Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic August 19, 2002

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:00 AM): The problem is turning work round we have around £10,000+ of quotes out at any one time but lead time is often three to four months, any tips in hurrying them up I would value opinions on what our site says, is it a viable look for the US market which we would like to work in?

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/19/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (8/19/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:01 AM): That's a nice amount of quotes to have out there if you're only small.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:01 AM): Hi Carla. Glad you asked that.....let's take the "hurry up" question first.....

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:02 AM): I have a question if someone can answer: my web site comes up at Google on the first page for "Web Designing." Still I don't see much work coming from my web site. Most of it comes from my regular interactions and the various articles I've written.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:02 AM): I have found that the real key to keeping the business running is not cash flow as much as deal flow. As you're seeing, people take more time than they need to make decisions. So the more you keep marketing, the more deals fill the pipeline. This is why it's so important to keep marketing even when you have business.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:02 AM): yes Pete but it would be nice to turn them into deals, right now we have £15'000 in to be agreed mode, how do I progress things?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:03 AM): Eventually, the guy you pitched three or six months ago will come to fruition, but in the meantime, keep pitching.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:03 AM): That having been said, the only way I know of moving things along (once a proposal has been submitted) is to make sure your proposal has a time limit after which you're no longer bound by its pricing terms (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): This is no different than a coupon expiration date. If they fool around longer than that, keep following up, but when they are eventually ready, tell them you'll submit a final proposal -- and raise your rates.

Pat ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): Rob - How long should one guarantee a pricing term?

weber (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): I am making at least ten calls a day and trying to get one quote out a day and turn one round a week . We have a 30 day time limit, anyone think this is too long?

Jim Malone ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): If they don't see a time limit on your proposal, they'll put it off indefinitely.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward ( (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): Pat, I think 60 days from the date of the proposal is fair and reasonable.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): hi all, sorry I'm late

Pat ( (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): I usually have a 30-day time limit on my proposals. But I'm not sure if it's too short or too long.

weber (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): Rob, a good rule of thumb is to have 1 ready to close, 2 in the hot stages, 2 in the warm stages, and keep prospecting

Michelle McCann (8/19/2002 9:05 AM): Rob, here's a basic question for you: What is the difference between branding and positioning?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:06 AM): Carla, you're a brave soul. I couldn't make that many cold calls in a day.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/19/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:06 AM): Weber, I just throw as many into the pipeline as I can stuff in.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:06 AM): When I call to follow up I ask the potential client, can I make a date when I can call you back so they feel it is them in control is this the right thing to do?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:07 AM): Michelle: positioning is how you're perceived against your competition in the marketplace. branding is why you're the best solution to your prospects' problems.

weber (8/19/2002 9:07 AM): It's hard to manage unless you can really pinpoint

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:07 AM): No Carla, the right thing to ask is "when can we start". If they bristle at that, then go for the "when can I call back."

Michelle McCann (8/19/2002 9:07 AM): Rob, here's a basic question for you: What is the difference between branding and positioning?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:08 AM): Weber, this is why I alternate my follow ups with both e-mail and phone calls.

weber (8/19/2002 9:08 AM): By ready to close I mean within the next week. Hot would be within the month, warm is everyone else.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:08 AM): Michelle, I just answered that a few lines down ago....

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:08 AM): When you have a moment: Any ideas on most cost-effective way to market to unemployed interested in starting a business?

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:08 AM): I have another question Rob, can I join the queue?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:09 AM): branding is developing awareness for a product or service in an emotional sense, and positioning means to position that product or service at a place where it can give the targeted results.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:09 AM): This conversation highlights why some people are whining about the economy, and why some people are making all those cold calls and are keeping in business.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:09 AM): Weber, I've had clients call me all hot to trot -- only to make me wait six months for the gig. I've had others who didn't seem all that rushed pack it into one week from beginning to end

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): I disagree Amrit. Branding is not at all about awareness.

Ben Woodward ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): The economy is only as bad as you personally perceive it to be.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): PR and advertising are about awareness. Branding is about branding. First you create the brand. then you raise its awareness through advertising.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): We have Mr. Six months on now and today I asked "can we meet to sign contracts" rather than when can we sign and he agreed a date. So being direct worked (thanks Rob)

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): but doesn't it mean something like making a product known? for instance, we associate dettol with an antiseptic.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:10 AM): John, you're up....your question?

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): How do you define your ksp, you've told me to use the reason why my clients should use only me but I'm having difficulty defining that

weber (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): My experience has been if it is going to happen it will either be right away or it gets really cold and then they come back to life after I have forgotten about them.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): dettol is a brand?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): (BTW Ben, the economy is in plenty bad shape....also, there's a prospective client called Perpetua that's a chain of funeral homes!) (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): Our problem too John - help?

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:11 AM): Carla: When things get tight, I consistently find the best strategy is.. "Hi, I'm going to be in your area this afternoon, and I was wondering if I drop in to see you. What time would be best?"

weber (8/19/2002 9:12 AM): But in the previous idea I was referring to what you feel. Obviously no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:12 AM): hi Carla didn't see you there:)

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:13 AM): John, the reason you're having trouble is because you're trying to do your own branding, which is the DIY corollary: Doing it yourself works for suicide, but not much else. Brands have to be built from the outside in. You're too close to what you want to sell to see what others want to buy.

Ben Woodward ( (8/19/2002 9:13 AM): All I'm saying is that I'm staying as busy as I care to be, just by trudging on that much harder. And I noted a funeral home or two (and the term "perpetual care" when I started the biz. Figured it wouldn't dip too bad into my development. =)

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/19/2002 9:13 AM): Bottom line on the economy: If YOU'RE out of work, it's a recession. If I'M out of work, it's a depression :-)

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:13 AM): Hi John, a familiar face

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:14 AM): so I need to spend money on a branding expert?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:14 AM): Absolutely! Know any???

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:14 AM): John, in my book I talk about the death of the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and how it's really become the UBP the Unique Buying Proposition. Forget about what you have to sell. Focus on why they want to buy.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:15 AM): lol perhaps I could ask the group sometime :))

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:15 AM): I'm really trying to put myself in the customers mind but with little success so far

mark (8/19/2002 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:16 AM): Yosef, you're dead on. This is as bad a recession as I've ever seen. Everyone is working harder at generating business -- except the really rich folks, who just sit on the sidelines until things get better.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:16 AM): John, that's what everyone goes through. It's very difficult to brand yourself. I use others as sounding boards myself, even though I do this full time.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): You could develop multiple personalities, then you could see your business as someone totally new ;-)

Frederick - (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): most of my colleagues seem to be generating work by leveraging their client lists, unfortunately I don't have one is there an alternative ?

weber (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): Good one Sybil

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): Don't get metaphysical on me, Peter. I could also come back in the next life as an acorn.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/19/2002 9:17 AM): I know more people out of work THIS time around compared to '91.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:18 AM): I can get people to my site but they don't buy when they get there, again a branding problem?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:18 AM): Let me tell you about a conversation I had with a very very wealthy friend of mine....I asked him the same question (this guy's worth billions).

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:18 AM): I want to target the unemployed. :) How do I do this?

mark (8/19/2002 9:18 AM): how long is this recession going to last?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): I asked him for referrals and how to get business in the upper strata and he looked at me and said, "Just call them. And when you call, tell them how you're going to make them more money than they're making now."

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): Lorilyn - in-bus advertising and the TV listings channel seems to have oodles of ads targeted at that market for some reason

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): I think you need to be more pro-active John, we rarely get business from our site even though it looks good (IMO) At any point (after the chat so as not to hog Rob's time) I would value opinions on what our site says, is it a viable look for the US market which we would like to work in?

Rob B. ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): John, I think you need to get to the people to sell. Your site is more a info gateway.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): Jonathan, probably cuz unemployed watch TV. I can't afford TV ads.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:19 AM): The problem is that the work is there (plumbers, builders, under great demand right now), but the people are in the wrong areas (i.e. the thousands of wannabes who got into IT in the late 90s)

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:20 AM): Jonathan is time TV (where all the personal injury lawyers and tech training schools advertise) is where unemployed people live.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:20 AM): Carla, what concerns you about your site?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:20 AM): Where do unemployed live where I can afford to reach them?

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:20 AM): Rob - probably also banner ads in certain online gaming sites during the day too...if you can segment the market properly between kiddies and unemployed adults

Ben Woodward ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): What about the Help Wanted sections in your local papers?

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): Lorilyn - how about sites specializing in finding work?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): Ah! My site too doesn't attract much business.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): That's a great idea, Jonathan. Thanks.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): Ben, that's good, too. Thanks.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): You might also try sites like I actually had an old classmate of mine look me up and contact me. We actually have a business deal that could close in September

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): I love the idea of telling them how you're going to make them more money but we've talked about money before as a bad idea for a site to headline, can I do the same job by using % turnover etc?

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:21 AM): I know it looks good but am bothered that it sells to people who know what they want rather than letting people know why they need us

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:22 AM): Carla, the look of your site doesn't match up with copy like "Since formation, the company has secured a diverse range of contracts with multi-nationals, local government and SMEs"

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:22 AM): John, you have to really know why they're coming to you in the first place.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:23 AM): So it should be more corporate?

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): I assume they come because I've written a good advert/tagline (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): [I do have a question for Rob once the queue is empty]

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): If that's what you're aiming for, Carla, yes. Although you may not have noticed, since last year, I've completely changed my own site to attract a higher grade of business. The copy is almost totally different than it was 12 months ago

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): they come they go I want them to come and buy

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:24 AM): Carla, is "SME" a subject matter expert or something else? You need to write so that it is understandable to most of your visitors.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): I am worried about making promises to make people more money - what if I don't?

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): SME = small to medium enterprise

Naomi (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): Small to Medium Enterprise - thanks good point

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): John, that means they're not seeing what they want to buy

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:25 AM): Jonathan, what's your question?

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:26 AM): Carla: That's why you promise to *help* them make more money (surely that's what designed brochures/sites are meant to do for them)

weber (8/19/2002 9:26 AM): John, that is not what Rob is talking about. What do they get if they do business with you. Why is it in their interest to do business with you. Answer those, and you know "WHY" they are coming to you.

Naomi (8/19/2002 9:26 AM): Naomi , here checking in for my first chat room visit.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:26 AM): John, I think you need to put your name and image together to form a more cohesive logo, which might be related to your need for branding.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Hi Naomi

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): I'm having the site rebuilt shortly and that's one of the things on the top of the list

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Hi Naomi. You're up after John, if you have a question, okay?

Rob B. ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): branding first, then identity

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Hi Naomi. Me first time too.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Thanks guys great advice as usual

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Thanks for the pointers Rob

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:27 AM): Jonathan? Your question?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:28 AM): Rob, can I ask? Or have I already?

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:28 AM): Rob - I'm wondering the best way to approach would-be ebook writers/publishers (non-fiction/business, specifically - information products).

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:28 AM): (I love this group. Really makes my Monday mornings)

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:28 AM): Amrit, Jonathan, then Naomi, then you

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:29 AM): Jonathan, what are you approaching them for-- ghostwriting?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:29 AM): ok.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:29 AM): Rob - editing, possibly ghosting

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:30 AM): Well, Skip Pratt is launching which is devoted to e-book publishing. have you contacted him? Sounds like there could be a fit.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:30 AM): He's providing the back-end production and promotion and e-commerce, but I know he wants it to be a one stop shop for potential authors of ebooks.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:30 AM): Jonathan: One way is to target people who -already- have info products/ebooks out there. Many do not have editors or are unhappy with their existing ones.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:30 AM): haven't heard of it - thanks, will check (8/19/2002 9:31 AM): Add me to the question queue, please, if there is time.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:31 AM): My proofreaders for my book were awful. In fact, the perceived lack of proofing for ROBX is the only negative comment I ever get on the book.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:31 AM): Pete - I'm trying to go the 'I'm no writer - how can I get an ebook out there?' route of persuasion

Naomi (8/19/2002 9:31 AM): Tracy can have my question. I really don't have one... just visiting, for now.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:31 AM): There's time, Tracy. Naomi? You have a question?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:32 AM): Okay, Amrit, you want to go?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:32 AM): I have reached at the first page of Google and my site seems good. Still there is no business there.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:32 AM): Jonathan, then you really should talk to Skip. You guys sound like a great fit because he's not pretending to be a writer by any means.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:33 AM): Rob - I've made a note of it, and I shall!

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:33 AM): What your site,

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:33 AM): ebook editing services seem to be an underserved market.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:34 AM): I get most of my business through direct interaction and my articles.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:34 AM): Ebook authors promoting books can always do radio interviews via my site, Radio producers normally care only about the guest.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:34 AM): yes --

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:34 AM): I have no doubt, Amrit. I personally have big problems with your site as it stands.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Lorilyn can you get me booked on more radio shows?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): :( ok.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Amrit: Don't be glum, you should be really upset if your site was perfect and still got no business! ;-)

Naomi (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Jonathan, I would be interested to hear more about what you are offering. I am an editor of corporate publications and have written articles for local print. I'd be interested in seeing what's involved in ebooks.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Amrit - just a note on your Google listing - if you're skimming over it, it looks like you're more into providing news than services.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): for instance?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Rob, yes, through a membership in, my online directory.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): Amrit, thanks for that I feel much better now

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:35 AM): First thing, Amrit, is that it's really copy-driven. I think it needs to be more balanced between graphics and copy. The web is a graphic medium.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:36 AM): Sometimes Google gives wrong description.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:36 AM): I was always advised that there should be more copy on the site.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): Amrit, you are in India, and you need tons more testimonials and great examples to persuade U.S. people to do business with you.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): For search engines and keywords.

Pat ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): And the more graphic-intensive, the slower the site performance.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): There should be copy and it should good. But there should also be graphics or small illustrations that -put across a point- (not just for prettiness) too. are good at this.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): Second, I think you're KILLING yourself by pushing the low cost thing. If you're good, charge for your services. People don't believe it and low-balling prices just brings in low-ball customers. Aim higher.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:37 AM): Yes Lorilyn, that's right.

Rob B. ( (8/19/2002 9:38 AM): Amrit...simplify your site. Too much info and you need to rethink the layout in terms of hierarchy of info

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:38 AM): Ok, good point. I do it here in India though, I never cut costs.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:38 AM): I think low-cost is good, and that's a primary reason I would use a web company from India.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:38 AM): Pat, Amrit is selling himself as a web designer....which means he has to begin from where people's expectations are. That includes SOME graphics. My site has lots of little graphics that load fast.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:38 AM): India is seen as the place where people can get work done very cheaply these days. Your prices, while you are right to charge them, are not the 'bargain basement' people automatically associate with India.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:39 AM): I think putting prices on a design site is a bad idea as designs can vary so much, you are shooting yourself in the foot Amrit, it gives you no chance to get personal with the client before they go away for good.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:39 AM): I think putting prices on a design site is a bad idea as designs can vary so much, you are shooting yourself in the foot Amrit, it gives you no chance to get personal with the client before they go away for good.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:39 AM): sorry about that folks*

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:39 AM): Amrit, I agree with Carla, too. First make them love you and want you. After that, price will become secondary

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:39 AM): Ok Carla, I see your point

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:40 AM): This is a valid point.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:40 AM): Also, get to the samples quicker. Use links -- don't be afraid to let them dig into your site.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:40 AM): Your copy needs some work too mate (8/19/2002 9:40 AM): I am not sure I agree. I fear that only US clients who are looking for rock-bottom prices are hiring non-US designers right now.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:41 AM): Ok, thanks. I'll be back with the improvements next week.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): Look, folks, here's the deal: PRICE STRATEGY IS NO STRATEGY. People can always beat you on price. Your job is to convince them that your brand comes with more value so that price no longer dominates the issue

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): Amrit - please delete the term "Senseless talk" - copy shouldn't be senseless :) (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): Your copy says "English is not my first language" and that scares US clients, ethnocentric as it sounds.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): so make friends first, then give them costs?

Rob B. ( (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): I think the copy shouldn't be in the first person

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:42 AM): The fact is that ANYONE can beat you on price. They can give it away if they want. But NOBODY can beat you on brand, because you're the only one who can offer that.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:43 AM): Interestingly, I find many Indians to speak better English than Americans!

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:43 AM): Tracy, are you next?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:43 AM): But if I can get the guy down the street for $45 an hour (and in this economy, I can), then I will never go to India for the same work. The downturn is hitting us all, so it has become much more important than before.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:43 AM): So do the Brits. (8/19/2002 9:43 AM): Thanks. I am changing my business identity to ditch a "legacy" hard-to-spell name from an old partnership... I am considering. but how arrogant does that sound if I am not a "big cheese" yet?

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:44 AM): You'd laugh, but the majority of Brits couldn't write their way out of a paper bag. Punctuation? What's that?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:44 AM): Go Tracy Go! Do it. Now. Absolutely. In fact, did you read FrankelTips this morning?

weber (8/19/2002 9:44 AM): We do not compete on price. We simply refuse to do it. If they want our quality and service, they pay our price. If they want garbage they can pay the cheapest price they can find. Of course they get what they pay for.

Rob B. ( (8/19/2002 9:44 AM): Who's to say your not a 'big cheese'

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:44 AM): personally I just lurve the way the Americans talk :) (8/19/2002 9:45 AM): My product is web hosting and tech support for small design and development shops... my identity and personality are part of the product.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:45 AM): Attaboy, Allen. You've got it right.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:45 AM): if you think you are a small cheese you won't get bigger - what about

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:45 AM): Amrit: Did you ever consider targeting Indian companies? I hear the tech industry is -really- hotting up over there right now.

weber (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): Rob, it comes down to how low is to low. Where does it end. Should I pay someone to do business with me?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): FrankelTips had an in-depth discussion on this this morning. Carla is right. You are what you wish to be perceived as.

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): Brant Outsourcing

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): Yes I am. But getting them to pay becomes a bigger problem than the actual work :)

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): tracybrant: I think is a great idea. It inspires confidence in me, if I were to hire you.

weber (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): We know the value of what we sell, and we know the value of our service. (8/19/2002 9:46 AM): brantmedia is taken... I am at least a medium cheese in my regional market, with aspirations. But will I sound... um, cheesy? Rob.. did you start out as ""

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): Right Weber. If I have to work for free, I'd rather go shoot hoops with my kids in the driveway.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): I have observed people who are serious about work always want to pay you for your work.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): Amrit that is the perception of getting them to work too

weber (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): Right on Rob.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): Tracy, if you're even THINKING about it, you're ready. The only person left to convince is you.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): You're not 'Brant Design Corp' or some sort of company that pretends to be a 'team' when it's just one person. I hate that.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:47 AM): Amrit, we don't do this but If in doubt 50% up front

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:48 AM): Peter's right. The minute I read someone's name "and Associates" I know they work out of their bedroom and have nobody else with them.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): lol is a guy who does training courses in the midlands

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): Unfortunately my name has gone in .com, and other varieties ;-) Even Pete Cooper is gone :)

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): Tracy, this is a big step and you're ready to do it. Go for it. Stop hiding behind a fictitious name and put yourself out there.

weber (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): Amrit, what is the amount of your typical contract? (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): outsourcing is the wrong image... I am the secret tech support that makes small designers look like they can answer hosting and script installation questions. I'm invisible to their clients.

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): Carla, most of the time I don't know 50% of what?

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): Tracy, is good -people like a personal touch. We are Naughty Mutt Ltd because we have a naughty dog, OK the names funny but people don't forget. BTW is Mutt rude in the US?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:49 AM): This is why I bought .com names for my entire family a few years ago. Parked them for later. (8/19/2002 9:50 AM): Nope.. there is designer I know whose shop is called they don't have a dog. LOL

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:50 AM): Amrit 50% of the agreed quote price in advance.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:50 AM): Carla, mutt in the USA is informal, likeable but not business-like unless it's a brand known for its irreverence.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:50 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:51 AM): I don't have a Porsche. Perhaps I could call myself :)

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:51 AM): Carla: I generally do web programming and never know how much time a particular project is going to take.

weber (8/19/2002 9:51 AM): Peter, is this your other personality you spoke of earlier?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:51 AM): There's a line of clothing for young men called Bad Dog, for example.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:51 AM):

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): Fat: LOL, yeah, that's a good one :)

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): Peter, how about ""?

weber (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): Rob, I saw one called Big Dog

weber (8/19/2002 9:52 AM):

hipdeep (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): I'm not poor, so perhaps I should go..

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:52 AM): Right, Weber, that's what I meant, but my fingers are suffering from sever mental incapacitation

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 9:52 AM):

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:53 AM): Amrit, you must be quoting in advance as to how much the job will cost, OK if not 50% take a $100 deposit (8/19/2002 9:53 AM): But we also call men "dogs" in a derogatory sense. Mutt is friendlier, if you are going for casual.

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): Amrit no one I know will buy a product without having an idea of how much it will cost

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): Carla, I do that :-).

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): I am finding I am taking a lot of work 'on credit' at the moment. That is, I add a %, then spread the payments over a few months. Works really well, and it means I can control my income a bit.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): I like to make people laugh then I feel I have them on my side

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): Let's not forget, folks, that especially in tough times, clients are even less prone to risk and fun. They're as panicked as the rest of us and want credibility and trust. Joking around with them puts them off.

hipdeep (8/19/2002 9:54 AM): Robbie, could kindly in these next 30 second, remind us of why you think AARP has done such a miserable job branding itself . .

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): Is that why you don't like my company name Rob?

Amrit Hallan ( (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): Ok Rob, guys. Thanks a ton. I'll be back, definitely with the recommended changes. Bye.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): Peter, I let them charge their VISA and MC and the credit card companies can spread the payments, not me.

Naomi (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): Tracy... how about or something like it?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): In fact, I think that's why the FrankelCalls are way up this year.... (8/19/2002 9:55 AM): I've done that , too, Peter. I've also offered 30-no-money-down hosting so design clients can get client sites live and paid for before paying me.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:56 AM): There is a bias against fat people. Unfortunately.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:56 AM): Time for a quickie question? Or are we already in one?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:56 AM): John, if you were a company and you had to choose between Fatfriar and, which name sounds more serious to you?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:56 AM): Go Peter.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 9:57 AM): Rob: What's your opinion on using weblogs/journals (like to develop customer rapport/credibility and your brand? (8/19/2002 9:57 AM): OOo... I vote for Tracy. :-))

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:57 AM): Hip: AARP simply is known for OLD. They lean on the fact that they're the nation's largest organization, but that's not a brand driven fact, it's demographic. It's like starting a men's club and claiming half the world's population as "targeted members"

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 9:58 AM): yep

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:59 AM): Peter, blogs are fine but unfortunately, they're too self centered for me to consider as a great branding tool. they're fine used appropriately, for example, as a link on your site where people who are interested in your thoughts want to go. But I would never lead with them. Also, they're an income drain.

hipdeep (8/19/2002 9:59 AM): So why has AARP's re-branding efforts to the "new old" fallen so flat, or has it?

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:59 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 9:59 AM): Thanks for help from everyone. Bye y'all!

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 9:59 AM): because they don't know what they're doing, Hip. I think what you're seeing pretty much shows that. (8/19/2002 10:00 AM): John, I am fat... but if I describe myself that way, people say, "Don't talk about yourself like that." Using the word fat makes people think you have a low self opinion. That could carry through in a brand.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 10:00 AM): Peter: blogs contain content that you could be charging for.

Peter Cooper ( (8/19/2002 10:00 AM): Tracy: Don't talk about yourself like that!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 10:00 AM): Fat Friar conjures up "old" and "fat." People discriminate against old and fat.

RobFrankel ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Wow, what a session this morning.....started out running and only went faster! Thanks everyone. And have a great week. I'll see you online!

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): thanks

Lorilyn Bailey ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Fat Friar is a cute name, but perhaps not for gaining business.

Pat ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Have a good week everyone.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): bye

Fatfriar ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): thanks again everyone, and nice to see you Carla

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Thanks all

Frederick - bspage,com (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Bye. Thanks

hipdeep (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Rob for prz! (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): See?! "Fat" is not a simple descriptive word... it is loaded with emotional imagery.

Carla Boulton: ( (8/19/2002 10:01 AM): Yes see you John good luck (8/19/2002 10:02 AM): Thanks, guys.. wish I could make Mondays more often!

Jonathan ( (8/19/2002 10:02 AM): bye all - have a great week

Naomi (8/19/2002 10:02 AM): Bye all

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/19/2002 10:02 AM): See ya!

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