Speaker 1: (00:00)
Tell me your story. Tell me your story. How did it all start? Do you remember? Oh, I love what happened. How did it stop? You are now tuned into the Small Business Origins podcast. I love an origin story. Each week we dive into the real stories of entrepreneurs and businesses from across the nation. Lian, what's his origin story? Who started with just an idea and they're now making wave? I told you this was a good idea. This is small business origins.
Speaker 2: (00:31)
All right. Hello. Welcome back listeners, to another episode of Small Business Origins. I'm your host as always, John Kelly, AK John the marketer on Instagram and TikTok. And you know the drill. You're tuned in to our nationwide search. We are looking for entrepreneurs with an interesting origin story to tell us, and joining us virtually in the studio. I have an entrepreneur that wants to do just that, all the way from Stone Ridge, New York. We have Kate. She's with lately.ai. Kate, welcome to the show.
Speaker 3: (00:58)
Hello, John. How are you?
Speaker 2: (01:00)
I am doing good. Thank you so much for joining me on this. Uh, I am excited for this conversation because AI is something that up until probably two, three months ago, I heard the buzz about ai and I was like, yeah, it seems interesting. It's pretty cool. You know, back in the early two thousands, um, the very first chat bots that were ever being created and, and touted all over the place, I played with them and I, I learned about 'em, but I never really took advantage of 'em the way that I do now. And now it seems like every single day I'm logged into my chat, G P t I'm logged into , uh, all these different types of ais and I want to, you know, just jump into it and find out what's different about you and all that stuff. But I have to stop us for a second because every single episode we start out with an icebreaker question. And our icebreaker question today is, how do you eat your pizza? Do you fold it? Do you use a fork and knife ? What is your, what is your strategy there?
Speaker 3: (01:53)
? All right. It depends on how big the pizza is. So if it's big and unwieldy, then I'm a total folder for sure. That depends on the grease too. You know, if it's a drippy, drippy guy, you gotta do
Speaker 2: (02:02)
The whole Oh,
Speaker 3: (02:03)
Yeah. Right. But, um, typically I, you know, eat, eat it, and I eat until the crust is just the crust. And then I eat the crust separately. And I do a lot of dipping in olive oil. So real.
Speaker 2: (02:13)
Speaker 3: (02:14)
. I really go for it.
Speaker 2: (02:16)
. Yeah, I, um, I a folder You are. Yeah, I'm a folder no matter what, no matter what that is, honestly, because a lot of times I put a lot of toppings on my pizzas. Oh, I used to work for Domino's Pizza way back in the day. And so you got this big heavy Yeah. You know, meat and veggies and everything else. And then you've got that thin, you know, I like a thinner crust, a little bit thinner crust, so it doesn't support the weight. And so I have to fold mine to eat it. Um, IM no, you know, New York Pizza Fisha, but, uh, it's just, to me, folding is the way to go. If I ever saw someone eating it with a fork and a knife, I would be thoroughly disappointed in
Speaker 3: (02:52)
Speaker 2: (02:52)
Yeah. Who are those people? But you know what a perfect icebreaker question for me to randomly select prior to you coming on, I didn't know you were from the New York area and, uh, you know, that you would be the expert on, on pizza here,
Speaker 3: (03:03)
But Well, I dunno about that, but my husband totally is. So, so, uh, he would agree with the fold in the, in the no fork for sure.
Speaker 2: (03:10)
. Heck, yeah. No, I, I'm a big pizza fan. That's why I work out every day because I have to take care of that pizza belly. But, uh, you would think after working at a pizza shop, I wouldn't be a fan of it anymore. But man, just the pizza's the one thing you can have so different.
Speaker 3: (03:25)
Could you do the spinning, like with the whole dough thing, when you worked with the pizza
Speaker 2: (03:28)
Shop? Uh, kind of, you know, uh, we did do hand stretch Dough. Dough, yeah. At Domino's. So I was definitely really good at stretching it. I didn't do the fancy spinning stuff. I could like pop it up and spin it a little bit, but, you know, it wasn't something I was excellent at, like, you know, somebody at a small pizza shop would normally be, but it was, it was an interesting job. I'll say that. But I'm definitely glad to not be in the pizza business anymore.
Speaker 3: (03:52)
Yeah, it looks hard. Like on my list of things I wish I could do would be like tossing pizza. Well, and then we'll twist on,
Speaker 2: (03:58)
You know, those might things. Oh yeah. I can't do that. I can barely whistle as it is . So yeah, that would be really cool to be able to whistle that loud and, you know, special ways next
Speaker 4: (04:08)
Life. I know we're excited to hop into it, but before we do, I have to take a second to stop and talk about a really good friend of mine, Matt Gilley. He is the host of the Life Shift podcast. I have had the pleasure of being a guest on a recent episode, and if you haven't heard it, I just wanna encourage you to go over and take a listen to it because it truly is an amazing episode. And I really open up about some personal things that you've probably not heard on this show. Now, of course, his episodes are so different than mine. You know, mine's a business podcast. His is personal, but we're still doing the same thing. We have a natural curiosity and we're telling stories. So if you're looking for something that I know you're gonna love, head over anywhere you get your podcast and take a listen to Matt's show. It's called The Life Shift Podcast. And here's an ad about his show.
Speaker 5: (04:53)
And it surprised me. That's the thing, that's the thing. She just needed a big hug and to know she wasn't alone.
Speaker 6: (04:59)
This is the Life Shift podcast. I'm Matt Gilhooly, and on the life shift, I have candid conversations with people about the pivotal moments that have changed their lives forever.
Speaker 7: (05:09)
I would literally just say, I love you. Those words alone would probably make my younger self like, look at me like I'm crazy. I would just say, I love you, you know, I love you, man. That's it. As simple as that.
Speaker 8: (05:21)
Straight up, honest with you. I would tell past Christina, cut your hair. Do whatever you wanna do to your body. It does not matter because it is your body. It does not impact anyone else. And you will still be the person you want to be.
Speaker 6: (05:37)
We all have our stories, but through these conversations we discover communities. We learn that there are commonalities through the ups and downs that we all face, but most importantly, we learn that we're not alone.
Speaker 9: (05:49)
I didn't know that I deserved it. I didn't know that I could have better, I didn't know that I was worth
Speaker 10: (05:56)
More. That's such an important point, that being in a place where I was low, just no other way to put it, very low depressed in that six month period, I would say that now as a result of being in that place, I'm able to be a little more empathetic and understanding. When someone comes to the table and they're a little bit down,
Speaker 11: (06:15)
I feel like, girl, just buy some hair. Stick it on your head and rock it. You're gonna be awesome no matter, no matter how you look, no matter if you have one strand of hair on your head or a big thick head of hair, it doesn't matter.
Speaker 6: (06:30)
The life shift podcast highlights life altering moments and humanizes the struggles and the triumphs through
Speaker 2: (06:37)
Them all. And I can tell you that at the end of the day, when something is hard on us at the station, uh, we're all different people, but we sit down as one, and we look at each other and we cry and we laugh, and we go through whatever emotion we have to go through to get through the calls that we had to see. Because we realize the importance.
Speaker 12: (06:55)
We tend to get attached to the worst version of ourself because it's comfortable. And we do have a best version of ourself that is available for us if we do the work. So I would say that to her, you're gonna be okay, but don't get attached to this bad version of yourself.
Speaker 6: (07:13)
Please subscribe to the Live Shift podcast on your favorite podcast platform and listen to a new episode every Tuesday morning.
Speaker 13: (07:20)
You're very kind to the past versions of people understanding that, you know, that was what you knew at the time. That took me a long time to come to that awareness and to not be mad at that version of me.
Speaker 2: (07:32)
We are here to talk about you and you know, I'm excited to get into the AI conversation, but we like to start out with those personal conversations first. So, you know, tell us where you came from and how you kind of got to entrepreneurship. What's your origin story?
Speaker 3: (07:45)
I think you might know this, but for everybody else, I, I used to be a rock and roll dj. My last gig was broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM Satellite Radio. So I had this whole other life, you know, well before lately. And, and by the way, something that most no one asks about before that I was a line cook, so I know what it's like in the back at Domino's Pizza. And it's, uh, you know, everything that Tony Bourdain wrote in that book is true, by the way, especially when you're the only woman in a kitchen full of guys. Um, but it was a lot of fun. And, and what's so interesting about radio and startup life and working in the kitchen is that there's this true gratification of seeing your work finished every day, right? Like every meal, um, even on the radio.
Speaker 3: (08:34)
I mean, it's, it's, you just only have that show, right? And I also found that the lawlessness in all three is really appealing to me as a person, right? . So whether it's, again, the chaos of the kitchen, radios notorious, unfortunately for K kind of, you know, know wild cuz I mean, it goes with, it's the music business, right? It's just part of the deal and, uh, startup land as well. But I love, I've, I thrive in that arena, John, um, because, you know, I'm a wild horse. Like I don't, you can't tell me what to do. Like if you do, it's not gonna be fun for anybody. Um, and so it's kind of weird because you're walking a thin line cuz the lawlessness can be negative, you know? Right. Um, but if you can, if you can thrive in that, I mean, it's weird how it prepared me for, for startup land. . I didn't know. I didn't know. But, um, anyways, so, so between radio and lately I also had a marketing agency and my first client was Walmart and I built them. Wow. Wow. Uh, thanks. Uh, it was crazy. I I built them a spreadsheet system that got us 130% ROI year over year for three years. And that was what kicked off lately. Like, let's figure out how to do this for everyone. Mixed software out of it.
Speaker 2: (10:02)
Yeah. I mean, that's insane for a first client, you know, we here at our little marketing agency in town with a really good set of clients from celebrity level to large businesses to small businesses. We struggle on a daily basis with how do we minimize costs, maximize our customer's, uh, satisfaction and the product that we're delivering, all that kind of stuff. So I couldn't imagine trying to quickly figure that out with such a large agency. I mean, but what year was that roundabout that you started doing that? That
Speaker 3: (10:33)
Was 2000, I wanna say nine or 10. And it was interestingly, or maybe, maybe not, but for the marketing nerds in the room, self included , it was Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. So it was both corporate and their, their their nonprofit. And then it was also the irs, bank of America at and t and United Way Worldwide and the National Disability Institute plus all of the franchises, right? Yeah. Yeah. So there were 20,000 marketers by the third year we were there. And it was, um, it was a great cause. It was through, it was delivering tact prep services for free to the poor, and um, also empowering them through financial education. I mean, can you imagine if you make $20,000 a year and you get $2,000 back on your E I T C credit, right. That's life changing money, you know? Yeah. And this was like, Twitter had really just, MySpace was still around, so Twitter had just kind of taken off and we were trying to get Walmart to write social pose, which was like, you know, pulling our, our eyeballs out . And, um, one of the things that I had done was I, I, I came from not corporate, so, um, you know, my, my edit button doesn't work so great, John, and, um, , I right away I was like, wow, what a mess. . Yeah.
Speaker 3: (11:51)
And I went home and I built a, a spreadsheet to literally organize every component of the marketing that I could get my hands on. So for example, we would make all these videos, I found the links to all the videos, and I put them in a spreadsheet labeling what they were, and then I would organize, okay, who was promoting them and who wasn't similar. Like, you know, I could see that 50 people were creating the same press release. And I was like, well, this seems like a waste of time. Let's create one and then figure out how we can shoot people to customize it in their own voice for their own territory, territory, et cetera. So, um, I even made a list, like, I remember asking Walmart, do you have a list of all of your franchise Facebook pages? And they said, no. And I was like, are you kidding me, ?
Speaker 3: (12:35)
How can we audit them if we don't know what the list is? Right. . So it was pretty wild. But the, the important thing that happened was we were trying to figure out how to get Walmart to produce social posts, publish the ones that we were writing, and there was so much legal around that. So I had this idea, what if I took a blog that they had already approved that I wrote, and I took every sentence more or less, and tweaked it just enough and put the link back to the full version of a vlog blog. So they seemed like teaser and I could get 40 social posts in an hour quickly, and Walmart were to prove them because they already did. Right,
Speaker 2: (13:15)
Speaker 3: (13:17)
And we found that that was key to the key way to get everybody involved. Like, we could do that with all the long form content and which was the basis of how lately works, as you know.
Speaker 2: (13:30)
Yeah. Don't you love compliance and lawyers and , all that stuff. I mean, that's our financial clients. That is just the easiest part of our job with them is getting everything through compliance, you know? So, uh, it is definitely interesting, and you're right, looking for a way to kind of, um, expedite being able to get those processes done is amazing. And I don't know how much our listener knows about ai, but obviously that is AI's main name of the game in my eyes, is it's, it's something that is able to generate something out of what you put into it and is able to do that far faster than even a team of 10,000 marketers could do on one project. Um, which is, you know, amazing. I think it's game changing and I think it's gonna be life-changing. So I'm excited to hop into it, but just let's kind of start with what is it exactly that AI does as a whole, and then what is it exactly that lately does that may be different or similar to AI as a whole?
Speaker 3: (14:31)
Yeah, well, that's the great question. I mean, so there's been a lot of misinformation because of the movies , frankly, right? So what the movies show is doesn't exist and it's impossible, right? There is no such thing as really true ma machine learning. It's only accessing data patterns, right? So it has to have, have the data to, it's just like a calculator, right? It's really so simple, one plus one equals two, and it can't, they can't suddenly make one plus one equals three. It's impossible, right? So the reason that you can get such great results with Jasper, for example, is because they, through open ai, they have so much data that they fed into this model, right? But if you and I put the same inputs into Jasper, it's gonna give us the same results. So that AI is in no way able to customize itself to your voice, let alone your audience, whoever would read, you know, whatever came out.
Speaker 3: (15:26)
So this is something where with lately, we, early on, we realized what a nice feedback loop the analytics of social media have. And I was using them for Walmart. So for example, I would see what was happening in social, and I would identify messaging that was working really well. And then I thought, well, why don't we just take this and apply it to what we're doing in paid, and maybe we should take this information and apply it to the long form content we continue to create, let's, these ideas are obviously serving us well, we have the data, let's appropriate them. You know, so with lately it was a similar kind of deal. And, and if I'm getting too detailed, John, you gotta stop me, but no,
Speaker 2: (16:08)
I'm all for it, nerd. Now. It's
Speaker 3: (16:10)
Okay. All right. So, so we don't, number one, we don't remove the human from the mix. We actually forced our AI to collaborate with humans and learn from them along the process. And the reason we did that was not only to be ethical, but also because we saw the huge difference in results. So the AI on its own great, but when you put the human in the mix, then you are seeing results like 98% sales conversion, 200% more leads, 12000% more engagement, right? It's, you can't shake a stick at these numbers. Okay? So that's a big component. So then practically how it works is because we have the analytics, we can literally learn your voice and we can learn exactly what your target audience wants to click watch or share, which in the content generation space, no one else is doing this, right? And but the, the, it's the opposite.
Speaker 3: (17:04)
It lately you're not putting in words and then getting something out because there's a third component, which is you have to put in long form content, right? So at lately that means text, video or audio, you ingest the content. We take the writing model that has your custom voice that contains the ideas and the phrases, and even the sentence structures, like the DNA of messaging that we know will get you the most engagement. And we read the blog, for example, with that model in mind, and we lift out, just like I did with Walmart, we lift out the pieces, that contain those ideas, put a short link on them, and, and you're off to the races, right?
Speaker 2: (17:39)
Yeah. Which in the marketing space is invaluable because, you know, you're repurposing content, like you said, you're not coming up with something totally new, something totally, um, that's created by you. You are just repurposing something you've already put out whether you made that content or curated it from other people in your industry. And then it, it does, you know, I, I mean, we, in the marketing spaces you're familiar with, we always say that you are just trying to attract people and get them to receive your message, and then your selling in the dms. And part of that selling is, you know, turning your blog into some sort of ClickFunnel that's going to drive them to contact us to learn how we can implement this for you. And so it's nice when you have that automatic built-in system. It's like having a salesman working for you on your, your social media 24 7.
Speaker 2: (18:28)
You don't have to worry about, okay, I'm gonna have my actual salesman go in and curate all this content for us. It's just something that can easily be done by any member of a team if, if you're thinking from a business space, you know? So I, I love that. I mean, it seems like I don't, the coolest part of this whole thing for me is that every AI company that comes out is honestly not a competitor for the other one, because it does something totally different. I mean, I think we employ probably 2, 3, 4 options on a daily basis around here, where we're just trying to come up with some cool content that we can share that is exactly like you are doing based around our current content. You know, we wind up, um, kind of, I guess doing it the hard way with some of them, like you said with Jarvis and, and whatnot.
Speaker 2: (19:09)
You have to kind of go in there and say, Hey, based on this content I'm giving you, let me know, you know, some headlines I can post or, uh, some type of information that I can post that's compelling. And then of course, nine outta 10 times what we get back is not what we can just readily share. We have to still change it and put our voice that's right into it, because, you know, you're a hundred percent correct. It doesn't know my voice if John, the marketer's talking, it doesn't know how I speak and what information I wanna present compared to Andrew or Kara or Robin or Desiree or anyone else on our team. So we're constantly having to make these little tweaks and then everything will finally just kind of fall into place. And then we're seeing some of these more specialized ones. Like another one that I'm in on a, uh, a beta with right now is, you know, able to help us in the podcasting space with kind of showing us where we want to present some moments from each podcast episode.
Speaker 2: (20:03)
So people have seen some of my stuff that says, made with Moment Memento on there. And it, it's a totally different product, and it's not, to me it's not a competitor because it's doing something completely different, you know, and it's in beta, so there's obviously a lot of bugs and tweaks that they're making and, and we're given some feedback for. Um, but it's just, it's amazing to me how none of them are truly competitors with each other. You know, lately I have not heard of another AI product that's been widely publicized, that is truly doing everything that is doing. And this is something that I could just see us using, you know, in one facet of our business, we'd be able to kind of just move around all the pieces of AI that we're using to have some really cool content that's going out there. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (20:47)
Thanks. I mean, that's what's really exciting to us is the customization, and it's not just the automation of, of clipping something up, right? It's knowing which bits, and that part, by the way, will be custom to you. So say if you uploaded this podcast, and then Denise, you have a Denise with you, she uploaded to podcast lately, would clip up different things for each of you because it's learning her voice on Twitter and it's learning her voice, right? So different things. And that's been exciting to see how quickly it learns and, and what sort of, like, for example, it, it discovered for all of our customers that, um, hashtags two, two things. Inline hashtags will boost your engagement overall rather than hashtag strings at the end of the sentence. Um, and then also if you use hashtags that are multiple words strung together as opposed to, and that are more conversational, like, uh, hashtag told you so, right? Something like that. Yeah. Um, that will see huge boosts in your engagement as well. And so that's great, especially for big brands John, who are so stiff. And I show them, like, my, my personal highest performing hashtag is hashtag peeing my pants, because that's what I said when Gary Vaynerchuck tweeted about lately.
Speaker 2: (22:07)
Nice. Heck yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (22:11)
So it's kind of interesting. And then we've also have people using lately in ways that we didn't expect. So we worked with this company called Levity Live, and they helped produce video content for basically every comedian you've ever heard of. So we took, uh, drew Carey Comedy special and ran it through lately, and lately clip up all the best jokes,
Speaker 2: (22:29)
. Oh, that's killer. I love that. Yeah. ,
Speaker 3: (22:33)
It was so cool. Yeah. Um, so, you know, I think the other thing to remember on, on the AI space is that I, I love this metaphor, John, right? So, so if you think of humans, we're the only mammals that when we come out of the womb, we're helpless. We can't feed ourselves, we can't defend ourselves, we can't even stand up, right? Right. With, if a human didn't help us along, we would perish. AI is the same way, right? It only works because of human input. It can't learn on its own. And if you think of it right now, it's about three months old in a human lifespan. So it's still pretty helpless. Um, you know, there's a reason that self-driving cars don't actually drive by themselves. ,
Speaker 2: (23:17)
Speaker 3: (23:19)
It's a big one. My, my c t o made a great metaphor on that because he was like, just imagine if, like a bird flies by the car, and the car has to think about what all those inputs are versus a human, versus a snowball. And then if you're thinking of birds at all, it's gotta recognize a dove or an eagle or a sparrow, all as bird , right? So there, and there's millions of versions of that, right? So because human life is so variant, it's very, very difficult for any kind of AI to truly replicate us.
Speaker 2: (23:53)
Absolutely. I mean, the, the biggest piece of self thinking AI that ever existed was the human brain. And you know, I I would say that like, if, if we're taking, and you know, obviously that's organic ai, right? Or, or organic intelligence, like that comes from consciousness and a whole nother like, debate that we could have on that. But it's like, if you take the most advanced AI that exists, I see your exact point. It doesn't, it pales in comparison to the human brain because we don't even understand, you know, I think last I heard was like 15% of our brain's capacity. Like we don't even understand the most advanced scientists cannot completely understand every single thing that our brain can do and our potential as human beings. So it's like, how could AI ever compare to that? But at the same time, you know, the advancements in technology, you know, when you look at our advancements in the past 20 to 30 years compared to our advancements in all of existence, the past 20 and 30 years have outdone our whole existence.
Speaker 2: (24:51)
Because it's like, once you have that piece hit, everything just goes by so fast. And it's exciting because of all the new things that are coming out, and as they come out and improve, we get better and more efficient, more cost effective, and then they become more cost effective to the end user at that point. Um, so I think some, some most common objections that I kind of hear about AI is, you know, kinda like what you said, first of all, has anyone ever watched Terminator? You know, and it's like, well, that's not, not quite where we're at or where we're headed. Yeah. . Um, I think that some really big thought leaders on this, like Elon Musk, um, have come out and said like, we have to put in protections for, even though we don't feel it possible now, we didn't feel a lot of things were possible before they became possible.
Speaker 2: (25:33)
So it's like we have to put in these protections now. And I think that the, the majority of us are on board with that. And the ones who aren't, you know, it's kind of like making a law and saying that murder's, illegal killers are still gonna kill, you know? So yes, could someone misuse this? Absolutely all day long. But at the same time, I think that the majority of people want to use AI for good purposes. Right. You know, and we've seen a lot of AI has those built in stops where it's like, if you are asking something about hurting yourself, you know, I've, I've seen where people get blocked and it's like, Hey, if you're thinking about hurting yourself, you need to contact these phone numbers, reach out to these people. I cannot help you with this. I'm artificial intelligence. And, you know, there's some really cool protections that are built in.
Speaker 2: (26:15)
So I don't think anyone has anything to worry about. But I do think that a part of that is that people are just kind of worried about the place that AI is going to fit in. You know? And, and so some common objections that I'd love to hear your response to is like, well, as a marketing agency, how am I gonna be able to still do what I do? If AI comes out and people can use this ai, for instance, like with you to make your own social media posts, and then all of the other objections that kind of go along with that of like, who's gonna be out of a job? You know, it's like self-checkout at at Walmart, is that gonna put all the cashiers out of business while we're finding out? Right? No, because there are still people who are gonna wanna appreciate it. So what is your response to that kind of thing of like, should I, as a marketing advisor be worried that AI's gonna put me out of a job?
Speaker 3: (27:00)
Um, only if you're an idiot, which you're not. So the answer is no, . I mean, just think of it like all technology or automation as you pointed out, right? So the, the kind of going phrase is, you know, marketers who don't use AI will be be replaced by marketers who do, I mean, just, that's period. But it's that combination together of you, the human using something smart. I mean, like, I mean, if you heated up water every day, you can heat it on the stove for 10 minutes, or you can put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, right? Geez, that's a massive time saver, right? , I would do that one. Um, you know, here's another story that I love so much, which, which I think is important. Um, so, so Betty Crocker has cake in a box, right? Yep. And when they first released Cake in the Box, they made it so that you just had to add water. Like there was nothing to add, there was no eggs or anything, and it didn't sell because the how's wives, who it was marketed to at the time, didn't feel as though they had done anything. They, they couldn't say they baked a cake, so they removed the powdered eggs and they made it so you had to add eggs, and then it sold like gangbusters because the human had a role in the automation, so to speak.
Speaker 2: (28:12)
Speaker 3: (28:13)
So that's, yeah, I mean, that's one thing for I guess the AI purveyors to think about, like as they're packaging this product to, you know, no one wants to be replaced . Sure. That's terrible. , what I wanna do is I wanna send you on vacation, so I wanna save you enough time so you can go on vacation whenever you want, but I also want you to be better at your job. I want you to be able to use lately to sell another product back to your customers and charge more for it. And go do the things that are not annoying to you, that your fabulous brain can have fun, you know, doing strategy, other creative parts, right? That's my, that's what I wanted for me when I was an agency, right Before this though, we did talk about cloning. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (28:58)
Speaker 3: (28:59)
I would like that, John. I really would.
Speaker 2: (29:02)
It would make things a lot more convenient. And, uh, going back to the things I don't want to do, if I could just send my clone out there, you know, and he's gonna give me a really good report on everything that happened, I'm gonna know . So, you know, I'm with you there. But I, I love that answer because it's the same. I mean, obviously we're a progressive company. We like to change with trends. Um, any marketing agency that doesn't, that's a scary marketing agency. Uh, you know, if, if there's someone out there that's telling you, all you have to do is advertise in the newspaper and that's it, and that's all they're hitting, you know, that scares me. If you're not progressing and changing, something's wrong. So as a progressive marketing firm, that's what we do is we sit down, down, we have team meetings and we discuss things and we say, Hey, this AI trend, what is it?
Speaker 2: (29:46)
Are we gonna be out of a job? Are we going to have to pivot? Like, what's the thought process? And we come up with our ways that we're gonna alter and pivot our business in order to stay relevant and stay in front of the trend. Because last thing I want to do is, uh, repeat my failures of not investing in Bitcoin before it went up way high. , uh, I could be a millionaire, you know, up there at the top of the, the food chain, eating fine dining and everything else. And instead, I'm down here scrounging for websites , which is not a bad thing. I I do perfectly fine. But you know, the point is I don't wanna miss that opportunity. And as an agency, we don't want to either. So we stay ahead of these trends. And that's one of the biggest things that I know my response to an objection like that would be is that, hey, you are not hiring beefy marketing because AI is good enough and we're just putting the same things you would into ai.
Speaker 2: (30:34)
You know, I think there's an important thing to note if, if you really want to know how limited AI still is, the, the biggest limitation I have is go to one of these art ais and type in what you want it to draw, and then have your friend type in what you want to have it draw. But y'all are both aiming for the same picture. And then look at how different those pictures are. And to me, that's gonna be the judging character for marketing agencies, which it already should be anyway, is how good is your, your marketing representative, even if it's an employee at your place, how good are they at being able to tell you what to say or what to do? Or how good are they at doing it for you to give you the result that you're looking for? You know, exactly.
Speaker 2: (31:15)
If you are using AI at your marketing agency, which I hope that you are, then you have to understand that you are the expert and that's why your pictures should look better. And of course, I'm not just talking about pictures, I'm talking about, you know, any type of content, whether it's copywriting or in your, your ideals here of posting to social, or no matter what you're doing with ai, you should have the best looking AI output because the user that generated that input for it should be the best, because that's what we do. So I definitely don't think that any of us are gonna be out of a job soon. If I thought that, then I would hightail it outta here and go find me another industry to get into . It is what it is. I mean,
Speaker 3: (31:56)
What you're saying is like, the objective is really important because, you know, a lot of people, frankly, are lazy, John, they just wanna push a button and have it all done for them, and that doesn't exist, right? So if that's your objective with ai, it's not, it's not gonna serve you very well. You still need to hire a marketing agency for that to happen, okay? Right. Um, and I think that this, this, there's a misunderstanding here around, let's see, I I'm gonna say it's a mindset shift we're asking for here. It's not just, not just around whether you're willing, willing to welcome AI and take risks, which you and I are sure that's more of our nature . Um, but I think, you know, weighing the benefits, right? So with ai, without ai, like is your engagement where you want it to be? Is the time you spend where you want it to be?
Speaker 3: (32:44)
If the answer is no, then don't knock it before you try it, number one, right? That's the big one. And then number two, like one of the things we see is because we're repurposing content and we're not just giving you one social post, I'm gonna give you like 50 or a hundred. Really, it's a lot. Um, but the reason I did that is cuz that's what I did with Walmart. I learned that if you drip feeded lots of little pieces of content well out over time. See I have 40 once a week, one once every other week for 80 weeks. The internet has this long memory, and now all of us should be writing evergreen content only or less. Oh, agreed. Right? Unless there's like a snowstorm, right? Or some something evaporative. Yeah. And so if that's how you're writing, that's gonna come back to you in spades for years and years and years. And so every nugget that the AI gives you, I think of it like garlic, right? How hard is it to peel and chop that sucker up? You hate it. And if you
Speaker 2: (33:42)
Hate it, I love garlic. I hate having to peel it and chop it.
Speaker 3: (33:45)
It's so wonderful. And so like, if you, if I don't get every little piece off the knife into the pan, I'm mad. You know? Right. So that's the same idea. Like there's gold in what we're doing and I'm constantly trying to educate people. Like, here's, here's part of that education. So remember the old marketing adage used to be seven times you had to hear, watch, or read something seven times before it sank in. So that's why people will hit you over the head with the same commercial all the time. Now it's two dozen times. Okay? So we still have, quantity has to be in the mix, but nobody wants to be spammed. We're all over that. So, you know, the way that we're doing that at lately is by giving you 40 different ways to market the same component, number one. So you get that quantity, but because they're varied, you'll get that sort of feeling of originality. That's a huge mindset. I mean, I, I can't tell you the number of times that people at Ferry, uh, 500 Fortune 500 businesses and famous agencies have asked me why would I wanna market something more than once?
Speaker 2: (34:45)
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. That was the first thing I learned in marketing 1 0 1 in my business classes. . Like that was literally the first thing I learned.
Speaker 3: (34:52)
It's amazing. And I think there's some weird sensitivity on social media. Maybe it's thanks to Facebook or Cambridge Analytics or whatever, but there's a, you know, people don't understand that nobody is, no one is looking at your feed. They're looking at their feed
Speaker 2: (35:07)
Yep. That they're curating for themselves without even knowing it because AI's analyzing everything and you know, making it for
Speaker 3: (35:14)
Them. Yeah. . Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Um, so it will, for, for us, this last couple of weeks has been pretty exciting. We've seen more than quadruple the signups Wow. Than previous just because of the conversation.
Speaker 2: (35:27)
Well, uh, Gary v talking about a very famous, you know, AI that doesn't do what you do, but, you know, I'm sure that that had something to do with searching on the internet for ai.
Speaker 3: (35:38)
Yeah. You know, Gary is, um, one of our advisors, by the way, love
Speaker 2: (35:42)
Him. That, that man, I would follow him into anywhere. He's the reason I'm so active on TikTok. You know, when I see a video that says, Hey, TikTok is in the same space, it was an Instagram, I'm not a social media expert. I said, got it. And immediately went out and started finding followers, producing content and focusing on it because Yeah, I I love his ideas for sure.
Speaker 3: (36:03)
What, I'm just curious, okay, so what's your guilty pleasure on TikTok?
Speaker 2: (36:07)
Probably sad talk, as I call it. Um, it Sad talk is where you get those depressing tos at like 11 o'clock or midnight when you're trying to go to sleep, and then you're like in tears for no reason because you're watching, you know, soldiers come home or people battling cancer or, you know, those kind of things. Uh, one of 'em actually, I had on my show here, it was a, a grief, a grief camp for kids called Experience Camps. Oh my gosh. And it was because of a TikTok that they produced that was extremely popular. And it was a little girl talking about losing her mom, I believe. And I was so struck by it that I got on the website, I found the owner of, you know, or you know, the, the person in charge of the 5 0 1 [inaudible] who founded it. And I just started emailing and sending all this information, was like, I have a podcast I want to get you on.
Speaker 2: (36:55)
I lost my parents as a child. I didn't have this experience. Like, I'm so connected to you right now and you have no idea. And I was like, there's no way that she's gonna reach back out to me. This is a huge operation. Uh, you know, it'd be like me sending out a message to Gary V or Grant Cardone and expecting them to answer me. Right. And then the next morning I get an email back, Hey, thank you so much for reaching out. That was amazing. Absolutely. I'll be on. And it just, you know, wow. So that's probably my guilty pleasure is those depressing talk. I prefer the comedy stuff, but it's like TikTok just knows that I need to be a little depressed for a second, you know? So
Speaker 3: (37:30)
, that's amazing. Um, wow. Well, I'm, mine is so less meaningful. I love, I just love the guys roller skating to Michael Jackson. That's my,
Speaker 2: (37:40)
Oh yeah, those are awesome too. Or the guy who was on the, uh, I forget what kind of board he was on, but with the Cranberry, the skateboard guy. Yeah. And he had like the little cranberry juice or whatever, and Ocean Spray did like a whole sponsorship and everything. I, and I love those stories too, where you just hit it, lucky everyone resonated with it, and then that company reaches out. It makes me think of what you said earlier about, you know, how stiff certain companies can be in their marketing efforts. And if I could get one message across to every huge, you know, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, mountain Dew, um, McDonald's, all of them, it's like when you do the content where you grab someone who has just a couple of followers, followers that remake your logo, extremely terrible as satire, and you respond back to that or change your profile picture to that, or you go out there, oh my God's cute. Yeah. Or you go give smart remarks to people who are commenting, you know, these troll comments and you troll back. That makes me more of, of a fan than any like curated public relations release that you could do. Uh, it absolutely trumps every press release if you just come back and say, you know, something inappropriate or slightly, you know, argumentative to somebody and you troll 'em back. I'm like, I love this. You know? Yeah,
Speaker 3: (38:52)
I do too. I know, I, I always get so mad because I feel like there's so many mostly female, um, CMOs at huge companies and their LinkedIn is just so boring, you know, , I'm like, God, you got a, you got a huge microphone here. You know, one of the things I wanted to touch on kind of around that was, so, so when I was working, um, in Radio, John, like my Uber power, um, is turning listeners into fans, right. Or customers into evangelists. And I was really lucky. I came up before xm I was working in Vermont, um, well, I was at a bunch of stations up and down the Eastern Sieber, but I, I was in live radio, right? So I had this that, that doesn't exist as an experience anymore, but the idea of making mistakes, cracking the mic, segueing songs, you know, shooting your pants because the song ended and you're like, outback smoking a cigarette or something like that. You know, like all these feelings. And, um,
Speaker 2: (39:45)
I'm an, I'm an event dj. I actually own a company that does DJs Oh. So on a much lesser level than a national audience. But yes, I do understand when a bride and groom is on the dance floor and you had to sneak away to go to the bathroom and your song is ending and you're like running back to the booth. Yeah, I get it.
Speaker 3: (40:03)
hair fire. But it's part of the
Speaker 2: (40:05)
Firm, right? Absolutely.
Speaker 3: (40:06)
. So, you know, what I, what I was thought a lot about was why, from the people I learned from, like what made them special. Like, um, we, the radio I was in, we used to go out to lunch and write commercials together as like, for two hours. Like write something really creative and think about, like, they were always doing these spoofs where they were pretending that someone famous was in the studio and someone was acting it out. And so the theater of the mind became this beautiful art that I saw celebrated. And I really was interested in the, I was in radio before the internet, like, okay, so we didn't have our photos on, you know, there was none of that stuff. And I read the book, this is My Brain on Music, right? And I started thinking about the neuroscience of music. So, so just, I wanna just double down on this because I think this is so important for marketers because there's a parallel with writing, okay?
Speaker 3: (40:59)
And this is important. When your brain listens to a new song, it must instantly access every other song you've heard before in that instant. And what it's doing is it's looking for familiar touchpoints so it knows where to index the new song in the library of the memory of your brain. Okay? So as it's doing this, it's tapping into nostalgia, memory, emotion, all the things that trigger trust. Now, John, your voice is beautiful. It's like a song. There's a, a frequency to all sound. Your voice is like a note, right? Musical note. And if you write me an email or a text or a social media post, I'm gonna hear your voice in my head when I read that. So as the author of that post, and this is my challenge to all of you listening, is to write with the intention of triggering nostalgia and memory and emotion. And therefore trust when you're able to hit these points in what you write, you'll see that the sale will happen. But the, you're gonna convert the sale into a megaphone. And I'm gonna give you proof in the pudding. In the last four years, there hasn't, a day has not passed at lately where someone hasn't spontaneously written about us on social media, not one day.
Speaker 2: (42:16)
Yeah. What an accomplishment works. I mean, that's what we're all after, right? That's, that's like the goal is to be talked about by others spontaneously. It's the ultimate word of mouth.
Speaker 3: (42:28)
The ultimate word of mouth. Yeah. And you're building like this, uh, you know, I'm building this engine that, I mean, even when we have people who churn, they still recommend us . Right?
Speaker 2: (42:38)
All right. All right. Second biggest goal. Yeah, I love that. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (42:42)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and that, that comes from, you know, within, right? So my goal is to treat my customers the same way I treat my employees and our targets the same way. And that's what we do. Like I tell my team, don't make a sale, make a fan. Sure. Like, that's your job. And it comes back to you. It really does. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (43:00)
I, I know, uh, I, I could take this conversation on for like the next two hours. You're so intelligent, you have great ideas. I love this interview. Um, this has been absolutely amazing. So I don't know, we may have to just have you back for a follow up one day, you know, in the future and just do another episode. Yeah, please. Um, or, you know, even worse, I can refer you over to another great podcast we have in here in house. That would be an amazing avenue for you as well. But, uh, I say worse because I don't get to interview you, then it would be, you know, the c e o and , uh, our video producer here. But, you know, it's another great show too. So I just wanted to kind of take this time to wrap up and just go over, first of all, all of these ideas are great and I know that you're probably talking about them on y'all's social channels and, you know, if you have a YouTube channel or anything.
Speaker 2: (43:45)
So if you would just kind of give me all those places that we can go catch you besides obviously lately.ai, um, but all of these places we can go catch great information from y'all. And then the most important thing I want to tell our listener is if you, even if you don't have a business and you just want some really cool social media posts online for yourself, then check out some AI tools. But definitely head over to lately, try out a demo, you know, get that free trial account if y'all offer that. But just kind of give me that little pitch of, Hey, here's what we've got. Come follow us. That way our listeners can find you. And of course we'll have it in our show notes and everything else as well.
Speaker 3: (44:19)
Ah, thanks John. Thank you so much. I, I made a friend today and I'm very glad about that. Um, and hi to all of you listening also. So lately AI is where we are. It's at lately, AI at all the places. So we're pretty easy to find. If you wanna find me, I'm lately AI Kate, my team calls me Kate.
Speaker 2: (44:35)
Nice. . I see why
Speaker 3: (44:37)
. So that's on Twitter. Yeah. And, and tell me that, tell me that you heard me with John would be really, you know, really super great and, um, we're humans, just so everybody knows, like they're you. If you do reach out to us, expect us to, you know, talk to you. And it's a real person there. And we do have a 98% sales conversion, John. Um, so if you do reach out to us, I mean, beware ,
Speaker 2: (44:58)
Speaker 3: (44:59)
Speaker 2: (45:00)
I'm not the, it's not my checkbook, so I'm already sold. I'm ready to sign on the dotted line. I just gotta get Andrew to be on that, uh, that same train.
Speaker 3: (45:07)
You're so nice. Um, I'm sending you a hug here from, uh, stone Ridge.
Speaker 2: (45:11)
Absolutely. We love talking to our northern neighbors up there. And thank you so much for being on the show. I, I know time is a valuable thing and I think that you are a, a great interview and I think this has been an awesome show. So thank you again for being on. Well, listeners, that's it. That's another episode, another week, another entrepreneur with an awesome product for you to try out. So please continue to do what you do and come back and support the show, support our guests, share this stuff on social media. You don't have to spend a dime to support our show and our guest. You could do that with just a couple minutes of your time. And I know that you already are, cuz I see those posts online. So thank you to all my listeners who are out there every single day singing the praises of this show and getting your friends on as well. But that's it for us. It's been another week, another great origin story. And as always, stay beefy my friends.
Speaker 1: (46:00)
Thanks for listening to another episode of Small Business Origins. I love an origin story. If you like what you just heard, leave us a review, subscribe and share with a friend. You guys,
Speaker 14: (46:10)
Speaker 15: (46:10)
This out. You're gonna love it. You're gonna love it.