MSD Insider 0:00
Welcome to med shark insider with Bill Fukui, your expert host on all things medical, marketing, and SEO.
Bill Fukui 0:08
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another edition of med shark Insider. Today I am graced with the presence of one of my favorite people in the medical marketing industry. I’ve known her for probably longer than I’ve known any other person in this space. We were marketing back when you we didn’t even have the internet, you didn’t have Google, you didn’t even have websites at the time. So we are both longtime veterans of you know, the cosmetic and medical marketing industry. And I think she’s going to bring us some great insights today. So my guest today is Candace Crowe, who is the founder of Candace Crowe design. And, and she’s got some great products and really cutting edge services that I think one of the things that I always liked about Candace was she always stayed doing different things, she doesn’t stay still very long, both physically or as a as a as a business. Which I always, you know, admire. And today, I wanted to chat with you, Candace, about, you know, some planning stuff. But you and I, you know, but a little background for the audience, have people share a little bit about your experience and working with practices and helping them really not just do advertising or marketing, but really on the, on the health of the practice the business side of the practice?
Candace Crowe 1:40
Absolutely. So we started in this area in 1999. And marketing was truly a dirty word back then. Oh, goodness, yeah. Yeah. Patient Education was fine. But marketing No. And along the way, practices started to market. And they started talking about branding really didn’t quite understand branding, you know, thought it was maybe a royalty free picture, you know, that was their brand. Remember those. And little by little, they become marketing savvy, many of these practices, and some of these practices actually have a marketing director, some of them don’t. So there’s still this really wide, wide variety, and I kind of compare it to fitness, of course, right? You know, everybody has a different goal in life of how fit they want to be, or if they don’t even want to be fit. So when you go to the gym, or design your workout plan, you design it according to what your goals are, and what your strengths are, and what you enjoy, and what you’re good at. So when I try to help practices, I really try to tailor everything according to what is right for them. Not necessarily what do I need to sell? Or what is popular today, like Instagram, or just follow the crowd stuff, but really hone in on what is right for them. And then it’s a beautiful, beautiful result. If you don’t believe in marketing, it’s probably not going to work for you.
Bill Fukui 3:19
No, can you kind of you know, when you said your you know, that you’re passionate about that? You You know, I think you have a a will there are some practices that almost we’ll success, and if you believe in it, and have a passion towards it. You were just talking to me about your running and how you were able to and you got to tell that story. I
Candace Crowe 3:45
think I’m a little crazy when
Bill Fukui 3:48
but no, it was it’s the will the
Candace Crowe 3:51
Yeah. All right. So among a lot of other Ultra things that I’ve done, one is I’ve run 64 miles within a 24 hour period, then you don’t run all those 64 miles at one time. You know, you train for you make a plan for it. When are you going to eat? Do you have the right shoes, all those kinds of things. So there’s a lot of pre planning that goes into that and training. But when you do it, you decide you cross the finish line before you start. And you cross it right up here. Right, you know, you cross the finish line and then sometimes you know, like in the middle of the night you run through the night event. You know you look up at the moon and you go oh so beautiful world and you let that cure you and then you hit another wall and you go Oh, this sucks my feet hurt. You start crying or whatever but you just get up and you take the next step and sometimes it’s only 10 feet at a time but then you cross the finish line and you go oh my god that’s so beautiful. Ya know and and we can do more than we ever think we can. We cut ourselves so short especially same time a COVID. You know, we’re going it sucks or whatever it is. And thing, this is an opportunity. You know, not every day is going to feel like that. But, you know, we’re going to hit those walls where you sit down in the middle of the trail and you cry, and then you get right back up, and you make it the next 10 feet.
Bill Fukui 5:19
Yep. You know, actually, when you’re when you’re talking about hitting walls and stuff, you know, I really wanted to talk to you about planning, because I actually saw one of your documents that you created, which is the four hour, you know, planning guide, and I’d like to talk more about that. But but just planning in general, I think planning helps people, when they do run it or practices when they do run into those walls. Yeah, when they hit a wall, or they’re losing momentum, or they’re not being consistent with the things and they know it, it’s developing good habits. I think the planning stuff really does, you know, help people stay on track, especially during these, you know, these crazy times with COVID. What would you say, as you’re working with your clients that that are going through their plans and what they’re doing for this coming year, or what they’ve done in the past year? Looking back? What advice do you give practices as they’re building their plans for, you know, 2021, when we’re seeing crazy things, like, increases in in infection rates, and, you know, it’s spiking right now, I see light at the end of the tunnel, but but we gotta get there yet, you know, so what do you tell practices that are in the midst of all that?
Candace Crowe 6:42
So first, I like them to take inventory. You know, where are we spending money? You know, we’re who are our vendors? You know, sometimes, you know, you’ve got, you’ve signed up for a couple of years for something and you aren’t using it, you’ve never heard of that, whatever. Then, you know,
Bill Fukui 7:03
a lot of that, I think there’s a lot once they actually go through, what’s what are we paying for? What is this? What is?
Candace Crowe 7:13
And then nobody knows? Yeah, maybe even call each one? Yeah, because sometimes you may not be using it, but it could be helpful. And I don’t like just jumping ship to jump ship. You know, like, maybe it’s just because you haven’t spent time with that vendor, or that vendor hasn’t reached out to you. So not just jumping ship and take inventory. You know, really decide on the ones that you feel you have a connection where the net can help you. Right, and then call them and have a virtual cup of coffee with them. You know, get to know them. I got? Yeah, there we go. You know, I’ve got clients stay really close. And I’m not afraid to tell them, I appreciate them. I love them. I know their families even you know, you know, we’re in this together. Yeah. You know, real good client and vendor relationship. It’s a win win. It’s not it. Vendor take or
Bill Fukui 8:24
Yeah, practice take it’s you almost, and you’re good at that Canvas, you it’s not a talking up or down it is it is like this, you have to have that type of relationship and trust when your exact planning, giving guidance. And they know that you don’t just have a sales agenda behind your conversation,
Candace Crowe 8:49
right? So then we have the planner to go through and we’re glad to help you go through that. But really create work on the existing relationships to relationships with your employees first, believe it or not, your employees, invest in them, don’t ask them to do too much. Make sure they’re safe, make sure they have the tools they need to do their jobs. You know, we invest in our employees. Just think about that. What you know, like if America actually invested in small business and the small businesses invested in their employees, we would we wouldn’t need a PPP loan.
Bill Fukui 9:25
Right. Very true.
Candace Crowe 9:29
And then after that, after that the first step is your existing patients. They’ve been the ones that have helped you get this far, you know, on in our office, we have a timeline from 1999 to 2020 right now, and on that I have, we have a little over 400 people we’ve helped almost 500 Over the last 21 years. I have as many pictures of all those I have over 100 pics Here’s of all those clients on that timeline. So that every time I walk in the door, I go, thank you, thank you, thank you, you know, you know, and they’re the people that have paid my employees mortgages, they put my employees, kids in school, you know, they’re the people that I want to serve first, right and do anything in our power to help. So same with the practice, invest in your existing patients first. By doing that, you know, you create better loyalty. And hopefully, you know, you can ask for some reviews that’ll grow your Google reviews. And then as for word of mouth, that’s the old, you know, the word of mouth, the old fashioned, you don’t have to spend any money that way. You know, you just invest in kindness, and appreciation,
Bill Fukui 10:58
you know, that if you’re including, you know, if you’re building a plan, a marketing plan and taking inventory of those things, there is no question. I think that is the one area by far that is the most overlooked, and quite frankly, taken for granted. If I’m so good, everybody comes to me, because I’m so good. My word of mouth is because I’m so great. But I think if practices, even if even if that’s the truth, even if that is why they keep coming back, you develop those return patients or those lifetime patients. That’s great. You know, but imagine if we incorporated that into a marketing plan to take it to the next level. Yeah, you don’t have to break the bank to see those things return huge folds of ROI. So a question when it comes to building the plan for and including that internal that practice, you know, relationship and repeat referrals, kind of stuff? What would you recommend in terms of what do they need to put in that plan that you know, the actions that they need to be doing technology that they should be investing in, or strategies to help accelerate the things that you know, quite honestly, they healthy practices, get them even by not doing a whole lot?
Candace Crowe 12:25
You know, so I’m not afraid of work. And some of this takes some work. So one of the exercises I like to do is have the owner or the principal of the practice, or the patient care coordinator, or what are the write out the patient experience as it is? What is the patient experience, you know, from, you know, contact to going, you know, going home, right? Write that out, and then evaluate how you can improve that, how you can implement kindness into it. And really empathy. Empathy is important. Right now, I was writing some notes before, before we got on here, and one of them, beauty and art feel good, like soup and ice cream to win in times of stress. You know, beauty is always in style.
Bill Fukui 13:26
Mm hmm. Absolutely.
Candace Crowe 13:29
Yeah, absolutely. It may be some of the marketing has more of a shift towards art. No, maybe it’s in my background is art. So I do lean towards beauty and art. But that costs nothing. Right? That right there cost nothing. It just is a time investment.
Bill Fukui 13:52
You know, some of the things that you also do in terms of not only just externally advertising, like paid ads, or or SEO, or those types of things, which are all important, but it is about you know those those points in time, those engagements that we have that either lead to conversions, or leads to people taking actions to actually refer us. So a lot of the things that I’ve talked to you about and I know you do a lot of things inside the practice internal marketing kinds of stuff. What are things that practices need to be looking for if they don’t have these things in internally, in their practice? What could they be taking inventory on the inside of their practice?
Candace Crowe 14:39
That’s a really good question. And I may be biased but I really go back to the day before and after photos.
Bill Fukui 14:49
Oh, no. That never goes out of style candidates. I’m going to tell you that doesn’t go out of style.
Candace Crowe 14:54
No, I in 1999 It would be usually the doctors will If because it was mostly male doctors, then they’d have these albums. And they’d flip through them sitting beside the patient. And they talk about this photo, and they talk about that photo, and they’d flip and they’d create a relationship. And that was beautiful. And then we got online. And you know, we put these clinical photos online, you know, clinical photos don’t really transfer that great to online. You can’t flip through it and create a relationship. And you can’t say, Well, you know, that lady right there, this is a true story. This, that lady right there, got liposuction, and a breast lift. She was for 17 years, unable to show herself without clothes to her husband. And she got it. And there you go, right. I mean, that’s, that’s a story to be told right there. Before, just be careful when you post or upload your before and afters, that they present well to the viewer. They’re not just clinically wonderful, but they also present well to the viewer. So that means they’re cropped evenly, they’re well lit, they don’t have these little Gosh, their pants pulled down and across, you know, like, can’t think how that was feel to a woman to be looking at that kind of a photo.
Bill Fukui 16:27
Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah, I think, you know, one of the suggestions I would have to practices when they say, what, what, what do you want in your before and after photos? What should we be doing? And, you know, part of it is I’ll send them to a several different websites. And I said, check out these before and after photos. And you tell me what you liked. You tell me what appeals to you. You tell me which ones? And almost inevitably, they always gravitate to the same ones? Oh, this one’s so much better. This one’s and I said, Why? Why do you like that one? Oh, because look at the the, you know, the pictures are really clear. You know, I can see, you know, I said, Yeah, you can see some shadows, it doesn’t look so flat. So they’re using professional lighting, you know, things like that. So I would, you know, have them do that, do that exercise, and then all of a sudden, they’re like, now they’re putting themselves in the shoes of their, you know, you know, their patrons. And when that happens, you start looking at things a little bit differently than you do as a surgeon or as a practice administrator. Sometimes you look at them as a consumer, which is what this is all about. If we’re trying to, you know, appeal to them. I think they’ll The one other thing is, is you’ve kind of mentioned that the lighting and the cropping, and all that kind of stuff. If you don’t have those types of things in your plan, put them there. If you need to make an improvement in your, your before and after photos, put that in your plan. Okay, what are the things when you’re saying taking inventory? I don’t think it’s just the services. It’s what do we have? Let’s check out our website. What do I need? You know what in our website needs to be changed? Maybe we don’t need a whole overhaul. But man, that gallery really is. It’s not good on mobile, it’s not good on anything. So let’s put a plan together.
Candace Crowe 18:31
Yeah, it’s the number one most viewed. area of your website number one, you know, for? I guess 2001 Maybe was our first website. Since then, on almost every single analytics. The before and after gallery is the number one, most
Bill Fukui 18:47
of you. Yes. You know, so one of the things that I know you guys offer is a is that one area that focuses on galleries? Because I agree with you on the gallery side. The problem is, is that a lot of practices, they develop their galleries, and they’re pretty extensive. I’ve got one client who’s got I think, when we actually went through his whole before and after gallery, he had 1000 images in there. That’s yeah, yeah, he had 1000 before and after photos in there, were they quality are they just they were pretty good. They were all pretty consistent. He was pretty good about it. But he wanted to change the platform that they were using, how they were functioning and what you can do with them. And so that was the challenges, man, that was like, you know, the barrier was, man, that is a lot of work. That’s a week’s work right there. Yeah, that’s a big project to migrate that kind of stuff. What do you say for practices that have those kinds of things that become a barrier from you know, from putting those into there? plans because they just don’t want to, you know, invest the time or resources to do it. But you and I know that man, that’s that, that one area is the one area that they they do spend most of their time on when they visit their websites?
Candace Crowe 20:17
Yeah, that’s a real tough question. Because you have to be willing to invest time in that. In 2013, we created a WordPress plugin that would actually move with the client. I don’t want to be self promotional in this. So maybe we can defer some of that to the footnotes or whatever. But there is a there, we are a marketing firm and a boutique software firm. So over the years, we’ve created different pieces of software. And before and after Gallery is one of those. And the initial reason we created it was that you create it once it can move with you, if you move, website vendors. And if you don’t want to keep with the software we created before brag book, we actually export everything for you and give it to you. We don’t want you, you know, like I I know the value of $1. I really do I was raised with and I raised four sons alone, and every dollar counted. And so I bring that into our company, philosophy that everything has to have value. And everything has a relationship. So there you go. But yeah, so when
Bill Fukui 21:37
you’re talking about, you know, the taking inventory, and in building up your plans, and kind of those relationships that you have. We all know that those things make a difference. But a lot of the practices that really haven’t overcome the barrier of taking the time, you know, you’ve got a you know, we talked about the four hour, you know, planning guide that you have that that four hours, they never set the four hours aside to do it. Okay. Do you have any examples or some something that would compel a practice to say, this is worth the time to do? I mean, do you have some clients or some experience where, you know, we can convince somebody that the time it takes to do this is absolutely will pay back in spades? If you do it right, from the get go and set up a good plan.
Candace Crowe 22:34
So, Bill, I would love to put some numbers to this after you know, this conversation. I do know from our experience, about, I don’t know, five or six years ago, previous to five or six years ago, clients would just call us and ask us to do something we do. You know, and it was sporadic. It was like, okay, practice has time or money this month, they don’t the next. You know, and it caused frustration for me, it caused frustration for them, and it didn’t create the best ROI possible. So how do we how do we overcome this? And so I asked a certain select group of our clients, would they be willing to go on a plan with me monthly plan, and that was kind of the start of the planner for me. And we went through and created plans for them by the quarter. Okay. And so then we found that they enjoyed it, and we enjoyed it. And we didn’t get all this bunch up at one time and couldn’t service them well. And we could kind of adjust as needed. And so then we kind of moved into this annual program that we we’ve, we’ve done year after year now where we can say January was like this, how do we adjust this January? You know, so we can kind of compare like that. So then I thought, well, you know, I do love the industry. It’s, you know, it’s provided my kids college, it’s, you know, it’s been my family. What have I created into a planner in a course and so I gave the course at a saps and see entra uses it in some other places use it, but I created it into a booklet and just gave it out at all the meetings and I don’t think anybody did it.
Bill Fukui 24:37
Candace Crowe 24:40
I mean, I offered you know, free consultation. You know, you don’t have to buy anything. I just want you to make a plan. You’ll be happier, your vendor will be happier. But my hope with this is that maybe somebody takes us up on it and does it.
Bill Fukui 24:55
Yeah, I think you know, and I do have I will say I’ve got But, you know, off the top of my head, I’ve got three practices, that really not only do they put together the plan, they live it, it’s kind of like what you’re talking about what you, you know, when you train and everything you live that you live, you, and you keep people accountable for the different areas of the plan. You put deadlines, you make it smart. So it’s, you know, defined, it’s measurable. There’s accountability, there’s a timeframe. Yeah, those types of things. And I will say those practices. I’m going to tell you within about a five year period, they’ve more than tripled.
Candace Crowe 25:45
Absolutely. And maybe I wasn’t totally clear on that. The ones that I, you know, presented it to in the course, I don’t think anybody did. But the handful of ones that we we walk through that our monthly clients, they love it, they know we’re going to we’ve got their back, they can call us at the drop of a hat. But we also have that plan. Yeah. And and I would have to agree those are probably that is probably an accurate ROI that you’re talking about. Yeah,
Bill Fukui 26:16
it was, it made a huge difference. And it even changed the dynamics of our conversations, our relationship. Yes, it changed the relationship. Now all of a sudden, we were we had a collaborative spirit. Spirit that is, yeah. As opposed to, you know, there’s always this when you’re dealing with quote, vendors, there’s always this okay, what is he trying to sell me now? And I even used to have used to get that practice would say, Yeah, every time I talked to him, you know, your, your consultant, he’s trying to sell me something else. I said, Whoa, timeout, you’ve got to change how you’re looking at this. Yeah, this is not about selling new services. This is a collaborative, you know, trust, of practice development and building. Okay. And if if you’re wanting somebody to partner with, that’s the relationship that you have to have, if you’re wanting to, you know, us to continue to bring opportunities. It’s not a sale, this is bringing opportunities. That wasn’t on your radar that wasn’t on your Horizon. And we’re just bringing it up. And let’s talk about it. Does it make sense? If it doesn’t, let’s not even go there. Right. But but not addressing it is a fate is a failure of opportunity, that I think we leave money on the table way too often, simply because we just never bring it to their attention. Yes.
Candace Crowe 27:44
And, you know, it takes a long time to really know this industry. Yes, it is. I mean, you know, like, eat, I’ll bet you’re the same way you can be in a hotel lobby, and you go, that’s a plastic surgeon right there. Oh, yeah. coordinator right there.
Bill Fukui 28:07
I could just I could just tell by the way that they look.
Candace Crowe 28:11
Yeah, you go, you just eat? It’s like, family?
Bill Fukui 28:16
Yeah. Yeah. So I would say there’s, I know, I’m taking up more more of your time. But I’d like to get one really one morsel because as practices, I know, because you’re you’re already investing in the in the planning guide and stuff like that, you get the fact that this is not a mercenary thing. This is something where the practice, even more so today than even when we first started, they have to participate so much more in social media, in content in reviews in pretty much even their website, blogging, they gotta be doing the practice needs to be doing some stuff. It’s not just hiring and paying money and just make me money. That’s not how this works anymore. So you get that. And then when you’re dealing with practices, you understand they don’t have unlimited amounts of time and resources to do things. So what would you say, you know, for a practice that is busy has, I’ve got a practice, you know, patient coordinator, patient counselor, who does our internal marketing, okay, she does our social media, she does all these other, you know, all these things. But she’s like, stress can’t get out. Not enough time in the day. I’m trying to do all these things. What What kind of advice can you give somebody like that so that they can focus and concentrate on the things that’s going to you know, it’s that 8020 rule, what 20% of the things that you could be doing, that’s going to generate that 80% Cool.
Candace Crowe 29:57
First of all, assigning marketing to the You should care coordinator is a risky.
Bill Fukui 30:03
Okay, good point. That’s great.
Candace Crowe 30:07
Because you’re taking time away from sales. Yeah. And if you’re asking her to make more sales and taking time away from sales, it’s, you know, kind of shoot every time she makes a sales or shoots herself in the foot, she doesn’t have enough time to spend with marketing. Yeah, but if that’s what you have to do, that’s what you have to do?
Bill Fukui 30:28
Well, in a perfect world, and Canada’s who would be the person internally? Who would you say? Do you need to get somebody separate? That that’s all they do? Or is there you know, in a lot of practices, there’s overlap of roles, who would be in your mind would would make for a good person, if I if I can’t afford another 50 $60,000? You know, position in practice?
Candace Crowe 30:54
Well, anybody that’s close to the physician, Okay, anybody that’s close to him knows the heartbeat of the practice, enjoys marketing intuitively knows how to video intuitively knows that marketing is important. Anybody that can take time to create a relationship with a marketing firm? You know, I would, I would ask them to at least meet with the marketing firm once a week, at least in the beginning. Phases. Be responsive to email from the marketing firm, you know? In our case, we actually share mobile numbers, they’re allowed to text us even on the weekends, okay. You know, there’s sometimes emergencies that happen, and we just need that reassurance. So I would say some kind of administrator that doesn’t isn’t overwhelmed, but really knows the heartbeat, it could be. It could be even the receptionist, it could be the laser technician, it could be the HydraFacial. person.
Bill Fukui 32:16
I think you pointed out the one thing that they have to have either an aptitude or a passion for it.
Candace Crowe 32:23
There you go. We get that, that that trumps all,
Bill Fukui 32:26
yeah, that trumps everything, you know, and you’d be amazed that these people that are in a practice that live and do everything on social media, they get it, you know, the practice had no idea. I had no idea that you were so into, you know, all this stuff. Well, no one ever said anything I never really knew. But But I think, yeah, take inventory of our people and, and and learn about our people, you’re going to uncover some of those things. I say, Yeah, I had no idea. Yeah, you will be graded this position.
Candace Crowe 33:07
If you think about it, if you have a task lists, and you don’t enjoy doing something, it’s going to be at the bottom of your list. List, right? I don’t care what she or he does at the practice just so long, they enjoy marketing and they have a decent aesthetic. I
Bill Fukui 33:31
know, I think that’s, I think that’s good advice. Candace, I’m gonna let you close with I love your you know, just our relationship, you You’re, you’re one of those guiding lights that I even see you’re in your social media, you do a lot of inspirational things post a lot of inspirational things. I find you uh, you know, kind of a shining light in an industry and and at a time that sometimes it’s you know, it’s not so fun. We can we can be drugged down by a lot of things. I’m just going to ask off the top of your head, what would be a a parting message that you would want us to walk away from this? This this session from because I don’t I can’t. If I ask that to somebody else. I know they would go I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but you’re filled with them.
Candace Crowe 34:35
Got to that. Just briefly talk about I like to follow the kiss formula.
Unknown Speaker 34:42
Keep it simple. Okay.
Candace Crowe 34:44
So if I mean like we’re overachievers right, and most of plastic surgeons are overachievers. So I know that if I can fit the marketing plan on a five by seven index card for the month. I don’t care You’re all small. You’re right. But if it can fit on a five by seven is probably doable. Okay, it’s 20 pages long. No. So keep it simple. All right idea is kindness really isn’t considered marketing, but it sure does go a long way.
Bill Fukui 35:19
No, I I don’t I think it is. Absolutely. It should be an underlying spirit that in your messaging your relationships, yeah.
Candace Crowe 35:30
An example of that. Yeah. Nordstrom. Nordstrom is, you know, they’re known for their relationship marketing. There was once a lady that took a used car tire back to Nordstrom. Oh, they don’t sell. But they took it. They took it.
Bill Fukui 35:57
They took it. Wow. Okay.
Candace Crowe 36:00
Isn’t that incredible?
Bill Fukui 36:01
That’s, that’s a, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that. Yeah, me either. Well, kindness, I
Candace Crowe 36:09
like it kindness.
Bill Fukui 36:11
I like it. Well, Kansas, thank you, again, for sharing your insights I do have I will be posting some information about you and as well as some of the some of your resources. But what’s a good way for people to get in touch with you if they’d like to learn more about the planning guy, or just really kind of the stuff that you guys offer? What’s a good way of getting a hold of you?
Candace Crowe 36:36
The best way probably is to call the office 877-384-7676. Or email me directly and that’s c a n d ac firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Fukui 36:55
Okay, super. Candace. Thank you again, and I’d like to do one, you know, schedule another one of these conversations. You know, maybe even after we kind of start coming to some of these conventions, maybe we could do one live at one of the meetings. Oh, that’d
Candace Crowe 37:08
be so much fun. Miami. Hey, okay, Miami. Woods. Yeah. Bring your bicycle.
Bill Fukui 37:17
Bicycle and my swim cap. Cap. Okay, Candice, have a great afternoon.
Candace Crowe 37:24
Thank you. Thank you. Bye bye. Bye.
MSD Insider 37:27
Thanks for joining us for the med shark insider with Bill Fukui join us next week for another dive into all things medical marketing. All episodes can be streamed at WWW dot med Shark digital.com/med Shark that insider
Transcribed by https://otter.ai