Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic December 2, 2002

Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:00 AM): Well, it's a beautiful Monday morning where I am....How are you doing today Simon?  (Don't sweat it, more people will show in a bit)
Michael( (12/2/102 9:00 AM): Entered the room.
Michael( (12/2/102 9:01 AM): good morning/good afternoon
Andy TeBockhorst (12/2/102 9:01 AM): Hi Rob! It's been several months so I thought I'd drop in and see how my favorite west coast guru is doing. Hope all is well with you.
Pat ( (12/2/102 9:01 AM): Entered the room.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:01 AM): Good, -8 Celsius here
Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (12/2/102 9:01 AM): Morning everyone!
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:01 AM): I hate these four day weekends (in the USA).  They totally throw off my business rhythm...Hi Andy!
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:02 AM): Yikes, do you keep your fingers warm on the keyboard?
Rob B ( (12/2/102 9:02 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:02 AM): Anyone care to jump in first today?  We try to let the new people go first....
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:03 AM): if you're new, just fire away.
I have a question and I'm confident someone here can help. (12/2/102 9:03 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:03 AM): If you're not, just elbow your way in.
I have a question and I'm confident someone here can help. (12/2/102 9:04 AM): Our company is looking for a copywriter who has exp. in consumer software
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:04 AM): Uh oh, someone got caught in the server.  Log off and re-log on.
btw I'm Michael ( (12/2/102 9:04 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): Wow, that should be no problem at all.  have you tried FrankelBiz? I know we have a ton of copywriters there.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): Rob, any experience with firms that do contract work in electronic design?
btw I'm Michael ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): let me log off and on again...sorry
Michael ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): If you can't find anything to your liking there, you can always try (PLUG)
Michael ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): ok, I'm back, apologies again
Michael ( (12/2/102 9:05 AM): Rob, I have not checked FrankelBiz
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:06 AM): Simon, what kind of electronic design?
Michael ( (12/2/102 9:06 AM): thanks
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:06 AM): Michael, I just checked a post from a copywriter on FrankelBiz.  If you post to the list, you'll get pummeled with make sure your request is specific.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:06 AM): All kind, I mean from integrated chips, pcb, etc..
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:07 AM): Two that I know of offhand are Russ Phelps and Jonathan Cohen, who sometimes show up here.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:07 AM): Yes, Simon.  I do a fair amount of work for both software and hardware manufacturers.
Andy TeBockhorst (12/2/102 9:08 AM): Rob, I wanted to let you know that I recently landed a deal with a major national mass retailer, using many of the principles in your book. It's good stuff people!
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:08 AM): In fact, I'm on my way to Silicon Valley later today for a client. (12/2/102 9:08 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:08 AM): Andy, that's great!  What kind of deal?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:09 AM): Simon, did you have a question?
Andy TeBockhorst (12/2/102 9:10 AM): My company will be managing a department in all stores nationwide, acting as distributor and buyer. We got the deal expanded because we made ourselves "essential to their business."
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:11 AM): We are trying to reach to potential clients that need some electronic circuit to complete their products.  Most of what we get are people with more ideas than money who waste our time big time...
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:11 AM): That's great Andy...can you tell us the national brand?
Andy TeBockhorst (12/2/102 9:12 AM): I could tell you, but I'd hafta kill you... sorry, still kind of hush hush. I'll check back when the Press Releases hit next month.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:12 AM): Simon, if you're getting time-wasters, chances are that your brand isn't refined to the point where it tells people "don't bother if you don't meet our minimum requirements."  You don't have to be mean about it, but part of the brand message is to filter out the wheat from the chaff.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:12 AM): Yeah, Andy, we're all excited for you.  That's great.
Andy TeBockhorst (12/2/102 9:12 AM): sorry Simon... didn't mean to butt in
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:14 AM): Simon, I'm no stranger to this phenomenon.  Over the last year or so, I've gradually moved my own brand strategy upscale.  Now I get very few "charity cases".  I still offer products and services that help low budget clients, but all are designed to be profitable to me and helpful to them.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:15 AM): Some even come to us for financing!
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:16 AM): It's hard because the good client is the one which is not really into electronics but good in what he does best, which can range from anything from parking meters to wood cutting machinery.
Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/2/102 9:17 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:17 AM): Simon, that's what Andy was referring to and what I preach constantly:  you need to show these folks that you're the best solution to their problem. 
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:18 AM): And unless I miss my guess, you're not a bank, so forget about the financing.  Depending on the size of your average job ticket, you could take VISA and let the credit card companies finance them....that's what I do.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:19 AM): How would you improve or fix this:
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:19 AM): Simon, what kind of budgets do your clients need to make it worth your while?
Frederick ( (12/2/102 9:20 AM): Entered the room.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:21 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:21 AM): Interesting field Simon.  But I see the problem already.  Your message is vague.  Captivating, but vague.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:21 AM): Simon, Hardent site needs meta tags so the search engines can index you.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:22 AM): And the reason you're getting non-qualified clients is that too many people are stumbling on your site thinking it may be something else....
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:22 AM): As you know, I'd rather have more qualified visitors than high amounts of traffic.
Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/2/102 9:22 AM): Simon, I would want to know on the site what type of companies or individuals use your services; what kind of problems you solve.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:23 AM): There you go.  And Lorilyn's not even on my payroll!
Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/2/102 9:23 AM): Hey, Rob, I'm available for part-time work. ;)
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:24 AM): Just get my story to the WSJ....tee hee
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:24 AM): Also, your mission statement is too vague, too broad.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:24 AM): Sorry, had to re-log for some reason, we are talking 50K and up normally for small design
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:24 AM): Simon, I think your site and brand needs to cut to the chase even faster, more clearly.
Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/2/102 9:25 AM): Did you hear what I wrote earlier, Simon?
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:25 AM): Something like "we put the electronic into your stuff"
Cindy (12/2/102 9:26 AM): Entered the room.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:26 AM): 50K? Then you had better stick to the Fortune 500 companies.
Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/2/102 9:27 AM): Gotta go. See y'all next week!
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:27 AM): Lorilyn: We are targeting companies who build products and that have a choice at some point to do electronic development internally, hire engineers, etc or go to an external firm for this need
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:27 AM): Okay, Simon, then what you also need to look at is targeting big companies on a pro active basis.  Forget about customers "finding" you on the web.  Treat those as gravy.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:28 AM): The turnkey thing is definitely appealing, Simon.  If you're dealing with those kinds of budgets, I think you'd do far better to initiate a sales campaign to a targeted list and then send them to your site to learn more.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:29 AM): Did that, and keep doing it with some success.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:29 AM): BTW, how did you come up with that brand name?
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:30 AM): well, not following your rules!
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:30 AM): In the meantime, what do you have to leverage the non-qualified visitors?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:30 AM): That's funny.....
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:31 AM): define non qualified please
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:32 AM): This is important, because one of the most wasted resources on the web is non-qualified traffic.  Especially the under funded stuff.  You want to have stuff free for the taking so that they'll have something to keep and evangelize.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:33 AM): like good design tips for example
Pat ( (12/2/102 9:33 AM): Exactly.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:33 AM): It can be a free PDF file, or an onscreen article that's totally free, requiring no registration at all.  At least that way, the non-qualified traffic delivers some benefit, even if it's just raising your brand's awareness.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:34 AM): Or perhaps a glossary of terms
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:34 AM): Simon, don't be afraid to educate them (the worst mistakes people make in electronic design) and then not-subtly plug your solution to their problem.....and don't forget prominent display of your contact information.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:34 AM): We have that, it would not be too complicated to set up
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:36 AM): Well, at least it lets them take something away.  In the meantime, I see your brand as being too reticent and vague to the casual visitor.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:36 AM): (Anyone else with an issue, jump in)
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:37 AM): DonŐt want to monopolize the chat but want to look at a more recent trial on branding for one of our product?
Michael ( (12/2/102 9:37 AM): need to run, thanks for your help
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:38 AM): Sure, as long as nobody else is waiting.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:39 AM): We designed a brochure a few weeks ago for one of our solution...This brochure was done internally, no outsider, it took us 48 hours to prepare, just in time for a conference we were attending.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:39 AM): see it at
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:40 AM): We tried to follow Frankel's laws for the branding concept.  do we pass the test?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:40 AM): Simon, before I download that (we only have an hour) there are things at your site that undercut your credibility.  Like the Team link.  It's very impersonal.  No links to anyone.  No humans at all.
Simon ( (12/2/102 9:41 AM): point taken
Rob, do you think that photos of a person enhance a site and the credibility? (12/2/102 9:41 AM): Entered the room.
Rob, do you think that photos of a person enhance a site and the credibility? (12/2/102 9:41 AM): Anita (
Rob, do you think that photos of a person enhance a site and the credibility? (12/2/102 9:42 AM): Oops. that was me, Anita
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:42 AM): Yes, I think that anything you can do to promote the human to human aspect of your business does a lot to warm up the relationship engines more quickly
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:43 AM): But many people are shy about putting their photos up there, which is usually due to the fact that they're putting up the wrong visual.
Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (12/2/102 9:43 AM): What do you mean by that Rob?
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:44 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:44 AM): Simon, your brochure is interesting, but again, it describes what you have, instead of providing why your product is the only solution.  This is what most Do It Yourself attempts end up as:  when you describe your product, it tends to be less compelling.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:45 AM): So a headshot would be the wrong visual?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:45 AM): Cheryl, there's a reason why I have a bobbing head on my site:  it's a visual representation of my brand, not just a headshot to pick me out of a line up.  The WAY I choose to convey the visual identity carries along the message of what kind of guy I am. (12/2/102 9:46 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:46 AM): I always advise clients to use shots of them at work.  They're far more real and less self-conscious than those "Tony at the piano bar" lunge lizard stuff that looks so fake and posed.
Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (12/2/102 9:46 AM): So a picture that is more out of the ordinary is better than a plain headshot?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:46 AM): So there's a branded way to put your visuals across, too. (12/2/102 9:46 AM): LOL - oh my - looking at my photos now - seeing what kind of girl I am... *grin*
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:47 AM): I don't think a shot of me at the computer would be useful, nor a shot of me down and dirty at the archaeological dig. :)
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:48 AM): ANYTHING is better than a plain head shot.  Especially if you're not of the high-cheekbone, androgynous, heroin/waif look.  Plus, when your shot is branded, it gives people a head start on what to expect from you.  Once you have that, you can offer a secondary head shot (for newspapers and stuff) which I do at
Pat ( (12/2/102 9:48 AM): Rob - Quick question. I was just sitting here thinking about your response about the brochure, and I was wondering, if I were to write an article on how to do something on your own, should I plug in the benefit of why my company should provide the solution instead?
Josh ( (12/2/102 9:49 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:50 AM): Absolutely, Pat.  You just have to be careful with how you write it.  For example, writing, "At COMPANY, we decided to do it this way..."  you may want to write it "Lots of other companies have tried it this way.  We've found that by doing it this way, it not only save you time, but money, too."  Then make sure your contact information is handy on every page.
moses (12/2/102 9:51 AM): Entered the room.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:51 AM): Incidentally, the new i-legions platform will have a service for FrankelBees to post White Papers for EXACTLY that purpose.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:52 AM): Rob, Have you found a Bargains person yet?
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:53 AM): Yes Anita, we're in the process of signing a Branded Icon for the bargain-hunting position.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:53 AM): Moses, are you here to impart any wisdom?
moses (12/2/102 9:53 AM): Yea verily Robert
moses (12/2/102 9:53 AM): I say unto thee...
moses (12/2/102 9:54 AM): etc.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:54 AM): Careful with that Robert stuff, Moe
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:54 AM): I am reading a new book and I recommend it to everyone. It is called Web of Deception and is edited by Anne P. Mintz.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:54 AM): ...or I'll sic Curly and Shemp on ya.
Pat ( (12/2/102 9:54 AM): Rob, thanks.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:55 AM): Anita, is that Anne from
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:55 AM): Yes, in fact Steve Forbes wrote the foreword.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:56 AM): She was over for dinner last week.  Nice lady.
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:58 AM): The subtitle is Misinformation on the Internet.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 9:59 AM): TWO MINUTES
Anita ( (12/2/102 9:59 AM): Well, gotta go, I'm working on the Sea Monkeys site.
Simon ( (12/2/102 10:00 AM): "Bonne journée" everyone, thanks for the tips.
Rob Frankel ( (12/2/102 10:00 AM): Okay that should do it for this week!  Remember, if you're in Silicon Valley on Thursday, we're having a F2F!
Pat ( (12/2/102 10:00 AM): Have a good week  everyone.
Cheryl Lynn Spencer ( (12/2/102 10:01 AM): Bye everyone! (12/2/102 10:01 AM): Ciao!

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