Running Your Digital Media Strategy by the Numbers - Shorr Solutions

On this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, “Running Your Digital Media Strategy by the Numbers”, we welcome our special guest, Chad Erickson! As Vice President of Strategy for Advice Media, Chad divulges the importance of knowing your profit center, as well as crucial marketing tactics to accelerate your practice’s revenue post-COVID-19. Tune in now to learn how you can better market to your current and prospective patients through advanced digital media strategies.

00:00:06:17 – 00:00:46:00

Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. I’m your host, Mara Shorr. I’m a partner in the cosmetic and aesthetic medical practice management consulting company. Yes, Shorr Solutions. Listen up as I chat, converse, strategize and commiserate with special guests, influencers, friends and colleagues who are all in the cosmetic and aesthetic medical space too. It’s time to listen, learn, and get inspired. Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast!

00:00:46:02 – 00:05:18:12

Mara Shorr

So on today’s episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, I have with me today and with all of us today, vice president of Strategy for Advice Media, Chad Erickson. Now, I have known Chad for gosh, I can’t even count the years at this point. And he is not only a colleague, but someone that I am at this point very grateful to count as a friend.

And every time we’re together, we see each other in conferences. And he’s even someone that I have been able to go to when we need advice on how to handle a certain process or protocol or geek out over those types of things. As a fellow business owner, and so I am thrilled today to have Chad Erickson on the podcast with us today.

Chad Erickson

Mara, thank you for having me. And I’m so delighted to be here with you. And and I agree, you’re always one of those those individuals I look forward to seeing at the conferences and I always appreciate the ability to talk back and forth and share ideas. So thank you for having me today.

Mara Shorr

Of course. And you know, we always at the end, always we always try to trade a book suggestion. And Chad’s always somebody that has a great book suggestion about what it is he’s reading and something something inspiring or something to it to keep the wheels turning. So at the end. Chad, Maybe think about if there’s a particular book you would recommend to everybody to.

So perfect. So, Chad, can you tell us just a little short version of you who you are and your role with Advice Media and really tell us a little bit more about advice Media.

Chad Erickson

Thank you. So, yeah, my name is Chad Erickson. I’ve been consulting doctors since the late nineties. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur, have founded many companies, so many companies. I lived through the dot com boom. I was also part of the dot com bust and saw some of those things. And you know and interestingly enough, you know, I’ve been through that as well as, as, you know, some of the challenges of 2007, 2008 and never seen anything like what we have today.

But it’s been it’s been fun because my my passion has been on consulting doctors and helping them grow their practices. I’ve worked with a lot of the portal directory sites and the early days have have run several companies and sold those and and then I merged my business with my my partner, Shawn Mealy, a six years ago.

And we have grown from having about 15 employees at that time to 150. Today we have our headquarters in Park City, Utah, and we have another office in Long Island, New York, and that was formally Mednet, that we acquired. And then we acquired Page One Solutions who’s been in the industry for a long time out of the Denver area.

So we now have offices in those three markets. And we’re you know, we’re really what we’ve done is we’ve transformed from from being really a digital marketing company focused on websites and very traditional digital marketing to doing things through software and utilizing software as a service to do all of that. We service over 2100 clients across 30 different medical verticals, and now we actually do some of the legal space as well that came through the acquisition with med net, but primarily focused in the health care space of helping clients through their marketing efforts.

But software to really it’s it’s about patient engagement it’s about you know just a new patient acquisition and being able to track that and know the results of what they’re doing. So it’s so fun to do this and to help others succeed.

Mara Shorr

It really is. And I think that’s where, you know, our passion for number one, entrepreneurship to leadership and a shared space. So, I mean, 2100 it’s it’s you know, having that many having that many clients, that’s just such an incredible thing to not only be able to help that many practices and knowing that you’re really able to do them well, do well for them.

But that’s also in scene growth. So, you know, hats off to you. But I guess I want to, you know, look at what do you attribute that growth to as far as, you know, going and coming in six years ago?

00:05:18:18 – 00:12:44:23

Mara Shorr

What do you attribute some of that growth to just from a business owner perspective?

Chad Erickson

Yeah, I think, first of all, it’s having a sound vision of what we wanted to accomplish, putting a mission in front of all of our employees and understood where we were going. We also did it very intelligently. There are a lot of companies that would jump in, maybe with with VC backed funds or PE funds. And we bootstrapped this and we grew with the idea that we would be profitable.

I’ve seen a lot of companies over the past 20 plus years come and go and hot companies, right? flash in the pan, threw amazing parties, did all these things, and they kind of buzzed for a little bit and then they were gone.

Mara Shorr

We’ve seen it all. We really have.

Chad Erickson

We we were not going to do that. We were more about being profitable. We understand where our margins are. We understand cost accounting. So very different, I think, than most entrepreneurs where they don’t always know what their expenses are compared to the revenue until it’s too late, which is one of the reasons why I think we’re actually doing extremely well, all things considered, during this COVID 19 time is we have strong cash reserves, we have recurring revenue where we’re able to help our clients out.

We didn’t have to furlough anybody from the organization and it’s because of using sound principles like that. So those guiding principles of just sound business principles have really helped us. We’ve been aggressive on the acquisition side as well as on the organic growth side. And when you can do both of those, well, you can really move mountains and and we’ve done it.

But but I’ll tell you, at the end of the day, it comes down to hiring great people. I couldn’t do this alone. We have amazing people with processes and a clear vision of where we’re going. And when people understand what needs to be done, how it needs to be done through great communication, it really makes a huge difference.

So I don’t know that it’s all balled up, but you have to also be willing to pivot. I mean, we’re not doing the same things that we did even a year and a half ago. You know, we’re constantly evolving and trying to be ahead of the market and of what the demands are and what the customers are looking for.

Mara Shorr

And I think that’s true whether you’re on our side of things as far as working with the practices themselves, because we both work with medical aesthetic and cosmetic practices. Right? Those are our really that’s I mean, a lot of our specialty. So for Shorr Solutions that is who we work with. And I know you work with a couple other specialties as well.

But that being said, I think that having clear processes and a strong financial understanding of your business translate, no matter what type of business you own, whether it’s a digital marketing, a digital media company, whether it’s a consulting company, or whether it’s the practice, you know itself. And you and I talk a lot about how to put some of those really strong processes in place for our teams too.

And we, you know, we say this all the time to our clients is that we can help them hire all the right people because we help our clients hiring all the time for their positions. And that’s something we do on the consulting side. But if you aren’t able to have the processes, the key performance indicators, all of those components in place for your team and have regular team huddles that are efficient and meaningful and do all of those things right, you’re going to lose your awesome team and you’re not going to have a cohesive team.

Chad Erickson

It’s so true. And they would feel like they’re just floundering, especially now where where people are used to coming into our office every day and now they’re working from home without clear communication and clear purpose, they would be lost. So it’s it’s absolutely true. But, you know, I was thinking about a comment I heard from I was at the Inc 5000 conference and Ron Sheik, who the founder and chairman of Panera Bread, was speaking.

And he said that things of value take time to build. But he also said, which is where we’re at now you know have the companies been built to last right and building that value which which is critical. But he also said that you have to be prepared to make a major transformation in your practice every 4 to 5 years at the most.

I mean, and it’s in the digital side, I think it’s actually quicker than that. But as I think about the set of practices, who we primarily serve. Are they able and willing to pivot or are they still going to be doing things the same way they’ve always done them? And how are they going to transform at this time to build something that’s going to last, something that’s valuable and help them be competitive?

Mara Shorr

That is it’s such a good point. And it’s actually that’s the second time in the past, I would say the past hour and a half or so that I’ve had conversations with somebody about pivoting and the best way to pivot and how to pivot. So I actually want to pivot our conversation, right. Not to get all punny, but let’s pivot our conversation.

I know, right. And so really, as we look at and you and I talked a little bit about this before we officially hit the record button, but so they’re almost in the age now of practices and of any business where it’s almost like it can now be broken up into three distinct sections. And it is before COVID 19, during COVID 19 and after COVID 19, right?

So it’s before, during and after. And what worked before. This is a perfectly beautiful time that people should pivot because they need to pivot because what worked before isn’t going to work once they get back into their office and once their practice reopens. And so if we could even focus a little bit deeper on to the marketing side and looking specifically, if we could geek out over at the digital marketing side, what are things that once a practice is reopening or once they have reopened?

Because we know different states and different places could be opening at different points, right? So, depending on where they are in that life stage right now, what are you seeing and what are you suggesting that needs to be done differently when they’re reopening or once they reopen?

Chad Erickson

So that’s it’s a great question. And I think, you…

Mara Shorr

I know, it’s so broad, too. I know it’s like if we I mean, I think that, you know, social media is different than website, which is different than how we’re going to see Google handle things, right, versus which is different, you know, than reviews or in-house marketing or in practice marketing. So what would you we can even break it up further, but what would you I guess starting on the website side, like what would you say needs to be done differently?

00:12:46:21 – 00:29:21:14

Chad Erickson

Maybe before they understand what needs to be done differently? Is do they understand what they are trying to accomplish in their practice and who they really are? And I think that if they’re not taking advantage of this opportunity to take a step back right now and ask themselves some some tough questions, then they’re missing out on an opportunity so that the marketing needs to align with what they want to do and where their profit centers are and more so today than in any time previously.

We have numbers, as I think back to when when I started, you know, 20 plus years ago doing some marketing and and and helping the practices, it was so difficult to have good data. We knew that, hey, we sent over these leads to you and they kind of read through these printouts of emails. We were still sending faxes.

You know, it’s a very different time. But…

Mara Shorr

You are dating yourself, Chad

Chad Erickson

But the data, is readily available right now. And if the practices don’t know their number, Mara, then they’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity. So they need I was even before they can determine where to go next with the marketing and to talk about that with with us or with any other company they need to know this.

Chad Erickson

I was talking to some practices like, Oh yeah, this is one of our favorite things to do and this is a moneymaker. They really didn’t know that. And once they started to analyze their numbers and they looked at what their cost was for the equipment and the personnel and the amount of time that it took, all of a sudden they realized that while they were offering this procedure over and over again, that their profits were like 10%.

Mara Shorr


Chad Erickson

That they were next to nothing as opposed to another one over here, that that actually has like a 60% profitability. So if you don’t look at those numbers and you don’t understand them, then you could be focusing on the wrong thing and you’re looking at the wrong numbers that that actually would tell you how to maximize profitability within your organization.

So if you don’t know the numbers, you’re in trouble. If you don’t know how long it takes your office staff to respond to a lead, if you don’t understand how long it takes to convert that and get it into like a sales funnel, I mean, literally it’s the lead comes in, then it moves into, you know, discussion with that that individual and it comes out as as a procedure or a service or surgery or how long does it take to do that?

And think about this. What if if you got more efficient at closing. And you could now get four more procedures per month, do you realize that it’s actually exponentially greater at the bottom of the funnel than it is at the top? It actually the numbers get huge, all because you tweet one little thing, you’re just changing the lever.

One little area, one little area of improvement is massive. So you have to start with the numbers, know your numbers, know where you’re at.

Mara Shorr

And we say that, you know, we say all the time to our clients that exact same thing. And we have spreadsheets that we’re always happy to offer our clients to help them figure out what is the cost per procedure right down to the cost of sutures and overhead, things that they don’t think to bring in.

And a lot of times practices will say, oh, well, this is the cost of my OR If they have to rent space in an OR. And this is the cost for anesthesia, this is the cost for implants, for example. But they don’t think about that phone still needs to ring. They still need to pay their patient care coordinator to get all of the paperwork, all of the booking time, all of that follow up.

There’s still marketing costs involved to get every single patient inside the door. Right. So there’s you need to break down because there is a cost for everything.

Chad Erickson

There is and I’m not suggesting that you get you don’t get crazy with it, right, Mara? And you can get down to where it’s so tough. How do you partially divide the time for the person, the front desk, right. So maybe allocate a piece of it, but you don’t need to get too crazy, but you need to have a pretty good idea.

And what you provide, Mara, with with Shorr Solutions is critical. That information and the guide that you provide to them is massive. And I do believe solidly that that if you’re going to have a super, super successful marketing campaign, it has to start there at that point. Now, we can focus now we can we can put together a strategy on the 3 to 5 most profitable procedures or services that that somebody offers and not that we neglect the other ones because you might even say, I know this isn’t profitable and I am ok with that, because the lifetime value of that patient is okay.

And maybe that’s a loss leader to a degree, as long as you know that and you’re accounting for that as a loss leader, that’s okay. But it’s when they don’t know that drives me insane.

Mara Shorr

I agree. Absolutely.

Chad Erickson

Then again, Yeah. Just just know it. And again, be intellectually honest with what the numbers tell you. Don’t get rid of the Hyperbole. Anecdotally, information. You know, just because you love it, it’s great. And you do it a lot doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Mara Shorr

No, and, you know, and I think that there are times where we’ve had certain clients that say to us, for example, when we have practices that still do some form of reconstructive and maybe it is, you know, post breast cancer and they say, look, I am very aware that this is not something that is my most efficient procedure in terms of time, nor is it the, you know, going to be really what brings in the most money when it comes to the bottom line.

However, I love that I’m able to do this for our patients. And so what practices our practices that are doing this well and what we guide them to do is say X amount of my time will then be dedicated to this, right, this, and then I can look at the portion of my business and the procedures of my business that are able to be done much quicker, that are able to drive, to drive a patient to other procedures or that are able to bring in a lot more money and are able to then help fund those areas of the business that don’t do those things.

But you have to know all of that by the numbers.

Chad Erickson

That it absolutely is matched by the numbers. Now, I’m going to shift a little bit to answer your question. Now that we’ve we’ve understood the question being about what do what do you do about during as well as after in the marketing, what’s that going to look like? So when when this when people are listening to this, they could be in different phases and the country is opening up in different times on this COVID comeback.

And that’s what we could label as is the COVID comeback plan. And for those of you who are, when you’re listening to this, are still in a shelter in place environment versus those that are out, you’re going to hear these things. And some of these are still universal. But if you are still on a shelter in place environment, what do you do?

Well, make sure that you have updated any hours and protocols, letting people know that you are working from home, that you’re taking virtual consultations, but take advantage of the time to update your content on your website. I highly recommend putting it in in the question and answer format. That’s what Google’s looking for. And so revise that information. You have some time on your hands right now.

If you’re in a practice that shows before and after photos and rely on those now is the perfect time to update your gallery get the most recent photos on there advice media as well as most of the of our competition groups that I know and these are colleagues of mine they we all have solutions where it’s fairly easy for you to log into the back end and upload your own before and after photos, replace ones that are old or outdated.

You know, you probably have some cases that are even better now than you had before. Add details to them as well. Make sure that that you’ve revised maybe your home page banner or your images on there that reflect, you know, the services that tells people, you know, what you’re doing during the shelter in place. You can also work on specials.

Right now, a lot of our practices are saying, hey, you know, buy things now, get a discount. You know, whether it’s Botox or your surgical procedure. They’re actually doing virtual consultations during shelter in place. And, you know, it’s the doctor, the patient care coordinator and talking to the patient and they’re able to do this and still have to be private, HIPAA secured.

And when you think about that, when you’ve done that already, the next time you see that person, you’re saving a ton of time because it’s not a first visit. It’s a pre-op visit.

Mara Shorr


Chad Erickson

They’re coming in literally at that moment. And even thinking about how do you today. Well, do you understand that doing a breast aug procedure, this is just as an example, a breast aug surgery for most, you know, kind of an average an hour or less per procedure. Well, think about how to structure your days coming up. What if you just did an entire day of 8 to 10 breast augs or more?

Right. And and streamline that. And you’ve got several days like that, that procedure based on the amount of time is going to be more profitable than a rhinoplasty or a tummy tuck. That takes 2 to 3 times as much. You know, on the time. So you need to be thinking about how am I going to work through my patient backlog and accelerate my revenue.

Because when you come out of this, you haven’t been receiving the same kind of money you were before. So how do you it’s not just getting revenue. How do you accelerate it with the most profitable procedures from day one? Now, am I saying, well, you can’t offer coolsculpting or injectables? No. Patients have been waiting for those for a long time and you might even say, hey, we’re going to to be running, you know, multiple hours, we’re going to be open on Saturdays.

We’re going to be doing things that we haven’t done before to build this in. And maybe you you have to look at incentivizing your staff. But put that plan together today that’s going to work. And some other thoughts. You know, for again, if you’re still in shelter in place, add online scheduling to to your website, let people know about changes you’re going to be making for to help them be comfortable when you reopen about Cleanliness standards, COVID 19 protocols as far as distance and maybe they’re going to wear masks and wash their hands when they come in just different things that might be different, you know, when we open up.

Mara Shorr

These are all things that can be done and really the contact can be created before you open up, because we know the majority of the things that are going to have to be shifted once we do open up, right. And as we are opening up. So knowing that there are just like you mentioned, there are all of these changes that are going to have to happen.

What we’re what we’re telling our clients and what we’re suggesting is that you create both written content and you create blog content around it in the form of create video. So do you have video and then have written content to go with it? There are even apps out there that will help you basically take the wording from a video or from an audio soundbite and convert it into writing into the written word that can help save you a ton of time.

If you need some more transcription and you need some guidance. So there are all sorts of apps and there’s all sorts of ways to do that. But creating that content ahead of time and then sharing it across multiple platforms. So in other words, you’re going to want to create that content for your website, right? So there’s a page about post COVID safety protocol in the practice, and these are the ways that we have changed.

So there’s going to be a page on the website about this, but you can then also create an e-newsletter specifically around that site, telling your patients, as we’re opening, that this is how we plan to put patient safety first. So please do feel free. Read this content, read this page, read all the safety measures we have put into place.

Also, feel free to use that video on your social channels. Chad. You guys do a really great job with them, even with advice media, not necessarily just on the patient side, but you guys have done a really great job with this as far as communicating in your e-newsletter where it is both written and then you’ll, you know, as a partner, as your role with VP of Strategy, with Advice Media, you’ll hop on and do a quick 2 to 4 minute video that’s really digestible and just some quick tips along the way.

Chad Erickson

Some Mara. I think you hit the nail on the head. It really is about communication. And thank you for for recognizing what we’re trying to do. We have not gated any content. We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re just trying to help and provide any content we can. But we’re trying to communicate openly and frequently with everybody. And I think that that’s the message for every one of these practices out there is how is their communication strategy?

And I love that you hit on video. I think, how powerful a video would be that’s coming on a regular basis from from every one of these doctors that’s listening today. Right. And they’re on there, it doesn’t have to be formal. I mean, I think right now it could even be with a ball cap on in their home, maybe maybe with with a bun or a ball cap or whatever.

You know, just just show that you’re real, you know, keep it, keep it real. It’s totally fine. Show that it’s cool. But as you get ready to come back, a video that talks about how excited you are to see them, the new protocols in place, there’s all kinds of video things that can be done at it right to the front of the home page. Powerful. We’ve had a lot of clients add shopping cards recently. A lot of them have thought about selling products before. But again, maybe it was time they just didn’t have enough time. Now they do and they’re looking for that. But social media right now, Mara, may be one of the best things that’s available to add to any of our our doctors, just that top of mind awareness needs to be maintained and whether you’re hosting an Instagram live, whether you’re doing a question and answer session and that’s on there, whether it’s it’s just posting information about what you have coming up.

But design your campaigns, put a little strategy behind it. But, you know, post before and after photos, put some videos on there. So there’s other things you can do and also this time promote some other local businesses, even unrelated to anything in the aesthetic space.

Mara Shorr

I agree. I agree.

Chad Erickson

And how powerful is that really to be working together? Yes. You also referenced, Mara, email marketing. Highly agree with this. Put your email newsletters out on a regular basis. Stay in touch with people. One thing that I will say that the people are not thinking about and they’re cutting back on this is is on paper click and my say paper click.

I’m talking about Google ads as well as social media ads. You know, Facebook, Instagram. Right now is a time to think about maybe don’t start it, but think about running the advertising, because right now, so many people have pulled out of the market with their money that you can actually get your dollar to go much further today because the click, the dollar amount is actually down.

So you can actually for a smaller budget, get a higher return today than ever before. So if you do have some money for it, I highly recommend it or be prepared to to launch that campaign once shelter in place has been has been taken off.

00:29:21:21 – 00:41:44:14

Mara Shorr

What would you say practices need to do differently once the doors are open and they’re allowed to see patients again and differently, not just from when the shelter in place order was in, but how are things going to be different from before COVID versus after COVID? When we talk about marketing.

Chad Erickson

It’s a great question, and I, I wish I had my crystal ball working. It’s a little cloudy to look into the future and understand exactly what’s going to change. And if we’re being completely honest, we don’t know everything that’s going to to change after that being said, it’s going to be critical that great communication is maintained afterwards. Everyone is antsy to get back to normal, but the normal when I say normal, it’s different today, right?

Mara Shorr

Absolutely. It’s a new normal for everybody.

Chad Erickson

There’s going to be a new norm. And so until we until we feel like this has been eradicated and just because shelter in place has been lifted doesn’t mean that Coronavirus is gone. Right. So there’s still going to be some of the distancing, you know, what about, you know, masks and and washing hands and what happens in your office.

So those things have to be communicated frequently and with a high degree of transparency, you have to be so clear within the office in multiple places the way that your on your social media videos, everything has to be so strongly communicated because safety first, think about safety and the patient’s security. They need to have confidence when they come in.

So just because they want to come in for their fillers or for their surgery procedure they’ve been putting off, you know, you have to still, you know, really care for their safety and they need to feel confident coming in. So make sure you think about that. Specials, you need to be you know, need to be out there the right kind that are going to help you.

You need to announce the reopening. You need to update operating hours on Google my business, on the website. And you need to post reviews more and more. I mean, meaning ask for them, get them in there. You know, we have a great software solution for doing that that our clients use. And if you’re not a client, you can actually purchase it by itself.

It’s phenomenal. But you need to make this a consistent campaign with reviews, with social media, with email again, on your listings, on your website, get the paperclip going, all of that. You’ve got to be aggressive in your marketing. There’s a couple of different groups that are out there, right? Two different mindsets. And, and the one mindset of what’s going to happen is, is they’re going to to not be prepared for the reopening.

They’re not going to have their staff in place. They’re not going to be trained for it. They’re not going to be prepared for the backlog. And they’re simply going to kind of open and think things are really back to normal and they’re going to do things the way they’ve always done it and they’re going to get their lunch eaten because they’re not prepared, they’re not open.

People are going to be hesitant and they’re going to find someone else that they’re not as loyal as you think they are and they will go to someone else. That’s going to meet their needs today. So that second type of business is the one who is prepared. They’re going to be at maximum capacity when it opens. They’re going to have communicated well.

I mean, it’s going to be across all of their marketing efforts on a consistent basis, recognizing that it’s not just a website, it’s not just social media, but it’s pay per click, it’s social media, it’s email marketing, everything that they do and the way that they do it is going to be different. They’re going to have to communicate more than they’ve ever done before.

Mara Shorr

Yeah, and I think and I think it’s how we communicate now, right? So and what we’re communicating about. So it’s the tone and the verbiage at this point need to change because finding that it’s not just sales, sales, sales, sales, sales, but there needs to be a transition of language of we are here for you. We will make you feel safe because safety is one of the fundamentals of everybody’s needs.

And so feeling safe is at the very, you know, the very base of it all. So being able to transition that, we then recommend even to our clients. So everything that you’re saying and we have a lot of shared clients, so we share a lot of clients and so we know we work together, We’re in communication with your team.

Your team is in communication with our team on a regular basis. And knowing that it’s taking not only the portion that needs to be communicated online and in the digital media format, but then taking that same communication and that same verbiage offline as well. And I think that’s so often when people think of branding, they think of, Oh, these are my colors, right?

Colors and logo. And part of your brand is how you communicate. And so wanting to make sure that you take how you’re communicating offline and how you’re communicating online and making those two the same. So when you’re… when somebody, when your patient sees all of the messaging on social media, they see it on your website, they’re going you know, they’re looking at all of this digitally, and they then pick up the phone to call What is it that your staff has been trained to say and how you know, what is the scripting?

And I really recommend putting really, really strong scripting for practices into place. We’re doing this with our clients now to make sure that the patient care coordinator position has a script. The reception position has a script, marketing has a script, and everyone is, you know, following the same verbiage because it’s not what they were used to before COVID.

So it’s, you know, I think that what we need to do is make sure that everybody everybody gets on the same page. And it’s important for that post-COVID lifestyle.

Chad Erickson

I think that’s potentially the most important thing right there, Mara, is understanding that your entire staff has to be on the same page. And I guess I couldn’t emphasize that any better than you did. And it really has to happen. There needs to be an alignment and everyone needs to be speaking the same language, and I strongly recommend scripting it out.

Why leave it to chance? Make sure that the messaging is clear, that it’s concise, Everybody knows what to say, how to respond, and it’s practiced, right? You can’t just go into it without having rehearsed after, you know, putting someone on the spot asking a question they may not be prepared for. How are they going to respond?

How do you update that? How do you test your staff on that? But as you do that, you will see improvement throughout the entire organization. You will break down silos, you will see teamwork like you’ve never seen before, and you will see them focused on helping the client. And you talked about this earlier, Mara, there’s a different need today that it’s going to exist and it’s going to be around probably forever at a different level.

And it’s really understanding. And this is going back to to my high school and college classes, you know, but it’s Maslow’s chart of hierarchy. You know.

Mara Shorr

I was thinking the same thing. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Chad Erickson

This base level is functionality. And so if you’re an aesthetic practice, functionality is on a base level, well We inject Botox, we do a breast augmentation procedure. Okay, So that’s the functionality, right? Or I can hook you up to a coolsculpting machine. What differentiates you from somebody else? And it’s meeting those emotional needs of somebody else where they feel like they’re taking care of.

So what’s that experience like for the patient when they first call? You know, and Mara Jay talks about this, right, is the director of First Impressions. That person answers the phone and or greets someone when they come into the the practice. Do they do they greet them by name? Are they smiling when they answer the phone?

Are they professional? Can they answer questions? You know, are you still and they ask this to the doctors, you know, think about this. When’s the last time you did a secret shopper call to check out your staff or listen to recorded calls?

Mara Shorr

You are speaking my language, Chad, you are speaking my language.

Chad Erickson

That you’re not still on a recording when people call in, Oh, my gosh, you know, but they feel someone has to feel literally like you put a warm blanket around them that they feel enveloped in this. Right. And and they’re like, Wow, I’m home. And it feels safe and secure. And how great is that? Anyway, that has to be an experience and they have to feel calm.

They have to feel welcome. They have to feel like it’s part of the family. And if you are doing that and meeting those higher needs now, you have transformed your practice. But what you’ve really done is is met the needs of your clients. So just a couple of those are some of my thoughts there that are huge.

Mara Shorr

I think that that’s you know what? I think that that’s changed. I think that inherently before COVID, that was just a given, you know, things that we we took for granted were being able to walk outside and walk past somebody several feet apart and not feel like we needed to wear a mask. I think we took for granted being able to immediately go get our mail or open a package or purchase toilet paper.

I mean, like very basic things that if you would have told us in January that this would change. And now when you think about and marketing so often falls into psychology and overlaps, especially when we’re talking about emotional purchases and non medically necessary purchase, which in our industry the majority of the services for the majority of our clients, they you know, they’re not medically necessary for their patients.

Mara Shorr

The majority I’m not saying all.

Chad Erickson

Oh, sure.

Mara Shorr

And so to make sure that patients feel safe and then we can build on to the next concept of what makes your Botox injection better than somebody else’s Botox injection. But the first thing is they need to feel safe again coming into your practice as as a practice. So I think that focusing on all of those things and reassuring, you know, for practices now reassure, which is I think something we’ve just, you know, we’ve talked about a lot.

So, you know, I think that’s the biggest thing that that’s going to change. I think we can we can certainly both see that that it’s going to change the whole scripting and it’s going to change marketing. And I think before, before and afters were, you know, they did their job and now it’s like you need to go a lot deeper than just a before and after photo and it doesn’t mean you don’t need them, but you need to to go deeper than that.

So, you know, with that, Chad, I would love to ask those three questions that I always love to ask people at the end of every podcast. And, you know, nothing earth shattering as far as like that’s going to, you know, totally throw you off kilter. But there’s three things I always love to share because I really I think that they can lend a lot to our listeners, so and you can answer them in any order.

One is what is one thing you learned along the way that maybe we didn’t touch on that you want to share? The next is what would you do differently in your career if you had to do it all over again? And then the third is either personally or professionally or what are you most proud of?

00:41:45:21 – 00:50:30:23

Chad Erickson

So boy, you know, how do you boil it down to one thing? Oh, my gosh. I have I’ve learned so much. One thing that I have learned is the critical need to absolutely have a strong vision for your business. And when you have that, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, how many times you make a mistake, because that is so clear in your mind what you’re doing.

Goals will not work effectively unless you have a strong why. So start with why I know Simon Sinek. You know all this, but the reality is you need to really understand that it’s something that early on. I don’t think I fully comprehended and it was I was just running and that’s okay to run at times. But in order to be effective long term, you need to have that.

And that’s huge. And I tell my people all the time that, look, you’re not going to make a bigger mistake that I’m going to make in any of this. So don’t be afraid to fail. And then the second part was something I’ve learned is that it was?

Mara Shorr

So what would you do differently from the way we if you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Chad Erickson

I don’t know that I would change much more. I mean, maybe that sounds weird. I would take all my failures with my successes because I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them. Right. And I guess as I look back with the hindsight of 2020, it’s with almost a sense of gratitude. At the time it doesn’t feel like it.

What going through it. But but I’ve gotten better and learned from every one of those mistakes. And so maybe doing differently is and something I’m working on now is I would hire better. I would try to hire better.

Mara Shorr

How so?

Chad Erickson

Try to get, maybe it’s always perfect right is sometimes you feel like you’ve got the rockstar candidate and they’re just not right.

So maybe taking, you know, more time on the hiring process to get the right person. And there were a couple of times honestly, I’m being fully transparent hired out of desperation where they were, look my air quotes,  “good enough” right?.

They weren’t good enough and I should have been more selective and I would have been better off waiting. So, you know, it’s been kind of a theme and I think we’re at a better spot right now. And that’s going to lead to one of my my book recommendations as well coming up. And then lastly is a couple of things I’m proud of.

I’m going to share. Two, I’m going to get, you know, the business and…

Mara Shorr

You’re allowed to break the rules. Yeah. Yeah, give me two. I love that.

Chad Erickson

So I’m very, very proud of the business growth, in fact, I’m very proud that we’re financially sound, extremely proud of that. That’s I don’t think a lot of people can say that. You know, I’m looking at a lot of people I know and I respect in the industry, and they’re having to let a lot of people go right now and and we’re not.

And it’s because I’m very proud of the fact that we have been financially responsible as business owners. We’re not perfect…

Mara Shorr

And we’re in the same boat. You know, honestly, we you know, we hire very, very slow and on purpose. And we also I mean, you and I talk a lot about putting, like proper procedures internally in place. And you’ve always been awesome as far as providing guidance of, hey, you know, realistically, we tried that that thing you’re thinking of, we tried that, that didn’t work.

And I’m going to tell you why and what really happens when you try that. But we are very grateful. And I think we need a lot of really strong decisions leading up to this as well as on the consulting side of our company with Shorr Solutions. And, you know, we we’re obviously we’re much smaller than you. We are not 150 people, but we you know, we were able to so far we were able to keep our team and now everyone’s doing different jobs than they maybe were six weeks ago.

And everybody, you know, so not totally different, but there’s a lot of people that have had to pivot and had to shift, and they’re being asked to do things that maybe they didn’t have to do or, you know, six weeks ago. But we’ve been able to keep everybody and everybody’s working hard. And I think when you have the right people on your team and you’ve made really smart, strategic decisions about how to run the company in a smart, yet lean way, you know, you have that buffer.

You know, you do have that buffer going in.

Chad Erickson

Right Mara. So my my second item on, except I’m going to cheat a little bit on your personal. So today is is my oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. And, you know, I’m very proud of her. She’s one of these these seniors this year, this class of 2020, that’s graduating and the future is bright, Mara. When I look at her my my daughter Elle and her friends the future’s extremely bright. I’m extremely proud of her, you know, and what she’s done.

You know, she’s a starting scholar for business and marketing at the high school. She’s been accepted to BYU as one of the top business programs. Undergrad programs in the country is a top ten program. Number one in accounting. She is going places and moving mountains. And as I look at her and she’s had a few moments but I’m proud of the way she’s handling this and she’s resilient.

There’s no prom. There’s no hey, we’re skipping on classes with friends at the end of this year, there’s no graduation and she is rolling with it. With just courage and just saying, you know what? It’s not the same. And that’s okay. And the future’s bright. So anyway, a little personal today. I was honestly, I was tearing up this morning as I saw her and wished her happy birthday today before I went into my cave for the day

Mara Shorr

Your office cave?

Chad Erickson

Yeah, but what’s in the future is bright. It really is. So anyway, extremely proud of that and proud of her.

Mara Shorr

As you should be. I think you and I talk a lot, you know, offline about how grateful we are for our family lives at home and how amazing it is that you have, you know, whether it is your wife and the kids or my husband and that we have them at home kind of cheering us on and supporting us.

And how grateful we are for that. So and it’s funny because my husband always he’s like, don’t talk about me in public. Don’t talk about me on stage. So when he actually asked me, he goes, So what’s your podcast going to be about? I joke with him. I said, I’m making an entire podcast that’s just dedicated to you.

I said, Every guest I have on, we’re only going to talk about you. And nothing made him more nervous.

Chad Erickson

That’s so funny because I can’t wait to actually meet Russ one of these days.

Mara Shorr

Yeah. One day it’ll happen he actually, you know, he actually exists. But yeah, you know, so I think we both we talk a lot though, about the importance of having strong support at home. And I think your, you know, your daughter is a testament to what you and your wife have built. So Chad, if people want to find you in all of the Internet world.

Right. Or if people want to contact either you or they want to contact Advice Media because they want help with their digital marketing, they want help with their website. They want help with their strategy. How can they find you? How could they find Advice Media?

Chad Erickson

Thank you. So the website is and they can email me directly. and Erickson is spelled E-R-I-C-K-S-O-N, that’s Happy to help out. Send me an email. I can connect you with my team members or I’ll respond to you directly, but look forward to helping you.

And Mara, thank you so much for having me as a guest today. I really appreciate it and value our friendship and the way that we’re able to work together in helping out so many, you know, people in the medical profession.

Mara Shorr

Absolutely. Thank you so much for being with us today and for just sharing so much knowledge. So thank you.

Chad Erickson

Thank you. Have a great day.

00:50:37:02 00:51:05:20

So that wraps up today’s episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast we hope that you’ve gotten as much out of this episode as we have. And if you have, I’d love for you to like it, rate us and share this episode with your friends, colleagues and the rest of your team. If you aren’t yet on our e-newsletter list, now’s the time to join at and click on the E-newsletter button in the top right hand corner.

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