Welcome to More Patients, More Impact, More Income. The podcast for real holistic medical practitioners who want to grow their high impact, high income practice without selling out. Now, here's your host, Chris Axelrad.
Today we have something a little different for you and it's just too good to limit to one episode. Here's Chris with part 1 of the series.
Chris: What is up, peeps? How are you guys doing? Cool, so let's talk about this STS method and all that. So, the problem is this. You know, there is a lot of stuff you can do to market your practice, tons of different stuff. Honestly, there's a lot of people out here teaching a lot of different things you can do to market your practice. Marketing really is different than advertising, it's different than, you know, I don't know. It's just different, right? [0:01:00.2] Marketing is your message, marketing is the way you are connecting with your prospective patients and with your market, okay. That's marketing. Advertising, to tools, the tactics, is what you do to get your message in front of people. Okay, so, what a lot of people will teach is that all these different things like blogging, right, or posting on social media or going to networking meetings or doing health fairs or like going to doctor's offices and talking to doctors, and there's nothing wrong with any of that stuff, there's nothing wrong with it, alright. The issue is that there's only so much time in the day, there's only so much energy we have, number 1. [0:02:01.7] Number 2, really none of those things that I just talked about are going to get you patients. Over time they might have an effect. Again, it's not that any of those things are not helpful to do; it's not that I'm saying don't do them. I have done lunch and learns, I have written blog posts, I've done videos, obviously I've done a lot of videos in here. I've done a lot of those things, okay, but at the end of the day, right, all of these people that will teach you all these things but the one thing that you actually need to do more than anything else if you want to supercharge your new patient flow, okay? [0:03:00.7] And again, this is what I'm seeing, because now I'm actually running ads, which I've never done before.
I've run ads for my clinic for years since 2006. I always tell this story that I was a software engineer starting in about 1995-ish until 2008. I quit that job and went full-time with my practice, but graduated in 2004 and for about the first 2 years I really didn't know what the hell to do to market my practice, and I still managed to go from a 1-room office in that time in a little meditation center, I paid $200 bucks a month for that little room and that was the only room I had. I went from there to a bigger room but also with a waiting room, which I didn't have at the other office. So, I managed to get that far in 2 years because, you know, I'm working full time as a software engineer, I'm sitting behind a desk all fucking day, I can't go out and market, I can't go out and get the word out. [0:04:08.2] So, finally, you know I used to do a lot of research for my jobs, you know when you're a software engineer you're on a computer all day and you have to like actually get information on how to do stuff. Of course, all the information at that time, like when I first started doing it in the mid-90s, you had to actually go buy books. So, I learned a lot from books, but by mid-2000s, all that shit was online, so I would be Googling stuff all day long trying to figure out different new things that I needed to learn how to do or the nuances or asking questions, whatever, and I kept noticing the ads on Google, and I'm like, man, you know, I probably should try to learn how you do that because I could probably run an ad on Google and people who are looking for help might find me. [0:05:00.4]
Okay, now at that time I was already specializing, I was already doing mainly women's health, gynecology, fertility, so I had specific things that I was doing, and I just figured well, what the hell, I'll make an ad for fertility and I'll make a page for fertility and then I will set this ad up and I will have the ad go to this page. I'm like, "Great". Now, I thought this shit up myself. Nobody told me what to do. I didn't go to any training. Back then, there were so few people that were advertising on Google, I mean really, and especially in the world of even like MDs were not advertising on Google back then. Like, they had not figured that shit out yet. I know that there was pretty much no other acupuncturist or any other holistic anything using Google ads yet. Now, back then you could gain the Google SEO a lot easier, so I think a lot of people doing the SEO and you could game it and you could get yourself pushed to the top. [0:06:04.5] They hadn't gotten some of their more sophisticated algorithms worked out yet. Now with Google, your ranking isn't just how many back links you have or whether the keywords match your page, now the rankings are also based on quality. They have algorithms that really make sure that your content is high quality, and making sure that the people who go to your site are staying on your site, right? So, it's harder now, but I didn't have time to mess with SEO either, because man, my job was not easy. I had to write code all day long and we had deadlines and all that. So, that's one of the reasons I just went ahead and used ads.
So, the thing is man, like, I set these ads up and it worked. It worked so well that literally that day that I set them up, within 2 weeks I had about 4 or 5 new patients a week contacting me. [0:07:06.9] Now, they weren't contact me, I already had somebody answering my phone because I knew I wasn't going to be able to answer the phone, so I paid somebody to answer the phone. They worked from home. I worked in my office. We had a shared calendar on Hotmail, you remember Hotmail? So, I shared my Hotmail account with this person. That was my first booking system, the Hotmail calendar. God man, that's crazy. Anyway, long story short, that was my first system right there. I didn't even touch those ads. You know what, I set them up. It was so fucked up, the keywords, everything, I had no idea what I was doing, and so I put a few keywords in and then Google said hey, you should do these too, and I was like, okay. I just took all the shit that Google suggested, which is the last thing you should do by the way. [0:08:01.2] Now I'm not saying Google, well, it could be, I don't know. They're really smart and they'll put a bunch of keywords in front of you that you probably don't need but it's going to get clicks. Of course, every time someone clicks, cha-ching for Google, right. So, I'll tell you right now, I probably wasted in the first 10 years those ads were running, I probably literally wasted $30,000, seriously, on clicks. Because you're talking about over 10 years, right, so that's 120 months, $30,000 I probably wasted on clicks that never would have fucking booked with me. However, I made, you know, probably 15 times that on people who did. So, that just goes to show you, number 1 that imperfect action always wins over inaction and overwhelm. Okay, that was just a little sidetrack, thought I would tell that story. [0:09:02.2]
Here's the thing though is that the common thread that I'm finding out now that I'm running these ads, there's a lot more calls, I'm doing a lot more calls with people. I think in the last 2-1/2 weeks I've talked to about 27 people, okay. There's a lot of people out here looking for help, but the common thread that everybody comes into this call with is this, they're doing everything except just offering help to people who already want it. Now, the reason I told the story about the ads is because those ads, the reason those ads worked so well, and this principle is a universal principle, is universal, it has always been the case, it will always be the case. [0:10:02.0] You can't sell people shit they don't want. You can't make people buy something they don't want, and actually, yes, you can persuade them to want something they don't want, but it's a lot of work and it's a lot of energy and it costs a lot of money and it costs a lot of time, and that is what all of this other shit that everybody else tells people to do to market their practice is doing. It's telling people to go out and write a bunch of blog posts and go to health fairs and do talks and do this and tell people all of these amazing things about something they don't want and hope that by telling them all these things that you're going to talk them into wanting it. [0:11:00.2] Now, what is the thing that they're trying to tell you to convince people to want is better health, more vitality, balance, and also to want natural medicine and whatever else. Okay, now look, I'm not saying that nobody ever wants that. There are the unicorns out there who really truly want to invest in their health when they don't have a problem, okay. There are those people. If that's who you're marketing to though, you are not, number 1, I don't think you're serving your purpose as a healer because as healers our purpose, in my opinion, is to help people heal, is to help people who have problems, is to help people who are truly in pain and who are looking, that's the key, they're already looking for help. [0:12:01.2] They already want help.
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So, when your message is focused on ahead of time, people who are already looking for help and you just offer to help them, it's a very simple process. STS – simplify that shit. Simplify. Stop dancing around the issue, writing 20 blog posts, doing 20 videos that explain your medicine, that explain the details of what you do, and that tell everybody how awesome you are, which you are awesome, okay. [0:13:01.3]
There's no doubt that you're awesome and there's no doubt that you can help people and there's no doubt that the medicine you practice, that the medicine that I practice, that the techniques and the tools that we have are fucking amazing. There's no doubt about that. Nobody questions that. The key is this, if that's what you're talking about, you're not talking to people who have problems. You know why? Because those people don't care about how awesome I am or how awesome you are or how awesome Chinese medicine is or naturopathic or functional medicine or anything. They don't care about that. They care about one fucking thing -- Can you help me. Can you help me. You're marketing has to start with that question. Answer that question. [0:14:01.2] Not how do you help me, not what are all the details and all of the science behind how you help me, can you help me. Because people that are really in pain, like for instance, I'll just give you a simple example. If I have a problem with my plumbing, like there's water coming through my walls and filling my house up, well the first thing I'm going to do obviously is I'm gonna go downstairs and I'm going to cut the main line. You know, we have those little switches, right? Most people on their house we have where we can turn the main line off into the house, so that way if a pip bursts or whatever you don't flood your house, perfect. What am I going to do next? I'm gonna call a plumber. What am I gonna do? I'm gonna make sure that that plumber has a good reputation. You know what that means? That means that plumber has helped a lot of other people, so the key is one of the most important things you can do in your marketing is to demonstrate that you have helped other people. [0:15:02.9] And guess what, if you're not getting a lot of people, then you don't have the opportunity to demonstrate that.
So, the next layer is what – to demonstrate and to be very clear, I fix those kinds of problems. So, when I call the plumber I'm going to tell him, "Look, I had a pipe burst and it's in my wall. Can you help me with that?" They're gonna either say yes or no. They're gonna say oh yeah, we deal with that all the time, it's cool. If you want, we can come out and we can take a look. So, notice that the person didn't say oh yeah, we help with that all the time, so here's this really complicated fucking process you have to go through before I can even come and look at it and help you. [0:16:01.1] You're gonna have to give me your credit… by the way, I'm giving you other things besides just not offering to help people solve problems and dancing around the issue, which is the STS method that I’m talking about. Now, this is an STS, simplify that shit, method to your process of getting people into your office so they can meet you and talk to you and see if you're actually cool and that they actually like you, because that's really important. In our field, we are not trauma surgeons, alright. So, if someone gets hit by a bus and they have a severe concussion and they have 16 broken bones and they have a lacerated liver, well it doesn't fucking matter if they like the trauma surgeon or not, they just need the surgery. In our case, we are not dealing with people who have emergent, life-threatening conditions. [0:17:00.3]
They come to us not only for what we do, but for what we teach them to do and for the way that we help them and empower them. So, they want to know that we're cool. They want to know if it's a good fit, trust me. Now, the thing is, there's people who will say oh yeah, no, that's BS. You need to get their credit card number on the phone just in case they cancel, you need to book their first treatment, do all that shit before you ever meet them in person, otherwise this is bullshit.
Well, let me tell you something man, I have 3 offices right now, and I'm not bragging, I'm just telling you this is just the truth and I'm making sure you understand that what I'm tell you, I'm not making this shit up and I'm not just theoretically giving you information. I'm telling you what has led to where I am, okay, and what we actually do and what we've been doing for over almost 15 years, we've been doing this exact same thing, and it has improved and the process has evolved over time, okay. [0:18:12.8] I'm telling you what we do. So, I call plumber A and plumber A says, "Well, okay, before I can come out I'm gonna need all this personal data and you're gonna need to give me your credit card to secure the visit and whatever, blah, blah, blah." Okay, cool. I call the other plumber and he like, "Oh yeah, we fix that stuff all the time. I tell you what, what time works for you? I'll come out there and I'll check it out for you, and if I can help you then you can pay the visit fee, if for some reason I can't help you, that's okay, you don't have to pay and I can refer you to somebody who will." Whoa, totally different situation. Here's my name, here's my phone number, here's my address; what's your time, what times you got available, let's do it. [0:19:03.8] Now, the key is what motivated that whole situation? The fact that I had a leaky pipe and my house was filling up with water, I turned off the thing to like take care of it, and now I need someone to come help me. I have a problem. So, I already want what the person has, okay. This is so important in your marketing. So, in wellness medicine, for whatever reason, I have no idea why this is, people are afraid to say I solve this problem, I help with this disease, I help people with "insert your term" that indicates a serious problem. [0:20:00.2]
I think it's because we, so many of us, have accepted the brainwashing that our medicine is not powerful and that we cannot help people with serious problems and that we need to just focus on easy cases and simple shit, because we're just accessories and we're just like, you know, helpers. We're complimentary. We don't have real medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth. That is bullshit and I’m here to tell you right now that with the medicine that you already know, the incredible transformation that you are able to facilitate for other people, goes so far beyond in many cases what other forms of medicine are able to provide.
I've had patients, and this is just not in the realm of fertility even though that's a big part of my practice, that's what I really specialize in, that's what I'm known for, I was president of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. [0:21:01.1] I mean, that's a big part of my practice but I've helped people with thyroid problems who have come to me on thyroid meds, still tired as fuck, can't barely get out bed in the morning, don't know they're always bloated, they've been to the doctor, you know, they've been to like specialists and they really have nothing to say to these people other than we just need to adjust the dose. They adjust the dose, they feel better for a little while, they go back to the doctor, their thyroid numbers are all screwed up again, and because they feel like shit again is why they're back at the doctor, they adjust the dose again, they don't get better, and it's just this cycle. You know why? It's because, as we know, we're holistic providers, we understand there's a root cause that is not the thyroid, and everybody is fucking busy looking at the thyroid and looking at pieces of paper that they're not actually helping the person. You get someone in your office who is that person and you listen to them and you understand the root cause and in their case, the root cause was actually, well, in terms of _____ on the Functional Medicine System, it was in the metal sphere and that was the root cause. [0:22:17.6]
And we were able to treat it very simply with a few key supplements and a classical Chinese herbal formula and a very simple treatment protocol that I do, and within 2 or 3 treatments, this person came back and it was like there life had completely changed. They said, first of all, they hadn't felt like that probably in 4 or 5 years, that they were sleeping better than they could remember ever, that their energy was totally back. This was after 3 treatments. Here's the thing, yes, I'm skilled at what I do in terms of the treatments and stuff. [0:23:01.0 ] I think a lot of people think oh, you know, Axelrad is just a marketer, he's just a salesperson, whatever, fine. You can think that about me, I don't care, because I'm in my clinic every day, I see 75-ish people a week and I know what's happening in my clinic so it doesn't matter to me what you think, but you can do this kind of think, too, because you know this medicine, too. You understand? So, thyroid cases, cases of IBS that were like ridiculous.
I remember one patient I had, she was having over 20 bowel movements a day, I mean, it was like overactive bladder but the other end, obviously. Like, literally once an hour she would have to run to the bathroom, including in the middle of the night. We worked together for 2 or 3 weeks. Again, after 2 or 3 weeks, she was down to 4 times a day, something like that. [0:24:00.0] This was probably 2008, because it was right after I moved into the office that I’m in now. You know, to be able to do that, and listen, this person had been to, in Houston, we have one of the biggest medical centers in the United States and all of these real important people in these big-time academics who really think they know their shit, and she had been to all of those people and she was told you have collagenous colitis, there's no treatment. You're just going to have to learn how to live with the symptoms, and oh, here's this medication that's gonna slow down your gut motility and make you feel like total dog shit. This is the only way that you're gonna stop pooping every hour. She wasn't willing to accept that answer. She found me and, like I said, within a month she was having 4 bowel movements a day, and I worked with her probably for 2 or 3 months, I mean I would have to look back at the chart, but she never relapsed as long as we were working together. [0:25:01.3]
And actually, the way she found me was someone in my building, people around the corner from me in my building was her boyfriend, I know they broke up since then, and he told her about me. So, I did run into him several months after that and asked him how she was doing and he said she was fine. I mean, this is what we have, so we need to be out here just telling people, like I said, simplify that shit. We don't need to be writing 150 fucking blog posts and doing all this stuff. We need to be telling people very clearly in very clear language, you have this problem, I can help you, here's how you contact me.
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