Kate Neuens is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Beyond Identity.
Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.
This week I got to hang out with Kate Neuens. She is the Senior Marketing Manager at Beyond Identity. Kate has been in marketing, specifically SEO, for almost eight years. She has jumped from industry to industry, rounding out her SEO skill set with now cyber security. And what an industry to jump into! Each industry comes with its own challenges, and cyber is no different.
Today, Kate and I hang out and discuss these leaps she’s made. How she’s been able to make them and where she starts at each pivot. Jumping industries is no joke, but if you can find a way, wow does it open up your possibilities!
Here is my conversation with Katie Neuens.
Kerry Guard: Hi, Kate. Thanks for joining me on Tea Time and tech marketing leaders.
Katie Neuens: Thank you so much for having me. Happy to be here.
Kerry Guard: Oh, so excited to have you and our conversation. But before we get there, tell our listeners Kate, what do you do? And how did you get there?
Katie Neuens: I'm the senior manager of digital marketing at Beyond Identity. My way into marketing was not rocky, but it took different turns to get there and to find what worked well for me. I started my career as a content editor at Harvard University. I was working on content, trying to figure out how I can make it perform better and get more eyes on it. When I stumbled into SEO, I was like, "What are SEO, keyword research, and domains?" And so I started learning more and more there, just figuring out the best way to optimize my content to get the most qualified audience reviewing it. And so I enjoyed it; I thought it was fascinating, and I eventually did some agency work for a little bit doing SEO, but then I found I wanted to do it in-house and focus on one brand. So, I've worked in the legal field, I've worked in FinTech, and I've worked in education. I've also worked in email@example.com now I'm here at Beyond Identity working in cybersecurity, overseeing our content and our SEO, and I'm going to be taking on more around paid search and all that stuff. So, you've definitely tried many different things, and you feel like I've found my footing.
Kerry Guard: You definitely jumped around about it, and that's going to lead perfectly into our conversation in a second. But before we get there, Kate, tell us where we're now in your life. What's one challenge you're currently facing, whether that's personal or professional, or maybe they've merged?
Katie Neuens: Beyond Identity—which I don't think I said—we are a cybersecurity company. We offer password lists on Fishable MSA, and it's super exciting to be a part of it, but we're a startup, and that means wearing a lot of hats. As I take on more and more responsibility, the biggest thing that I'm struggling with or that keeps me up at night is, like, how to best prioritize what needs to be done to have the most impact on the economy we're facing, whether we're in a recession or we're going into one.
The decisions we make now are so critical for our long-term success. We want to focus on the things that are going to get us the most bang for our buck. And so what is that going to be for? Do we need to focus more on comprehensive, long pieces of content that are deep technical pieces? Or do we need to focus more on paid search and refining our keywords to get the most qualified leads coming in? It's figuring out what's going on, what we need to do, and what needs to be done first. The biggest thing when you're stirring up a lot of orphans is that oftentimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach. You need to figure out what is feasible in terms of time, effort, and budget, as well as with the resources that we have available, which can be people or tools that we have at our disposal. There are just a lot of things to consider, such as what and when we should do it.
Kerry Guard: That is definitely a question that's coming up for many people, not just you. You're not alone, which is always nice to hear, and it is interesting right now in terms of everybody and how they're talking about the recession. You don't want to take your foot off the gas, but you want to make sure that where the car is headed, the direction it's pointing, is more efficient, which is what I'm hearing.
Katie Neuens: Exactly! It's about how you don't want to take your foot off the gas. But you want to play it smart; you don't want to be—maybe before this, you could be a little bit riskier with your decisions or the things to try. Our CEO says that we need to be good stewards of our capital, which means making smart decisions now as we head into some uncertain times.
Kerry Guard: Where are you feeling right now in terms of priority?
Katie Neuens: Good question. Our priorities—and we're going through a bit of a shift here—are figuring out our focus areas. But right now, we are focusing more on doing campaigns, so we're going to be more focused on the three specific themes we're targeting as a team. The government making the switch to Zero Trust and pushing phishing-resistant MFA is a big piece that we want to harp on because that's what we offer. And as you've seen, all these attacks have been happening recently with companies like Twilio, Cisco, and Uber. MFA is great, but if you're using insecure factors, like passwords or one-time codes, things can be easily hacked, and we don't use stuff like that. It's a great differentiator for us and Zero Trust; we help lay the foundation for a Zero Trust architecture, so that's another big focus area for us, as well as the password list aspect of our product. We've always focused on the password list aspect of our product because everyone hates passwords and because they are so insecure. They're inevitably going to get hacked and breached and end up in a database somewhere. We've got these themes that we're going for, and as a team, we're figuring out what we will do to help elevate these campaigns as much as possible. I can't tell you exactly the priorities because we're still figuring that out as a team. What does that mean in terms of content? Do we have enough content? Do we need to refresh things? So we're going through a strategy; we're going through this as an exercise as a team. But in terms of our messaging, that's what we're focusing on because this is where we've seen the most vulnerabilities and where we can help people the most.
Kerry Guard: It's cool to hear where you're starting because that's the hardest part of anything, especially when facing an uphill challenge. We're potentially about to the recession. It's like wine. I have to do this thing, but I don't know where to begin. And so it's cool to know that it's starting for you. What are our three main pillars? What are those campaigns? And then how are we going to prioritize those? So thank you for sharing your journey with us; it's really helpful in this journey, which you've been on yourself through your career and going from industry to industry.
There are definitely people who have jumped from industry to industry, but I find cybersecurity a challenge for folks to make that leap, especially if they're coming from somewhere a bit more B2C, like eCommerce, and now they've got to jump into this fairly technical space. So how did you find cybersecurity, or how did cybersecurity find you?
Katie Neuens: To your point about where I've been and what I've done, I've done agency, in-house, B2B, and B2C. I don't even want to count all the industries I've worked in. But the way I found cybersecurity was in my last job at cars.com, which is a much bigger organization. It's a public-facing company, and with that can sometimes come red tape. I was just looking for a role where I could execute quickly and also try a bunch of different hats. Startups really lend themselves well to that.
I was just on LinkedIn, and this job for Beyond Identity popped up. I applied and I looked into, and I thought the password list sounds cool. I had my first interview with my boss. I was learning more about the company and how password lists are backed by amazing venture capital firms. Also, the founder, Jim Clark, the guy who created Netscape, if we were making a Mount Rushmore of Silicon Valley, he'd be up there. This has amazing potential. I started looking more into the cybersecurity industry as a whole, an industry that is just taking off and has so much potential for growth. I was lining everything up, and I told my fiancé that I liked this job, and he said, "It sounds like we're moving to New York." Everything I wanted is in this job. And that's how I landed in it.
Kerry Guard: You said some interesting things there. When you were looking for a job, it wasn't really about the industry.
Katie Neuens: It was more about where can I have the most room to grow and be able to gather different and learn new skill sets that I just couldn't at my last job, and it's no fault of cars.com that just sometimes happens with bigger organizations, everyone has clear roles, and it's just a little bit more compartmentalized. While at startups, it's like all hands on deck. I definitely wasn't looking for cybersecurity, but once I found it, I was like, “Oh, wow, this works well for me.”
Kerry Guard: Tell me more in regards to the bigger company versus a small company. And when you were talking about having found the company you're currently at, you mentioned a startup and being able to... I can't remember your exact words, but it was something about moving faster.
Katie Neuens: I just wanted to execute projects quicker. The thing with bigger companies often comes with more red tape. So in order to get content pieces up, someone has to review and approve the idea. You have to get the writer, and that goes through another review process. You need to get the webpage up, involving five different people along the way. I wanted to move somewhere where if I had an idea and it got approved, I could just go execute it and get the resources I needed to get it done.
I was sick of things taking too long. One of my best and worst qualities at work is my impatience. I wanted to have this great idea that will get so much traffic and have the potential to bring in leads, and here's all the reasoning behind it. I've done the t-shirt sizing and all that stuff. And then you start going, and someone thinks that's a great idea, but then you need to talk to this person, and then this person needs to be involved. And all of a sudden, we have a whole committee around something, and I always thought it was better to at least get it off the ground.
One of my other bosses used to say, "We want to run fast. We wanted to get speeding tickets, not parking tickets. That's what I was looking for." I was like, "Okay," and I like the mentality we have at startups, where you want to move fast and break things. It's okay if it fails. We learned that it failed. And now we can move on to something else, and that's why I love that mentality. It can sometimes be exhausting. It's a lot of work, but I've learned so much just in this startup and being involved in many different projects that I wouldn't have been at past jobs.
Kerry Guard: One of the interesting things you said, which many startups run into, is the flip side of the coin. You're at a bigger company, so you've got to get more buy-in; you have a lot more red tape, but you also have a lot more resources. Once the idea gets approved, you don't have to find the resources, especially when you're talking about content. If you're at a startup, you have this great idea. Where do you find the resources? Are you just doing things end-to-end? Or are you using the company as a whole? How do you get ideas off the ground when your resources are a locker and a bus?
Katie Neuens: And that's where hiring freelancers and using platforms to find freelancers has been beneficial. We are a smaller company but have plenty of capital, so budgeting has never been a huge concern. We still have to get approval. I'm not off buying Picasso; it was on our budget. Hiring freelancers has been a big part, and that comes with pros and cons. They are very flexible, and you can hire when you need to, but it takes a while to find someone who works and understands your tone and messaging. We're still a brand that's shaping itself, so that's also sometimes difficult when you're working with someone who isn't in-house. We shifted away from that terminology; they didn't know about it. It requires more editing, but we're getting into a good space with freelancers. And now we do have a content marketing manager who helps me with the whole tech calendar, hiring freelancers, editing, and everything else. But for a while, it was just me managing all of our freelancers, and that's when having a good project management tool and your organization really come into focus. It's so key because if you aren't properly tracking things, they will fall through the cracks. And you're like, "Oh, wow, where did that report go?" "I thought the freelancer wrote it." But as it turns out, they're still waiting on an outline and a brief for me. When you're in a startup, it's much more incumbent on yourself to manage your time and schedule. And versus bigger companies, where you often have a whole team with many more people helping pick up the ball and manage things.
Kerry Guard: I always say, if it's not in our project management tool, it didn't happen or does not exist.
Katie Neuens: I can't live without it.
Kerry Guard: I could go on a tangent about this. Product management tools freak people out. But it's all about how you use it, and you can overengineer it until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, it's just keeping track of what you're talking about. Keep those tasks of not having things fall through the cracks, and be able to bring people in to get projects over the line. Keep it simple. How long have you been in cyber?
Katie Neuens: I've been in cyber since January 2022. I've been with my company for about a year and eight months. You're nine months about that.
Kerry Guard: And when this launches in January, it'll be you'll, you'll be crossing that two year threshold. So yes, so it's a long time, but not a long time. Yeah. What was the learning curve? Like for you?
Katie Neuens: It was intense. It's a new industry. But as we've talked about, luckily, I have experience with this. I was really lucky that I was able to take two weeks off in between jobs, but I was also strategic about it because I knew that it was going to be necessary and that it would be so much more beneficial for the company. And to have that time off in order, because what I did with those two weeks was just read everything I could about our company. I literally sat down and read every single webpage on our company and any news we were mentioned in. I read what I was saying. I read through all our old press releases, and then I asked my soon-to-be boss—not my boss—to send me stuff to read and give me information. I started reading ZDNET, darkreading.com, and data breaches today to just get a better understanding. I knew the basics of cybersecurity from all those little informational classes you have to take when you start a new job. I'm like, "What is phishing?" Don't click on your link because it seems suspicious. The basics of phishing, ransomware, multi-factor authentication, and everything else were very surface-level. I wanted to dive deep and start understanding asymmetric encryption and what a TPM, Secure Enclave, and all that stuff were.
I sat down and did my homework because I knew I needed it. I was coming in at first just to manage the SEO program, but it still requires me to do keyword research, and I want to understand what the keywords I'm searching are and whether they actually make sense for our brand and the product we have because cybersecurity is a really broad field. There are lots of things we could be doing. I could be doing keyword research that has nothing to do with our product or what we offer. I needed to get the best understanding I can, and then the other thing I did when I started was set up meetings with everybody on the marketing team. And I told them, "Tell me." or "Give me the name of someone I should talk to at the company and every person." I would go talk to them and say, "Give me the name of someone I should talk to at the company because we are all remote." We go into the office one day a week, but back then, we were all remote. It was so helpful just going from person to person and learning about their experience. It also helps you get a better understanding of the culture of the company, which is also great. Learning to be like, "Okay, explain to me this topic and cybersecurity," or "Tell me exactly why push notifications can be hacked and MFA." So just getting to dive deep with experts at our company has been so valuable.
Kerry Guard: Interesting that you took two weeks off; normally, people take time off between companies to do nothing, go on vacation, or binge Netflix until the cows come home to catch up on all those shows that they missed while they were overworked. I'm fascinated by the fact that you took time off to work. What was your decision for not waiting to be in the office to do all this research, then? Why start ahead of time?
Katie Neuens: My fiancee says I'm a workaholic, so that might play a little bit into it. I have a very strong work ethic, which is part of that, but I also knew there would be a ton of opportunities coming into this company. I wanted to show them that I could step up to the plate and be of service and add value to the company. I wanted to start on the right foot by showing I've done some research. I'm not an expert after just two weeks, but I understand the product, the solution, the audience, what we're going for, what we've done, where we're going, and all that stuff. I wanted to put my best foot forward. I hate being in a room and the only one who doesn't know what's happening. I dreaded the idea of showing up for a month and weekly marketing meetings and talking about something and me going. I don't know what that is. I knew that preparing myself as much as possible would let me hit the ground running faster and then inevitably see success sooner rather than later. Instead of taking those two weeks that I would have spent trying to understand what we even do, I was able to spend those two weeks starting to execute things.
Kerry Guard: That's amazing. If you're switching industries, it makes sense to approach it that way. It's a Catch-22 because you're not getting paid yet. It's like, "Am I doing work I shouldn't get paid for?" And that's on people's minds; I would have done what you did because I'm also a workaholic. But I also feel like somebody who doesn't like being in the room and doesn't know what's going on. If you know that about yourself, it's a smart move, especially in an industry that's complicated. Hats off to you for making that happen.
Katie Neuens: That comes with age. If this was five years ago, I might not have spent two weeks. I might have been enjoying this; see what I see. Based on what I've had to go through before trying to figure out an industry, this will make my life much easier and less stressful if I start doing the homework now.
Kerry Guard: When you hit the ground running in those first few weeks, did you give a leg up? Or was it nice to have?
Katie Neuens: No, it was helpful. The understanding of the product and the solutions that I would never have had if I hadn't spent that time doing more intensive research was really beneficial. I can't recommend that everyone take two weeks off between jobs because I know that's not possible or feasible for some people, but if you can take some time off and research the company and industry, it's incredibly fruitful.
Kerry Guard: That was one of my questions. Was your research primarily around the company? Or did you do a lot with the industry as well?
Katie Neuens: It was one of those things where I'd be reading something on our site. If I didn't understand what it meant, then I would start doing a deeper dive. For example, we store credentials in the TPM or the Secure Enclave of a device. I don't even know the Secure Enclave and Trusted Platform Module. I'd always let myself stop, and then go do research on that, and you just start diving into like, "Okay, this is what a Trusted Platform Module is, and Secure Enclave," and then you start going down a rabbit hole of things. I knew what ransomware was, but I didn't know what ransomware as a service was, so then I started diving into that. I let myself go down these rabbit holes of learning more terminology that's just used in the industry as a whole. It's tangentially tied to our product, but it just helps me better understand what problems our customers are facing, what they need help solving, and what their biggest concerns are. It was both company and general industry knowledge.
Kerry Guard: Do you do this everywhere you go? Because you've jumped industries a couple of times. What if I had known this when I was younger? Maybe they would have done this. Has this come with age? Or is this something you've always done?
Katie Neuens: I've done it a bit at past jobs, but this was the most intense I've been about it. I did insurance for a little bit. I did some research there; I haven't been as lucky to be able to take this much time off in between jobs. Over the weekend, before the job starts, I'm trying to cram things in. This has been the most I've done for our job. With my age and prior experiences of switching jobs, this will make my life easier if I just put in the time now.
Kerry Guard: Once you get a new job, you have all this lovely knowledge. Thank you, college, for teaching us how to cram. You mentioned that you go person to person, which is great. People are willing to meet with you, so there aren't any challenges. It was pretty smooth. In getting to meet the team, did you find that people were failing, weren't sure what they were supposed to be doing, or why they were here? How do you get people to come to hang out with you and teach you more about cybersecurity?
Katie Neuens: Beyond Identity’s culture, the major prop for this is that it is really from the top down. You can talk to anybody, slack our CEO with a question, and he would respond, maybe not immediately because he's busy. I don't feel uncomfortable doing that; the same goes for our CTO, Jason Casey. He is incredibly knowledgeable and has a Ph.D. in this stuff. He explains concepts in a very easy way for someone new to this to understand. That goes for a lot of our senior engineering group and our founding engineer, Nelson Melo. He's fantastic. Go to him with what I think are the dumbest questions, and he'll sit down and go through it with me. So that is something I give our team major props. It has been this way from the very beginning that everyone always has an open door policy; like the door, they might be like, "Hey, I can't talk to you, but just look at my calendar; put time on it." So that has been incredibly helpful. If we didn't have that, it would have been much more of a struggle. If people were like, "I don't have time to meet; figure this out somewhere else," it's just been so great because these people are just bona fide experts in the field and are sought out by magazines, industry publications, all that stuff, to get their quotes on recent events. They're here at my disposal to ask questions or have them review a piece of content to make sure everything's factually accurate. If you don't have that, your company is facing a bit of an uphill battle, but hopefully, there are some people you can at least have as trusted advisors for questions or concerns. In my head or my messaging, this is on point. I give the identity a lot of props because no one is too big for their britches to talk to me, which is great.
Kerry Guard: That's amazing and important. It also allows for already saying the same thing, especially around the product and the mission of the product and in relation to the industry and what problems you're trying to solve, which is a very technical problem. It's key to the success of any complex tech company to have this open-door policy, but I just can't imagine coming into a company like this and not being able to sit down with folks and be like, "Okay, from your perspective, how does this thing work? Why does this thing exist? Why here? Tell me more about what cyber means to you." That's important and key to finding your feet after you've done your initial homework.
Katie Neuens: What's also great is that a lot of these people personally know CISOs or other CTOs or security professionals, how they think and talk, what their concerns are, and what's keeping them up at night. I don't know many people like that. They provide me with that insight as well. A CISO doesn't care about that. Identity and access management managers really care about this. We need to make sure we are extremely factual, accurate, and technical with topics like this, which is also very valuable.
Kerry Guard: You almost have an internal customer success and customer profiling team who live it themselves and know exactly what the client is thinking because, if they weren't at your company, they'd be at another company doing the exact same thing and buying similar products. It's really helpful to have people build the product for themselves.
Katie Neuens: Definitely.
Kerry Guard: Tell me, Kate, in all your years of bouncing around industries, looking back now, because I love how you talk about how age has brought you so much knowledge and how to approach these proxy switches. What's one thing you wish you had known about the first time you switched industries? One thing you wish you had known going into a new industry, a new product, and a new company.
Katie Neuens: Got it. I also just want to say, for the record, that I'm not like 60 or something. I've been talking about my age and all this stuff. I'm in my 30s, but it's been enough that I have some experience. My biggest learning lesson has been to trust your gut. I've had places where I don't know if this is going to work out, but then you see that salary dangling in front of you, or you see those nice benefits or the CEO is calling you to personally try and get you to come over, and you're like, "Oh, okay. I can make it work like you." You really got to listen to your gut. Every time I haven't listened to my gut, it has blown up in my face, it is for sure. I encourage especially women, to listen to your gut. If something's weird and uncomfortable, something's not feeling right about the company or the position you may be taking. This market is really good for employees. You have time, and I don't know if time is on your side, but the industry and the job markets are on your side right now. I would just trust your gut. If it's giving you a little queasy feeling, don't take it.
Kerry Guard: I understand why. Because a lot of the advice you've given throughout the show, too, is leading to some great questions you can ask within an interview, what resources you have available in terms of onboarding, what's your policy in terms of going and talking to people, and understanding how they're gonna support you in this transition. They know you're not coming from a cybersecurity background, or they want you to be there. Why lean into that and make sure it's a good culture fit from that perspective?.
Katie Neuens: You just brought up something important too. Is that knowing what's important to you when you start looking for new roles like it that took me a while to figure out? What do I care about? For some people, culture isn't that big of a deal. It's all about the compensation for other people. Culture is a huge fit at a huge deal, and they're willing to take a smaller salary in order to have a place where they like it. You need to know what budget you're going to have available for additional resources and all that stuff that might be very important to you. Figuring that stuff out before you go into the interview process is really key as well. You have those questions ready to ask. I always encourage people to ask to talk to more people at the company during the interview process. If you're trying to figure it out, feel free to ask, "Hey, I know you can't speak to this; is there someone I can talk to about this particular topic?" You don't have to just stick with the people you originally scheduled for your interviews; you can always ask to talk to more people. If they don't let you, that's a warning sign—a red flag!
Kerry Guard: I love that. I've only come from the agency side and then from the brand side. I love what you're saying in terms of really getting outside, and you are almost stepping outside of the marketing department and seeing who else and what other resources in terms of team members you're going to be fighting with. I remember taking a job at a company that I started. I worked right before this one. And I took the job merely because I got to meet so many people, and a couple of folks outside of marketing, like outside the media department. And I was like, "Oh my gosh. I'm gonna be able to work a strategy, and I'm gonna work with creative, and I'm we work with these really smart people." And that's really what I want to be doing. I didn't want to be at my current job, and I was just working in media. So it was so nice, this idea of being able to branch out, and so I love what you're saying in terms of looking at your current situation and looking out to what opportunities there are and being able to go find that thing that's going to sit right with you. It's a good point. The job market is tough to find, as is somebody who's been hiring lately. It's tough to find great folks who do specific things we're trying to find. When you have that specialty, even if it's in a different industry, take that skill to another industry, and they'll be happy to have you.
Katie Neuens: And that's also to your point about, if you're a little nervous about transitioning industries, it's a good time because they need you. They'll be more open to hiring people outside, for example, cybersecurity, and providing them with the resources, they need to take or invest in to get those skills and the understanding they need to succeed at the role.
Kerry Guard: Last question for you. My people's first question is: One of the things you said is that we've been talking primarily about switching industries, which is key. But in switching industries, you tend to switch to your point and your journey. Switching company sizes, you went from a very big company at cars.com to a cybersecurity startup. What's your advice there in making this transition from having all these resources at your fingertips to now having to get a bit more creative, which is great? Anything else that you'd help people with?
Katie Neuens: I've worked at companies of all different sizes, like Harvard, which is massive, and then I also went to an agency where there were literally eight people. I'm at a company like cars.com, where there are over 1000, and now I'm here. It's not that we're tiny, but compared to cars and Harvard, we're small.
When I worked at smaller companies, I've found that the people I worked with were much more important than when I went to bigger companies. Everyone wants a work bestie or someone that is easy to collaborate with and that they can bounce ideas off of, and that's easier to find at a bigger company because there are a lot more people.
My marketing department when I was at cars.com was over 70 people, so if I needed to ask a question, just needed to vent, or wanted to say, "Oh, I'm thinking about this idea. Who do you think I can talk to about it like that?" And that was easier to find at a bigger company because there were more people. And so, at a smaller company, that's a little bit more difficult. Smaller companies' culture tends to matter more because there are just so few of you. If there's one rotten apple, it's super obvious and much more difficult to work with. Not that a rotten apple at a big company works either, but it's easier to work around them and not impact your day-to-day as much as it does when you're literally working next to that person. They're the only person you can work with on the project. At smaller companies, it's better to get to know as many people as possible before you start to understand the vibe and if they will be easy to work with. What's their attitude? What are they going to be like to collaborate with and communicate with? I think that's a lot more important to understand if you're going to a smaller company versus a bigger company.
Kerry Guard: Such a good point. I have many stories.
Katie Neuens: Don't we all?
Kerry Guard: We all! Kate, this was so awesome. As people are looking for their next thing, hopefully, they feel a bit more comfortable and confident in switching not only industries but also going from a big company to a smaller startup and what that can mean for them in terms of their skill sets getting used now in a broader way, which is exciting. I am with you; I find that exciting. Is there anything we didn't mention that you just wish folks would know in relation to this topic today?
Katie Neuens: One thing I want to be clear about is just go for it. I've been talking about my age, but I am still a little younger. I don't have kids. I don't have a mortgage to pay for or things like that. I still have bills, but I do think that giving yourself permission to try is really important.
We've always heard those stories where women meet eight of the ten requirements before they can apply for a job. And in the SEO community, a lot of people are really nervous about going from an agency to an in-house. My advice is to always just try it; if it doesn't work out, you can leave and find another job, or it could be the best decision of your life. People get so wrapped up in this, but marketing is marketing, and SEO is SEO. You have these skills that you understand and are going to translate. There's the industry that you have to understand and maybe new terminology, but your hard skill set is still going to transfer. It might be a little bit bumpy at first, but if you think it's going to be a good fit for you, then just try it.
Kerry Guard: I love that. I'm gonna leave it right there. Okay, real quick. Our people's first question is because you're more than a marketer, and I love what you say. We have talked about your experience, but that comes not from your age but from the fact that you've taken these leaps of faith, moved around a lot, and you've even moved to New York City. That is no small. I lived in New York City. It is no small feat to move to that city. Leading into your experiences in terms of getting to know you beyond being a marketer, even a little bit further, tell me if you have picked up any new hobbies in the last few years.
Katie Neuens: I keep mentioning my fiance, which means I have a wedding to prepare for, and that often comes when most brides are trying to get in better shape. I used to be a big runner, and I ran the Chicago Marathon six or seven years ago, but my knees are shot now. I've been trying out a bunch of new exercises and just given myself permission to try kickboxing or spinning. My new thing has been just trying all different types of exercises and classes. Whether it's a bar, a hit class, or something else, it's been fun getting back into exercise because, for the longest time, I was like, "Well, if I can't run, then I can't do anything," and talking about giving permission to try different things, that's what I've been doing. I gave myself permission to do kickboxing in my living room and look a fool while doing it.
Kerry Guard: I love that! I did bar when I lived in Seattle for the same reason. It was awesome, and I loved it. But it was hard to move into what this is and how I do it, and I have to be in front of all these other women, and it's really scary. I love the beautiful thing about the bar. A lot of places do this now where they look at it like they don't care. They give you a ton of modifications and what you could do. It's so supportive and wonderful to try new things. The second question for you is: If you could be with your team or if you could have a song playing overhead to set the vibe, what would that song be?
Katie Neuens: This week, I would go with the New York group by Ace Frehley. I like that song. It's got the right tempo, a productive tempo, and we are back in the New York groove here in New York City. We're finally getting our groove back after the pandemic.
Kerry Guard: Oh, that's so great to hear. So good here. I miss New York. Last question for you, Kate. If you could travel anywhere in the world with no long lines, no red tape, no vaccination passes, and no having to test here. They're everywhere for COVID. Where would you go and why?
Katie Neuens: I know exactly where it is. I will get there one day. I want to go to Lake Como in Italy, and I want to rent an Airbnb that has a balcony that looks over Lake Como, and I want to have delicious Italian wine and pasta and bask in the Tuscan sun. I don't know if it's technically the Tuscan region, but you get what I'm saying.
Kerry Guard: I get what you're saying, and yes to all of that. Let me know when you're there. I'll come to join you. This was wonderful! Thank you so much for joining me.
Katie Neuens: Oh, this was fantastic. Thanks, and have me back anytime.
Kerry Guard: I will take you up on that.
That was my conversation with Kate Neuens. Are you thinking about joining a new industry and want to learn more from someone who has paved the way? Connect with Kate on LinkedIn. The link is in the show notes.
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