Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic October 26, 1998

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 8:58 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff (10/26/98 8:59 AM): Hey, Ira! You get my email?

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:01 AM): Hi David... not sure what the problem/question is there?? BTW, I'll be starting the tips on effective forms this week, I'll want to touch base with you later today or tomorrow... do you use icq?

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:02 AM): Greetings, gentlemen...

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:03 AM): Yes, I have ICQ. Run a search on my name & connect (though phone sometimes is more effective). Hi, Rob!

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:04 AM): problem/question? um, in short, the site needs content, and it'll be easier to get your content published there while they still have a stronger need.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:04 AM): Hope the dentist went well, Louise!

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:04 AM): What's the going rate for content these days?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:05 AM): [I'm intentionally refraining from citing the website in this forum, as I'm mildly concerned about libel.]

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:05 AM): depends who's buying ;-)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:06 AM): Give us a neighborhood...

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:06 AM): In Ira's case, it's essentially a long ad for his services and my site, so it's to our advantage to give it away.

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:06 AM): thanks David :)

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:06 AM): it's as website that targets web authors. I have some doubts about some of their claims re: traffic

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:07 AM): (but I figure that the model would still work even if the #'s were 10% or 1% of their claims)

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:08 AM): Hi David... not sure what the problem/question is there?? BTW, I'll be starting the tips on effective forms this week, I'll want to touch base with you later today or tomorrow... do you use icq?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:08 AM): do I detect a loop?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:09 AM): Clueless buyers: I got a potential client who's asking me to do everything. To some extent, it's worth some investment of my time for the future big-picture. i.e., I will write up some quickie textual creatives (based on their current website) but not do any graphical creative for free. In any case, they've already agreed to pay for a test, so I'm still getting paid even to write the textual creative. Comments?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:10 AM): ["Ah, Scotty! We've entered the time/space-warp continuum! We need more power; give me more power!"]

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:10 AM): testing - my first comment was just stuck in a second time cuz I reloaded the page, something weird is going on at least on my end - people are being added to the chat (in the lower right) but new comments aren't coming in...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:10 AM): Okay, what's the topic of the day?

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:11 AM): looks like it is fixed?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:11 AM): clueless buyers ... kinda a continuation of that one response you tossed into IADL

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:11 AM): If nobody else has a question, let me ask you guys something: How important is encryption to you?

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:12 AM): Rob, does Branding success depend on market niche?

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:13 AM): Encryption is important to me when dealing with sensitive information.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:13 AM): Okay, Charles, we'll take you first. The answer is "no". Branding is branding, no matter where you apply it. in fact the larger the niche, the stronger the brand has to be.

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:13 AM): encryption? like for secure sales and email, I guess? It would be pretty important for me:)

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:13 AM): Rob, did my 9:09 post make it to you? ... CAlvis, every niche has branding

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:13 AM): Encrypted email is not that impt. to me yet, Rob, largely because so few people use it... encrypting info when downloading from web is a bit different...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:13 AM): Yes, Louise. Is it worth paying $50 one time for a product that guarantees it?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:14 AM): I'd feel much better if encryption was widely deployed; right now the technical issues seem to override the eventual conveniences

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:14 AM): PGP is free, Rob...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:14 AM): Haven't checked yet, David. Charles, want to get more specific/

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:15 AM): Obviously, David, I have a client whose a competitor to PGP and much stronger.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:15 AM): Like the fax machine and email itself, as more people settle in with a standard method, it'll be easier and better and more productive all around ... Rob, I mean post to this chat (below).

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:15 AM): I don't think that is a lot, considering to have sales via a secure server I need to pay $125 to get a security certificate plus another $50 for the use of a secure server. Really bites!

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:15 AM): I don't think that is a lot, considering to have sales via a secure server I need to pay $125 to get a security certificate plus another $50 for the use of a secure server. Really bites!

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:15 AM): Sensitive information me would be customer information and credit card information.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:16 AM): I'll let you have it for $35, Louise. :-) And you can use my certificate (on my site, with my URL) if you want.

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:16 AM): As I think about that encryption question, it is very important that it exists, and I do use it in limited circumstances for now, but would use it much more if there were an easier to use standard...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:16 AM): Interesting, Louise. Charles, are we done with your issue?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:16 AM): I think Rob is talking a separate issue from what you are, Louise.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:17 AM): And since that includes non-secure hosting, the secure server is essentially free. :-)

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:18 AM): Rob, I want to do an experiment with Branding. I was thinking about setting up a web site in a niche area. But can startup web sites work on branding so quickly?

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:18 AM): I realized that afterwards.. oh well :) *blush*

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:18 AM): I'm talking about an easy to use, bullet-proof application that lets you encrypt stuff on the fly. Is that worth $50?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:18 AM): No need to be embarrassed; both issues are critical (as consumers, and as publishers/merchants)

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:18 AM): I'm not sure how impt. encryption on its own is, it is more important when bundled with other services such as third party verification... the US post office is beginning testing of some services along these lines, and while I'm not the biggest fan of a lot of gov't, I think this is a perfect service for the po

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:19 AM): is it PGP compatible, Rob?

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:19 AM): Rob, the question is, do all my recipients also have to pay for and set up the same utility?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:19 AM): Nothing is quick, Charles...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:19 AM): Charles, it's essential to set up your brand BEFORE you set up your website. This is a big part of my forthcoming book, "The Revenge of Brand X". Unfortunately, most people don't want to invest in it.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:20 AM): yeah, the USPS is running scared; seeing their cash cow run away from them

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:20 AM): Rob, sounds juicy. How does one go about doing that?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:20 AM): encryption is the equivalent of sealing an envelope in real life, Ira; you wouldn't send normal biz correspondence on a postcard, yet that's basically what email is.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:21 AM): Well, I'm under NDD, so I can't divulge too much here...but I could see a scenario where you could free lite versions.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:21 AM): if it's not PGP compatible, it won't fly. and if it is, then why bother buying it? :-)

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:21 AM): I have a similar question to Charles. Internet info is like water--it's widely available. How can one become the Evian of information?

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:22 AM): First, Charles, you have to remember that if you create your brand first, you will have a personality, a difference, a look, a style that will dictate how your brand is communicated.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:22 AM): make it *good* info!

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:22 AM): In short, the test is if you can look at everything you do and say, "is this the <COMPANY NAME> way of doing it?"

Charles Alvis (10/26/98 9:22 AM): Any encryption tool must integrate easily with the mail system. I don't want to be running external programs all the time.

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:22 AM): Rob, 2 factors need to be present for success, imo - 1 is it must be extremely easy... 2 is it should be very wide spread, ideally bundled with every email program on the market

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:23 AM): seriously, the NYTimes is able to make *their* site subscription-based, as are the WSJournal, because people value their info more.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:23 AM): Ira, like PGP? (ducking)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:23 AM): Ummm, not necessarily, Raynay. If it is loaded with better features and way more secure, there could be a real run at PGP.

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:24 AM): Hi, everybody. I agree with Ira. My customers locally here are technophobes. It would have to be part of their email program rather than an add-on for newbies to use it.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:24 AM): better features ... oh! I know, like a USGovernment back-door key! Yeah, that's the ticket...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:25 AM): Raynay, again, it's a question of branding. It's they way you report stuff and the stuff you choose to report. I can't tell you how important value-added programs are to this effort.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:25 AM): Laurie, would it make a difference if it were totally transparent except for a password?

Ira Pasternack (10/26/98 9:25 AM): Rob, I've followed encryption stuff for several years, and if you are looking for mass market, or any market that goes beyond very tech people, if it isn't easy and widespread, all the features and all the security in the world won't matter

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:26 AM): yes, that would fly.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:26 AM): Raynay and Charles, did we finish with your questions?

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:27 AM): by definition, it's not entirely transparent if the other side has to load something. And people need to understand about public keys and private keys, etc. (btw, I am not attacking you, just playing devil's advocate)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:28 AM): YES YOU ARE ATTACKING ME, AND MY FEELINS ARE VERY VERY HURT......

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:29 AM): Okay, enough of that...Charles and Raynay, don't mind that last outburst.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:29 AM): here's a tissue .. can your email handle 3-D attachments?

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:29 AM): When you say value-added programs, Rob, you mean...?

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:29 AM): (handing Rob a tissue)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:29 AM): (Rob taking it, honking)

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:30 AM): (my tissue was encrypted; he couldn't download the plug-in in time)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:31 AM): I find that real branding makes something your own. But adding other services and programs that are consistent with your brand helps bring the brand into another dimension.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:32 AM): Here's a finger-in-the-wind: People who *do* have PGP can at least add digital signatures to publicly-posted emails, yet I don't see very much of that actually done.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:32 AM): For example, I'm "the branding guy" with an interest in small business, so my added values are the FrankelBiz list to that community, and of course, this Free clinic.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:33 AM): i.e., even though it has well caught on in the techie area, the mainstream doesn't seem to use it much, currently. There needs to be more publicity as to why it is important, e.g., postcard vs. envelope description

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:34 AM): By fostering an environment where people really can increase their business via my programs, I separate myself from the charlatans and pretenders. People who know me and this list know they're getting real help. Of course, I add my own style and that's

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:34 AM): unfortunately, we are still at the early stage where, "Oh! You have encrypted your email? You must have something to hide!"

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:35 AM): David, seriously, this is really good feedback.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:35 AM): thx

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:35 AM): ...and that's why we have huge loyalty and miniscule drop out rate.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:36 AM): actually, that last comment (9:34) is more-or-less right from PGP's own materials (but it's true)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:36 AM): So Raynay and Charles, THAT'S the big branding question. It's much more than a cute logo.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:37 AM): I'm on various mailing lists for electronic micropayment methods, where privacy and encryption are often discussed. e.g., DigiCash.com's ecash product.

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:37 AM): So, if I'm about to redo my business plan, after one year, I should build in "brand" for a point of reference to judge all potential courses of action?

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:38 AM): And yet, you'll still see huge companies making the same mistakes as everyone else when it comes to branding, especially on the web.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:38 AM): the real-world models of envelopes, signatures and untraceable cash will need to have online equivalent.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:38 AM): Louise: sure. I just changed my email address to better reflect my own brand (david@Freedback.com)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:39 AM): Absolutely, Laurie. Startups tend to forget that when it comes time to sell or IPO, it's the brand loyalty that commands a premium.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:40 AM): part of the branding trick is to best determine where your potential customers will "hang out", not just visit & fly.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:40 AM): Face it guys, if you don't have a brand, you're reduced to a commodity and no amount of advertising is going to change that.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:40 AM): and there's nothing wrong with testing the waters: I've had several brands on the Web since I started, most were quietly dropped.

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:40 AM): I'm trying to learn from your example: I love it that you're "the first and only" transaction discussion list.

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:41 AM): You know, the "partnering" aspect is a huge part of my business' success. I get more mileage out of that than any advertising.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:41 AM): right. again: people & communication

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:42 AM): Yeah, Raynay, but Osborne was one of the first "portable computers" and where are they today????

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:42 AM): is that your goal, Rob? To become obscure & forgotten? (ducking)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:42 AM): Yup. Partnering is one of the smartest ways to start out. Tell us your business again...don't be afraid to plug here...

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:43 AM): Yeah; some of us even actually *use* soap. :-)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:43 AM): No David, my ultimate goal is to get you in a room where I can smack you upside the head...

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:43 AM): Rob, now you're blowing holes in my nearly "spiritual revelations". Drat.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:44 AM): (or has Louise dropped out of the chat? My little who's-here thingie appears broken)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:44 AM): David, you're confusing Laurie with Louise

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:44 AM): I wasn't sure if you were inviting just Laurie, or all of us, to describe our biz.

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 9:44 AM): I am still here :) Actually I want to say my biggest success is with a contact that I made on Rob's list

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:45 AM): How is that "blowing holes"? Smacking David upside the head or how being first is an ephemeral attribute at best?

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:45 AM): Branding is new and fascinating stuff...

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:45 AM): Well, I've got Bad Dog Design, a web development company, and Bigpacific.com, a regional tourism site for the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC. But I can tell you that one of the most exciting "partnerships" I've gotten this year is for one of my customers who builds museum-quality spacecraft replicas... we donated 3 models to CNN for the John Glenn launch, and they're taking them for Cronkite's desk.

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:45 AM): ...at least new to me.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:46 AM): cool, Laurie! Now There's a heck of a branding opportunity!

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:46 AM): You know Raynay, I just posted this on a list out there, but branding is as old as the cross or Star of David you wear around your neck. Both have generated tremendous customer loyalty.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:46 AM): being first; blowing holes ... smacking me; blowing smoke :-)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:47 AM): Both have lots of value-added programs and their own style.

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 9:47 AM): It's "blowing holes" because I was thinking if you're "first and only" you can get a lot mileage out of that.

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:48 AM): Yes, sometimes I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. They're giving the models away in conjunction with a contest on the Glenn space pages on CNN interactive, and mention Nick's company - Nick Proach Models - on the site with pics. You can all enter, too, btw.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:48 AM): think it's too late to patent/trademark crosses/stars?

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:48 AM): In the American West, the brand that was seared into your herd represented the quality and ownership of the breed. It was a major crime to "brand over" another guy's animal.

Laurie McConnell (10/26/98 9:49 AM): But that's something I learned here. Instead of just trying to scare up customers or get paid, be a partner and help somebody else out. Boy does that work.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:49 AM): Raynay, here's an e.g.: Freedback.com certainly wasn't the first in our class, but I always describe it as being the first to be targeted towards marketing people.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:50 AM): You'll also find that "the first" usually is a weak product, because it only exists to fill a void. A perfect example (should I get catty here?):

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:50 AM): (Ah! Now the truth comes out! He wants to smack me upside the head, knock me out, and burn "RobFrankel.com" into my side.)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:51 AM): Absolutely, Laurie, everyone loves getting a hand and it feels pretty good to offer it. The business comes after that.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:51 AM): ten minute warning

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:51 AM): It's already burned into your brain!!!!

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:51 AM): (Actually, NINE MINUTE WARNING)

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:52 AM): yeah, but not yet into my browser. You gotta get that fixed in your DNS mapping: it doesn't work without the "www."

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:54 AM): Actually, using one's own name as a brand has a lot of good side-effects, not the least of which is that it's harder to steal. After a few people convinced me, I added my own name to the top of my site.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:55 AM): True, but I develop a lot of fictitious names, which when configured strategically, usually produce untouchable, freely available names and brands

Tasha Stratton (10/26/98 9:55 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:55 AM): I guess fictitious names are a bit of a cross between real names and company (or product) names.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:56 AM): e.g., "Wendy's" ... There really was a Wendy (one of Dave Thomas' daughters), but since she wasn't involved with building the company, it was essentially a quasi-fictitious name

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:56 AM): They're identities that have to quickly and accurately convey the compelling attributes. It's really a blast and works great!

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:57 AM): could u give us a parting e.g.?

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:58 AM): The term "fictitious" applies to anything that is not originally named. Corporations are always fictitious.

David Beroff (10/26/98 9:58 AM): (b4 I go get a burger 4 lunch. Hmm... wonder where I should go?)

RobFrankel (10/26/98 9:59 AM): Umm, one of the older brands I developed was for a telecom company out here about five years ago that's still on the logos page at our Frankel & Anderson site.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 10:00 AM): The company's main attributes were lower cost, better cable picture and sound, and more cable options than regular phone and cable. It was brand new, but had to sound established.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 10:01 AM): When we tested it, consumers ranked it as the "second most reputable company" after Pacific Bell. That was BEFORE we launched the company brand...

RobFrankel (10/26/98 10:02 AM): As a result, the company still maintains the name, even after having been acquired for big bucks by a huge Canadian telecom outfit.

Raynay Valles (10/26/98 10:02 AM): Thanks and bye, everyone.

RobFrankel (10/26/98 10:03 AM): We called it "OpTel" Tagline was "The choice is clear."

RobFrankel (10/26/98 10:03 AM): That's it for me, too. Hang around for as long as you like and remember you can use this forum anytime.

David Beroff (10/26/98 10:03 AM): neat! bye, all! Ira, ICQ me!

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 10:05 AM): I want to say congratulations Laurie, on the space partnership, I could tell you are very pleased :)

Louise the SoapLady (10/26/98 10:05 AM): Have a good week, everyone!

©1998, RobFrankel, http://www.robfrankel.com Contact Us