Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic March 26, 2001

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:00 AM): I'm probably early, but what the heck....

Ira Pasternack ( (3/26/101 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (3/26/101 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:01 AM): me too,

Rob Frankel ( (3/26/101 9:01 AM): Good morning everyone, what's up?

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:01 AM): figured I better get here before I got sidetracked

Del( (3/26/101 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (3/26/101 9:02 AM): Monica, are you new to the chat?

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:02 AM): I came late last week so this will be my first full chat

Rob Frankel ( (3/26/101 9:02 AM): We always let the new guys go first.....

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:03 AM): I'm not sure what to ask. Thought I would just sit at your feet for a bit (Arizona Reporter) (3/26/101 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:04 AM): Sorry, my browser was getting a little funky there....

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:04 AM): Hello all...I am still looking for an ad broker.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:04 AM): Hi Jacque...what kind of ad broker for what kind of site?

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:05 AM): I am looking for a broker of space in the Wall Street Journal

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:05 AM): The print edition...national reach

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:06 AM): Have you tried contacting a media service and using the phrase "remnant space"?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:07 AM): The problem with an ad broker is that the media buying business is a big ticket business. They're not motivated to talk to small spenders because they make their $ on percentages

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:07 AM): That's the client doesn't want remnant space, but he does want to get the best rate he can for the space he wants

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:08 AM): There's no money for them if you're not spending in the tens of thousands at least.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:08 AM): How much of a budget does he have?

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:09 AM): Apparently, not as much as he needs. My first bid was for 26 insertions, ran 212,000

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:09 AM): A smaller ad size, 12 insertions, is over $60k

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:10 AM): May go with it, but still trying to find a better deal

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:10 AM): That's barely enough to get anyone's interest. Why the WSJ? that's a tough place to get a deal. (3/26/101 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:11 AM): My client's branding problem is somewhat unique.

Erik ( (3/26/101 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:11 AM): Hi Jodie....what can I do for you this morning?

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:11 AM): Where most companies are trying to set themselves apart from the competition, my client needs to get themselves considered WITH the competition

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:11 AM): Jacque....branding? Why are we talking about the WSJ media then? A branding problem has nothing to do with media....that would be advertising. (3/26/101 9:12 AM): Good morning Rob! I am new here, thought I would lurk for a bit - one of my goals is to be 'the' place US companies look for VA (Virtual Assistant) services. Thanks for asking

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:12 AM): Jacque, that may be a deeper problem than your client realizes. He better take a look at his branding before increasing awareness.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:13 AM): Jodie, definitely post on the FrankelBiz list. That's where I fond my VA. I think that the VA business is a good on to be in.

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:13 AM): The WSJ is only one component...and there have been significant changes made from a branding standpoint over the last 3 months

cathy (3/26/101 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:14 AM): And Jodie, there's a wide open market for you -- nobody has claimed the top VA position.... (3/26/101 9:14 AM): I thought so! Thanks Rob - I have signed up to the list - I am 'learning' the feel of it before I jump in.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:14 AM): BTW, sorry for my typing today...Yecch. (3/26/101 9:15 AM): The Top VA position is what I would like to be in - I do try to set myself as the 'alpha wolf' *grin*

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:15 AM): An interesting thing about my search for an ad broker...I have gotten several emails from people looking for the same thing!

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:16 AM): The quickest ascension to power is in a vacuum. Since there's nobody there, you might as well take a shot.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:17 AM): Jacque, you're always going to get people looking for a deal. But it does show you how people think alike -- but draw the line at taking action until someone else goes first.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:18 AM): If I were you, Jacque, I'd try to bulk up my media buy by tacking on the budgets of those who are contacting you. Maybe then the ad brokers will pay attention.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:19 AM): Hi Cathy --- anything I can help you with?

cathy (3/26/101 9:20 AM): just checking - seeing what others are discussing today

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:20 AM): There are a lot of things I could do, but I still haven't found a broker

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:21 AM): Jodie, just went to your gotta strengthen your brand, kiddo -- right now you're selling a generic category, instead of why your company is the best solution.

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:21 AM): Things have changed a bit in my world - I have found that most businesses locally that have webpages are very disappointed with them - They don't work them - No URL on business cards, etc. I want to provide a membership 'lounge' where they can learn this stuff and put their webpages 'to work' - Any branding advice to offer?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:21 AM): ...although the look of the site is nice. (3/26/101 9:21 AM): Rob, I am sure that I am not the only one here trying to establish myself as an expert in my field. Would there be any sites you might be able to point us to, to make sure we are covering what is necessary to put us there? (3/26/101 9:22 AM): Thanks - my web 'guy' on that site is great.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:22 AM): Jodie, the answer is to write down how you differ from the rest. But a good place to start is by pointing out that all VA's are not alike. I suspect that since this is a new category, client don't know what questions to ask. (3/26/101 9:23 AM): Exactly. The term 'VA' is still very new, and we *are* all quite different...

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:23 AM): One thing, Jodie, that you could do is have a "10 minute response" button where prospects click and send you a question that you answer within 10 minutes.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:24 AM): You can answer them by phone, fax, e-mail -- but you'll blow their minds and prove your responsiveness -- a big selling point. (3/26/101 9:24 AM): Great idea - Are you thinking of a Human Click-like service?

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:24 AM): you would have to be online 24 hours a day

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:25 AM): Frederick, that's great! When the "do-it-yourselfers" fail, they far more open to buying an outsourced yours.

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:25 AM): I like that 10 minute response idea...if you have a cell phone, you could set up the mailto of the click to be sent to your phone, reaching you wherever you are (3/26/101 9:25 AM): Hi Monica *waving at fellow Canadian* I thought of that too. Maybe invest in a pager... (Arizona Reporter) (3/26/101 9:25 AM): yea, I'm answering a visitors question now on azreporter

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:26 AM): You don't have to be online 24 hours a day. Only jerks and idiots will expect you to answer stuff at 3 AM on Sunday. Normal people will expect service during the hours you specify.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:27 AM): Remember, you're not in business to please everyone. you want good business that fits.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:27 AM): It's a question of setting expectations BEFORE you issue the offer. (3/26/101 9:28 AM): Oh, yes - I just learned how to do forms... if I subscribe to the text messaging service of my cell... then I could get their number etc sent to me wherever. I *would* have to work on the 10 minutes, however - maybe change it to 30 minute, just because with a little'un... you never know... and I don't want to make promises I cannot keep (3/26/101 9:29 AM): Oh, yes - I just learned how to do forms... if I subscribe to the text messaging service of my cell... then I could get their number etc sent to me wherever. I *would* have to work on the 10 minutes, however - maybe change it to 30 minute, just because with a little'un... you never know... and I don't want to make promises I cannot keep

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:29 AM): Yeah, but you get the idea. NOTHING blows their minds than someone who makes a promise without qualifiers -- and keeps it.

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:29 AM): just limit how much info is allowed to be entered in the form, to make sure your cell phone receives it all

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:30 AM): Frederick, you should be building programs that your web failures can't handle. Stuff that can make their participation on your site pay out.

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:30 AM): You may really want to set up a unique email account for this...that will forward to your phone. That way, you get the emails, too, and nobody can look at the source code of your web page and get your phone #

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:30 AM): Like what, Rob? (3/26/101 9:31 AM): Wonderful Jacque - I am glad that I have people who 'speak' HTML around me.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:31 AM): Frederick, I go into this a lot on the tape set. Build a branded community. Load it with programs that are geared to drive traffic to the offline stores (and online).

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:32 AM): Frederick, you've got a radio station there -- what a great advantage!

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:33 AM): What is the radio station doing to promote the site and its programs?

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:34 AM): You lost me - What radio station?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:34 AM): What's the FM for? I totally am confused now....

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:35 AM): And if I'M confused, who knows who else is?

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:35 AM): Ah, sorry FM=FArm to market road #1960

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 9:36 AM): when I first looked at the site, I thought FM meant radio

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:36 AM): Well, then, Fred, I think we got us a real clarity issue here. Also, there's way too much information on that home page. (Arizona Reporter) (3/26/101 9:37 AM): same here

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:37 AM): Good pointers

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:38 AM): And Fred, if we're confused -- and most of us bounce around the web a lot -- you can imagine how even newer people are doing with it.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:39 AM): Fred, I'd start my putting the benefit right up there on the home page and let links take people to the other spots. I still don't know the benefit for being here and if you don't tell me, I can't find out.

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:40 AM): I haven't gone silent - some of messages aren't coming through!

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:40 AM): So I must trim the front page content

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:41 AM): Okay, well, anyone else want to jump in? (3/26/101 9:41 AM): Rob, what are some web-specific branding problems?

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:41 AM): We are a suburban area - we know what FM.1960 means - Should I worry about the rest of the world?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:41 AM): Fred, you have to prioritize your message. you can always sell more stuff later, but get them with one big benefit first.

Ira Pasternack ( (3/26/101 9:42 AM): does it really matter if *we* are a bit confused by that "FM"??? seems the site is for and about people in that community, the question is if the vast majority of people who live/work there will know what it means

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:42 AM): Fred, if you're built for local, no you don't have to worry about it. But the other comments do apply. I think you're shotgunning too much data. They don't know where to go first. (3/26/101 9:43 AM): RE: worrying about what FM means; my first reaction was no, we don't... but what if I were thinking of moving to the area and have never heard of the term before...

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:43 AM): OK Got it!

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:43 AM): Ira, I agree. But Fred seems satisfied that they do -- and that may well help to make it local (the fact that outsiders DON'T know).

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:43 AM): All of which points to the main issue : "The FM site for this FM market". Fred, focus on benefits and turn up the local pride thing.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:44 AM): Anyone else while we still have time?

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 9:44 AM): That makes sense - Thanks (3/26/101 9:45 AM): I guess I am going to have to get your book then, Rob - so that I can brand myself silly!

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:46 AM):'ll have to be more specific...

Erik ( (3/26/101 9:46 AM): Rob, if branding starts in the business plan, who would be the target audience in the document: VC's, the management team, yourself, or shouldn't it matter?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:46 AM): Jodie, it really has helped people. (the book)

Ira Pasternack ( (3/26/101 9:46 AM): I have a comment about my experience last week, when I asked for some feedback...

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:46 AM): I have some concern about the difference of my entrance page with the interior of my site.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:47 AM): Hey, Erik -- it doesn't matter. The brand begins in the business plan is a comment about how early the brand should be determined, because it helps everyone along the way.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:47 AM): So EVERYONE you mentioned is a target, only at different times of the business development process.

Ira Pasternack ( (3/26/101 9:47 AM): but my comments will have to wait, client on the phone.... seeya next week all

Erik ( (3/26/101 9:48 AM): So, in a pre-funding phase, the VC's would be the target?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:49 AM): Monica, it is a fairly big jump, isn't it?

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:49 AM): yes, but I get a lot of positive feedback and am wondering if I should use it somewhere else?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:49 AM): Yes, Erik. you'll find that the VC's will respond in a more intuitive manner. They'll respond with more positive comment because the whole proposal projects more confidence and solidarity (3/26/101 9:50 AM): Monica, is there any way to pull a bit of the first page graphic onto the top of the pages then maybe 'fade out' somehow? that would tie it more for me

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:50 AM): Not sure what you're asking, Monica.....

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:50 AM): hmmm, hadn't thought of that, Jodie.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:51 AM): I think it's going from black/dark to white/light that breaks the flow.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:51 AM): I guess what I really want to know is what impression that first graphic gives the visitor?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Pat (3/26/101 9:52 AM): Entered the room. (3/26/101 9:52 AM): Maybe the computer.... make the whole top of the page a piece of the graphic and use the same look at the top of each page - and maybe instead of a white background, could you pull some of the gold colour from the weave?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:52 AM): Personally, I think the front page gives me the feeling of thoughtful, studious, attention to quality.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:53 AM): good, I'm glad to hear that.

Pat (3/26/101 9:53 AM): Monica I really like the graphic but I get concerned when so many graphics are used for links - they will not translate and the navigation is lost. I thing the idea of bringing the graphic from the front will work great! - From Vernon BC Canada

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:53 AM): But that's just me....

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:54 AM): I'm not sure what you mean when you say it will not translate, Pat?

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:55 AM): The copy is a bit hard to read, though, monica. I'm viewing it using default settings on a MAC IE5 browser.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:56 AM): I'm going to have to do something about that. You aren't the first to mention that

Pat (3/26/101 9:56 AM): If you go to and click on translate then enter you web site address it will translate it to another language. While not important for everyone who does not have clients that need to translate pages into other languages, Braille or even onto the new PDA"s , but it does show you what no longer works after translation.

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:57 AM): haven't ever tried that, I do have the navigation in text at the bottom of the page

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:58 AM): Didn't work for my site!

Pat (3/26/101 9:58 AM): It is great that you included navigation in text - most people don't - It will force people to search for navigation at the bottom.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (3/26/101 9:59 AM): Thank you for your time Rob. I hope to 'see' everyone again next week

Monica ( (3/26/101 9:59 AM): Rob, can I ask a really basic question. I am assuming that branding means that the look of your website and other advertising speaks about who you are and what you do? Is this right?

Pat (3/26/101 9:59 AM): It is actually kind of fun to see your page in other languages. I think it will become more important as our pages our translated onto viewers on fridges etc.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 10:00 AM): Yes, sort of, monica....but it goes way beyond that, into how your business does what it does, internally and externally, programs and all kinds of stuff.

RobFrankel ( (3/26/101 10:00 AM): Righty-o everyone, I've gotta run, too. Look for a rebound economy starting this week! I'll see you online!

Frederick (@ (3/26/101 10:00 AM): Thanks, Rob, and everyone - most helpful! --'til next week.

Monica ( (3/26/101 10:01 AM): Is there a link you can recommend that would explain it more clearly for me?

Jacque at Thin Cow (3/26/101 10:01 AM): Thanks much Rob!

Monica ( (3/26/101 10:02 AM): wow, this hour goes fast. Thanks for your help

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