Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic October 21, 2002

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:01 AM): It's a Monday morning....I'm happy, because I just had my coffee and chocolate danish.....

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:02 AM): What's up with ya, boys?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:02 AM): Hi Rob. I have a question.

Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (10/21/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:03 AM): Go for it, Pat....seeing as you are #2 this morning....

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:03 AM): I'm still trying to work on a slogan for one of my sites. I mentioned in the past that the e-commerce service that I offer specializes in customized security... (10/21/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:04 AM): ...and your question would be.....

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:04 AM): After going to several networking meetings, I think my selling point is the fact that my e-commerce service can help small businesses minimize their chargebacks by screening for fraudulent transactions before they occur,.

Michael Moore (10/21/2002 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:05 AM): I can't seem to think of a slogan that reflects that point as well as encompass the fact that I also provide all the other benefits an e-commerce package would have.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:06 AM): What can I say that says "I can put a customized e-commerce solution together for you that includes fraudulent transaction detection"?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:06 AM): Okay. But you want to be really careful here, pat. Because what you're trying to do is address one point at the expense of all others. I just had this issue with another client. They were too product-specific.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:07 AM): Remember, your brand and tagline serve as a FOUNDATION for everything else. They're only going to do about 65% to 70% of the heavy lifting.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:08 AM): Here's an example: a while back, I had a client that had a chain of retail stores. They sold posters and arty furniture....

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:09 AM): There was no way to tie them specifically into the same tag, so I stepped back a bit and wrote, "Art for a different frame of mind." That went more to the user's mindset than the actual products they sold.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:10 AM): Under that umbrella, people knew they could find eclectic art and stuff. That's all you can expect from a tagline. Then again, the tag NEVERS appears in a vacuum, so it will always be supported by specifics.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:10 AM): So your tag probably has to take a step back, too, and communicate the big picture.....then, under that, you can deliver specific messages (10/21/2002 9:11 AM): The specific "Pat's E-commerce, now with Anti-ChargeBack Shield!" versus the broader "E-commerce for the thinking man." (10/21/2002 9:12 AM): I have Pat's trouble, too... I sell ubiquitous services... hosting and design. I am struggling for a new tagline for a re-launch.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:13 AM): I've already started separating my services so that it would be easier to create taglines, but I guess I'm still having problems.

Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (10/21/2002 9:13 AM): Rob is there anything wrong with using your business name as your slogan as well? My name is Quick, Organize Me!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:13 AM): EVERYONE has this trouble, because everyone is so afraid of leaving something out. But you have to realize that a tag is a GENERAL reason why you're the only solution.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:14 AM): Cheryl, the problem there is that you're wasting an valuable opportunity. BY just repeating something, you're missing out on the chance to expand on that mention.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:14 AM): Pat, what you really do is save folks from worrying so much about eCommerce.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:15 AM): If you have a clear (even if it's boring) brand strategy, coming up with a tag shouldn't be too big a problem, A tag is just a clever way of saying the brand strategy.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:15 AM): This is true.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:16 AM): So, Pat should write out a one-paragraph brand strategy first, then distill it?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:16 AM): I'd try to nail it in one or two sentences, Tamra.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:16 AM): If you want to start at a paragraph and distill, that's okay.....but you should be able to nail it in two sentences or less.

Stuart Bruce ( (10/21/2002 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:18 AM): Ok, I'll see if I can get it done in one or two sentences.

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:19 AM): I also have another site I'm working on, but I'll talk about that another time. (10/21/2002 9:19 AM): Pat.. could you email me... I have eCommerce clients. (Your site is being pokey or I'd contact you there.)

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:20 AM): Who's up next?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:20 AM): Tracy - Pokey? Really? Hmm... I just loaded the site in 2 seconds. I'll keep monitoring it. I'll e-mail you.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:20 AM): One more thing about taglines: people think they have to tell the whole story. I'm perfectly content if they make the user ask more questions. (10/21/2002 9:21 AM): I'm sorry! I made a typo in the URL.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:21 AM): (maybe the net is pokey -- everyone reading news updates on MSNBC)

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:22 AM): Rob, your tagline is "Big Time Branding", but you use a variety of sigs in your postings and emails. Is that part of telling "pieces" of your story?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:23 AM): Glad you brought that up, Terri. I rotate my tags depending on the place where I'm posting and why I'm posting.

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:23 AM): Rob - I don't mind if someone asks more questions. The issue I have is that if they don't understand what I do from the tagline, they may decide to go somewhere else.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:23 AM): At the moment, I have about 12 e-mail tags I use (10/21/2002 9:23 AM): I think I made a mistake with my last tagline "Hosting for people who know a thing or two." It came across as "not for newbies or dummies." How can one TEST a tagline?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:23 AM): That's a good idea.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:24 AM): Pat, if that's the case, everything surrounding the tag is the problem. Again, you're expecting too much from the tag.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:25 AM): Oops, I meant "sig" in that last reply.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:26 AM): Tracy, the minute you start testing, you're doomed. Who are you going to test with? Your friends? Your Mom? The only thing you can do is go through the steps and come up with something that works and then let the public react.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:26 AM): Don't get me wrong, monitoring is a great tactic. but don't be lulled into a sense of false security by testing. Most tests are flawed from the beginning.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:26 AM): Rob, I have been thinking I should change my main "tag" of "Offering the Finest Sales and Marketing Professionals for Hire" to "Helping companies hire Rainmakers and Superstars for their Sales Force". Do you think "Rainmaker" will confuse hiring managers? Or does everyone know what that means nowadays?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:27 AM): "come up with something that works" - You won't know that until you unleash it to the public. (10/21/2002 9:27 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:27 AM): I think everyone in your circle knows what Rainmaker means....The people who don't probably aren't in your sphere of influence

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:27 AM): Tracy: I think that tagline was pretty good. I hate ISPs who think you're a moron and talk to you as if you don't know anything. A well branded ISP for people who 'know a thing or two' would be great for people like me.. unless, of course, that wasn't your aim ;-)

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:28 AM): Again, you

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:28 AM): that's a good point!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:28 AM): Again, you're going to find that working from the outside in does the job. After that, it's just wordsmithing.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:29 AM): Personally, a lot of people have no idea what "Big Time Branding" is. So they ask. Which gives me a platform to deliver my elevator speech. (10/21/2002 9:29 AM): Maybe I have an over-developer fear of looking elitist. LOL

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:29 AM): I use a few buzzlines, too. "Turning users into evangelists" is the rational for the Big Time Branding line.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:30 AM): Tracy, first you have to figure out what you want to say; then you figure out how to say it.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:30 AM): "buzzlines"? Haven't heard that term before. Nice! (10/21/2002 9:30 AM): I just saw the gourmet burritos website they seem to be turning the tagline itself into a brand strategy. "We have huge burritos and funny taglines."

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:32 AM): Sometimes people get too cute for their own good.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:33 AM): Tamra, you like that? I'll rent it to you for cheap.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:34 AM): Can I get financing on a long-term lease? hee-hee

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:34 AM): Hey, as I wrote in FrankelTips today, I'm noticing an uptick in anyone else?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:35 AM): (Anyone else with a question, issue? Jump in) (10/21/2002 9:35 AM): Yes, in a way, actually

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:35 AM): I noticed an uptick in inquires.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:35 AM): I definitely am, Rob. Don't know if it's due to the economy uptick or just that I'm getting more notice from my articles :)

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:35 AM): Rob: There was a whole thread on a week or so ago about the recent upturn.. several people said it was happening for them.. so I think something's definitely happening ;-)

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:36 AM): Rob, as I posted in another forum we're both in, I've gotten three new projects in the last week.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:36 AM): Terri, I think business is starting to pick up. I'm definitely getting better response, but wasn't sure if it was just me. Right Tamra, I saw that. (10/21/2002 9:37 AM): I am seeing it, too. Hallelujah, there are checks in the mail again.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:37 AM): Maybe it's just that all us folks who've spent the last 9 months working on our branding and doing promotion are finally seeing some payoff.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:37 AM): This is confirmation sort of. Okay, anyone have another issue they want to toss out? (10/21/2002 9:37 AM): There's hope for the rest of us, then ;-) (10/21/2002 9:38 AM): Maybe those of us that dug in and spent time honing our stuff.... exactly, Tamara.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:38 AM): Any lurkers that want to sign on? I can hear you breathing......

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:38 AM): Watch for the December issue of "Sales and Marketing Management Magazine", Rob - I should be quoted there in an article on using employees as recruiters! :)

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:38 AM): Tamra, you said it, kiddo. I really took the time to re-work almost everything (10/21/2002 9:38 AM): how do we properly look at site stats to determine conversion ratios - I have had a lot of visitors... just wondering if I should be doing things differently

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:39 AM): Terri -- that sounds like a PR LEADS gig.....S&MM is always there!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:39 AM): Jodie, that's an interesting question. I don't know that visitor conversions is really all that important.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:40 AM): That kind of analysis only works for certain businesses. I think a better way of looking at stats are things like inquiry-to-close ratios or overall site ROI

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): In fact, I pretty much stopped tracking my site traffic because there was absolutely no correlation between traffic and business.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): Jodie, do your site stats include referrers (including what search terms they might have used)? I always backtrack on search terms, and see what the neighborhood is like. If all the other search results for that phrase are unrelated to you, you might be getting what I call "false click throughs". If so, reword your pages. (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): The holidays are coming... are there any pitfalls or opportunities to look for if we do not have a product with seasonal sales? (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): OK - then I need to focus on using my e-zine subscriber list to convert ;-) That grew by LEAPS over the past few weeks

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): For me, the big statistic is lead-to-close ratio. Ad overall profitability. At the end of the day, that's what counts (10/21/2002 9:41 AM): Yes, Tamra, I do believe I have access to that info...I'll have to confirm

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:42 AM): Tracy, the biggest issue with holiday business is clutter. Since it's the busiest time of the year for retailers, even in down years, the retailers cram users' minds with their messaging. The other issue I have is that it gets really hard to connect with clients.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): the writer found me on a web search - I haven't tried the PR Leads service yet, but that interview was so much fun I just might do that!

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): I've thought about offering a "Thanksgiving special" of some sort to long term clients who've gone inactive...

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): Terri, if you do sign up, tell Dan I sent you. (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): And yet it is also the time when new budgets are made and leftover budgets spent.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): Rob, I'll even use your special link if I do it <grin>

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:43 AM): BTW, for your publicity tracking pleasure, do you all know about ?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:45 AM): yep

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:45 AM): Once you do get some publicity, it'll go right to the news stories you're seeking

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:45 AM): I keep it bookmarked to automatically search for news on branding (10/21/2002 9:46 AM): I wish it sent out email updates, like yahoo news... but I like it.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:46 AM): That's pretty cool, Rob! So what do you do when you see something new on branding?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:46 AM): It REALLY comes in handy if the stories are "eternal" links. This lets you use the links on your site for visitor's reference. You have to be careful, though, because some links expire or go into "pay per use" archives.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:47 AM): Tracy, I used to use for that, but the service got really bad.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:48 AM): Terri, I happened to spot an RFP for a Midwestern college that way last week, and they asked me to submit a proposal. It's a long shot, but I did manage to send it. (10/21/2002 9:48 AM): Have to cut out... thanks Rob!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:49 AM): There's simply too much information out there, so if I find an opportunity there, it helps. I also use it to probe for article material on FrankelTips. Very often I find a strategic issue worth while bringing to subscribers. We just got through lambasting Gateway.

Lorilyn Bailey - (10/21/2002 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:52 AM): Anyone else? Or all we all a bit content today?

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:52 AM): I'm content at the moment. I have to work on my tagline

Pat ( (10/21/2002 9:53 AM): I'll be ready for a critique next week... I think.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:53 AM): that's cool. Nothing wrong with taking it easy.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 9:54 AM): I'm all distracted searching for random news items at!

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:54 AM): I've got a question Rob, about FrankelTips.

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:54 AM): Thanks for the tip on Rob! I'll definitely add a bookmark to that. (10/21/2002 9:54 AM): Ack! who gets to take it easy?

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:54 AM): Go Peter.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:55 AM): Newsflash....they may have nabbed the DC sniper

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:56 AM): I'm planning to sign up but the FrankelTips site confused me a bit. Is FrankelTips a once-per-week newsletter style affair? (like the example issue you link to).. Or is it also a mailing list that all subscribers can use (as you've implied in a recent FrankelList posting)? (10/21/2002 9:56 AM): *that* would be good news

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:56 AM): It's a once a week discussion list, that include a commentary, advice and subscriber discussion on subscribers' issues

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:56 AM): It

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:57 AM): It's published once weekly, because that seems to be about the right frequency

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:57 AM): Peter, it's like having Rob's undivided attention in getting in depth answers to your own business issue! I'm a long time subscriber and it's worth every penny - cheap at the price too!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:57 AM): (TWO MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:58 AM): Spread the news! I really think it's the best-value product I've got at a the moment.

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:58 AM): Rob: Ahh, so a bit like a weekly I-Sales style list?

Terri Robinson ( (10/21/2002 9:58 AM): Great info today, everyone! Thanks, Rob!

Peter Cooper ( (10/21/2002 9:58 AM): I was only asking because I wasn't sure if it was a 'free for all' mailing list, or a moderated I-Salesesque affair. Now I know :-) Thanks!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 9:59 AM): Better than I-Sales, because I actually give input. On I-Branding, I just moderate, I don't give advice or comment

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (10/21/2002 10:00 AM): FrankelTips is good--thanks Rob. See y'all next week!

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 10:00 AM): And on the Adventive lists, we don't get into your actual business stuff. On FrankelTips, we do.

RobFrankel ( (10/21/2002 10:00 AM): Ack! It's later than I thought! Thanks everyone. I'll see you online!

Pat ( (10/21/2002 10:01 AM): Have a good week everyone. Thanks again Rob.

Tamra ( (10/21/2002 10:01 AM): Have a great week, Rob & everyone! (10/21/2002 10:01 AM): See y'all!

Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (10/21/2002 10:02 AM): Bye everyone!

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