Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic January 31, 2000

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 8:58 AM): Entered the room.

Terri ( (1/31/100 8:59 AM): Greetings Rob! Hi Robert!

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 8:59 AM): Yoo hoo, guess who's early today!

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:01 AM): So who's up first, Chris? Steve?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:01 AM): We always let the newer guys go first.... (1/31/100 9:02 AM): Gooooood morning, everyone! Had to finish up an E-Mail, but I'm all ears (eyeballs?) now!

Dave- (1/31/100 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Dave- (1/31/100 9:04 AM): hi, I actually remembered this Monday

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:04 AM): Rob, What's the first step in building branding (do you have a list?)

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:06 AM): The first step? Funny you should ask. I spent the weekend proofing the book for publishing...

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:06 AM): Did you get my e-mail on that self-publishing site, Rob?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:06 AM): The first step is to figure out what you're really selling. The second is to figure out how NOT to sell it and make others want to buy it.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:07 AM): Not yet, Terri. Was too busy with Jo Anna....

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:07 AM): How do make others want to buy it?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:07 AM): Anyway, that's how you get to the "presenting yourself as the only solution" part. The hardest part of creating a brand is seeing yourself from the outside in.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:08 AM): Robert, the trick is to see your company from the outside. Most people cannot do this. They're too politically wired into their company, which is how it should be. (1/31/100 9:08 AM): Rob, don't go starting any rumors, now! Everyone knows we're both in Southern California! :-)

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:09 AM): But if you can get to that point, you replace your Unique Selling Proposition with a Unique Buying Proposition. You have to see your company from their points of view.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:10 AM): JoAnna, I don't start any rumors. It's all true and I'm not ashamed!!!

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:11 AM): Anyway, when the book comes out, you'll find Action Items at the end f each chapter that should help spark your thinking.

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:11 AM): when does the book come out?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:11 AM): Robert, the best suggestion I can give you now is to download

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:12 AM): The Revenge of Brand X should be out by spring.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:12 AM): That's a very good name for it, Rob - Unique Buying Proposition - the term itself changes focus!

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:12 AM): One lesson I've learned is that publishes have the collective IQ of a doorknob.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:12 AM): Thank you, Terri. It gets a lot of response at speaking gigs, too. (1/31/100 9:13 AM): Oh, gosh. There goes my reputation.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:13 AM): Jo Anna, it didn't have very far to go.....

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:14 AM): I decided to set an example and publish independently. I'm going to announce the book to the FrankelBees first, and probably set up an affiliate program for anyone who doesn't want to go through Amazon. (1/31/100 9:15 AM): you were waiting for that...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:15 AM): Is Steve or Chris still here? Any questions/comments?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:16 AM): I am so ticked off that those publishers wasted almost a year of my time. This book was supposed to be out in early 1999.

STEVEND (1/31/100 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:16 AM): Hello all.

Dave- (1/31/100 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Dave- (1/31/100 9:17 AM): Could you elaborate a little on Unique Buying Proposition?

STEVEND (1/31/100 9:17 AM): HI ROB! IM a new excited member and don't know quite what to ask

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:18 AM): Sure. Ages ago, the old dinosaur agencies came up with a theory that every client needed a point of differentiation from its competition.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:18 AM): You just jump in (politely) Steve. You'll get the hang of it real quick! Welcome!

Dave- (1/31/100 9:19 AM): Product Differentiation...

STEVEND (1/31/100 9:19 AM): thanks

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:19 AM): Can I change the topic a little?

Bob ( (1/31/100 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:19 AM): The problem these days, is that we have so much media choice that the SELLING proposition is no longer accurate. People know what they want to buy. You have to cater to that, not what you want to sell

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:20 AM): Sure, Chester, go ahead.

Dave- (1/31/100 9:21 AM): marketing driven company?

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:21 AM): Was anyone else disappointed in the commercials during the game yesterday?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:21 AM): Chester, I didn't even watch the damn thing. Overblown hype.

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:22 AM): I liked the FEDEX commercial

STEVEND (1/31/100 9:22 AM): Rob , coming from a very snowy north carolina, I wondered if you ever come to this part of the country for conferences?

Dave- (1/31/100 9:22 AM): was there a game yesterday?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:22 AM): Dave, to finish off, it gets you thinking less about what you sell and more about what your end user wants to buy.

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:22 AM): I thought some of the ones last year were pretty good, but nothing stood out this year. Bud didn't even run the lizards. At least the game was good... (1/31/100 9:22 AM): I didn't watch it either...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:23 AM): Only when they pay me to, Steve. Someone had contacted me about that, but I don't think the budget was there....

Dave- (1/31/100 9:23 AM): ok.. Thanks

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:23 AM): Especially with the web, Dave, where people log on KNOWING what they want to buy...they just want to find the place where they can click and purchase, SELLING doesn't work as well as showing them where to buy.

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:24 AM): You need to take it a step further, you need to make it easy to buy...

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:25 AM): I cannot even begin to count the number of shopping carts I have abandoned because it gets to time-consuming to deal with...

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:25 AM): Rob, one of the things I did on my site when I revamped it recently was to ask questions that show I understand some of the issues that my visitor needs to solve - After a year of having my page up, with only 2 client inquiries, I got 5 inquiries in 3 days after the change

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:25 AM): Right. Too many people make the mistake of thinking that the web is just TV via computers. It's not. It's a people-driven medium. WE decide where we go and when, not some jughead in ABC's programming office.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:25 AM): True Chester. The abandon rate for shopping carts is 30%. Which means one third of all shoppers never check out.

Dave- (1/31/100 9:25 AM): Ah, I see. They can search for what they want to buy and there is little opportunity to sell to them

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:26 AM): Terri, you get it. Nice shooting. See how this stuff works? The less selfish we are, the better we do!

Yancey ( (1/31/100 9:26 AM): Thus the explosion of 1 to 1 marketing?

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:26 AM): One of the most common mistakes in trying to get feedback is using a mailto link instead of taking the time to create a form. Corporate LAN users often don't have systems that support the mailto thing...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:26 AM): Yet you'd be amazed at how many "big" guys don't get it. I skewer a bunch of them in the book (PLUG)

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:27 AM): You know, the next thing I want to learn is CGI scripting so that I can do that, Chester. For some reason I'm kind of scared of it....

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:27 AM): Chester, I've heard both ways praised - so I offer both a form and a mailto on my site

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:27 AM): I deal with them every day. I have been building sites for 4 years now, but they seem to know more than me... :)

Dave- (1/31/100 9:27 AM): Thanks... I gotta go. Bye

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:28 AM): Rob, since my site thrives on businesses advertising at, how do I convince these advertisers that they will gain more business my advertising on my site?

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:29 AM): Rob, I used a free form creator from for a long time.. just now switching those over to my own forms in my CGI-bin .. check out for the easiest ones I've found

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:29 AM): You don't have to be. Just learn enough cgi that you can modify what others have used before.

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:30 AM): Formmail from Matt's Script Archive is VERY easy to use.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:30 AM): Robert, you've got to give them a test drive that proves your claim of ROI (return on investment). Think about it. What have you got to lose?

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:31 AM): like a 90 day free trial, correct?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:31 AM): I think what spooks me is knowing how to customize the script that you drop into the bin. Tying up the links from my form to that script...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:31 AM): Robert, if your site sits there making no money, you might as well open it up for testing with some partners.

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:32 AM): Formmail is VERY well documented. I'd be willing to help if you want to contact me by email.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:32 AM): if it works, you'll be able to use it as a test proof for others.

Benjamin Fitts ( (1/31/100 9:32 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:33 AM): Is it tough to tie up the form on your site with the script -- or is it just editing?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:34 AM): Robert -- once you document the test case, you can fire that puppy to all those potential prospects and you're looking real solid.

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:34 AM): how long should the test case be?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:34 AM): And your test partners will give you glowing recommendations when the prospects call them. What more could you ask for?

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:34 AM): Just basic text editing. Homesite works well for it. (It doesn't appear you use FrontPage, which is a good thing).

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:35 AM): Depends on the campaign and what you're selling.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:35 AM): No Chester, I hate Front Page. I use Pagemill (so that I can tell people I use the most basic stuff) but I also use Dreamweaver for more complex designs... (1/31/100 9:36 AM): Rob's example is similar to what I tell job seekers who have no experience doing what they want to do. I tell them to volunteer for some not -for- profit, and do what they're trying to get a job for, and PRESTO - they have experience. You can do the same

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:36 AM): Contact me by email and I can walk you through it and show you some examples...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:37 AM): JoAnna, I agree, but you might as well volunteer for a FOR profit. It gives people NO excuses for rejecting you

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:37 AM): ok. I am considering giving them a 90 trial at no charge. Let them "test drive" it. When it produces the results, I can charge them

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:37 AM): Thanks, Chester, I will.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:37 AM): Rob, the form I use from BNB was just changing a couple of addresses and then making the address inside the form itself link up to the form handler - I'm sure you could do it .. and I only use Notepad to do all my editing (1/31/100 9:38 AM): Of course, Rob... (it cut me off) you can do the same thing with a potentially paying client...

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:38 AM): Robert, 90 days seems awfully long. 30 days is long enough to see results.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:40 AM): Is Chris Crosby still here?

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:41 AM): Robert, what kind of clients are you expecting on your site (advertising wise)

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:43 AM): My site is for home-related services such as plumbers, exterminators, heating /AC etc. About 30 services in all.


RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:43 AM): By Steve.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:45 AM): Okay, what else? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:45 AM): Robert, do you also have handyman types listed? Those small businesses might love to have you put them onto a local site (I could sure use one of them here in Phoenix!)

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:47 AM): I will. I have started with 6 categories. What makes my directory unique is that these businesses can select the zip codes they want to cater to. Inexpensively I might add. One piece of business will usually cover the cost of advertising for a full year.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:48 AM): Wow! then your Unique Buying Proposition is that they can find a service provider right next door! (figuratively speaking *grin*)

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:49 AM): Yes. Tell a look at

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:49 AM): Umm, make that "take" a look

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:50 AM): Exactly Terri. It for local businesses to get local business using the power of the net. We market their business.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING) (1/31/100 9:51 AM): so I should click on Littlerock CA (1/31/100 9:52 AM): clicking on the zip code doesn't do anything...

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:52 AM): But your buyer is really the person needing service, right? The local business is an advertiser and they are your market, but you will want to make the visitor (the buyer of the service) stay - Rob, that is great!

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:53 AM): JoAnne, that's because there are no businesses in your zip code yet. It coming though.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:53 AM): Handshake is doing it with $ backing...

Chester ( (1/31/100 9:54 AM): I had better get back to work, see you all next week.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:54 AM): Ummm actually, it looks great but every link I click gives me an error :( (1/31/100 9:54 AM): oh, it's not obvious, it doesn't say that the thing I click on should be a link or just says click on the zip code.

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:55 AM): Still working out the bugs, Terri.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:55 AM): but it should give you a lot of ideas, Robert, of things to have on your site like Buyer's guides and stuff of value to the visitor

Bob ( (1/31/100 9:56 AM): Sorry-I had to leave & just got back. BTW thanks Terri for your feedback (1/31/100 9:56 AM): bye, Chester!

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:56 AM): Robert, it definitely looks good so far :) You're welcome Bob!

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:58 AM): Thank you Terri. I keep you posted on the growth.

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (1/31/100 9:59 AM): Robert, do you have any services in Southern California?

Robert ( (1/31/100 9:59 AM): JoAnna, not yet.

Terri ( (1/31/100 9:59 AM): I gotta run everyone! Rob, great session! Thanks for your time today :) See you all online! (1/31/100 10:00 AM): Well, the bird clock is chirping, so it must be 10am. Bye everyone! Have a great week!

RobFrankel ( (1/31/100 10:00 AM): Okay, you guys, I'm outta here. JoAnna, I've sent our friend an e-mail. I'll let you know what happens....

Robert ( (1/31/100 10:01 AM): Thank you all. Have a great week. (1/31/100 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob. You're the best. (I mean that! wink wink)

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