Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic June 21, 1999

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:03 AM): Hey, just a Father's Day hangover...that's all. What's up?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:03 AM): Good morning sleepy head!

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:03 AM): AArrggghh....coffee isn't hot enough.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:05 AM): I don't have any issues, just here for the chat. (working in another window)

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:05 AM): Gee, got awfully quiet all of a sudden....am I to assume that everyone is financially well off today/

Terri (recruit2hire.com) (6/21/99 9:05 AM): I'm here to listen in too :)

Terri (recruit2hire.com) (6/21/99 9:06 AM): *laffin* not quite yet! but I am getting responses in from my web site since I redesigned it :)

Andy (6/21/99 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:06 AM): I'm not well off, I've just decided to work for someone else for awhile. And I don't start work for another month...

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:07 AM): I'm assuming that telegea is your new company? Want to tell us what that's about?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:07 AM): Telegea isn't my new company. I'm employee number 6.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:07 AM): I'm back to lurk again.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:07 AM): Telegea will be an eCommerce site dedicated to the telecommunications industry.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:08 AM): A Proof of concept site should be up in August. My first task is to take the site as delivered by consultants and test it out before launching the proof of concept.

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:08 AM): Well, I just got my search terms accepted on goto.com on Saturday and have 1 click through. Yeah! .01 cent

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:08 AM): Greetings, Lillian -- jump in with any question you have...

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:09 AM): Mark, the best part of advertising on goto.com for me was that they offered all their advertisers 100 shares of stock for their IPO...

Glenda (6/21/99 9:09 AM): I didn't see you all come in...hello

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:09 AM): Mark, let me know if you need help with Goto

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:09 AM): Anybody want to discuss affiliate programs? Has anyone had experience selling other peoples' goods, and is it a realistic way to make $?

Lillian (6/21/99 9:09 AM): Thanks! I have had my own Jewelry design business, but new on the web. Moving my store front July 1. Any marketing ideas to pull web site into it?

Terri (recruit2hire.com) (6/21/99 9:09 AM): I just found out that one of my hobby sites got listed on Yahoo and I didn't even know it! I thought they notified you when they listed you?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:10 AM): Rob, I didn't get that notification!? Was it only current advertisers?

Terri (recruit2hire.com) (6/21/99 9:10 AM): Rob, I saw that Goto jumped from $15 to $22 in one day

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:10 AM): Andy, Mark Welch at adbility.com has done some research

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:10 AM): I don't know, Benjamin. They sent out a notice about a week beforehand.

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:10 AM): Thanks Benjamin...I'm just excited to be listed near the top of all my search terms (even if I did have to pay for it) HA!

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:11 AM): Andy you can expect affiliate programs in some cases to generate as much as 25% of your total revenue

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:11 AM): Lillian, what specifically would you like to ask? Is this a Yahoo store or something you designed?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:11 AM): And also that your top 10 affiliates will make up most of your total affiliate revenue

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:11 AM): a

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:11 AM): Mark, you don't pay for it unless someone clicks through....

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:12 AM): Andy, also check out: associateprograms.com -- great site (IMHO)

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:12 AM): Nothing yet. I am working on a site that will give away free merchandise, but I'd like to give visitors an opportunity to buy merchandise as well. I just don't want to stock it, etc.

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:12 AM): yeah...that's what I love about it!

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:12 AM): Mark, you don't have to be near the top to get a lot of clicks.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:13 AM): Some people have researched that the title and description make more of an impact. In high competition areas like: internet hosting, internet service, etc.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:13 AM): Lillian? What's your URL?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:13 AM): Lillian? What's your URL?

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:13 AM): I'm in top 10 for all my search terms...I'm happy with that...I'm just going to start monitoring and go from there..

Lillian (6/21/99 9:14 AM): http://www.diastarjewelry.com

Bruce (6/21/99 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:14 AM): Cool. I would seriously recommend doing additional testing with another domain though.. Hmm. I will let you know if I find that research data again. (maybe it was in an earlier Frankel's free clinic?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:14 AM): Okay, and what specifically would you like to ask?

Glenda (6/21/99 9:16 AM): While we're on the subject of search engines...I'm about to edit my Yahoo URL and wondering if that will affect my positioning in a negative way?

Clayton Turnbow(apimage.com)) (6/21/99 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:16 AM): I am looking for marketing ideas to tie my website to my new retail location.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:16 AM): Andy I think the research data on affiliate programs can be found at adbility under their affiliate-l mailing list. I believe it is hosted at egroups.com

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:16 AM): And you can find an archive of the messages there.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:17 AM): Why are you seeking to tie the site to your physical location?

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:17 AM): Thanks Benjamin

Lillian (6/21/99 9:18 AM): Hmm good question. Thought it would make sense, No?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:18 AM): Actually, Lillian, your best bet is to make the site as global as it can be, since it already is, anyway. Anyone in Zaire can find your site as easily as anyone o Yonkers.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:19 AM): What you may want to do, though, is list your site in local directories that center on geographic areas.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:20 AM): One of my clients is a jeweler (mass items, not fine) and he never expected so many orders from so many places.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:20 AM): Listing in local directories is good when you have a page on your site dedicated to that area. For example on my soccer site I had a European page, and an English page. I got an additional yahoo listing through yahoo UK because I had the English page on my site.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:20 AM): actually it was several pages.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:20 AM): Of course, there are a couple of things you can do to spur local business: include your URL in all your local ads, offer local specials links to those ads, etc.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:21 AM): I have listed in lots of places, but only seem to get hits, and no sales. How is he getting sales?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:21 AM): But the main point here is that if you're on the web, you START OUT global.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:21 AM): I am included in my web address and email on all printed material and local ads.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:22 AM): Your site is not sales-driven. You're expecting people to behave on the site the way the would in your store, by browsing. It's different here. People come in ready to buy.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:22 AM): If you step back from your home page, you'll see that it looks more like a showcase for your designs, rather than a chance to buy them

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:23 AM): Are you prepared to ship internationally? have you done so before?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:23 AM): The only place you even hint at buying is a link that says "ordering". You have to get stronger than that, kiddo.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:24 AM): That's not to say that you can't do that with style and class, but you do have to be clear about saying, "Hey, you can buy this stuff right here, with just a click!"

Lillian (6/21/99 9:24 AM): I have not done that yet, but used to import from my old company. I cannot imagine shipping would be that difficult.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:25 AM): The big question is whether you built this site to SELL jewelry or just SHOW it. Then gage your expectations accordingly.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:25 AM): Would a stronger warranty help?

Joe C. (6/21/99 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:26 AM): You should be prepared to ship internationally. A couple of useful things to do is note what time difference you are from major cities like London, Tokyo, etc. with your phone number, or just so people don't expect an immediate email response in the middle of the night ;)

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:26 AM): No, because people won't use it unless they BUY.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:26 AM): And they won't buy unless they know they CAN buy and SHOULD BUY here.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:27 AM): How about a gifty thing with orders, or just asking for the order constantly?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:27 AM): It's also useful to start listing countries you have shipped internationally before so people can feel comfortable ordering from you.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:27 AM): Shipping is no big deal, really. It's one of the most containable variable costs of business that you can tack on.

Glenda (6/21/99 9:27 AM): Could you repost your URL Lillian?

Lillian (6/21/99 9:27 AM): http://www.diastarjewelry.com

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:28 AM): Not constantly, Lillian, but do take a look at your home page. It's VERY subtle about selling. It doesn't tell me how easily I can buy your stuff.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:28 AM): Yeah USPS global priority mail just cost me $4.00 to Canada this morning. Not to bad. and I am sure rates are similar for other foreign destinations

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:28 AM): Also, are you participating in e-mail discussion groups? Networking with any online women in business?

Lillian (6/21/99 9:29 AM): Jewelry needs to have some insurance added to that fee.

Louise (GreenCottage.com) (6/21/99 9:29 AM): Entered the room.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:29 AM): Yes, Rozey at WEON sent me here.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:29 AM): The web is a killer referral source. And if you're good, the word spreads like wildfire.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:30 AM): Rob, I know your specialty is branding. I am developing several websites with a common theme. The names are all similar as is the concept., but each deals with a unique audience. Any tips on how brand them all to build recognition of all sites at once?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:30 AM): Well, there ya go! And there are lots of affiliations you can make that way, too. If you want the site to sell, go global and sell harder, that's my take on it.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:30 AM): Andy, any reason you're not branding them all under one roof?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:31 AM): I hope you're not confusing "product line" with "brand".

Lillian (6/21/99 9:31 AM): Rob, Thank you so much for your insight. I will refer you as well as report back and say hello.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:32 AM): Any time, Diamond Lil.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:32 AM): VERY targeted, very fragmented audiences. They most likely won't have much to do with one another. Everyone from Scuba Divers to Guitarists to Golfers etc.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:33 AM): If each is as different as you say, then I'd brand each one to its own category. Each one should be positioned within its category according to that segment's values.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:34 AM): Of course, that leaves your parent company branded as the company that can brand well to niche segments, which fits.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:34 AM): I have just begun developing the sites, and a sample of the first one, freescuba.com is parked behind another site of mine at www.flyingmarsupials.com/freescuba.

Stuart (6/21/99 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:36 AM): Andy, you may want to code in the background color. It comes out gray on my default browser setting

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:37 AM): Thanks, I'll do that. I hope to sell targeted advertising to support the site and make a little $, as well as the database I develop, etc. This also would be where I could set up an affiliate shop with an online scuba store..

Clayton Turnbow(apimage.com)) (6/21/99 9:38 AM): Benjamin what's telegea.com?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:38 AM): If the sites are niched this narrowly, then yes, I'd brand them all individually.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:38 AM): Stuart, what can I do for you today?

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:38 AM): Andy if I may interject, if you are going to be setting up affiliate stores in a lot of niches, I'd highly recommend creating your own software to handle the affiliate programs.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:39 AM): That's what I thought... Thanks again for your help (love this chat!)

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:39 AM): Clayton, a new internet startup based on eCommerce applications for the telecommunications industry

Louise the SoapLady (6/21/99 9:39 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:39 AM): And heeeeere's Louise, the SoapLady!

Clayton Turnbow(apimage.com)) (6/21/99 9:40 AM): Thanks Benjamin!

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:40 AM): Joe C., anything I can help you with today?

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:40 AM): Benjamin, I hate to admit it but I'm a bit intimidated by the idea of setting up my own store. How do I start?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:41 AM): Andy, if it isn't too complicated, why not do a yahoo store or iCat?

Mark (phillylist.com) (6/21/99 9:41 AM): Andy, I love the idea with freescuba -- good luck with it and keep us updated.

Lillian (6/21/99 9:41 AM): by now, see ya real soon.

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:42 AM): Andy, check out adbility.com, Mark Welch will consult with you to help you setup a good affiliate program.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:42 AM): I'm unfamiliar with the buying process for getting the merchandise. I suppose a bit of education on my part is step #1.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:42 AM): Those build-it-online stores are really easy.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:43 AM): Yes, Mark is setting himself up as an affiliate meister, but be careful, if you think I"M opinionated...yeesh!

Benjamin Fitts (telegea.com) (6/21/99 9:43 AM): Andy or just do research into companies that already have stores in your target niche and create partnerships with them.

Stuart (6/21/99 9:44 AM): We're trying to figure out how to develop a web-site to allow our customers (primarily ad agencies)to interact with us to get information about Radio stations we represent. Our first need is to determine the kind of database(s) we need internally for a foundation. And where to go to get effective, and cost effective consulting for the project.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:44 AM): I don't want to take up the whole session (which I could!) I'll check back again next week. Thanks for all the great suggestions Rob and Benjamin. I'll be back next week!

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:45 AM): Whoa, Stuart. You're trying to deal with ad agencies? Tough job, my man! The first thing you have to do is understand their mentality. Do you?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:46 AM): Tell me more about your service. Is it a pay as you go or free service/

Stuart (6/21/99 9:46 AM): "We want your political rate, free spins and a promotion!"

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:47 AM): What's the revenue model Stuart?

Bruce (6/21/99 9:47 AM): Entered the room.

Andy TeBockhorst (sluggers.com) (6/21/99 9:49 AM): are we still out there?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:50 AM): Also, are you building it yourself or is this a group effort?

Stuart (6/21/99 9:50 AM): Seriously, the company has been in business 44 years, we work with a lot of agencies. Although few of our buyers are using the internet, yet we know they will be. We want to be there when the critical mass arrives. Revenue model: no charge to agencies, stations pay us a sales commission for business we deliver.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:51 AM): Okay, then I know that you're serious. Are you aligned with anyone like SRDS? or Nielsen?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:52 AM): Or are your more like Chancellor -- a national/local rep firm?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:52 AM): (Or are they calling themselves AMFM these days?

Stuart (6/21/99 9:53 AM): Not aligned, but we are the largest advertiser in SRDS' Radio Advertising Source. We are like Katz and Interep, but most of our stations are in small and medium, often unrated, markets.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:54 AM): Well, you're ready to rock, then. You'll likely end up with a dynamic site, but you better prepare yourself to design it with features that are unique and useful. you can't just provide data.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:54 AM): If the site is well-branded, you'll find that the data you serve up is only half as important as the way in which you serve it.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:55 AM): Yours is a perfect web model, though. If you do it right, it should be very profitable for you. But get the branding right. If the branding isn't right, everything else will be wrong.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:56 AM): Sounds like you have a decent niche, which is a great place to start. but what, exactly is your question?

Stuart (6/21/99 9:56 AM): Agreed, but first things first. We need to figure out the "mechanics" of providing the data quickly, ultimately allowing the buyer to do a lot of the customization him/herself.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:57 AM): That's no big deal. The mechanics/customization will likely be done for you on a dynamic basis: the set up an delivery are programmed by the user through the browser.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Stuart (6/21/99 9:59 AM): Where would be a good place to look for people qualified to help develop such a site?

RobFrankel (6/21/99 9:59 AM): But the WAY in which it gets delivered, and the manner in which its presented makes all the difference in the world. That's more a design/strategic question that must be hammered out before you write one line of code.

RobFrankel (6/21/99 10:00 AM): Stuart, call me off chat. 1-888-ROBFRANKEL

RobFrankel (6/21/99 10:00 AM): Or if you're local to Southern California, 818-990-8623

RobFrankel (6/21/99 10:00 AM): Okay, you guys, I've gotta run. But you are most welcome to continue as long as you want. You can also use this site to meet any time you like during the week. See you online!

Clayton Turnbow(apimage.com)) (6/21/99 10:00 AM): See y'all next week..

Stuart (6/21/99 10:01 AM): Will do, and thanks, Rob (We're in Cleveland, OH)

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