Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Getting new patients with advertising is nice. But if that’s your only method of getting patients, you’re always “buying” your new patients. The problem? Unless you’re in a metropolis, you’ll run out of people to serve—and your ads might not work a year from now. What then?

The answer is building a brand. If you can build a brand, you’ll attract new patients on autopilot. They’ll refer their friends and keep coming back. With a brand, you become your community’s go-to chiropractor.

In this episode, Jerry Kennedy stops by to show you exactly how to build a brand for your practice so you never run out of patients.

Ready to build your brand and stop relying on one source of patients? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • The biggest mistake chiropractors make when creating their customer avatar. (7:45)
  • 3 things you should learn before starting your practice (and if you don’t know them now, you should get started!). (16:23)
  • How to build a great practice with next to no money. (30:17)
  • Every kindergartener knows they should do this—and chiropractors should do. Are you? (32:30)

Join the waitlist for the Chiropractic Success Academy now: https://www.csacircle.com/register

Read Full Transcript

Hey, chiropractors. We're ready for another Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show with Dr. Kevin Christie, where we discuss the latest in marketing strategies, content marketing, direct response marketing, and business development, with some of the leading experts in the industry.

Kevin: Welcome to another episode of the Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show. This is your host, Dr. Kevin Christie, and today I've got another interview with Jerry Kennedy.
If you recall, if you've listened to all the episodes over the last few years, we had him on … I think it was in 2018. So, we're going to have a little bit of a revisit of a conversation. I was on his podcast not that long ago, which was fun.

I always like chatting with Jerry. He's a great guy, great information, and does a good job of teaching it right. I think there are a lot of people out there that know a lot of stuff, but to be able to facilitate information is really hard to do for many. Kind of think of my days of learning from Gray Cook and Stu McGill, and a couple others from a really complicated subject matter, but their ability to facilitate the knowledge to a point where I could easily learn it is a unique skill set—and I feel like Jerry has that ability from a marketing and business standpoint. [01:21.4]

We dive into branding and get into that conversation a little bit. We haven't had that talk on this episode a lot, and we talk a lot about positioning and marketing, but what about branding? What about your color scheme and logo, and maybe even website and what your office looks like, and what you look like and what you wear, and just all that type of stuff? We dive into that a little bit and he opens up about how he's doing a rebrand of his business as well.

So, we dive into that. I really enjoyed the conversation as always. I feel like with Jerry, he'll be one of those guests that we have on from time to time. [02:06.0]

As you've noticed, we've had some like that. The last episode, we had Josh Satterlee on and he's someone that's been on the podcast before, and so I hope you like some of these revisited. There's just a lot of good information from these folks and I hope you enjoy it.

Without further ado, here is my interview with Jerry Kennedy.

All right, welcome to the show, Jerry. This is not our first time together. I've been on your show. You've been on my show. We've had some good conversations. We keep in touch with each other. It's always good to have you. So, welcome to the show.

Jerry: Hey, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. I don't normally invite myself on other people's podcasts, but I kind of did that.

Kevin: Hey, that's all right. I'm always looking for good guests and I like touching base. There's a handful of guests that I've had on over the three years that we've been doing this show, and I try to touch base every so often, especially guys and gals that are doing a lot the profession, and trying to just extract some of the information out of the guests and provide as much value as possible. So, thanks for offering. [03:08.8]

Jerry: Hey, like I said, I'm just glad to be here. I'm glad to have the opportunity.

Kevin: Yeah. So, I want to ask you a question. What's new and exciting for you in the world of marketing, business development and growth for chiropractors?

Jerry: I'll tell you the thing that some of the stuff that I've been researching and looking at lately for my own people and then ultimately for myself, which is it's crazy how that happens that the stuff that I teach my people, it's always gone through myself, through my own business and through my own process, and then it gets passed on to them.

I'm like you, I'm always reading and always listening to podcasts. I'm kind of checking out different things, and I lately started just getting into imagery and persuasion, branding and all of the messaging stuff that goes into what we do from a business standpoint. My thought process is to just help clarify this for my clients. [04:03.8]

I think, for a lot of chiropractors, the idea of even just identifying their patient, like, Who are you trying to communicate to? Who are you trying to talk to from a business? [is unclear] because a lot of chiropractors will tell you just anybody with a spine, you know what I mean? It's like, If they're within five miles of my practice and they have money, they're my ideal patient. That makes sense when you're starving to death, but it doesn't take long before that stops making sense and you start going, You know what? There's a bunch of people that I just seem to not have in my practice. They're a bad fit. They're a pain in the butt. I can't help them. Whatever that happens to be.

And so, talking to chiropractors about who's your person, have you identified the problem you're solving? Are you communicating that well? Those conversations I get into a lot, and it has kind of spilled over into an area that I just wasn't expecting and that is the branding, the imaging, your name—how you present yourself to the community along with that message is also part of that. It ha's just led into a lot of changes, really big changes over the last couple of months, but really I've been thinking about it for probably about a year now. [05:16.9]

Kevin: Yeah, it's an interesting topic and it's just what you said there. I've got three things I wanted to go down the rabbit holes, but one of the things that's interesting is I just spoke in Parker Vegas this year, which was fun again, spoke about audiences. So many people talked about demographics, like you mentioned—five-mile radius, 25 to 54 female, whatever—where you really want to target psychographics, and that's more of the personalities, traits, activities, desires and things of that nature.

And then, you can blend in with the demographics, right? I gave the example where the CrossFitter for my practice is the perfect match for psychographics, but it's not for demographics because in my practice, I'm out of network. I'm a little high-cash rates. I'm not cheap and I'm okay with that. And that has served me well, but a lot of the CrossFitters are having a hard time just affording their gym memberships. So, the demographic doesn't align up perfectly, but you’ve got to take more into consideration than just demographics, like you said. [06:21.6]

Jerry: It's interesting, too, that I had a conversation with a chiropractor. I was on the phone with them and we were just unpacking this a little bit because he was getting started and everything seemed very random. I was talking to him about like, Who do you help?

One of the things I always ask people, and I call it my “gun to the head” question, and that is, If there are a hundred people in a room and I put a gun to your head, and you have an hour to schedule a new patient appointment, you only have to schedule one, who are you going to talk to? Now, you don't get to tell him the gun is in your head. You don't get to tell them that your life is at stake. Now, you can ask them any question you want, and if you have to ask yes or no, raise your hand, don't raise your hand, what questions do you ask them? [07:01.7]

We went down this path of like, Do you have kids at home? Are you active? Have you ever had a blah, blah, blah? Whatever. And what should happen, theoretically, if you're in that room of a hundred people, and an hour is not enough time to go through a hundred people, you want to ask questions so that more and more hands go down, and so now you get it narrowed down to five people, three people, seven people. Now you can work with that and you can figure out who's the best fit.
And we went through this process, and hands are going down, hands are going down, hands are going down. I finally said, Hey, you haven't identified a problem that you solve. You may have described a woman who's active, who does CrossFit, has kids at home, has this kind of income, but none of that has anything to do with you. If you missed that point, you may find a mom who doesn't have kids at home who's a great fit for your practice. You may find a CrossFitter who's not a mom, who doesn't have kids, who's a great fit for your practice. But you're not going to have a great fit for your practice that doesn't have a problem that you solve. [08:05.4]

And it's just interesting how our mind can start wandering with “We heard this podcast. We heard this person. We got this idea. We got this thought,” and we start defining things and then we'd start missing some key points. It's not only like “Who's your person?” but “What problem do they have? What value are you offering them?” because if you don't have that part right, the rest of it doesn't really matter.

Kevin: Yeah, and that’s kind of like, I don't know if Joe Polish is the one that invented the terminology or whatever, but he talks about your marketing should sift, sort and screen. That's essentially what you're talking about, that you should be able to sift, sort and screen through the community, and attract the ones that you know you can solve a problem for. But the only way you're going to do that is by having the proper messaging that does address their problem and not just being a complete generalist all the time. Right?

Jerry: And it happens in sequence. The way my mind works, I like looking at patterns and I like looking at things like formulas and that sort of thing. I realize that not everybody thinks that way, so sometimes I have to adjust the way that I communicate because people don't think that way. [09:15.4]

But with marketing, messaging and business, there should be a pattern to everything in the same way that you learn how to crawl first, then you learn how to walk. If you play sports, like I played basketball when I was a kid, it's like don't worry about shooting threes if you can't hit a layup. Don't worry about dunking if you can't drill. There are things that are done decently and in order, and with marketing it's the same way, as before you get out in your community and we jump ahead as chiropractors because we think, What I'm missing is a good Facebook ads campaign. It's like, What I'm missing is I just need better SEO.
Okay, you're talking about things that should happen after you've defined who you're going for, after you’ve defined some of these other things that we're talking about. And if you do them out of order, you end up not only being a generalist, but you're not even a good generalist. [10:13.4]

You're just throwing crap up against the wall to see what sticks, and you waste a lot of time and a lot of money—and those are two things that most chiropractors, especially when you're starting, you don't have. You don't have extra time and money, because you're going to fail.

Kevin: Yeah, and you're right. With the messaging, if you're just not providing value, or you could be providing value, but since you don't have a target audience and the message isn't there, it's just falling on deaf ears, and that's a problem that a lot of chiropractors definitely fall into. And they try to put that cart before the horse, right? Run the Facebook ad, run the Google Ads, start an Instagram, but they haven't got their house in order at all.

Jerry: Yeah, and it's definitely a problem and, honestly, it's really an unfortunate thing that chiropractors are in a situation where you go to school to be a chiropractor, and then you get out of school and so much of your ability to help people is dependent upon a skill that you don't have. That's running a business and doing marketing, and things like that. [11:12.3]

Like I said, I like to play basketball, and when I was a kid, there were all these things that you have to do to be good at basketball. If someone had also told me, By the way, before you can start really playing and really doing well, you're going to also have to learn how to be a good accountant. I just wouldn't have put in the effort to be a basketball player.

Kevin: Yeah, and the hard part about it is this, and I use this example a fair amount. I've got a buddy, a couple of friends that are orthopedic surgeons. They're older and they have their own practices, and there's so much meat on the bone financially. They have so much revenue with healthy profits in those scenarios where they can hire. There's one orthopedic group I rented space from. They had a CFO, right? You can easily hire really skilled people to handle some of that. They can hire marketing companies that have the big budgets and do all that. [12:08.5]

As chiropractors, unfortunately, that's just not the case. Even thriving practices have a hard time hiring those types of people, so you have to do a lot. It is definitely difficult. There's no doubt.

Jerry: It's interesting, in the real world and the real business world … And I guess this isn't exclusively a chiropractic problem, it's all small business. The problems we're talking about are not exclusively a chiropractic doc. All of it is not chiropractic problems. It's the guy that owns a flower shop. My brother has a small business where he details cars and does paint protection film. He has the same problems.

And the same problem is that, if you have a big business, the person at the top doesn't have to know everything, doesn't really have to have an amazing marketing base. They just have to have an amazing marketing team. They can pay those people, those experts, to do their job. And you can fall into a leadership-management role, which is also a different skill, but it's something that you can do when you have the revenue to do it. But chiropractors, when you're getting started, you don't have any money. [13:16.0]

Kevin: Yeah, it's hard. Actually, I have a patient who is a CEO with a pretty good-sized company, does obviously very well, CEO money. But we got to know each other through patient care and stuff, and I just asked him, “How did you get to where you are?” He was like, Honestly, if I had to answer you objectively, I'm really good at communicating and leading a team, and that's how I've gotten up the ladder, and then, it was taken from other companies with a different one to become CEO. And he said, “That's really what I do all day. It's to communicate well and lead a team, and then I've got people a whole lot smarter than me doing all the other stuff.” That's hard for us to do, obviously.

Jerry: It's interesting. I did a podcast. It was years ago now and it was called The Imaginary Dr. Perfect. [14:01.3]
The Imaginary Dr. Perfect is you listen to my podcast and I give advice, and I listen to your podcasts and somebody gives advice. You listen to a guest that I have on, a guest that you have on, and in your mind, you put together this person who is actually amazing at all of these different things, when in reality I have things I'm really good at and I have a whole bunch of things I suck at. And you have things you're really good at and a bunch of things you suck at.

One of the dangers of doing that constantly, reading different people's opinions about things, constantly listening to different podcasts, and not going deeper with your skillset in one area, whatever area that is that makes the most sense and that’s going to be the most beneficial to you, by not going deep, you just stay on the surface and really are the jack of all trades. And we do have to do that to a certain point, but all successful chiropractors, to a point, start becoming known for something and developing a level of excellence in a niche area.

That's really where that excellence comes from. It's going down deep and developing expertise in an area that really is going to make a big impact for their business. When you're constantly just trying to put your toes in every little area and try to be amazing at everything, it's just impossible. You can't do it. [15:16.4]

Kevin: Yeah, it's hard. It takes time. I think one of the things that a lot of chiropractors fail to have sometimes is that delayed gratification, and so they get out. They’re two years in and a jump from trying to really dive into clinical to try to learn a whole lot about something else.

For me, for instance, I've been practicing for 15 years now. The first eight years was, honestly, all clinical and I just did a good job of getting out in the community a lot. I worked on a lot of communication, getting out there and public speaking, and it helped grow my practice. But I was out getting certified in things and learning, and working on people, and it was all clinical. Then, when I opened up my own practice, it was really what I was like, Okay, I need to learn business and marketing. Then I dove into that, but I really laid a pretty solid foundation clinically before I dove deep, deep into it, for sure. [16:10.9]

Jerry: It really depends on what your situation is. For me, I started my practice right out of school, which I don't necessarily think is the smartest thing in the world.

Kevin: It’s hard.

Jerry: It was super hard. It was really hard because you're not only learning the things that you're going to have to learn even if you work for somebody else, those things you're talking about, communicating with people, figuring out a better way of explaining what's going on.

People don't know how their body works and they don't understand what we do as chiropractors, and part of what we do that connects to that ability to make money and ability to help people is just the ability to take that. I just call it a leadership role. You're taking a leadership role in helping someone go on that journey from where they are to ultimately where they want to be, and that's a skill. It's a skill that's developed.

For me, I was developing those skills and developing marketing skills, and developing getting into the community. [17:05.8]
I'm an introvert, by nature. I do fine on podcasts. I actually do fine standing up in front of people in a group when it's a monologue, but if I have to go into that building and introduce myself, I feel like I'm going to burst into flames. So, everything community-based takes me twice as long as it does everybody else, and so I'm fighting through that as well. It's just so much to put on someone. At the same time, I had got married. I started making babies. I've got a family at home. I'm the only provider. It is so stressful and it's not a mystery why so many chiropractors fail. It's just so much to do and it's a lot to ask of anybody.

Kevin: I know we're trying to change that, right? We're trying to help out as much as we can. I wanted to talk about this because it's one of the things that gets discussed a lot. I know I discuss it. It’s messaging.

Okay, let's say, we get the right audience. We did a good job of targeting the audience, built that up, or we're really clear on it. We'll say we're really clear. We feel like we've been really clear with our messaging and we're creating content. [18:10.9]

But then, there's that other thing that you mentioned earlier and that is some of the things like branding, and just really whether you're talking about your website design, your logo, your name of your practice, you as a person, and I think that's something we don't discuss a lot of. But if you want to be a CrossFit sports chiropractor, you’ve got to have to … I don't want to say look the part or be a part, but--

Jerry: I would say look the part.

Kevin: But it's a reality. Right? And so, let's take that—I just threw a whole bunch of things at you with that branding umbrella—and let's dive into that a little bit.

Jerry: Here's a way of thinking about it that I think is different than how I have. I think it works for that process or what I was talking about before, crawling, walking and running type of idea. [19:04.8]

If you have gone through the work of at least identifying “Who are you trying to connect to?” and “What problem do they have?” and then the other question you have to answer is “What do I want this person to do?” because what marketing is supposed to do is take someone on a journey from wherever they're at to where you want them to be. For most chiropractors, that is coming to our office, schedule an appointment, and that goes beyond that, because once they come in, we want them to come back, and when they come back, we want them to follow through with care. So, there's always a process that you're trying to walk someone through, which is why I refer to as leadership.

And so, if you've done that, I know who I'm trying to connect to. I know what problem they have. I know what I want them to do. If you take any marketing piece, and I'll use a website as an example because that's something that we all have, if you were to start with a blank piece of paper, a blank page that has nothing on it.

You go to DrJerryKennedy.com. It's a blank piece of paper. Keeping in mind who I'm trying to reach and what I want them to do, what problem I'm trying to solve, now I'm going to add a theme. I'm going to add colors. I'm going to add words. I'm going to add buttons. I'm going to add pictures. [20:12.9]

What should happen is if we could measure the effectiveness of that page, when we add a theme, what should happen is effectiveness goes up. When we now add the color we choose, effectiveness should go up. And so, everything we do, if all the things that make up the homepage that we typically just randomly throw together, all of those things, when we add our name, effectiveness should go up.

It shouldn't say “Grandma's Chiropractic Center” and we're going after CrossFit athletes. That doesn't make any sense. If you're going to be for women and kids, it's going to be your target market, but then you're going to pick a dark blue, a black, a color that's more of a corporate or more of a masculine color, [it’s] probably a bad idea. [21:04.5]

And so, if you think about it from starting from scratch—and now I'm going to add content. I'm going to add images. I'm going to add a background. I'm going to add a logo. I'm going to add a name—and all of that stuff should be in some way adding to taking someone from where they are to where you want to be. You don't want them to be neutral, because these are supposed to be just like a staff member.

A staff member is supposed to be a positive to your business. They should not be a neutral. They surely shouldn't be a negative. Because if they're a neutral or a negative, they're worthless. Get somebody else. They should be taking you in the direction you want your business to go, and so everything should be heading in that way. And if you start looking at your stuff and you're saying, well that's a nothing, it means nothing. You either need to get rid of it or change it. If it's a negative, you absolutely need to get rid of it or change it.

What should happen as time goes on with your website, your website should become more and more, as you find better ways to communicate and better ways, more of a thumbs up. Instead of a 10 percent bump of effectiveness, it is a 12 percent bump in effectiveness. That should be happening. [22:11.5]

But I think a lot of times we don't even think about it at all, or we just hire someone to put a website together for us and they know nothing about any of the stuff that we're talking about, in terms of who you're going for and who you're trying to target, and they just have 10 different websites they do for chiropractors. They cough out the same content and slap your picture on it, and then you wonder, I don't understand why nobody comes to me from the internet. It's like, that's because your website is the most generic uninspiring thing in the entire world and it's communicating to no one.

Kevin: Yeah, and think about all the people that have tried to do all these ads and all this stuff to get them to the website, but it's just not congruent. And it's meant [to have] multiple steps, like you said. If you run a great ad and, again, the audience is right and the messaging is right, and you run a great ad, they're interested. They get to your website and it's not congruent with it or I see sometimes where, down here especially with physical therapists, they have a lot of old people and it’s walking or “Golden Girls Class” or something. [23:13.0]

I was like, Wow, I hope they're really only targeting Medicare patients, and maybe they are, but sometimes you'll see sports injury. It'll be a sports injury type of ad for this physical therapy group. When you go to the website, it's all old people on there just trying to walk. It’s like, okay, that's not going to solve it.

Then, like you said, maybe the website's great, all right, and they go to the website and they like it, and they call and they schedule. Then they show up and your office is not really congruent with that type of person. And that's a reality, right?

Jerry: And what we're talking about, and this is what I mean by the randomness of all the things that we do and these things will start to intertwine, and the website is an easy one because the website is so fundamental to what we do from a messaging standpoint. [24:00.5]

Like you, if you're going to pay someone to do, and I'm not opposed to paying someone to do advertising for you, but you have to pick someone that what they're doing is congruent with what you're doing. They're fishing for the same people you're fishing for. They're taking the time to learn what you're going for, and then they're going to tailor what they're doing and their skills to what you're doing, because what should happen is that Facebook ad that you're running or somebody else's running for you, should flow into your website and that should all make sense.

These abrupt “Hmm, am I in the right place?” that shouldn't happen. It shouldn't happen when somebody pulls up to your office. It shouldn't happen when someone walks in. It shouldn't happen when they do the consultation. There should be a fluency throughout everything that you're doing that the person found the right place and everything that happens from the time they decide, I found the right place or I think I may have found the right place, is an affirmation, not a red flag. [25:00.4]

When we take these random pieces together and put them together, it's problematic. I literally had that exact same thing happen with a client of mine recently. She wanted me to look at her website and that's what I asked her, because I didn't know who she was targeting, but I asked her, “Are you targeting old people?” and she said no and told me what her demographic was, and I said, “Well, get the old people off your homepage.”

Kevin: Yeah, that’s true. I had an interesting experience recently where my wife is pregnant and so we went to a breastfeeding class, and it was held at a chiropractor's office, ironically enough.

Jerry: Did you feel like you were incognito?

Kevin: Yeah. It was funny because it was held by a non-chiropractor. The chiropractor was just letting that person host and she started going on about how beneficial chiropractic can be, this and that. My wife afterwards was like, You didn't say anything. I was like, I didn't go there as a chiropractor. I'm not going to start that conversation. The worst thing you want to do is have that conversation because then it doesn't end.

But it was at a chiropractic office and it was a female chiropractor that worked predominantly with a pregnant women, kids, pediatric, all that stuff, and her office was perfectly designed for that and perfectly laid out for it. She had connected with doulas and this person. [26:21.7]

She was recommended. We had gone to a parenting class that was held by a doula and she recommended this chiropractor, the person that was doing the breastfeeding. I forget what her training was, but she knew that chiropractor. She did such a good job of knowing who exactly her audience was connecting the community with the right people, having her office really set up for kids and pregnant women, and it seemed like she was probably doing pretty well.

Jerry: And I would even say, and this isn't exclusively a chiropractic thing and this applies to all business, if you think about some of your favorite brands, this could be something like Under Armour or Nike. It can be a car. Cars are really good. [27:00.7]
Cars are great to look at from a standpoint of, if you look at a Kia or you looking at BMW, or look at a Mercedes or you look at a Lexus, they each have these little niches of people that they're targeting. We even say, Oh, that guy is a Jag driver, you know any that?

Kevin: Yeah, or you definitely know the Corvette driver.

Jerry: Yeah, it's like the Corvette is like the old guy that wants this. It’s like we know who these people are and they drive certain things. That person drives a truck. That lady drives a van. And it makes sense. And if you see a 17-year-old girl driving a jacked-up 4x4 with mud on the side of it, it's not that it can't happen, but it's just a little bit off. You go, Yeah, that’s a little weird.

And it's fine when it's just life. It's okay to be shocking and ironic, like a big guy named Tiny. It's fine. But from a business standpoint, you're not trying to be ironic. You're not trying to be like, Oh, we got a bunch of young people come in here, but my office looks like it was designed in 1970. That's not helping you. [28:11.0]

The more we can align everything that we do, from the clothes we wear to the colors on the wall, to the logo, to the name of your practice, your tagline, your purpose statement, the more that aligns in the same direction, the less time and the less money it requires to have effective marketing. And that's really what I think we all want.

Kevin: And I just want to touch on something and it goes back to what you said earlier. There's not a lot of meat on the bone sometimes for chiropractors. I think we could all agree that, if we had the money to have this amazing state-of-the-art practice and 2,000 or 3,000 square feet, and all really nice and all the fancy equipment, and all the great staff that's paid very well, and hire someone to do all of our branding and all that type of stuff, then it would be a whole lot easier. I do think a lot of chiropractors are struggling with the fact it's like, frankly, I just can't afford a $300,000 loan to build out a big space and do all that. [29:09.6]

But I think it definitely comes down to delayed gratification as well. You mentioned a step-by-step process, and so we're not saying you've got to go out and buy this sweet office with all the bells and whistles, but you're going to work your way up and get the basics down and the fundamentals down first, right?

Jerry: I am a huge advocate of scaling. I did not scale as appropriately as I should have. I didn't go crazy. I was raised in a very fiscally-responsible house and was taught good things from the beginning. I was always very thankful for that. I lost my mind a little bit because I had good credit and banks gave me money that they shouldn't have, but I never went crazy with it and I was always aware of not doing too much too early.

I had a friend of mine and he's one of my best friends, and he had bad credit when he got out of school. He just said it was in a really difficult situation to start a practice and he ended up going to work for somebody for a couple months. It was a bad fit and he ended up coming back home, and it was like, I'm going to start my practice, but I have no money. I’ve got no credit. I’ve got nothing. [30:18.5]

And he started so small. He started renting. He rented a room out of an Asian medical doctor's office. I had an extra table that I wasn't using that “I sold him.” I use air-quotes to say “I sold him” because he gave me a little bit of money, and then now he's forever indebted to lunches for me, so when we go out, he buys me lunch. But he started really small, did a cash practice and had no staff. And, actually, he has stayed that way and he decided that he likes having just a few hundred dollars of overhead and a ton of meat on the bone, and his practice, it turns out, he really likes it. [31:00.3]

I thought he was crazy when he first started doing it. You're in that mindset of you're not a real chiropractor if you're not seeing a hundred people a week. I was around people like that that thought that way. And then, I started looking at what he was doing, and now I look at it and I go, I think he's a genius because you can always add more. It's much more difficult to scale down if you've overdone it. You typically just crash and burn if you've overdone it as opposed to you can scale up nice and slow. Going down is usually a crash and burn.

Kevin: Yeah, it can be really hard and it can be scary sometimes. With me, I worked for someone and I was in a partnership. Then I started my own practice, in 2010, and I was just renting from an orthopedic group, and I was talking away money because I had the low overhead. I had a nice office because it was a nice orthopedic office and I was just renting a room, and then I just realized I wasn't going to be able to grow the way I wanted to.

And so, I think you have to be honest with yourself and what your end goal is. For me, it was definitely more than just a treatment room inside of an orthopedic office. But I was able to keep the overhead low for quite a while to where I was able to then purchase the office real estate and do all the build out, and all that, and have the practice, which has allowed me to scale within reason and grow, and do all that. [32:18.1]

But, yeah, overhead can be tricky. There's no doubt about it. But it can give you more profit, more revenue, potentially more room to scale, and maybe have other providers and things like that. So, you’ve just got to be smart about it. Have a little bit of delayed gratification and stuff.

Jerry: Also, before you move on, you said something that I want to make sure that people heard you say, because you said it kind of fly in and fly by. You said you were tucking away money and I think so many of us make the mistake of you're making $3,000 a month and you're spending $3,000 a month, or you're making $5,000 a month and you're spending $5,000, or you're making $7,000 and you're spending $7,000. That is a foolish way to run a business.

I understand you have to have a minimum level of living or whatever, but at some point, you have to decide what your number is that you're going to live at and it should probably be lower than what you think. But it's like you have to pick a number and say, I'm going to live at this level. [33:17.0]

I did this when I was in practice. Literally, the entire time I was in practice, I brought home much less than what my business was making and we lived off much less, because I had that to pay off. I had business loans. I had student loans. My ex-wife had student loans from her stuff. And what does not make any sense at all, whether that money is going to debt or whether that money is going to your future house, or that money is going to your future clinic, staff and marketing budget, you have to have a margin. And if you are just burning through everything that you make, then you are never going to get that monkey off of your back.

Kevin: For sure, and then if something unfortunate happens, then you're in the hole. [34:00.0]

Jerry: And it does and crap happens. This idea that, I'm making $10,000 or $15,000 a month now and now I'm never going to have a bad month, that's a foolish thing.

Kevin: Yeah, for sure. All right, cool. That was great. And then, one of the things that you and I were chatting about before when we were doing our pre-chat here a little bit is, speaking of branding, you've got a little bit of a change of brand, change of direction, change of paths. Dive into that a little bit for us.

Jerry: I became known as a Black Sheep DC, so that was my thing. And you had told me, which I didn't even know, that you had some laptop, desktop. What was your thing?

Kevin: The Modern Desk Jockey podcast.

Jerry: The Modern Desk Jockey podcast. So, it's not uncommon for people to do a name change, but I chose the name Black Sheep without a lot of thought. It wasn't a lot of marketing thought and, honestly, I chose the name as a joke before I even closed my practice and before I ever decided to get into anything, consulting, coaching or anything like that. [35:09.1]
And the idea was that there's a bunch of chiropractors that are lambs to the slaughter and there's a bunch of marketing people in practice management that are a certain way. And if I was ever going to work with chiropractors and help them, I was going to be different, and I want it to represent what I feel is a misrepresented type of chiropractor, which is the patient-centered chiropractor.

I just think that in the practice-management space, and the business and marketing space, putting the patient in the proper place, and making a really amazing business and living out of that, is not combined very often. Usually, it's like, Yeah, we want to be patient-centered, but let me tell you how to extract as much money from people as possible and get them to come do more visits and have return. I disagree with that and I think that there are a lot of chiropractors out there who want to be patient-centered, but also want to make a good living, and I think that there's nothing wrong with that. [36:02.3]

The idea of Black Sheep was that it was supposed to be about the community of chiropractors that are underrepresented. That's not really what it ever ended up being. Everybody refers to me as the Black Sheep DC. It's like I gave myself a nickname, like I’m [crosstalk 36:16.9] or something, and I've always hated that. I was like, No matter how many times I said it on my podcast, no matter how many times I said it on interviews and things like that, it's not me. It's the community. It's not me. It's the community.

So, that was the original thought behind maybe I should change it. But then, lately I've actually been researching and getting into persuasion, imagery, messaging and branding. As I looked at my stuff and I thought, It just doesn't [sound right]. I want something that's kind of upward or forward-focused. I help young chiropractors get started on the right foot. I help struggling chiropractors break out of that struggle period and give them the foundation to build whatever-size practice they want beyond that point. [37:04.2]

And as I thought about that imagery, and then you look at that and you pair it with Black Sheep, those don't really go together at all. I tried to finagle it.

Kevin: Retrofit a little bit.

Jerry: I didn't really want to change it. It's a lot of work. It's a huge pain in the butt. And so, I was just like, Man … and I tried to finagle and finagle and finagle, and I finally just said, You know what? I’m going to have to change it. But I didn't know what to change it to.

And me and my friend … there were a couple of people that knew this was going on, and we were just running through different words and different things. I'm not a literalist. Bobby Maybee has the forward-thinking chiropractic lines. It's a very literal thing. Black Sheep is not literal. And then, I wanted something that wasn't literal and I wanted something that was relatively clean, meaning SEO-clean, website-clean. I didn't want to have to compete with other chiropractors like, This practice has been around for 10 years and they've got a similar name, and I just didn't want to do all that. [38:05.4]

So, long story short, ran through a bunch of words and “Rocket” was the one that got the imagery that I wanted, was kind of symbolic like I wanted. I get to buy some cool rocket stuff.

Kevin: Yeah, I like your new [backdrop]. The audience can't see it, but I like your new backdrop there.

Jerry: Yeah. I have a bunch of cool rocket stuff and I’ve got a little space guy over here that says, “We need you,” and it's like an Uncle Sam. I don't know if you [see it]. I’ll show you that.

Kevin: Oh yeah, I see it.

Jerry: It's like an Uncle Sam.

Kevin: You inspire me. Two ways you inspire me to get better. One is my backdrop and just my office. And then, the other one is I need to get better at memes. Please don't tell me you're rebranding away from the memes.

Jerry: No, someone had asked me when I was talking about this. Somebody messaged me when I made the announcement and they were like, Hey, what's the new direction? And I said, “You know what? I think that this is less about a new direction and more about congruence. This is more about, as I've clarified who I'm trying to help and what I'm trying to do, and the benefit I'm trying to offer to chiropractors, and I look at my messaging, it didn't line up. And so, this is a course correction to align the brand with the purpose.” [39:19.8]

I do have some thoughts about possibly doing websites and possibly offering some extra services and different things down the road, and bringing other people on.

Rocket Cairo is going to be something that I think is easier to make it bigger than me, and Black Sheep DC was something that, no matter how much I tried, and if I was really honest, I like it, but that doesn't really matter if it doesn't serve its purpose and serve the community, and it got to the point where I said, You know what? If I'm just being honest, it's one of those things that's neutral or negative to my purpose. Like I said in the beginning, if it's neutral and negative, you have to change it or get rid of it. And so, I'm abiding and practicing what I preach. [40:03.5]

Kevin: Perfect. Now that you've rebranded stuff, how can our audience find you? Any new URLs or anything like that?

Jerry: Yeah, the new [website]. If you try to go to BlackSheepDC.com, it'll just forward you to Rocket Chiro. So, it's RocketChiro.com.
If you have been following me on Facebook or Instagram, it's exactly the same. The accounts are the same. The name, now it’s Facebook.com/RocketChiro. Instagram.com/RocketChiro. That’s all the same.

I actually did reclaim the @BlackSheepChiro Instagram tag because all of my memes have my thing on it. It just basically says, Hey, we've changed. Go over here, and people are still following it, which I'm like, Stop it.

Kevin: How was the podcast? Did you change everything with that?

Jerry: Rocket Chiro Podcast. It's all the branding has been changed. New images, new audio, as far as intro and stuff like that. It's still in the same feed, so if you've subscribed before, it's just coming through as a new branding. But, eventually, the old podcast will be phased out and it will just be the new one, but that'll be a while still because I like to keep quite a few of them in the hopper. [41:08.8]

Kevin: Cool. Perfect. I appreciate your time. That was good information. I think it's a topic as far as branding, and some of the details of it, we really need to get better at it, all of us, frankly.

Jerry: I appreciate the opportunity to talk about it and share the changes that are going on, but also just share some of the thought process that went behind it, because I always think that if I could go back in time and talk to 26-, 27- or 28-year-old me, would that be useful? And that's a lot of times the criteria I use, and this is one of the things where I'm like, Yeah, he would have benefited from that.

Kevin: Perfect. Thank you for your time.

Jerry: Hey, thanks, man.

Thanks for tuning in today. Please be sure to check our redesigned website at www.ModernChiropracticMarketing.com. Stay up-to-date with our blog, where content is regularly added by Kevin and guest contributors. You can also access our library of podcast episodes there. Go to www.ModernChiropracticMarketing.com and subscribe to the podcast today.

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