Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic February 14, 2000

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Greetings, Rob!

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Hey Rob, I've got a great co-branding deal with a MLM! (Just kidding)

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Grrrreetings! (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Hope everyone has a good week, I ended the week with 3 orders in a row, so I am still "riding the wave"

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Yancey, don't do that to me! TWO slipped through this week. I was mortified.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:02 AM): Hi JoAnna! (2/14/2000 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (2/14/2000 9:03 AM): Hi, everyone! Happy Valentine's Day! (2/14/2000 9:03 AM): Good Morning and Happy Valentine's Day to all!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): I sure hope that everyone is doing as well in their businesses. Today happens to be a huge day for retail and restaurants.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): Hi Ronni, I haven't forgot our conversation, it's on the "to-do" list.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): and flower shops

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): I had a fantastic week last week, Guy! The power of discussion groups! hurray! Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): I want to thank the FB's that alerted me instantly to the MLM guys who sneaked through. (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): and chocolatiers! (2/14/2000 9:04 AM): Good Morning Terri, JoAnna

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:05 AM): ":sneaked thru" you mean on the mailing list?

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:05 AM): Hi Robert! How goes the biz? (2/14/2000 9:05 AM): Thanks, Guy. I'll look forward to hearing from you. (2/14/2000 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:05 AM): I respect the dedication, I'm sure they all start to look the same. (2/14/2000 9:06 AM): OOH - a new guy! Welcome, Mike!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:06 AM): Yes, Guy. I was off that day and let a couple posts sneak through. FB's from New Zealand and America caught it. The usual tip off is the "?" in their hyperlink. (2/14/2000 9:06 AM): Terri, we've started selling some businesses. It's still a little slow but growing fast.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:06 AM): Mike! Welcome. We let the new people go jump right in with any question you have.

Bob ( (2/14/2000 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:07 AM): Rob, I track ads with a URL that has a "?" in the link.. so that isn't always a bad thing<g> (2/14/2000 9:07 AM): How do we compete against the big guys. Our programmer has a comparison bot up and running - (2/14/2000 9:08 AM): But design wise and money wise, we're small potatoes

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:08 AM): No, Terri, but it IS a tip off that an affiliate program could be lurking in there, in which case I usually follow it up and inspect the link myself.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:08 AM): Mike, tell me more about what does and why you started it.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:09 AM): Remember, what is now began as a FrankelBees concept. He was a small guy too, and now is funded with $48 million. (2/14/2000 9:09 AM): Mostly we started as we lucked into getting the name and thought about building a comparison bot. Other ventures took precedent and now we have the likes of mysimon to contend with. (2/14/2000 9:09 AM): Wow. I've heard lots about

Andy TeBockhorst (2/14/2000 9:10 AM): (2/14/2000 9:10 AM): We'd love to expand offerings beyond current listings and develop site. We just went beta. (2/14/2000 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:10 AM): Mike, first you have to realize that competition is simply a validation of your own concept. No reason to fear it. In fact, it probably works to your advantage.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:11 AM): is great! Have been a "seller" on there for a few months now

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:11 AM): The main reason is that you get to piggy back off those other well-funded dopes who are educating the public to your category at THEIR cost. I love that. (2/14/2000 9:11 AM): Thanks

Bob ( (2/14/2000 9:11 AM): Mike-I clicked on your 'Golf Clubs' link & it never loaded...FYI

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:12 AM): But nothing is going to work unless you heed one of my favorite Frankel's Laws: "The smaller your budget, the stronger your brand must be." (2/14/2000 9:12 AM): Auctions take a long time as it pulls among thousands of listings on multiple pages. Might do away with it as caching won't help until we reach higher level. (2/14/2000 9:13 AM): Good morning all. (2/14/2000 9:13 AM): Does branding our name help (generic?)

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:13 AM): For you, that means making a quick, clear and compelling reason why people should choose your site over the others. What does your site solve that the others don't -- in terms of what your user are looking for/

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:14 AM): Mike if YOU see yourself as generic, so will everyone else. You have to turn 180 degrees around and give them something they won't find anywhere else. (2/14/2000 9:14 AM): Thanks. I have an idea I am going to sit with and see what develops.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:15 AM): It's not so much WAHT you do as HOW you do it. There has to be something about -- throughout the way you do business -- that draws people to you.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:16 AM): For example, you can buy books anywhere, but only Amazon allows you to order with one click. That's not much, but it is a solution which Amazon customers enjoy and talk up. (2/14/2000 9:16 AM): At what point would you say it is time to stop aggregating content (or partners) and start investing more of your time to getting the word out?

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:16 AM): Mike- back to basics...add some text to first page, and beef up you meta tags and page title. (2/14/2000 9:16 AM): I have a site that I really think will take off, but I am not sure it has enough of a content variety to fly...

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:16 AM): Chester, I don't think it's worth getting the word out until you're ready for prime time. After all, if people show for the party and they're too early, they don't come back.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:17 AM): In the meantime, there is plenty you can do to frontload your shot. (2/14/2000 9:18 AM): Part of the problem though is that to sell people on being listed on the service (this is the content), I need to show traffic. (2/14/2000 9:18 AM): Thanks Terry. We haven't even started the design yet (just wanted to get scripts up and beta run it). (2/14/2000 9:18 AM): I have been able to demonstrate a steady increase since I put it out there, but the space I am in is quite fragmented...

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:18 AM): In my case, for example, I started FrankelBiz about two years ago. I've been a contributor to several major lists on line as well.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:19 AM): So for quite some time, now, people have known who I am (for better or worse) and what I stand for. (2/14/2000 9:19 AM): Another part of the problem is that the lodging industry absolutely hates discounting (at least here in Colorado). They see it as a last resort...

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:19 AM): Got it. NOTE to everyone else: notice all the sites you see what do NOT have a text description right up front...

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:19 AM): Chester, I thought they all discounted in the off season.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:20 AM): Now, as the book is ready to go to press, there are several thousand people who will likely be interested in buying the book. So even though the Revenge Of site isn't live, it's ready to receive the minute I flip the switch. So frontloading is (2/14/2000 9:20 AM): Do you see educating the client as a necessary evil, or are some more trouble than they are worth?

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:21 AM): Face it, Chester, EVERYONE needs an education. That's what sales is. (2/14/2000 9:21 AM): Guy - they have a variable pricing structure like the airlines. When bookings are low, when there is a lack of snow for instance, then they will discount as needed.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:21 AM): But if my site were content-dependent, I'd give it to them for free just to pack them in. prove the concept works (2/14/2000 9:21 AM): In case anyone is curious what I am talking about, go to (2/14/2000 9:21 AM): As you know Rob, I'm building a directory for home-related services. I can start sending out a newsletter and bring people to the site yet I don't have many advertisers yet. When do you reach the point of mass advertising.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:22 AM): In fact, education is what keeps them coming back. Realize that the people who buy from you are doing so because they don't know how to do it themselves. (2/14/2000 9:22 AM): We're constantly educating our clients, but it's part of the service that we're selling. If we don't explain it well, they think that we don't know how to provide for their needs.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:22 AM): Can I give away a free pizza to the FrankelBee who suggests the best name for my new web promo company? (2/14/2000 9:23 AM): It's the chicken and egg theory. (2/14/2000 9:23 AM): It is easy to lose site of that sometimes...

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:23 AM): Robert, if you're not well-funded, it's a slow build. Start collecting people and businesses. Load them in for free - or at least a substantial discount -- until you're convinced that a random visitor would be convinced this is really a happening service

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:24 AM): Teri, you can try, but the pizza would have to be encrusted with diamonds. (2/14/2000 9:24 AM): I meant [sight] (oops) (2/14/2000 9:24 AM): Teri, I haven't had breakfast yet, I'm up for pizza! What's the theory of the company?

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:24 AM): Robert- check out all the zine/adswaps for ventures of approx. size and interests.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:25 AM): Chester, how fast is the server's delivery ability for Sorta slow here in Washington State.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:25 AM): (Server check) Ignore this line... (2/14/2000 9:25 AM): No Rob I'm not well funded. Maybe I can get Teri McCready to help with that.

tito( (2/14/2000 9:25 AM): Entered the room. (2/14/2000 9:25 AM): I have Teri and am still looking.

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Chester, are you appealing to their vacancies? Filling rooms that would have gone empty? (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Should be pretty quick. I am on a dialup connection right now, so everything seems slow to me... :(

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Robert, one of the reasons I never advertise FrankelBiz is to show people what they can do without any money at all.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Rob- for you a special pizza. JoAnna- online marketing, direct or as an outsource service for agencies and web developers. Focus on the guerrilla stuff. (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Trying to. That is my pitch to them anyway. Trying to promote it as a last-minute booking tool.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Greetings Tito...did you get the pricing information on the calling cards? (2/14/2000 9:26 AM): Good Point Rob

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:27 AM): Nice looking, but the wait was long. It might be having the chat going at the same time slowed it down.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:27 AM): Robert, now we have thousands -- especially if you count the passalongs -- involved in our branded community. It works.

tito( (2/14/2000 9:28 AM): got the prices for the cards, thanks, just lurking today. (2/14/2000 9:28 AM): I'm sure you do. Just by all the FrankelBiz notes I get daily.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:28 AM): Robert- email and exec summary to (2/14/2000 9:28 AM): Entered the room. (2/14/2000 9:29 AM): Ok Teri

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:29 AM): One of the hardest things to learn doing a start up is that the REAL business is only part of the business. Build your network and branded community first, and then, when you have an opportunity to share, you'll be received by more people more readily.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:30 AM): Robert, you can always switch to DIGEST mode if it gets to be too much (2/14/2000 9:30 AM): digest Mode?

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:31 AM): Yes, you can get all the posts for the day in one post, once day. You have to click on the bottom link that appears in every message. Then go to the site and change it

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:31 AM): The link takes you directly to the site.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:34 AM): Where is everyone? The commercial's over. Come back. (2/14/2000 9:34 AM): Rob, I do have a small mailing list (250) I could start there (2/14/2000 9:34 AM): Does seem like a slow day...

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:35 AM): Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (2/14/2000 9:35 AM): I just got a big client, and I just found out that they want to hire a full time hr person...

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:35 AM): Robert, that's a GRET place to start. Begin working the list. Ask for referrals. Get more people on it. Inspire the group effort to make the thing work.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): It's slow because everyone's thinking about the great sex they're going to have tonight. (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): Refresh my memory - how do we make an announcement to the FrankelBee list? (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): they DO need a fulltimer, but I'm concerned that I've made myself such a generalist for them, and now

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): ;-)

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): Or NOT have. (if you're married) (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): I'd be unable to go into specifics, and specialize for them

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): Robert, if your list members have web sites and don't have their own newsletter, maybe they would like to have a sign-up box on their site for your newsletter? (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): my branding is backfiring!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:36 AM): Chester:

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:37 AM): JoAnna, you're probably too general. The more you niche, the better you do. (2/14/2000 9:37 AM): Great Idea Terri

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:37 AM): Robert- also give away a free report or a coupon from one of your vendors as incentive to join your list.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:37 AM): Also, JoAnna, what expectations do y0ou have from a client relationship? (2/14/2000 9:37 AM): Thanks Terri.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:38 AM): For example, I know that almost all my clients are project clients. A few may become ongoing, but I EXPECT most to hire me for a project and then go away.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:38 AM): Good idea Terri, I have a 5 day marketing course that is going to be free. (2/14/2000 9:38 AM): I'm niched into doing hr for small clients. dot coms are my dream! they're a bunch of guys who know their stuff but don't know how to run a business.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:38 AM): Knowing that, I have built and designed programs that have the ability to structure me in to their daily operations. (2/14/2000 9:39 AM): that's true for me too, rob, but they haven't even exhausted what I can do for them

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:39 AM): JoAnna, do you have a proposal that outlines the short and long term relationships you offer clients?

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:39 AM): Guy- my expert-zine ( goes out tomorrow, wanna be hot tip of the week? (2/14/2000 9:40 AM): (I left out a very important phrase - they don't know how to run a business that has employees; how to manage their staff from an HR perspective))

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:40 AM): Before I start anything with any client, I insist on developing a bullet list of points that they want to accomplish. We set expectations. Inevitably, that leads to a discussion about the RANGE of relationships I offer.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:41 AM): JoAnna, do you "speak to" the pain they would feel if they got fined for breaking some employment rule they may not know about? (2/14/2000 9:41 AM): I have a kind of "resume" that I use, showing what I can do. that's not the same thing, I like your suggestion!

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:41 AM): Hot top? (2/14/2000 9:42 AM): oh yea, Terri, I'm all fire and brimstone, I tell them how if they don't do "

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:42 AM): How about a bonus of what signs they have to display?

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:42 AM): No, Joanna. I tell them, I can do your branding. Or I can implement your branding. Or I can do both. Or I can become your acting V.P. of Strategic Planning.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:42 AM): JoAnna- do you have a survey that guides potential clients to the realization that they need what you do? (2/14/2000 9:43 AM): if they don't do "X" they could get in trouble. and I show them how I can keep them out of trouble and avoid govt. fines and lawsuits.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:43 AM): It's important to note that sometimes, clients just want what they want. Others are educated and learn what they really need. Those are the good ones. They get it. (2/14/2000 9:43 AM): a quickie survey is on my website, and I do a protracted survey in person when I meet with them.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:43 AM): Joanna, you should establish a retainer set up where clients can all you for advice on an ongoing basis.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:44 AM): Actually, a "monthly fee", not a "retainer." (2/14/2000 9:44 AM): how does that work, they'd just pay me for hanging around (I like that!) right now I bill an hourly rate

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:45 AM): that way, you get more long term stability. And don't go for a huge rate. Make it something reasonable -- certainly less than the cost of a part time employee, but enough to command respect.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:45 AM): sure, JoAnna! you could be their Acting VP of Employee Relations or something!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:45 AM): You have to show them the value of paying you to be up to speed on their business. It's insurance they pay against making a dopey decision. (2/14/2000 9:46 AM): JoAnna, there is a site called jungle marketing I think. They charge 29.95 a month and offer all this advice. I haven't joined but I'll see if I can find it.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:46 AM): Teri I will go look at the site for that zine, and submit something. (2/14/2000 9:46 AM): my biggest selling point is that they don't have to pay for an attorney, but they get all kinds of advice that their attorney might give, but not at an attorney's fees... also they don't have to pay a ft salary for an hr person onsite, which includes benefits

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:47 AM): Hourly rates are a losing proposition. They communicate "short term only". So I make mine really high. If people think they can do everything in one day, I charge a fat day rate. Some clients prefer that, but serious clients don't. (2/14/2000 9:47 AM): JoAnna, it's called Look at their subscription page for ideas.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:47 AM): JoAnna, you should/could be charging between $500 and $1000 a month easy. Any company that wouldn't pay $12K a year for professional HR probably doesn't take it seriously anyway. (2/14/2000 9:48 AM): Thanks for the tip, Robert!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:48 AM): And if they wouldn't pay $500 a month ($6K a year), yikes.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:48 AM): Teri, what is that ezine link again? (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): I have to run - see you all later.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): Develop products and relationships that give clients a choice as to how long they wish to work with you. But YOU must do the thinking for them (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): I've been advised that I should have a six-month retainer, and still charge an hourly fee.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): JoAnna- don't you think they'd benefit by being able to get their questions answered all the time. The clock would already be running (mo. fee) so they wouldn't have to worry about time?

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:49 AM): JoAnna, another problem about hourly rates is that it "plants" an image of an "employee" into their head instead of a "consultant", which you are

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:50 AM): JoAnna, forget the hourly stuff. You'll lose more than you earn just in tracking and billing issues.

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:50 AM): Guy- the ezine link is (2/14/2000 9:51 AM): This is very enlightening! I'm all over it guys!

Bob ( (2/14/2000 9:51 AM): A question about branding for manufacturers--and how best to support retailers via the web

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:51 AM): Just doing my job, ma'ma. &lt;--- Toe in the dirt (2/14/2000 9:51 AM): (tip , the site is java'd and flashed to death... it chews up your active memory)

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:51 AM): Go JoAnna! (2/14/2000 9:52 AM): I think you meant ma'am... :-)

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:52 AM): Teri, I have to tell you that FP theme is the same one I have on my Intranet! Was I stunned till I saw text, thought my server was confused by the URL!!! (2/14/2000 9:52 AM): unless you're going oedipal for v-day

Bob ( (2/14/2000 9:52 AM): For example, best development option....Dealer locator or direct selling. Product is Gourmet Kitchen Pot Racks

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:52 AM): The only thing I'd add JoAnna, is to get yourself a cheap little timeclock application so that you can track your hours. I use one and it's a lifesaver.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:53 AM): So I'm a bad typist. Sue me. (2/14/2000 9:53 AM): I'm using timeslice, and it ROCKS (ha ha Mac only, you PC kids)

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:54 AM): heck, Rob, I just use my Outlook97 and start a new journal entry with the timer going for each task

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:54 AM): JoAnna- I've heard about may be useful.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:54 AM): JoAnna, I use MultiTimer Pro and it (MAC) is also great for generating reports and calculating rates, etc. It also is for MY use, as it shows me where I'm REALLY spending my time.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:55 AM): Terri that is a great idea for Outlook, get a look at Outlook 2000 if you can

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:55 AM): Most of us entrepreneurs don't realize where we waste our time. That's SO important. Make your time productive time, not paperwork intensive..... (2/14/2000 9:56 AM): timeslice is great because if I get up and walk away, it can tell the mouse & keyboard aren't going and it turns the timer off. I can answer the phone and not freak out that the timer's still going.

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:56 AM): Are we "kids" if we had a personal computer before Macs? (2/14/2000 9:56 AM): I don't do much paperwork for myself, it's all for my clients!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:56 AM): Hey, my first PC was Compaq DeskPro 286.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:56 AM): Then I got my Mac and I've been ageless ever since!

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:57 AM): Thanks, Guy! I'll check it out

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:57 AM): (ageless)

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:57 AM): how many people know you have a Mac?

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:57 AM): I never had a 286, went from XT to 386.

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:57 AM): Teri, everyone worth knowing has Mac

Teri McCready ( (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): ooooooo

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): Tee Hee

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): This Mac user would like to thank everyone for comments today!

Yancey ( (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): I've got three! Plus some PC's just because...

Guy Cook - (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): I have to go, thanks everyone, you will hear from me those promised. Have a great day. (2/14/2000 9:58 AM): Great Session today! Teri, I'll be in touch.

Terri ( (2/14/2000 9:59 AM): Thanks for all the great info today, everyone! See you all next week!

RobFrankel ( (2/14/2000 9:59 AM): Great! Okay everyone, I've gotta run, too. Have a great week and I'll see you online!

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