Mar 15, 2021
Kate Bradley Chernis - What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Play • 52 min


As a content creator, do you struggle with how to use all of your content in the best way? This episode features the CEO of Lately, Kate Bradley Chernis, who's changing the world of content re-purposing using artificial intelligence. Kate is not only the rocking CEO of Lately, but also understands the challenges of good content creation.

You'll be amazed to listen to the story of resilience and persistence that has led her to found a company that is charting the way ahead and how you as a client can use artificial intelligence to not only create content quickly, but effectively.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Kate Bradley Chernis - What Have You Done For Me Lately-

Chris Stone: As a content creator, do you struggle with how to use all of your content in the best way? We'll on this episode of casters. We talked to the CEO of Lately, Kate Bradley Chernis, who's changing the world of content re-purposing using artificial intelligence. 

Jim Fuhs: Kate is not only the rocking CEO of Lately, but also understands the challenges of good content creation.

She has amazing story of resilience and persistence. That has led her to found a company that is charting the way ahead and how you as a client can use artificial intelligence to not only create content quickly, but effectively. 

Chris Stone: What have you done for me Lately? Let's find out. 

Kate Bradley Chernis: Hey, you guys

use that photo before on any podcast or any strategy 

that you guys got that one first, that particular one tell you what it is by the way. So that little guitar, my, my husband is a guitar player and I don't know, it's some collection item, whatever, but he fixed it up for somebody. We had it. They loan each other guitars.

That's what guys do, so we added on a loan and we got drunk one night. We were like, let's set up. He was a fashion photographer in the city for years. And assisted Jill bound, Simone and Patrick and like all these guys, right though, guys. And so he had all of his set paper and stuff like that.

And we used to set it up the living room and then just do photo shoots, so we're like, let's get the guitar out and let's do jumps, and so we were doing those and we had gotten engaged about a month before and we thought this is 10 years ago. So before everyone was doing photo sets for their weddings or whatever, and we're like, Hey, let's do this for our wedding.

And the people who own that guitar. Actually he came and picked it up, like randomly, they were like, Oh, we don't want to loan it to you anymore. We want it back. And so we took a picture of it beforehand, blew it up into almost life size and then built a two replicas so that our guests at our wedding could like dress up like us.

We took this whole series of, yeah, look, there's a whole bunch of them. That's just one of them. And they all make me look like I play guitar, which I don't what he does. You 

Chris Stone: look so comfortable. It looks like you're just like, I don't know what song or Ramones. I 

Kate Bradley Chernis: think we had some Boston on when that night, when we were pretty 

Chris Stone: more than yeah.

Kate Bradley Chernis: Who knows? Yeah. But what's great. Is people just now we've learned with marketing and how I was in radio is that people love to go behind the scenes. They want a sneak peek of what's it really like? And so for the wedding, that's what we decided to do was so not to go on about weddings, but I made the, all the wedding invitations were backstage badges that you were around your neck and cause we couldn't afford to pay for everybody.

Cause we paid ourselves. We had little all passes and then after show only, for the drinks and stuff like that fun is that it was really, it was great. Yeah. We just wanted to give people like a feeling of what it's like, what our lives were like, because they were pretty cool. We didn't make a lot of money, but, David was he was managed by cheap tricks management.

So he used to open up for cheap trick and the Dixie chicks, it's pretty cool. And then I met some cool people along the way, too, yeah, 

Chris Stone: that's always the first question. If you're in the music business is so what artists have you met, and what are your favorite artists, but I don't know about you, but my favorite response to that is these were the artists that I was most friendly with, but seemed like cool.

Obviously like you talk about these big artists I've met Prince and Prince was great. But I've also met some artists that feel like no one knows, but I had a great time with, and they were fantastic people. And those are the ones that I remember that no one else 

Kate Bradley Chernis: does. Yeah. Unfortunately I dated both of them.

Cause that was my job hazard,

And I thought I was done until this one real nice guy came along. But yeah, I can tell you some stories about. People, that's for sure. Okay. 

Chris Stone: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That's good to create a book someday about 

Kate Bradley Chernis: that. The book is going to be amazing. It's going to be mostly about all the investors who've pissed me off since but yeah, what has been wonderful is like that journey.

I wouldn't trade it for the world because I learned so much about. Music, especially honestly, I didn't know a lot about music. And I'm still one of those people that most of the stuff I talk about, I know just enough to have the conversation because my brain isn't big enough for, I got a lot of stuff I've got to talk about here.

And it used to pick it, piss off my music director so badly because he couldn't believe, I didn't know, who poco was for or something like that. And I'm like, Oh, that's pretty cool. He knew obscure, but I'll try to make and I remember one time I said that the Finn brothers in writing on a newsletter were from Australia instead of New Zealand.

Yeah. And so then I really being for that, but I was like, everybody makes this mistake. So I learned early and the fans didn't care. Then you just got more attention for it. So I learned early on that, just being my authentic self and not, I used to worry that Oh no, I don't know everything.

These boys, the boys club is going to ding me for it. But then I realized that the more you just admit it, the more other people are like, yeah, me neither. 

Chris Stone: Cool. And so if you're in like a this totally equates in a lot of ways, like nobody that you dealt with at the time probably remembers any of that stuff you remember.

And at the time it probably was horrifying initially, maybe. And and you feel that rush of your face and if you're a content creator and you're like afraid to. Fire up your microphone or turn on your camera or do whatever you gotta do because it has to be absolutely perfect.

And you're just afraid to, hit the damn button and just start and go and get those reps in and try to make, because that first video you put up, if you've made a mistake, if you said, New Zealand instead of Australia, or if you dropped an F bomb by accident or anything like that.

No, one's going to remember it, except you. So why not just put it past yourself and just move on. So that's awesome that you're able 

Kate Bradley Chernis: to do that. Thank you. In fact, one of the best pieces of advice that one of my radio mentors gave me was he said, silence is really powerful.

I practiced. And I tried to use that a lot and I, we use it in our marketing now. So that space, so when we're doing a demo, sometimes it just means letting people. Talk or sell the product for you, which they do, so that's amazing. Sometimes it's doing what I just did. I just slowed down the conversation.

And I'm sure some people leaned in because that's what happens when you have silence. 

Chris Stone: It's good. I'm noticing it. I didn't notice it before. And now that you said it I'm noticing it, it's true. Like I know you do, you're involved in sales and that's a big thing is the number one tool that you have is not your CRM system.

It's not even your social media planner. It's your ability to listen to your customers because they're going to tell you what you want, what they want. I should 

Kate Bradley Chernis: say. Yeah. And too, it's a little bit tricksy, right? I think about it in writing as well. Cause that's how we're all marketing a lot is even video there's writing here.

What's the space between the words looking or even sometimes physical space, but even a comma or a period. Those things create space in how you read tax rights. So we all know that when you're reading texts, you're hear it in your head as a voice. And is there enough space in the actual text so that when you hear it, there's the pauses like with an ellipsis or an end dash in the right places to help emphasize the right thing.

Which is all a long way of saying it's related, right? Whether it's radio or marketing or AI, for me it's a big old mixing pot. 

Jim Fuhs: So Kate, what brought you to start Lately? 

Kate Bradley Chernis: Yeah, Steve blood it's all his fault. And my co-founder but not really. The, so the beginning. Would you like the long story or the short story?

And we'd like, 

Chris Stone: whatever story you want to tell that's, we have all the time in the world. 

Kate Bradley Chernis: All right. So raise your hand out there if you're an underdog, because this is totally for you. If you're a female founder, underdog, or a guy, any kind of person that just, has ever been in that place where.

Maybe you feel squashed and people weren't listening to your ideas, which that's how I felt, in radio it's a boys club. It still is. And and not that there's anything wrong with guys. This is just about exclusivity and like putting up that wall and I was sexually harassed constantly. And I even participated in it because it was totally normal and it was expected.

And which is weird to say that now, but when we have a lot more information about those things now, And I was in a hostile working environment, which I didn't know. We didn't have that language before. I didn't know what that meant. And that was the idea of people using sexually charged, whatever, in order to make you feel uncomfortable or to just make you feel invalidated or like my ideas weren't taking seriously.

And I was very, I was so frustrated because I couldn't figure out why I wasn't succeeding. I couldn't get an, a plus, like I, like in school I was trying, I was doing everything. And I still wasn't getting the grade and it really bothered me and my body started to fail me. So I had this huge rash on my torso that they couldn't diagnose.

And I had fallen down the stairs at work and I tore a tendon in my ankle and I read kept returning it. So like I was in crutches or in a wheelchair for most of my time there. And then finally my arms started my hands and arms. I had so much pain that I couldn't type or even touch a phone. And then I was deemed to be, have a partial, permanent disability.

They said that I was unhealable, which was like really crappy thing to hear, as you might imagine. And I was scared because suddenly I couldn't do the thing that you and everybody else needs to do to survive. Like I was thinking, okay, I can't touch a keyboard. Can I work at McDonald's? No. Probably not.

I can't even work at the cash register at the grocery store. And so I first I got an intern to work for me. I hired them myself cause XM wouldn't help me because they didn't, I didn't look like there was anything wrong with me. Nobody leave me and people didn't have this back then it's, I'd be kinda lightest and tendonitis.

And so then I learned about dragon naturally speaking, which was a new thing. People didn't know what that was. And there's a few experts in the country at the time. And one of them happened to live in DC. This woman, Krista, I couldn't pay her, but I had a couple hundred CDs and she was a fan. So that was really lucky.

And she helped me cause learning dragon naturally speaking, which is the AI engine behind in the voice center behind Siri, by the way, it's like learning a whole language. You really have to spend a lot of time with it. So I did this and XM wouldn't let me use the software at work because they're a big company and they're, the it team there had to pass all these integrations and yada.

And so I was like, had to get out. So I went to another music related company and same thing. There was an HR team that didn't believe me and wouldn't help me and the boys club and all that. And I was a really unhappy person cause I was scared and I was doing everything I could think of to do every kind of Western and Eastern medicine.

And my dad was really sick of it cause I was crying a lot. And so he took me by the shoulders one day, like lovingly, but he said. You can't work for other people and there's no shame in that. So that was a big deal because he hit on the shame because this is what I felt, my, my instinct. Wasn't like, you guys, aren't listening to me or respecting me, my instinct was I'm doing something wrong, and that to this day feels really bad. I that's my first default generally, anyways, even now, and it is for a lot of women specifically that I know. The other thing that happened was I read a self-help book. Remember I was trying to do everything that I could. And it was a really corny book.

The secret member of that book, worst movie, when I, why did I torture myself when it stopped? Cause I was trying to make a change. I remembered reading it and. And thinking this isn't a secret at all. This is just a mindset. And when I'm doing something that I feel awesome at, if I was rock climbing and I, the first time I climbed a five 12, like I wasn't thinking you're a jerk, you're an idiot.

You saw a guy was thinking I'm the best, so I decided to stop talking about how much I hated work, but that was really hard. My friends from work who hated work too, we like had nothing to say. Can we tell them, and and David, my husband he, at the time boyfriend, he hated his work too.

And so we were both like toxic, just perpetuating these feelings. And my, then he, so that this is all happened in the same week. David went to the bookstore and got me a book wanting to support me in a nice way, like he is. And it was guy Kawasaki's art of the start of startup book. And I read. The first chapter it's like the first or second chapter a guy says, don't make a plan, just get started. That's the worst thing you can do. And I was like, Oh, then I don't need this book anymore.

I stopped reading it. Yeah. And then the next day I met my first angel investors who, I didn't know, that's what they were. I was just happy accident. And I was complaining about Bob Lefsetz. I don't know if you know him. He was a huge fan of my channel, the loft. And he had written in a letter in one of his newsletters.

He was, music, industry, Wong. He was complimented making compliments and he was giving all the credit to my boss. And I was like that. I chose those songs. That's my show. And he told us that he didn't believe that I would have ever made those decisions. Cause I was too young and I couldn't possibly, understand the music business like that.

And so I was complaining about this with a lot of F bombs to these guys and they were like, we love you. Let's start a company. And they gave me 50,000 bucks to start my first company. So from there, this is the long story, right? Maybe I should leave some silence for a second.

Chris Stone: So if I can interrupt for a second, this point, here's $50,000 to start a company at that point was the concept for Lately already? No, that was just going to start a company. Here's 50 K. So 

Kate Bradley Chernis: here's a story that nobody ever hears. My superpower is making super fans, that's what I was really good at.

At XM. Before I went to XM, I was at a little radio station called the penguin in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is adult album alternative. That's the format I was in was a really rare, but very cool format. All the music we talk about Prince and Matthew Sweet and the Ramones and the police and BB King all mixed together.

And the album cuts. And it's, it really depends. It's really relies on the ability of older music to influence the newer music so that when you hear the new music, you're referencing the older music. So on at that station, I came in and I was there for three. I think three months, it was really quick, and I knew I was going to exit I'm already, but I hadn't been in the contract wasn't inked yet.

So I had to kill some time and I thought the ocean sounded nice. So I go down there to this total boys club, they had, we had company meetings at a strip club regularly, which was unbelievably disgusting for lunch. I'm like, I'm not eating here. There's. Boobs disgusting. And it was my little weird AAA station, which was new.

The guy, my boss had brought his, introducing that to the ER area with smooth jazz and classic rock. And I think maybe a top 40 station. So this is what they owned. And I was a production...

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