ICA Member Profile: Kate Buckley

Kate is CEO and Founder of Buckley Media. She has 23 years of experience in integrated marketing and business development, with deep experience in global domains, brand development, naming, creative strategy, storytelling, and social media. Kate’s background includes big agencies (Gray and Landor) as well as 20 years experience with premium domains (CCIN/The Castello Brothers). She is an expert at premium domain consulting and representation, specializing in ultra-premium .COMs. Kate has three publicly recorded domain sales in the Top 15 Global Sales for 2018 (DNJournal.com)—the only individual or company to do so.

She graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Advertising/PR/Communications. Kate also holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Spalding University), and is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Corporate Trainer (LCIOC), Public Speaker (AMA), and accomplished artist, award-winning poet and author. She is Poet Laureate Emerita of Laguna Beach, California. Kate’s a strong believer in supporting communities; apart from her involvement in a personal capacity—volunteering and providing pro bono branding services, she also ensures that Buckley Media donates a considerable portion of the proceeds of each domain sale to worthy charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, WaterSchool, and With My Own Two Hands Foundation.

Profile Questions

Name: Kate Buckley
Company: Buckley Media
Favorite Domain: Translate.com (currently under exclusive brokerage)
Favorite Industry Conference: NamesCon
Favorite Industry Blog(s): DN Journal, DomainSherpa, Elliot’s blog, DNW.com

Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
I’m a peripatetic Kentuckian who somehow ended up in Southern California. I’ve been in branding and marketing since 1995 and premium domains since 1998. I’m also a poet, writer and visual artist (KateBuckley.com), and an avid supporter of a variety of causes including Big Brothers Big Sisters. I live with my boyfriend, Todd Henderson (CEO of InkAgency.com) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Murphy, in Laguna Beach.

How did you get involved in the domain industry?
David and Michael Castello recruited me in 1998 to help them launch, monetize, and run PalmSprings.com. David and I had PalmSprings.com grossing $1M annually just between the two of us. It was a tremendous learning experience! I went on to work with them on LagunaBeach.com (which I later sold for them for $600,000) and Nashville.com, as well as a variety of other CCIN brands. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the world of ultra-premium domains.

What is your current role?
I founded Buckley Media in 2013 as a branding and domains agency. I’d just sold LagunaBeach.com for the Castello Brothers, along with a marketing plan and site redevelopment blueprint I’d created. The new owners hired me on to implement my plans, thus the formation of Buckley Media. Since that time, I’ve had the pleasure of branding a number of exciting companies (both startups and established companies) and brokering (on both the buy and sell side) some amazing domains including my recent sale of Sleeping.com and Snoring.com for over $1M. I work on an ongoing basis with both the Castello Brothers and Roy Messer on their amazing portfolios, as well as a select number of other domain investors on their valuable ultra-premium domains: https://www.buckleymedia.com/featured-premium-domains.html

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I believe in the ICA’s mission and tactics, and want to be part of helping move things forward in a coordinated, elegant, intelligent and transparent fashion. I also very much appreciate the ICA’s advocacy and aims.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
It’s entrepreneurial and ever-changing. In order to succeed, one must have a high risk-tolerance, good people skills, and be both a creative and strategic thinker. It’s never boring.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry what would it be?
Greater alignment on best practices. Greater transparency and an established code of ethics.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the domain industry is faced with?
We’re not regulated and are ever-changing, so we need to self-regulate and co-create best practices that serve to move the domain industry forward. We also need to better educate the public on the value and highest and best use of domains in a coordinated and cohesive manner.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
I’ve met some of the most fascinating people I know through the domain industry. It’s also allowed me to make a good living on my own terms, doing something I greatly enjoy.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
Listen far more than you talk.

What are your main interests outside of the domain industry?
Writing, painting, reading, hiking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, cooking, wine tasting, travel.

Favorite place to get away:
Anywhere that my boyfriend and I can unplug from work for a bit and enjoy exploring the world together. Next up, Croatia!

The views expressed here are the personal views of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICA.

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