Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic October 28, 2002

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

MarilynG (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): Greetings! Nice try on the HTML there, Mike....duh

Tamra ( (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): Well, it was a good shot.

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:01 AM): hi Rob

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): Well, here we are, back on pacific Standard Time on a wonderful Monday morning! Who's up first?

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): morning Rob

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): I assume that'll get cleaned up later. :)

Jerry Everett ( (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

MarilynG (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): Mornin' all

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:02 AM): That all depends on you, Mike.....(<---getting a little nervous)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:03 AM): Anyone with a particularly burning issue?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:03 AM): Or even slightly irritated?

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:03 AM): lol...yeah, I need more clients

MarilynG (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): How come I keep 'entering the room' ...? LOL

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): Dave, I think that Virtual Assistants is a sleeping giant category. But like all new categories, it requires a lot of public education.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): Rob - I'm not sure if my issue is burning, but I have a question about my tagline. I finally revised the content on my site as well as the tagline.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): don't get nervous

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

MarilynG (10/28/2002 9:04 AM): How come I keep 'entering the room???'

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): [I do have a question as well, Rob, but it can wait.]

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): I haven't seen you enter the room once Marilyn

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): I'm sure that many people who could use your services get spooked by the "virtual" tag. They probably think of it as some sort of artificial intelligence

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): Marilyn we don't see you constantly entering. Reload your browser.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): Jonathan, you're up next

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:05 AM): I can relate with that - a lot of people are skeptical, until they see it in action

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:06 AM): I actually thought of calling myself a 'freelance' assistant

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:06 AM): Right, Dave, and that's a big problem. FWIW, I have the same issue with i-legions, because nobody's ever seen it before.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:06 AM): they will shortly, rob

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:07 AM): Terminology is definitely the barrier to sale, Dave. If I were you, I'd do a lot of thinking about how you phrase things. That would make a big difference

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:07 AM): Dave, do you have a URL?

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:08 AM): not yet -well sort of - it's temporary, through a free host, and I hesitate to promote it until I get my paid host set up

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:09 AM): Well, that's going to make a certain amount of difference. When people can stroll around your site and educate themselves, it helps.

Mickie Kennedy ( (10/28/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:10 AM): Jonathan, did you have a question/topic?

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:10 AM): Rob - Pat was before me.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:11 AM): Oh, okay....Pat?

Jerry Everett ( (10/28/2002 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:13 AM): Jonathan, why don't you just go ahead?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:13 AM): Rob - Ready for me?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:14 AM): Yeah, pat...go ahead

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:14 AM): I wanted to get your opinion on my new tagline based on the revised content on my site. I think it's generic enough now to catch the eye. It highlights the most important benefit of doing business with my company.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:15 AM): Fire away.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:15 AM): And make sure everyone else has your URL where it's going to go.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:15 AM): Dave - have you thought about trying to coin a new phrase that may be more descriptive or catchy? I know what a VA is, but no one here knew at first - they all though I mean the stupid MS Office paperclip.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:16 AM): yes, I have considered it, and if I can come up with something good, I will follow through with it

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): I agree, Michael. Virtual Assistant is really a red flag to anyone but the very sophisticated tech set.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): Pat, you there?

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): "Outsourced office assistance"?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): hold on a sec

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): hold on, something just happened

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:17 AM): issistant ? (internet-based assistant) ?

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:18 AM): e-assistant?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:18 AM): I think it has to be something more know, help within an e-mail's reach kind of thing,

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:19 AM): maybe 'work-helper-getter-doner' ?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:19 AM): Ok. I'm back. You can throw me back into the queue. Sorry about that.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:19 AM): How about "On-line business assistant"

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:19 AM): And it has to be serious, not cute. The people who use these services are swamped because they have a hard time delegating.

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:20 AM): Rob - that's why I suggested outsourcing - every exec/manager knows that term

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): "outsourced business assistant"

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): "Outsourced office assistance" sounds like a good tag line, imo.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): Jonathan, I think the #1 issue for people who hire VA's is reliability, followed by competence and trust. That's what the moniker has to communicate.

Tamra ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): But "outsourcing" is used for *everything* -- I webmaster for a chip design company, and they feel that's the word they need to show up for first in the search engines (sigh).

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): Rob - only once they understand what a VA does.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): I prefer "support" to "assistance", conceptually.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:21 AM): I think joining reputable organizations might help

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:22 AM): "Reliable Outsourced Business Assistant"

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:22 AM): the 'business' is probably stronger than 'office', as I'd tend to think of 'office' work as paper-based/stapling/filing/etc.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:22 AM): I agree, Tamra, outsource is too generic. Anyway, it doesn't communicate the USER'S issue.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): Question for the queue: Anyone know of a personalized bulk email software program or web-based service that is good? (For newsletters, not spam.) Includes maintaining multiple lists.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): "Reliable Outsourced Business Support" (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): Also, I believe that sticking to "Office" is a mistake. Gotta move off that. I'd look at words like "management"

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): Support sounds less expensive than Assistance. Stick with Assistance.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): "Reliable On-line Business Support"

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:23 AM): Lorilyn, you looking for an HTML blaster? or ASCII text?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:24 AM): Rob, one or both. I'd like a choice, depending upon the newsletter and user choice.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:24 AM): "Reliable On-line Management Support"

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:24 AM): Support or Coaching (a lot of what I do comes down to coaching)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:24 AM): Reliable Management Support already sound closer to the mark. And it doesn't spook anyone with their technophobia.

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:25 AM): BTW - I like the Reliable On-line Business Support

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:25 AM): "Reliable On-line Management Coach"

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:25 AM): Lorilyn, I use emerge from Galleon software (for the Mac) to blast out FrankelTips. I also use it for e-mail prospecting,

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:25 AM): Coach implies more than support.

Michael Kimsal ( (10/28/2002 9:26 AM): 'online' might connote it's more help for webmasters or web-related work

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:26 AM): Rob, I'll search for them. Hope they have PC version.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:26 AM): Dave, the red flag, IMHO, comes from too much reference to the online component. Stop drawing attention to that and you remove a real barrier to sale.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:26 AM): "Reliable Management Support"

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:26 AM): Typically, VA's are NOT coaches. VA's are helpers who do support work, like research, appointments, follow ups, etc.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:27 AM): "Dependable Management Support"

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:28 AM): would the word 'Management' be a barrier to working with individuals?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:28 AM): Lorilyn, there's PC product sort of like it at They're a great company, too.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:28 AM): They have Mac and PC

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:28 AM): "Dependable Management and Business Support"

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:28 AM): Thanks, Rob!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:29 AM): Dave, I think it would be a detriment myself. "Manager" means middle manager to many.

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:29 AM): ooooooh - dependable management and business support - i like that!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:29 AM): Your user may not see themselves in the word "manager."

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:29 AM): Pat, you ready?

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:29 AM): "Dependable Personal Management Support"

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:30 AM): Ready.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:30 AM): Frederick, nice shot there. Appealing.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:30 AM): Okay Pat, go.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:30 AM): Doing what I can!

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:31 AM): Rob - I wanted to get your opinion on my new tagline. (10/28/2002 9:31 AM): Queue me, please.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:31 AM): I revised the content to focus more on why using my service is beneficial as opposed to trying to sell the market on e-commerce.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:32 AM): Tracy you're after Jonathan

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:33 AM): Rob - I still think it's a little long though. Any suggestions on how to shorten the tagline?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:34 AM): What's the tag?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:34 AM): The top of the page.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:35 AM): "Customizable e-commerce solutions that help you minimize fraudulent transactions. "

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:36 AM): Pat, that's a descriptive statement, but not a tag line.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:36 AM): Now you have to tell me why you're the only solution.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:36 AM): "Help to minimize fraudulent transactions."

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:37 AM): Grrr... I knew it. (10/28/2002 9:37 AM): "Stop getting chargebacks for shopping cart fraud."

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:37 AM): "Minimizing Fraudulent Transactions."

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:37 AM): "Stop Fraudulent Transactions."

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:38 AM): "The E-commerce fraudulent transaction specialists"?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:38 AM): Pat, that sounds like you specialize in fraudulent transactions!

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:38 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:39 AM): Pat, if you're fraudulent specialists, you're not a real specialist. :) (10/28/2002 9:39 AM): You want the right client to client to click... vendors with merchant accounts.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:39 AM): "The Fraud Stoppers."

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:39 AM): Rob - The e-commerce solution I have has additional benefits outside the norm to prevent fraudulent transactions (10/28/2002 9:39 AM): "Stop worrying about losing your merchant account to fraud." (10/28/2002 9:40 AM): "Now your shopping cart can prevent fraud, too!"

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:40 AM): All the other shopping cart packages I've seen on the net concentrate on a lot of features. They're nice, don't get me wrong, but the only security I see on most cases is SSL encryption from the client browser to the Web site.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:40 AM): So what you're doing (almost) is fraud-proofing e-commerce.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:40 AM): Use the word "security" in your tag line. That's a hot (good) word.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:40 AM): Is this tagline for the company or the product?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:41 AM): Rob - exactly. (10/28/2002 9:41 AM): The Fraud-Stopping Shopping Cart

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:41 AM): To be more accurate - reducing fraud. (10/28/2002 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:42 AM): "The Fraud-Stopping E-commerce solution." I don't want people to just think of what I offer as a shopping cart. It's an entire solution.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:42 AM): "Helping you secure your eCommerce site to reduce fraud."

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:42 AM): Okay, we should move on here....Jonathan, you want to go?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:43 AM): Pat: Think about (almost) fraud-proof e-commerce (10/28/2002 9:43 AM): The E-commerce Security Guard

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:44 AM): The Online Fraud Protection System

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:44 AM): Rob - I'm interested in targeting information producers/marketers (e.g. the folks that put together those ebooks/ecourses, etc.) to offer writing/editing/ghosting services. Any ideas on the best way to reach them?

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:45 AM): Rob - Gotcha.

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (10/28/2002 9:45 AM): Tammy & Tracy - Thinking....

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:45 AM): NSA (Nat'l Speakers Association) and PMA (

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:46 AM): Jonathan, you may want to target professionals who don't have books yet. Hit them with a pitch about how a book is the key to legitimizing their practice and how they can merchandise it for business growth.

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:46 AM): Jonathan, ack, Rob that was what I was typing!

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:46 AM): So find professional discussion boards/ezines?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:46 AM): Also ASTD... American Society for Training Developers.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:46 AM): If you can turnkey the thing for them, you could get some hits. (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): That's what I am doing right now - putting together a book. (Sly pitch calling for all women to visit my site and fill out the survey....)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): No Jon, I'd go right to the source: CPA's, Lawyers, Management Consultants, etc.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): NSA people would eat it up as well as ASTD. PMA-ers have already published books.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): I would think e-book creators etc. think they can write - so any approach would have to be very subtle, making them want to contact you rather than reply to your contact.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): Might want to advertise in their print newsletters to lend legitimacy.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:47 AM): That is true. I did a gig for the NSA and was amazed at how the organization was really about members listening to and buying from other members!

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): Frederick - true, but I am currently doing ghostwork for a company that does a lot of information products and related sales letters...I would like to find more firms like that....

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): Jon, Consultants are certainly the way to go. Or to businesses that have an older book already in print or in eformat and suggest a new release?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): I agree Frederick. People who already publish are NOT the best targets

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): thanks Lorilyn - what is NSA?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): Doctors might also want assistance. They have lots of info, no time to write.

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:48 AM): So find more companies like that and write them one-on-one

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:49 AM): National Speakers Association. They have content, they speak, some can't write.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:49 AM): Jonathan, you can also contact companies like, which creates promotional books for companies.

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:49 AM): ah!

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:49 AM): wonderful, thanks!

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:50 AM): Tamra, you next? (TEN MINUTE WARNING) (10/28/2002 9:50 AM): I have some people starting to sound like "evangelists" for me... but I am unsure what to give them to do. They get a referral bonus... how can I "activate" them.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:51 AM): Sorry, Tracy.....Why are they evangelizing...for the cash or because they think you're great? (10/28/2002 9:52 AM): Because I'm great. :-)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:52 AM): Okay, what do you mean by "activate"...get them to produce? (10/28/2002 9:52 AM): I want them to more actively refer me.

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:53 AM): What incentives are you offering?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:54 AM): I gotta tell you, Tracy, the whole referral thing is really a matter of timing. Sending non-promotional, subtle notes always helps. Totally non-business, so you don't annoy them. After that, it's a timing thing. Pushing your business is NOT their main gig. (10/28/2002 9:54 AM): I sell web hosting... they get free months for referrals.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:55 AM): I offer people percentages, cash, whatever. I rarely get referrals from them. The referrals I get are from people who know about me and meet someone who needs what I have (10/28/2002 9:55 AM): I also refer business to my clients when I can; most are business clients. (10/28/2002 9:55 AM): l have a client that sends out little $20 gift basket thingys for each referral - whether or not they become a client. Been a HUGE hit - his referrals have increased

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 9:55 AM): For this sort of referral 'payment' I think rewarding referrers with YOUR product is small potatoes. Can you reward them by somehow including their product with yours so they get a sale out of their referral?

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:56 AM): Yeah, I believe that you have to invest in a referral program that way for it to really work. (10/28/2002 9:56 AM): Sometimes, Frederick. Perhaps I should work at that angle harder.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (10/28/2002 9:56 AM): How about giant Hershey bars with your own desk-top published wrapper on it? In addition to other incentives. Hey, I'd refer for chocolate. :)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:56 AM): I mean really budget for it so that you don't feel you're digging into your pocket every time. (10/28/2002 9:57 AM): Problem for another day: Just because they are clients doesn't mean I like the quality of their work.

Tammy (10/28/2002 9:58 AM): But would you like the quality of their referrals? (10/28/2002 9:58 AM): LOL.. my new tagline: "Chocolate for your Word-of-Mouth."

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:58 AM): Honestly, I try to stay active and market like crazy, because quite frankly, I look at referrals at gravy, not a main source.

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Tamra ( (10/28/2002 9:59 AM): Tracy -- I like that! I send out Border's gift cards usually, but I may have to steal your line for a thank you card and send some chocolate.

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 9:59 AM): Chocolate for the Referrer's Soul :)

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 9:59 AM): I appreciate your time today, Rob - and thanks to everyone for suggestions (10/28/2002 10:00 AM): Just looking to make my gravy boat fuller. :-)

Rob Frankel ( (10/28/2002 10:00 AM): Alrighty, everyone, very helpful session today. Thank you all and since we're talking about referrals, let people know about FrankelTips. I really like what I see happening on that list!

Pat ( (10/28/2002 10:00 AM): Have a good week everyone. (10/28/2002 10:00 AM): We can both use it, Tamra... plenty of chocolate to go around!

Frederick ( (10/28/2002 10:00 AM): Yeah - thanks, Rob - and everyone - Good session!

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): thanks Rob! (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Thanks, Rob! (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Bye all

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Jonathan - good luck getting gigs - perhaps sometime we can collaborate with each other?

Tamra ( (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Have a good week -- Halloween week, so let's all share some of that chocolate!

Jonathan (writer/editor - (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Dave - sure!

Tammy (10/28/2002 10:01 AM): Bye

Dave, Virtual Assistant ( (10/28/2002 10:02 AM): I'll email you!

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