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Kate Bradley Chernis: Defying the Odds and Raising Millions for Lately.ai
Episode 8030th September 2019 • Women Conquer Business • Jen McFarland
00:00:00 01:31:12

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00:00:32Have you ever met somebody online and thought it'd be really cool. I should really talk to them at some point and then you just keep watching and you interact, maybe a little but not much and you just become more and more impressed with someone and everything that they have to offer. Maybe you'll learn a few things along the way.

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00:00:57I watch her. I I listen to what she has to say on LinkedIn. She taught me a lot about writing copy. Just as somebody watching from the outside.

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00:01:18Cuz I just really wanted to talk to her.

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00:01:38Reach out cuz you never know what's going to happen.

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00:02:11Use cases include brand marketing, employee. Advocacy, social selling executive thought, leadership, management, and personal social media Communications.

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00:02:28It's okay. Welcome to win the Concord business.

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00:03:31I work for a short Italian man who had just, you know, we buy me basically, I guess you might say until I was constantly squash Matthias was class, and I was like kicking butt for a channel by wasn't getting a credit for it. And that was actually happening throughout the company. It was pretty, pretty intense, and there weren't a lot of women obviously, and so there was tons of sexual harassment, but like, always dealing radio is like total Boys Club, but like, what did bother me was being treated differently as a woman and like, not getting credit for my stuff and like, just kind of feeling like my body was really reacting to it and it got so bad that I had to kind of think of a career move and so I did for a move laterally to a company called pop adio, which was the largest Destroyer.

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00:05:13What would you say? You can't work for other people. And there's no shame in that. That's what he said. And I didn't like me because I did feel like I was going to school and I didn't know why, right? And I felt like I was disappointing, my mail boxes, which is exactly how I felt and I had some seriously, my husband who is so kind and gave me the secret, remember that book which is a terrible book, written bookings, have Stevie and Courtney. You know, what the book when I was feeling good, when I was playing softball and I hit a line drive. I wasn't thinking I suck. I was thinking I rule and all that was coming out of my mouth for the past two years with ice.

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00:07:13Doing wrong in. Like I went to that hole cycle and there was definitely a lot of stuff. But then there was this other thing, you know, and so that's what was pissing me off because I was like Lord and my husband gave me another bucks if he's the best and it said it was Takis art of the start. Right? And somewhere like in page 9 or 10. It says don't make a plan, just get started. And so I stopped reading the books as like, well, what's the point of reading this book? And the next day to Angel Investors, which I didn't know, that's what they were came to my job to deliver me some some content for work, which normally people would put in the mail and they live nearby. And I figured let's go have lunch with her for whatever reason and we were having lunch and they were asking me where he's talking and I was complaining about the music industry, not the male part, but just in at large and I had a lot of opinions. I'm very opinionated and they loved it and they were like, we we really like you

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00:08:17And I was like what we need to know what we're going to do like at all about me. They believed in me and that felt really super good and I don't even have a time. I didn't even understand the value of that. Now, of course I do much better and I love those two guys have become great friends. But so here I had $50,000 and we started the music taste amazing Company online. It was kind of driven out of my radio ideas. Whatever. It did fine. I wasn't trying to monetize it. We just had really good listenership. And as I was not getting that, basically somebody else came to me and said, hey, you're really good at marketing. We'd like to hire you as a consultant and pay you a lot more money. And you don't have to listen to, that sounds great. I'm over this music into this thing, and they put me on the Walmart account. So,

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00:10:14Profit and for-profit, which is very unusual. The IRS is involved with government also and then pens of thousands of small and medium businesses. Another local government related folks who are all being together to Market this piece of software and the software was called myfreetaxes. It was designed to help lift the American poor out of poverty, through tax credits, and financial education, a lot to say, but that's what it was. My job is to make taxes and disability, sexy.

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00:10:59Kids react like her cats.

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00:11:11You know, it's the way it was working with like we do it one year and we look at the results and then figure out how to improve and do it the next year and we're like, hey, the role of chain, but that's even hard for like four. Giant companies to react in real time is still really hard and then it was unheard of, but we know we did it. So basically the spreadsheet that I spilled, I started using it for all my clients cuz I was like, hey, this, you know, and they had the same problem today. Today, lately official intelligence to automatically turn blogs, newsletters, online, articles, white, papers videos podcast into dozens of amazing social code.

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00:12:39It's so amazing and four for all of us who aren't listening. It's it's what we're always looking for a, right? Like it's one way to kind of multiply ourselves. If we don't have a big team and we have a small team. We're trying to get all of this content out into the world and not have it be the same cuz it's not allowed to be the same right on Twitter. Especially, you can't cross post and it doesn't like that.

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00:14:04Your customer again, doesn't feel so bad. They feel more natural. And what we found is that it also gives people.

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00:14:52Yeah, so exactly that. So we are still really bad at telling people what we do, which is ironic because it is that supposed to be like, I'm good at, right? And it's very frustrating for me to make it in Venture Land, as you're not picking to the customer for a long time. You're preaching to investors, you know, so you talk a little bit different to them, then you do customers. And, and so, that's weird. There's a jargon your own. Jargon a trip over the after. I mean, I just threw a punch at you there, right? But you know, like what we really do is automatic organization. That's really what is a hard by what we do. But it is totally unfair XE. And so we had to learn how to not sell that anymore. I do need to learn out. What what were the customers really excited about?

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00:16:52I want to hear that all your customers, everybody. That's crazy. You're crazy. I am, well, I'm crazy. Cuz guess what it is. Everybody. Take an Enterprise product and simplify it enough. So that individuals like you can use it and because we did that, we were then, guess what? Able to spell Landon expand to Enterprises. Because in an Enterprise, the people who work there are the same as the people who work in the mom-and-pop down there down the street. I'm not kidding there, not some super special markers that have all this genius knowledge, that was from the gods. They're just regular people who want to be treated like regular people. So if you make a product for regular people, they tell their bosses by this, right?

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00:18:01Winning exactly well and serving the smaller businesses because women in business tend to be smaller. So, if you want to serve women in business, we do tend to be in that third rail, mostly, because we don't get as much VC funding in general. Like, in some ways. I mean, so in a lot of ways you've overcome like a lot of obstacles, just be getting funding by having this great idea and going through the process space. Yeah, so that it's 2%, right? Women. Women entrepreneurs. She liked than 2% of the Venture funding out there and we raised almost three million to date. It's amazing that I forget this all the time in my my team who is awesome especially have to remind me because like I consistently daily feel like a failure. I'm a failure today. Like I can't tell you how many houses are on fire. I don't know how I'm going to put them out. I'm tired, and in a lot of pain.

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00:19:07F, f f. Yes, and I have investors and customers, and my team myself, my family. All in my mind, at least all in my shoulders, right? And I'm just constantly.

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00:19:49We make, I don't want to say the actual numbers cuz it's our private information. But like we make money, we know more than we spend cuz we're start up. And so we're not there yet. It is amazing to me that we make money at all. I can't do. We have customers. Are you sure they're real? Like, I definitely had my team check on that. You can go look on using it. I mean, really using it. I don't think they are though. They are, okay.

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00:20:32Because all the failures are so overwhelming. So, these little teeny successes really are a big deal, you know, know they totally are and that's why when I'm working with people, I always ask if they've Incorporated gratitude into their daily practice, you know, because even on your worst day, you probably got something to be grateful for, and it seems like that little light sometimes is enough to keep it going, you know, and it sometimes seems to me, it can seem super fluffy. Sometimes, you're a little woo, whatever you want to say, but like I was just talking about this yesterday, actually, so I need to meditate forever. I'm like really, but

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00:22:31I don't know. But yeah, it's hard to is really hard to save yourself when you're so busy. Saving everybody else, which is very much a woman. I believe a woman oriented kind of calling. You might say kids and I see that, right. I don't have kids either and I feel the same way, you know, so with that in mind, like what advice do you have for other women in business? You're probably saving everybody else.

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00:23:23To kill. Here's what I do. I do work out everyday because my trainer is hilarious, and I laughed for a half an hour. And that's really, it's actually amazing to me. Cuz I used to go to the end like around 4:30. So I can come back and do cleanup job for a couple hours at work and I'll get there and realized I haven't smiled all day sometimes, write how good my team is pretty wonderful. We we are dispersed. So we do a lot of Zoom meetings like you and I are doing right now so we can look each other in the eye balls and be like a human and that's super important. I'm definitely the kind of person that likes to get the business and I don't want to know. I mean, I love people, I love people. I like my my team, but like, I'm pretty bad and I've had to learn to be like, how was your day? How was your vacation? What did you do? And not only let them talk about it because they want to. But also I do.

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00:25:11I don't even know what it means to be like a CEO who like I was watching the Elizabeth Holmes documentary. Whatever. I need an HBO the check from the Mariners their nose, right? Yeah. The fraud and I'm watching her and thinking was curious to me is she's doing a lot of the way that the investment World wants you to do it. She's acting like a man right here, beautiful her whole standard, her everything and you could hear the people. There were like in to be in there, like she's amazing and I think my first thought was like way to go because this is what

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00:27:01What makes people feel?

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00:28:02As an entrepreneur. I'm like, well, I was already, you know, and I have to go to stop myself to like, yeah, I'd like to have some separation from the phone and, you know, the work-life balance thing. It's but, yeah, I agree. Make time for vacation guard. Have a real picky. I like, I actually turned my phone off every single night and put it in a drawer downstairs. In the kitchen. That doesn't come up to the bed. There's no, we don't have any machines in the background. So that's another good thing. It's, it's really separate and I I try not to do everything on my phone. Like I need to have a timer for exercises. I could use my phone but why there's a perfectly good analog timer without a screen on it. You know, I don't have any here so secret. Nobody knows, I don't have any music on my phone.

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00:29:28Yeah, so my friend Brian Cramer, who you might know. He's one of the top 10 digital marketers in the world. He was our adviser and acting CMO for a year. And he, one of the course is always trying to get you to do video. Right? Especially, you know, it'll start up. The CEO is really still in the product and they're hard to thunder happening here. They're hard to separate, right? Of course. And so, we were trying to figure out. And it first, I was going about it, like, in my mind, doing it, like a commercial, and wanting everything right now. Cuz, of course I've made a commercial, and I was very stiff about it. And I kept thinking. Well, I need to like a radio show and then I was like, it was doing and not doing it. The one that I just whip it out and I found someone like as if not, it's okay.

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00:31:18We got to see how they made french fries. Like that was so cool. You know, she took us to The Bagelry So we can see how they made Bagels, not it. When you when it's your life is going to you, but it went when it's not your life. It's interesting. So that whole goal of those videos was to give people a slice of like what's it like to be an entrepreneur female entrepreneur and to be not polished and to be not perfect which probably turns people off. But oh, well, then you're not my people. I think it turns off some people, but it doesn't turn off your people.

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00:32:25And not talking which is hard to do for me. Even when you're obviously, when you're an alpha personality, you know, he sounds like a LinkedIn and how Lincoln has been blowing up in. Like we're even. We're getting crazy and getting my LinkedIn and he's doing so well for sale and it's not I mean, I mean my workout tank top and I my hair isn't done and I'm like talking about my life and like investors won't like this and he's like well, then you don't want us investors and I was like, that's true, but nobody seems offended yet. We'll find out right.

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00:34:16I mean, yeah, it's important. That's why I go to the gym because, you know, sometimes something is just even the bad thing. It's so absurd that you have to laugh. That's why I might want to make her founder. Steve is especially good at that. Like we like really absurd or bad things will be happening in like, when we on the phone, we literally just left later. Like, are you kidding me? Oh my God. This is going to be a chapter in the book, you know, because

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00:35:29Yeah, so we're really excited about the artificial intelligence component specifically. I mean, what, what we've learned, what I've learned in the last fifteen years or so, is that marketers heat rating? Marketers people supposed to be good at writing hate writing and they're really bad at it. So like amazing. It doesn't matter if they work in a small company or a very large famous company, believe me. It's the same deal. So how can we use artificial intelligence to help them? But at the same time, we all know, hopefully we know that marketing is an emotion, based sport. It runs on emotion. You give me money because you like me, right? That's have to be in there or you like the product or some emotional connection to it. And if you take the emotion out of it, if you take the human out of it, it doesn't work. So, the robots and humans have to play together, right? So that it was exciting to us. So, how can we

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00:36:55Wow, I had to think about that. I love creating content. So maybe I'm not a marketer. Maybe I just have a Conjuring Creator special any day, you know, but unfortunately I have to do things like fell and mad and then sometimes you are very good at and this is why I continue to follow you on LinkedIn cuz you really crack me up for you. If a little tidbits like can can we not use like check out by blog post things like that that I think are just so check out like I just heard from radio as it seems like such a radio things cuz radio is fine.

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00:38:48Designed to be efficient in your writing, but like thinking about the way I like one of them is like like you Erie with your eyes. A thing where you eat with your eyes, right? So thinking about that, you have all these, this marvelous tool. He recalled the keyboard to help you with spacing, bold, italics, all capital letters. Wow, did you hear that? Yes, what was that Thunder? Yeah. There's a big old freaking out. She's hiding in my closet over there. But yeah, so like then thinking about like how you make? What? Your writing more digestible? One big paragraph example, right?

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00:39:46Is very powerful. And so I learn this and radio. My mentor had taught me like to actually purposely leave silence because that's when people turn it up in my pictures. You can pull the truck in the sales meeting on a podcast. Obviously, we should get that. But then also in writing like how silent so that the call to action you want people to click or do they actually do, you know?

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00:41:18Go on. We have these weekly things that we did call. The office hours is 2 p.m. Eastern every Tuesday and Lauren. Customer success lady extraordinary will go through a future and I'm people ask marketing questions. It's really fun. But once a month, I join in and I auto generate content in and I rewrite it. So, would you like a live writing class? And it's been, right? Because it just about taking the same choice. I use from Walmart. And, and showing people what that looks like, happy optimize like this one single sentence. Like, are you burying? The lede are the first five words, you use even necessary because turns out the call to action is in the last three words. I can you Shuffle that around, so it's more effective. So, yeah, it's amazing. I didn't even think I got to hop on that. We'd love to have you for sure. I mean, how come people learn about the lately platform. How can we find you?

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00:42:41Treat a storage but I'll figure out when I talk to you about a blog post and see what it does. Yeah. Yeah. He just click Auto generator. It'll, it'll show you that. I'm sorry. It's like raining. Like I've never seen before. Hoping the umbrella is up. Anyways, my team is really super friendly and I'm so you don't have to be shy and there's no commitment. Just email us and I promise.

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00:43:32Thanks, Jen for being cool.

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00:44:22Hey, ladies, I know you're working so hard to grow your business. A business that aligns with your vision and your values, a business that support your lifestyle. And I know it's been a bumpy ride. Sometimes. I see it all the time. Women overspending on shiny objects and Magic pills because they're tired of not seeing results. Business decisions based on short-term games without a critical eyes, were the future most heartbreaking of all women who walk away because it's just too damn hard. But good news is you're not alone. You have support all around you. If you're ready to take joyful actions on your biggest business goals, if you need strategy, accountability, and a path to get you. Exactly where you want to go. Let me know because I'm here to support you as a consultant strategist. You can fill out a quick application to work together at Jen mcfarlane.com. Ready. I've opened up just a few.

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