Ep #190: Lessons from Frank Kern
This week, I am really excited to bring you another episode of “Lessons from” where I talk about one of my teachers who had a huge impact on my work and business. Today, I’m talking about my coach and friend, Frank Kern.
The best way of helping as many people in the world as possible with what you have to share is to learn how to market your business online, and Frank taught me exactly that.
Join me in this session of The Life Coach School Podcast, as I share the story of how I got connected with Frank and explain how his teachings help me achieve huge success with my business.
I cover 5 main problems that anyone might have in their business and how they can be solved, the mindset that helped me believe that I can make a million with life coaching, and some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from being Franks client.
So many people ask Who is Brooke Castillo's coach? Click “play” to listen in below…
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- The story of how I became Frank’s client.
- How Frank’s teaching propelled my business to great success.
- Why some students achieve better results with one teacher than others.
- Thinking in math vs thinking in drama.
- My breakthrough moment when I began believing that I could make a $1 million a year as a life coach.
- 5 problems we can have in business.
- The biggest lessons I learned from Frank.
- The power of advertising and why every business should love it.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Holy cow, 190 episodes. Me and you every week. That's how it's been, my friends. Every ten episodes I do kind of an ode to one of my teachers, and I'm really excited about this episode 190 because it's all about my coach and my brother from another mother, Frank Hearn.
He is seriously my favorite. I have so much respect for Frank and I just love him so much as a teacher, as an inspiration and as a friend. And so I'm really excited to spend the next several minutes sharing with you what he has taught me. And here's what's interesting is that a lot of times, what people teach you isn't what they're actively teaching you.
You know what I mean? Like, Frank teaches about online marketing. His main thing that he teaches is how to turn advertising into profit. He's ridiculously good copywriter and he has studied in the trenches for decades direct marketing, and so he really understands how to write to a specific target market and literally how to create tons of value for his customers and he's been making a really nice living doing that online for several years.
So I've told this story before about how I became a client of Frank's, but I'm going to tell it again because it's worth telling again. I had kind of followed Frank for a while. He had a product called Mass Control and I had kind of followed him and a group of online marketers, they were all affiliates of each other and I kind of watched how they built their businesses and really thrives in teaching other people how to do online marketing.
And a lot of what he taught at the time when I was first learning it didn't feel applicable to me but I loved watching his success as an entrepreneur. I was on his list and he started marketing to consultants and coaches specifically, and he had a webinar on how to create a business with high priced consulting and coaching, and that was where the direction of my business was moving into and so I decided to watch a webinar.
Then I don't know if any of you guys have watched a Frank Hearn webinar, it's like all of a sudden you are like sucked into the vortex. He's so good at teaching and he has so much content that he gives away for free and I just was like totally riveted with this webinar. And at the end of the webinar, he made an offer and he always says that I mess the offer up when I re-describe it, but you know, I'm just going to tell you as I remember it, which he says is wrong, but that's okay. It's close enough, alright Frank? It's close enough.
So basically, the offer was, "Hey, come to San Diego, spend a day with me basically for free. I'm going to take a $1500 deposit but if at the end of the day you don't think it was worth it then I'll give you your deposit back. Not only that, I'll double it. I'll give you your $1500 back plus I'll give you $1500 extra, I'll pay for your flight, I'll pay for your hotel." I was like, "Are you kidding me? This sounds amazing. Of course I'm going to do that."
So I went and spent the day with him and it was me and a group of I think probably 25 other people, and we talked about business, we talked about our goals, and we talked about where we wanted our businesses to go and how much money we wanted to make and what our dreams were and how much we wanted to work and all of those things. We spent the whole day kind of just masterminding about it, talking about it.
And I had been so inspired by Frank and the way that he thinks, and this is kind of what I was alluding to earlier is I learned so much by the content that he gives me and the principles that he teaches, the basic you know, kind of tenants of direct marketing and advertising that I also have learned so much from Frank by just watching him be in the world and watching the way that he thinks, and watching how abundantly he approaches life and how kind hearted he is about everything even though he's very irreverent.
Right? Those two really go together within Frank Hearn. So he makes me laugh constantly but he also has the biggest heart, too. And during this event, he at the end made an offer that we could come work with him for a year and quarterly go visit him for a year and work on our businesses in between and achieve all the goals that we had just written down.
And it was $36,000 and at the time, it was an incredibly large chunk of money for me and Chris and our business and where my business was and in my mind, I was like, I think my first car was $36,000. I don't even - and that's like as an adult brand new. I can't even imagine spending this much money on a coach, and yet I knew that if I did that it would be incredibly valuable to me and I called Chris and one of the things he said to me was, "Hey, you have to do everything he says. If you sign up, pay this kind of money, you have to do everything he says."
And so I made that agreement, I signed up, Frank told me what to do in order to make that $36,000 back within one month and I did exactly what he said and I made that money exactly back and the rest my friends, is actually history. So he showed me how to make that investment back, so starting at zero, and within that year I tripled my income, which is unheard of.
I mean, it was unbelievable. I was so stoked to be able to do that, and so the next year I doubled, the next year I more than doubled after that. So his influence on me and not only his influence on me, but my willingness to show up and do everything he says and really take what he teaches seriously has made a big difference for me. One of the things that's really important to me is when I have approached teaching, I've always thought about the ideal student, right? The student that would show up and just like go all out and trust me and respect me and kind of try everything that I recommend wholeheartedly.
As a teacher, that's such a dream because you get to see like all your philosophy at work and applied in the world, and there's nothing more fun than watching your student kick ass. Like, so fun. And so I wanted to be the best student. I remember in that first group that we were in, I looked around, everyone was making more money than me, everyone seemed much smarter than me when it came to online marketing. Everyone was talking about things that I had no idea what they were talking about. I think I was the only woman in the room, and I did not care.
I remember thinking, "I'm going to be most improved player. That's my goal. I may not be making as much as these guys at the end, but I'm for sure going to be the one that improved my bottom line faster and better than anyone", and that was my goal and that's what I went and did, and I'm so proud of myself for doing that. And I think it's been an amazing teacher-student relationship because I have so much respect for Frank, and you know, we have such great conversations and he always tells me the truth and he always is really straight up with me and I always appreciate that, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I've been so successful with him as a student, and he's been so successful with me as a teacher.
And I think that's worth mentioning here because a lot of people may say, "Well, I took some of Frank's courses and that didn't have the same effect on me." Courses and teachers don't have an effect on you. Just so we're clear, right? You learn and you get to create the effect in your life. So I've thought a lot about this in terms of student-teacher relationships because I am a teacher to so many students, and I am - I feel like a very good student.
And one of the things that I think serves me as a student is I don't have a lot of teachers in the sense that I don't sign up and go all in with a lot of teachers at once. And if I have any advice for you, I think that would be it, is to pick one for a year to like go all in with because what I've noticed, and I've noticed this with a lot of people who were in that mastermind with Frank is they would question some of the stuff Frank was teaching because you know, Brendon Burchard was teaching something else and Gary V was teaching something else, and so there's all this conflicting information. And one of the things that I decided to do was just focus on wait a minute, this is my teacher right now, this is what he's teaching, I will apply this.
And I'm telling you, it made such a difference to me, and the other thing that I learned so much that year was how much success I was able to generate in my business and people sitting right next to me who did not apply what he was teaching, how little success they generated. And so I was able to kind of look at this perspective from a student and to see you know, Frank's teaching all out, he's teaching all the same stuff to both of us, but it's up to us as students, are we going to apply it?
So - and stuff Frank teaches is so good, but here's one of the things about him. He's such a genius, he's so smart and he teaches so casually that you can misunderstand that what he's teaching you isn't important or as casual, everything he teaches. I remember I went and hung out with him at a mastermind I would say, now it's been about 12 months ago, and he just casually mentioned to me, "Hey, I think you should do a membership site and you should do a book funnel." Two sentences he said to me, and it would have been really easy for me to be like, "That's a good idea" but like really taking what he said and really listening to it and then asking questions about it has served me so well.
And you know I'm the most annoying person, always in the front row, always interrupting, always asking questions because hey, I'm going to get my money's worth and I want to learn as much as I can from my teacher. And so let me kind of run through a list of the things - I made a list before I started recording on the things that I've learned from him.
Number one is how to think in math. Frank thinks in math. That's it, right? He doesn't think in drama, and that's a huge difference for a lot of us, right? One of the reasons why people are able to make money is because they think in math, and I think that's been a really important lesson for me to learn from him but also a great lesson for me to teach to my students that I learned from him.
So when I first came to Frank I said, "I want to make a million dollars in a year as a life coach" and you know, at the time that just seemed outrageous. It seemed crazy to make a million dollars being a life coach, and I had all these thoughts in my head and I had all these worries about what he would say to me about being more realistic, and he basically said, "That's about 83,000 a month. Do you have any other questions?"
I was like, "Yes, I do actually." And I said, "That's so much money, I can't even imagine it" and he said, "Well, it's a good start." And I had like this profound moment looking at him, like he really did believe that I could make a million dollars and not only did he think I could make a million dollars, but he thought that would be a good start for me. And if you've never had anyone believe something like in your presence like that, it's very profound, and I think that's what good teachers and good mentors are able to help us do, is like break through our barriers.
Now, remember, I'm a life coach. I spend a lot of time looking at my thoughts and analyzing my beliefs and all of that, but that was one that I had a really hard time believing and breaking through and working on on my own, and in that one moment with Frank, "Yes, it's 83,000 a month. Do you have any other questions?" I was like, "What are you talking about? Like, that's so much money." "It's a really good start." Changed my life forever.
So he just thinks in math when I present him with huge dreams and goals and ideas, he just makes everything mathematical. This is what you need to do mathematical wise, and what that does is it separates out all of the drama from the math that needs to be done, and I think that's really, really important.
I had found a quote on Pinterest and he said, "You know the real secret to success is just to get to work" and that's really - you know, Frank's attitude towards me has always been, "Yes, just go do it. Is that what you want to do? Okay, here's how. Go do it. This is what you need to do." And he basically says there's about - and he never taught this to me directly, but this is another thing I want to say. Watching your teacher teach other people teaches you so much about how they think, and you know, Frank thinks in math and he thinks in online problems so what I've - he hadn't taught me this so I don't want to speak at a turn and be like this is what Frank teaches, but this is what I kind of deducted, is that there's about five problems we can have in online business, and if we want to succeed more we just have to solve one of these problems.
And the first problem is you have to have a good target market. You have to know your niche, you have to know who you are talking to, period. And you have to position yourself to that target market. Frank positions himself as a very successful and accomplished online marketer to coaches and consultants who want to build their businesses online, period. And he focuses mainly on men, but I didn't care. I was like, "Pick me, pick me, I want to be part of this club" because I want to think the way that Frank thinks.
So you have to have a target market and you have to have a good one. And so if you don't have one, that may be your problem. The second issue you may have is you may have a traffic problem. One of the things Frank talks about so simply that really helped me so much was that you simply need to purchase traffic. Why would you grow it organically when you can buy it and double your investment within a day?
And I had been taught kind of old-school as a life coach, more that you know, you really have to toil and create it, and I will say, having a lot of content already created and having my voice and having my programs and having everything established when I got to Frank was really important because I was able to kind of pick up the wand and do the magic with Facebook because I had everything already in place. And Frank believes in advertising so much and has been so effective with it that it was really profound for me to use Facebook ads for traffic using kind of borrowing his belief because here's the thing when you first start a Facebook ad. It typically doesn't work in the beginning, and it would be very easy to just quit and say, "Facebook doesn't work."
But because Frank believed in it so much and taught me kind of the details of what I needed to do, then I was able to kind of borrow his belief system. So for example, if I went to Frank and I said, "Hey, Facebook isn't working", he'd be like, "What do you mean it isn't working? Is it your copy or the picture that isn't working? What do you need to fix?" He never let me say, "Facebook doesn't work" because Facebook totally works. If it's not working it just means your copy's off, or your offer's off, or your picture's off. That's it.
So the first problem you may have is a target market problem. The second problem you may have is a traffic problem. The third problem is a conversion opt-in problem. Are you getting people on your list and if you aren't, you simply have an opt-in problem, and what Frank teaches is that you have to give people results ahead of time. You have to show them that you can help them by actually helping them, and that's one of the most profound things I've learned from Frank is that you really just have to be overly generous with what you're teaching. You have to care about the people that you're teaching it to, and you have to have what he would say "good shit". He's like, "If you don't have good shit don't even talk to me."
So you have to be - you know, that's not even a question. He's like, "You have to be offering really valuable things, and you have to give them ahead before anyone's given you any money." So Frank would teach me, you have to run ads and pay for ads and bring people in and then teach them through a webinar or teach them through a book or teach them through a course for free so they can really get to know you and trust you before you ever ask them for any money.
And that was really important. I had been taught a lot about giving away free content, but not really why to do it, not really to have a purpose to it, and Frank really gave me the purpose behind that free content is just not just to teach, not just to show my knowledge, but to actually create something that creates results for people, and that's what my podcast has done. That's what my webinars do, and I think that's one of the reasons why my conversion has been so high. I'll run an ad in Facebook and then people will come to get my free stuff and convert pretty rapidly because the content that I have is giving them results ahead of time.
So once you have people converting, then you have to make them offers. So you have to make sure you have good offers and you know how to sell. You may have a selling problem, you may have an offer problem, and those are pretty easy to solve. Frank really taught me that you don't have to ever do a hard sale, you should never sell anyone who won't benefit from what you have to offer them, and that's huge, right?
Because there's a lot of people out there teaching hardcore sales and convincing people to buy stuff they don’t need, and Frank's like, "Why would you ever want to do that?" He said, "If you have the right target market and you're offering them results ahead of time, selling is so easy when you believe in your product." You basically just make an irresistible offer and you do what he calls "the collaborative close" so everything is you know, really open and honest and you know you have the right person that you can genuinely help, and then you make them an awesome offer and if they say no, not a problem, if they say yes, you're off to the races.
No one's feelings ever get hurt, just let's just get to yes or no and move on. Amazing lesson that I learned from him, and we talk a lot about sales and how it can be super fun if you've done your upfront work of giving them results ahead of time.
And then the last problem you may have is a scaling problem. Do you have the ability to scale? And those are the only problems you can have in business, and they're all solvable by techniques that Frank teaches in online marketing. And everything else is thought drama, everything else is BS, everything else is untrue. If I ever went to Frank and said, "Oh my god, I don't have enough clients", he's like, "What do we got? Traffic problem? You're not converting? What's going on with your offers?" Everything was always just a marketing problem.
It was never "Yes, you're right, you're not good enough", "Yes you're right, you're not going to be able to help people", "Yes, you're in an oversaturated industry", "Yes, advertising doesn't work." Never. It was always, "What of the five things is your issue and this is how we solve it." And watching Frank teach that way to so many people and solve so many problems over and over and over by just thinking in math, and never being like overwhelmed by anyone's problems because there's always just a math answer to it was I think very profound.
I don't think Frank set out to teach me that, but by spending all that time watching him coach and work with other students, that's what I learned from him, that there is math and then there's drama, and what slows us down is never the math because math is always solvable. I want you to think about it.
You never go into like a long division problem and get stuck and then decide, "Okay, math doesn’t work, this problem's not solvable." We don't do that, right? We just basically say, "I must be doing this wrong. I must have added wrong somewhere. I must have carried wrong, I'm just going to go back and change that and then I'll get the solution."
Frank taught me a lot about abundance and refunds, and I remember one time he had a client that had signed up for a year program with him, I guess it was like $25,000. The guy came back to him and basically said, "Hey, I need a refund. Nothing wrong with your product at all, I just need the money." And Frank gave him a refund. I was like, "What?" And it wasn't that he gave him the refund, and Frank doesn't always do stuff like that. I mean, he's a reasonable business man, he's not going to go out of business giving refunds, but I think for him it's just more important that he has people in his world that are paying him happily and want to be part of his world and want to be included, and I think that's why he does a lot of upfront kind of qualifying people that work with him because he wants to make sure that everyone that's kind of in his sphere is happy to be there and working hard and loving what he's teaching.
And I really learned that from him, like really focusing on the highest quality client that really wants to come in to our world and learn from us and make a difference in their world by what we teach them, and anyone who doesn't want to be there who's complaining, who's acting victim-y or whatever, no problem.
One of the things Frank taught me without realizing it is be exactly who you are without apology. Pretty good at that, but watching Frank do it - Frank gets a lot of haters, a lot of people that are like mad at him because they don’t know him. And I watch that, I watch people make judgments about other people, about other teachers, and like I've heard someone say like, "All Frank cares about is money", which is the furthest thing from the truth if you know him, and so I think watching that experience, like watching people pre-judge - you know, I mean, it's easy to pre-judge Frank because he's very wealthy and very successful and he has really cool cars and a big huge house and I think it's easy to make assumptions, but watching other people make assumptions about him and not know him was really powerful for me.
So when people do that to me, one of the things that I say all the time now is I just let people be wrong about me. Frank lets people be wrong about him all the time, and it's okay. You don't know me, you're going to be wrong about me, and that's alright.
The other thing that I've learned from Frank was write good copy. There is no substitute for good copy, and if you aren't a naturally good copywriter, you need to spend more time writing your copy, and nine times out of ten, Frank tells me my copy is very rough. He's not very subtle, and that good copy will increase your conversions more than anything and that studying good copywriting is worth everything.
It's fun to watch Frank teach copy because he gets so excited about it, he likes studying all the old masters of copywriting and reviewing it with us and he just gets totally stoked about it. So I agree. Writing good copy means you know how to position yourself to your target market so you are riveting in your marketing copy.
The other thing Frank taught me that was really hard for me at first was to send lots of emails. If you get on Frank's email list, he will send you a couple of emails a day, and you know, without apology. He's sending emails, he's letting you know what he's got to offer and encouraging you to open your email. And it was really difficult for me at first because I didn't want to bother people. And one of the things I learned with kind of the philosophy that Frank has is that there's people that won't read your emails, there's people that don't want your emails, and those aren't really your people.
Those are the people that aren't interested, and one of the things I thought about that was so fascinating was when I'm on someone's email list that I'm super in to and I want to learn from them, I open every single email they send me, and I'm excited to read it. And those are the people that I want in my world, right? So don't be afraid to send emails. That has been a huge shift in my business. I send so many more emails than I used to, and the people who don't want to read them usually unsubscribe from my list and that's totally fine.
Don't apologize for making lots of money. Frank talks about making lots of money all the time, he uses it as a way to inspire his students and he never apologizes ever for it. And I feel like a lot of times in my industry people try and compensate for - like, I've heard people, a lot of people talk about, "I made all this money but then I donated it" or "I made all this money and this is what I did for good with it" and Frank doesn't do that.
He just basically says, "Hey, we're in business, we make money, it's a beautiful thing." And I love that. I love being able - I feel like he kind of gave me permission to just be on the side of being a super successful businesswoman without apology.
Another thing he taught me is that buyers like to buy and that when you have someone that buys something from you, they probably want to buy something else from you. And it's not pushy to offer them something else, and that was a really, really big lesson.
The other thing he taught me is that I could charge more money for what I was offering, and if I charged more money I would probably get a more committed and engaged student and that was 100% true. 100%. I didn't think that it would be easy to sell at a higher price and I was wrong because what I do in my mind is the higher price I'm selling, the more I deliver because I always have to feel like I'm over-delivering and so Frank really encouraging me to raise my prices has really raised my game so much, and I'm so much more proud of the product that I'm offering at the higher price.
One of the things - I'm just reading off my list here. One of the things Frank taught me was don't be an affiliate, which is kind of funny because I think he first started his business - and by the way, he didn't tell me don't be an affiliate, he just changed his business model. He used to be an affiliate in a group of I think there was like six or seven of them and they used to all just be affiliates for each other, and he had decided not to do much of that anymore.
I think he still does some affiliate stuff from now and again, but he has a very successful business not being an affiliate and so I decided that if he can do it I can do it, and so I've never been an affiliate for anybody. And I think there's some simplicity to that and I've never asked anyone to be an affiliate for me, and I really actually like that business model. I don't know that it will always be that way, but for now, I feel like Frank kind of gave me permission for that.
One of them I wrote down was don't be a dick. And it's really true. I think that Frank seriously is the kindest guy I know, and now he swears and says crazy stuff and is totally irreverent and makes fun of us all the time, which of course I love, and he tells really off-color jokes and is definitely not politically correct ever, but kindest, caring, most amazing heart ever. And I love that he's kind of this contrasting mixture of those things. I think you can be exactly who you are and be funny and sarcastic and all of that but underneath just have like the best intentions.
One of the things that's so cool about Frank is how much he loves his wife, Natalia, and like would do anything for her and just underneath is always like super cool guy. Love that.
Another thing he taught me was use automation. Try to automate everything, try to understand your customer and then automate all of your marketing as much as you can. It was a huge shift for me because I like to do everything manually. I don't know why.
The last one I wrote down here was you don't have to be on social media. That's one thing Frank and I have in common, neither one of us spend a lot of time on social media, and there's a lot of people that teach you that you have to be on social media in order to build a business, and neither one of us have personal accounts that we spend time on, on any social media accounts, and in any significant way, and I love that. I love that Frank doesn't do that either because I feel like it gives me permission not to do it.
But the most important thing really that Frank taught me is that the best way to build a business is to turn ads into profit, and I think that as a business coach, that was a huge lesson for me. I have really turned my business around by creating really awesome advertising that is educational and teaching and offers results ahead of time. And I would say that especially in this past year that has turned more people on to what I teach in my company.
And here's the real thing you guys, this is so important for you to know. When you - if you're a coach, when you learn business, when you learn online marketing, when you learn how to advertise properly, you can help so many more people. So if you're one of those people that feels like you can't spend your time studying business because you want to spend your time helping people, I want you to know that those two things are not in conflict.
I think a lot of people hear the word advertising and they think, "People who advertise just want to make money." That is not true. I think it's important to remember that the more you advertise, the more people you reach, the more people you help. The more money you make, the more you can advertise, the more people you can reach, the more people you can help.
When you make more money, you help more people, and I think that is key. If you are in this business, if you are a life coach and you are in this business because you want to literally help as many people in the world with what you have to share, the best way that I have ever figured out how to do that is to learn how to market a business online. That is what Frank Hearn as taught me, and I will always, always, always be grateful for him, for teaching me the skillset of how to build an online business and how to market it and how to do it without apology.
I am a huge fan, you can find out more about Frank at frankkern.com. He has a membership site, an inner circle membership where you can learn all of his business strategies for much less than $36,000 a year, and I highly recommend that you do that. So head on over to frankhearn.com and check out my brother from another mother.
Alright you guys, have an awesome week. Talk to you soon. Bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.