David Horne has his own marketing firm and he’s working on a new startup project called Fan Pack. They’re getting celebrities or people with a large internet following to join up with them and create packs of goods that are sent out to their fans. It sounds like a really cool product and service. He’s also going to talk about marketing in the interview. And the thing that we talk about that I want to focus on is don’t be afraid to try new things. Those who do experience success they try new things all the time they figure out what works and what doesn’t. Through that process they always learn things along the way.
David Horne is an entrepreneur, marketer and writer, living in NC. Most of his work over the last decade has been helping companies rethink and rework their marketing. I’ve been fortunate to learn from and work with a bunch of amazing and brilliant people. Currently, he’s running a modern marketing firm and recently launched a startup.
Zeb’s Take – Don’t Be Afraid of Try New Things
My friend Herby Fabius put David and me in touch because he knew we both like golf. David a professional golfer, and me who has always enjoyed the game and now I help market golf courses and I put together the book The Social Golf Course to try and help to promote the game of golf. I brought David on the show today so that he can share his marketing advice and also to talk about what it’s like to work on a startup and get that going. Especially with what he is doing now in Fan Pack.
During the interview he mentioned that he has began multiple startups and one of the things he still says is not being afraid to try new things because through that experience he learned so much.
For example, one of the things he did was they created that golf teaching card. What he figured out through that process was, he didn’t take into consideration the current customers. They had people that were paying for this product and service, but they spread themselves too thin trying to go after people who weren’t necessarily in that target market. That was the downfall of that startup of his.
They started this other one called Online Brand Camp. The big problem there was that they were treating it like a side project and it was something that needed to be the center of their business. He said they were treating it like a hobby and that’s the kind of results they got. They got hobby-like results. That’s another thing that he learned from that venture.
Now he’s working on this Fan Pack, I’m sure he’s learned a bunch and that he’s going to continue to learn. One of the things that successful people share all the time and that they talk about, many on this podcast is that they’ve experienced failures, but they don’t see them as failures. They see them as learning tools, or learning experiences. Where it didn’t work out and so now they are moving on to something else. David alluded to that in the interview: that he doesn’t look at these as failures, he learned a bunch from the process and it‘s only made him a better person. Smarter about business. Smarter about what he’s doing moving forward. I think that is the attitude you need to have if you are going to be successful down the road and obviously David has it and I think he gave some great insight today during the interview.
For those of you following us, sign up for the Defining Success Podcast Newsletter. We recently got a lot of people signing up, I’m excited about that. Thank you all for signing up. I want to thank Herby Fabius for introducing me to David. Herby is a great guy and a good friend. And thank you all for listening.
I want to encourage you all to go out there and find your success!
Find Out More About David Horne, His Marketing Firm or Fan Pack
Visit DavidHorne.me. It’s the best place to find out anything David has going on.
- “Everything you do is marketing in some manner. Because customers buy from people they know, like and trust. Every interaction you have with someone either deposits trust or withdrawals trust and that’s kind of the name of the game.”
- “If this existed and there were people that offered this that I liked, I would be a customer. That’s kind of where it started.”
- “Don’t be afraid to take risks and test things out. If you have an idea try it and see if it works.”
- “Take action, get a result. Refine it until you get a result you want.”
- He says, “They weren’t failures in the aspect of – we didn’t learn anything, we didn’t make progress – they just didn’t reach the levels or goals we were trying to hit.”
- “Don’t be financially successful at the detriment to your relationships.”
- “Success is being valuable to your family, your community, and anyone you interact with.”
More From the Interview
David played golf in college and was able to turn pro afterward. He played on the mini tours for a while until he ran out of talent and sponsors. That’s when he got back into the marketing world. He was introduced to the marketing world early by his Uncle. He had been interested in marketing for a long time. He started helping brands with marketing. He landed at a software technology firm which got him into the digital marketing world. It was the earlier days email marketing and the beginning of SEO marketing, now content marketing. In 2008 he went out on his own either freelancing or with his consulting copy writing shop, that matured into the agency that he is a partner in today.
He’s always had side projects, try new things, things he’s been working on. This year he got serious about one of them which is called Fan Pack, which is a subscription site which connects fans with their favorite icons while supporting charities.
He says his marketing firm focuses on strategy and specifically how digital marketing fits into that. They do anything that falls into the web category from design to front end development, content creation, paid and organic search marketing, and social marketing.
“Everything you do is marketing in some manner. Because customers buy from people they know, like and trust. Every interaction you have with someone either deposits trust or withdrawals trust and that’s kind of the name of the game.”
He says, today, there’s so much transparency and information to learn what it is your customers want and then you build stuff for them. That kind of has the marketing built in.
Fan Pack is a way for fans to connect with their favorite artists, athletes, entertainers, thought-leaders, ect. while supporting charities. His business partner was his best friend from college. When they did get together they would always discuss the different things they were fans of and how they were introduced to them by people who influenced them. They thought, what if we can create a premium experience where fans, because everyone is a fan of something, whether that’s a product, company or sports team, musician. I just wanted to create a platform to be able to do that so fans can have that experience with people they like.
He says, “If this existed and there were people that offered this that I liked, I would be a customer. That’s kind of where it started.”
He’s learning how to run a product business, in the past all his companies have been services that supported product businesses.
With Fan Pack he says they’re learning. There’s a lot of improvements and we’re working on version 2 right now that will go live in the fall. David is excited about it because it will have more flexibility and the potential for anyone that wants to be a contributor to be a contributor. Anyone that wants to have a subscription service to offer their fans will be able to do that.
Fan Pack is not David’s first startup venture. His previous three all failed. He says he learned a lot through out those experiences.
He encourages everyone to try new things without fear of failing, “Don’t be afraid to take risks and test things out. If you have an idea try it and see if it works.”
“Take action, get a result. Refine it until you get a result you want.”
He says, “They weren’t failures in the aspect of – we didn’t learn anything, we didn’t make progress – they just didn’t reach the levels or goals we were trying to hit.”
With the golf card, David says they didn’t focus enough on their core customer. They didn’t do a good job of honing in on the value they provided them and then finding the customers that wanted that. Instead they tried to reach all golfers everywhere.
David says, success is about continually getting better at bringing value to the community that you serve without sacrificing family or self.
“Don’t be financially successful at the detriment to your relationships.”
Spiritually, emotionally financially, those three things staying in progress as well as continually getting better at serving and bringing value to your community. Success is being valuable to your family, your community, and anyone you interact with.
He says success is a moving target. It’s not something that just happens once. It’s a moving thing that you try to be in step with.