Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic April 30, 2001

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:00 AM): Greeeeeeeeetings!

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:00 AM): Morning, Rob

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:01 AM): How's everyone doin' today?

Morning. (www.exploreamericonline.com) (4/30/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:01 AM): Okay

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:01 AM): Explorer online -- do you have a name?

Morning. (www.exploreamericonline.com) (4/30/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:02 AM): You don't sound convincing Fred...

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:03 AM): Sulkosky...what can I do for you?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:03 AM): Or Tom....

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:04 AM): ???

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:04 AM): Messages aren't coming through -- Oh there we are!!

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:04 AM): I just read your book, thought I'd see the movie.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:05 AM): No prob, Tom. Thanks for buying the book -- or reading it. This is the real time component, where anyone can log on and get the benefit of some feedback.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:06 AM): Mornin', folks!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:06 AM): BTW, in the movie, my part is played by Matthew Broderick...I'm going for the corporate Ferris Bueller look.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:07 AM): So....anyone want to jump in?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:07 AM): Hi Barb...if you're new, jump in with your question....we always like the new people to go first.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:08 AM): Hi Rob & everyone ... no, not new, just don't get a chance to be here very often

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): Hello, Barb. You are amongst friends (Frederick of The Business Start Page)

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): I'm offended that you don't remember me :)

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): The book was thought provoking, but of course the question is how to apply this to improve by brand and my business.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): Barb: nice write-up from Eva on your business card work for her (that was you, right?)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): I don't remember the "gfxinc.com"...I could NEVER forget you.....

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:09 AM): especially considering I still have a copy of your article in Entrepreneur magazine ... from 1995! :)

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:10 AM): thanks, Terry ... yes, that was me

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:10 AM): Hi Frederick!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:11 AM): Tom, then the book has done its job. If I get you thinking about your brand from the outside in, that's a start. If you understand how to build a supportive community, that's good too. After that, it's a matter of skill sets.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:11 AM): (19951 That was an age ago!)

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:12 AM): <-- packrat ... especially about self-employment, entrepreneurs, etc.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:12 AM): Tom, this is where -- not plugging here, just fact -- you want to work with an outsider. Someone who is a disinterested party and can make judgements from an impartial perspective.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:13 AM): Believe it or not, the main reason I wrote the book was to empower people to know which branding people are true and which are hacks. And there are WAY more of the latter than the former.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:13 AM): Rob, I'll agree with you ... I think entrepreneurs make the BIGGEST mistake by trying to do everything themselves

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): But now, armed with the book you can tell who's just trying to sell you a logo and who really can build your business with branding strategies and tactics.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): True, Barb -- but without funding, it's pretty hard to pay for others to help

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): Bus sometimes it's necessary to do it yourself from a monetary pov

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): my new mantra (thanks to something I read) is: sell your strengths and buy your weaknesses

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): Yeah, Barb -- is the DIY corollary: Doing it yourself works for suicide, but not much else.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:14 AM): That's true (the hacks) in marketing in general, not just branding.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): Fred, even if I was broke, I still wouldn't perform an appendectomy on myself.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): You said it, Tom.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): Perhaps not, Rob -- but you might have a better chance at getting a loan for an operation than to fund a small business!

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): Bus sometimes it's necessary to do it yourself from a monetary pov

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): Bus sometimes it's necessary to do it yourself from a monetary pov

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): Bus sometimes it's necessary to do it yourself from a monetary pov

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): The trick is knowing where you can cut corners and where you can't.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): particularly if it's your only source of income

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:15 AM): yes, cash money is always tough to find in the beginning ... but that's where networking, bartering, and other grassroots thinking comes in

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:16 AM): Are you saying then, that if you cannot afford and expert brander, then don't brand?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:17 AM): Hey, you know I'm the King of Cheap. In fact, I write a lot about those dopes who spend millions trying to buy their way in. They make the mistake on the other end. But I've learned that it's always worth the few bucks to save yourself time, money, effort that lack of knowledge costs.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:17 AM): I agree again, Rob ... focus on the bottom line (or priorities) and work backwards on what can be afforded

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:18 AM): No, Fred, I'm saying you have to do what's realistic for your business -- including knowing what you don't know.

Del (4/30/2001 9:18 AM): Rob: Do you have any recent examples of a SMALL company that has their brand and positioning right?

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:18 AM): The whole point of being an entrepreneur is that you CAN do it yourself!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:19 AM): Fred, there's NO REASON -- especially with the web -- that you can't find that knowledge at an affordable price. I offer about ten different ways to help people, ranging from free to very expensive. But they're all there.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:19 AM): Fred, because entrepreneurs try to do EVERYTHING themselves, they often fail.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:20 AM): So, Rob, we learn - Good answer!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:20 AM): Del, how small are you talking about?

Del (4/30/2001 9:20 AM): Rob: For sake of the people here, less than $500,000 in gross sales.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:21 AM): With the internet you can cheaply build yourself to a certain size, but it's still tough to go to the next level.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:21 AM): Well, Del, in the book I mention a local business here called The Apple Pan....teeny little burger stand that serves legendary pies for dessert....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:22 AM): Tom, getting to the next level is simply a matter of leveraging a different set of tools.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:22 AM): Del, people have tried to buy and knock off the Apple Pan for decades. Nobody can do it. They're in a section of West Los Angeles that keeps getting redeveloped...but there they stay!

Del (4/30/2001 9:23 AM): Rob: Let's scale this more accurately...A small, well branded, company engaged in internet commerce.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:23 AM): No, not the "leveraging" word! <G>

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:24 AM): Well, if that's the case, the first name that comes to mind is ifulfill.com....and I have nor reason to plug them.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:24 AM): ifulfill managed to come up with the strategy of serving the small, microbusinesses by providing "everything from the Buy button on back". Which is exactly what most new e-commerce types need.

Del (4/30/2001 9:25 AM): Any others? (Selling a tangible product rather than a service)?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:25 AM): Sorry, Tom. I'll try not to leverage...how about "implement"?

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:26 AM): Amazon started that way; so did EBay.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:27 AM): Implement is better... at least I know what it means....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:27 AM): The problem I have with product sites is that most of them still are price-driven, so there aren't that many that come to mind with legit branding strategies.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:27 AM): Del, I can think of one of my competitors ... WebCards

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:28 AM): You'll have to give me a minute or two on that....

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:28 AM): I believe it was one guy with one idea, and now he's got VC

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:28 AM): Blue Mountain, too, which started out as a home-based business

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:29 AM): In my field, WinZip is the example of a long time success story.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:29 AM): Although, I can give you one that's sort of orbiting in pre-launch that I am working with....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:29 AM): That would be LatinoGear.com. I think they're poised to do monumental business, when they actually launch...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:30 AM): They're sort of limping along right now, but doing fair business without any marketing or advertising at all.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:30 AM): horrible name

Ed Cavatorta (4/30/2001 9:30 AM): Entered the room.

Del (4/30/2001 9:31 AM): look who's talking. ;-)

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:31 AM): I have a question---

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:31 AM): They naturally attract the Latin community to their site and sell them apparel. There's a huge ethnic pride thing going on there and when these guys are able to bring me on board, I think they're do big business.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:32 AM): Actually, Barb, the name is what attracts their mindset. Proving once again that one man's met is another man's poison....different strokes for different folks....etc.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:32 AM): Go Fred.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:32 AM): but when did clothing become a cultural thing in North America ... or did I miss something while I was working

Ed Cavatorta (4/30/2001 9:32 AM): Hi Rob, I would like to sell my online store any suggestions?

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:32 AM): I'm looking for a way to brand a search engine. It's a different kind of search engine and I feel it's going to be necessary to brand it as something different. I know that's a bit vague but, any basic ideas?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:33 AM): Ed, you can always start by posting a FOR SALE message on FrankelBiz.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:33 AM): LatinoGear probably works better than Gear in general. The more specialized you are, the better (I think I read that somewhere <G>.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:33 AM): Fred, that's about as vague as it gets.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:33 AM): You can search the web locally rather than globally.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:33 AM): Correctomundo Tom. The fact is that the Latin community is wild over the brand name....

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:34 AM): Ed, Paul Hartunian buys and sells his sites on FrankelBiz...and of course, you can try EBay, but I doubt if that's where you want to be. At least on FrankelBiz, you'll get thousands of people who may passalong the opportunity to others.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:35 AM): Fred, local search is nothing new. There's got to be something in the "where" you searching.

Ed Cavatorta (4/30/2001 9:35 AM): Rob, How would I go about posting a for sale message on FrankelBiz.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:36 AM): Ed, first you subscribe. Read the FAQ's and be as straight and ethical as you can. It's that simple. Keep it short and sweet.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:36 AM): Don't' follow! Where you search?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:38 AM): Yeah Fred...if it's local searching, where are you searching? What's so intriguing about that area? Because that's what you'll likely be focusing on in the brand.

Ed Cavatorta (4/30/2001 9:38 AM): Thanks Rob, Ed

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:39 AM): Did Sulkosky leave?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:40 AM): I guess so...just didn't want anyone left out....

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:41 AM): Fred, if you're referring to SearchKing, I thought it was about "what" you're searching, not where ... are you changing gears? (pardon the pun)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:41 AM): BTW, for those of you who might be wondering, we have a few hundred subscribers to FrankelTips! Not bad for the first seven days.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:41 AM): Rob: how critical is maintaining things like color schemes in a brand? Can you change it and get away with it?

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:42 AM): I am referring to SearchKing. It seems to me they developments are making it MORE than a simple search engine

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:42 AM): I like the focused categories ... but admit that SK is not always in the front of my mind when I'm hunting

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:43 AM): Interesting question, Terry. I usually use color to differentiate products within a brand. Take a look at my top frame here....I like the use of the buttons, but notice how the FrankelBiz and FrankelTips are reminiscent of each other, but not identical?

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:43 AM): so yes, it's definitely in need of a brand

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:43 AM): I am afraid that as a 'search engine' it gets tarred with he same brush. as all the others

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:44 AM): I am afraid that as a 'search engine' it gets tarred with he same brush. as all the others here' of SearchKing is in all the local portals it carries.

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:44 AM): .. but first, I suppose SK needs an identity

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:44 AM): But your "Rob Frankel" logo remains constant -- so in the case of KIDiddles, I'd be looking at a similar scenario

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:44 AM): The 'where' of SearchKing is in all the local portals it carries

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:45 AM): SearchKing has a long way to go...there's no real brand coming through.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:45 AM): On KIDiddles, the logo is the same everywhere, but each section of my site has different graphics (except the store, branded with the main logo)

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:45 AM): Rob: If I may, I'd like to ask a question. We've been retooling our business plan to focus more on ebooks. A week and a half ago we launched the Rogue Investor ebook, complete with it's own site and sales pitch. We bought a few choice GoTo keywords and within the first two days we had three sales. Since then it's been dry. We are perplexed! Any ideas or thoughts.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (4/30/2001 9:45 AM): Rob - EXACTLY! That's what I was asking about

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:46 AM): Yes, Terry. Because Rob Frankel is the brand. Here's the proof. Allan Gardyne -- of his own accord -- announced the FrankelTips thing in his newsletter. in his reference, he said something like "I have no problem sending Rob money for it, because I know I'll get more than my money's worth." That's the brand coming through; FrankelTips is a branded product.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:47 AM): Agreed (and his opinion matches mine -- it was a 'no-brainer' to sign up because I know the benefits are there)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:47 AM): Mike I can't say much for goto.com other than that I have always believed it to be a flawed model for just that reason -- you pay for traffic, not sales.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:48 AM): Which means, it could be your site, Mike. What's the URL?

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:48 AM): www.rogueinvestor.com

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:49 AM): Going there...

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:49 AM): Goto's pay per click is at least better than pay-per-impression. I get a lot of sales from GoTo traffic, so it works for me.

Del (4/30/2001 9:49 AM): Terry: Are you retooling your logo?

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:50 AM): Del: not the basic shape of it -- but am considering a color change (and placement in a different part of the screen)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:50 AM): Mike -- no question -- it's the site. You did this yourself?

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:51 AM): Rob, what are your comments. the pitch is too pushy?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:51 AM): No, Mike, the site takes waaaay to long to get to the sale and is designed NOT to be read.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:51 AM): Mike: it sounds too much like half the spam messages I get in my inbox every day -- I'd rather see a subtle sales pitch.

Del (4/30/2001 9:52 AM): Mike: Using the sitesell formula for page design?

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:53 AM): You said it, Terry. Mike, never use the word free unless you're adding value. I GUARANTEE that people are reading your site and thinking, "this guy is giving me free advice." And then they click away, figuring it's a scam.

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:53 AM): Wow, talk about conflicting messages. I have heard people say that it takes a lot of content to make a sale and they recommend a long sales pitch.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:53 AM): Del, even if that wasn't supposed to be funny, it was!!!

Barb (gfxinc.com) (4/30/2001 9:53 AM): Del, it definitely looks like Ken Evoy's work in there :)

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:54 AM): But Mike: the key is *CONTENT* ...

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:54 AM): A sales pitch, even with examples, isn't 'content.'

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:54 AM): Mike, there' very little here to suggest, as I point out so often, that "you're the only solution to your prospects' problems." It's very generic.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:54 AM): (at least not in my humble opinion)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:54 AM): (Ack! SIX MINUTE WARNING)

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:55 AM): Content = timely (relevant) advice that a person could walk away with without buying a thing... that shows your expertise and strengths... that gives them confidence in buying what you sell.

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:55 AM): Thanks for the advice, I'll regroup...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:56 AM): It takes a long time for me to find out you're selling an e-book.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:56 AM): How about a free chapter, or part of a chapter so they can see what you're offering? (maybe it's there -- I haven't read the whole thing)

Del (4/30/2001 9:56 AM): Mike: If you're ebook is long-enough and well-written, why not make your opening chapter a freely-downloadable pdf (with built in faxable order form and link back to your site.)

Del (4/30/2001 9:56 AM): Damn you Terry.:-)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:57 AM): Mike, when you do regroup, think about working with a designed who's good at e-commerce. There are plenty who are affordable on FrankelBiz.

Tom (goodsol.com) (4/30/2001 9:57 AM): I read it and I still don't know you are selling an e-book.

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:57 AM): your sidebar background could use some tweaking, too -- part of the bottom dollar bills are cut off, which makes it look like it's 'missing' something (perhaps a subtle background message?)

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 9:57 AM): LOL Del! :-)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:57 AM): Yeah, it doesn't even have to be a whole chapter. On http://www.revengeofrbrandx.com, I post an EXCERPT of a chapter. But it's enough!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:58 AM): Mike, that's a good point. That diesbar should be used for navigation! Show them how packed with value your stuff is..

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 9:58 AM): Ok...that can be done.

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 9:58 AM): Oops..."sidebar"

Del (4/30/2001 9:59 AM): I just read through the text...I couldn't find anything absolutely compelling enough to say, "This is a MUST purchase".

Mike Williams (4/30/2001 10:00 AM): Any examples out there...

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 10:00 AM): Well, folks, that was a fast moving hour! Time to get back to bringing home the proverbial bacon...I'll see you online!

Terry (terry@kididdles.com) (4/30/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob -- have a great week!

Rob Frankel (Rob@RobFrankel.com) (4/30/2001 10:01 AM): Mike: Go to http://www.revengeofbrandx.com...I've sold several thousand books through there....

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