About a Late Night Coffee

About A Late Night Coffee with Cathy Gray

In the Name

AlatenightcoffeewithCathyGray.com started with an exploratory Saturday to an annual workshop series held in late winter at Kennesaw State University. During the lunch break, I met one of the workshop speakers. Her expertise was in personal and professional branding.

Her Background: She once was an account executive for a large marketing agency. It was bought by a larger company and her work location was moving to another city. She was faced with two options:

  1. Keep her job by moving across the country.
  2. Lose her job in 60 days when her location would close.

What did she do?

She made up her mind that the wasn’t going to move and instead began use and build her network. She started her 2-month professional branding campaign. Within the next 60 days, she began with a boutique marketing firm that allowed more creativity instead of production.

Many of her previous accounts knew that she left the company with the company buyout. While some of the past accounts stayed with the new company, others left. Since she continued to grow her network, her past accounts contacted her and began working with her new company. 

These accounts followed her, not that the past marketing company was bad. They changed companies because of her. They liked their working relationship with her and didn’t want to begin a new relationship. She had worked with these accounts for years and knew the people personally. She knew each accounts’ marketing style, messaging, goals and marketing strategy.

Absorb: Because when you look around, you will find the most amazing things!

A parent wouldn’t throw a child into a little league game without practicing at home. It takes coaching and practice as the kid gets better. The child that absorbed, processed and conquered the sport later goes on to excel and enjoy it. Later play on the school team, maybe get a sports scholarship for college and if they’re lucky go on to the big leagues.

It doesn’t matter what these concepts are applied to. Have a little faith it’ll work, but it takes time and perseverance.

We apply these principles throughout our daily life without realizing it. It isn’t until we realize and know when we apply the absorb, process and conquer phases that we truly become great at what we want to accomplish. It is an continuous improvement loop that we build on and never stop.

So go out there and live simply.

– Cathy

What’s in the Name of Cathy Gray’s Site?

AlatenightcoffeewithCathyGray.com came from a past website that I had several years back called mylatenightcoffee. It served the same purpose as this site, but the name just wasn’t fitting. It didn’t fit with the overall professional branding strategy that I had in mind.

Changed the Name for SEO

Mylatenightcoffee.com didn’t enhance SEO (Search Engine Optimization) initiatives or ranking in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). The “my” seemed too self-serving, which doesn’t come close to the sharing knowledge purpose of this site. The “latenightcoffee” portion is catchy and memorable. It is catchy when I give my email over the phone to a utility company or customer service. So I did want to keep the “latenightcoffee” portion.

To aid in web page rankings, I added my name, Cathy Gray to the domain name. The “a” in the beginning was an afterthought. After all, “A late night coffee with Cathy Graysounds better than “late night coffee with Cathy Gray“. It also rolls off the tongue when it is said.

Changed the Name for Professional Branding 

In terms of branding, specifically to digital marketing, my name needed to be in the domain name. This is a very practical and SEO best practice. It was optimal to have a domain name such as www.cathygray.com, but it was taken at the time. This particular site is a portfolio for a Cathy Gray from the UK.

Many marketers, creative professionals, freelancers and consultants will have a professional website or online portfolio with only their name. If there is such a standard for personal branding, I would have to say this is the first rule.

“Rule #1 of personal branding is having only your name as the domain name.”

While it is a common practice, I don’t always conform to normal. What is normal these days anyway? I wanted to stand out from the crowd since CathyGray.com was taken.

While searching my name on Google, the first result was www.cathygrayinkwork.com/au. This Cathy Gray is a well-established artist living in Australia. With her name and “ink work” in the domain name, a visiter will associate her name with art, printing, creative etc. The association is an additional benefit to draw visitors to her website if that is what they are searching for. This will create higher click-through-rates or CTR if that is what the user is looking for. Otherwise, the site will remain as an impression.

Being catchy and uncommon is part of my strategy. It is part of being memorable.