The Virtual CMO

Using AI to Create Content for Social Media with Kate Bradley Chernis

August 23, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Kate Bradley Chernis Season 6 Episode 4
The Virtual CMO
Using AI to Create Content for Social Media with Kate Bradley Chernis
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 85, host Eric Dickmann interviews Kate Bradley Chernis. Kate is the Founder & CEO of Lately, the only social media management platform that creates content for you with the power of A.I. As a former marketing agency owner, Kate initially created the idea for Lately out of spreadsheets for then-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 radio.

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.

For show notes and a  list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit: https://fiveechelon.com/using-ai-create-content-for-social-media-s6ep4/

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. Hey, Kate, welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm so glad you could join us today.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Hey there, Eric. Thank you so much, it's my pleasure. As we're all like settling into hopefully a COVID free summer, right?

Eric Dickmann:

Oh I know, and a crazy summer too, with a wild weather everywhere. I went to go out to eat on Friday and it was hard to get in any place because the lines were just out the door. There's so much anticipation for getting back to normal. It's good though.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

The demand. Isn't it so interesting to see how all of that is so volatile, sensitive, you know. And I mean if hairdressers and restaurants didn't feel loved previously..

Eric Dickmann:

Certainly. The ones that are left at least, uh. It's sad to see how many empty shops there are and businesses that have closed. But I'm a big fan of Scott Galloway and The Pivot Podcast. And you know one of the things he talks about is that, you know, this is providing opportunities for new people to get in there and start businesses too. So well, it's sad to see some go, it's providing a great opportunity for many new entrepreneurs to get in there and start their own businesses.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah, it does feel like lots of this change was already underway and the pandemic just accaelerated you know good or bad some of these things.

Eric Dickmann:

No absolutely. And you know, there's this whole concept behind, you know, if I've got a business, you know, should you be entitled to keep a business that runs on razor thin margins? Well, you know, maybe not. Maybe not every business is meant to succeed.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Sounds like a startup.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. Yeah. That's right. That's very much like a startup. Hey, I'm looking forward to our conversation today. You know, first of all, you're everywhere. I see you out there on social media, which is good, given that you're a social media technology provider, but you know, you have really embraced podcasting and the benefits of being a guest on podcasts. And I'd love just to hear about your thought process there and how you sort of looked at podcasting as a way to sort of build your personal brand and then also help your business.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Sure. Well, thanks for asking me to be your guest, of course. Well, number one, like work what you got. I mean I did have this other life in radio. My last gig was broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM. So of course I love the power of sound in general and broadcast medium. And I got good at that, and my super power, although it's a cliche to use that phrase, but my superpower is making fans. And so listeners into fans, right? Customers into evangelists, same idea. So let's lean into, that was my first idea. And then this is content for me, Eric right? So to be really honest, I'm not just doing it to be cool or you know, to be seen or heard. We use it all as lead gen. So I'm going to ask you for the file afterwards and hopefully you'll give it to me. And then I'm going to run it through the AI of Lately. Lately is going to dice up everything we say into the coolest quotes with matching video clips. And then I'm going to use that to go and get our customers. And this process that we use gives us a 98% sales conversion. Let me just say that again for people. That's amazing! 98%. Yep. So it's selfish and it doesn't matter to me whether you have 200 listeners or a 20,000, because the content is what you know what works.

Eric Dickmann:

why I don't look at it as selfish at all, I look at it as smart. You know, you're taking advantage of a channel that is growing in popularity. You know as a podcaster, who's been doing this for a little while now, I am really excited about what's going on because we've got you know, Spotify making big moves, they're pushing Apple to make big moves, now you've got Facebook getting into the game. There's a lot going on, which is going to give more channels, more opportunities to creators, more ways of getting the message out. And that sort of leads me into, you know, what do you think the state of social media is right now? It seems like these platforms are really investing in themselves. Twitter finally sort of got off their ass, if you will, and is starting to make some investments in that platform with spaces and subscriptions, and things like that. Is this a great time to be using these platforms?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Isn't it interesting, right? So like there, it remains to be seen. So Clubhouse seems pretty dead actually, but they certainly stood at a fire. And we don't know if everybody's just piling on to be copycats. I was most excited to see Spotify in that race, because I think they can do it best because I believe that Spotify understands the theater of the mind and the artistry of sound more than anyone. I really do believe that. And that's what makes it magic, right? You can't just, it's not just the platform or the media or the medium itself. You know what the potential is and how well it bridges the gap between art and science or human and technology, right? And then the other thing I was thinking about when you're saying this is LinkedIn, right? So LinkedIn just like put out all these new algorithms, they just tanked my experience there. So LinkedIn, as everybody knows, the last couple of years has been this like super high engagement. You could get like organic reach all day long. And then they actually put the kibosh on like all the stuff I was doing. Like, so my team piles on everything, we do use it for lots of lead gens, but it also forced me to participate in like, be a really super active member. And because the new algorithms are giving me probably a third or quarter of the organic reach. I've had before, I'm looking to other platforms, right? So, duh. I'm pretty mad at them.

Eric Dickmann:

No, LinkedIn can be a challenging platform, right? You know they're a little slow. Look at what they've done with their stories feature. It's pretty basic, pretty primitive, not a lot of people are really engaged with it. I've been trying to get into their live streaming video forever in a day, and it's been in beta for years, and they just can't seem to get out of it and allow more creators to get on the platform. Which is too bad. I don't know why they move so slowly.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah, they're very tight string. I mean, it's, you know, remember when they first got breached a while ago. I mean ever since then, they've just been sort of tight. Around it and believe me, same frustration as a startup. You know, for most of these platforms, in case anybody's wondering out there, if you pay lots of advertising, like half a million or more a month, then you get to become a quote partner and you get access to all these goodies and the rest of us have to just sweat it out, right? So they're really putting the kibosh on the underdog, which is annoying to me. But anyways, we will find a way. I mean you know, social, it's so funny, Eric like, social media. Everything is social, sales is social, humans are social, obviously, you know, if you didn't realize that in this point pandemic, then what the hell? Even dogs are freaking out a little bit. They didn't know how to behave suddenly.

Eric Dickmann:

It's so true.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Right? So it's not new, but again, it's the medium or the media that's providing us either better, faster, or easier ways to do it. It's really as you can tell, I'm really excited about the potential for more and more people and the mindset toto make that art part of the default, right? Because generally as humans, we tend to science everything to death.

Eric Dickmann:

That's true.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Right? And I believe that the pandemic has helped shift some of that, right? You know, thank God.

Eric Dickmann:

Well, yeah. And you know, it's interesting. You mentioned Clubhouse before. And my personal feeling is that one of the reasons that Clubhouse took off is people were dying for engagement, right? They wanted to be able to personally connect with other people. And that was the right tool at the right time to do it. And actually their success is partly what hindered them. As they got bigger, it. became harder to actually engage with anybody because the room sizes would get so big. So you know, maybe they had their moment in the sun and now people are going back to some of these more traditional channels, but they're obviously opening up new ways to interact as well. And you talked a little bit before about how you would use the content from this podcast for promotion. How important has video now become for what you're doing at Lately?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

You know, it's so interesting. A couple ways, number one, video changed the market for us, right? So last year we had a confluence of events happening. One is we released a video feature where we clip up the video quotes, right? And make you hundreds of mini movie trailers, essentially. And that inspired Gary Vaynerchuk to create an entire Twitter channel fueled 100% by Lately's video clips that got him a 12000% increase in engagement. So social proof is good. And then using dog food in our own products, so doing exactly talked about before on this podcast, gave us more social proof. And also in two ways because people can see our product in action. So I was able to cut out kind of the middleman. And video's cool, right?

Eric Dickmann:

It is cool.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

I like audio better than video. I mean to be really honest, I do because you have to work harder. It's like reading, right? So there's a part of your imagination that has to participate in the products to product process to close the loop there, right? The theater of the mind. And I'm in love with that. I think it's so fascinating that you, Eric, when you wield the mic as the host, you've got this really beautiful, almost visceral kind of power that you can leverage or not leverage, right? The skill is how do you leverage it? But to make me feel or the listener feel as though we have a voice with you. Well, I love that. And I think that it's that human connection, right? I think that's part of the reason that video works so well is because people buy from people or they relate to people, and so being able to see you is one way of sort of opening that door so that they can relate to you better. But I go back to your DJ days at Sirius XM, right? I think about, you know, somebody like a Delilah, right? And how popular she was. It still is, I guess. And it was all about her voice and the way that she related to her audience. So it doesn't have to be video. You can do it through audio for sure. The mystery. is what it is, right? So you know, my radio voice Eric is a different voice. Can you hear that?

Eric Dickmann:

Ah, for sure.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

And it's on purpose, and I had to learn that voice and practice it and figure out what voice was going to be mine so I can communicate the personality that I want to communicate which is authentically me but is very specific. It's the one that can talk to a black box of emptiness and twenty million people all at once. Which is a different like, you know, that's a different person than the woman you're seeing here. You know who can still do those things, but like on stage in front of a couple hundred thousand people, I use different tools in my kit to achieve my objectives whatever they might be. So in radio it's to there's some command authority, right? I need you to trust me. I'm going to take you on a journey. You got to be there, stay with me through the songs you don't like, because there's a reason. You know, I'm going to deliver you something and there's a reward there, right? And how do I do that in a way that I feel is disarming cause disarming makes people trust me, it makes you feel like we have something in common, right? That you're human too. Anybody could do this thing that I'm doing. That really works well for me to figure out what, what kind of little tactics either on the radio or on a stage or on camera can I use to do that? So like here, I've got PacMan behind me. That's not by accident.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Sometimes I change it up, but like I'm a child of the eighties. II have a couple of arcade games from when I was young outback. And that sucker is Velour Velvet, remember?

Eric Dickmann:

Velur. Ooh yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Remember stuff from yeah what was it? Spencer Gifts?

Eric Dickmann:

You're right, exactly.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

But my dad was actually a print retailer in the eighties so that's where I got it from. But I do that so that just like you have, you know, cool objects to art behind you. I see a flag. It looks like a veteran veterans flag back there. Um, so talking point, I could ask you, I'm assuming it's a relative of yours, perhaps?

Eric Dickmann:

It's a much longer story, but no it's not. Yeah, yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah. So we have to get into it, but at least there's there's these, these are those things that we're all looking for, the access points, you know, in the mystery. So the bummer about Zoom, even though we've been doing it for a long time is everybody's doing it now. And I'm in my shorts, as you already know. Cause I got up to change a couple of times that my hair is messy, but you can see my closet back there in my life. And I don't care to polish it up personally because it works for me, right? Um, but it's sort of working for everybody, which is annoying. So now I have to change it up because I was giving people access to my green room before which was cool, and now it's cliche.

Eric Dickmann:

Hmmm.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

What am I going to do? I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet.

Eric Dickmann:

No. I think that's really interesting though, because when you're talking about voice, I mean, this is really a great segue into starting to talk a little bit more about AI and what AI can do for you. But it is something that is truly unique to each of us, right? Our voice, how we want to portray ourselves to the market. And that's so different for a brand, a brand has a voice and they want to portray themselves to the market in a unique and authentic way. And so now when you start to layer on technology to voice and you start to say, okay, here's some really great content that I've written. This is in my voice. Now I'm going to give it to a machine, and the machine has to regurgitate something back to me that sounds like my voice, and how successful is it?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Right. I mean, for us it's well, there's that 98% sales conversion that we get, and we don't do any paid ads or cold calls or cold emails. Now that might change, but we've been able to get away with it so far. And I'll describe to you how it works, actually. So I was a fiction writing major, Eric. Um, so I'm good at writing copy, and I was in radio for a dozen years and I was also the production director at almost every station I worked with. That's the person who is in charge of all the commercials,but in also all the station identification sounds like the cool ones, not just the boring ones. So what's the audio imagery of the station like? So I got to do all that stuff, and for Lately, like the copy that I write for our brand, the organic social posts that I personally write from my channels, Lately studies, the AI studies. And I created a series of writing rules based on how I write. I actually give workshops about it all the time, but I gave it to my staff. And so I asked my copywriters to mimic these rules, which again the AI learns. And so it's the first thing that it learns before you the customer log in and give us your access to your analytics. So there's a baseline of content. Then it starts to study your content and then tweaking your voice but adding on my best practices, cause they work. And then it also was able to use the knowledge of all of our customer base as well, right? Um, so with us however, the human element is huge and this is a deal breaker for a lot of customers where the AI is designed to get you three quarters of the way there. But we insist that you, the human must come in and touch every piece of content it vomits out there. For the reasons you all just said, right. To give it that context to make sure it is you know on point and then to help it learn, to give your, to put your voice on it. That's that magic because we don't want to art science, right? We're back at the same thing. We know the art is crucial to the sign, so they got to go hand-in-hand.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. The easiest way that I think I can relate to what I think you're describing here is oftentimes when you outsource content development, maybe to an English speaker in a non sort of US country, you get back the content and it's grammatically correct, but it's not right. It's not your voice. It's not something that somebody you could send out to the world and then not say, he didn't write that.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah. The AI actually, because it's actually, it's only pulling quotes from you originally. So it's actually not rewriting anything, which is great. So you know garbage in, garbage out. If you're, if you're a good writer from the beginning or a good public speaker from the beginning, Lately will do a really smart job of grabbing exactly what you say. Um, and then it's really, it's your role to take out the SOs, the ANDs, the UMs, or use hashtags to contextualize it. Because I find that a lot of speaking is nonsequiturs just is, it's the way we talk, right? And so you do need to have that component in there. We do have a version of the AI that does write from scratch by the way, but that's in private beta. Beta. So I can't talk about it or I'd have to kill you. No, just kidding.But it's funny, and this is the exciting part to me. I love watching the way customers are thinking about what we're making and turning it into things we didn't intend or expect, right?

Eric Dickmann:

Can you give me an example of that?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah. Um, well, first of all, we had people start using Lately in multiple languages. So like suddenly, I saw someone, I saw a Portuguese tweets go out on account that I knew it was ours. And I was like, what. And they just decided to try it. They put in a blog, press the button Lately,

Eric Dickmann:

See what happens. Yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Lately pulls them all out. We do Japanese, German, French, and whole bunch of other ones now, which is crazy. The other we saw was a customer who started to reverse engineer the product. So they would go to the

analytics. Lately is studying the keywords and phrases, and sentence structures of social posts that you produce that get you

Kate Bradley Chernis:

the highest engagement. And then it applies that writing model to whatever long form content you feed our AI brain and pulls out the best quotes based on that, that model, right? And so we show you the model.. And it's updated in real time every day. So it's somewhere you want to look. And so they were looking at the, we call it it's a word cloud, basically. And thought. Huh, you know, if this is the keywords and phrases that I already know, my audience wants to talk about. I'm going to make this the topic of my podcast or I'm going to rewrite my blog. So it emphasizes these things more, right? Yeah, because I mean, if it works, why, why guess? If it's right there in front of you, right?. And I was doing this by hand. Um, Just so

Eric Dickmann:

Prior to the tool? Yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Like, I don't want to undercut AI, but I do want to demystify it a little bit. I mean, I did this process by hand for Walmart for three years. And got, we got 140%, 130% ROI year over year for three years. Hmm. So, um, you know, AI, good humans, also very good.

Eric Dickmann:

Well, but the combination is really where you get the leverage, right? Because if you can get to that 85, 90% level, and then now I'm only spending 10% of my time, just sort of, you know, thumbs up. You know, up or down, I think that makes a big difference. Are you seeing with your customers that part of the success is this allows them to really ramp up their online presence? So you know, where maybe it was solely a human before, you know, they were able to get out a couple of tweets a week or a couple of social media posts a week. Now they're doing multiple a day. Is that really where you're getting the leverage?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

That's some of it for sure. We work with a lot of agencies who are able to upcharge their clients based on least production, right? They are able to turn out way more for example and get better results. But we also have a syndication capability, Eric, cause we'd discovered that boy, everybody hates writing.

Eric Dickmann:

Takes a lot of time. Yeah. Whether its sales teams or executives, we were talking about executives earlier, people at the top, and need to look smart on LinkedIn, um, or employees who want to do employee advocacy or influencers. So if a CMO can auto-generate content from Lately and then give those people either the content directly or a starting point, then they don't have that fear of like, how do I represent my company well. You know or I don't want to say the wrong thing, or I don't want to think about it. Fear of the blank pages, you know? A 100% real. Oh, Oh for sure.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

So yeah again, there's a few more used cases. Again by accident, we just hate attention. Humans are so inventive and magical themselves, which I love, I know we talked about this and I'm going to touch on it again, like, and I've realized that I'm wearing some rosy glasses over here during the pandemic. Um, but it's the thing that's gotten me through is to watch the inventiveness of humans.

Eric Dickmann:

Oh, we're in this total creator economy right now where you know there's just so much opportunity. But it also brings up the point that most of these tools that we're using these platforms that we're using to push this out they're free, right? Which means that we are the customer so that we they're selling our data as a way to sell other targeted ads and whatnot. And this is becoming increasingly more difficult, right? As privacy concerns start to ramp up. And now, you know, we see Twitter going into the subscription model business, the others you know, we'll see what happens, but there may be more of this on the horizon. When you sort of look out, how do you see social media changing? Because of some of these changes in privacy laws and just ways to sort of, you know? If you're that underdog, how do you get your message through all that noise? When these platforms seem to be paying so much attention to only the biggest influencers?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

It's That's the question. So there's a couple things you touched on that are interesting to me. So the first one is the hard way is the way. Just this. I mean you know, whether it's going through an email list and hand emailing people individually, as opposed to the blanket blast. Cause you know, nobody responds to that, but people respond to you. They do. We see it all the time with my sales team. They'll be talking with somebody and then they get ghosted and then I'll DM the person they respond to me. You know, what is that? It's humans. That's just the deal. And the trick is, are you too lazy to want to even consider going the hard way, right? What's great about the hard way is it informs how to automate well, right? So once you can figure that out, then you can figure out how to scale it. Um, but the other thing you talked about there was the onus on the role of the participants, right?. So, you know, of course I saw I'm going to say something very unpopular. I saw the same Netflix show everybody else did on the social network. And I turned it off. Not even halfway through, because I was like, this is a bunch of bullshit. And, and what it is, and I'm not saying that those guys aren't predatory, they do some nasty stuff, super. It's true. But what do you think? Nothing is for free. Hello? The role is on you the human to understand what you're trading here. Like they, you don't think Mark Zuckerberg is like, he's not Mother Teresa, hello? You know, and so I just find people's ability to not want to own up. It's like food. What I'm 300 pounds. Well, you ate a freaking ice cream sundae every day. I mean. Now yeah, the whole foods is really too expensive. It needs to lower their prices to be more available to people with low incomes. Absolutely. You know? I also saw that other movie. What was it? Supersize Me.

Eric Dickmann:

Supersize Me. Yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Great movie. But anyways, and that's the same thing. Social just general social media is the same thing. People freak out about context all the time. I remember, so something people go to the mat with me on his words, words and word choice. And I am not very traditional. Can you tell, Eric?

Eric Dickmann:

I can tell.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

And, you know, sometimes I'm slightly offensive, maybe very offensive. I don't know. And I don't really care. I've grown up enough to not apologize for that. Even when I even embarrassed myself, which does happen a lot. But context is everything. Every word, every word, even though worst words has a purpose and a place in context. And the onus is on me and you to not only as the author of where we're talking about words to put the context there, but it's also on the reader to not jump to an assumption. To think about what is the real intention, you know? Like if that was the case, all this fake news, wouldn't be driving people's actions, you know? And this is what we're talking about and sorry to be you know whatever on a stoop here, but we're talking about. This is basic communication, right? Communication skills and how you know, right now with. I love emojis because I need them frankly, because I have what I call resting bitch face in writing, I do.

Eric Dickmann:

In writing.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

But like we've reduced ourselves to grunts essentially. You know, and this is why again I'm so interested. So we saw fastfood, go to slow food. Okay, right. We're seeing radio comeback, Clubhouse. You know I believe marketing is going a similar way. I certainly am pushing that one as I think you'd can tell. The hard way is the way, right? And I'm curious to see kind of what else, but like, you know as far as communications go. Specifically like, pick up the damn phone is my favorite thing, right? I I'll see on my own team, Slack communication, if I say to them, if there's more than two or three back and forth, time to get on the line. Yeah, yeah, right? And people are allergic to. They're allergic to helping each other sometimes. You know, to really getting someone across the line. Excuse me. Go ahead.

Eric Dickmann:

No, I was just going to say, I really liked the way that you talk about you know, sort of the hard way is the way. And I think so much of the technology that we have is designed to make things easier, but in its effort to make things easier, it's also making things a whole lot more complex. I don't have it loaded up, but one of the charts that often show is that huge MarTech.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Dickmann:

mess, you know that shows all of the logos on there. you know, you can't even read them they're so small now because there are so many marketing automation kinds of technologies that you can incorporate. And some of them are wonderful. They do an incredible thing for your marketing strategy, but then you had another one, then you add another one, then you add another one, and. you know, you'll find your whole work day is chewed up just managing all of this technology that you have. And you wonder what is the effectiveness of it? Am I really improving the way that I communicate with my customers, that I get my message out. And I think that that's still the heart of it. Do you have a message that is clearly defined? Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know what you want to say to them? Do you know what their needs are their pain points? And some of that gets just lost in this sea of technology and all of these channels that you can speak in.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

For sure that is the science to death, right? Like here's a story that someone told me that I love to touch on, and I should look this up because I always start it by saying, I don't know if it was Betty Crocker or Dunkin Heinz, thing was Betty Crocker. But when they first made cake in a box, they included powder eggs. So it was the whole thing was in a box. And you just had to add I guess, oil or water. And they found it didn't sell very well because it just seemed weird. So they took out the eggs so that the housewives at the time had to add eggs, and then they felt as though they baked the cake, they made the cake.

Eric Dickmann:

They were really cooking.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

They are really cooking. So there's a great example of like, there has to be just enough human, right? What is the tipping point of where we feel like it's too robotic or not enough, you know. Another metaphor and I think this is so important for people to get we were talking about. Keith Richard says it the best. Without a role, without the role, it's just a march. Rock and roll. Think about that, right?

Eric Dickmann:

Well, that's interesting. A profound comment from Keith Richards during one of his more sober moments.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

We were actually thinking about the other day. So if you listen to it like any stone song, you hear, you hear the roll, you hear a little swing because they came from the blues. But if you listen to almost any, and I love Boston, for example. But any, any eighties band, it's four it's four on the floor. Dude, dude, dude, dude, dude. Right? You can hear that. That's not a role.

Eric Dickmann:

Hmmm.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

It's a March and a lot of drums.

Eric Dickmann:

I like that, good old Keith Richards. Well, you know, I've got to touch on something else that you commented on before. Because as a guy who's worked in a lot of B2B companies, you know what you said about the importance of those demo requests leads, I can't tell you the number of meetings that I sat through, where they said, just get us more demo requests, just get us more demo requests. That's the lead that converts. And the thing that I always struggled with is that, of course it is, that's along the buyer's journey, that's getting near the end. But you still have some steps ahead of that. It's hard to short circuit all that other stuff and just get a demo request. So when you look at your own company, how do you look at that overall buyer's journey and the pieces that you have to satisfy along the way to get them to that point where they say, I want a demo request.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Thanks for asking because you're right. There are so many components in that whole funnel, right? From beginning to end. And believe me, we've struggled for years, and we'll struggle again, right? But at the moment, what we know is this that we'll use Lately to auto-generate content that we already know is going to you know, tip the fancy of our targets because that's what the AI does well, right? And so the other thing there is not only the quality, but it's the quantity. You have to put out a lot because like radio taught me and everyone else, we're going to hit you with the same song at least 300 times a week. Hoping you'll hear it once, that's Marketing 101. You have to have quantity. Now, the way we do it is every little message is different so you don't feel that spam effect there. And also the other thing to think about is we found that our targets value different things. So let's make sure we have multiple messages so that they can have multiple avenues of access, right? So as we publish these things and then we do it not only on our brand channels. So this is our only source of lead gen, this kind of push marketing. We do it also on all of our employee channels because we're stronger together, right? I'm a little engine. I get to make a lot of noise as much noise as I can do. And the software does that for me automatically you can do this by hand. Of course. Um, So

Eric Dickmann:

So. you've got, uh, an employee advocacy portion or functionality within the platform. Okay.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

That's right, and it's built in. So when you're hired at Lately, I just say you're volunteering to like talk about the company. And let's be clear, like you know if you don't have companies. If you don't have employees who are willing to do that, you probably have a bigger problem. Right. You know, so you have to have good people who all are excited and they want you to win, they want to win themselves. And then what we do is so once the AI spits out the content, I have my writing team that has the writing rules. I trust them to put the voice on it, just enough context. We publish across all of our channels and our employee channels. And then I have another Katie Jordan. She watches what happens. So people who are liking and commenting and resharing, she engages you all. Thanks, Eric. I see that you're in Baltimore. You know, whatever she keeps the conversation going, finds out some touch points, familiar touch points. And then eventually we'll tag a sales person when she deems there's interest enough to like learn more, push you in a DM. And in the DM is where we, we do a no sell, sell, generally, Eric, as much as we can. Because we're curious enough between female entrepreneur, AI, rock and roll DJ, um, people do go "Holy" they see it. So there's that, you know, Um. But then we're moving you into that demo request. The reason it has a 98% sales conversion to your point is because by the time we get there, they're pretty hot. But for us, they're warm to begin with because there's no cold calls and no cold emails. And we see anybody who likes commenting or sharing as a potential. Who we quickly either qualify or disqualify, like we have a checklist, you know? So you, you engage with us, we see if you're a fit, you are, Okay, we're moving on. Now, we're now we're having a hang, we're chatting, whatever. You know, again, we're all so still guessing cause it's morphing. We're going up market. Sowe're changing what we're doing, we're breaking stuff also. I it's part of my life. But we're trying to grow and morph and still use the things we know that are working. So the hard way is the way is, has been always a major one. And what I've told my staff is don't make the sale, make a fan.

Eric Dickmann:

Hmm. I like that.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Evangelism goes a long way. Where working on calling in Microsoft, right, that's a fan.

Eric Dickmann:

That is a fan. Well, and I know we're coming up on our time here, but just on that point, one thing that I wanted to ask you is part of the challenge with a lot of the automation tools that are there. Is once you start to automatically post online to the various social networks, they're not all very accessible in terms of tagging people. Sometimes you can tag a person, but you can't tag a brand or you can take a brand, but not a person. And one of the things that I found is that's a great way to get engagement, right? Is that if you tag somebody in it, obviously they're more likely to see it and share it and whatnot. And so it almost forces people to the original platform so that you can do that tagging, which then defeats the whole purpose of having some of these automation tools. So I'm just curious about, do you think that that's a correct assumption that the tagging really does make a difference or if you just post enough, eventually you get through that anyway.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

I mean, what you're touching on is again, the hard way is the way, so those platforms do that for a reason. They want you to engage and you know, we have customers who are you know, we'll go to the mat with us about, um, Social listening. So we don't do social listening you know, the traditional, well not the traditional, the modern way, whatever that means. But we do it the traditional way. Which is like go to Twitter and pay attention to your feed, which is what you should be doing anyways, right? There's a total reason for that. And I'm a huge fan of, i mean it's just, people don't want to do work. It's amazing to me. I mean, I get it. You know, but like we always make a boring, very boring comparison to sorry, QuickBooks to QuickBooks. Right you sit down and QuickBooks and you expect to sit down and do some work. You do.. Like, they're going to help you a lot, which is great, but like you have to participate, right? This is where the human component comes in there. So like, I think those things are good. Sometimes, you know it's frustrating for us of course because it's what customers want and we want to please our customers. Um, and even for ourselves. Like, yeah, I mean, LinkedIn is now killing us for all for overtax people who, you know, sorry, cause there's friends who do this a lot, but like I hate it when someone just posts something and then they tag me, that's nothing to do with me, because they want likes and shares on it. And it's like a big old zero for me, you know, like, cause I really do, as you pointed out, I engage a lot load on social, but I have to make it count and that doesn't count, you know?

Eric Dickmann:

It's kind of a cheat.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah, it's kind of like a cheat. It's the same thing as adding me to your nerwsletter, I mean got to ask me. You know, and especially if like I follow you everywhere, I don't also need your newsletter. I'm fully engaged, we talk, on Instagram often.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah. Why do you need to send me this?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Um, But what we're talking about here is again, you know, I love going back to these points. I should be a comedian. Because they're so good at this. But reading the room, you know? And what does that mean? And how can you? It's the same, but different. There's one thing about reading the room where it's just me and you talking, Eric. And another about reading the room of the people that I don't even know who are listening or watching right now, right but there's some innate ability. And I'm taking my cues mostly from you, because this is your show, right? But that's important to you know, what are people willing to do or not willing to do? Where is their impatients at? Where is there? What's their spark?. You know, what's going to drive their spark? And as communicators and salespeople and marketers, we have to find what those are and they're not always the same. And in fact, for the same kind of sale there might be you know, many ones and you just need to be open to that.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes. Well, you know, I think one of the things that I've really enjoyed about our conversation today is here you are, you know, the head of a company that deals with artificial intelligence, but yet we spent the most of the time talking about the human side of things, and the story, and how we as humans have to be ultimately in control of the communications that we send out that we deliver and targeting things to the audience that they want to hear about, and so I love that. Technology is here to help us, it's not here to replace the humans in the

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Exactly.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, Kate, before we go today, I'd love it. If you could just tell people a little bit more about Lately, or where they can find you online and anything you else would like to share and we'll make sure to put that in the show notes as well.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Um, You're awesome. By the

Eric Dickmann:

Oh, well, thanks.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Rona. I want to like mimic your piece of wood, your wood sculpture back there. But yeah, I'm I'm, I'm on LinkedIn. I'm think I'm Kate Bradley, not Kate Bradley turning so on LinkedIn. And I love people to say hi there. Tell me that you met me with Eric, which would be great. Uh, lately.ai is us. We're very friendly. And like I said, we'll, we will, we treat all of our small customers like our larger Carlos customer. So that means a demo. Um, so if you're allergic to, you know, a social hang, sorry. But we were super nice and pretty funny also. Um, so I promise you'll be entertained, but also watch out. Cause we do have that 98% sales conversion.

Eric Dickmann:

You might be getting a Christmas gift early, right? Uh, some new software under the tree.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

Yeah.

Eric Dickmann:

No, I think it's a fantastic platform. I love what you. guys are doing with It I think for so many organizations, you know, it that can be a game changer because I know what the pains are in my own company. Just trying to Get the word out consistently. it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work.

Kate Bradley Chernis:

It sure is but we're doing it. It feels so go good doing it. We are an underdog. Some people may have it harder than I do. Nothing is more to me than inspiring someone else to get up. Maybe its t otell your boring CMO that they need to be more human on LinkedIn. Or maybe it's to you know, start your own marketing agency. Like you or start your own AI powered software company, even though you came from a career in line cooking and rock and roll DJ.

Eric Dickmann:

Rock and roll DJ. What was that voice again? What's your radio voice?

Kate Bradley Chernis:

You're listening to The Virtual CMO on StreamYard.

Eric Dickmann:

I love it. Kate, thanks so much for being here with us today, I've really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.