’s where we’re going? Do you think there’s going to be some, Happy voice.
Brent: And I guess, I just switched to the Irish version of Siri and it’s, it works, it only goes until 10 and then it’s the pub,
Brent: even if you knew that one was coming to kill it. But, and actually see obviously Siri does a pretty good job at that. There’s still those weird things. If you’re in Germany or you’re in like in Hawaii and there’s all these funny, long names it’s going to get most of them wrong.
Brent: And then that’s where people really figure out that it’s a robot reading it instead of a real person. And yeah. Coming full circle into what you said. You have to have a real person there to moderate it, or at least to help it along to make it real. Yeah.
Kate: The w what is the phrase go to air is to be human, right? And that’s the magic. It’s always going to be the magic. I think your question of where it’s going is interesting, because there always be like the sharper image of AI tools, right? So the stuff that seems like, the electronic juicer that first, you have to tip a domino for, it’s going to go hit the squirt gun and then dump the can of oil onto the squirrel.
Kate: Who’s going to jump over and crack a nut. And then, whatever, I call this crazy stuff. Because people, self included were lazy. People are lazy, and they’re always looking to avoid the work. And writing is so hard. It really is a hard thing. And so many stages, right? But you know where the mindset is what’s shifting to is to understand that if you don’t have AI in your toolkit, you’re going to be a dinosaur pretty quickly.
Kate: It’s evolved now, at least in marketing, from analytics and automation to this content piece, because we saw this early on, but it doesn’t matter how good your social media management platforms are or your analytics. If what you’re putting out there, you can’t put lipstick on a pig, as they say you have to have some, something of quality to measure and analyze.
Kate: My goal is to move from getting people 75% of the way there. That’s where we’ve been to now 90%. And I thought it was going to take about five years to do that. And it looks like we’ll be doing it while we’re doing it right now. It w it went live to nobody on Friday. And we’re going to work the kinks out and people will start seeing it live.
Kate: I think December 28th is our goal. And again, it’ll take us a little while to, to learn and not have people go. Huh. I’m really curious about how we are going to get better and getting the human to be involved. That’s gonna be. The next hurdle for me. And that’s the solve?
Kate: That’s the end all solve. All right. It’s like, how do I get you to be willing to do something that’s hard to do and get excited about it, to feel rewarded about it? This is the thing. Going back to the first question you asked me, this is what keeps me up at night, Brent, because I don’t have that answer.
Kate: And I’m experimenting.
Brent: Yeah. And I, we don’t have much time left, but I think, and we’re going to have to do another session because we have so much more to
Kate: talk about. I’d love to, and I have to laugh more.
Brent: Google sees content as king and the more, I hate to say it, but the more content you can have, the more possibilities that people are going to see you and see your site.
Brent: And I think so I think one mistake people make from the AI tool is like I thought earlier, a I’m just used as tool to write articles. And if I’m writing an article and I’m letting the tool to everything, and you’ve writing a bunch of bogus content, you are hurting yourself more than you’re helping.
Brent: So that’s the bad side, but the curated side, I think where you’re going or where your, what we’ve been talking about is we’re using it to help supplement some of that grunt work or some of that harder work or, in my case, I think it’s really helpful to have some of those stimulus in terms of what should the headers of my three main parts of my posts be, what are some good topic headers within my main title?
Brent: And if your AI tool can get you that far, maybe that’s a good step. The point is that all of this content we’re creating helps users and especially marketers, because you can create more of it. The key is making good content instead of just create crappy content.
Kate: Yeah. Unfortunately there will always be noise out there, because people just think more is better and it’s not the case. That’s why I always tell people. You do have to be everywhere all the time you do, but it’s impossible. So just pick one thing, just pick one thing and be really good at it, and then figure out the next thing.
Kate: That’s such a good, that’s like my life, my husband will be exploding about all the dues we have to do for getting ready to do on a trip or something that, and I’m like, dude, your only job is just to get out the door I’ll pack the bags, man. Okay.
Brent: Yeah. That’s such a great point.
Brent: And I think, in the entrepreneurial world, there’s this concept of the shiny object, whereas an entrepreneur you think oh, I’ve been wildly successful as a marketing person. I am going to go open up a restaurant and I’m going to sell bagels. And I don’t know the first thing about it, but I saw somebody doing it on TV and I can be great at it and suddenly
Brent: you’re doing two things and maybe not so great at either one of them.
Kate: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Not everyone’s a drummer. They can do it. All right.
Brent: Yeah. The other one that I just recently heard is in the term of triathletes, if you’re a triathlete at all, why not do three things, mediocre when you can, instead of doing one thing really well, that’s the flip side, do it right.
Brent: If you can swim and run and bike, just okay. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know where I was going with that anyways. Was that
Kate: 10,000 hours guy. So every, I dunno if that’s totally true, but now that what you’re getting to, I think a little bit is that we like to science things to death, all of us do.
Kate: And when you do that you remove the human element to it, by the way. So not everything is going to check all the boxes and not maybe it shouldn’t, but end it shouldn’t right. We have to allow the room again. We’re seeing the same thing over and over again, but the room for the human to get in there and either make the mistakes or, the best advice I ever got in from my radio mentors was to make mistakes, to leave silence, like silence on the air.
Kate: You think deadly, but guess what? Brent.
Kate: People turn it up,
Brent: who is going to blink first? Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah, trying to fill in, I’ll put in one more comment, but then we have to try to close up here. We, we do these meetings called level 10 meetings, and there’s a certain format where you have a finished in an hour and blah, blah, blah, have all these different things to do in the meeting.
Brent: And it they’re really, they’re very effective from a business standpoint, but one of our, I was in a developer meeting and one of the guys said because everybody’s not engaging. And he said some people talk and other people are not going to be other people don’t feel comfortable and they need to be asked and then they’ll give you some of that, that they don’t feel like if somebody is dominating the conversation, they don’t feel like they’re going to jump in and do that.
Brent: So I think part of that is, is very important to know the types of things we have and the types of people and this all goes back to AI and how it’s going to learn. And I don’t even know where I’m going anymore. So we should
Kate: probably I’m with you. All right. I think where you’re going is everybody needs permission.
Kate: And when you give people permission to be a part of the conversation in any way, like w one way is when you wield the mic, as we said before, and you make people feel as though they have a voice, even though they’re just listening, like that is permission to participate, and to lean forward, giving their participant permission to lean forward or permission to DoubleClick or permission to reshare.
Kate: And that’s what call to actions are all about, right? So the best call to actions actually do that. They’re not learn more. Check out. Those are vapid call to action. So don’t make me feel anything. And so by laying that groundwork, and it all comes back to trust, making evangelists do you want customers who buy you and throw you away?
Kate: Or do you want customers who work with you for free? I want that second kind.
Brent: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. The ones that are going to talk about it and talk about you and that’s, I think that’s where influencers come in and there’s so many other places we can go down the road here. All so we have a negative five minutes left.
Brent: What parting advice can you give our listeners today? Or what did, what are you excited about? What what do you think is new?
Kate: I think what’s new is what’s always old, which is to You know this sentence, so boring, but stick to the basics. And so my basic is air checks.
Kate: I’m always telling my team and myself to listen to what you’ve done, go back and listen to it. It’s always there. You can always learn from yourself, especially if you’re being embarrassed by rewatching a demo or listening to a podcast, you were just a host of, and I’m interested in the sound of words, you know this right?
Kate: So one of the easiest things to do in addition to going back and listening is just to read what you’re writing out loud. Get getting to that oral space. When you do that, Brent, it’s the immediate autometer of bad and good, because if you’re tripping over it, if you feel in any way awkward coming out of your mouth, it’s awkward for your listener and when it’s awkward for them or your reader, the tank’s trust.
Kate: So just try it like, this is why, like I have resting bitch face in writing. I like to say, so I have to use lots of emojis and smileys and italics and bold and different ways to really make sure that what I’m saying is clearly communicated as people read it. And that’s when you make that extra effort, the hard way is the way, right?
Kate: Just that extra effort gets people to do what I want them to do.
Brent: Excellent. Really good. Yeah. And we need that sarcasm tool as well. Yes. Sometimes people don’t understand the sarcasm bit. All so as we close out, I give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug.
Brent: Is there anything you’d like to plug today?
Kate: Of course, come on and visit us at Lately. DubDubDub that Lately.ai. And ask for Lauren, she’s the best as you probably know, Brent we are humans and we like to talk to you and meet you. And we love to hear, where you heard about us.
Kate: And so I guess that’s the most shameless thing, but I’ll say one more, which is there’s a little band I love. And they’re called the dam Wells dam and w E L S. My husband is a guitar player and they were our favorite record at XM, which is how I met him. Job hazard, Damwells.com.
Brent: Nice. Excellent. And I will give my small shameless plug. We are doing a conference, an unconference in Florida on January 21st. It is a unscripted UnConference, no speakers. So if you do email and ask me about what kind of topic can I speak about and are you taking call for papers? No, it’s an unconference anyways.
Brent: Kately from Lately, I appreciate the time today. It’s been fun and we’re going to have a second conversation as a follow-up to do the rest of our thoughts. And yeah, I think I would like to plug Lately because it’s been such a great tool for us.
Brent: And it is such a great tool to organize there’s and I’m glad we didn’t do a sales presentation because people get turned off by that, but, analytics, and it does that all for you. It’s a great tool and I highly recommend it Lately that AI Kately from Lately Kate Bradley, the CEO and founder of Lately.
Brent: Thank you so much for being here today. I love ya.
Kate: Thank you.