Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic August 2, 1999

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:00 AM): Gooooooooood morning. What's up?

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 9:00 AM): Good morning Rob!

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:00 AM): check out the site at www.winroute.com Terri

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 9:00 AM): yes they are Guy! Nothing yet Rob :)

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 9:01 AM): Thanks Guy!

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:01 AM): Hi, Rob just crowing to Terri about my new proxy server hookup 2 machines on one line

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:01 AM): Good morning!

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:02 AM): Okay...but what kind of business are we talking about today?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:02 AM): Who's first?

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:02 AM): Good morning all, good to be here. Just sitting in this morning

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:02 AM): Rob... I have a question

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:03 AM): My question is about web hosting, should I do a referral program?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:03 AM): Hit it, Mike.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:03 AM): Ok... I'm the owner of pcgame.com - a search engine for PC games...

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:04 AM): traffic is about 25,000 people/day, or 5 million pageviews/month

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:04 AM): I have no budget for advertising though, so growth has been slower than it should be

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:05 AM): meanwhile I'm sending big sites like GameSpot and GameCenter 30,000 click-throughs/month, and getting nothing in return

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:06 AM): so.... I need advice on figuring out how to leverage what I have to get more exposure, plus all the usual questions about finding venture capital, and in general...

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:06 AM): Whoa, Mike. Are you in business as a non-profit or what? Why aren't your deals set up for some kind of referral tracking?

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:06 AM): finding someone to help me figure out strategies. (sorry to be so long winded), that's it

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:07 AM): The first thing you have to do is get your priorities straight: Profitability first, technology second. We know your site works, but what good is that if it doesn't make money?

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:07 AM): I do track out-going links, but as a search engine I need to cover them in any case

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:07 AM): This is a big -- and common -- problem. People build technology before thinking about how to make money from it. Structure first, design second.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:08 AM): You probably would do well to being with programs that emanate from your site. Branded community that gives your visitors a reason to be loyal to you.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:08 AM): If you center that stuff around pcgames.com, you could offer those bodies to the other sites at a value they would pay for.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:09 AM): Mike do you have your own server?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:09 AM): The end result would be to have game sites contact and pay you to help them promote their sites. Could be on a traffic basis or fee.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:10 AM): I do have some community type things going, like "gametalk.com".. you are right that I didn't plan for profits before technology

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:10 AM): Guy I am co-hosted at an ISP

Glenda (8/2/99 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:10 AM): The trick, Mike, is bringing profitability into your operation without alienating those fans who are there for the free stuff. The right branding can o this.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:11 AM): I had to ask, because of your bandwidth consumption, your overhead must be quite high

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:11 AM): Rob that sounds good, but I would need a salesman to convince the game companies of that... I've been using AdSmart who are turning out to be lame at targeted sales

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:11 AM): I haven't been to your site, but I'm sure you can track which site are getting huge traffic and which ones aren't. Pursue the weak ones and show them how you can send big numbers to them. For a fee.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:12 AM): AAAARGH! NEVER expect anyone else to sell your site for you. Rep companies are horrible at this. They just want to sell banners.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:12 AM): Mike, YOU are that salesman.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:12 AM): that's a good point- in fact it worked with some smaller ones to promote me in return. Is there anything I can do about the big ones though? GameSpot says they would rather compete with me than link back to me

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:13 AM): Rob you are so right about that. They are getting me an average of 1.5 CPM. (It was better when I was with "WebRep" - a smaller firm that got bought by them)

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:14 AM): Gamespot is a god businessman. You should be competing with them. But take your case directly to the guys who will pay you to perform. Help them build their business and they'll pay....

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:14 AM): So I should take sales back into my own hands... and maybe visit the big game companies and talk to them?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:14 AM): I'm telling you Mike, the ad rep guys don't get it. You're asking them to do something for which they are not trained or capable. All they do is sell banners, not create programs.

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:15 AM): Good Morning Everyone

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:15 AM): Also is "pcgame.com" a bad name? People always confuse it with "pcgames.com" as you did :)

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:15 AM): Mike, start with the smaller companies who need the traffic you can generate for them. They'll pay.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:16 AM): Well, it IS awfully close. But it's not a bad name.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:16 AM): Rob what is fair to ask, per click-through? So far I have only asked for some return traffic

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:16 AM): Good Morning! I'm new to the world of press releases and am looking for guidance on how to bring this function in house.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:16 AM): Judy. Welcome. Ever hear my DIY Corollary?

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:17 AM): I haven't heard it, Rob

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:18 AM): "Doing it Yourself works -- for suicide. Public Relations is something I never do myself. It's too labor intensive and relies on personal relationships to work.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:18 AM): Some things you can do yourself. But writing a press release isn't one of them, because it doesn't come from an outside point of view.

Hi all (8/2/99 9:18 AM): Entered the room.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:18 AM): Entered the room.

Mike (8/2/99 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Mike (8/2/99 9:19 AM): Hi all (whoops!)

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:19 AM): More importantly, even if you write a killer release, getting is published is a task better handled by someone who knows editors personally. Otherwise you're just another name in a long queue.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:20 AM): You'll do way better if you find a good PR person outside. The key of course is finding a GOOD Pr person, which I grant you is not easy.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:22 AM): Judy, does that help? Or was there something more specific?

Clayton(apimage.com) (8/2/99 9:22 AM): Rob give some tips on how to find a GOOD pr person

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:23 AM): Rob, thank you for the advice, I appreciate it a lot.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:24 AM): Okay Clayton. The first thing you should ask a PR person is if they specialize in a certain field. Stay away from someone who is a generalist.

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:24 AM): Very helpful! Any suggestions on books for writing great press releases?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:24 AM): Good PR relies on someone who can get your story published. That means they have to enjoy terrific relationships with editors and producers. Those people are always looking for reliable good stories.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:25 AM): Yes, Judy: write them from your END USERS' point of view. Less about you, more about them.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:25 AM): Clayton, #2 is to prepare to pay a monthly fee of somewhere between $3M and $5M per month.

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 9:26 AM): Judy, I have found Paul Hartunian's website on How to Write a Killer Press release very helpful - he is at http://www.netrageousresults.com/pr/pressrelease.html

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:26 AM): $3M as in 3 million?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:26 AM): Clayton, #3: Prepare to wait at least 3 and probably 6 months for any kind of result. PR is a time-dependent investment. Media have long lead times.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:26 AM): No, Mike, 3,000 per month.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:27 AM): sorry! I should have figured that out!

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:28 AM): Public Relations is a long term investment. It can work, but you have to stay with it. Ask your PR person about their previous successes in your related industry.

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:28 AM): Thank you Terri, I'll check it out.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:28 AM): Judy Carson what kind of business are you in, if I may ask?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:28 AM): If you can't commit at least six months to PR, don't even bother with it.

Clayton(apimage.com) (8/2/99 9:28 AM): Thanks

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:30 AM): Rob... what do you think of the name "gamedex.com" for a search engine instead of pcgame.com? does it bring the idea of "game index" to mind?

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:30 AM): Rob, I have the opposite problem from Mike's. I think my site is set up well for profitability, but nobody knows it exists.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:30 AM): John, what's the site?

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:31 AM): We are a small software company; our product is insurance rating software for independent insurance agents.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:31 AM): Mike, I think more people will intuitively type in pcgame.com than gamedex....FWIW

Mike (8/2/99 9:31 AM): Judy, do you have a website or email? My company may be interested in insurance rating software.

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:31 AM): taxandprivacysolutions.com... its new, not even finished yet... which explains the problem for the most part

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:32 AM): Mike, nope; not for me. Why not "gameindex"

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:32 AM): AHA! ANOTHER FrankelBiz connection and you saw it here first!

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:32 AM): Mike, certainly! Judithc@fscrater.com

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:32 AM): John, describe the product/service...

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:32 AM): Mike, have you heard of gamebot.com? When I just did a query on "computer game search directory" they did VERY well.

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:32 AM): Thanks Rob!

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:33 AM): Mike you basically needs to convey the words computes & games.....

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:33 AM): Kathleen that one had been taken

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:33 AM): I take it you are trying to come up with a name that people with just intuitively type in?

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:33 AM): In that case gamedex is not the way to go, indexing is a technical term that most people don't use

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:33 AM): Guy yes I've seen them... where did you search?

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:33 AM): Is anyone aware of a good PR firm that specializes in the insurance industry?

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:34 AM): Well the problem is people think pcgame.com is a magazine, because pcgames.com is, and pcgamer.com is - all similar

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:34 AM): John? You there?

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:34 AM): I use Infoseek Express, version 2.0 it's a meta search (lots at once) available free at dialone.com

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:34 AM): I sell one item which is both a product and a service... the product: course study materials that teach small businesses how to structure themselves for maximum tax advantage, asset protection and max profits... the service: unlimited consultation time to those who complete the course

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:34 AM): Judy, if you don't find one here, post that request to FrankelBiz. I'm sure you'll get a ton of responses and suggestions.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:35 AM): also "PC" is just one type of game, there are also things like Nintendo, Playstation etc.. I have "psxgame.com" and "n64game.com" ready for those- but then my "brand" would be three different names...

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:35 AM): Well, john, you're in the right place at the right time. People are starting to wake up to small business content. Have you explored exporting sample content to those sites?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:36 AM): Workz.com, for example, is sponsoring the list this week. They're dying for content!

Judy Carson (8/2/99 9:37 AM): Rob, thanks for the help. Signing off.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:37 AM): Also, John, one of our FrankelBees is a tax specialist who is very involved in this kind of thing. Do you know Eva Rosenberg, aka Tax Mama?

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:37 AM): well how about gamez.com?

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:37 AM): I just finished putting the content together for my own site, so no that idea had not occurred to me. I like it though

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:37 AM): thanks Guy C.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:38 AM): Muhammad, are you online with InterNIC? Let's not do name searches here....

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:38 AM): I'm a new FrankelBee so no, I don't know Eva... should we get acquainted?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:39 AM): John, even promoting my book I give away one free chapter. Start listing all the potential partners who will accept free content for a mention/link. It works.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:39 AM): Rob your discussion list sounds great... I'm signing up for it *grin*

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:39 AM): John, post to the list. I'll bet she responds.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:39 AM): Mike, you won't be sorry. These are the best, most helpful/ethical people around. And we do real business, too.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:40 AM): But it's NOT discussion oriented. It's only about helping you grow your business with offers and stuff.

Muhammad(adgconsulting.com) (8/2/99 9:40 AM): Not online with nic...just a suggestion...

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:41 AM): Guy, responding to your earlier question, definitely create a referral program. It is SO worth it.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:41 AM): but it will help me find people to consult with on accounting, law, etc?

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:41 AM): Mike, good decision to sign up, you'll be glad you did.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:41 AM): I'm as skeptical as the next guy, and I find that I refer Earthlink to people because every time I do, I get a free month of service.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:42 AM): Of course, I only recommend them because they happen to be a good firm, too.

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:42 AM): thanks for the suggestions rob. I wasn't going to talk, but I'm glad I sat in because the information here is compelling. You will be seeing me again

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:42 AM): Who do you recommend to manage the referral program?

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:42 AM): Rob one other question- if I provide free hosting for people who have game sites, for example if I lure them from GeoCities... is there value there? Is that worth my trouble?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:42 AM): Yes, Mike, you'll find almost everyone from any category is there.

Clayton(apimage.com) (8/2/99 9:43 AM): Gotta Sign off. See yall online.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:43 AM): I think that can certainly help, Mike. You want to create that branded community so that when they align with pcgame.com, it's viewed by the rest of the gaming community as a status thing.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:43 AM): thank you Kathleen, and Muhammed

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:44 AM): Guy, start off small. Test it first by yourself. Make it simple. The first FrankelBiz referrals were handled by the sponsor. Worked great.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:44 AM): ahhh very interesting. thank you again!

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:45 AM): IF it works, you can find someone else to manage it. If not, you can fold up shop without causing a lot of hassle.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:45 AM): ok, thanks Rob, will be posting the "offer" soon to a list near you.

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:46 AM): Entered the room.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:46 AM): It won't fold up, might have to look at what others offer first.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:46 AM): Guy, you should also post it on the front page of your site. You won't believe how many people will take you up on it. But do be careful to incorporate safeguards so that people do screw you

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:47 AM): folks, I know its late, but Rob - everyone - I have a site which requires sponsorship deals - any help?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:47 AM): Umm, that should be "don't screw you".

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:47 AM): I agree about safeguards, that is probably the giant hurdle on the track to jump.

Mike (8/2/99 9:47 AM): Could we have a bit more info on the site?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:48 AM): Nah, just make sure you're covered and can't LOSE on the deal. make sure you review some extra added values that they won' find other places.

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:48 AM): folks, I know its late, but Rob - everyone - I have a site which requires sponsorship deals - any help?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:48 AM): Tell us more about the site.

Guy R Cook - dialone.com (8/2/99 9:50 AM): I have to go now, thanks for the answers Rob, bye everyone, hope to see you next week.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

John (TPS) (8/2/99 9:50 AM): Glad to have met you all, and thanks again for the info, Rob. Looks like things are winding down here, so I'm gone for today. See you all in future weeks!

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:50 AM): Mike Tully what is the site?

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:50 AM): Guys, any help here with gaining sponsors or what?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:50 AM): Tully, you there?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:51 AM): Tully, I can't help you if I don't know the site or at least more specifics....

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:51 AM): Rob are there other business/web related newsgroups or discussion groups that you can recommend

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:52 AM): guys any help about gaining sponsors would help

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:52 AM): I wish I could find some, Mike. No newsgroups that I've found, but some sites are starting to pop up. The problem is that they're mostly theory. Not solutions.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:53 AM): Tully, you have to be more specific. I don't know what you do or how.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:53 AM): Tell us more and we can help. Right now it's like asking "how can I make money?" Too general.

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 9:53 AM): Mike Pooler, You might want to check out Paul Siegel's www.learningfountain.com - his discussion newsletter has a lot of great community building information in it.

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:53 AM): I have a site that is directed to the Chinese community in France. Niche - okay but I can think global

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:54 AM): thanks Rob and Terri

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:54 AM): okay, now we're getting somewhere. What do you offer that community in France? Why should they visit you?

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:55 AM): Following on Mike's ? about newsgroups, etc. When posting to such, do you target a few or as many as you can?

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:55 AM): I have a site that is directed to the Chinese community in France. Niche - okay but I can think global

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:56 AM): Go with your most targeted hits first, Kathleen. Spread from there.

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:56 AM): Kathleen the newsgroups are swamped with spam- and if you post a message, you'll get a lot of spam in your mailbox... it's bad news

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:56 AM): Tully, you said that already......got to be clearer. What does your site offer?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:57 AM): True. posting to newsgroups is about giving real data and making sure your sig file does the ad work.

Mike Tully (8/2/99 9:57 AM): Guys, my site is targeted at Chinese living in France - please the internet comm. not to advanced here. How should I approach orgs. for sponsorships?

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:58 AM): Mike, if you have a hard time telling us why people should visit your site, you can imagine how hard it is for a sponsor to pay you for being on your site.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:58 AM): The first thing you have to do is learn how to tell people -- in one sentence -- what your site does and why they should visit. That's the first step.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:58 AM): I'm talking about the newsgroups on "Usenet" - they are pretty bad

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 9:59 AM): thanks for the warning, Mike

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 9:59 AM): Rob are you familiar with "garage.com"? Do you recommend them?

Mike Tully (8/2/99 10:00 AM): I am a triad member if that helps

RobFrankel (8/2/99 10:00 AM): Yes, Mike. That's Guy Kawasaki's group. I haven't worked with them, but the VC community gives them a "B+" as far as reputation goes. He's a good dude.

RobFrankel (8/2/99 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!

Terri Robinson (recruit2hire.com) (8/2/99 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob Great session today!

Mike Pooler (8/2/99 10:01 AM): Many thanks

Kathleen O'Brien (members.tripod.com/houbsc) (8/2/99 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob. Bye

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