An Interview with Ian Fernando of IanTernet Media
Posted on March 04, 2010 by Tim Schroeder
Ian is as well-known for his affiliate marketing efforts as he is for his ability to network with industry vets and new affiliates at his IANteract dinners. I’ve had the chance to chat with him at several shows, and even caught his session at a recent Affiliate Summit.
An Interview With Ian Fernando
How did you get started in the industry?
I first started out with eBay. Selling old things and buying things from flea markets and selling them on eBay. I soon started an eCommerce store which I think was a big mistake because of the customer support.
Then I started doing bulk orders, which was a hassle with customs and vendors.
I needed a way where I can make money ‘selling’ something and not deal with customers and the actual product itself.
I then found affiliate marketing and started with Linkshare, CJ, Clickbank, and ShareaSale. I definitely think it was the best due to the fact that I just had to make a sale and not deal with any troubles from vendors or customers.
What was your biggest learning experience to date?
My biggest learning experience is probably tackling Facebook. Back in the day when Facebook had their first advertising system called Facebook Flyers, I was on top of it but with their strict rules, it was hard to get things approved.
I almost gave up on it but kept going with small tests. Until I got some things profitable, I stuck to it and then scaled through.
It definitely taught myself to just keep going and tackle this specific traffic source.
What was your biggest success to date?
The biggest success I think is the opportunity to speak and I want to thank Affiliate Summit for giving me the opportunity to do so. It is one of the bigger milestones in my online career. I think I like having the online presence and definitely helping people tackle their goals.
It definitely put me in a different light and has changed my attitude a lot.
How did you learn the business (eBooks? Webinars? Membership sites? Freebies? Paid services?)?
Curiosity I guess. I read a lot of blogs and some mentioned affiliate marketing with Clickbank and how important it is to sell information.
I use to be in the forums back in the day just reading, until I decided to do it myself. I did download a bunch of crappy free eBooks and reports.
They did give me some foundation, but I found out quick that most are repetitive.
What do you think is the true value to consumers in affiliate marketing?
Like any consumer, they all want to learn more and get the information. The most important part is how something will benefit them. All marketers are good at selling. It is in our blood to get everyone to convert.
The reason for this is because we want to get them through the sales funnel with ease. If we provide something to the consumer with value, they will go through the funnel with ease.
Do you think sponsored conversations have their place in the industry?
Depends. The reason I say this is because as a consumer and a marketer I find it annoying because I know what it is. BUT I also use it as a source of traffic.
Social conversation and recommendations will be more powerful than a banner ad moving forward. It will be and is useful to take advantage of it now and use it.
Since sponsored conversations are up to the publisher, they get to choose what to advertise based on their recommendation. So there is a place, all traffic needs to be utilized and understood to be used properly.
Besides yourself, who do you think is the most valuable resource to the affiliate community?
There are a lot of people out there that definitely know a lot about the industry. I always read up affbuzz.com to check out what’s happening in the industry.
I can say Shoemoney. Ever since I met him he definitely has great knowledge to share and experience.
How do you balance professional v. personal?
Well for 2010 I set working times. I usually look at professional and personal as nothing because I like being in front of my PC and looking at my stats.
But sometimes it does take me away from my goals, so I would have to start creating timelines for myself.
Personally I travel a lot and my business is always with me; I never look at my business as a professional job but instead as something I look forward to all the time, because I enjoy what I do.
How often did you check your stats….1 month in? 1 year in? Today?
More like all the time. I have one PC dedicated to just my Spy view so I am always checking my stats. If I am away I check my stats on my iPhone. I learned not to look at it every so often, but I def look at it at least 1 an hour.
You just don’t know what will change in an hour or 5 minutes.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Hmmmm…. Probably 50 Cent. Just because he is a marketer and a G.
OK, now who would REALLY play you?
Maybe Jay-Z then… he has a lighter tone complexion that matches me more.
What are some of the key differences between a ‘super affiliate’ and the veteran, less successful affiliates?
Not too sure since I am a ‘Super Duper Up, Up, Up and Away Affiliate’. Not really a fan of the term Super Affiliate. I look at myself as a learner. I learn from everyone and there is a lot of information to be taken in.
Being successful vs being average is different. Successful users know how to work demographics, dig deep into the numbers, decipher how users react, etc.
It is probably these things that separate big affiliates from the smaller ones.
Is where you are now where you thought you’d be…10 years ago? 5 years ago? A month ago? Why/ why not?
Pretty much, I always imagined being on my own and owning my own stuff. So yes. I never was a fan of the workplace; it was just an option but a fixed option to many.
I was always a hustler trying to make that extra income to get what I wanted.
Explain affiliate marketing so a child would understand it.
Imagine you are at a candy store. You ask your mom to buy a bag of skittles. She opens the bag and rewards you 10 pieces out of the 100 skittles that are in the bag. That is affiliate marketing to a child in its simplest form.
The mother being the consumer, YOU the child (affiliate) funnels your mom to buy, which in turn you are rewarded with just 10% of the income, in this case 10 skittles and your mom keeps the bag and hides it away from you forever so you won’t get tooth decay.
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