Frank Kern, one of the renowned pioneers of internet marketing, was a recent guest on Houston’s Influencers Radio show.
Frank, very honestly discusses his humble, and at times, embarrassing beginnings in what has become his extraordinary marketing career. He went from being a frustrated credit card machine salesman to being sued by the Federal Trade Commission.
At this point, rather than admitting defeat, he made the decision to essentially start over and learn how to do marketing the right way. And he certainly has.
“I cut my teeth in the real world outside of marketing, so to speak, by selling pet products. Dog training materials. I had a book about parrots that I had ghost written. How to Teach a Parrot to Talk and it worked.
I had one about Labradors and hummingbird feeding. Made some tutorials about PowerPoint and Photoshop.
These things started to work. None of them were huge successes, but they each kind of added up to a little bit. And I realized, man, you know? It doesn’t take a lot to run these. If I just had lots of these, I could make some serious money. And I ended up doing just that.
I created a dog business where, it was about a million dollar a year business, which back then was great.”
Frank caught the attention of the marketing world when he presented the State of the Internet address. At the time, this became instrumental in demonstrating the strong effect that educational marketing can have in eventually producing sales from a hungry crowd that wants more.
He goes on to discuss some of the misconceptions that people have when trying to break into doing internet marketing.
It’s not about the “thing” being marketed. It’s not about the marketing that is being done. Rather, it’s about the market itself. If you don’t have a hungry market, nothing else matters.
“It is never about the thing, the thing you’re selling. Obviously, it should be excellent. But it’s kind of one of those platitudes like, of course, it should be excellent. Why would you be selling something that wasn’t any good, so duh! It’s going to be excellent.
You can’t just do that anymore. It’s not going to get you anywhere.
But then, the next thing is to say, well, therefore it must be the marketing. And that’s not actually right. The most important thing is the market, the people that the thing is going to be sold to. There must be an existing market of people who are intensely interested in getting the result that the thing promises, and that the thing must deliver.
So without the focus on that first, all is lost. And sure, it’s possible for millions, if not billions of dollars in advertising to make a market, and to manufacture desire for a new type of thing, but you know, in our world, we look for a market first. We look for that hungry crowd. And then we find the perfect product for them.
And if you do it that way, then the marketing really doesn’t have to be that good. People say, and it’s nice of them to say it, Kern’s really good at marketing. I would counter by saying I’m okay at it. But what I’m really good at is finding what people want and then giving them exactly what they want.
In my opinion, the major overall thing is to focus on the people, what they want, the results. All marketing should be about that customer. It should be about the prospect. And all marketing should help that prospect and not push. And if you do that, they are pulled towards the solution you’re offering.”
Once you find that hungry market, find out what they want and give it to them.
Frank really exemplifies an expert who has never called himself an expert. This crown has been bestowed upon him by the adoring fans and followers who listen to his every word.