Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic November 12, 2001

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): hi Ben

katsuey (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): I'm here even if just for a short duration

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): Third time's a charm.....

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): Hallo again Jonathan :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): Okay, we're open for business!

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): and Peter :)

Frederick ( (11/12/2001 8:59 AM): 'morning all

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:00 AM): So....I assume we're going to get mainly non-Americans today. Peter, I expect that it's just about closing time in the UK, eh?

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:00 AM): Morning John - you friends with Scott over there at virtumundo?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:00 AM): I'm American and proud of it.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): Yep, 1700hrs here!

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): Or Americans who are workaholics, and don't take too many vacation days. =)

Jeremy ( (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): I think a lot of the FrankelBees work from home too.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): yeah, that's me. Always on the computer

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:01 AM): We're al proud to be American, Katsuey. In fact, most of us are supposed to be taking the day off to celebrate Veterans Day!

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): Peter, I don't recognize your name from before. If you're new, we let the new guys go first....

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): I'm not proud to be American, but that makes sense.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): What's a day off Rob?

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM):

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): Is that a new concept I need to learn?

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): Nothing to ask yet Rob.. and yeah, I was the guy last week who also had nothing to ask ;-)

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): oops - scuse me

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): Tell me about it!

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:02 AM): Lots of FBs work from home - we're smart and can keep the costs down :)

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): I've just been enjoying reading and commenting.. perhaps I'll have something to ask soon :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): Peter, you have an issue to bring up?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): Yep, PJs don't cost as much as designer suits

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): Okay, then the floor is open to anyone else....

Jeremy ( (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): who's up first this time 'round?

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:03 AM): Unfortunately not yet, I'll have to pass the baton on this time.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:04 AM): Hey, if you want to hear something interesting that happened to me this week, listen to this;

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:04 AM): Got some tips for differentiating a Web design business? There's so many of us.

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:04 AM): Anyone have experience in selling radio ads? I'm moving to radio sales from online ads

Jeremy ( (11/12/2001 9:04 AM): How about some tips for differentiating a mortgage brokerage?

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:05 AM): A guy called me to offer a CPA deal on my book, tapes and seminar. He put an e-mail out to 1 million "opt-in" subscribers. That was on a Wednesday.

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:05 AM): katsuey - maybe having a specific focus - like maybe saying you specialize in one certain area or skill

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): A newsletter interview for copywriters went out on Tuesday, with a circulation of about 3000. Wanna guess who did better?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): Jeremy, you should visit and join the lenders section - free for ordering appraisals, but talk to the owner (O.L. Jernigan) about some advertisement - perhaps a trade.

Jeremy ( (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): 3000 b/c it was more focused?

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): it's like those portals - general portals are now gone, but focused portals are doing better

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): the newsletter interview for 3000?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:06 AM): copywriters

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:07 AM): the 1 million.. because I just want to be awkward and different ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:07 AM): Million Opt-ins = 30 visits to the sites, total No sales. Newsletter also drove traffic to the sites up by 50% over normal.. Newsletter: 3 sales.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:07 AM): Ben, we do specialize - small and medium sized business. We will open a new domain name for the legal community

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:07 AM): Anyway, Ben, let's talk about your radio sales....

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:07 AM): What newsletter for copywriters was this? I think I should be getting it..

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:08 AM): well that's different already from other firms :)

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:08 AM): proving once again that targeted works, huh Rob? :)

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:08 AM): sure rob :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:08 AM): Peter, this is Debbie Weil's newsletter at

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:09 AM): Ben, not much I can do about what our market is - it is what it is.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:09 AM): Okay, Ben, I'm a little familiar with your situation....I think you're going to have a tough time if you forget that radio's chief advantage is REACH.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:09 AM): Thanks.

BenPrater ( (11/12/2001 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:10 AM): yea.. I have a guy in the radio business who is mentoring me - so I know some about it - we actually chose AM radio because it has a further reach - all over NYC, as well as long island and two other states

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:11 AM): You've got to remember that just one market ain't gonna cut it, unless you focus on serving just one area.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:11 AM): Remember that AM radio has an older demographic.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:11 AM): You also want to structure your rates so that they buy frequency. The #1 mistake people make in buying media is thinking that one spot will do it all.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:12 AM): yea - our advantage is that we're opening before another teen show on the market, so that should give us some advantage

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:12 AM): that's good rob - thanks - we're actually focusing on the local area first, with plans to go national in about a year

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:14 AM): THE most important thing you can do -- and this applies to any of you starting a new biz -- is to forgo profitability until you can demonstrate market acceptance.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:15 AM): We're running at breakeven with, just to build up a track record we can take to the market in 2002

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:15 AM): That doesn't mean you give away product, or that cheapens your brand. What it means is that your first goal is creating case studies to sell to your future accounts

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:16 AM): I should also add that especially in radio, your can barter your butt off.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:16 AM): I still have suits hanging in my closet that I traded for radio time!

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:17 AM): hmmmm can you give details on how that worked, Rob?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:17 AM): One more thing -- your best bet are RETAIL accounts in radio. Radio is an immediate kind of buy. I did a ton of retail radio, some of which is still downloadable in my old ad agency section of my site!

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:17 AM): bartering is one of the keys - that's our plan to go national.. right now our time is bartered

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:18 AM): Sure, Terri....a clothing retailer sells a suite for $300. I sell my spot for $200 each. But we both know those aren't our costs. His suits might cost him $70 each. But we trade $600 -- three spots for two suits.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:19 AM): That way, you both get a deal

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:19 AM): ahhh, makes sense Rob! Thanks for the tip!

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:19 AM): Katsuey, you had a question?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:20 AM): Yep, trying to tighten my niche in Web Design to differentiate myself.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:20 AM): We have SO much competition

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:21 AM): Yes, you do....

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:21 AM): Our differentiation right now is customer satisfaction and service

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:21 AM): but it's not getting us where we want to be.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:21 AM): The big opportunity for you, Kat, is that so many designers are just that: designers, not strategists. The market has matured to the point that there should be specialists for various kinds of web design.

BenPrater ( (11/12/2001 9:22 AM): I've seen Flash become a good specialty niche for designers.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:22 AM): For example, there are brochure-ware types, static types, dynamic types. If I were in that business, I'd specialize in a certain kind of web site and become known for that.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:22 AM): Recognizing that, we are opening a URL for the legal community, but I need something for KatsueyDesignWorks

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:23 AM): You often see this happening in development circles -- one guys does cold fusion, another does PHP, another does SQL....

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:23 AM): Another thing with the "web design" market is that so many different professions lump web design in with their services...

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:23 AM): Face it, the word "design" is dead! You've got to drop that albatross.

BenCathers ( (11/12/2001 9:23 AM): Thanks everyone for the advice - I have to run

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:23 AM): We have had to meet so many needs in the past that we hire subs for say database work etc.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:24 AM): Very true, Ben. You'd be surprised how many people lump "branding" together with "advertising and PR"!

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:24 AM): Its important your customers know what you're specifically good at, and how high a priority "web design" is with your services

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:24 AM): So what would you concentrate on rather than "design"

Del (11/12/2001 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:24 AM): Katsuey, try describing your service without using the word and it will come to you.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): The minute you do that, you'll start to see your differentiation appear

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): One of my pet peeves is programmers touting themselves as web designers, when all they have to show for it is a computer and Front Page. But that's another story...

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): We've separated out our services and cross sell, for example hosting is separate from site development

Frederick ( (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): This is good! I have decided my niche will be designing for local markets

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): Now you can begin to see that catch-all phrases like "design" say something without meaning anything.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:25 AM): Ben: Designers touting themselves as database experts are also as annoying ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:26 AM): Ben, that's actually a key strategy that I recommend to designers all the time: find those developers and hook up with them as their front end specialists.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:26 AM): I'll agree with that, Pete.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:26 AM): You'd think that the buyers could Look at the portfolios and see the difference but yes, we are competing with Joe's throw it together, no meta tags take your money and run"

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:26 AM): Katsuey, this is James, Could you send me a new banner (468x60) something without a border

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:26 AM): Frederick is right. It's emotionally difficult, because you think you're cutting out other potential business. But remember Frankel's Sixth Law!

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:27 AM): That's what I try to do, Rob. I know what I'm good at, so I try to link up with supplements to my skill set to offer high quality additions to my services.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:27 AM): Again Rob, why aren't the buyers discriminating from looking at previous work?

Del (11/12/2001 9:27 AM): If you're competing against that type of business, you've got the wrong kind of client.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:27 AM): [and speaking of portfolios...]

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:27 AM): Fact is, the more you lead, the more people know what to follow. If you don't lead, they can't possibly follow. you can't blame's YOU who has to instruct them.

Frederick ( (11/12/2001 9:28 AM): Katsuey, Perhaps they don't know what to look at or look for?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:28 AM): James, okay.

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:28 AM): also make it colorful and eye-catching

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:28 AM): Animated if possible

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:28 AM): Because, katsuey, you're not telling them what to look for. While it's true that prospects come to you seeking a solution, it's your job to tell them why they should buy once they get there.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:29 AM): So how do we train them as to what to look for - we have articles and short snippets about what web development should be and how we approach it.

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:29 AM): Kat, there was a recent discussion on sending portfolios to prospective clients vs. having someone recommend you to the person - recommendation from someone else won hands down with the people who needed the service.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:29 AM): We discuss that a great design without usability is dead

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:30 AM): THAT'S where the differentiation comes in. I promise you, LOTS of people arrive at my site after reviewing other branding companies, but they chose mine because I immediately tell them how my branding distinguishes itself from the rest, and why it's the best solution for their problems.

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:30 AM): Make sure you sell them in the NOW and not LATER

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:30 AM): katsuey: Your site is good, but I don't see the immediate point of the quotes.. they seem to be idealistic, rather than business or customer service related.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:31 AM): How do I get someone to recommend us. I've of course approached our customers, offered a 10% for referrals, gotten their testimonies, etc.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:31 AM): Katsuey, the first thing you should tell them is that "web design" is a dangerous phrase. You can think you're buying one thing, but what they're selling may not necessarily be what you need. Then take it from there.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:31 AM): Peter, quotes were there to humanize and soften us.

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): GREAT QUESTION!!!!! I have NEVER gotten business from a paid referral! NEVER! It doesn't work.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): Thanks Rob, I think we've done that but may be not as up front as we should have.

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): Kat, are you using those testimonials on your site? Are they identified with names and emails?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:32 AM): Great, do I get points for the question?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:33 AM): In fact, I have a standing "Participation Agreement" for interns and freelancers: just for referring a paying piece of business, they get a minimum of 5% of the gross. And NOT ONE has ever done so!

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:33 AM): Names, but no emails - didn't want to get my customers spammed.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:33 AM): However, they can go to their sites and get email addresses

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:33 AM): In truth, Katsuey, you cannot rely on anyone but yourself to generate business.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:34 AM): and now you are going to tell me HOW?

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:34 AM): That's a good point, Kat - but if you use their name and city it shows that they are a real person - not just John D. in Tulsa, OK either *smile*

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:34 AM): katsuey: Don't know if this is relevant to your biz.. but I see no mention of your locale/city/town on your front page. Or aren't you specifically interested in local work?

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:34 AM): OK Terri, I'll go back and check that.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:35 AM): You could put links to their site, I'm sure they wouldn't mind that sort of spam ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:35 AM): Well, kat, if I recall, you didn't like contacting strangers who needed the work, for fear of spam accusations....

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:35 AM): Peter, most of our work is NOT local, interestingly enough, but again I'm opening a new URL, for that traffic that might be local

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:35 AM): Right Rob.

PeterCooper ( (11/12/2001 9:36 AM): Cool, that might help, as long as you don't spread yourself too thin between the brands.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:36 AM): But I find that contacting people and "opening a dialogue" to discuss how much more their web site could return on their investment works pretty well. You don't have to sell, but it doe let people know you're into more than just pretty pictures

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:36 AM): well at least not in a mass way. We do contact people on a one on one - go to their site, look at their present design, tell them how we might help them.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:37 AM): The key here, Kat, is RETURN ON INVESTMENT. That's what I focus on, from a branding point of view.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:37 AM): Contact businesses without a web site, hand out cards every where we go.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:38 AM): But How can I promise ROI?

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:38 AM): The web sites I webmaster for I try to "brand" with THE WEB NEWSROOM (Arizona Reporter)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:38 AM): Kat, I guarantee that if you show them how their present site is costing them business, and tell them the solution for free, you'll close more sales. Remember not to tell them everything, but just point out ONE....

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:39 AM): We promise a well put together site, help with their copy for marketing purposes, appropriate meta data

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:39 AM): True, we send images of possible designs, not putting up the real design because too much to stolen

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:40 AM): I always tell them, "this thing alone is killing off prospects -- and there are at least 18 more I've found just like. That doesn't include all the programs I could create for you to stop the bleeding and actually create positive cash flow." And it's all true. All non-selling.

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:40 AM): Kat, you are missing out on one great marketing opportunity right here by not including your website URL when you log in :)

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:40 AM): AZ - we haven't had any traffic from AZReporter

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:40 AM): Kat, you NEVER should provide sample design until they pay. You're undermining your value. That's what portfolios are for. Show them Before & Afters for other clients.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:40 AM): Okay, Terri, how do I do that?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:41 AM): Correctomundo, Terri.

Del (11/12/2001 9:41 AM): Yeah. What Rob said. And NEVER on spec.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:41 AM): Rob - I have a portfolio question if there's time...

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:41 AM): easy - when you first get here and put your name into the log in, put (your URL) like that right after it

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): I shouldn't even have to say this, but the minute a client asks you to do something on spec, that's when you should turn and run.

katsuey (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): okay let me log out and try again

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Never on spec is well and good but sometimes you have to.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Go Jonathan...

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Yea, Kat I noticed that. So I'm saying that original banner hasn't worked so we need to do another one that will.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Elizabeth, you NVE have to.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): NEVER

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): I've hired people for big jobs where the higher-ups would not have approved them without seeing some samples.

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:42 AM): Okay, did that work

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): Eliz: No ya don't.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): Rob - I'm making the switch from tech/legal writing to copywriting. How do I get clients without a portfolio, and how do I get a portfolio without clients? (the Web site, however, is up - *plug*). Will a 'mock portfolio' work?

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): yep! that did it Kat :)

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): If they wanted the job they had to do it. they did and got the job.

Del (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): That's where past jobs (working website portfolios) come in.

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): AZ, I'll work something new up today and send it.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): Elizabeth, if you create sample work on spec, it's a sucker deal. You're giving it away to bad business people

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): I always pass over potential jobs when people want free work. They tell me right up front how much value they place on my time when they ask for free work.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:43 AM): They got the job.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:44 AM): Were they the only ones asked?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:44 AM): Jonathan, you are SOOOO lucky to be alive right now. When I was a kid, there was no way to fake a portfolio. It costs a lost of money to have film and type stripped together for color proofs.

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:44 AM): Rob, how about when we just send an image - no files?

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:45 AM): Rob - so what do you suggest? I'm a bit puzzled here as to how to proceed...

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:45 AM): These days, you can fake everything to look real. Which is the way I would do it, if I were trying to do it today. As long as you make it clear that the Before is real and your "afters" are the "proposed campaign", you're safe.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:46 AM): If you're a wiz at Final Cut Pro, you can cut together your own TV spots. If you know Soundedit 16 (Mac apps, both) you can record and mix your own radio spots.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:46 AM): Some people chose not to offer work on spec. They did not get the job.

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:47 AM): Elizabeth, when we are asked to do so, we usually pass because these people do usually steal our design and hire a cheaper company to carry it out.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:47 AM): Rob - okay, so a 'mockfolio' is a valid selling tool when you're starting out, then

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:47 AM): Jonathan, you can see what I did for my agency at There are some package designs there that were produced, but for the site, we used the digital comps. The print ads are digital files actually produced.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:48 AM): All I'm saying is that while it is generally not a great idea, esp, in these times I wouldn't make anything such a hard and fast rule.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:48 AM): okay, Rob - will do

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:48 AM): Kat, why not have a "sample work" page - show before and after of actual clients and tell how much sales or visits or whatever increased after the re-do - that shows ROI

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:49 AM): Elizabeth, I only takes one time investing your time, money, heart and soul -- and getting ripped off to teach you that hard and fast rule.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:49 AM): Elizabeth. More often than not, a dozen companies vie for the job, and only one gets "awarded" it. Whenever someone wants work beforehand from me, I suggest we develop[ a few hours of prelim work for a discounted fee. Sometimes I get turned down, but sometimes I don't. I have too many paying clients to give away my time to someone who's not even a client of mine.

Jacque ( (11/12/2001 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:50 AM): If you have too many paying clients, then sure, you don't need the business.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:50 AM): Let me remind you, I've sat on BOTH sides of the table. And you have no idea how cruel some of these clients are when they conduct an agency review.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:50 AM): But hey, I was in Real Estate for years and all RE agents essentially work on spec. Sometimes people do go behind your back and rip you off.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:51 AM): Most agency reviews are pretty much decided BEFORE the review starts. But clients know that agencies will stand on their heads to get business, so these idiots put on a whole show and give away ideas.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:51 AM): Real estate is not graphic design.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:52 AM): And the point?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:52 AM): My advice has always been to 1. Show the prospect you know what their problems are 2. Show them how you solved similar problems in the past 3. Get a check from them to have you solve theirs.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): Anything else is just bad business, people fishing for free advice. Don't fall for the carrot and stick thing.

Frederick ( (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): Rob, would you offer a money back guarantee with that?

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): - broken image

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): There's no comparison. Red flags always go off when a potential client says "Well in MY business, we give away blah, blah, blah..." Some people think just because they do it in their business, it's a common thing...

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): NO, Frederick, I offer no money back guarantees. I go in on a good faith basis.

Del (11/12/2001 9:53 AM): Rob: Or the "Give me a discount on THIS purchase and I'll buy LOTS more next time."

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): Do you not have Flash, Kat?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): Does your lawyer offer you a money back guarantee? Your doctor? You're helping their business get better....

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): Ben, yes I do.

Jacque ( (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): I have found you can never raise the rates once you've discounted them to get the business

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): But to me, flash only is BAD design.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:54 AM): Exactly, Del. They're all scams. Stick with people who are good to do business with.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:55 AM): Hmmm... can't seem to reproduce them problem... and the HTML version is in the works...

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:55 AM): hmm, interesting observation Jacque

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:55 AM): Somewhat, Jacques...You CAN raise rates, but once you "discount", they're forever sniffing around and haggling, that's true.

Elizabeth (11/12/2001 9:56 AM): If you can afford to walk away from business, do, it. If you're sitting in an office staring at the walls, what do you have to lose?

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:56 AM): Don't' know Ben, other than I can't get pass the first page of your site.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:56 AM): Elizabeth - your brand equity, methinks.

Del (11/12/2001 9:56 AM): I had the weirdest set of referrals last week- Did a fairly large postcard order. The next day, the client's MOM calls and orders some postcards for her company and the same day, I get a referral from her. (And those 2 referrals have nothing to do with my normal postcard business).

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:57 AM): If you're sitting in an office staring at walls, you'd better get out there and drum up some real business, rather than gamble with spec work. Just my opinion...

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:57 AM): Elizabeth, it's been my philosophy, but we've not gotten any business from it to date.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:57 AM): Not sure what the deal is, Kat. No one's had that problem before...

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:57 AM): You have your credibility to lose, Elizabeth. It WILL come back to haunt you.

Jacque ( (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): The only freebie work I have been doing is for non-profit groups that have let me promote my business

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): Ben, I've tried it several times, anyone else here?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): Remember, they follow where you lead. If you lead them to expect free work, that's what they expect.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): TWO MINUTES

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): Elizabeth, my first year in business I did lots of un-related project work (market research, etc.) for others just to keep food on the table - I didn't give away my recruiting work just to get biz though :)

Del (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): Call it pro bono. Sound sooo much sexier. ;-)

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:58 AM): I hate to ask, but is anyone else having problems pulling up my site?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Jacque, me too. I might do an occasional favor for a buddy. Or trade.

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Free work DOES NOT equal pro-bono.

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Del, you crack me up!

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Del, right. We explain that we like giving back to our community

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Ben - nope, but I'm on a DSL connection - and there's a definite network slowdown because of the plane crash thing today

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Jacque - ditto here on the freebie - I do expert stuff on job hunting for a few groups to keep my name out there :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Okay, you guys, I have to make final preps for the seminar -- this week! Yay!

Katsuey (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): I'm on cable

Del (11/12/2001 9:59 AM): Ben: I "Click to Enter" and get to a Shockwave page whereupon I close the window.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/12/2001 10:00 AM): have fun, Rob - and thanks.

Jacque ( (11/12/2001 10:00 AM): When I get a prospect that wants spec work, and tried to convince me about how they put out the freebies, I remind them that I have to pay freelancers even if I can't use their work

Terri Robinson ( (11/12/2001 10:00 AM): Great session Rob and everyone! See you next week!

Ben Woodward ( (11/12/2001 10:00 AM): Any particular reason, Del?

Rob Frankel ( (11/12/2001 10:00 AM): Okay, folks, good session -- real interesting topics! I'll see you online!

Katsuey (11/12/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob, wish we had the money in the budget for the seminar, sounds productive.

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