Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic January 29, 2001

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 8:58 AM): Although a bit early.... (1/29/2001 8:58 AM): Entered the room.

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 8:58 AM): Entered the room.

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 8:59 AM): Just lurking today (1/29/2001 8:59 AM): Hi ya, Rob. Top of the morning to you.

Del ( (1/29/2001 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:00 AM): Hi Meehna. Hey Fraser. (1/29/2001 9:00 AM): I've got a question if we're ready to go ?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:00 AM): Fire away! (1/29/2001 9:01 AM): You talk about affiliates in your book and how Amazon made them work. I'm not sure I really understand the money trail here. Can you please explain.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:03 AM): Affiliate programs are a real interesting issue. Basically, all an affiliate program does is pay people commissions for anything they sell.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:03 AM): In theory, it's great. You basically have a sales force at little or no cost. Amazon, being a first mover in the early web, was able to sell thousands of people on the theory

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:04 AM): As the web matures, however, affiliate programs perform less and less well. Not because the program is flawed, but that 99% of the affiliates who register do nothing more than slap a link up on their sites and pray. (1/29/2001 9:04 AM): So... Amazon decides if they want the click through on their site, if it applies and is a fit, and will bring in $$$. Is that it? Plus, it doesn't cost the other guy anything either. Or does it?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:04 AM): The truth is that only motivated salespeople really sell anything. (1/29/2001 9:05 AM): Oops, I got it backwards. I see now.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:05 AM): Nope. All you do is register as an affiliate. Amazon gives you a custom link. And if anyone gets to Amazon for anything through your link, you get paid a commission on anything they buy. (1/29/2001 9:06 AM): What if someone wants a link on Amazon's site? Do they pay?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:06 AM): Personally, I believe that in most cases, affiliate programs are another misguided dream of the web. They do work when applied properly, but they never really have lived up to their potential or promise.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:06 AM): OH YEAH. A link on Amazon costs big bucks. That's not an affiliate link -- that's a paid advertisement.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:07 AM): If you want more on the story, I have an article at (1/29/2001 9:07 AM): Cool, I'll look it up. Thanks.. Who's next. I don't want to monopolize here.

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:08 AM): Rob, you worked on a project a while back, a movie star web site, allowing fan interaction with their hero, the rationale was leverage existing fan base into retail action. Did this project ever extend beyond concept ? If so any lessons to be learned ?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:09 AM): That's funny you should ask, Fraser. You bet I learned a lesson:

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:09 AM): NEVER work with celebrities unless they pay everything up front!

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:11 AM): Per usual, the plan was very strong and would have worked brilliantly if it hadn't been for the celebrity's management. Especially out here, in star struck Los Angeles, celebrity managers believe that everyone will work for free just to be near the celebrity. (1/29/2001 9:11 AM): It kills me. Celebs, who usually have barrels of cash, have this sense of entitlement that everything should be free to them.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:11 AM): And in truth, many people ARE willing to work for free, simply to say they got near the celebrity. It's no secret now: I can tell you who the celebrity was.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:12 AM): The result is that nothing of consequence ever happened with their site. (1/29/2001 9:12 AM): Do tell!

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:13 AM): Rob, we plan to pay the star, thru the agent a flat fee. Then launch the web site plus a mobile phone text service. There are multiple revenue streams from the web, plus sponsored service

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:13 AM): Clue #1: If it had been branded properly, all of the visitors would be saying, "I'll be back!" (1/29/2001 9:13 AM): Enough said.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:14 AM): Fraser, you can make good money that way, especially if you limit the star to a flat fee. Just make sure your license is broad enough to cover all the revenue streams.

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:16 AM): Cheers, the only downfall is the star's limited shelf life . Agents just want money for minimum fuss

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:17 AM): If the minimum is small (I like to do minimum's against proceeds, which knocks down the minimum), you can leverage the star 'til kingdom come. (1/29/2001 9:18 AM): What do you mean by "limited shelf life?"

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:18 AM): How do you mean, minimum against proceeds ? Can you explain further ?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:18 AM): I'll tell you another star that I did pre-lim work for, who paid for a broad structural plan and then abandoned everything. The site would have been great for her because she was the #1 celeb in world for quite a while. Now that she's aging, the web is PERFECT to freeze her more youthful image for another decade....but they don't get it.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:19 AM): Fraser, the celeb might start out at say, $100 flat fee. But if you promise them 10% against all revenues, that fee might drop to $20.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:21 AM): That helps save you cash.

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:21 AM): Cool, that gives me some other options.

Karyn Zoldan ( (1/29/2001 9:22 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:22 AM): Just between us, I hardly ever take participation deals like that....but greedy people do. SO why not offer it?

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:23 AM): Rob, I am going to enter into this as my project, but the techy stuff will all be hosted, design etc by my web agency. They have the technology, I am the front, the brand, the sales. How do you see this relationship ? I assume I lead !

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:24 AM): Of course you assume the lead...and make sure you have a strong non-circumvent between you and any vendors or suppliers you bring into the deal. This is very important (1/29/2001 9:25 AM): How does one price out a project for a customer when dealing with vendors?

Fraser McCulloch (1/29/2001 9:26 AM): Cheers - BTW you should attend Core sponsorship in Chicago in Feb - 1200 brands all talking sponsorship, hint, hint

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:26 AM): Meehna, I long ago gave up formulating project costs based on cost plus mark up. I figure out what my value is to the project, then I add in the vendor cost. (1/29/2001 9:26 AM): That's what I figured...

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:26 AM): Fraser, I go anywhere they pay me to go. (stronger hint!!!)

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:28 AM): While I used to do free gigs, I now only speak or appear for free on rare occasions. For example, I found out last week, that the Revenge of Brand X is now a required text on at least three university campuses across the country. One class has asked me to do a chat with them, which I will do.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:29 AM): Or I may visit as a favor to friend, and of course, I don't charge anything when I do a FrankelBiz F2F. But that's about it.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:30 AM): what's your take on Jay Abraham (other than he's been reusing the same text forever and remarketing it.)

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:30 AM): I don't recommend that anyone work for free. No matter what it is you do. It cheapens your brand and more often than not, the free value you contribute is not repaid by the other party.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:31 AM): Wow, Del, you must be psychic! I just concluded negotiations with Jay on a deal he proposed.....

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:31 AM): :-)

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:31 AM): I agree with your assessment of Jay. I think he's in trouble for that reason. So I offered him a chance to market my products through his list.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:32 AM): But Jay's idea of a fair deal is that I supply everything, and get 25% or the NET.....a deal which I politely declined.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:32 AM): Rule #1: Never do bad business, no matter how tempting.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:32 AM): Insomuch that like some of Jay's ideas, quite a few of his suggestions cheapens a brand.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:33 AM): That should have been "25% OF the net", which as you know all depends on how you figure the net....

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:33 AM): Entered the room.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:34 AM): Wait...HE wanted 25% of the Net or he wanted YOU to have 25% of the Net?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:34 AM): I love Jay, but I agree. He doesn't really get the branding thing, in the same way he doesn't understand the web or its culture. But he maintains that he's trying and that's a start. He may have to fail at it a few times before he realizes he has to change.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:34 AM): No, Del, you got it right -- HE wanted 75% of everything.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:35 AM): And only wanted to give me a piece of the NET PROFITS. <---- Sucker deal

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:35 AM): Rob: That would provoke an easy response. "No freaking way." (1/29/2001 9:36 AM): Who is this guy. Never heard of him.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:36 AM): That does bring up an interesting tactic that he tried, and one that you should all be careful of:

Karyn Zoldan ( (1/29/2001 9:36 AM): Rob, I've been going through FrankelBee withdrawal pangs and haven't received any FB mail in 3-4 days.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:36 AM): meehan. Jay Abraham is one of the pioneers of the New Age marketing guys, a la Tony Robbins

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:37 AM): Karyn, my servers were changed and as a result, I haven't been able to send anything out. I hope to resolve it today.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:37 AM): That's why I'm trying to change server companies.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:37 AM): Rob: My favorite pitch from a potential client is "I'll purchase, say 20,000 postcards at a discounted price and if they work well, I'll do a run of 100,000." (1/29/2001 9:38 AM): How can you identify a fake from a phony?

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:38 AM): Rob, just curious about your take on web site promotion...specifically web site promotion companies (i.e. search engine registration etc.) that's what I've been doing for about 2 and a half years so I've seen a lot (done work in a company - last week I mentioned it was a vert. portal, and I've done work on my own)...sorry if I'm talking out of turn...

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:38 AM): Anyway, during the negotiations by phone, I set everything down very clearly as to what I thought was a fair deal. The party on the other end of the line agreed to everything and said he'd follow up with a written document (which I insisted on).

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:38 AM): Of course, when I got the document, the terms were completely different. He must have expected me to sign it without reading it.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:39 AM): Rob: This was Jay?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:39 AM): Meehna, after a while, you can sniff fakes out through e-mail....

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:39 AM): Del: No comment

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:40 AM): One thing about Jay - them sales letters work like a charm - I found a sample and created my own, sent it off to a potential client and eventually got the sale

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:40 AM): Nathan, what specifically are you asking?

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:40 AM): When does your promotion on Jay's list start?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:40 AM): Jay definitely has his successes, no question. I respect him and his achievements

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:40 AM): I'll rephrase Rob: How would you brand a web site promotion company?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:41 AM): It doesn't Del, I killed the deal: Like I said, Rule #1: I don't do bad business.

Karyn Zoldan ( (1/29/2001 9:41 AM): Thanks for the chat Rob. I've missing my daily dose of FrankelBiz. It's like my web I.V. Have a great day.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:42 AM): Oh-oh-oh. I thought you had managed to rework it and get it to go through. Sorry, misunderstood.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:42 AM): Nathan, that's a very broad question. I think I would start with (naturally) what end users feel they are missing from other web promotion services. As you know, different people have different needs from SEO's.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:42 AM): There are a lot of promotion companies and most are in it for themselves - not for the customer - *** SUMBIT TO 1,000 SEARCH ENGINES ***, it's a bunch of hogwash

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:43 AM): Nathan: Start an education campaign...

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:43 AM): Yeah, Nathan, but those guys aren't getting the customers you want. You want people who will spend $30K for SEO, not $49 for Webmaster gold software.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:43 AM): I just started going through the clickz archives and learned some interesting facts about different search engines and the user base.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:43 AM): Things I didn't know.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:44 AM): Nathan, those hacks that blast e-mails all over the place are actually doing you a favor, because they're providing you an example to sell against.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:45 AM): Such as?

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:46 AM): O.K. - I'm in the upper ranks of SEO - not the submit once and you are done - basically, I do start with education (thanks Del!), gotta let people know why NOT to pay $19.95 for a one-time submission...specifically I like to help companies that want to increase their exposure on the Net...I don't promise things...more so make sure the company is registered where they need to be to maximize their presence

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:46 AM): 69.1% of all users access Yahoo! for searches. Inktomi and Looksmart capture over 81% of the internet user base.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:47 AM): You can buy placement in Inktomi for $20 for the first page and $10 for each additional.

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:47 AM): Looksmart powers MSN, altavista, excite and iwon. etc.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:47 AM):'s not really "placement", it's more so that they will "spider" or index your need to have a good page to get placement

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:47 AM): Nathan, you need to take a long hard look at the main reasons why others are DISSATISFIED with their current SEO.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:48 AM): Rob, I think too you have to factor in that most companies still have no concept of search engines and the Internet...they have no idea about SEO yet (1/29/2001 9:48 AM): Help with terminology, please. SEO?

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:49 AM): Nathan: Correct. But with getting listed on search engines becoming more difficult...and getting listed WELL is nearly impossible for someone with no experience, you should be able to easily brand your company."

Del ( (1/29/2001 9:49 AM): I mean, being on the web is completely different than being SUCCESSFUL on the web. ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:49 AM): I can tell you that as a consultant myself, I get a lot more respect and much higher fees by taking that approach with my prospects. Once I connect, I'm able to listen to them and respond where other vendors cannot.

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:49 AM): Meehna: Search Engine Optimization

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:49 AM): Search Engine Optimization, Meenha.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING) (1/29/2001 9:50 AM): Thank you, Rob! :)

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:50 AM): Being on my own as well...I can spend more time with the clients that need! (1/29/2001 9:50 AM): And Marshal!

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:51 AM): Rob, how do you help potential customers realize that the higher fees are justified by the end product - i.e. more exposure, customers, etc.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:51 AM): Not saying I want to rip people off...just how does this process happen...

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:51 AM): Nathan, you may want to include issues that go beyond placement. For example, letting clients know that your placements not only get higher ranking, but are more conducive to business matters, i.e., higher clickthroughs.

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:52 AM): Nathan: I try to focus on my clients return per visitor...

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:52 AM): Nathan, if you can tell -- specifically -- how your SEo goes beyond high placement and how you can add stuff to my pages that will sell more people once they get there, I'm telling you, you'll get people's ears.

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:53 AM): Show them how much money you can bring back into their business

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:53 AM): marshal do you do seo as well?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:53 AM): It's ALL about business, Nathan, NOT just your specialty. That's what everyone else keeps missing.

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:53 AM): Yes

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:54 AM): I talk to a bunch of SEO's and NONE of them have even MENTIONED how they can help me once they get my page listed higher.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:55 AM): Gotcha Rob...makes sense...I also specialize in information architecture for the web...thus given you get someone to a web site what do you want them to do - as Ken Evoy says - the Most Wanted Response!

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:56 AM): Rob: Are you saying that most SEO's stop short of the real problem? Getting the sale?

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:56 AM): I developed a site from scratch thus making SEO easier - the goal of the site was to get contacts for a product that is in upwards of $75,000 - they now get 25 - 30 contacts a month - TANGIBLE RESULTS is my selling point - or at least what I try to focus on!

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:56 AM): What you are looking for is not really more traffic but more sales right?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:56 AM): Of course. It amazes me how self-focused people can be. If you just step back and think about extending your services into their other areas, it totally blows their minds and increases your value. Your increased value = higher fees.

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:57 AM): So really the SEO is just one part of the actual service you are looking for.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:57 AM): marshal...if you could get more sales from less traffic what you pick? Of course if you can have both great!

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:57 AM): No Marshal, I'm saying that EVERYONE tends to piss clients off by simply "just doing their job" from their own point of view, instead of helping their clients they way a client appreciates and rewards.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:58 AM): Yeah, marshal, I would hire the guy who sat down and listened to what my business agenda was, because I can't believe that there aren't different SEO strategies for different types of business.

Nathan (1/29/2001 9:58 AM): Rob, can you give an example from your experience of how you went past doing your job?

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 9:59 AM): Really what we are talking about is more web site marketing and not just SEO.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 10:00 AM): Well, in the book, I talk about a gift shop that started out just selling stuff. By the time I got done with them, they were following up with users, making sure the recipient of their gifts really were as happy as the site had promised.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 10:00 AM): Marshal, SEO is part of marketing, no? Yes, I think you're right.

Rob Frankel ( (1/29/2001 10:01 AM): Ack, where does the time go? Hey I gotta run. I'll see you all online...Thanks! (1/29/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob!

Marshal ( (1/29/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob and Nathan.

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