If you know me (and if not, I hope you’ll get to!), you know how much I love supporting female founders. They are not always easy to find, and there are still far too few, but the ones I have talked to are so inspirational.
What I love about Kate Bradley Chernis, Co-Founder and CEO of Lately, is how her unique background led her to co-found Lately and build out her sales organization the way she did.
Lately is a SaaS tool that uses artificial intelligence to learn any brand’s voice and then build a writing model based on the words, key phrases, and sentence structures that it knows will get the brand the highest engagement. Lately turns blogs, videos, and podcasts into marketing content.
Everyone Hates Writing
As Kate and I dove into our conversation about how Lately was founded and some of the challenges her company faced in the beginning, we got onto a fascinating topic – who is Lately’s ideal customer?
Kate’s answer was one you do not hear from most CEOs, Lately’s ideal customer is everyone. Everyone who hates writing. Now, many of you know that I don’t let CEOs get away with telling me that everyone is their ideal customer. But, with Kate’s go-to-market strategy, anyone who needs to put out content and repurpose it can use Lately.
“Everybody has the same problem, doesn’t matter if it’s the largest retailer in the world, or a library down the street, they use writing to promote themselves and get their message out, and people hate writing.”
Well, let’s say most hate to write. Obviously, English major Kately (that’s her nickname) likes to write and recognizes that most others don’t, and they are not very good at it. (Prime example, the last sales email you got in your inbox.)
Everyone in the business world has to write, whether they’re writing sales emails, social media copy, presentations, reports, or emailing customers. Everyone writes, but as Kate and I discussed, not everyone is good at it.
Companies need their go-to-market team members to write in a way that engages and intrigues the customer. So, that’s Lately’s common theme; that’s their target audience—anyone who needs to write content that intrigues and engages.
As CEO, you probably don’t review the writing your sales, marketing, and customer success teams send out. But should you? If you are concerned about customer experience, you need to know what messaging is going out from your company. I think you’d be embarrassed by some of it. Most of what salespeople send is an instant delete.
All About Connection
Kate learned during her music career that it is all about connection. Another astonishing fact Kate shared with me during our conversation was that she used to be a live radio DJ. During her time as a DJ, she learned two things that fuel Lately:
- Make the listeners feel like they have a voice.
- The neuroscience of music.
Even though Kate had the microphone, her job was to make the listeners feel like they had a voice (which is exactly what good marketing is)!
Her ability to do this made her the number 1 top-rated DJ.
You might be thinking, how did Kate’s previous career help her create a SaaS company?
Not only did she build the playlists, but she also did all the copywriting for the commercials. She did research to better understand how music impacts people and used that to write as well.
The Neuroscience of Music
“When your brain listens to a new song, you must instantly access every other song that you ever heard before. It’s looking for familiar touchpoints, so it knows where to index that new song in the library of the memory of your brain. And at that moment comes forth nostalgia, memory, emotion, and all the things that cue trust, which is why we buy.”
This truly resonated with me, and I’m sure it will resonate with every CEO and sales leader out there. What’s missing from many sales teams’ messaging is that understanding. When salespeople are trying to talk to prospects, they can be so robotic or too formal. They’re not thinking about their own voice or about the person who’s listening and what that person needs to hear to become curious.
So, What Can You Do?
A CEO knows that messaging does matter. The vision and strategy come from you. From there, your GTM (go-to-market) team needs to build all the messaging that is needed and train everyone in the company on that messaging. For those who communicate with customers, more training is needed to use that messaging properly.
Your team may need training in how to write copy and content – two very different types of writing. I’m not just talking about the marketing people, but everyone who communicates with the customer.
Whether video scripts, blogs, long-form LinkedIn posts, emails, or handwritten notes—everyone who writes should understand how to do so in a way that intrigues and makes the reader curious enough to schedule a conversation eventually.
And your marketing team should learn to take all the great content they’ve written or recorded and break it into small bites to repurpose it.
Your customers need to hear your primary messages repeatedly, like the songs on the radio, but in a way they can receive.
Talk to your team and learn how you can help them improve your messaging so it is music to your listener’s ears.
If you know a female founder/CEO, I should interview, please introduce me.
Listen to my interview with Kately on Sales Talk for CEOs to learn more about Kate and Lately.