Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic July 17, 2000

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 8:59 AM): Greetings...anyone here yet?

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 8:59 AM): Entered the room. (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): I will probably post two case studies, etc.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

weber (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Hi Rob. I tried to see the interview you had but the URL was not working

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Greetings, Rob and everyone!

weber (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Hi Terri

Arizona Reporter ( (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Entered the room. (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): Greetings everyone. Welcome into the pool (lol).

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:00 AM): hello all...

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:01 AM): Jozef, you're way better off just hitting them with a brief message and letting them contact you for more info, or direct them to a web page with more information. Personally, I'd go the e-mail route to get all the replies...

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:01 AM): Hi Michael, what can I help you with today?

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:01 AM): hey James! weber, I saw you posted to one of the ezine announcement lists - good description :) (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): Agreed, that is why I have not redone the postings just yet.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): Hi Rob. Probably nothing @ the moment - I was just talking with Teri on the phone before I came here.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): Rob, you can take credit for another FrankelBee connection! Michael and I are hooked up since a couple of weeks ago :)

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): It was a good place to meet someone like her a couple weeks ago, so I'm seeing who else I might meet this week.

weber (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): Thanks! We now have 346 subscribers and our first issue went out on the 10th want a copy?

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:02 AM): tester...are you still here? We try to let the new people go first.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:03 AM): Just doin' my job, Terri...

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:03 AM): yes please, weber :)

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:03 AM): and you do it so well, Rob! :)

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:04 AM): Okay, since nobody has a critical issue, I have to share this story with you....

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:05 AM): Terri, it was nice to comment on seeing Weber's post, you're doing your job nicely as well!

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:05 AM): As you may or may not know, my book (Revenge of Brand X) was originally signed for publication by McGraw Hill publishers.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:05 AM): thanks, Yancey! :)

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:06 AM): They were the most incompetent organization I have ever worked with, and to make a long story short, after farting around for a year on the project, decided "the book's time had passed". We agreed to go our separate ways.

weber (7/17/2000 9:06 AM): OK Terri the issue was emailed to you. The page where it can be seen is

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:06 AM): I remember that Rob - but you got mad at them, didn't you?

weber (7/17/2000 9:06 AM):

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:06 AM): if you wait long enough, anything's time will pass...

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:07 AM): So imagine my delight to get a voicemail on Friday from McGraw Hill's New York bookstore on Sixth Avenue, begging me to ship them copies for The Revenge of Brand X as soon as I can for their corporate customers!

weber (7/17/2000 9:07 AM): Rob, I remember hearing somewhere that even making no decision is making a decision

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:07 AM): Wow!! Congratulations, Rob!

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:08 AM): After I stopped laughing, I happily filled the order....ah, sweet revenge....

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:08 AM): I guess their corporate customers really need books "whose time has passed."

Glenda (7/17/2000 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:08 AM): The Revenge of Brand X as an example of itself!

weber (7/17/2000 9:09 AM): I hope you charged a premium for a rush shipment

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:09 AM): My main point here is the illustration that just because they're big doesn't mean they're smart. And every one of you should keep that in mind. You don't need to be egotistically stubborn, but there are very few people out there who are smarter or better than you are. (7/17/2000 9:10 AM): Also, when they say no, the sale just started, right! (7/17/2000 9:10 AM): probe for objections and deal with them.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:10 AM): Actually, Weber, the story gets even better: Barnes & Noble, McGraw and others who want the book try to send me Purchase Orders, which I don't accept. I tell them, "credit card or pre-payment", because I don't want to get into billing nightmares. And you know what? Every one of them pays with a credit card!

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:11 AM): And I didn't charge them anything for shipment -- they billed it to their own FEDEX. (7/17/2000 9:11 AM): Rob have you gotten them to become affiliates online (grin).

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:11 AM): Well, Jozef, sometimes if you can't go through them, it's better to go around them, and then bite them in the tuchas on your way past them!

weber (7/17/2000 9:11 AM): We do that with some of our big customers in our export side of our company

weber (7/17/2000 9:12 AM): I meant Import side.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:12 AM): Jozef, if these guys were smart, they would sign up as affiliates. But they don't get it.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:12 AM): Rob, when you deal with a large publisher, do you get less of the money for the book? (not to sell to them, of course, but to have them publish you) (7/17/2000 9:13 AM): Hey, Rob we have a great click and mortar bookstore up here called You want me to front you on this one? (7/17/2000 9:13 AM): Up here meaning, Canada. (7/17/2000 9:14 AM): I bought the Harry Potter books there last week.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:14 AM): Jozef, Chapters has me listed. Terri, you make NOTHING when you go with a publisher. I am SOOOOO happy I decided to self-publish. And I owe it all to Paul Hartunian.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:14 AM): I wouldn't have self-published even 18 months ago, butt now it's so easy and the margins are so great, it's definitely worth it.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:15 AM): Whoa!! I didn't know THAT! I'm happy FOR you, Rob :) (7/17/2000 9:15 AM): Have you thought of doing a tour across Canada with chapters? Chapters are megastores (60,000 s.f. plus) with couches, coffee bars, etc.).

Glenda (7/17/2000 9:15 AM): Rob, would you recommend self-publishing for all books, including cookbooks?

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:15 AM): Terri, if you sign with a publisher, you MIGHT get an upfront advance (usually less than $10K), after which you get 7% of the retail price AFTER you earn the $10K out. And even then, the company does NOTHING to promote your book.... (7/17/2000 9:16 AM): Chapters does have events in the store with publishers.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:17 AM): Then they ship your books to the bookstore, where everyone wonders why the book isn't selling...if they do sell, it takes six months to get the income from it. If they don't, the bookstores send them back to you -- you pay the shipping -- and you're branded forever as an "loser" author.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:17 AM): It's a similar thing in the music industry. (7/17/2000 9:17 AM): Events with authors I mean.

weber (7/17/2000 9:17 AM): I meant Import side.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:17 AM): Yes, Glenda, I would. The only exception I would make is if, after having initial success, a major publisher handed you a huge check for your next book, and guaranteed promotion.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:18 AM): Plus, Glenda, don't forget that if you self-publish, you get to keep the data on who has bought your book. So you can upsell them later.

Glenda (7/17/2000 9:18 AM): What's your opinion on ebook publishing Rob? (7/17/2000 9:18 AM): Rob, one thing we do at HI-performance is to get editorial content on our clients and us at the same time. These publishers need to do this too.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:19 AM): The only time I don't get the data on buyers is when they find the book through other outlets.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:20 AM): Jozef, publishers publish -- they don't know marketing or promotion. Glenda, I'd recommend ebooks only on two accounts: 1. You want to get your stuff out there so fast that you're willing to give it away. 2. Your content is so impulse-driven, that people would want to download it immediately. (7/17/2000 9:21 AM): So a good publisher should provide its authors data, etc. That is a good web application for chapters, borders, amazon, etc.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:21 AM): Although there are arguments to the contrary, I still have a problem with the content duplication aspect of ebooks. There are supposed to be technologies that protect your content, but so far, none has proven out

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:22 AM): Yes, Jozef, but amazon, for example, will not release that data. Barnes & Noble, however, actually will have you drop ship copies to their customers, so you get their data. (7/17/2000 9:22 AM): Actually, I think what Patricia Seybold ( has done is smart. Give just the 1st chapter and give only seminar workbooks online as e-books.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:22 AM): Incidentally, the publisher has nothing to do with sales other than complain about it. It's the wholesalers and retailers -- and more accurately the author -- that promotes and manages the book sales.

Glenda (7/17/2000 9:23 AM): The reason I ask Rob is that I have an aunt who recently copyrighted her manuscript of 530 pound cake recipes and I'm trying to help decide which route to take to get the cookbook out there

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:23 AM): Any one have an issue they want to discuss? Just checking if there are any lurkers who need help.....

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:24 AM): Glenda, if it's a good book that has an audience, self-publishing is the way to go. I produced the book here, including all the cover design and layout, so it was really cheap. Run the numbers and see how many you'd have to sell to break even. One thing I'd keep in mind, though: bakers may want to have the book in front of them. (7/17/2000 9:24 AM): Well.... I think we need some help with our branding but that might be a chargeable item.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:25 AM): On the other hand, if you want to make it really cheap, ebook is the way to go. Just roll it up into a PDF document and sell it by the download.

weber (7/17/2000 9:26 AM): Our brand is emperors herbologist if we make some special purchases from companies of items that we don't carry on a regular basis, should we still label them under emperors herbologist?

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:26 AM): Jozef, we can talk about it. I just can't create it here

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:26 AM): You mean re-packaging Weber?

weber (7/17/2000 9:27 AM): For example XYZ company has vitamin E which is not a regular item for us, but we buy 300 bottles on a special purchase. Should we use XYZ's label for this one time special?

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:28 AM): You probably should, weber, if only to save you from liability issues, like contamination. Better to be safe than sorry -- or greedy. (7/17/2000 9:28 AM): Ok, we build web based business application software (7/17/2000 9:28 AM): For all sizes of businesses and corporations.

weber (7/17/2000 9:28 AM): I'm concerned about the perception of our customers on it.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:29 AM): Also, to repackage it would likely take the profit out of the sale for you. Now, if you have a deal with XYZ company to private label it for you, you may have the best of both worlds. But they'd likely want quantity orders from you for that.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:30 AM): Weber, your customers probably care more about who you deal with than what you sell them. Spin this right, and it will look like you "only deal with the best companies".

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:30 AM): Go ahead Jozef.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:30 AM): FYI, we're probably in the same biz as hpmarketing and could use some ideas too (just posted to FBiz list last night)

weber (7/17/2000 9:30 AM): We will be experimenting with some items from contract packers. That is why I am asking. If the items sell very good, they will become regular items. I just don't want our customers to see someone else's label and then go and buy from them.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:31 AM): Weber, even if they leave to the other guys, they'll be back once they see they can get the same stuff from you, all in one place. (7/17/2000 9:31 AM): Well we picked HI-performance to be our name because we wanted to develop hi-performance web sites for hi-performance businesses (that's why we want to deal with businesses that have strategic plans in place)

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:31 AM): Especially if you notify them after tracking their orders....!

weber (7/17/2000 9:31 AM): OK. Thanks. (7/17/2000 9:32 AM): We want to deal with clients that will have exponential growth.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:32 AM): Jozef, be honest with me -- how many people call you because they think you're a division of Hewlett Packard? (7/17/2000 9:33 AM): A few have made the mistake, not many (about five in two years). It has worked for us.

weber (7/17/2000 9:33 AM): I thought jozeph was a part of Hewlett Packard (7/17/2000 9:33 AM): In each case.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:33 AM): Make that six!

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:34 AM): Okay, so what's the issue? (7/17/2000 9:34 AM): Lol, too funny. (7/17/2000 9:34 AM): Well we are trying out a new tag line to get across what we actually do.

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:35 AM): drum roll.... (7/17/2000 9:36 AM): For example, I was speaking to our Rabbi last night and he said, "Jozef, our name is "the centre for Judaism". See, it says exactly what we are.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:36 AM): On no, you're going to your rabbi for marketing advice?

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:37 AM): Does your cantor do logos?

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:37 AM): jozef, fwiw I think of you as a marketing company, not a software services company. (7/17/2000 9:37 AM): The Rabbi then says, I know what HI-performance does but to the world hi-performance could be a car shop.

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:37 AM): The Revenge of Brand Yiddish (7/17/2000 9:38 AM): My side is hurting now! LOLLLLL

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:39 AM): How about a tag line like, "would it kill you to perform optimally?" (7/17/2000 9:40 AM): The Rabbi noted IBM's tag line which is "IBM, business solutions" (7/17/2000 9:41 AM): HI-performance does two things really well. We help our clients identify killer apps for their web sites and we are one of the best web based software developers out there.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:41 AM): Personally, I happen to agree with your hi-tech rabbi. I do think that the first read is handcuffed by existing colloquialism. High performance IS usually associated with automotive.

LA( (7/17/2000 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:42 AM): And I also think your name, as Michael suggests, pushes marketing, not software. So there are two barriers to clear communications.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:42 AM): Anyone who found hpmarketing would think you're a marketing company.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:43 AM): Jozef, we're definitely not up there in the marketing/branding pantheon of gods, but... (7/17/2000 9:43 AM): Actually our Rabbi is more of a marketing type than a hi-tech type.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:43 AM): you don't push apps very much on your site. I thought *WE* were the best developers out there! (7/17/2000 9:43 AM): I agree, we know we need a good change.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:44 AM): Yes, Jozef, you do. Even your home page communicates equivocation...

LA( (7/17/2000 9:45 AM): what is the URL? It scrolled off before I joined today. Hello everyone! :-) (7/17/2000 9:45 AM): We have had a wealth of client work over the past year. Been to busy for our own site but we are now taking steps to fix it.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:45 AM):

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:45 AM): ..and now I see that you're actually called Hi Performance Enterprises.... (7/17/2000 9:46 AM): I know it needs work, big time. Client work keeps taking precedence over it.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:46 AM): Do it now, jozef, before you really are sorry that you didn't...

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:46 AM): Anyone else have any issues?

weber (7/17/2000 9:47 AM): It sounds like a car racing team

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:47 AM): I hear you jozef - the cobbler's children have no shoes, etc. (7/17/2000 9:47 AM): Yes I totally agree, especially when I am getting Revenge of Brand Yiddish from my Rabbi, I KNOW I must do something about it now.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:48 AM): We're in a similar boat, Rob, except our issue is more marketing/sales than branding.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:48 AM): Tell your rabbi, incidentally, it is NOT necessary to clip off the tip of the book cover before reading it.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:48 AM): Working with Terri we hope to get a good salesperson to overcome part of this, but I realize branding plays a part in this.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:48 AM): Go ahead Michael.

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 9:49 AM): *LOL* Rob

LA( (7/17/2000 9:49 AM): I know you all have helped me a lot in past weeks... if some one else has "issues" :-) help them first, but What do you think of the slogan "The Most Powerful Health Magnets On Earth?"

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:49 AM): Michael, sales is a fraction of the effort. I have a client right now who had a great sales guy that got them into deep yogurt. He didn't understand or care what he was selling and then the company couldn't deliver.

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 9:50 AM): Rob, I am building my site at present. My issue is credibility. I do not have any big name clients to list. I do have great quotes from people I have worked with. Ideas/ Suggestions please

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:50 AM): Last year I left a large 'top 20' web agency who was in that situation - selling so much engineering and marketing couldn't keep up.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:50 AM): LA: I sure hope you can document that, because you'll have lawyers all over you.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:51 AM): (that's another long story others can contact me directly about if you're interested in hearing about how the web emperors have no clothes!)

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:51 AM): TEN MINUTE WARNING

LA( (7/17/2000 9:51 AM): Thank you...making changes immediately!

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:52 AM): We want to focus on developing solutions using open source technologies, which seems a branding issue more than sales. (7/17/2000 9:52 AM): Jane, go after some marketing companies that do work for big corporations. Doing some subcontract work gets you high level client examples.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:52 AM): Jane, forget the client list. They're overrated. Unless you list them very broadly, most people use them as targets for their own sales efforts. You're way better off giving people free access to past case histories and solutions you have provided. I do that a lot with free article archives and before/after case studies.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:53 AM): Michael, that's a great niche. You should be able to crank out a nice position there.

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:53 AM): Jane, Your web design can go a long way towards credibility. Your current page with the grey type and lots of white space is very nice. I wanted to click for more.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:53 AM): Your brand should reflect that, Michael. Your brand culture practically writes itself.

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 9:54 AM): Great- How much text is too much tho? Jozef, a good point I am already doing that.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:54 AM): Thanks - I think so too, but we're still working on the presence and angling. (7/17/2000 9:54 AM): Gotta go early folks, take boys swimming. Thanks for all the help. And yes Rob, I will mention the TIP to my Rabbi, I am sure he will enjoy it. He is an Orthodox Hassidic Rabbi out in White Rock, B.C., Canada.

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:54 AM): Do we need slogans or that kind of stuff? Sometimes feels a bit gimmicky, but perhaps I'm too cynical. :)

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:55 AM): I would use a graphic for the "Stratedgy" so you can kern or close the space between the italic e and the d.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:56 AM): Jozef, be careful swimming! Wait a half hour after eating! Do you have clean underwear? Here, take a piece of fruit to eat in the car. Call me when you get there. Will you be home for dinner?

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:56 AM): Good luck brainstorming Jozef!

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 9:56 AM): Thanks Yancy- this is my "under construction page" done by moi- I am getting ready to turn copy and ideas over to a real developer.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:56 AM): Michael, if you're branding, you need all that stuff -- but it doesn't have to be gimmicky. It has to be real to work well.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:57 AM): Michael, consider it like this: you want people to refer you, and when they do you want to make sure they get the message right. That's branding. (7/17/2000 9:57 AM): Rob, you sound like the Rabbi's wife. BTW, White Rock is like yochopitzville.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:58 AM): Thanks. :)

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:58 AM): Jozef, you can find them at

Yancey ( (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Write that one down!

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Does having a catchier domain name help? Anyone?

weber (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Terri give me your email address, the one I sent bounced.

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Yes, Michael. But catchier means impactful, not cute.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Rob, everyone, thanks for the great session today! You guys always get my week off to a great start! Michael I like TapInternet :) Talk to you soon! weber

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 9:59 AM): Gotcha

RobFrankel ( (7/17/2000 10:00 AM): Okay you guys, I've got a rare, cross town meeting that I have to run to. Stick around if you like and I'll se you online!

Jane Tabachnick [] (7/17/2000 10:00 AM): Ciao Rob, Thanks!

Glenda (7/17/2000 10:00 AM): Bye everyone...thanks Rob

Michael kimsal ( (7/17/2000 10:00 AM): later...

weber (7/17/2000 10:01 AM): Bye Rob. Thanks Terri it's on it's way again.

Terri Robinson ( (7/17/2000 10:01 AM): thanks weber! see you all next week! :)

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