Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic September 14, 1998

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:06 AM): Or does anyone else have something they want to start with?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:07 AM): And PLEASE...nothing about Monica Lewinsky!

David (9/14/98 9:07 AM): brb

Mike (9/14/98 9:08 AM): Agreed! Very sick of hearing about it...

Louise the SoapLady (9/14/98 9:08 AM): so what are YOU working on Rob?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:09 AM): Louise, soapiest of all ladies, I am swamped with finishing my book, and at least three new branding clients. I am also negotiating three deals with major Hollywood celebs to produce their web presences.

that sounds like you are having a lot of fun :) (9/14/98 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Mike (9/14/98 9:12 AM): Rob, how did the meetings go on Friday?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:12 AM): I am also in discussions with a major financial web site that is interested in bringing FrankelBiz to their site in order to build out their small business section

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:13 AM): If I can get us on to their site, all of us go there and we take this list to a new, higher level.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:13 AM): well I too have grown. Just working day and night trying to catch up ! Any tips on time management?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:14 AM): Being the devious-but-good-hearted guy that I am, I plan to subdivide the sections into various specialties, which I would staff from our own faithful list....

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:15 AM): Louse, growth is a mixed blessing. The first thing you're going to want to do is automate what you can and work your schedule around that.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:15 AM): And the easiest things to automate are paper things.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:16 AM): done that, but most of the work comes from my creativity and sometimes I just am NOT feeling very creative!

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:16 AM): The other rule is "Get stuff off your desk and on to someone else's as soon as possible".

Leslie (9/14/98 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:17 AM): Much of creative constipation comes from two areas: 1. Your head is filled with other issues 2. No motivation.

Leslie (9/14/98 9:17 AM): I have a question regarding online movie promotions - has anyone seen any really compelling promotions and have any results?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:18 AM): So don't try to be creative until the other stuff is taken care of. Get all the paperwork done, leave nothing else "to do when I get a minute". Then DON'T try to be creative until you really feel charged.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:19 AM): I view creativity like I view doing the dishes: I can't do a really good job until I'm really motivated. So I'd rather let the dirty dishes sit in the sink until I know I can get the sparkling -- and enjoy it.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:19 AM): Leslie, for my money -- and I live in TinselTown (or at least near it) -- there isn't an online movie promotion that I consider to be a roaring success.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:20 AM): That's because Hollywood is great at spending money, but virtually ignorant of marketing-based creative. They simply don't understand the medium.

Leslie (9/14/98 9:21 AM): thanks for your insight - it's frustrating to provide new media strategy only to be met with blank stares and doubt to its success!

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:22 AM): Entered the room.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:22 AM): thanks Rob

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:22 AM): It's too bad, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more they dismiss it, the lass chance of success it has.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:23 AM): Where I hope to make the difference is by building some web presences for some major celebs. perhaps -- if I can get these guys to follow my lead -- the industry will learn.

Mike (9/14/98 9:24 AM): Rob, how did those discussions go on Fri?

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:24 AM): Discussion went well, Mike. Very well. Which in Hollywood means ABSOLUTLY NOTHING!

Jacob (9/14/98 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:25 AM): Seriously, they did go quite well. The only question now is follow up, which is being handled. As you all know, meeting for new business and closing it are two different things.

Mike (9/14/98 9:25 AM): In that case, do you see the prototype moving forward soon?

Jacob (9/14/98 9:26 AM): Hi everyone, sorry for the lateness. Nice to see Rob hard at work on his own work :-), kidding.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:27 AM): A memo went out to the Prototype's agent this morning for the raw materials. I expect to review all my responses this week and make a selection in order to start next week.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:27 AM): Jacob is just itching for a cyber-smack this morning...

David (9/14/98 9:27 AM): I am back, sorry

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:28 AM): Anyway, enough about my stuff. I'm really here for anyone else's issues. Louise, did we cover yours?

Jacob (9/14/98 9:28 AM): Not really, I'm actually in a good mood. Sales have been great on our newest product, MobHits. People are really responding to the TV ads.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:28 AM): Jacob, you guys should have advertised on TV last night during Good Fellas

David (9/14/98 9:29 AM): I went to your site last week, Jacob. Pretty nice!

Jacob (9/14/98 9:29 AM): Thanks David. I can't speak for my client and how he chooses TV advertising, but I guess it was cost-prohibitive.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:31 AM): Actually, right now I'm signing the insertion orders for our online advertising, to begin next week.

Laurie - (9/14/98 9:34 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:34 AM): How are you buying the ads, Jacob? Budget?

David (9/14/98 9:34 AM): How long has your site been up?

Jacob (9/14/98 9:35 AM): Yep, they were very weary of giving me too big a budget. So I have a small budget for a "test of the effectiveness of online ads." If it works, I get a budget comparable to the offline advertising budget.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:35 AM): The site's been there for a while now, but the product was officially released Sept 1.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:35 AM): What methods are you using to devise your ad buy?

Laurie - (9/14/98 9:36 AM): Jacob, can you give your site address, please?

Jacob (9/14/98 9:37 AM):

Jacob (9/14/98 9:38 AM): Not sure what you mean Rob, first I found the sites that attract our demographic, as well as some larger sites, then we did a little negotiating to give my client some good prices.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:38 AM): Many of the sites had never had advertising before so I ad to walk them through it, which I am more than willing to do, and they gave me some great prices.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:39 AM): Demographic or psychographic?

Jacob (9/14/98 9:40 AM): Mostly psychographic, but also definitely demographic sites- like actual sites dealing with organized crime and the Mafia.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:41 AM): For example, we are advertising on 14 movie pages of the network. Some of those 14 are based on psychographic, and some are demographic.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:41 AM): That's important. Although it sounds more psychographic, which I heartily endorse. In fact, my November Ziff Davis article discusses that exact issue.

David (9/14/98 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:43 AM): ok I have a question ? I am still having trouble making the sale online, even though I have streamlined my pages, so that every 2 clicks there is something for sale. Do you think I need better photography??

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:44 AM): Haven't visited your site lately...but I will.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:44 AM): But if the test succeeds, in the future you will see our ads on Italian sites, Cigar sites, classy car sites, etc.

David (9/14/98 9:44 AM): If any merchants have questions about my product, Computer Money, I will be glad to answer them.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:45 AM): Cool, let me know what you think Rob, some things have changed since you were last there.

David (9/14/98 9:46 AM): If you give me your site address, Louise, I will offer you help.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:46 AM): You know, depending on your customers, the MobHits CD would make great gifts.

Tim (9/14/98 9:47 AM): Entered the room.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:47 AM): it is

David (9/14/98 9:47 AM): I know I can send you some business, Jacob. If you give me your e-mail, I will send you more info..

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:48 AM): A few things I have to work on; I have 2 other distributors of my products now.. and they want subdomains..

Laurie (9/14/98 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

Jacob (9/14/98 9:49 AM): cool David, it's

Jorge R (9/14/98 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

Laurie (9/14/98 9:50 AM): Louise, what if you have a "freebie" right on the first page? Order 6-12 whatevers of our product and get a free something? That would be more likely to get me looking at the products.

Jorge R (9/14/98 9:51 AM): Hello everyone. Sorry for the lateness. Rob can you put me in contact with the guy who developed this chat script?

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:52 AM): yes I am definitely redesigning the home page, it looks too "hobbyist" right now

David (9/14/98 9:52 AM): Good idea, Laurie. Or some good, free information about skin care, etc.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:55 AM): Jorge, that's Brian Rickman. Click on his link right below my banner in the frame below

Laurie (9/14/98 9:55 AM): Or, how about a soap-making course by email? My experience with email courses is that I'm more likely to give up the idea of trying it myself, recognize the author as an expert and then just buy from them.

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:55 AM): well you have to go and visit, the whole site is half informational, half commerce, I have tried to intertwine the two

Jacob (9/14/98 9:56 AM): Free is always good, I always advise retail sites I work with to give something for free. You have to make people feel they need to order NOW and from YOU.

David (9/14/98 9:56 AM): What kind of work are you in, Laurie?

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:57 AM): I am of course, also having loads of trouble getting listed with Yahoo directory, and come up in the top 10 with any other search engine, don't ask me why!

Jorge R (9/14/98 9:57 AM): Oh yes. I haven't saw it. I always maximize the middle frame of this page to read the conversation better. By the way. I have never found your articles at the ZS site, in which section they are located?

Laurie (9/14/98 9:58 AM): I guess I don't get the commercial aspect from that front page. There's info there about the history and background of both the product and you as the maker, but the info that has the most meaning for me (how I can make it or buy it) comes at the end of that block of text.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:58 AM): Jorge, they bury my articles in the "columns" section, I think. I know they're hard to find, but a search on my name usually gets you there.

RobFrankel (9/14/98 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

David (9/14/98 9:59 AM): Nice chatting with you!

Laurie (9/14/98 9:59 AM): David, that's a tough one! I run a tourism website at, a web development company, marketing... lots of balls in the air (too many it seems these days:)

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 9:59 AM): thanks Laurie, like I said, I have to redesign that index page LOL

Tim (9/14/98 9:59 AM): I would take a good look at the navigation Louise. It needs to be very obvious how to get where you want your visitors to go and I as visitor want to go

RobFrankel (9/14/98 10:00 AM): Louise, I'll go visit your page next...

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:00 AM): and by the way took your advice about contacting local bed and breakfasts? they loved the idea :)

RobFrankel (9/14/98 10:01 AM): Excellent! Okay, you guys, I'm on my way, but feel free to hang out, as usual!

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:01 AM): rob, doing it on purpose again;

Laurie (9/14/98 10:01 AM): Cool!! That's great news, as my company is part of a tourism conference here in Nov., and that's a workshop I'm trying to get happening (cross-promotion between retail and tourism)

Mike (9/14/98 10:01 AM):

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:02 AM): you wanna offer my soap hmmm?

Laurie (9/14/98 10:03 AM): Oh, I think I'd get in hot (soapy) water with local soapmakers:)

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:03 AM): hey I am local to you :) in Vancouver :)

Ok, I gotta run too. See you all next week. (9/14/98 10:04 AM): Entered the room.

Laurie (9/14/98 10:06 AM): Hey, you know how it goes, off-coast is off-coast:)

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:06 AM): hah, not to worry

Louise the Soaplady (9/14/98 10:07 AM): hah, not to worry, I gotta go soap now, see you all next week!

Tim (9/14/98 10:07 AM): Laurie, any more on the tourism conference. I talk with the VB up here next week.

David (9/14/98 10:07 AM): How has business been, Laurie?

Laurie (9/14/98 10:07 AM): Tim, I'll write you email - gotta run. Calls stacking up.

Tim (9/14/98 10:08 AM): Louise, will watch your site and it's updates

David (9/14/98 10:08 AM): Good luck Louse!

Laurie (9/14/98 10:08 AM): Hey, David... it's been picking up, but my timing was off for starting the tourism site - had to go free for the first part to convince operators of the value of the site, and now that I'm asking for money, the season's almost over. Tough pinch for a bit here. Web stuff going great with e-commerce.

David (9/14/98 10:10 AM): I'll go look at your site later. Glad to hear the e-commerce is going well.

Laurie (9/14/98 10:11 AM): Just before I go, what's your URL, David?

David (9/14/98 10:12 AM):, but if you e-mail me at, I can talk to you about sending your e-commerce clients some business -- free.

Laurie (9/14/98 10:13 AM): Thanks - scary email address - I usually delete any mail that comes in with numbers in the address:)

David (9/14/98 10:14 AM): Honestly never thought of it!

Laurie (9/14/98 10:16 AM): Gotta run for sure this time - ciao, everyone

David (9/14/98 10:16 AM): Me too! See you all next week.

Tim (9/14/98 10:17 AM): doors and phones ringing, 'til next week.

©1998, RobFrankel, Contact Us