Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic January 18, 1999

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:00 AM): Greetings, one and all....

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:00 AM): good morning

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:01 AM): What's the deal this morning? Anyone have any questions/issues?

good morning (1/18/99 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:01 AM): I have a question...about site sponsorship

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:02 AM): Uh Oh, whoever signed on as Good Morning, we only use real names here. Log off and back on with your real name...

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:02 AM): we have been interested in getting sponsorship for out site

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:02 AM): Okay, Jim, you're up.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:02 AM): but are not sure where to start....

Arthur (1/18/99 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (1/18/99 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:03 AM): What kind of site do you have Jim?

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:03 AM): it is a magazine for home business professionals

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:04 AM): we have a lot of content pages - though low traffic currently

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:05 AM): Low traffic is no problem, if your traffic is highly targeted. (1/18/99 9:05 AM): I'm working on the same issue as Jim, but get a fair amount of traffic on my travel site

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:05 AM): Rob - It's not entirely clear to people new to this chat that the *first* time it is asking for your name, not your comment.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:06 AM): our traffic is very targeted and we capture people when they find us

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:06 AM): The trick is to present your highly targeted audience to a sponsor in terms of effectiveness, not numbers. (1/18/99 9:06 AM): What's the URL, Jim?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:06 AM): This is how I present the FrankelBiz list for sponsorship.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:06 AM):

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:07 AM): I've always had the question come to mind (when I hear you say that, Rob): You keep saying, don't worry about the numbers. I *agree* that ultimately advertisers want ROI (return on investment), but they/we need to have *some* idea of total numbers.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:07 AM): conveying effectiveness backed by what?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:08 AM): Well, David, when they ask me about FrankelBiz, I tell them "over a thousand". That pretty much stops the questions. With a web site, if you're hitting a basic number, that's all they need to know.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:09 AM): Backed by response, Jim. The market is slowly starting to listen to what I've said all along: raw numbers mean nothing. Sales mean everything.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:09 AM): If you start telling people too much about numbers, they get distracted and fall into math exercises instead of business strategy.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:10 AM): So, Jim, you've got to really know who is coming to your site. And why they'd be more responsive for your potential sponsor.

Earl (1/18/99 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:10 AM): gaining that information is through surveys? ((seems obvious but I have to ask))

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:10 AM): Agreed, sales means everything, Rob. But then you would be willing to accept payment as percentage-of-sale. At least if I look at "over 1,000", I can guess it's between 1,000 and 10,000. That gives me a rough ballpark.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:11 AM): The minute you start showing them you know how their business works, and why your visitors are a perfect match, they'll listen. And sign up.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:11 AM): Math is *part* of business (1/18/99 9:11 AM): How do you determine sponsorship fees?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:12 AM): You can gain that information through your visited content, too. Where are they spending the most time? What kinds of feedback are they offering? (David has an excellent product for that, that's free)

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:12 AM): Jim D: not necessarily surveys. You can learn an awful lot from your audience's comments/questions/discussions

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:12 AM): that was my next question, Laurie


RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:13 AM): Nah, I'm kidding. But I would start with a monthly fee based on the kind of money you'd like to make. If you have a sophisticated site, you can also offer participation in sales.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:13 AM): Sponsorship fees = max( your costs, what the market will bear) ... :-) (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) (1/18/99 9:14 AM): Well, I got one form of sponsorship for - I got a realty company to pay per-head per month with a year contract - they get a custom database that tracks requests for realty guides, I get so much per month to underwrite database-enabling the rest of the site. But that's just a start and I don't know where to go from here.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:14 AM): The truth is that your sponsors need you more than you need them. Because you have the qualified leads that they want. So it's worth it to them to spend $1,500 or $2,000 a month to find solid leads.

David R (1/18/99 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:15 AM): if I were setting up a proposal...what does it look like?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:16 AM): At $1,500 per month, for example, they're paying $50 a day to present themselves to highly qualified prospects. If a business won't pay that -- less than a newspaper classified -- they aren't serous about business.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:16 AM): it seems reasonable that the price has to be set on something, not just what we think we're worth...

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:17 AM): No, Jim, you're 100% wrong. It's up to you to set your value because nobody else knows your value but you. And if you don't, how do you expect them to set it?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:18 AM): I'm working on a deal right now where we're probably going to charge $500,000 for an annual master sponsorship on one site.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:18 AM): it's a much different consent than I'm used to.... the Internet is so ... pay per view

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:19 AM): Don't let the morons who THINK they know everything fool you. The biggest job you ever have in business is educating everyone else to your value.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:19 AM): The trick is to educate them in a way that is meaningful to them -- like how you can produce sales for them. THAT they understand. (1/18/99 9:19 AM): Aha! The educating thing. I'm about worn out on that one.

Louise the SoapLady (1/18/99 9:19 AM): Entered the room. (1/18/99 9:20 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:20 AM): Y'see, that's where Rob & I diverge... I figure that if I ask for too much or too little, business won't be long-term. If I can have an idea of how the advertiser is doing, ultimately (in terms of sales), we'll be able to work together long-term in a win-win. Thus, my prices aren't so much what I *think* they should be, but rather what the market dictates.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:20 AM): Yeah, but educating five sponsors for your site at $2,500 per month per sponsor is worth the effort.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:21 AM): Yes, David and I disagree here, because I'm a branding guy. I truly believe that my services cannot be duplicated, so I charge a premium. And I work hard to make sure I deliver.

Arthur (1/18/99 9:21 AM): Rob- this is great advice, what is the best way to choose and contact a potential sponsor

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:22 AM): One of the main benefits of a good brand is that you can charge premium rates -- forget what the market has to say. Why let them dictate your rates? (1/18/99 9:22 AM): So...I've got this vision of free listings to all the local tourism operators here to get everyone on, and then sponsorships to make it pay. The site gets about 25,000 page views a month in the off-tourist season - is it pie-in-the-sky to think it could happen?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:22 AM): Arthur, the best way is to seriously look at your site and your visitors and figure out why they're visiting. Then start playing matchmaker.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:23 AM): No, Laurie, it can happen. Arthur, now take those people and analyze their interests. Then fit them with a business you think would benefit by promoting to these guys.

Arthur (1/18/99 9:24 AM): Is the phone or email the way to contact the sponsor

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:24 AM): It's not "them"; the market is not faceless/nameless. The market is us... buying and selling. If an advertiser can make a fair profit on a campaign where I sell him/her ad space for $30 CPM, but they take a loss at $40, then I'm gonna keep selling to them at $30.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:24 AM): So in Jim's case, let's say that home office stuff is in his viewers' interest. You start with SOHO service and manufacturers. (1/18/99 9:24 AM): Good question, Arthur!

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:25 AM): Great question, Arthur. I ALWAYS start with e-mail. That way you know who's serious about web stuff and who isn't. If they respond by e-mail, they're workable.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:26 AM): weeding out the *players* through email

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:26 AM): Naturally, you're correct, David. But that discussion comes after you've made the initial sale. Nothing wrong in making it win-win.

Muhammad( (1/18/99 9:26 AM): Excellent point, must companies that don't answer E-mail will need an education in online business before they start advertising

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:26 AM): I found that Internet World Fall '98 was my best source for meeting potential advertisers face-to-face. I was more successful in the "cheap seats" (lower priced booths) because their marketing budgets were often more in line with what I have to offer.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:27 AM): Bingo, Jim. You don't want to make this harder on yourself than it has to be. You want players who are rowing in the same direction.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:27 AM): Dead on, David. I had more success at IWorld 98, too, in the cheap seats, for exactly the same reasons. Very good thinking. (1/18/99 9:27 AM): How do you manage multiple sponsors so they all feel they're getting value?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:28 AM): I find that the middle section -- not too small but certainly not huge -- make the best business partners. They are willing to listen and explore with you.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:28 AM): u mean I managed to miss seeing you there? :-)

Muhammad( (1/18/99 9:28 AM): Everyone is different, you must find various aspects of your site to sell to each one. (1/18/99 9:29 AM): I'm thrilled to know that I'm not the only one who looks at a trade show as an oppty to pick and choose potential clients!

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:29 AM): Nah, I was at Spring IWorld....too cheap to fly outta here for Fall

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:29 AM): okay, we get a bite... how do we educate our potential sponsor? what goes in the proposal?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:29 AM): Multiple sponsors can manage different parts depending on content. In your case, bed and breakfasts, tour planners, etc.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:30 AM): Jim, you tell them how you're going to help them grow THEIR businesses, and you tell them in specific terms.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:30 AM): Muhammad is trying to get me to go to a (much smaller) show here in Philadelphia; I'm starting to think that the entry fee might be worthwhile (although IW was essentially free).

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:31 AM): I'm in Philly...where's the show?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:31 AM): On FrankelBiz, for example, we offer to publicize their name, but also offer a program for joint ventures, affiliates and brand endorsements. You develop programs especially for them.

Muhammad( (1/18/99 9:32 AM): That show comes to down to targeting David, I think that a lot of the participants will be in need of our services.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:33 AM): One of the easiest is a discount program for everyone that you drive to their site.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:33 AM): to summarize, we have to figure out who comes to our site, then research a sponsor and fit them together

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:34 AM): Jim: I have no opinion (+/-) as to any aspect (that's my disclaimer :-)

David ( (1/18/99 9:34 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:35 AM): Sure. After all, if someone came to you with that proposal, wouldn't you listen?

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:36 AM): Yes, Jim. I think there was a recent ClickZ article on finding a product/service to sell to the audience that you have, rather than the traditional vice versa

David ( (1/18/99 9:36 AM): Does anyone recommend using an ad/sponsorship rep rather than hawking sponsorships yourself? Are potential sponsors more likely to respond to reps or publishers?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:36 AM): As a matter of fact, I will be announcing just such a program to the FrankelBees in just a few weeks.

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:36 AM): good question

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:37 AM): I stay as far away from ad brokers as I can. They're agenda are totally converse to yours.

David ( (1/18/99 9:37 AM): how so?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:38 AM): Brokers and reps try to sell ad space and deals. You'll make far more money when you help other people build their businesses.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:38 AM): Rep firms, especially, just push your site to sell ad space. Then when the clients ads don't produce, everyone points their fingers at you, not the broker.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:39 AM): I also think that they are (necessarily) stretched over too many sites.

David ( (1/18/99 9:39 AM): so it's just a matter of finding the appropriate contacts at the potential sponsors in question and pitching them? (1/18/99 9:39 AM): So, I might be wise to wait two or three weeks, Rob, and see what the sponsorship-fairy brings :?)

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:40 AM): Yes. You missed the earlier part of the discussion, but the archives will have them by later today or tomorrow.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:41 AM): Well, it will be interesting, Laurie. I don't know yet about sponsorships per se, but that might fit into it.

David ( (1/18/99 9:41 AM): thanks. I'll check them out. (1/18/99 9:41 AM): Is "matchmaking" one of the services you offer, then, Rob?

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:42 AM): Even with Rob's program, I doubt that there will be any fairies, Laurie. Sales *always* takes effort.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:43 AM): On occasion, Laurie, I do offer to put sites and sponsors together. But it's not my main thing. Being a branding guy, it sort of happens because we spend so much time on brand definition and strategy.

David ( (1/18/99 9:43 AM): Is it necessary to have a third party survey conducted, or do most people respond well to in-house market research?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:43 AM): For example, Dave Doggett's site is extremely highly targeted. I believe that could be an easy one to fix up, provided he doesn't mess it up with his recent "" addition...

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:44 AM): Well, research is always tricky. Most people don't respond totally accurately. Start by noticing the activity on your site. That's the REAL indicator of what people are really doing. (1/18/99 9:44 AM): Well, obviously, David - but historically I've found waiting out Rob's programs to be a smarter move than not. I always forget how poorly humor travels in text.

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 9:46 AM): no prob, Laurie

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:48 AM): Okay, what else are we discussing? (1/18/99 9:48 AM): Boy, has John got the product we're talking about, or what! I just dropped in, John, very interesting software for analysis.

David ( (1/18/99 9:49 AM): What about traffic audit? Is it necessary to get a third part verification of usage numbers before pitching sponsorships?

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:49 AM): My ears were burning ;-)

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:49 AM): Tell us more. You can plug here.

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:50 AM): I haven't seen the whole conversation (just the last 20 lines or so)...

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:52 AM): With our Sniffers, you can track the true viewership of just about any of your online content: banners (even on other sites), newsgroup postings, how people move through your site, how they leave...

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:54 AM): So if you're selling banners space on your own site, or buying banner space, you get a complete cache-corrected click-trail for everyone who sees it and then (possibly) clicks-through.

Muhammad( (1/18/99 9:54 AM): I have a client who uses it, he seems fairly satisfied.

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 9:55 AM): For as little as $19.99/month... I'm sure I could come up with something special for FrankelBees...!

Jim_D (1/18/99 9:55 AM): Rob - going back - you said numbers don't matter. Is that easily related to a Sponsor? Will they want something concrete?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:58 AM): Sure. They want to know that you will deliver the bodies you say you will. Of course, it's THEIR job to close the sale.

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

RobFrankel (1/18/99 9:59 AM): Naturally, you have to deliver numbers that will make the whole program worthwhile.

Muhammad( (1/18/99 9:59 AM): John, I think we spoke earlier but lets speak again. I may want to try that.

Jim_D (1/18/99 10:00 AM): so price of sponsoring us is based on what we project in potential customers?

RobFrankel (1/18/99 10:00 AM): But if you've done your homework, that should be easy to do. Also remember that most people NEVER show up with that kind of proposal. They just show up with their hands out.

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 10:00 AM): Muhammad, just drop me a note at We'll set you up right away!

RobFrankel (1/18/99 10:00 AM): Okay, you guys, I've gotta run. But you are most welcome to continue as long as you want. You can also use this site to meet any time you like during the week. See you online! (1/18/99 10:00 AM): thanks for everything again, Rob!

Muhammad( (1/18/99 10:01 AM): Cool, I will talk to later.

Jim_D (1/18/99 10:01 AM): thank you Rob and everyone for the advice (1/18/99 10:01 AM): Have a great week, everyone! BYE!

John Charlesworth ( (1/18/99 10:01 AM): See ya!

Arthur (1/18/99 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob great stuff

Muhammad( (1/18/99 10:01 AM): Have a great day everyone, talk to you later.

David Beroff ( (1/18/99 10:02 AM): Jim_D: shoot me some email ( in case we organize a FrankelBee lunch or something at that conference

Jim_D (1/18/99 10:02 AM): absolutely David...thanks for your help as well

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