Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic February 4, 2002

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:00 AM): Greetings, everyone. Sorry if I'm a bit late today....

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:01 AM): Pete - other reasons, really

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:01 AM): Rob: You just made it hehe

Bob Lazor(www.promotionsforyou.com) (2/4/2002 9:01 AM): Good morning everyone

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:01 AM): hi Rob

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:01 AM): Jon: Oh well, hope it all goes well!

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:02 AM): Pete: thanks - in the meantime I need to figure out how to keep myself busy -hence these chats!

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:03 AM): Jon: My problem is finding things to keep me busy with work, and not play ;-)

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:03 AM): Jonathan, is the three month respite voluntary or a sign of the times?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:04 AM): Hi Marty....you have a topic I can help with?

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:04 AM): Rob - it's actually for medical reasons, and from my primary job. For ethical reasons, I won't work at my own business either during this time.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:04 AM): Re: the industry right now... I'd say things are quite optimistic in the field.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:06 AM): hi rob... heh just noticed the new msgs come in at the top

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:07 AM): Okay, who's going first today?

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:07 AM): funny because I wrote a perl script very similar to this chat pgm but it's been a while since I used it myself!

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 9:07 AM): Hi Rob

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:07 AM): yes rob there is something I'm interested in

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:07 AM): GO for it Marty.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:08 AM): Good morning, Rob, et al.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:08 AM): ok, I've spent the past year plus writing a great product; now need to learn how to market it effectively

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:09 AM): That's pretty vague, Marty. Care to be more specific?

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:10 AM): gladly; my product is a content mgmt system I call SIMPL; it's designed to make it easy for people to create and maintain there own websites

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:10 AM): What's your revenue model? And how is it different than the others offered out there?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/4/2002 9:11 AM): Marty: FYI, I got more info on what you do out of the message you just typed than I did looking through your website. you need to let your visitors know what you do and what you're offering by cutting out the cliches and the rhetoric, and getting down to business...

Del (2/4/2002 9:12 AM): My opinion. Fix your website. Too much text without substance (or even screen shots).

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:12 AM): I second Ben.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:12 AM): If you mean pricing... I'm currently bundling it with my hosting plan. My goal is to keep it that way while I get my first 100 or so customers. It's different in that it's very easy to use, no download or install required; all web based with features other low cost products do not offer.

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 9:13 AM): hi Del

Del (2/4/2002 9:13 AM): hey

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:13 AM): Marty - I agree with Ben and the others. The text is difficult to read in its layout, and needs more emphasis on features and benefits - more of a sales pitch - as well as the pricing structure.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:14 AM): Marty, there are lots of tools like that. You're going to have to come up with something much more compelling and articulate. I'm deliberately NOT going to your site just yet , in order to show you how difficult it is to sell without a clear message.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:14 AM): Ben, which page are you referring to re. cliches. I thought that the product intro page http://face2interface.com/Home/SIMPL.shtml said the same thing I just replied here with.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:14 AM): You need a strong convincing message right on the front page to get people interested.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:14 AM): Before I even get to the website, the brand has to be clear, which is exactly what you're hearing from everyone. If you have a central brand strategy, your site would likely be clearer and more compelling.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/4/2002 9:15 AM): Nothing specific... just in general. your brand is generic (or arguably nonexistent).

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:15 AM): My site is for my business which includes consulting. I hear what you're all saying though. Layout hard to read? Why is that?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:16 AM): Marty, the first thing I see at your site is "Face 2 Interface is dedicated to making the web work for you and your customers, by providing high quality solutions to your business needs."

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:16 AM): Marty: It's more about branding and approach rather than the layout. But that is why you program and don't consult on branding strategies.. and why Rob does the opposite :)

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:16 AM): (Marty - justified text, hyperlinks that don't encompass an entire word, etc.)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:16 AM): Name one software company that doesn't claim that.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:17 AM): With SIMPL you can create a three level website entirely from screens on my website. You can change the site's entire design with one click, and create 'heaps' to have consistent HTML tagging for any amount of content.

Frederick - BSPage.com (2/4/2002 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:17 AM): "Site management so simple your mother can do it - and so reasonable your dad can afford it." :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:18 AM): Marty, the value of your tool is fine. But as with most things branding, it's not making "the last mile" of the journey. The end user/prospect doesn't understand why you're the best solution to his/her problem.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:18 AM): Dare I suggest.. 'pretend you're the customer'

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:19 AM): Given that my site's front page needs a redo; redirect SIMPL prospects over to that part of the site and get rid of crappy cliches. Thanks for calling me out on that.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:19 AM): And to top it off, you're building a brand name whose URL belongs to someone else for a totally different item.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:19 AM): Rob, might I respectfully suggest that he's not making the first mile? Who's the target customer and what's the specific set of benefits?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:19 AM): So there's more danger here than you think. Your lacking of a brand strategy goes down to the bone, here.....

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/4/2002 9:20 AM): I'd just refine your site to push the basis of what you offer, which isn't software. Looking at things from your customers' pov isn't a bad idea either...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:20 AM): http://simpl.com belongs to something else entirely

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:20 AM): Cindy - he's identified the customer and benefits to us - just not directly on his site.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:21 AM): Cindy, I could make the argument that Marty's prospects have found his URL through referral. It does happen that way. But if that happens, they're still faced with the same issues.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:21 AM): Anyone else have a topic to bring up?

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:21 AM): It's still unclear to me what people are looking for to buy my product. I've been reaching the conclusion that my target customers expect their websites done for free by relatives looking to break into web design and don't care or understand anything beyond that having a website is expected of them.

Del (2/4/2002 9:22 AM): Then why try making a product nobody will buy? (much less spend a year programming it?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:22 AM): Marty, that's true to some extent. Which is why I started off asking you what your revenue model for this is. I still haven't heard that.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:22 AM): Yes. Rob, I've got an interesting situation with my husband that requires making him a recognized expert in his field fairly quickly. He currently IS an expert in his field.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:23 AM): Go ahead Cindy. This sounds intriguing.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:23 AM): Sorry, thought I'd answered it. Can you plz explain what the question means to a newbie?

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:23 AM): Marty: How are you planning to make money with it? Just sell it as a service?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): And once they buy it, how will you make money on an ongoing basis? These are all part of your brand strategy!

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): Yes, either bundled with my hosting which would still be profitable, or from the referrals in custom work that I expect will come with it.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): Cindy?

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): He's been happy being inside a "big" company for the past 25 years but it means that while he's a technical expert, he hasn't actually been out on the conference circuit for the past 8 years.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): [hi Jodie!]

Bob Lazor(www.promotionsforyou.com) (2/4/2002 9:24 AM): I apologize buy I must leave

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): bonjour!

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): In the past, he has won awards for his white papers and presentations. He's also got some old but valid connections to the industry trade press.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): You might want to check out http://www.webinterlock.com/ That company does basically the same as you, Marty.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): What's the plan for him Cindy?

Marcos J. Polanco (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): Cindy, it appears to me that for him to become a recognized expert, HE should be getting out there in this forum.

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): Cindy, is he still working for that big company?

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:25 AM): We've identified several under-served areas in test and measurement data acquisition that he could "own" as an expert.

Del (2/4/2002 9:26 AM): Marty: But *why* would someone choose you over a different hosting service that has either a bundled website generation package (perl script) or pick up a freeware/shareware content/site building script themselves?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:26 AM): You guys are ALL jumping the gun. It's not as easy as that. trust me!

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:26 AM): Or Membergate.. at http://www.membergate.com/ . I'm not connected to either of them, but they're both well branded examples.. and they're your competitors ;-)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:26 AM): Guys, we're off Marty and o to Cindy now. Thanks.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:27 AM): SO far, Cindy, you're sounding on track. What's the issue?

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:27 AM): So we're looking at getting him writing articles for the industry and making a couple of presentations in the Summer/Fall time frame with IEEE.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:27 AM): The issue is getting his visibility to the right people quickly and establishing credibility with them.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:28 AM): Is he willing to make presentations though? Some technical people would die inside to consider doing that.

Rich (training@dogskool.com) (2/4/2002 9:28 AM): In building a brand, what issues should we address first?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:28 AM): As a speaker? As an author? As a consultant? What's his field?

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:28 AM): He's great at presentations, but very worried about his weight. It undermines his confidence.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:28 AM): Rich, hang on. We're working with Cindy right now....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:29 AM): Cindy, is he too skinny?

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:29 AM): Test and measurement data acquisition

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:29 AM): Entered the room.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:29 AM): No, he could stand losing 100 lbs.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): Surely there must be better ways to promote "Test and measurement data acquisition" than to talk about it :)

Del (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): Hey! Santa Clause could lose some weight, but you know, he's well-branded. ;-)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): Cindy, you actually bring up a very good and important point here: avoiding success. I hope he does lose the weight, but that has nothing to do with his ability to become an authority in his field.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): We're doing the appearance package and I've got him working out

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): true, Jan. It's a pretty dry subject.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:30 AM): Del, you're a pip!

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:31 AM): Does he want a 'buddy?' - I am on my way to losing 50 (43 to go!)

Cindy, I'm overweight. Also soon to test for deputy black belt. I think this is a characteristic which can be seized on but that your husband can overcome it too. And I agree with Rob... a person can always find something to feel it gets in the way of their succeeding. (2/4/2002 9:31 AM): Entered the room.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:31 AM): I think you need to find out why this is something worth being an expert at. Can he save someone millions or something?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:31 AM): Hey, the worse the topic, the better the show. It's easy to make a sexy topic interesting. But a killer speaker can make the dry stuff compelling

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): Thanks :-)

Marcos J. Polanco (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): if he's solid technically, then he could take write a contrarian-type article forcefully articulating his position. shaking up the establishment.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): And remember that having a distinguishing personal characteristic can also be a 'branding' thing too - people used to remember me because of the very long hair and weight :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): Cindy, snap the photos the way he is. Let him go out there and be accepted the way he is. Chances are the crowd approval will make its way back to his self-image and allow himself to stop hiding behind the weight.

Cindy, I'm overweight. Also soon to test for deputy black belt. I think this is a characteristic which can be seized on but that your husband can overcome it too. And I agree with Rob... a person can always find something to feel it gets in the way of their succeeding. (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): I agree with Rob. A person can always find a reason if they're looking for one. I'm fat and about to test for my deputy black belt.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:32 AM): point well taken -- people always remember meeting him -- we need to work on some memory techniques so he can remember them

Marcos J. Polanco (2/4/2002 9:33 AM): Yo, black belt. log out and log in again.

Cindy, I'm overweight. Also soon to test for deputy black belt. I think this is a characteristic which can be seized on but that your husband can overcome it too. And I agree with Rob... a person can always find something to feel it gets in the way of their succeeding. (2/4/2002 9:33 AM): Guys, did I 'lose myself' in this chat program? -- Marty

Cindy, I'm overweight. Also soon to test for deputy black belt. I think this is a characteristic which can be seized on but that your husband can overcome it too. And I agree with Rob... a person can always find something to feel it gets in the way of their succeeding. (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): kee yah

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): Rob, do you have additional suggestions to raise his profile in the industry? He was the principal force behind several industry standards that are currently being used.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): In fact, I could make the point that being in the "normal" range, I blend in physically. I have no outstanding physical traits that call attention or increase memorability....well, there is one, but you can't see it....heh, heh.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): Marty, log off and log back on. Sometimes the server traps you.

Del (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): Fat ass, eh?

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): Marty: Close this down and rejoin!

Del (2/4/2002 9:34 AM): heh.

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:35 AM): *rolls eyes and blushes slightly* ;-)

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:35 AM): Rob: That way you shake your head around in the animated GIF must be a talking point at meetings.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:35 AM): Rob - the extra toe really doesn't mean anything in the greater branding scheme of thing :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:36 AM): No, Del, that you could see....but I digress. Cindy, you will find that it's very little about what he knows and more about who he knows. I can't emphasize how difficult it is for me to get speaking bureaus and others' attention, even though I truly feel my content and track are far superior to their speakers.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:36 AM): Dammit, Jonathan, who told you?

Del (2/4/2002 9:36 AM): Rob: Out of general curiosity, how much of your business is derived from online work (specifically wherein you never PHYSICALLY meet with the client?)

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:36 AM): Yo, never thought I'd hear marketing folks saying that!

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:36 AM): Rob - haven't you seen www.robsextratoe.com?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:37 AM): Actually, Pete, the Obnoxious Bobbing Head really does work. Every time I meet someone they always bob their head at me. No kidding.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:37 AM): Del, in all seriousness, I get almost all my work from online contact.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:37 AM): Is that location based, Rob? As I recall, you're in CA and many of the speakers' bureaus are NYC and Washington based.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:37 AM): Rob: Ah well, just great branding! Definitely makes you seem more down-to-earth and accessible.. yet doesn't wipe out your credibility. Nice work.

Del (2/4/2002 9:38 AM): Rob: I've met with 1 client in my 3 years of business. Print ads drive viewers to my site whereupon they become buyers.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:39 AM): On that subject what do you do with people mailing you very broad questions like "do you accept performance based marketing?" and the like? I am going nuts writing back to people who then simply go away...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:39 AM): No, Cindy, there are speaking bureaus all over the country and in Canada. It's an old boys' network, with many hidden agenda. For example, there's one large agency that knows me, but won't push me as their branding guy because they're also into book publishing and they want to sell their guy's book even though he's a total hack!

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:39 AM): Del: What line of business are you in?

Del (2/4/2002 9:39 AM): Rob: Other than your speaking gigs, do you ever get called out for a face-to-face meeting with a client?

Del (2/4/2002 9:40 AM): Postcards and greeting card sales specifically for the mortgage industry.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:40 AM): Jan Hviid: Ever consider creating an FAQ? Then you can just cut and paste.. or refer them to it online.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:40 AM): Yes, Del. Most of the time I pre-screen them on the phone.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:40 AM): That's frustrating, Rob. BTW, thanks, this has been very helpful.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:41 AM): I am working on a FAQ and on templates for replies. I want to give good and relevant replies though...

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:41 AM): Cindy: Note.. overseas conferences are far less picky. If going to a European or Australian conference would still benefit this guy, it might be worth it.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:41 AM): Jan, I think I addressed this in FrankelTips last night, with Bruce Onder's pricing question. I keep several templates on hand (I think I'm up to about 100) that I quickly customize for each recipient.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:42 AM): For example, there are under-funded companies looking for "sweat equity" deals. I get so many of those, I have a pre-written response for that.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:42 AM): FAQ's do NOT work for that, Jan, because these people don't read them. IF they had , they wouldn't be writing those letters to you.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:43 AM): Okay, I was probably so caught up in your response to my question I missed it :)

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:43 AM): Good point. Yes, it's a global business.

Del (2/4/2002 9:43 AM): I agree with Rob: You can have the best FAQ, but people would rather just email the question then look for the answer themselves.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:44 AM): I think Peter meant I should link to it or paste from it...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:44 AM): No, it was kind of hidden in the "give them choices" part about price testing.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:44 AM): Will you reply to me on cold calling vs. cold mailing next week?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:44 AM): Incidentally, as far as speaking internationally, Cindy, I have to turn down another offer from the Middle East for speaking. It is true that they're more open, but I can't see flying there right now.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:44 AM): I've been thinking of a hybrid, i.e. having a FAQ on my site but modeling it after a custom reply and then expanding and tuning it over time from other custom replies.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:45 AM): Jan, linking to it within your pre-written response is the thing to do. I do that, too.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:45 AM): [Rob - I do have a question, after everyone else has asked one :)]

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:46 AM): Jan: Do you have an autoresponder? You know.. when someone e-mails you they get a reply saying 'I'll reply soon' etc..? If so, link to your FAQ from there too.. it can help provide instant satisfaction.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:46 AM): Cindy, you may also want to encourage hubby to self publish a book. It has done wonders for me. One client I got from that book more than paid for the entire production plus a healthy profit and great publicity.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:46 AM): Okay, Jonathan, you're up!

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:47 AM): Rob - given than as I said, I'm on medical leave, but going out of my mind - is there any danger to offering pro bono services to qualified FrankelBees (preferably non-profits, but I'm open - would like to expand my portfolio) during the interim? Am I harming my brand?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:47 AM): The problem is more that they express interest, but it is hard to see how deep it goes... Thanks for the suggestions!

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:47 AM): Jan: My personal opinion.. never cold-mail without cold-calling first. Depends on your industry though.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:48 AM): Sounds like a great suggestion, Rob.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:48 AM): Yes, Jonathan, you are. Your medial situation matters to you, but the business world doesn't (and shouldn't) care about it.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:48 AM): Jonathan: If you want to do pro-bono work, I suggest you avoid professional marketplaces, and head straight for charities and non-profits that you appreciate (cancer foundations etc)

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:48 AM): Cindy - or get someone to ghost it :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:49 AM): Jan, always leave the door open! I always end my letters with, "hope that helps. Let me know if there's anything else I can do" kind of message. Believe me, if they see daylight, they'll be back.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:49 AM): Pete - I've approached non-profits, and they're notoriously tied up in red tape etc....it's been very frustrating.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:49 AM): And put extracts on a well organized SIMPL website :p

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:50 AM): Here's a great example: Some people call me and ask for help, but can't pay. I honestly tell them, "Buy my book. It really will help." Some do, some don't. Of those who do, some come back and actually are ready to become clients.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:50 AM): That's actually a neat little tip, Rob.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:51 AM): The way I see it, I want everyone to know that "nobody walks away from Rob empty-handed." You may not get what you want, but at least I gave you what I could.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:51 AM): Create a book, e-book, site.. with some general information that would help potential clients.. If they don't have the $$ yet, refer them to it, and you still keep them sweet.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:51 AM): Rob, do you feel you've made more money in clients from your book, or from book sales per se?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:52 AM): Yeah, Pete, that's it.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:52 AM): With book sales as they are, I hope he makes more from his clients!

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:52 AM): :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:53 AM): Oh, no question, Marty, from client fees. But that's because one client is worth a lot more just the way fees are structured. However, I'm absolutely thrilled with the books and tapes performance. Very happily surprised. Incidentally, both have been emotionally validating, as well, and that does count.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:53 AM): The only person I can think of who made more from books than consultancy is Ken Evoy.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:53 AM): I guess my problem will diminish as my brand evolves :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:53 AM): Let's not go there Pete!!! Tee hee.

Pete Cooper (2/4/2002 9:54 AM): Rob: *snigger*

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:54 AM): Yes, Jan, but new ones will arise. The more regular, "loop" type problems you encounter, the more templates you write

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 9:55 AM): Thanks, Marco. He's actually at a meeting right now.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:55 AM): IF you do go ahead and write a book , though, I strongly recommend you stay away from the e-book unless it's solely for promotion. Stick with good old fashioned tree killers for business.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:55 AM): Rob, I wonder if I'm attempting a kind of parallel to your approach with my website's evolution. On the lower right of content pages there is a box with links titled "Master Your Domain". This is the beginnings of my book for newbies, so to speak. My thinking is that as my product SIMPL attracts customers they will have questions and I will answer them and add articles to Master Your Domain.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:55 AM): Incidentally, if anyone knows of a good secure, download e-book vendor (pay to download), I'm shopping.

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:56 AM): secure's the killer, Rob

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): Yes, you should consider an ebook version of your book Rob. P&P to Denmark is an absolute fortune!

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): Am I the only one who immediately 'heard' Seinfeld when "Master Your Domain" was typed.... ?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): That's why I recommend them for promotion, only. I may do a test with a downloadable e-book for pay soon.

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): So I do have /some/ branding on my site?

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): Rob - the best suggestion I could think of would be to embed the buyer's credit card # and expiry date in the PDF, and make the PDF non-editable - that should discourage distribution :)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): Jan, if buyers are willing to go USPS, the shipping is only $15.

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 9:57 AM): clickbank?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:58 AM): That's a neat idea, Jonathan. But can that be automated?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 9:59 AM): TWO MINUTES

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 9:59 AM): Rob - possibly - I know of some 'PDF assembly' solutions - you'd have to look into it though.

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 9:59 AM): esellrate at http://www.esellerate.net/about_esell_pricing.asp

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 9:59 AM): $15 on a $37 item is a lot I think. Far from the "special low foreign shipping rates!" advertised I think...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): Jan, I'm doing what I can....

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): I think amazon charges around $3 for the same...

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): Jan it always amazes me that people will pay $5 shipping for a $7 purchase but I see this constantly on one of my clients' shopping cart site.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): Tell, you what Jan, send me a client and I'll send you one for free! You can't beat that!

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): Rob, have you checked into Amazon's fulfillment program?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:00 AM): Or buy it from Amazon....true.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 10:01 AM): Actually the charge was over $60 for shipping! I just checked again....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:01 AM): Cindy, Amazon sells about 50% of the books I move on their Advantage program. It works great for me, but I never publish that link just to prove how effective that strategy (and brand strategy) is.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen <admin@eState8.com> (2/4/2002 10:01 AM): $15 is if you use the Postal system and then it takes months to get it... $60 was UPS...

weber emperorsherbologist (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): Rob also check out http://www.pdfzone.com

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): I'll change that, Jan.

Cindy Nemeth-Johannes (cindy@ventureconsult.com) (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): :-)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): Okay, this was really a powerful session. Lot of good stuff. Thanks everyone. I'll see you online!

Jonathan Cohen (jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): bye Rob - thanks

Marty Landman (www.face2interface.com) (2/4/2002 10:02 AM): Thanks all for your help.

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