Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic January 15, 2001

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 8:58 AM): It's early, but I'm here.

Del ( (1/15/2001 8:58 AM): Entered the room.

Del ( (1/15/2001 8:58 AM): Morning all. :-)

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:00 AM): Morning all, I apologize for being logged in, ohhh.three times now!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:00 AM): Greetings...who's up first?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:00 AM): No problem, Nick. You should have been here earlier...two people were conversing in French for about three hours.....

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:01 AM): haha, where'd they come from?

Lorenzo (1/15/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:02 AM): Not sure...could be Canada, but something tells me from France, because the time zones would make more sense. It's about 5 PM there now.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:03 AM): Seeing as nobody is asking a branding question, do you mind if I pull from your advertising background, Rob?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:03 AM): Go for it, Del.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:04 AM): And it can be anything that's even related to branding, because almost everything in business does...

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:04 AM): I work with a vertical market (mortgage lenders/brokers) and currently advertise in two trade mags (line ads).

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:04 AM): Both have performed nicely for me.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:05 AM): just using you for your chat room... :) Ok, I'll start with a question for small business is quite new, and I don't think I've found the "niche" right, we try to do everything for everybody...I know it's a mistake, but we're just not sure "who we are" yet, so... can we still brand ourselves, locally? Do we focus on one aspect of our business? I'll wait until Del's done for the answer

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:05 AM): Since I introduced the greeting card product line, sales have been admirable considering it's all online...

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:05 AM): I'm considering display advertisements now. Should I be looking to the same magazines that I currently advertise or one of the other two trade journals?

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:06 AM): Or even stay with the cheaper, responsive, line ads?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:06 AM): Okay, Nick, you're next...

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:07 AM): Del, if the ads are currently pulling a desired or better response, why change them? If you have the additionally bucks to invest in marketing, I'd suggest exploring new territory.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:07 AM): I mean, why fix it if it ain't broke?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:08 AM): One thing I would do, though, is make sure that every pack of cards that goes out has something in it or on it that steers them back to your site. Even if it's a discount or added value on their next order.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:08 AM): Right...something I had figured over the weekend. Spend the money on line ads for the other journals and therefore place myself in 4 trade journals.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:09 AM): Good Morning, I am trying to create a brand vision for my company and I am looking for some guidance as far as a format . I have never created a vision from scratch, but I believe that it should be the foundation for our strategic plan.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:09 AM): I suppose the one thing I'd watch for is tracking the response rate. Not everyone reads the line ads. If the response there starts to drop, THEN you may want to try display. But I don't know that I'd move before then.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:09 AM): Well, since introducing the greeting cards, on ANY order of $100 or more (my average ticket is $450), I send a free multi-pack or two to say thanks and to let them evaluate the new products.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:09 AM): Hi Natasha! I just got your e-mail!

Allan (1/15/2001 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:10 AM): Natasha, let's let Nick go first.....Nick? (You're next Natasha)

Allan (1/15/2001 9:10 AM): hello all!

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:10 AM): I'm here

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:11 AM): Nick, you asked, "Do we focus on one aspect of our business?"

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:11 AM): Sorry to bombard you, but I am a little desperate. There are very few references out there on branding.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:11 AM): No problem.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:11 AM): Before I spew my advice, Nick, what kind of businesses are you talking about?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:12 AM): Natasha, you came to the right place. I promise you.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:12 AM): Yes... we do a lot of things in regards to a website, planning, design, marketing, but our clients really ask for all of that from one place. Website design, redesign and marketing

weber (1/15/2001 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:12 AM): In fact, Natasha, while we're hashing out nick's topic, you might want to go to my site and click on the Obnoxious Bobbing Head...

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:13 AM): Nick you are going to have to FOCUS on one discipline, but that doesn't mean you drop all the others. What you really need to do is PRIORITIZE and then lead with the #1 discipline.

weber (1/15/2001 9:13 AM): Happy New Year Rob! Greetings all.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:13 AM): Great. Thanks.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:13 AM): The other small side question is, do I brand myself, or my company, I do a bit of both, since it's called "Ortner Consulting" but I also don't want to seem like a one-man show.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:14 AM): which I'm not!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:14 AM): Nick, I find that people either come to you for business or design, but not both. They may not know that when they come to you, but you should be able to tell.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:14 AM): AND WHAT'S WRONG WITH A ONE MAN SHOW??????

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:15 AM): :) nothing!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:15 AM): I happen to come from a long line of one an shows, thank you very much!

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:15 AM): But when designing a website, many people are uncomfortable with one guy doing it, it's different than being a "consultant" per say

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:15 AM): My father and his father before him were one man shows! Be proud!

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:16 AM): Yeah, my father's a one man show as well! Can you explain a little more about "business or design" and cut me off when you want to get to the other people waiting!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:17 AM): Anyway, that's why I call my operation -- The fact is, Nick, that your clients want you. That means they entrust you to handle everything. I don't do every little thing at my place myself, but my clients know they can leave me with everything and then POOF it gets done better than anyone else could have done it.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:17 AM): some clicking going on in my brain...makes sense

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:18 AM): It used to be that insecure types would call themselves "NAME" & Associates. A total tip off that they felt insecure about being on their own. But Nick, in my book, on my tapes, you'll always hear me tell you that the Ultimate Goal of branding is to have people say, "I don't care if he's ten times as much -- Get me Nick Ortner or you're fired!"

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:18 AM): Nobody says a single operator can't use proficient, talented and eager subcontractors. Just let your clients know that YOU are the solution to their current and future needs. (Sound familiar, Rob?)

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:19 AM): I always tell my clients, don't try to be something you're not, and I think I might have been doing just that!

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:19 AM): great point Del, thank you

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:19 AM): And in today', business structure, there is -- to coin a phrase -- too much information runnin' through their brains. Nobody can stay up to date on everything, and trust me, most people would rather trust a real live human than some faceless company.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:19 AM): Dead on, Del. That' the ticket.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:20 AM): From a past web developer standpoint, I found it easier to work with clients that needed help ASKING the right questions more than needing answers.

Allan (1/15/2001 9:20 AM): I'm a one man show too. Does anyone know of any e-zines that except articles. Please e-mail me at

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:20 AM): Everyone wants a cool, usable website...But they forget, THEY AREN'T the users of the site.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:20 AM): absolutely

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:21 AM): Rob said it best, "It's not about YOU, it's about them." (Sorry if the quote isn't exact.)

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:21 AM): In fact, the mentality today, is that most businesses would rather buy the right answer fast than hire it and train it. And that's why you have to focus on your offering. If they don't know exactly what you're about, they'll move on to someone who is well-defined.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:22 AM): that's why we try to offer a complete solution, but we have to define that better

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:22 AM): Finally, Nick, DON'T worry about "the business you'll lose". You won't lose any. I worried that when I stopped doing ads and focused only on branding, the phone wouldn't ring. Well, it did slow down for a while, but as people got to know me for branding, it started ringing for branding work, which is what I want.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:22 AM): Natasha you still with us?

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:22 AM): Ok, I've gotten my fair share, and have a lot to think about, thank you!

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:22 AM): Yes.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:23 AM): Go Ahead COIT the brand I know?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:23 AM): No problem Nick....

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:23 AM): Nick: If you have a nice portfolio, clients can evaluate your output, but as much as they want to see what you can do, they really need to know you understand them.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:24 AM): Del, I have some thoughts about your site, but don't want to bog down the discussion here, do you want me to email you?

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:24 AM): Yes. We are a international home maintenance company.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:24 AM): Thus, they (from past perspective) seem to look for hand-holding, especially start-up sites.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:24 AM): I know them well. What can I do for you?

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:25 AM): Good morning, all! :-)

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:26 AM): The company didn't know what branding was before I came aboard I have finally convinced them it is something important, now I have to define it and shape it

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:26 AM): (Allan try

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:26 AM): Morning Dan

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:27 AM): Nick:

Allan (1/15/2001 9:27 AM): thanks

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:27 AM): Okay, Natasha. We can't do the whole branding program here, but I can give you some help. The quick fix is my book. and tapes That's the fastest, no kidding. I can also answer specific questions right here.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:28 AM): Other than that, I can jump on a jet and be in Burlingame in two hours!

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:28 AM): What are the main points that I should cover the vision? What tone should it have?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:30 AM): Natasha, that's a whole brand creation issue. And that's a major task. I need to know the company products and services, the goals of the company -- and of course, the internal culture -- before I can give you a realistic brand strategy that has real bottom line results.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:31 AM): I would like to have some sort of template so that I can steer the executive group.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:31 AM): I would like to have some sort of template so that I can steer the executive group.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:31 AM): That having been said, there are a number of things you need to consider that will enable your brand to increase customer loyalty and profitability and lower customer acquisition costs.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:32 AM): I have address all those issues, and I am working backwards.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:33 AM): Do you know where I can find examples of other companies brand visions? I know those things are not usually public info.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:33 AM): Natasha, buy the book, no kidding. It's only $36 and it will answer all your questions. You can get it at my site or by clicking the banner below. It's an easy read and quick. You may also find that creating your own brand from the "inside" will be close to impossible. Branding is for everyone OUTSIDE your company, not the ones who already know it. Committees kill brand development.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:34 AM): No kidding, I am fighting a war here!!!

Arik Schenkler ( (1/15/2001 9:34 AM): Entered the room.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:34 AM): I look forward to reading it.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:35 AM): If you let the branding process become politically driven, it will fail, I guarantee you. But once you get the branding right, everyone else will fall into line: the ad agency, the PR company, the web developers....which saves a lot of time, money and yelling.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:35 AM): Del, just emailed you. :)

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:35 AM): got it.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:36 AM): I agree, at this point no one can define who we are or who we want to be.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:36 AM): Natasha, of course I'm a consultant, but I mean this very sincerely: you will find that when you bring in a third party -- even if they echo your sentiments -- they respect the messenger more than they do the internal people.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:36 AM): Also, if you like what you read, you can toss the book on to their desks and say, "read this and see if you agree". Then it's not YOUR idea and if anyone gets taken to the woodshed, it's the consultant, not you.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:37 AM): Right again, unfortunately they are cheep and not totally convinced I could change the bottom line. I am really flying solo here.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:37 AM): Once the OWNERSHIP of the "brand concept" is not an issue, it all starts to work.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:39 AM): Well, you can always tell them how much it's costing NOT to do it. I do this every day....In the tapes I go over this at length. One story about a client in New York who was in exactly the same position. Didn't want to pay the rates. Then, 18 months, $4.5 million and three CEO's later, they did.....

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:39 AM): Natasha, remember that branding is so much more than a name and logo. It's programs that involve end users and motivate them to evangelize your product and service. It works for anything.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:40 AM): Even lowering acquisition costs and increasing per transaction profits must ring some bells with them!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:40 AM): I find that the more bottom line examples I can tie to branding, the easier it is to sell.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:41 AM): They see this as a cost center and not an investment.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:41 AM): Anyone else (before we run out of time)?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:41 AM): Natasha, I can show them how it's a profit center.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:41 AM): I have a quick question, if it's appropriate for me to ask at this time ...

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:41 AM): Thanks so much for your time.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:42 AM): Go Dan...

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:43 AM): No problem, Natasha. Hope that helped. It's not as tough as you think. I do this kind of sell-in quite a bit. It works.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:43 AM): I just put our rate card online and I'm looking for the best ways to get the word out about it (e.g., places to post). Of course, I sent a message out through FrankelBiz ...

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:43 AM): The URL, by the way, is

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:44 AM): Um, just as a thought...have you sent an announcement to all your past advertisers?

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:44 AM): Well I will give it a whirl and see what sticks.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:44 AM): Yes! :-)

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:45 AM): I also find that mentioning it as part of your contribution in any of the, or lists does wonders.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:45 AM): I've got legendary stickiness, Natasha!

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:45 AM): Yes, I've been trying to do that, as well.

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:46 AM): So are you trying to do this for free or spending bucks?

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 9:46 AM): Rob, just listening in; cannot find last week transcripts; any clues or am I thick !

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:46 AM): I'd like to do what I can at no cost or low cost.

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:46 AM): Good to know, the sense of humor doesn't hurt.

Nick- (1/15/2001 9:47 AM): Rob, when you get a chance, these discussion are great, are there other discussions that take place like this on the net?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:47 AM): Yeah, that's weird, Fraser. I'll fix that....

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:48 AM): Dan do you have a customer database? Have you though of an e-mail campaign?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:48 AM): there may be Nick, but I don' t follow them. None that are real time like this that I know of....

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 9:48 AM): cheers

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:48 AM): I am publicizing the rate card, using unsold space ("Your Message Could Be Here," etc.).

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:49 AM): Have you tried the group I suggested to Allan?

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:50 AM): I didn't catch the name -- could you please repeat it?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:51 AM): Fraser, try it now....

corey grushin (1/15/2001 9:51 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:52 AM):

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:53 AM): That's a group of e-zine publishers.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:53 AM): Thank you! :-) Any other ideas/thoughts?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:53 AM): Also, one of the best kept secrets is that gives Classified ads away for free. You might try that.

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:54 AM): Whom do I contact about that?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:55 AM): Just log on and subscribe. I think that's the form.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:55 AM): With Audette, you may have to be a subscriber, I don't know.

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 9:55 AM): Rob, browser showing 18th December as last transcript, am looking in right place ? what is the URL ?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:56 AM): Anyone else before we rush out for a second cup of coffee?

DanBerman-CyberTips.NET (1/15/2001 9:56 AM): OK: Thanks, Rob!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:56 AM): Refresh your browser, Fraser. Just uploaded it a minute ago.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:57 AM): rob: (worth capturing)?

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:57 AM): Del, if I were going to buy anything, I'd buy, which is up for sale for $1000 or $1500!!!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:58 AM): I wouldn't grab any URL that didn't have immediate buyers or a business plan ready to roll with it.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:58 AM): Any brand visions out there I can look at? Rob, do you have examples in your book?

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:59 AM): Ah...for alternate access to my eventual (summer?) b2b b2c greeting card business.

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 9:59 AM): Natasha, the book is loaded with examples and Before and Afters, with lots of case study rationales. Perfect for you.

Del ( (1/15/2001 9:59 AM): rob: wanna share in the profits? ;-)

Ngrasso (1/15/2001 9:59 AM): Thank you!!!!! perfect. You made my day!!!!

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 10:00 AM): Entered the room.

Fraser McCulloch (1/15/2001 10:00 AM): Nope, not there Rob!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 10:00 AM): I was going to buy it, but I fear the legal hurdles will cost more than the URL. The owner doesn't want to sell it to an American for just that reason. Our laws will favor Woody!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 10:00 AM): Glad to have helped. Okay, everyone, tie to go to work! I'll see you all online!

Rob Frankel ( (1/15/2001 10:00 AM): Fraser, I just saw it there! Clear your cache!

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