Rob Frankel - Branding Expert

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Get Your Programs Here!

The thing I love most about the web is how it messes with people's brains. Half the time, a business on the web is EXACTLY the same as it is in the real world. The other half of the time, it's absolutely nothing like the real world.

The trick is fitting the first half with the second.

For example, I must have spent about a half hour with my Dad the other day, explaining how online stock trading works. And I really took my time to explain it, because he is, after all, my Dad. I have to show him that it is possible to explain stuff without yelling.

Anyway, I laid it out to him very clearly: "Ya see, Pop, it's doing exactly what human brokers do. Only instead of paying them exorbitant fees for making a phone call, I click my mouse for eight bucks a trade. See?"

Of course he couldn't see. He's my Dad. It's his job not to see. "Where do they keep the stock certificates?" he asked. "The same place your human broker keeps it," I said. But when you get right down to it, he really wasn't interested in altering his point of view in order to accept a new concept. So he probably still thinks that the whole system is just a fad, like yo-yo's and mood rings.

Which brings me to the first point I want to make: if you really want to do business on the web, you need to re-align your brain's frontal lobe.

Lots of web heads make the mistake of believing in the Math Fairy. They think that if they just get enough page views this month, a certain percentage of those will translate into sales. Wrong. Most of the time, all you're going to get is a lot of wasted page views. Besides, why would you want to settle for a few measly percentage points, when you could be shooting for a much higher percentage?

Well, before I tell you how to do that, let's first lose that Math Fairy thing. And while we're at it, let's dump that self-centered attitude, too. You know what I mean. The attitude that most business people have of proclaiming how wonderful their business is, without giving any regard to the people who are supposed to be their customers.

Hey, isn't one Barbra Streisand enough?

So now that you've shed the Math Fairy Syndrome and the Streisand Complex, let's start tweaking your brain. Let's start talking about programs.

What, exactly, is a program? Well, it's one of those things that's possible to do in the real world, but much easier to do on the web, mainly because people are far more congenial, open and eager to do business here. Essentially, a program is your making an extra to help others make money so that you can. You can see big boys doing this all the time. They call it an Affiliate program. or a Bounty program. Hey, do I care what you call it? Nah. But I know it works. And you should be developing your own -- and go way beyond just paying people for leads

The FrankelBiz list is a typical example of a homemade program. It helps broker deals between FrankelBees so that each member can get a good value, make a reliable contacts and expand their network online. Our sponsors pay list members to forward referrals. I get business referrals, too, but I also get indirect benefits, like great prices on hardware, software, services and retail products, including a watch that has my ridiculous "bobbing head" logo smack on the face. Everyone wins, because I took a few minutes one day to create a venue that was totally outside my immediate business circle.

I was never paid to create FrankelBiz, but it has paid off quite handsomely, for me and almost everyone who posts to the list. Cool, eh?

That's why I recommend you seriously sit down and think about what you can do in your business to get other people more business. I think you'll find that by doing so, you'll generate honest, reliable and friendly contacts -- because they're just as eager to grow their businesses on the web as you are.

And that's something you don't find often in the real world.

So go ahead. If you're a perfume retailer, contact that women's clothier and suggest a reciprocal arrangement. Or better yet, ask her to sell some of her stuff right on her site. If you sell garden tools, hook up with a seed manufacturer and ask them how you can help them sell more seeds.

I mean, if someone called you up and asked how they could help send you more business, wouldn't you take the call? Well, they are. But they're doing it with e-mail, instead.

Programs. That's the way you get more business on the web. And if you're not careful, you could end up with a lot more friends, as well.

Rob Frankel

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