Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic December 16, 2002

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:00 AM): Should somebody go and wake Rob up?

Tamra ( (12/16/102 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:01 AM): He's probably on the phone.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:01 AM): I'm up!  I'm here!  IÕm late1

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:02 AM): Boy, this is a tough room!

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:02 AM): Gee, and I was just envisioning somebody surgically removing the phone from Rob's ear ...

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:02 AM): Nah, I use a headset for the really important calls...

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:03 AM): LOL  How's it goin', big guy?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:03 AM): So...what's the dealio?  Who's up first?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:03 AM): Actually, I'm very pleased that the big business is up, the smaller business is down.  Very curious.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:04 AM): Hmmm ... Interesting.  Um, if we go in alphabetical order, then Anita's first. :)

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:04 AM): Jump right on in....

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:04 AM): I'm just the resident cybrarien right now.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:05 AM): Okay, I willing to hog the show for now.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:05 AM): Well, does "mmmm" have anything to insert?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:05 AM): Okay, Dawn, you go.  And that was a great story you wrote.  Thank you.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:06 AM): I want to try a foray into lifestyle branding and thought I'd pick your brain a bit

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:06 AM): You're welcome. :)

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:06 AM): Pick away.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:07 AM): I'm marketing my subscription newsletter (print) and want to market it as an essential appendage to the micro business choice.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:07 AM): Sort of like what Nike did with athletes

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:07 AM): Am I making sense yet?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:08 AM): Whoa, that's a big leap.  Not too sure you'd want to go down the Nike path.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:08 AM): What's the difference between a small business and a micro business?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:08 AM): For why, please? :)

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:08 AM): Remember that Nike's brand is 100% media-driven.  Ask anyone why they choose Nike and almost none of them can tell you why they do.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:09 AM): And "because Michael Jordan wears them" doesn't count.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:09 AM): Nike is 100% fashion.  And fashion is susceptible to whim.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:09 AM): LOL So, going the "you want this because you run a micro business and this is what micro business owners read" is a bad idea, huh?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:09 AM): A Big Time Brand articulates why you're the only solution.  Which Nike cannot deliver.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:10 AM): No, it's not a bad idea.  But you have to take it a bit further.  You notice that Nike can't make the claim of why you should wear their shoe, which is why they rely on vague, oblique tag lines like "Just do it."

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:11 AM): As far as you're concerned, you want to go a bit farther explaining on why micro businesses consider you to be essential.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:11 AM): Well, articulating why I'm the only solution is sort of the easy part.  It would be nice if micro business owners grooved on the fact that they're micro business owners as much as I do ... if you know what I mean.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:12 AM): Dawn, that's a Branded Community issue, of which the newsletter is but one tool.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:12 AM): In January, I expect FrankelBiz to migrate to the i-legions platform, which will demonstrate this more effectively.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:13 AM): FrankelBiz is one part of that Branded Community.  But we'll have tons more stuff, all in one place.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:13 AM): Ah-ha ... and much bigger than I originally realized.  Okay, I'm willing to watch the master at work. :)

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:13 AM): Like discussion rooms?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:13 AM): Still, FrankelBiz is important.  But it's only one tool of the whole.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:14 AM): I don't know about master, because we're taking a huge chance here. 

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:14 AM): Anita, we

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:14 AM): What's the risk?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:14 AM): Anita, we will still have the Free Clinic, but it will be more sophisticated.  Lots of other features, though.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:15 AM): The risk is financial (fair investment of time and money).  The beauty is that people can take as much or as little as they wish.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:15 AM): I've an odd question, when Dawn is done.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:16 AM): But the free tool set is very nice.  There are some excellent low cost paid services, too.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:16 AM): Community is something that I've always had trouble with, because I've always been good at getting people to read but not at getting them to talk :)

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:16 AM): Either to each other or to me

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:16 AM): Dawn, that's what i-legions will do for any brand:  get users to talk to each other.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:17 AM): Anita, what did you want to say?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:17 AM): I have to go take a look ... your turn, Anita. :)

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:18 AM): I have been asked to optimize a site that has its brand firmly entrench, or so I thought.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:18 AM): Does anyone here remember Sea Monkeys?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:18 AM): Okay....

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:18 AM): I do!  (raising hand)

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:18 AM): Holy cow..."just add water..."

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:19 AM): (We're giving away our ages here, Rob ... you know that, right?)

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:19 AM): See? Our generation remember them, but later groups don't.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:19 AM): I read an article about them a few years ago.  Didn't the old man die in the past few years?  He had some questionable ethics as I recall.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:19 AM): So, just using the term "Sea Monkeys" isn't enough anymore.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:20 AM): Dawn.  I'm old.  I admit it. (sniff)

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:20 AM): I remember the advertising as VERY questionable.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:20 AM): Well, it is if you're pitching to people our age

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:21 AM): They have an excellent web site with the truth and a brine shrimp as a cursor.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:21 AM): Actually, I seem to remember something linking him to the Aryan Nation guys, but I could be wrong....

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:21 AM): So, what's the issue with the Sea Monkeys?

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:22 AM): If I use the term "brine shrimp", there are too many false drops.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:23 AM): Why would you even use that term?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:23 AM): Aren't they still a "novelty item"?

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:23 AM): They are marketing themselves to the younger generations as toys.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:23 AM): Because, that is what they are.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:23 AM): Okay...

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:24 AM): Would novelty be a useful term?

Jonathan (writer/editor - (12/16/102 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:24 AM): I guess the question is, how to market an older brand to younger people?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:24 AM): What's the URL?  When I go to all I get is never-ending popups and a  placeholder page.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:25 AM):

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:26 AM): There are games on the site.

Jonathan (writer/editor - (12/16/102 9:26 AM): Personally, I was disappointed when I discovered that Sea Monkeys did not wear crowns and scepters.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:26 AM): Well, that's a totally different question, Anita.  Take a look at what Cadillac is doing:  placing a young guy in a Cadillac while blaring Led Zeppelin.  You have to find the "touchstone" to which younger people relate.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:26 AM): There should be a resurgence since they were featured on South Park last season.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:27 AM): 'Course, Cartman called them "seamen".

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:28 AM): But a quick visit to their site shows that there are tons of ways to tell this story in terms that a younger generation would find captivating.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:28 AM): But this is a branding question, not an SEO issue, because they haven't refined their brand properly.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:28 AM): Once the brand execution is figured out, the SEO job will  become much easier.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:30 AM): Alas, as the SEO, I cannot help them on this. I will recommend that they talk to you, however.

mmmm (12/16/102 9:30 AM): Entered the room.

Jim ( (12/16/102 9:31 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:31 AM): Ok, thanks for the help. I'm done.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:31 AM): I suspect that the current owners are banking too much on the older generation's nostalgic feelings to purchase.  I also suspect that those older folks probably go the site, say, "hey, they're still selling Sea Monkeys", get a warm feeling and then leave.  Let's face it, Sea Monkeys hold a fascination for eight year old boys.  It's not like they're compelling as a 1961 Sandy Koufax baseball card.

mmmm (12/16/102 9:32 AM): the trick is marrying the old with todayÕs functionality

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:32 AM): Anita, it would be very interesting find out who is currently buying them.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:32 AM): You know, for a person with no vowels in your name, you should have a strong opinion!

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:33 AM): One last thing Anita:  They really should buy the non-hyphenated URL.  They're probably missing the boat there.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:33 AM): I assume that Sea Monkeys are still a novelty purchase from SpencerÕs and such.

mmmm (12/16/102 9:34 AM): probably the nostalgic souls still buy them

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:34 AM): The truly "amazing" thing about them is that they have/had their own Saturday morning cartoon show.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:35 AM): Dawn, what's a micro business?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:35 AM): A micro business is a business with fewer than 5 employees and less than $35,000 in initial capitalization costs

mmmm (12/16/102 9:35 AM): well everything good travels in cycles

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:36 AM): That's 90% of all U.S. businesses

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:36 AM): Oooh, so I am a micro business, not a small business.

mmmm (12/16/102 9:36 AM): like microbrewers?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:36 AM): Well, all micro businesses are small businesses but not all small businesses are micro businesses

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:38 AM): The small business media is full of information for small businesses earning at least six figures annually.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:38 AM): I define micro business as start-up Mom & Pops.  Single owner businesses with little or no capital.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:39 AM): Rob, even though I am a service business, should I put the ability to pay me by credit card on my site?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:39 AM): But that information is largely useless for the 68% of small businesses that earn less than $50K a year

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:39 AM): Most people donÕt' realize that business defines "small business" as businesses with revenues in the millions.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:40 AM): Dawn, check out

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:40 AM): Anita, of course!  I sell a lot of my consulting by credit card.  Other than the CardService international fiasco, it rocks.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:40 AM): Dawn, that should be

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:41 AM): Anita, once you accept credit cards, you NEVER again have to deal with the issue of "how can I get a check to you" or "the check is in the mail" or "I need it today"  or "why should I pay in advance."

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:41 AM): LOL I was just going to ask about that

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:41 AM): At least 2 different clients have wanted to pay me by Pay Pal.

Weber (12/16/102 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:41 AM): It also speeds up the sales cycle when people can see what they want, click and order it. 

Weber (12/16/102 9:42 AM): Rob, we were offered a merchant account by CSI, and I let them know what we thought of them.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:42 AM): Otherwise, they start over thinking the purchase or put it off until they can get to it.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:42 AM): Allen, I'm getting a ton of great responses to CSI campaign -- including a letter from CSI now offering me a full refund if I just go away.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:43 AM): Rob, are you going to take it?

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:43 AM): Yet, I prefer that my prospective clients talk to me before buying.

Weber (12/16/102 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:43 AM): I think I have found a smart, good gateway processor and will be publishing them soon.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:43 AM): Lorilyn, I may take the deal, assuming the conditions are acceptable.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:43 AM): LOL  They offered you a refund, Rob?  That's great!

Weber (12/16/102 9:43 AM): See what happens when you become the "Squeaky wheel"?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:44 AM): I'm going to use Costco and as the gateway.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:44 AM): Yes, but I think we have a greater cause here.  I'm a fairly sophisticated guy, and I got nailed.  Can you imagine how many others are falling victim to this?

Weber (12/16/102 9:44 AM): We went with PayQuake for DA.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:45 AM): I've had nightmares for years trying to do e-commerce.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:45 AM): That kind of thing really would put a lot of micros out of business.  How many horror stories have you been able to collect so far, Rob?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:46 AM): Here's the important thing:  Almost  NONE of the gateways are interested in knowing whether the thousands of fraud attempts are real.  I have found one provider that is smart about it:  they immediately shut down a fraud attempt if they get four attempts from the same IP address.  Now THAT's thinking.  If I had that at CardService International, my loss would have been $1 instead of $2600 and change

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:46 AM): Dawn, I think we're close to 100 stories, all of which are nightmares.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:47 AM): WOW!!!

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:47 AM): A lot of helpful advice, too.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:47 AM): All CSI, or other merchant account providers, too?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:47 AM): Rob, want me to pitch the story to my WSJ contact? Or do you have other plans?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:48 AM): Anyway, I will probably be putting together a deal with this other gateway, which is still in the works.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:48 AM): All CSI, with one Wells Fargo story in there, as well.

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:48 AM): Anita, take a look at

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:49 AM): Thanks, Dawn.

Anita ( (12/16/102 9:50 AM): Whoops! Got to go. Thanks!

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:50 AM):  Rob, did you see my offer?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:50 AM): Anyone else?

Dawn Rivers Baker (12/16/102 9:51 AM): Me, too ... thanks, Rob!

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:51 AM): Which offer?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:51 AM): I said do you want me to pitch your CSI story to my WSJ contact or do you have other plans?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:52 AM): I still see it as a Pandora's Box.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:52 AM): Oh yeah, Lorilyn.  I definitely want to do that.  You just say where and when!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:52 AM): Rob, can you write up a summary of it, and I'll do it tomorrow morning? I'll be out of office tomorrow.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:53 AM): WHOOPS...I mean out of office this afternoon!

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:53 AM): Sure.  Any guidelines on how to write it?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:54 AM): Rob, who what when where why :) No more than a page. Think of it as a news story, e.g., On November X, 2002, Rob Frankel found a $2,600 charge on..." Just the facts... Don't worry about writing it. I'll edit it a lot. I just need facts.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:55 AM): I don't want to overwhelm the WSJ contact with words, but I want it to be very clear it's a potential BIG issue. Sort of a Ralph Nader thing.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:55 AM): I'm SO on this.  I'll get it to you right away.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:56 AM): who is mmmmm? CSI is probably monitoring you.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:56 AM): Which e-mail address shall I send it to?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:56 AM):

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:57 AM): I know that we have a CSI rep on FrankelBiz, so I am fully aware of monitoring.  In fact, to monitor this chat, you don't even need to sign in.  You can just lurk.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:57 AM): Thanks, Lorilyn.

mmmm (12/16/102 9:57 AM): is a good way to get the word out

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:57 AM): I'm not sure my contact will use the info, but she'll be able to tell me the right person to direct it to, I would think.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:58 AM): But she WAS writing for the e-commerce section.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:58 AM): This story is too important for PRWeb, IMHO.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 9:58 AM): This isn't a press release. It's a story. :)

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 9:58 AM): Thanks all.  This is REALLY important.  (TWO MINUTES)

mmmm (12/16/102 9:59 AM): Reuters?

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 10:00 AM): Okay, here we go into the Christmas season for real!  I hope you all get what you ask for on Santa's lap!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 10:00 AM): Rob, I have a half hour before I need to leave. Call me if you want.

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 10:00 AM): Okie doke.

Pat ( (12/16/102 10:01 AM): Have a good week everyone (I was just lurking today.)

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 10:01 AM): I have to stop giving away Christmas presents.    :) 

Rob Frankel ( (12/16/102 10:01 AM): See you all online! 

Lorilyn Bailey ( (12/16/102 10:01 AM): Bye!

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