You never know which introductions will be forgotten and which will be game changers. I’ve watched Lately.ai grow. I’ve seen big brands like Microsoft adopt it, seen GaryVee rely on it, seen Lately’s ARR explode. I’ve referred clients who now rave about the tool that makes their social media content creation so fast and easy.
I know Kate Bradley Chernis, the Co-Founder and CEO of Lately. We’re friends. I’ve always known she was special. We met through a mutual podcast colleague Ian Truscott who said, “you two need to know each other.”
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. 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.
When Kate came on my podcast in August 2020, we had this unexpected deep conversation about much more than her product and marketing and regular business questions. That episode was a turning point because it was my best conversation after two years of doing these interviews. It made me realize I wanted to spend more time growing my startup and less time producing a podcast. I wanted to spend time connecting with the few right people instead of feeling compelled to publish 40-minute episodes with more people every two weeks.
It turned out to be the final interview of the Beetle Moment Marketing Podcast and it let me end on a high note. (I still put out Voice Marketing with Emily Binder twice a week, 3 minutes per episode).
Suffice it to say I know Kate as a somewhat new friend, but a friend. And we went real deep that one day. Which is deeper than I go with some people I talk to weekly. But only now do I understand the level of grit it took for Kate to build her startup, her product, her team. Without going into too much detail about what happened this week and how I know this, just believe me that she has motor oil in her veins. I love it.
But more importantly, she is singularly helpful in this quantitative, actionable way. In this way that illustrates the difference between a mentor and a sponsor. The help she gives is compelling and impossible not to act on. Kate sponsors. I have needed that kind of help for a year while building WealthVoice. And I’ve had help – great help. but I’m talking about extremely specific action-steps help from another woman founder. Thank you Kate.
Oh, and Lately’s elevator pitch sentence. The hardest thing in building a product is getting this sentence right, because it informs everything you’ll create and whether people will understand and value it or care:
“Lately is AI powered marketing software that takes the guesswork out of what to say.”
Catch up on my startup journey on YouTube – the WealthVoice startup story playlist begins with my intro video in MARCH 2020 (if you remember how life was that month).