Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic April 10, 2000

azreporter (4/10/100 8:56 AM): Hey! Hi, Drew. Tell Carol Hi!

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 8:56 AM): Hi Terri :-)

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 8:57 AM): I shall do that; we're creating some new banners for you... Hopefully by then end of this week

azreporter (4/10/100 8:57 AM): Great!

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 8:57 AM): what is, Drew?

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 8:58 AM): is a retailer of independent music & media

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 8:58 AM): They're growing slowly but surely :-)

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 8:59 AM): sounds kewl! perfect timing for independents :)

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:00 AM): Well, they/we certainly hope so! :-) It's been rough waters but they're treading... (4/10/100 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:01 AM): I'm barely treading myself these days--- as soon as I launched my corporate site my business seemed to dry up! Ack! It's baffled us. We're not sure why.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:01 AM): well, good luck to you/them Drew! Hi jozef! long time no see :) (4/10/100 9:01 AM): Entered the room. (4/10/100 9:01 AM): Hello Terri, yes it has been some time

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:01 AM): hey Robert! where have you been keeping yourself? (4/10/100 9:02 AM): Hi Terri, How are you? (4/10/100 9:02 AM): What is the topic today folks

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:03 AM): doing great Robert! thanks for asking! And you? how are things going for you? (4/10/100 9:03 AM): Is Just us today? Rob a no-show?

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:03 AM): hmmm I think he said he was going to be here today Robert

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:03 AM): Whoa! Sorry I'm late! Who's first? (4/10/100 9:04 AM): Good morning Rob

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:04 AM): aha! speak of the devil! Greetings, Rob! <G> (4/10/100 9:04 AM): Good. Terri.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:04 AM): How come nobody ever refers to me as "speak of the angel"? Must be bad branding....

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:04 AM): Entered the room. (4/10/100 9:04 AM): Rob, I am the Chair of the e-businesses development center initiative for Surrey Chamber of Commerce here in Surrey B.C., Canada

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:05 AM): Okie doke, who's up first?

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:05 AM): *laffin* Sana and James (azreporter) are the new guys here today Rob (4/10/100 9:05 AM): We are interested in setting up a similar listserve to yours

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:05 AM): Okay, Jozef....

Sana (4/10/100 9:06 AM): True Terri...that's why I'm going to sit and watch this time

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:06 AM): Holy cow, jozef, you and everyone else! I just had an exchange with another guy up there on the same topic. What do you want to do? And why? (4/10/100 9:07 AM): To help facilitate trade (online and offline) between surrey businesses and everywhere else

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:07 AM): Nah, Sana, you've got to jump right in....we always let the new folks in first. It's sort of a rite of passage.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:08 AM): So Jozef, what's the question?

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:08 AM): Personally, if you're on the web, you're global.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:08 AM): Wouldn't stop you from being local though....

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:08 AM): Well, I'm sorta new to these parts... What sort of consultation do you do, exactly, Rob? I'm sure I can use some! LOL

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:08 AM): Don't know how much I can participate. I've got a slew of press releases to wade through this morning (4/10/100 9:09 AM): How many users did you have after one year, two years, three years, etc. (4/10/100 9:09 AM): of the listserve that is

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:09 AM): Drew, people show up here when they have branding or general business and marketing questions. This is one of the very few occasions where I work for free.....

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:10 AM): Jozef, I started the list two years ago, with fewer than a hundred people. We've got thousands today, but don't ask for more specifics....

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:10 AM): *blushing* Sorry, Drew! didn't mean to leave you out of the "newbie" mention!

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:10 AM): I see. Well, I'm not sure I even know how to pose this question, or really what the question itself is... Perhaps I'll illustrate briefly my dilemma, and maybe you folks can offer pointers?

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:11 AM): And the really interesting part -- by design -- is that I grew the list organically. No advertising, no marketing -- everything by referral. (4/10/100 9:11 AM): You may have been talking to someone else on the committee, I have raised your listserve a number of times

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:11 AM): You may know I'm a graphic designer, and I do logo design, and corporate identity services as well as general creative development.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:11 AM): Not sure, Jozef...

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:12 AM): And as I began I found people were knocking down my door for my services... This was when I didn't even have a website-- only a few stray portfolio pieces to show.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:12 AM): Drew, you're getting to it.... (4/10/100 9:12 AM): We are looking to develop a business plan which the listserve will be a small part of

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:13 AM): We finally launched our corporate site last month, and that coincided with a change of our ISP.... We've noticed already that immediately our business prospects dried up. (4/10/100 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:13 AM): Jozef, if you want the whole strategy, it's all in the Revenge of brand X. I know that sounds like a plug, but I devote a whole chapter to how important the listerv is.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:14 AM): The site looks fantastic. A lot of work and effort went into it, and yes we are still ironing out glitches. However, I can't seem to find another client to save my life! I'm constantly sending out quotes to people who really want something for nothing (doesn't everyone?)... (4/10/100 9:14 AM): If properly marketed and executed, would this be a reasonable growth rate, year 1 200 users, year 2 1,500, year 3 5,000

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:14 AM): Drew: you may have been the victim of an unscrupulous ISP. I know of a client who switched ISP and experienced the same thing. They found that the ISP was intercepting the leads to their site and diverting them to a competitor. (4/10/100 9:14 AM): Thanks, I will pick up your book.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:14 AM): Drew, is your corporate site?

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:15 AM): ?!? I didn't think that was possible, it's so unethical!

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:15 AM):

Debbie DeSousa (4/10/100 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:15 AM): Well, Drew, sending out proposals to people who don't want to pay anything is just bad business.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:15 AM): How can I research that???

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:15 AM): Drew, it's a possibility. Not necessarily your case, but it does happen. Also, I haven't seen your site, but you may be unconsciously undermining yourself. It happened to me!

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:16 AM): Jozef, depending on your branding, it could happen like that. If you actively promote it, you could grow it faster than that.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:16 AM): Well, Rob, of course I don't KNOW when I'm sending out a project quote that they don't want to pay anything! I'm still trying to build my client list, and I'm trying to keep the quotes lower than other companies... But I typically never hear back from people. I've consulted with other designers concerning possible issues, including too-high prices. (these other designers are not competitors)

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:16 AM): The general feeling is that my prices are exceptional

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:17 AM): Drew, why epochinteractive instead of .. there IS a website at, but it doesn't have a thing to do with you apparently? (4/10/100 9:17 AM): Good. Terri.

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:17 AM): The first thing I would do, Drew, is find a new ISP and park your site there. When your present ISP (is this a "bargain ISP? first clue) asks you why you're leaving, tell him.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:17 AM): Correct--- that's why.. There are a lot of different "epoch"s out there.... I missed the boat on getting the plain ol' (4/10/100 9:18 AM): Thanks Rob. I am still going to pick up your Book

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:18 AM): There are also other initiatives tied to the mother company. (4/10/100 9:18 AM): BTW, Rob, are you ever up in the Pacific Northwest, like Seattle or Vancouver

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:18 AM): The ISP I'm with now is actually very major. I won't name names, but they're the second or third largest American ISP, soon to be second after they complete their merger with another....

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:18 AM): Drew, competing on price is for losers. Trust me, nobody wanted to pay my rates -- until they worked with low bidders who screwed them. eventually, you want to get to "he's expensive, but he's worth every penny."

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:19 AM): ugh! hard to brand yourself with that going on, Drew :(

RobFrankel ( (4/10/100 9:19 AM): Jozef, no kidding, there's a meaty chapter that will tell you everything you need to know. (4/10/100 9:20 AM): Rob, I know what you mean, I used to charge only $1,500 for Strategic planning, now I charge $5,000 minimum.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:21 AM): Eventually yes, I agree. However, I have rent to pay (which couldn't be made this month because of this little situation with lack of clients!)...... So in the short term, until my reputation is more secure..... I have to be competitive. Personally, my ethic is that design is an ARTFORM. As art is subjective, it is not competitive. You're comparing apples and oranges.

Yancey ( (4/10/100 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:24 AM): Sorry, I had a crash there... (4/10/100 9:24 AM): Rob, how do you fight the "price" objective? (4/10/100 9:25 AM): at least for someone starting up?

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:25 AM): hi Yancey! Drew, I'm looking at your main page right now - there is a LOT of things on it .. I'm confused on what you "want" me to do first! *G*

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:25 AM): I base everything on value, Robert, not hours. In fact, I just turned down a client who thought his lawyers were worth more than my services. (4/10/100 9:25 AM): Drew, are you approaching your compliments. For example I am conversing with a fellow fbee that is good at web graphics, we are excellent at building the programming back ends of web sites.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:25 AM): I told him, "your lawyers COST you money. I MAKE you money." But he didn't see it that way. (4/10/100 9:26 AM): Continue with the value thought (4/10/100 9:26 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:26 AM): If I create a brand and brand strategy that allows your business to grow organically, that converts users to evangelists, what's that worth?

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:27 AM): LOL :-) Well, Terri, there is a definite move toward kinesis with my design endeavors. The internet unfortunately is not conducive to a long attention span. So I personally tend to like a lot of motion....

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:27 AM): Certainly nothing by which you can charge by the hour. If I come up with the solution, what do I charge, $500? (4/10/100 9:27 AM): a lot

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:27 AM): Drew -- that could be an issue -- it's not about what you like, but what THEY need. (4/10/100 9:27 AM): It's worth every penny, especially if your branding initiatives gets the business past the critical mass point

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:28 AM): I've tried to streamline the page a bit so that the "NEWS" teasers stick out

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:28 AM): Robert, I've had clients -- and I bet other here have, too -- where just ONE idea turned them around. That's real value, and you should get paid for it. (4/10/100 9:28 AM): you see, I'm having some of the same trouble with Because it's not established, businesses are reluctant to work with me.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:29 AM): Robert, the only thing missing there is a track record. My advice is to do whatever you need to do to build three case studies that the next generation of prospects can review.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:29 AM): Anyone who reviews my portfolio will see that we are capable of completing many different styles.... As this is MY site, and representative of MY design ethic, I want clients with similar interests. The goal in design work is to fantasize about the perfect client, and then tailor-make yourself to fit their needs. It's about filling a niche.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:29 AM): Drew, I'm going to visit your site for great logo/graphics... I don't want "news" there *grin* (4/10/100 9:29 AM): Robert, sounds like the chicken and the egg situation, you have to paint the right picture, do you have a business plan?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:30 AM): And in case you think I don't take my own medicine, you can go directly to the home page of, where there are something like 8 case studies that give specific examples of what I do. Real cases. (4/10/100 9:30 AM): how do I build the case studies. by getting testimonials?

Yancey ( (4/10/100 9:30 AM): Terri, Drew - list the URL again. thanks...

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:30 AM): I know at azreporter that I wanted a news site, but I knew I couldn't compete with the TV and newspaper sites coving the same news so I choose to go another way and concentrate on web news a net surfer would like to know

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:31 AM): No Robert, testimonials are great -- but I don't have many. People want to see results, stuff they understand and can believe.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:31 AM): Robert, how about "adopting" two or three contractors who know a lot of people?

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:31 AM): Indeed, but news is a way to center one's attention on the "meat and bones" of the site, while the site itself is a display of creative endowment.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:31 AM): Yancey

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:31 AM): AZ -- that's a good tactic, and smart. I just did a news conference with, talking to newspapers and hardly any of them understood that. (4/10/100 9:31 AM): Josef, yes. I have a BP.

Drew@Epoch (4/10/100 9:32 AM): (sorry Yancey... multitasking! LOL was trying to type it.... LOL) (4/10/100 9:32 AM): how do I get the results?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:32 AM): Robert, tell three stories about what your clients needed and show specific examples of how you achieved that for them. (4/10/100 9:33 AM): thank you, that I can do. :)))]

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:33 AM): What we ALL have to realize and accept is that people come to your site because they WANT to give you business! Just give them the tools they need to go forward.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:34 AM): AZ - I love your site! it's where I go first to learn new things going on in the Internet World!

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:34 AM): Also, when you take that tack, you'll find you're perceived as someone who provides solutions for clients, not just beating your chest about how great you are = Credibility.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:34 AM): Giacomo and Debbie, you have anything you want to add? Jump on in!

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:35 AM): You too, Joe.... (4/10/100 9:36 AM): I've found that to build credibility, if you don't have a lot of testimonials, and your product isn't easily demonstrable, you can demonstrate your PROCESS.

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:36 AM): Thanks, Terri. That's comments I take to heart. And it helps me in the long run to build a better site. When someone goes to AzReporter I want them to go away with at least one thing they didn't know when they arrived.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:37 AM): Yes, Joe, I agree. Anything that will get people to understand YOUR stuff in THEIR language. (4/10/100 9:37 AM): how do you demonstrate you process Joe

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:37 AM): Testimonials are great, but they do have a built-in "bullshit" factor. So you need more than just testimonials.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:38 AM): You need evidence that shows how your testimonials would be credible and real. (4/10/100 9:40 AM): Your clients thinking What's in it for need to think what's in it for my customer. Make the process simple, e.g. here are 3 easy steps to get started...then you walk them through how easy, simple, fun and rewarding it is for THEM to be ENABLED to action that is in their enlightened self interest.

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:41 AM): Yes, I for one would like to "question" a testimonial. By emailing a person and asking a couple more question about how they felt working for you etc.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:41 AM): Right Joe...then you make sure they understand that you're the ONLY one that can deliver on that -- and you're in!

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:42 AM): I mean, does ANYONE here believe the dopes they put in infomercials? Pul-eeze...

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:43 AM): "I was 4000 pounds before I bought the abdominizer and now I'm a size 5 -- all for just five minutes a day and three easy payments!"

Arizona Reporter ( (4/10/100 9:43 AM): Yea, there was trial awhile back that proved that some of them "testimonials" were paid/hired. (4/10/100 9:43 AM): Rob, will you be speaking in the Pacific Northwest in the next few months?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:43 AM): The beautiful thing about the web is that because it's user driven, people who show up at your site really do want to work with you. So stop selling and start saying, "Sure! How do you want to proceed?"

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:44 AM): Nothing booked officially at this time, Jozef.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:45 AM): Anyway, that's why I prefer case studies, backed up by a few testimonials. But as long as we're on the subject, let me add this important piece of advice; (4/10/100 9:46 AM): You can tell which infomercials are effective and believable...they're the ones that have been running for several years. e.g. total gym, personal power, etc. keep in business (With their strong warranties, etc) if the products were no good. They couldn't

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:46 AM): Create a special mail folder and save EVERY SINGLE PIECE of positive thank you's and letters you get. Trust me, you're going to need them. If you look at the "Raves" page on the, you'll see just a few and how genuine they are.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:47 AM): You can tell these weren't faked. Plus, the names are there and they're presented in an environment where they can be believed. That's important, too. You can't just throw out testimonials anywhere.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:48 AM): Debbie, you still here?

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:48 AM): Rob, where is the best place to put testimonials on your web site?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:49 AM): There's a lot of discussion on that, Terri. I use one -- the very best -- on the home page. After that, I use them only where they directly refer to the text on that page.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:50 AM): For general comments, I dump them on one page, where they play better as "mass consensus" that I am what I say I am.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:50 AM): That makes sense, Rob! It's what I have tried to do too on my site, but wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Yancey ( (4/10/100 9:51 AM): Terri, I have one on my order page that has received good reviews. (4/10/100 9:51 AM): Rob, just tried to order your book, but can

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:51 AM): On the Revenge site, I use John Audette's comment, because it's dead on to what the people have come to read about -- branding. (4/10/100 9:51 AM): Seems does not accept Canadian postal codes

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:51 AM): But on the Raves page, it's an assortment of people from all walks of life who had good things to say.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:52 AM): Yes, Jozef, they do.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:52 AM): We've gotten quite a few Canadian orders. And they're in Michigan. you know. Try reloading your browser....

Yancey ( (4/10/100 9:53 AM): Jozef, you can fax it to 734-279-5164. (4/10/100 9:53 AM): Rob- what do you feel is the best way to quickly, cheaply, build e-zine subscriptions. Obviously, the zine must offer strong value...(Mine does). Also, it must not go out too often, because people's time is precious. (Mine is only once a month.) And it must NOT be a big sales pitch (My general rule is 90% content, 10% shameless self promotion.) Any ideas on how to grow traffic? (4/10/100 9:54 AM): Oh, got it, no spaces in the credit card, thanks.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:54 AM): Joe have you tried ad swapping? And posting to e-zine lists? And listing your e-zine on sites for that purpose?

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 9:55 AM): Joe, I have been experimenting with adding my URL/e-zine description onto sites that were recently written up in a print newspaper - is a good example. I'm hoping to get some "advantage" from their publicity <G>

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:55 AM): Like,, etc.?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:56 AM): There's a good group at (4/10/100 9:57 AM): yes, I'm on'll try I'll try those recommendations

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:57 AM): I would remember that all these are organic methods. I feel that if you buy your way in, you get a lot of junk names. You can also contact Charles kessler, who does this sort of thing: he's a FB

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:57 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (4/10/100 9:59 AM): Thank you for your ideas and support...Is the book out yet?

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:59 AM): The strongest branded e-zines stem from organic growth, because people want to be there, so you response rates are typically much higher than "buy them by the boatload" lists.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 9:59 AM): THE BOOK IS SHIPING RIGHT NOW!!!! Yippee! Sales are brisk! I'm soooo happy!

RobFrankel (4/10/100 10:00 AM): Get yours now at or click the banner below! (4/10/100 10:00 AM): thank you everyone for your input.

RobFrankel (4/10/100 10:00 AM): Okay, you tigers, go out there and make some bucks! I'll see you online! (4/10/100 10:00 AM): I'll order my copy today.

Yancey ( (4/10/100 10:00 AM): I just placed my order. anticipation...

RobFrankel (4/10/100 10:01 AM): Thank you Yancey and all...Bye! (4/10/100 10:01 AM): Rob, just got my confirmation of the order being sent.

Terri Robinson ( (4/10/100 10:01 AM): Thanks for all the great info today Rob and everyone! See you next week!

©1999, RobFrankel, Contact Us